[Disclaimer] SM owns everything Twilight
[A/N] This is part three of my Zoe outtake. I love writing her character and hope you'll like this as much as me. You know this story is close to my heart.
I look down at the scale as good as I can manage with my round stomach. Forty pounds, I sigh. Well, to be precisely it's just thirty nine pounds, but it's still too much.
Three more weeks, I remind myself when I step underneath the shower. The baby kicks against my ribs. From the inside I must be completely black and blue. The warm water helps to relax my muscles a bit. I enjoy how it runs down my body and wash my hair. Afterwards I apply the almond oil Mom has sent me all over my midsection.
Who gives a shit whether I get stretch marks or not? I pull a shirt over my head and step into the only pair of sweats that I can manage to fit in.
The house is empty. I walk down into the kitchen to prepare some breakfast for me.
There is a message on the machine. Momma has called again. She and Mom have been calling here every fucking day, since they shipped me off to Chicago. That seemed like the best so-called solution for our parents. Separate me and Nessie in an attempt to bring both of us back to our senses.
Uncle Emmett has sent him to some awful Military school in Tennessee. He hates it there. Nessie doesn't think very highly of this whole Yes, Sir – No, Sir crap.
So, here I am,stuck in Chicago to live with my sister and her wife. They are both very supporting but I still plan on leaving as soon as I turn eighteen.
I make myself a bagel with cream cheese and gulp down half a gallon of chocolate milk. God, I love this shit.
The phone rings again and I pick up, swallowing the last bite of my breakfast.
"How's it like in your jail?"
"Nessie! I thought you weren't allowed to call."
"I am not. But I…I just needed to know you are okay."
The baby kicks again and I hiss through my teeth. Damn it, this really hurt.
"I'm fine, just fat and pregnant."
"It can't be that bad."
For a moment I consider telling him about the forty pounds. But then I decide against it. That's just too embarrassing.
"It's just three more weeks until the birth. I can't wait for this to be over."
"Are you scared?"
"For the birth?"
"Yes, of course. I wished I could be with you."
"You can't see blood."
"I can't see you being in pain. Look, I've been thinking about us."
My heart cramps. There is not supposed to be an us for me and him. Everyone is against us. Our family thinks this is just a phase and that keeping us away from each other will solve the problem.
"Maybe you should just try to forget me." I tell him, my voice cracking with every word. "It would be the best for you."
"You don't really mean that. I know that you love me."
"I tell you what I know. I'm going to have a baby. My parents are pissed at me. Your mother hates me. I am done with this shit."
I hang up and throw the phone against the wall where it breaks into several pieces. Tears stream down my face and I sob desperately into my hands. I am so stupid, so fucking stupid.
The sound of the front door opening makes me sit up straight. I wipe my eyes at the back of my hand.
"Hey, sweetie, surprise!" Dad calls out, wrapping his arms around me. I sob loudly and hold on to him as tightly as I can.
"Why are you crying? Are you in pain?" Lilly asks, kneeling down next to my chair. She takes my hand and squeezes it.
"I want to go home."
"See, that's why I'm here, sweetie. You can live with me and Seth as long as you want."
"She can stay here too. Jane and I like having you here." My sister says, handing me some Kleenex to blow my nose. I take a deep breath and force my lips into a smile.
"I'm like some social project now."
"You're not. You could have moved back home like three months ago when Mom was here the first time to bring you home to Seattle."
I nod silently.
"Are you going to yell at her again, if I bring her in?"
She's here? Mom is here?
"No yelling, that's not good for the baby." Lilly states in that annoying doctor voice she's developed. What the hell does a vet know about human pregnancies?
Lilly squeezes my hand again and stands up. Moments later my mothers and my little sister rush in. I've missed Hope. Then a fourth person enters the room. Holy shit, what is Aunt Rose doing here?
"How are you feeling?" Momma asks, placing her hand on my shoulder. "Have you been eating your vitamin pills?"
"That's good. You're looking pale though. I don't like it. Lilly, have you made sure she's not missing her doctor appointments?"
"Yes, Mom, do you want to drink something? Hope must be tired from the flight."
"I'm not tired. Where is Jane?"
"In her office, sweetie, she's looking forward to seeing you again." Lilly says, lifting her up. "You've grown so much. Let's see if we can find one of the cats upstairs. You like them, don't you?"
They walk upstairs and Dad turns to me again. "We're all here to bring you back home."
"I still want to be with Nessie. That isn't going to change."
"I know," Aunt Rose croaks. "He keeps telling the same thing to me and his father."
She inhales deeply and leans back against the counter behind her. "You know it's wrong for you to be together. You're cousins."
"We are not actually related. Not by blood."
"Zoe, we're not going to have this discussion again." Momma states before she sits down on the chair next to mine. "This is not about blood relations. The two of you grew up together."
"Don't you think I fucking know that! If I hadn't got pregnant none of you had ever found out."
"Don't yell at your mother." Dad says, pouring me a glass of orange juice. I shove the glass to the side. I don't feel like drinking that sour stuff now.
"Honey, we love you. We just want to keep you and your cousin from making a mistake." Momma whispers taking my hand between hers.
She looks fragile. I bet she's been stressing herself out about me for months. Guilt spreads through me. There is a sharp pain in my lower back. It has been coming and going for the last few days now. It's probably because the weight is too much for my bones. God, I feel so yucky and fat.
"We're not making a mistake." a familiar deep voice calls from the front door. There is some barking from the dog and moments later Jane and Nessie walk in. She grins and waves her hand at Mom.
"How's my favorite mother in law doing?"
"Jane! What is Nessie doing here?"
"I picked him up from the airport. He should be here when the baby comes."
"Where did you have the money to buy a ticket?" Rose asks him. She looks angry for a second but then she hugs him. "You look thin, boy. Haven't they given you anything to eat? I told your father, this military academy isn't the right place for you."
"See, that's why I quite. I'm eighteen and free to go where it pleases me."
"And what are you planning on doing now?"
"Working, I have a family to support."
"Who is going to hire you? You've barely managed to get your High School Diploma."
"Well," Jane starts. "I just have…kind of."
"As what?" Momma asks. "He's too bulky for working as a model."
"We have enough models. I've hired him for the security team. Come on, give them your evil face, McCarty."
I laugh and jump from my chair as good as I can with my baby bump. He wraps his arm around me and lifts me up.
"Shit, did I hurt you? I'm sorry, Babe."
"It's okay." I murmur, pressing my hand against my spine. Why does this hurt so much?
Something splashes down to the ground and it takes me a bit too long to realize that I'm the source of the puddle on the kitchen floor. This is gross. Am I incontinent now?
"Honey, maybe you should sit down." Dad whispers, his face turning pale. "Is this what I think it is?"
"Her waters just broke. Sit down, Zoe. It can take hours until the baby comes." Mom says, guiding me to my chair as if I was dying. I feel yucky and want to shower again.
"The baby is not supposed to come now." I cry. "It's too early."
"It is because you're only seventeen but now it's too late to back off. How far are your contractions apart?" Aunt Rose asks me, taking my hand. She smiles at me. Maybe she's on some tranquilizers? The last time I saw her, she told me that I've ruined her son's life.
"I don't know…ouch...I don't fucking know."
"Should we bring her to the hospital?"
Yes, hospital sounds good. They have painkillers there. I love hospitals!
"Lilly, can you come and take a look at your sister? She's in labor!"
They are not actually going to make a vet look at me, are they? I'm not a cow!
"Coming!" Lilly calls from upstairs. When she walks down again, she has her stethoscope around her neck.
"Let's see how you're doing, shall we?"
"You're a vet! You're not even allowed to treat humans."
She laughs. "I'm not treating you. I just want to check your pulse."
"No way," I hiss while another wave of pain spreads through me. "I want a real doctor. Dad, can you drive me to the hospital?"
"Yes, sure, honey. Lilly, do you think we can move her?"
Why does everyone think that Lilly is the person to ask for advice now?
"How far are your contractions apart?"
"My mother already asked her that. She doesn't know." Nessie tells my sister. He starts rubbing my back and for a few moments that actually helps with the pain.
"Are there breaks between the pain?"
"No! It hurts all the time. Can you stop with the stupid questioning and get me into the fucking hospital before I give birth here in the kitchen?"
We don't make it to the hospital. I keep cursing the entire time while Dad and Nessie bring me upstairs. I yell at my mother while she holds my hand. I am surrounded by idiots.
My heart swells with love when Nessie manages to kick everyone outside. They've called for an ambulance and they should be here any minute.
"Does it hurt badly?"
"I hate you! This is your fault."
"You can squeeze my hand if you want to. Yell at me. I don't mind."
"I know. I'm scared too."
"You're not the one who's trying to press this baby out. It probably has your big head. Ouch! Oh crap…,"
"Nessie, you need to leave. The doctor is here now." Lilly tells me.
For a moment I'm relieved, but then the loser informs me, it's too late for medication. I hate him and that's what I let him know.
He ignores my rambling and orders me to spread my legs. I curse with every push. At least Nessie is still here. He holds my hands and apologizes to the doctor for every swearword that leaves my mouth.
For a few moments everything blurs around me. I close my eyes and whimper. Then the baby starts screaming.
"It's a girl," the doctor says, handing the baby to me. She's small. Smaller than I thought she'd be. I count her fingers, then her toes, such a pretty thing.
"Hello, little baby." I whisper. "There you are."
"She's too small." Nessie murmurs. "Is she okay?"
"Young man, this baby is like seven pounds. That's big for one that has born three weeks before the actual birth date."
"Do you want to hold her?" I ask him.
"No, I'll break her. Do you know what you want to name her?"
The door to the guestroom opens and seconds later, I'm surrounded by my family. Mom hugs me and cries while Momma takes the baby from me.
"She's so pretty. Look, Bella, doesn't she look just like Zoe when she was born?"
"Honey, are you okay?" Mom asks, wiping some tears from her face.
"Yes," I whisper. "Just pretty exhausted, I think."
Aunt Rose walks in and some squeaking noise leaves her throat. "Ali, give her to me. Such a little princess."
"I thought you are against this, Barbie girl." Dad says. I don't know why he keeps calling her that. He knows she hates that nickname.
"Just shut up. This is my grandchild you're taking about. Ali, now give her to me. You've already had her for like three minutes. It's my turn."
She takes the baby from Momma and cradles it against her chest. "There you are, little princess."
"Mom, you need to be more careful with the baby."
"Do you want to tell me how to handle babies? I've had two. How are you planning on naming her?"
"Alexandra." I tell them. "After my grandmother. Dad, that's okay for you, isn't it?"
"Yes, sure." he says, sitting down on the edge of my bed. "I like that."
"So, the two of you want to stay together." Mom asks when Aunt Rose hands the screaming baby to her. I'm getting the impression that I won't be spending much time with my daughter.
"I love her." Nessie says placing his arm around my shoulder. "We're going to stay together, whether you like this or not."
"I love you." I whisper before I brush my lips gently against his. "I love both of you."
"You don't know what it means to provide for a family. You and Zoe should move back to Seattle with us." Aunt Rose states while the baby wraps her fist around her fingertip.
"So that you can tell us, how wrong it for us to be together? We're going to stay here. I have a job."
"You can't live on your own. Zoe is still a minor."
"Bella, be still now. If we forbid this, she'll move out the moment she turns eighteen. I don't want that to happen." Momma sobs. "Our baby has a baby. I can't believe this."
Tiredness overwhelms me. The voices around me are getting lower and lower. I feel Nessie's lips against my forehead. He's going to be a good Dad to the baby. I just need to convince him that she's not completely breakable. We Swan women are small but tough...