A Thorough Examination
'I knew it, I knew it all along, I knew it would be Charlie and his try-and-protect, keep-Bella-safe-from-everything, cop attitude.'
My breath left my lungs in a whoosh.
'I wasn't going to lose it now, grown up Bella was here now, the Bella who was going to be a Mommy who was a wife, who had responsibilities, who was going to lose her Dad, my Daddy.'
My eyes prickled and burned with tears, I couldn't fight them any longer, they rolled thick and fast soaking my cheeks. I heard Edward finish his half of the telephone conversation.
"I'll ring you back... yes I think she heard everything...soon, bye."
I felt my body being lifted, I was still naked from earlier; I had plans, naked plans with Edward.
He cradled me to his chest and moved us to the bed, where he just held me stroking my hair, I think he was speaking but I blocked him out, there was too much to deal with.
'This is not strong Bella,' I chastised myself, 'you're letting Edward deal with this alone, and you need to help him.'
He was kissing my cheek softly, "I'm so sorry baby, I am so sorry, talk to me please."
I looked into his tear filled eyes, and saw the pain and the guilt he must have carried, all in the name of love, all to protect me; I needed to make him feel better.
I touched his cheek gently and held his gaze to mine, and then I kissed him softly.
"Don't you ever keep anything from me again," my voice was thick with emotion.
"I promise," he closed his eyes and let out a long sigh, the tension left his body.
I wouldn't let Edward return Charlie's phone call, it was petty I know, but I was angry. I managed to book a ticket on the next day's flight and then he would be dealing with me in person. Edward couldn't immediately get time away, so he would be coming out to join me in a couple of day's time. I think he may have been little relieved, as there would be time for me to calm Charlie down before he got there.
The flight was uneventful, and it gave me time to think about everything, sort it out in my own head before I faced my Dad.
Last night I'd cried myself to sleep in Edward's arms, he'd whispered how he loved me, and how sorry he was that he'd not told me. Now I think I could face my Dad without breaking down, Charlie wasn't a man who could deal with any amount of emotion, and now I could almost understand why he didn't tell me.
I rang Edward as soon as my plane touched down, and made my way over to hire a car.
"Mom," I was surprised to see her standing there.
"How?" I narrowed my eyes, "Oh... Edward."
"He didn't want you driving, he was worried, so don't be mad at him. Before you ask, no your Dad doesn't know, so we'll all be in trouble," she answered all my questions before I asked them. Then she waited another couple of seconds before grabbing me to her and sighing into my shoulder, "I'm so glad you're here."
My phone beeped and a text from Edward read, 'don't b2 mad luv u loads.Exx.'
'Thanks, luv u always B xx.'
Mom rattled on about nothing in particular, like she usually did. It was nice to spend a little time with her, but even she couldn't keep me awake, and I gave up fighting my heavy lids and fell asleep.
I awoke when Mom gave me a gentle shake, "We're home Bella."
I opened my eyes and it was twilight, I loved this time. Day was finishing and night was just starting, the sky was a darkening blue before the black, and usually it would be my time to relax.
"Bella," Mom looked at me, sadness filled her eyes, "don't be too mad with him, he loves you so much, he was only trying to protect you baby."
I just nodded; I doubted my ability to speak clearly at the moment. 'Come on Swan...err...Cullen,get a grip.' Deep breath, time to see Charlie.
"I was starting to miss you," he turned expecting to see Renee; Mom had stayed outside under the pretence of getting my luggage, giving us a moment alone.
"Oh," his eyes widened in surprise.
He was so much thinner than last time I'd seen him, his t-shirt now hung limply from his bony frame, elbows and wrists joints jutted out, covered in thin paper white skin, which looked barely capable of holding its structure. He had a plaid blanket over his knees which added to the image of his frailness. His round face was gone and, replaced by sunken cheeks, my heart twisted to see him look so old and ill.
"Dad," I blurted out, the emotion clear in my voice, I moved quickly into his waiting arms, 'don't cry,don't cry.'
My brain didn't respond, and I cried like a little girl in her Daddy's arms, but this time he couldn't put it right, like he could when I was a child.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I promised myself I wouldn't cry."
"It's ok Bells," he wiped the tears away with the pad of his thumbs, "It really is." He nodded emphasising it.
I sniffed a bit more the tears soaking his t-shirt, he just held onto me, stroking my hair but not saying a word.
Charlie kissed me on the top of my head, and let out a long sigh, "I'm sorry Bella, I should have told you."
Mom stuck her head around the door sheepishly, "Can I get you anything?"
"Beer," Charlie said hopefully.
Mom returned with his requested drink, and orange juice for us.
"Edward will be here the day after tomorrow."
"Hmmm," Dad replied.
Mom and I looked towards him quizzically.
"It's ok," he laughed.
It was nice to see, and hear him laugh; it was a hopeful sound amongst the bad news.
"Be nice," I said.
"I always am," he chuckled again, "he's a good man Bella, you're lucky to have him."
I nearly spat my drink out, I never thought I'd hear the day Dad said something nice about Edward.
We retired early that night; the emotional episode had taken its toll. I fell exhausted and lonely, without Edward into bed, and slept dreamlessly for the first time in my pregnancy.
Dad tired easily, so we stayed home and watched family videos, the photo's made another appearance, this time we were all paraded out. They reminisced of how they met on a double date; Renee was with Charlie's friend and Charlie with Renee's friend. Half way through the evening they all realised they preferred each other's dates, so they swopped, I screamed and shouted, 'no,' in disbelief, they giggled at my reaction.
The conversation stopped but they stared into each other's eyes, reaching for each other's hands, transported back to a happy time, I felt emotional and a lot like a third wheel, so I snuck into the kitchen and started on dinner.
I busied myself collecting dishes and food from the fridge, deciding on pasta salad and steak for dinner when the house phone rang.
"Hello," I sang out.
"Baby I've missed your voice."
"Edward," I squeaked.
"I can't wait to see you."
"I've missed you too." I held the phone between my shoulder and chin and continued with food preparation.
"What you doing?"
"Just making dinner," I banged a few dishes to prove it. "What about you?"
"I'm just watching you."
It took a minute before it sunk in what he'd said, and then I dropped the phone and snapped my head round to the window in the back door. He gave me his dazzling smile and opened the door, stepping into my outstretched arms.
"Oh baby, you smell so good," he inhaled deeply into the side of my neck; his cold nose made me giggle and squirm then he bent down and kissed my belly affectionately saying, "Daddy's here baby."
"Who've you got in the kitchen," shouted Mom.
"A man," I growled, kissing him full on his soft pink lips, and lacing my fingers into his gloriously messy hair, I had an overwhelming urge to lick him all over.
Edward told us he finished early and went straight to the airport to surprise us. That earned him lots of, "ahhh's," and hugs from Mom and I, it was so cute we made him blush between us.
We sat together with trays on our laps and ate in front of the fire (Charlie found it too uncomfortable to hold himself upright at the dining table). We chatted quietly after eating, I watched the fire, mesmerised by the dancing flames, and it didn't take too long for me to doze off.
The baby cooed and held out it's chubby little arm's, his eyes were dark chocolate like mine, but his hair was a shock of coppery brown like Edward's, and was already displaying a tendency to stick all over, he giggled, it was music to my ears. I picked him up and he snuggled into my breast and my heart melted.
I woke feeling peaceful and knew what I needed to do.
"I need your help Edward; I think we should be having this baby now!"
"WHAT?" I'd heard, but I asked again anyway.
She grinned like it was the best idea ever, "You heard."
"Why?" I knew the answer but again, I had to ask.
"Edward you know why! Come on you know this is right, he hasn't got much time, the baby will be ok
It's due in a couple of weeks anyway." She finally stopped to breathe, her eyes gleaming.
I wouldn't be able to refuse her anything, and she knew it.
"We'll talk to Carlisle, ok?"
"Ok baby," she purred, stalking towards me like I was something to eat.
"What you doing," I smirked.
"Let's see if we can start labour naturally," she began unzipping her skirt as she came towards me; it fell to the floor revealing she was naked underneath.
I raised my eyebrows
and gave her my best crooked smile, "Help yourself," I gestured towards my crotch and lay back on the bed in Bella's old room.
"I intend to," she said chewing on her bottom lip, then she unfastened and manoeuvred my pants and boxers down my thighs. The slight of her bare pussy had my cock responding and proud in seconds.
"I need you in me now," she said and straddled me, my tip poised at the entrance of her hot wet core, excitement travelled like a current, up and down my shaft in anticipation.
She paused long enough, teasingly, until I was pushing against her, desperate to grab her hips and pull her down hard on my shaft, but I resisted, not a good idea in my love's current state, I didn't want to hurt her. She slid slowly down my length until I was buried deep inside her. My head fell back as I relished the sweetness of the feeling.
"Arrrggghhh f-fuckkkk. Oh baby so hot and tight."
"Only for you."
She moved herself up and down, swivelling her hips as she did; her eyes fluttered back and closed as she used my cock to pleasure herself. Her cheeks were flushed and her hair bounced around in loose curls, she was utterly perfect.
I unbuttoned her blouse which she cast off, not breaking her rhythm as she did, I unclasped her front fastening bra and let loose her full voluptuous breasts, then used both hands to gently massage them.
"Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes," her head lolled forward, her hair masking her face from me.
"Look at me, I want to see you come," I made the same demand of her, as she once did of me.
Her head snapped up to gaze at me, and the look of want and lust in her dark eyes was enough to push me into my own climax. As I throbbed and spurted my cum deep inside her, her sweet wet pussy squeezed me as she rode out her own orgasm.
"I love you," She collapsed in a panting heap into my arms, planting kisses all over my chest.
I gently moved her so she was lying on her side, beside me, and we both groaned as our connection was broken.
"Did it work?" I asked.
"Are you in labour yet?" I giggled, she punched my shoulder playfully.
We left shortly after to visit Carlisle and Esme and put forward our proposal. As he was Chief Medical Officer at Forks General Hospital he would be able to sort the paperwork, as well as possibly deliver our baby.
My Mother welcomed us warmly with hugs and kisses, her face radiated with love as soon as she saw the both of us; she held her hands out towards Bella's stomach, "May I?"
Bella beamed and nodded, delighted that someone had asked to touch, instead of thinking that she was public property. That was one of the things that had irked Bella about being pregnant, some people; usually elderly ladies, felt the need to rub her belly uninvited.
"Hello little one," Esme cooed, "We'll have a little cuddle soon."
Bella giggled and kissed Esme on the cheek.
"Well this is a lovely surprise," Dad appeared, his face glowing with happiness.
After all the hugging and kissing had ceased, and we were seated with refreshments, the serious conversation started. They were aware of Charlie's illness and I couldn't help but notice the look of anguish that briefly crossed Bella's face, I could only presume it was because she realised others knew of his illness before she did.
"I'd like to have the baby..." Bella looked towards the floor, "before my Dad..." She didn't finish the sentence.
"We thought since the due date is a couple of weeks away, it would be safe to hurry things along a little bit." I stepped in to take the focus off Bella.
"Well yes, have you tried the recommended ways to bring on labour?" Carlisle grinned as Bella blushed. "I'll take that as a yes then."
He closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose, Esme reached across to hold his hand.
"Ok, give me a day or two to sort it out with the hospital, and then I would be honoured to deliver my grandchild," he beamed.
"Thank you, thank you," Bella jumped up, surprisingly quickly for someone who was nearly nine months pregnant, to hug Carlisle.
"Glad to help my dear."
We spent the rest of the evening talking and giggling with my parents, like we hadn't a care in the world. It felt good. This would be great for Bella, we had, grief to come.
As we stood to leave, Bella let out a gasp, and clutched at her stomach, "Oh," her eyes widened in shock and she looked towards her feet, our eyes followed suit to see a puddle of water on the floor.
Six years later
"This is a photo of Grandpa Charlie, that's where you get your name from," my son jumped up and down on the spot.
"Granny where is Grandpa Charlie now?"
"Well honey, you remember me telling you," Renee was so patient with him; he asked the same questions every time we visited. I couldn't wait to tell her that we were going to be around a lot more. Carlisle was retiring and spending more time with Esme, travelling, and I'd agreed to take his position at the hospital. Moving back to Forks, back to family, would be helpful; as Bella and I had baby number three on the way, turns out I was good at being a Dad after all.
"Grandpa had to go to heaven, Charlie," Renee's eyes filled with tears.
"Come here son, let's go and practice riding your bike," I interceded; uncomfortable as Charlie was upsetting his Granny.
"Its fine Edward, I like to talk about him," she nodded, wiping her eyes as she spoke.
"That's better," Bella cooed sweetly, returning to the room with Jacob, our two year old, that currently had his hands tangled into her hair. "Someone's in a better mood after his nap," he grinned and hid his face in her hair.
"Grandpa is in heaven," Charlie declared proudly.
Bella looked round the room at us, before answering him, "Yes baby he is."
I kissed her, before untangling Jacob to give her a break; he could come and watch his brother practice riding his bike.
"Come on boys lets go out to play," I gave Bella a wink and left her with Renee.
My mind wandered back to the day Charlie had been born, Bella insisted on me and Carlisle delivering the baby at their house. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and that's saying something, being married to Bella. We were lucky there were no complications and it had been so intimate. Carlisle and Esme were there giving me the encouragement to deliver my own son. On reflection, that day had influenced my decision now, to return to Forks and the small community hospital.
Charlie was bursting with pride the day he met his new grandson, and he cried openly when we said we were naming him Charlie. He'd been strong enough to cuddle him; he nursed him, whispering in his ear, 'all his secrets,' he'd informed us with a wink.
"You don't have to name him Charlie," he'd said to Bella, she beamed back at him and replied, "Edward's decision Dad." Charlie looked at me a little surprised then with a huge teary smile.
Two weeks after Charlie was born, Bella's dad died peacefully. We'd had a family get together to meet the new baby. Alice and Jasper had flown in, Billy, Charlie's best friend, and some of the guys from the station called by. There was plenty of beer and barbeque food, it was a good day, with laughter and love. Charlie said his thanks and went to bed having seen everyone he loved, he never woke up again.
My Charlie proudly peddled up and down the street, shouting to anyone who'd listen; he didn't need his training wheels anymore. Jacob sucked his thumb noisily, snuggled into my shoulder and pointed at Charlie. My heart swelled with happiness at how incredibly lucky I was.
There was a squeal of delight from the house, bringing me out of my reverie, and both boys stopped and looked towards the house.
"Looks like Mommy just told Granny we're having another baby."