Okay, opinion is so divided about that ending...if you liked it, don't read this. If you are upset about baby Jasper, then here's your HEA. Personally I'm sick of HEA's but I guess I did promise them here on this user and I should keep my word.
The Sperm Donor
"Dr Cullen, Mr Whitlock is here to see you," my receptionist announced. I had a pretty good idea what about. Alice had been plagued with doubts and nightmares ever since the pregnancy and was now having visions of some sort during the day as well.
"Edward, you need to help her. Who can you refer us to?" Jasper asked anxiously.
"Jasper, you know you are the top psychiatrist in the state, I send all my patients to you. I would have thought you would know better than I who could help her. I will have to ask around and see who has the best reputation out of state. How bad is she?"
"Completely freaking me out, to be honest. I can't even think about who would be able to help without them wanting to admit her to a mental health facility and she doesn't need to be put away like that. She functions and looks after the baby flawlessly. It's just that she swears she can see a second child in Jacinta's crib.
A little boy with blond curls and my blue eyes. It's destroying us as a family, Edward. She cries over him, and calls out in the night, promising we will find him."
"I can't say I've ever encountered a similar case," I replied. "I have seen some women react this way if they lost one twin due to stillbirth or prematurity, but those cases, as you know, are obvious and just a way of coping with loss. This seems to stem from the fact two embryos were used. Strange she 'knows' the gender, and the appearance of the baby. Jacinta has Alice's eyes, you would think she'd project her coloring onto the 'lost twin'."
"It seems more than that. You know we had five embryos that made the grade and seven were destroyed due to not coming up to par. I would have expected some reaction about them as well if she feels so strongly but she sees them as collateral damage.
I mean, she wishes they'd never been made and lost but she copes with what happened to them because the whole process that led to their end also led to Jacinta's birth. She justifies their sacrifice with the fact many women lose pre embryos naturally and never know they existed. She's lumped them into that category in her mind. It's a common reaction but this 'missing baby' has me stumped. I can't tell you how many nights she's woken me up with her cries to 'baby Jasper'."
"Jas, there's no evidence that the other embryo even implanted and died. It was simply lost.
Look at the scans."
I pulled them from Alice's file and we examined them in detail. There had never been a second 'lump', and even comparing them to Bella's early scans with the twins only showed even more so that Irina had only carried one baby.
"Jacey looks so tall and long limbed at this stage," Jasper commented affectionately, tapping at the six month scan. "You would have suspected she would be quite tall. She must have slowed down a lot after this one."
Suddenly I had that feeling back. I had always thought there was something amiss about that batch of photos and hearing Jasper comment with the same thought I had experienced, bothered me.
I checked the measurements of the thigh bone, then compared them to the seven month scans.
"Her femur is shorter at seven months. That can't happen."
"What do you mean?" Jasper asked.
"I assumed growth slowed down but her bones could not get shorter, unless she had some syndrome or bone disease that I've never heard about. It would be obvious by now if she did, therefore she doesn't. One set of scans is not Jacey, either the sixth or seventh month. That cannot be the same baby in both."
Jasper checked my calculations and agreed and I called in an expert for his opinion. By luck we had the leading man right here working on two cases that had popped up randomly. Dr James specialised in pre birth diagnosis of rare bone conditions so he would know if this disparity was possible.
"Not only are the six and seven month scans a different baby, they all are," he concluded.
"Look at the skull in month five. Then compare it to month six. That baby has a very broad forehead. Then a month later, it's narrow. Doesn't happen. Then it's average in month eight and narrow again before birth. If these were all of the one child, it would be seriously challenged at birth, with some soft bone issue. I wouldn't expect it to survive a vaginal delivery."
"But they have the baby, and all her tests and growth patterns are perfectly normal. She was born, handed over and her DNA confirms she is Alice and Jasper's child," I said out loud.
"You did a DNA test on Jacey?" Jasper asked.
"Sorry, Jas. I just had some nagging paranoid doubts and didn't want to upset you and Alice. I would have told you had the tests shown it wasn't your child. I just can't see what this means."
"The surrogate had a normal pregnancy, with scans every month, yet somehow sent the wrong scans to you each and every time. I can't even see how that would happen even once. Repeatedly...never. Who did the scans? That hospital needs to investigate the operator," Dr James stated. "You did notice the lack of a patients name on these scans? That's bordering on illegal. It's sloppy work and can't happen from mere incompetence, the operator has to actually override the request for a patients name. This cannot happen by accident."
"Jane," I answered. "Jane Volturi who used the name Jane Alexander. Clearly, we were set up from the start. The only reason she would send substitute scans is to hide the real ones from us. Therefore there was something about the pregnancy she and Irina didn't want you to know. God, could it be possible they kept a twin?"
"What?" Jasper said in shock.
"Jas, the scans show a single fetus, and why send someone else's scans unless you have to hide something? I think Alice is right."
Jenks tossed his report on the desk and stood before me.
"All I can tell you is they went to Italy and haven't travelled anywhere else. There's no record of property owned or purchased under any of those names. However, Tanya Denali has also gone to live in the same country and I suspect they have used a friend or relative to hide whatever they have purchased. Without a name, I can't help you further."
I suspected as much so wasn't really surprised. The Denali's had always kept their business private and even when Tanya and I were supposedly marrying, nothing had ever been shared with me. I had assumed they were wary I may be marrying her for family money, but that was a joke. In reality the Cullen's should have been the one's wary of gold diggers.
Maybe the only way to find out the truth would be to reconnect to my ex fiance and play her. I despised resorting to deception but a child's life was at stake, not to mention Alice's sanity.
Jasper had decided to simply comfort his wife when she talked about 'baby Jasper' and not confirm or deny his existence until we knew for sure ourselves. It was only a theory, but why else had they palmed us off with someone else's scans?
Facebook, the gathering place of this generation, would be my tool.
Tanya had 'friended' me years ago but as I rarely used the site, and only ever posted non personal details there, I had accepted her request. She occasionally contacted me via that medium and Bella was happy with me replying to her as a friend.
Now I was about to change things.
We sat down together and decided on a plan of action. The easiest was a high school mentality ploy to convince Tanya all was not rosy between Bella and I, and for me to 'cry on her shoulder'. She would like that. So, having un-friended anyone I didn't want to read the lies, I sent her a message of frustration with my life.
Tanya, I need you advice. You have known me longer than anyone else. I hope you can overlook my careless treatment of you in the past and help me. You know the saying, be careful what you wish for, it seems it's a very true warning. I thought Bella was perfect and would always be everything I ever desired, what a fool I am. Having to accept her flaws is proving very difficult, can you offer me some insight? I know I was incredibly harsh over your abortion and used it as a way to put all the blame for our problems onto you, unfair as that was. It's not like she hasn't done the same thing herself, but we have the kids and I can't just discard her harshly as I did you. Please contact me, and tell me what you think I should do. Edward.
We both reread the message and altered a few words then I hit 'send'.
I had no clue how often she checked her mail so it was encouraging to find an answer when we checked in the morning.
Edward, of course I want to help. Bella had an abortion? I can sympathize , sometimes it is the only way out but why would she do that? We do need to talk. Can I call you? Need your number. Tanya xxxx
Tanya, thanks so much for replying. As you know Bella had twins and then she conceived again soon after their delivery and she decided it was not the right time and it would be too overwhelming so she arranged and had a termination without consulting me. It seems I am still unavailable to the women I love. I thought I learned my lesson when you felt unable to talk to me about our unplanned pregnancy, but it seems I am still making the same mistakes. We have a third child now, but it can't make up for the lost one in my eyes. To think I sent you away for that same crime! Now I understand why you did it, and you weren't married with a loyal husband and children at the time. I can't forgive her but I can't just walk out. Having known the joy of fatherhood, I would never be able to live a life without the presence of a child in the house I lived in.
I would miss the twins and Charles, terribly, but looking at their little faces just reminds me of their brother or sister that never got to be born.
Bella decided the words were right and I sent my answer. I purchased a pre paid mobile phone and gave Tanya the number so she alone would be calling it. Suggesting evenings would be the best time, Bella then posted a stack of old photos on her own Facebook page of her out partying with the girls and added captions to make it appear this was current stuff, going on right now.
When Tanya called, we had just settled the children into bed, and Bella curled up on my lap as I sat on the sofa and complained about her 'reckless, uncaring behaviour' to my ex, whining about how she was out most nights and left me with the kids but no adult companionship.
I reminisced about the good times, and there had been some, back in High School and at college before things went pear shaped, and glossed over the bad times Tanya and I had experienced.
Everything had been wonderful and I bitterly regretted ever breaking up with her.
After each call, Bella suggested I should have become an actor, as I managed to sound genuinely unhappy with my choices, even while my wife was kissing my throat and handling my body parts, as I whinged and lamented to Tanya.
As hoped, Tanya was one hundred per cent on my side and started telling me all the reasons she had seen as to why Bella and I were a doomed couple from the start and I tried not to choke as I agreed with every one of them.
Oh, had I only had Tanya's brilliant insights. She and I would be married now.
"Edward, you never married her, why not just leave her and come back to me?" she asked, finally.
Bella silently high fived me.
"Tanya, you and I cannot ever have a child and my life would be too empty without one. I can't bring any of mine, they are all registered in Bella's name and she didn't even put me on their birth certificates," I lied. "It would take years of court battles for me to be allowed to keep one of them, and anyway, I explained, looking at their faces reminds me of the one she threw away. It would break my heart.
There's no solution, Tanya. If only you and I had already had a child, then I would run to you in a minute.
Bella has no idea how much money I have, you and I and our child could buy a house somewhere, maybe Alaska, you like the snow. Alas, I can't do that. I have to have a child to raise or I would always be tempted to come back to Bella and forgive her."
Tanya Denali stood by the crib and gazed at what could be the solution.
Irina couldn't report the kidnapping to the police, because that would lead to DNA tests and proof she herself was a child stealer.
And baby Jasper was almost family to Edward.
He was the solution.
Things had broken down between Felix and herself, mainly because she was always on the phone to her ex almost husband.
It was time to make a move. She generously paid for her sister and Jane to have a day at a day spa in a city about two hours drive away and had assisted Irina in stockpiling breastmilk for the toddler, then she and the baby waved them off , looking forward to a whole day of playing Auntie Tanya, she had stated.
"Now don't be calling every five minutes to check on him. I will call you if he so much as sneezes. Have fun and I will lock the door and not let you two back inside if you are home before midnight. Here's the tickets for a show I know you want to see, and I've booked you in for dinner afterwards at Guiseppe's. If you want to stay overnight and make a honeymoon of it, then I've made reservations for that, here's the details. I will see you at two am at the earliest, or better still, some time tomorrow. Call at eight to say good night to Jasper but other than that, no calls, you hear?"
Irina was reluctant at first but Jane was so tired of all the domestic bliss and watching the baby usurp her that she winked at Tanya and assured her they would be home some time the next day. She even kissed Tanya's cheek and thanked her for thinking about doing this for them.
The second their car was out of sight, Tanya packed her car with a few essentials and strapped the boy into the carseat and headed in the opposite direction to the airport.
Edward had promised to buy her everything shiny and new. He had always been so generous.
Now they had a real chance to be happy, and that Bella creature would find out what it was like to be discarded for the woman he really loved.
Landing in Seattle, she rushed off the plane first and smiled and waved at the tall, copperhaired man waiting to take her away to Paradise.
The look on Tanya's face was priceless. She had handed the toddler to Edward, like he was some toy whose home and parents were completely interchangeable. I had to place my hand on Jasper's arm and hold him back, his instincts were urging him to run and claim what was his. The son stolen by that woman's sister.
Edward held baby Jasper on his hip and put his other hand around Tanya's shoulder and kissed her cheek.
"Thanks so much, Tanya. I couldn't think of any other way," he admitted, though of course, she assumed he meant, of them being together and raising a child.
Then she caught sight of Jasper and I and her face paled.
"Edward, they've followed you here, we have to run," she warned, still not getting what was happening.
The police officer standing at our sides stepped forward and took her wrist.
"Tanya Denali, I am arresting you on suspicion..."
It was music to all our ears and Edward stepped towards Jas and introduced him to the child we could all see with our own eyes, was his son.
Edward took the blood sample as Jasper cradled the drowsy boy in his arms and he took it to the lab and tested it himself. Enough common markers showed in the preliminary test to prove his theory and the judge he'd called on for a favor approved that baby Jasper be temporarily placed in his father's custody until the full case was heard.
We drove home to Alice's and it was a sight I would never forget.
Edward and I got out of the car, shielding Jasper and the boy from Alice as she stood in their yard, watching Jacey play in her sandbox.
She turned and waved.
"Bella, what's up? No kids with you? I was hoping you had come over with someone for Jacey to play with."
"Then you are in luck," Jasper said, pushing past us, walking towards Alice, and holding the hand of the baby Alice already knew, in her own way.
"Baby Jasper," she said, her face confused, her arms reaching for the son only she had always known existed.
Edward and I watched them as Alice scooped the boy into her arms and hugged him tightly. He never cried or made a sound but as Jasper lifted up Jacey, the children held out a hand to one another and touched for the first time since their births.
"Come on, our work here is done," Edward said with a smile and kissed my head.
"We have children to get home to."
THE VERY END