Entry for the JBNP's Naughty or Nice... Christmas One Shot Contest 2011
"You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood." –Francis Pharcellus Church
I stared at the tiny stick that could change our lives. I stared, and I hoped, and I prayed. There had been so many things that went wrong; could we have one thing that went right?
My hand was shaking, and I felt vaguely nauseous, so I closed the toilet seat and sat down. I closed my eyes, slowly lowering my forehead to the cool marble of the sink. Oh please, let it happen this time.
When the requisite time was up, I stared down and felt that tender thread of hope sever. And I couldn't even cry.
Christmas music had just stared playing on the radio, so I reached out to flick the volume a little higher as I slid my second batch of cookies into the oven. It was still a little early to start baking cookies, but when your husband was Jake, they certainly didn't go to waste.
The soft strains of Old Toy Trains drifted into the kitchen, and I smiled. I hummed along softly, gently lifting the chocolate chip cookies off the sheets. The next kind was already prepared, so I slipped the scotch shortbread into the oven and began to mix the third. Three would probably hold Jake for a week, maybe two if I was lucky.
"Hey, sweetheart," I heard Jake say from behind me, making me jump.
He laughed softly as he snaked his arms around my waist. I smacked his arm. "You know better than to sneak up on me, Jacob Black!"
"I can't help that I move quietly," he protested.
I started to say something else, but then his mouth became busy with my neck, and I let it slide. My head tilted to the side, the feel of his soft lips suckling the sensitive skin too good to not give him better access.
"It smells great in here, but not as good as you," he murmured spinning me around to face him.
His hand slowly crept up my thigh, around to the back, and he cupped my behind and lifted me up onto the counter. "Jake," I tried to protest, but his lips cut it off at the quick. I loved when he kissed me; he kissed me with his whole body, not just his lips. It was the way his hands stroked and held me, the way he angled his kisses to pay attention to each lip, his tongue tasting not just my own, but my mouth as well.
His body always moved closer, rubbing slowly or just pressing, depending on his mood. It showed me how much he craved, how much he loved, and I never got tired of it. I always tried to return the favor, to show him as well.
His hands were in my hair now as he lifted me, so I was now wrapped around him. The timer on the oven dinged, so he pulled out the last batch of cookies and turned the oven off. He carried me upstairs, my lips now exploring his throat, his jaw, and any place I could reach until he tumbled me into bed.
"I love you," I whispered as he rolled us over so I was perched on top of him.
His dark eyes were shiny and warm in the soft glow of the window candles. "I love you, too," he murmured, lightly tugging on my hair, so I leaned down for another kiss.
He gave a gentle thrust and was deep inside me, his hands covering and lightly massaging my breasts, as I whimpered with pleasure. He tweaked my nipples as I began to move on top of him. It didn't take more than a few thrusts for him to send me over the edge and he followed shortly after.
We stayed in bed, wrapped around each other, until our stomachs demanded sustenance. Jake's gave a particularly loud grumble, making me giggle. He pulled a pair of boxers on as I draped myself in his t-shirt and he carried me back down.
"I made some ravioli," I told him as I rifled through the fridge.
"Sounds perfect," he said enthusiastically and we ate dinner in our tiny kitchen. I put all the cookies away – after Jake ate about ten of them – and we went back upstairs.
"Do you think you'll have time to put up the outside lights tomorrow?" I asked him after we made love again. I had finished all the indoor decorations except for the Christmas tree. We were going the following weekend with some of our friends.
"Sure, honey," he said with a yawn. He rolled onto his back, bringing me with him so I was sprawled on top of him.
I smiled, tucking my head into the crook of his neck and shoulder. It didn't take long to fall asleep after that.
I woke in the middle of the night after one of my nightmares, though. It was always the same. My belly was swollen with child; I would go into labor, only to wake up and find there was no baby and probably never will be. My tears soaked into the pillow as I tried to muffle my sobs.
Jake stirred behind me, and his warm hand covered my icy one. "Oh, Bella," and his voice was thick with sadness. I clung to his hand as I struggled to stop crying, but the ache was always there, and it was always worse after one of the nightmares.
"Honey, we will keep trying, if that's what you want. She said it might not be possible, but she didn't say it was impossible."
I turned to face him, my eyes gritty from the tears, and my voice hoarse as I whispered his name.
I wanted to believe that so badly, but one pregnancy test after another had dashed hopes that this time would be the time it happened. It wasn't just that I wanted a baby so much, but I wanted Jake to have one, too. He loved kids; he worked with them as a social worker in a children's home right outside of Forks. It was hard on him, seeing kids orphaned by dead, jailed, or addicted parents and guardians, but he brought so much light and happiness to people's lives with his attitude and spirit that it balanced out. He loved the kids' he worked with and they loved him.
I knew he wanted them, too. We had discussed it after he had helped me to heal after everything that happened and after we had been married.
"I feel like a failure as a wife," I admitted in a whisper. "I can't seem to give you what so many other women could, Jake. Maybe you made the wrong choice." It killed me to say that, and I felt the wracking sobs take me over yet again.
Jake sat up, pulling me with him, turning me toward him and he did it without his usual gentleness. "Look at me," he said, his voice firm. When I didn't look up immediately, he tilted my chin up with two fingers and held my face firmly in his grip.
"Don't you ever make yourself out to be less than anyone else. Bella, you have been through a hell of a lot, you pulled yourself out of it, and you survived. It was not your fault that you were beaten by an acquaintance of that bloodsucker. You didn't know what you were getting involved with."
"I made the mistake of thinking he was the right one. And then that happened," I said wearily. "That was what made me realize what I truly wanted. You have been my rock, Jake, every moment since I came back. I know I pulled myself out of the funk, worked hard to accept and deal with it, but it was because I had you holding on to me. But it kills me to think that bastard might have taken the one thing I wanted so much for us."
He smoothed my hair, rubbing my back, and pulled me into his lap. "He didn't take you. You are the most important thing to me, Bella. As long as I have you, I'm better than okay. And honey, there are other ways to have children. Don't lose hope, okay? Especially not now with Christmas so close," he added softly, smiling and the candle lights in the window reflected off his beautiful, copper skin.
I breathed in deeply and exhaled. "I'll do my best," I whispered. "As long as we have each other we'll be okay, right?"
"Yes," he promised. I slid my arms around him, twining my legs with his, burrowing as far into his body as I could before falling dreamlessly asleep.
Bella wanted a child so much. I could see it in her eyes when we saw a little boy or girl in the store. I could see it in the curve of her smile when the Christmas songs she liked were playing. I didn't want this to destroy her. It scared the living daylights out of me.
A child we created together would be amazing, but her doctor – our good friend Leah Clearwater – had warned us that it could be a trial. Leah had been sympathetic, understanding in her eyes, as she had told us the news. Leah's circumstances in being able to have children had to do with the fact that we were shape-shifters, though. Over the years we had all stopped phasing. She had eventually married and had been able to have a baby, but she never forgot that fear that something was wrong with her and had worked hard to become an OB/GYN.
Bella had suffered some damage to her stomach, leaving scar tissue and difficulty in getting pregnant. It wasn't fair, and it wasn't right, and I had wanted to kill the son-of-a-bitch that had done it to her, and Edward for getting her involved in that. It had taken a long time for her to fully trust again, though the fact that she came back to Forks, back to me, was a step in the right direction. It had taken time to heal physically, and emotionally it had been even harder, but we had gotten there together.
It was difficult to bear her sadness because I wanted to give her the world and this was one thing I just couldn't give her.
"Mr. Black," a little voice said, tugging at my pants leg.
I looked down at Logan, the newest little boy at the children's home. He had immediately tugged at my heartstrings with his sweet, innocent smile and the happiness he exuded at the simplest things that were given to him.
"What is it, Logan?" I asked with a smile, hunkering down so I was more on his level.
He immediately grew a little shy, shuffling his feet. "Will… will you sit next to me at the Christmas picnic?" he asked while his gaze fluttered from one thing to the next.
We always organized a picnic complete with Christmas cookies the kids baked and we made a "Christmas sandwich" - complete with ham, filling, cranberry sauce and it was all piled on a roll. We sat on the floor by the fire, surrounding the Christmas tree we helped them put up. Then we read a Christmas book and they all slept on the floor in their sleeping bags.
It was a popular event at the start of December. I had invited Bella to join in; hoping that being around the children would help her. It didn't seem like a good idea at first, but I spoke with Leah about it, and she said maybe being around kids that needed so much would help her realize the world of good she could do if she considered adoption.
I nodded solemnly at Logan. "You can count on it, Chief," I said, making him giggle. He liked the idea of me being Chief of the Quileute tribe one day, though that honor didn't belong to me yet. He was of Makah ancestry, but his father had been white.
Bella arrived, looking nervous, and I went over to her and wrapped my arms around her, breathing in her sweet strawberry scent mixed with baking scents. "You smell good," I told her, burying my nose in her hair.
She gave me a little shove, embarrassed, but I could see the hint of a grin on her face.
"Who's that little boy?" she asked, her eyes fixed on Logan. "I don't remember seeing him before. He's staring at you."
I smiled at the thought. "That's Logan. He's new here. He seems to enjoy being around me and he's a good kid. He took a few beatings from his father right before the asshole got him himself killed in a mix-up with some street gang. The mother never physically abused him, but she made it clear she never wanted anything to do with him. She fed and clothed him most of the time and said she had enough."
I could see all the emotions swimming in her eyes; the grief for him and the anger, not to mention a little of the loss she felt as he surely did, too. I was worried this would hit her too hard, that a woman, who was able to have a child and didn't want him, would push her over. But she didn't crack, she just watched him.
I motioned to Logan, and he came right over to me. "Logan, I'd like you to meet my wife, Isabella Black. She's going to help out tonight with the picnic."
Logan turned his sweet, puppy-dog eyes to her and a smiled curved his mouth, showing his one missing tooth and dimple in his left cheek. "Hi Mrs. Black," he said shyly.
Bella lowered herself to his height. "It's nice to meet you, Logan. You can call me Bella."
As I watched them talk, seeing Bella smile at this little boy that had attached himself to me like white on rice was worth all the riches in the world. We spent the evening corralling the kids, eating our sandwiches and cookies, and I sat in a corner with Bella on one side and Logan on the other, listening to Mr. Simon read The Night before Christmas. It took awhile for the kids' to settle, but they finally managed to. Logan only settled down when Bella and I sat next to him. It was nearing midnight and we were both yawning.
We waved our good byes to the adults in charge of supervising the sleep-over in the family room and slipped out the door. "Oh wait," Bella said quickly. "I left one of my bags in the coat closet." I looked up at the star-studded sky, finally free of rain clouds, admiring the view until Bella came back.
We got in the car, and I drove us home, both of us silent and pondering. When we got home, I got out of the car, and got a big jolt of surprise when Logan popped out of the back seat. Bella and I stared at him in surprise.
"Logan? How did you get in my car? What are you doing?"
He shuffled his feet, not meeting my eyes. "I saw Mrs. Black come back inside, and I went out the side door," he admitted. "I got into your car on the other side so you wouldn't see me."
He sniffled a little. "I'm sorry, Mr. Black. I just wanted to stay with both of you."
I laid a hand on his shoulder, and he flinched a little. It broke my heart to see he still harbored some fears. "Logan, I would never hurt you. There is absolutely no reason for you to be afraid."
"I know you wouldn't," he said trustingly. He threw his arms around both of our legs, holding on. "Can I please stay with you tonight? Please?"
Bella's eyes were damp as she smoothed his hair. I could see the yearning in her eyes, and I looked down at the boy's mussed black hair. "I can't promise," I told him. "I need to call the home and tell them what happened. If they say it is okay, you can stay, but if they want you back tonight… I'm going to have to take you back, okay?"
He nodded, slipping his hand into Bella's as I opened the door and we got in out of the cold. I called and spoke with Mr. Simon and explained what happened. "Is it all right if he stays here tonight?"
He sighed. "Normally, this goes against the rules, Jacob. Since he is already there and we know and trust you implicitly, he can stay."
My body relaxed, thankful for all our sakes that he was doing this. I nodded at Bella and the lightness in her eyes made me feel a thousand times happier. Logan bounced around excitedly, taking Bella's hand again as she led him upstairs.
Bella unearthed some old – but soft and clean – sheets and made up the twin bed that still resided in the spare bedroom
I leaned against the doorjamb watching Bella tuck him into bed and he easily reached up for a hug. A small smile curved my lips as I watched Bella lean down and hug him tightly. "Will you tell me a story?" he asked.
Logan reached out towards me, so I sat on the bed with them and listened to Bella read him a book she had bought when we had first tried to conceive. When she reached the end of the story, Logan was fast asleep. Bella fussed over the covers, adjusting them over him. She brushed his hair back off his forehead, leaned down and pressed a light kiss to it. My heart clenched at the sight; she would be a wonderful mother.
Back in our bedroom, I wrapped my arms around her as we slid under the covers. I kissed her lips, full and a little out of balance, and parted them with my tongue. She kissed me back, hands tangling in my hair, kissing until we were both panting with the need for air.
"He's an incredibly sweet little boy. A little sneaky, but aren't most boys?" she finally said.
I laughed a little. "Yeah, I think we can all be rather sneaky at times. I still can't believe he managed that without my knowing. Did I lose my extra-sensitive hearing after I stopped phasing?" I didn't like that idea and pouted a little, making Bella laugh.
She curled into me. "I think you still have it, you just weren't expecting that. I really like him, Jake," added softly. "He's a really sweet little boy even after everything he's been through. He certainly seems to idolize you."
I played with her hair as she tucked her head under my chin. "He really is. He's only seven; he's still in that age-bracket where he isn't jaded yet, and I hope we can keep him away from that. He needs to continue to see the good in life, to know people care about him."
She nodded. "I'm glad he's here," Bella murmured before she slipped into sleep. I bit my lip, worry coiling inside me at her words.
The following morning, I took Logan back to the home after firmly telling him he shouldn't try this again. I felt guilty because he was pouting and didn't want to go, and I really didn't want him to go either. He had a good morning with Bella before she had to go to work at the library. The fact that she was a librarian was the reason we had so many books, adult and children alike, and that had prompted Logan to wheedle her into reading him another book in the morning after she made a huge breakfast for us.
Logan trudged his way into the building, and I knelt down to face him. "Hey, Chief," I said eliciting a small smile. "I know it's hard, but Mr. Simon and all the aides care about you and want what's best for you. You know that, right?"
He nodded forlornly, kicking a little tuft in the rug. "I know," he mumbled. "I just want to stay with you and Mrs. Black."
The lump in my throat came back full-force. I smoothed the messy hair down in the front, took his hand, and gave it a squeeze as I led him back to the office. "Mr. Black?" he asked.
Mr. Simon had come out of the office to greet us when I turned to look down at Logan again.
"Would you let me live with you if you could?" he asked in that small, childish voice. I tried not to show how much that affected me.
"Of course I would," I told him. "Bella would, too." How could I tell him anything else? I would take him, in a heartbeat, but I was conscious of Mr. Simon standing there listening.
Logan turned pleading eyes on Mr. Simon, and he bit his lip. "Logan, why don't you go play with the other children. I need to talk to Mr. Black for a little bit."
Dejected, Logan nodded, and shuffled off.
"Jake," he said ponderingly. "This isn't something we typically do, but we're a small community and we all know each other well. Did you truly mean what you said about keeping him at your house? Would Bella? This little boy can talk about nothing but you; he's gotten himself really attached, but I don't want to suggest this in front of him unless you and Bella are truly considering adoption and would take him temporarily to see how it would work out."
It surprised me, but it shouldn't have. I had considered adopting Logan actually if Bella had been into the idea of it, and I was pretty sure she would feel that way. "I mean it," I told him honestly. "I will talk to Bella tonight and see what she thinks."
"Just be sure, Jacob, and do not mention it to Logan. It's one thing to say we are allowing him to spend time with the both of you at the holidays, it is quite another to get hopes up in regards to adopting him if you aren't positive."
I sighed. "I have worked here long enough, brought kids' in from broken and/or abusive homes, to understand the importance of that." I also understood that I had to dig deep for calm in those situations.
"I know you do, Jake. I just have to say it. And one more question... if you and Bella decide to have a baby, that won't change anything correct?"
I felt that sad little ping. "Most certainly not."
He nodded then. "Okay, talk to Bella and let me know what you decide."
The rest of the day was uneventful. I went through paperwork, scheduled appointments for some of the kids, and I spent some time playing with them. When I got home that night, Bella had dinner on the table already.
"Thanks honey," I said giving her a kiss.
While we ate, I told her about my discussion with Mr. Simon and watched as her eyes lit up at the idea of having Logan stay here and to very seriously consider adopting him.
"Bella, you need to be sure of this. We can't tell him until we know it will go through. We can't raise his hopes only to break them down again. He has been through too much."
"I know that," she said, looking down. "I understand what it is like to be beaten and feel lonely, Jake."
I touched her hand, feeling her fingers curl with mine. I pulled her around the table and into my lap. "I know you do, Bella," I said softly. "He would benefit in all possible ways having you as a mother."
Tears sprang to her eyes. "I want to try. I think he would benefit from both of us, especially you. You bring so much good to the world, Jake. It is no wonder he is so attached to you already."
I kissed her, carried her to bed, and we barely slept a wink as we waited for the next day so we could tell Logan the news.
To say Logan was excited was a huge understatement. We had a wildly happy little boy on our hands, bouncing from here to there, eyes shining and his crooked grin out in full-force. Once we got him settled, we went over the ground rules with him. Mr. Simon had said he would need structure and guidance, and we couldn't let him get away with everything. I knew this, and I had to make sure Bella understood.
"He's a good boy; a pretty happy one all things considered, but you still need to keep up with his therapy and help him through anything he needs to get through," Mr. Simon had warned.
It took Logan a few tries to calm down, but we remained patient with him until he was ready to listen. He took to the rules well, seemingly understanding to a point that this was a standard part of life. Bella got all the pertinent information, did some bargain-shopping, and bought him some necessary outfits to last through the winter to go along with what he already had.
The next couple weeks were an adjustment; there was a little boy that needed our attention and we kept waking up to find him curled at the bottom of our bed.
I had carried him back to his bed, and he was upset. "I'm sorry, Mr. Black, I didn't mean to…" and I could see the tears in his eyes.
Bella was with me, and we both held on to him until he calmed down.
"Logan," I said gently. "Life has been rough for you, but you need to understand we are not upset with you. It will take some time for all of us. Even if we do get upset over something, we all know how to work things out. We just have to talk to each other, okay?"
Bella smoothed his hair back as he lay down. She mouthed her suggestion at me, and I nodded. "Honey, how about on really special occasions, like Christmas night for example, you can sleep in our room? The other times you need to stay in your room like other boys and girls."
He considered and smiled a little. "On Christmas night I can stay in your room? Really?" Such a simple thing got him excited.
We agreed to that and Logan snuggled down. "Maybe this year Santa Claus will come visit," he said hopefully.
This kid would never fail to break our hearts in some way. I could see Bella struggling to hold back tears, and I very nearly felt the same way.
"He just might do that," Bella said softly. She held his hand, while I held the other, and he quickly fell asleep.
Back in bed, Bella stared out the window at the soft glow of Christmas lights from the neighboring houses, as I rubbed her back. "Even after everything, he still wants to believe," she murmured. "I want to make this a real Christmas for him."
I kissed her shoulder. "Kids are pretty remarkable. And we will, baby, we certainly will."
The following weekend, we took Logan to get the Christmas tree. He nervously held on to our hands because we were doing this with our friends; a yearly ritual. Quil and Embry were particularly good with him, showing him how to find the perfect tree, teasing him gently and making him laugh.
"I think it's pretty amazing what you're doing," Emily said, giving Bella a light squeeze. "He's a precious little boy.
Paul and Jared were chasing each other around, their own kids giggling and urging Logan to run around with them in a wild chase through the trees, which he finally worked up the nerve to do. We picked out a tree with Logan's help and he was so excited to help decorate it.
There were still little incidents that would set him off. We both got better at dealing with them. He dropped a Christmas tree ornament and began to cry.
Bella knelt in front of him as he apologized. "It's okay," she soothed. "It was an accident. Did you pick up that ornament and throw it across the room all willy-nilly like you were a pitcher in a baseball game?"
Her teasing tone made him giggle through the tears, and he calmed down much faster after that. He was never truly afraid of me, but if he did something he felt might make me angry, he would cower away. It was upsetting, but I knew he did that in reaction to what his biological father had done. He soon began to absorb that I would never lay a hand on him in anger.
Bella helped him bake cookies, showing him how to mix ingredients, and I laughed as he made the shape of a lumpy head with the dough and told me with great satisfaction that it was me. "Mmm, very, um… handsome," Bella said, smirking at me.
I gave her a discreet pinch on the rear-end making her giggle along with Logan. That night, after Logan was asleep, I swept her up and carried her to bed. It had been a little while since we had made love; shortly after the discussion about pregnancy in fact. I wanted my wife, though, and made that known by ripping her clothes off of her and pushing her down onto the bed.
"Ohhhh…" she gave a long drawn-out moan as I kissed her body feverishly, no spot left un-kissed. I pinned her arms down, hungrily suckled on her breasts, as her body arched up toward mine.
"Now, Jake, now," she pleaded. Her pink lips parted, and I dipped my tongue inside, tasting her.
I lifted her hips, driving myself into her. She muffled a cry, gripping my hair, as I began to move inside her. I knelt back, pulling her up so she straddled my lap, and stroked every inch of her as she moved eagerly on top of me. When I came, I nearly saw stars.
Being with Jake had been just what I needed. We curled up together; his arms banded around me and covering the expanse of my back. His warmth and long arms always kept me comfortable through the night.
It was in the middle of the night that I was woken by a soft cry. Jake stirred, waking up, and I knew it was Logan. I hurried from our bedroom into his and saw his brow furrowed in sleep as he struggled to wake from a nightmare.
Gently, I stroked his face as I sat on the edge of the bed. "I'm here, Logan," I murmured as he thrashed a little.
He woke with a whimper and when he focused and realized it was me, my arms were full of little boy. His tears made a damp spot on my shirt as I rubbed his back. I knew Jake was standing in the doorway, but he remained quiet.
"You're safe, Logan," I said. "It was just a bad dream." I knew his bad dreams could be so much worse than most little kids; the monsters had been real people in his life.
He let me lay him back down, but he kept a hold on me. "You and Mr. Black aren't going to leave me, right?" he asked with a sniffle.
"No," I told him gently. "We aren't going to leave you."
He looked at me, a too serious expression on his face for a seven year old, and said, "We make each other better."
I cocked my head at him. "You hurt too, right?" he asked. His perceptiveness astounded me. Was I that transparent to even a child that I had been hurt, too? There was no reason to lie about it, so I just nodded.
We were quiet as I held his hand and he fell back to sleep. I met Jake's eyes and he looked a little shell-shocked, too. When I was in bed with Jake again, I murmured against his neck, "I want him so much. Jake, I want him to be ours."
"So do I," Jake whispered back.
Jake spoke with Mr. Simon as we tried to get everything in order. We would enroll Logan back in school after the holidays, and Jake took care of trying to get the ball rolling on the adoption. We went through the motions of the holidays, waiting to hear if it would happen.
I went shopping and with Emily, Rachel, and Leah's help we bargain-hunted and found a fair amount of items that I could buy for Logan for Christmas. Our last gift was one Jake and I shopped for together when we found out Logan would become our son. We had wanted to rescue a dog from a shelter anyway for ourselves, and we were excited because we knew he would be, too.
My excitement was through the roof and so was Jake's. We couldn't wait to tell Logan, but we were waiting for Christmas Eve to tell him. We would be spending the evening with Billy, Charlie, and Sue. Logan loved spending time with them, so we thought we would share the news after we told him.
We found a six-year old golden retriever that we immediately fell in love with. She had been neglected, too, and we were eager to give her a good home. A few days before Christmas I had my appointment with Leah, so I picked up the dog and Charlie agreed to take her until Christmas Day.
Leah did her check-up as I lay there, listening to her professional jargon, until she snapped her gloves off. Her professional smile cracked, and I could see the personal peek through. "I'm going to run the usual tests, but otherwise everything looks fine," she proclaimed.
I nodded, pulling the paper gown around me. The usual tickle of sadness at these appointments made itself known, though now that I knew Logan was going to be ours helped a little bit.
Leah rested a hand on my knee. "Bella, you know how I feel about this. I've already told you, but I can say that we former wolves are damn strong, so it could still certainly happen. Jake certainly is strong and stubborn, so if anyone's sperm can get through, it's his."
I laughed, relaxing at her words, knowing that was what she intended. "Thanks, Leah. And thanks for squeezing me in so close to Christmas."
"You're welcome. I'll see you later on Christmas day. Have fun with Logan," she said warmly. We had certainly come a long way, and I considered Leah one of my best friends – as well as my OB/GYN.
I gave her a quick hug and hurried home.
Logan was beside himself on Christmas Eve day, but we finally managed to corral him and get him involved in helping to prepare some hors d'oeuvres, but that only lasted so long before he was bounding around again. Jake sent him out to the backyard to burn off some steam, promising to come out and throw a baseball with him soon.
He chuckled as he helped me finish what I was doing. "That kid has boundless energy, doesn't he?"
I smiled. "Yeah, he's kind of like you," I said, giving him a nudge.
He smirked, pinned me against the fridge, and kissed me slow and deep. My mouth opened under his as he tasted me. "Mmmm," I sighed. "As amazing as this is, you should go play with him."
"You sure you are okay in here?"
I nodded. "Actually, I'm almost done, so I'll come out soon."
He disappeared outside while I did the finishing touches, storing them in the fridge for later. I went outside, Logan giggling even harder as I joined Jake in the chase around the yard. We ended up in a tangled pile on the ground with Logan sprawled on top of us. His huge smile eased some of the struggles we had lately.
When Jake brought Logan back home with him from the children's home and the Christmas party they had there, we sat him down to give him the news.
"Logan, you like being here, right?" I asked him.
He nodded vigorously. "I love being with you and Mr. Black!"
Jake laughed. "How would you feel about being our son?"
His eyes widened as he tried to process that. "You mean… I can call you mommy and daddy?"
My eyes watered at the look on his face and the hope in his voice. "Yes," I told him quietly. "We want you as our little boy."
He couldn't even speak as he began to nod. "Y-y-yes," he finally managed to say and threw himself into our arms. We held on to each other, my little family, right by the lighted Christmas tree.
When Billy, Charlie, and Sue came he ran toward them. "I… I'm… going to be their l-little boy," he managed to say, and I couldn't stop from crying. Jake wrapped his arms around me, his eyes watery as well.
Everyone was a little emotional as Logan's new soon-to-be grandparents hugged him and us, excited about having him as a part of the family. We sat down to a small feast of hors d'oeuvres, little sandwiches, and desserts that everyone contributed to. We promised to see them the next day for Christmas at Charlie and Sue's new house.
When Charlie hugged me, he whispered in my ear, "I'm so happy for you, honey. He's lucky to have you and Jake. And he's a pretty remarkable little boy."
I hugged him tightly. It took awhile to get Logan bathed and changed into pajamas, but we finally got him into bed. I pulled out a CD of Christmas songs I had made and played him a song since he wouldn't settle...
"Old toy trains, little toy tracks
Little boy toys comin' from a sack
Carried by a man dressed in white and red
Little boy, don't you think it's time you were in bed?"
Logan was giggling at the words and let me tuck him into bed. Jake pulled the covers up, trying not to laugh at his antics as the song continued. "I like it," Logan declared. "Will you play it again?"
We played the song two more times, read him a Christmas story, and finally he began to fall asleep.
I just shook my head, grinning, as we headed into our bedroom to wrap his gifts. "I love that he's here with us and having his first real Christmas," I said as we wrapped gifts.
"Me too. It's nice to see you both looking so happy," he said leaning over to kiss me.
And I really was.
The following morning, Logan was in our room at six thirty sharp. His eyes were wide as saucers as he announced, "Santa came this year!"
I groaned quietly, but was thrilled that he was thrilled. Jake laughed, tugging me out of bed.
"Let's not make him wait," he said with a grin. "If we're lucky, he'll get tired and fall asleep after opening them, and then… I can give you your gift," he murmured. His hands traveled along areas of my body that zinged in response, but I gave him a playful shove.
Logan was excited about all his gifts. He got a few clothes, lots of books, a few toys, and Jake got him a football. He looked up, eyes shining, "Will you teach me how to play with you and your friends… Daddy?" He looked so shy all of a sudden, uncertain if he should say that.
"It's okay to call us mommy and daddy," he told him with a smile. "We're going to be your parents."
Jake and I exchanged gifts after, when true to Jake's words, Logan passed out on the floor. He had bought a pretty silver link bracelet for me and attached a wooden carving that spelled out Mom. I cried a little at that. After he opened his gifts, we curled up on the sofa together as the drizzle outside turned to a light snow.
We let Logan run around outside and play while we got our gifts together to take to my dad's. The day was spent with family and friends; gifts being exchanged and a simple feast after. Charlie had brought the dog out, and Logan nearly squealed with excitement, making all of us laugh. They bonded immediately, and I was glad we had made the choice to get the dog for Christmas. Before we left, Leah pulled me aside.
"I just had a feeling, so I pushed to get the tests through quickly so I could be sure," Leah told me as my brow knitted in confusion. "Bella, there was no way I could wait; you had to know today. You're pregnant."
My mouth fell open in shock as I stared at her. My mind a buzzing mess of confusion, I managed to pick through to when I had my last period, and I realized just now that I had been late.
"Are… are you positive?" I whispered, my voice shaking.
"Yes. You're pregnant."
I wanted to scream in excitement, I wanted to cry, but I remained still. I would share this with Jake tonight. "Thank you," I whispered fiercely, throwing my arms around her in a tight hug.
She had tears in her eyes. "Oh, Bella, I wanted this so much for you. I am thrilled to be able to tell you this on Christmas."
I struggled to hold back the tears as we said our good byes and went home. When Logan was in bed, I sat on our bed, facing Jake. "Honey, I have one more gift for you," I told him.
He faced me, a small smile curling his lips. "Oh, really? And what would that be?"
"Close your eyes," I told him. He obliged, and I took his hand, placing it on my stomach. "It's in here," I whispered.
His eyes popped open as he stared at me with a wary hope in his eyes. "You mean…"
"Yes," I said and started to cry. "I'm pregnant. Leah told me just before we left."
The next thing I knew, I was in Jake's arms being swung around, tears and laughter mixing together. Logan came into the room, our dog Bear with him, and his new stuffed wolf under his arm.
"Why are you spinning mommy?" he asked.
We sat him down, explaining why we were excited, and he looked worried for a minute. "Does… does that mean you don't… need me?"
"Oh, baby, no," I told him. "You, Logan, are our first little boy. You make me so happy, I don't even know what to do with all that happiness."
He relaxed as Jake pulled him up between us in the bed. "No one in the world could replace you, kiddo. You will be ours forever. And you get to be a big brother."
"We'll need you," I told him seriously. "And so will the baby. You can show your little brother or sister how to do things; you can play together, and help protect them."
"I can do that," he agreed, looking excited. "I never had a brother or sister."
I kissed the top of his head, cuddling him close. "We will always work together, Logan. We are all important and love each other. Just remember how much we love you. You made our lives so much better."
"I love you, Mommy. I love you, Daddy," he said curling between us. Bear joined us at the bottom of the bed.
My heart was full as I met Jake's eyes. "We love you, too," he whispered. We fell asleep amidst the soft glow of candles and Christmas lights shining in the window, a family that had truly been blessed. I felt Jake's hand rest on my stomach, and I slid mine over his.
"I love you," he mouthed.
"I love you, too," I mouthed back and drifted off to sleep.
AN: The song "Old Toy Trains," is by Roger Miller. It's a simple, old-fashioned Christmas song that is just perfect for a little boy, IMO. And check out the amazing banner made for me - http:/www[dot]picturetrail[dot]com/sfx/album/view/22736049 - by dontcallmelee from Printing Paws! She did an amazing job!