I do not own anything Twilight!
It was a quiet morning; I was getting ready to head down to the reservation to visit Billy and Sue, and Bella was getting ready for her three day sleep over at the Cullen's place. I hated to admit it—out loud of course—that Bella was quite old enough to make her own choices, and promised me that she and Edward were being safe. I was overjoyed and stunned when she assured me that they were not having sexual relations—it was kind of nice, when your kid could look you in the eye and promise you something like that—though Bella was terrible liar; I believed and trusted her judgment.
Bella was nice enough to stay behind this morning and make breakfast for us; Bella, Alice and Edward, were going to Olympia for a shopping trip this afternoon. Edward said he had something to take care of before he took the afternoon off with the girls—no doubt trying to convince his brothers to come along for the ride. Bella was making one of my favorite breakfasts, peanut butter and banana stuffed French toast; Bella didn't much care for banana's (AN: I hate bananas, I don't like the texture.) Bella didn't like the texture, but loved the taste—odd girl, but she was my girl.
I was just buckling my belt up when I heard a loud crash in the kitchen; Bella was clumsy and highly accident prone; I yelled down to see if she was alright.
"You okay down there Bella?" I called out my bedroom door, trying to hide the amusement in my voice.
No response; that was odd.
Half way down the hall I heard another loud crash; I ran the rest of the way, taking two stairs at a time. What I saw shocked me, Bella was on the ground twitching like she was being electrocuted and her face and lips were all swollen, even her eyelids were swelling shut.
I immediately ran to her side, and turned her on her side, then called 9-1-1.
"9-1-1 how can I help you?" The woman's voice asked calmly.
"This is chief Swan; I need an ambulance to 13563 Crescent Drive. I think my daughter is having an allergic reaction to peanut butter!" I said as calmly as I possibly could. "Her face, lips and eyes are all swelling and I think she is having a seizure!"
The woman on the line never lost her cool; I was thankful for that—I was freaking out.
"Did you know of these allergies?"
"No, never; this is the first time." I snapped irritated; I had no right to snap at the woman…but this was my daughter.
"Does your daughter have any allergies to any medication?"
"No!" I shouted; I could hear the ambulance in the distance, now, and even closer when I heard the screech of tires on the pavement. "There here; I have to go!" I slammed the phone onto the cradle and flew to the front door to let the EMT's into the house.
"Chief Swan" Brent said walking through the door. "Where…"
"In the kitchen, on the floor; save her please!" I sobbed sinking to the ground by the door.
It took one thing to destroy a life; and right now my only daughter was dying, in her own home! I had never felt so helpless in all of my life—even more than when Edward was gone. I took comfort in knowing that Dr. Cullen was on shift this morning, until late this afternoon. Mustering all of my strength, I knew I had to call the Cullen home to tell them, Bella was not going to make it; I didn't want Mrs. Cullen to worry when she didn't show up.
It only rang once.
"Hello?" The beautiful wind chime voice said.
"This is Chief Swan…is Mrs. Cullen home?" I asked as politely as I could.
"Yes, of course, please give me a second." I heard her say 'mom' away from the phone, then say 'it's Bella's father."
"Hello Chief Swan…"
"Mrs. Cullen, I just wanted to let you know that Bella will not be able to make it today…she…she's on her way to the hospital." I blubbered into the receiver. I felt like an idiot.
"Oh…is she alright, is there anything I can do to help?"
"The EMT's are working on her right now; just let Alice and Edward knows…please. I know I will be seeing them soon enough," I said with a chuckle it stuck in my throat. "I have to go now…they are loading her up. I will talk to you later." I muttered hurriedly hanging the phone up and sprinting out the front door to the cruiser; I didn't even lock the front door.
I was the Chief of police, who was going to break into my house.
I sped with my lights flashing and sirens blazing all the way to hospital; thankfully Dr. Cullen and his team were waiting outside for our arrival. It was weird; I could hear them talking to each other but I couldn't make out what they were saying. Their voices sounded slow and sluggish in my ears, while there movements were speeding up; I had to shake my head a few times to come back to reality.
I paced the length of the waiting room, at least a hundred times, before I heard a frantic voice shout my name; I looked up to find Edward and his family jogging to meet me.
"Is she okay Charlie?" Alice asked me frantically, she was clinging to her brother Jasper, for dear life. Alice and Bella were best friends.
"I don't know…they haven't said anything yet." I replied. "She never had a problem before now!"
"We don't understand Chief Swan, what problem?" Edward's other brother Emmett asked—he was huge—more calmly than Alice had.
"I think Bella had a severe allergic reaction to peanut butter—but I can't be sure—she has never had a problem, before now. Bella is going to throw a fit when she finds out; she eats peanut butter like it's going out of style." I chuckled weakly not meeting anyone's eyes.
"Chief Swan…"a voice called from farther away from our group; it was Dr. Cullen "I just wanted to come and let you—all—know that Bella will be perfectly fine." I breathed a sigh of deep relief. "Her face, eyes and lips are still quite swollen, but the worst is behind us."
"Thank you Dr. Cullen…so much."
"Your very welcome Chief Swan; I would also like to let you know, that Bella will need to get a medical alert bracelet or necklace, anything that will tell anyone that she is deathly allergic to peanuts." He said gravely "Even just the dust off of one peanut, or if someone doesn't wash their hands…we were lucky. It is my estimate—only—that Bella will have at least thirty minutes before it would be too late."
"Be sure Carlisle" Edward hissed at his father furiously "Be one hundred percent sure, and if you think that testing…that theory on her, injecting her…I swear Carlisle."
I looked at him shocked, Edward was shaking he was so upset; was it all an act. Edward was even more overprotective than I was over Bella—and she was my daughter.
"I refuse to lose her again, and over my dead body am I going to let you experiment on my Bella!"
His Bella; who did this kid think he was? I was her father, for crying out loud; he was her fiancé though, and I had to remember that. "Edward…I think we need to be a hundred percent sure, of the time line." I whispered barley able to come to terms that I was going to actually let someone inject my daughter with something that could eventually kill her.
"No! I refuse to let Bella be in any pain…find another way Carlisle!" He whispered through clenched teeth. "Esme and Rose, would you please go back to the house and get rid of anything that has any traces of peanuts or any other nuts. Wipe down all surfaces and inside every cupboard; Emmett you can go if you want too."
"Can I see her now?" I asked hopefully; I wanted to see with my own eyes, that my only daughter was alive and breathing. I idly wondered if I should call her mother; then I thought back from when Bella was almost killed by the kids van when she first moved here. Bella had a fit when I told her mother—Bella could tell her mother once she was ready too.
"Of course, follow me Chief Swan." Dr. Cullen said stepping out of the way so I could go around him.
"Are you two coming?" I quickly blurted out looking at Alice and Edward "Bella will be angry and upset without you two there. Bella loves you both." My cheeks could have been on fire they were so red from my deep blush; I silently cursed the gods for this one most embarrassing quality.
Edward and Alice both nodded, following silently; Alice gripped Edward's hand in what looked like a death grip—her knuckles were white—and he looked like he was squeezing back, just as hard. It was strange, the moment I thought of it, Edward's hand loosened on his sisters and patted her shoulder in comfort. Thankfully, we didn't have far to go; Bella was on the second floor.
"Bella's face is still quite swollen, so please…don't allow her to talk too much, I want her muscles to be as relaxed as possible." Dr. Cullen informed us stopping just outside the door, leading to Bella's room. "I am also going to keep her overnight, just to make sure that all of swelling goes down or she doesn't have a sudden attack. Please make it quick, Bella needs to rest and heal."
I could not have prepared myself for what I saw; Bella's lips were swollen almost two times their normal size and she looked like she could barely open her eyes to see around her. I heard a strange sound from within Bella's room; it took me a few seconds to figure out that the noise was my quiet sobbing.
"Bella…"Edward moaned in a hopeless voice "My Bella…" Beside me; He looked even more heartbroken than I did. I had not noticed that Edward had crossed the room towards Bella's bed; I watched in complete awe of what he was doing.
Edward was gently kissing every inch of Bella's face, whispering to her—even though she was asleep—he took Bella's left hand and kissed each finger before he kissed her engagement ring. Every few seconds Edward would stroke Bella's swollen cheek and tell her how beautiful she was and how much he loved her.
"Edward…"Bella's soft voice mumbled, her lips barely even moved. "Edward…what…."
His reply was astounding. "Shhh, you're alright now my love, you had a very sever; and almost deathly allergic reaction to peanut butter, this morning. Carlisle took care of you, now all you have to do now is rest Bella." He crooned to her in a soft loving voice; I had never seen such love come from one person.
Finally I understood; Edward worshiped the ground Bella walked on, he was utterly devoted to Bella, in every single way a person could be to another human being. My awed train of thought was disturbed when I heard Bella's mumbled voice again.
Sing to her? He did that? "Anything for you my Bella, now close your eyes, get some rest. Sleep my only love, dream happy dreams my Bella." Alice had moved a chair into the room so Edward could sit beside Bella's bed; within seconds Edward gently laid his head on her pillow; singing her a song.
"Alice?" I whispered confused.
"Edward plays the piano," Alice whispered back to me, like I should have already known the answer "Edward composed Bella a lullaby when they first met; it soothes her and helps her to sleep." She said simply. "Edward composed Bella's lullaby before he even asked her out…before he even realized that he loved her."
"He really loves her, doesn't he?" I murmured to myself.
"With every fiber of his being" Carlisle said coming into the room; checking on Bella I thought. "Edward, I need to take another blood sample, keep her calm for me."
I watched—again—as Edward kissed Bella's swollen face over and over again, whispering sweet nothing's into her ear; Bella wasn't even awake, how would she ever know? Was I missing something? I am her father…I should know everything about her…and I didn't. I was so blinded by the overflowing anger I harbored for Edward that I didn't stop to smell the roses—as they put it—to see Bella's happiness; or Edward's.
"I will have the test results in a few hours; she should be waking up soon, I only dosed her with antistatic to last a five or six hours. Try and keep her calm Edward, and don't let her scratch her face if it itches."
"I know Carlisle…please hurry; I don't—I refuse—to have her in needless pain; not my Bella."
"I am doing my best Edward; I will do everything in my power to make this as painless as possible." He said seriously before leaving the room.
"Edward, Esme just called, everything is done…and Esme said she will stop at Charlie and Bella's house to rid it of any peanut products. We can't have another episode like this…again." Alice whispered gently squeezing my hand reassuringly; Alice was like a second daughter to me.
"Thank you Alice." He said not even lifting his head or takes his eyes off Bella's sleeping face. Maybe Edward wasn't as bad as I had once thought; yes he had hurt her, but to see the love that poured out of his body for my little girl was profound.
A half hour later Dr. Cullen entered the room with the final test results; Bella was definitely allergic to peanuts and peanut products, other nuts were still a risk—but not of a big risk as peanuts.
I had to ask "why now thought? Why was she not born with it; Bella has been eating peanut butter her whole life; it's like a must have for her. She goes though enough jars to drown the Russian army."
"It's not really known" Dr. Cullen explained "it could have happened ten years ago or ten days from now or even ten years from now. It's one of the human body's mysteries. I have a prescription for Bella—an epee pen—if for some reason Bella does come into contact, you have thirty seconds to inject this into her leg. Her hip or thigh is best, but really anywhere will do." He said handing me Bella's prescription. "I will take some home with me…just as a precaution. I suggest that you notify the school as well; a severe allergy like this, its school policy. Bella can carry one around with her at all times as well."
"I want one for the Volvo as well Carlisle; I will not take any chances; I can't lose her…not again, not like this; give one to Alice too." Edward demanded sternly.
Was he always like this, when it came to Bella? He was so protective over her; like she would disappear if he turned his back on her for even a minute. Everything he did, he did for her; I idly wondered if there was anything he wouldn't do for my daughter. Trying to be as quiet as I possibly could, I moved to Bella's bed side and took her hand in mine; never looking away from her swollen face.
"I see now Bella, and I am so sorry; I was just so angry" I knew she couldn't hear me, but Edward could. I wanted him to hear what I had to say. "I had never seen you so…broken…so depressed before." I had noticed that the rest of Edwards family had trickled in, I didn't care…I needed to get this out. "I never thought I would ever see you smile again, or hear your laugh" I chuckled lightly to myself, thinking of a time when Bella was only five years old; a time she had come to visit me. "I can remember when you were five years old—one of the best summers of my life—when the Robson's dog came running into our yard; you were so frightened. He was so big and you were so tiny at the time; you grabbed on to my leg and started to cry.
"Daddy…don't let him eat me!" You screamed trying to climb my pant leg. "He's going to eat me…I don't taste like candy!" you said as I picked you up and put you on my shoulders.
I couldn't help the little burst of laughter that shot out of me.
"I had never seen you so frightened before, and then after what seemed like hours, I had convinced you that he wasn't going to eat you; you let me put you back down on the ground. After that…you two were inseparable—scooter that was his name—I can remember the look on your face the first time he licked your face. It was beyond priceless—I was so disappointed that I didn't have my camera with me—you looked as if you were going to burst into tears again. But to my disbelief you laughed; you laughed so hard you had tears streaming down your face.
"He thinks I'm still candy!" you laughed while Scooter chased you around the yard. "I didn't have the heart to tell you, you tasted salty and that dogs liked the salty taste of our skin or the fact that you had just had an ice cream cone and probably tasted like chocolate chip mint ice cream…still your all-time favorite ice cream."
"Bella…I have done everything from afar in your life for so long…and when you were…hurt; I was terrified of losing you again; in the worst ways imaginable. It's my job as your father to protect you—and I always will—but I can see now, that you have someone else to protect you…and…love you. You're not my little girl anymore Bella…you grew up so fast; taking care of your mother, having your childhood ripped away from you…falling in love…the breaking of your heart…and the mending of your heart." I whispered my voice thick with tears.
"You are not making the same mistake your mother and I made" I said. "You are far too stubborn—like me—not to mention your decisions to follow things through to the very end. If this is your choice Bells…then…I am happy for you; flourish from where your mother and I failed."
I turned my attention to Edward, who had respectfully kept quiet too let me have this moment with my daughter. "If you hurt her again…I have no words, nor boundaries, for what I am capable of" I threatened him "Chief of police or not; I am a father first, and I will not hesitate to kill you where you stand. Take care of my baby girl, Edward; she is all I have left."
"I swear on my soul…I will never hurt her again, Charlie." He said looking me straight in the eye; I had no way to doubt the love shinning his eyes for my daughter. I turned on my heels walking out of the room to give them some privacy; I knew now, that my daughter was in good hands.
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