Based on the conversation that no one got to experience while Jacob is away, trying to force himself to imprint. Purely fluff, with a little bit of rage thrown in there.
Feedback is always welcome.
I was sleeping when she came in. I remember hearing the door slam with such ferocity, the glass seemed to shake. The noise startled me, as it did everyone else, and I sat up immediately. That was a mistake in itself. I wasn't quite sure what gave me enough energy to rise with such power, but I regretted it the moment I was upright. The grinding sound of my broken rib was enough to intensify the searing pain in my side. I had moved far too fast for the comfort of my baby. It wasn't his fault that I simply couldn't give him the room he needed. My beautiful little baby, stuck in a body that was utterly hopeless. I cried out before I could stop myself, slumping into the couch cushions that had become my home.
Rose was at my side immediately, Edward following suit. Her pale and trembling hands hovered over by bulging stomach, worrying endlessly that I was severely hurt. While I couldn't find anything to compare my pain to, I did very well hiding it. For Edward's benefit, more than anything. The look that crossed his face seemed to increase the pressure in my chest, though that had nothing to do with the healing rib that had been broken only a few days ago. The visitor was temporarily forgotten. The pain that echoed across his beautiful features flamed the guilt within me.
But he no longer had a say in what happened with me. No matter how much I loved him-how unconceivable my feelings for him were- he had lost my undying respect when he blocked himself off completely.
He let go of that right the moment he had tried ripping my child from me.
Our child. Our baby.
If I didn't know any better, I would have thought that he was preparing to leave me once again.
His distance certainly suggested it.
I was brought back from my thoughts when a female voice spoke from the doorway. Our visitor. Her voice was low and warning, almost sarcastic when she spoke. Emmett was blocking my view from her and his legs were in a protective stance. For me. It seemed I didn't even look able to protect myself anymore. No matter the intruder, I was useless. I readjusted myself to sit as tall as my baby would allow, a thin sheet of sweat covering my body from the exertion. Still, I was freezing. Rosalie pulled the blanket over my belly and I rested my hands on top of the thick material protectively.
It's okay, my love. No one is here to harm you. I will keep you safe.
My thoughts were directed completely to the fluttering against the side of my stomach. The kicking wasn't as hard as it usually was, but just a movement to let me know that he was worried. I wouldn't let whoever this was come close to hurting my son. Or my daughter. My child, no matter what gender, would remain safe. If anything, that was my dying wish.
"Oh, please. That little demon's got all of you wrapped right around its finger. You're all pathetic if you don't see what's happening."
Leah. I would know that voice anywhere. The hatred behind it was very familiar, and it sparked something within me. Mutual hatred? Guilt? I wasn't sure. I had been feeling both quite often lately. Whatever it was, I wasn't fond of it. My arms wrapped tightly around my stomach, keeping my baby enveloped in complete warmth. No one was going to touch him.
"How dare you come in here and-" I cut Rosalie off by grabbing her arm with my hand, tugging slightly to get her attention. This was my issue, I could fight it myself. While I may not be able to stand on my own, I could find my voice.
"Rose. Please. She has something to say, let her say it. I can do this on my own." I pleaded with wide brown eyes. They were blood shot, I was sure. While my face had gained some color from my change in diet, it was still just as sunken in. I was terrifying. I looked beaten and absolutely reckless. Whatever Leah had to say, she could say it to my face.
Rosalie stared back at me for a long while before moving a few steps forward and taking Emmett by the arm. She moved him to the side and the both of them moved to sit in the set of chairs that were farthest from the entryway to the room. Edward stood behind me, behind the couch, with a hand resting lightly on my shoulder. His fingers almost hesitated to touch me, afraid I would crumble in his arms. I straightened my posture the best I could before raising my tired eyes to look at the tanned woman standing at the head of the room.
She looked almost as tired as me. The circles under her eyes were deafening and the wrinkles that covered her clothes suggested that they hadn't been worn in quite some time. She had changed into her human form just to talk to me. That much I was absolutely sure of. Honestly, I couldn't guess what she would have to say. She didn't seem surprised to see me, though I was sure Jacob's thoughts had prepared her. I looked back at her with a questioning stare, doing my best to remain emotionless.
The pain in my side was increasing the longer I stayed in this position, but I refused to let it show on my face. He was resting in that corner of me, and I could just feel him recoil from whatever was going on outside of his home. My baby didn't mean to cause me pain. I know that he didn't. He wasn't a demon, either. He was a miracle that I would forever be thankful for. He was well aware of danger when presented with it, and a soft wince tumbled through my lips as he moved positions and I tried to catch my breath.
"Rosalie," Edward warned under his breath, just loud enough for me to hear. I chanced a glance at my sister-in-law just long enough to see her sigh and sit down next to Emmett, defeated. She wasn't getting into this, this was my fight. This was my confrontation, and I wanted to take care of it. They couldn't take every piece of my independence away from me.
"Leah," I greeted shakily, opening up the floor to her. She needed to tell me why she was here. I couldn't just tell off the top of my head, and I was learning quickly that every moment I had was to be cherished. She was taking that away from me.
"God, you don't even know, do you?" She asked, spitting the words out in disgust. "You have everyone waiting on you hand and foot just so you can protect this little baby before you finally croak." She continued, moving closer to where I sat. My eyes widened out of habit and my hands grasped the hem of the blanket to pull it closer to me. A deep shove towards my back was telling me to flee. My baby didn't want to be a part of this. The yelling, the hostility. He wanted to be away from it. I was forced to sit there and listen to every word she said. One of my hands reached up to where the pale hand I was most familiar with sat on my shoulder. My fingers grasped his as tightly as I could, though I could tell I was barely holding on. I just needed to know that he was there.
"Do you even look at Jake when he leaves here? Of course not. You're too busy talking to that thing inside of you. Telling it that everything's going to be okay, right? You are breaking everyone's heart just to protect that mutt! He loves you, Isabella. He adores everything you are and you have thrown him away every fucking chance you got. I know what it feels like to love someone you can't have, and it hurts. It hurts worse than anything you could ever imagine. You got everything you wanted, and he's ' all alone to sit and sulk while you dream of having a perfect family. Well, newsflash vampire girl! Nothing will ever be the same. You already look like a corpse; it's only a matter of time before you're six feet under."
I felt cold fingers squeeze mine, the temperature not seeming like such a stretch anymore. The circulation in my hands was almost completely gone, and with shaking fingers I tried to wipe the tears from my face. I hadn't remembered ever starting to cry, but I couldn't contain the sob that erupted from my chest.
"Enough." Edward growled under his breath, the sound shaking his being and rumbling the couch.
"Like you don't see it. She can't even hold your hand without breaking a sweat. You're just too kind to tell her how awful it feels to be left. " Leah snarled in response, her eyes glowing with rage under the dim light.
"Jacob is my alpha. He is protecting me and my brother from the people that want you dead. And the only thing you've given him is heart break. Last time I checked, best friends weren't supposed to fuck up each other's lives." She ran a hand through knotted black hair before continuing. The tears were flowing freely, my vision became blurry. I was holding onto my husband with such force, his wedding ring was creating a dent in my palm. It burned as his solid skin pressed into the bones of my hands, but I refused to let go.
"Let go of him before you kill him. Because I refuse to watch him crumble to pieces while you get the happy little family you've always wanted. That thing isn't just bruising you. It's killing him. And your little husband looks like he's already dead. You and Blondie are the only ones that want this. And if for some reason you survive this and Jacob doesn't, don't even think twice about paying for it. I will be the first one here to make sure you suffer just as much as he does every fucking day."
A series of sobs continued to pour from my lips as I closed my eyes against the blurry lights that seemed to make her presence even more apparent.
"Leave!" I wasn't quite sure who said it first, but a series of growls erupted from behind me in unison. I crumpled into myself, forming a shield over my stomach and slumping into the cushions at the same time. My hair fell into my face, a curtain that I was more than thankful for at this moment.
"Oh, don't worry. You won't see me again. Just being in here is practically repulsive." And with that last note, she was gone. She fled from the room with such speed, the breeze knocked over a picture that had been resting on a coffee table by the front door.
I was mobbed as soon as she was gone. Alice brought tissues and a hair tie, pulling my hair back into a knot on my head before wiping away the saltwater from my face. It was no use, as the tears were completely hooked on flowing until the moisture from my body was completely gone. Rosalie was patting my belly reassuringly, murmuring to the baby that everything was fine. Carlisle had been prodding at my side in order to get a better feel for the rib that was throbbing against my skin. Edward was pressing gentle kisses to my hair while keeping my hand in his, just as tightly as I was clinging to it.
This is too much. Too close, too hot. I can't breathe.
My chest began to rise and fall quicker than it had in quite some time and my heart stammered against my rib cage. I needed to find my voice. I needed to stand up for myself, I needed to be alone.
"E-everybody please." I begged quietly, clearing my thick and husky throat to try and speak louder. "Please! I just-… I need to be alone." I practically yelled, shying away from everyone's touches. Except my husband's. My hand gripped his with a vicious longing. Stay. He could stay. I just wanted to be alone with my husband. My family. I just wanted my family.
It took a few moments for everyone to detach themselves from me, and my breathing began to calm as they all retreated from the room. The atmosphere was quiet and I swore that I could hear my baby's heartbeat beating rapidly alongside mine. Edward made his way in front of me and dropped my hand to grasp my face gently. His touches were feather-light. I was as fragile as a crystal vase, and he refused to give me the strength and comfort of his arms.
"Bella, love. Listen to me. Jacob would never, in a million years, think anything less of you for this. He loves you and would never want anything that you didn't. She had no right to speak to you this way."
I was hyperventilating. That was the only explanation. Suddenly, air was a foreign concept. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't see. Midnight eyes were the sight I held onto as his dark and lifeless gaze held mine.
"This is my fault. I'm hurting him. I-I'm killing him. She needed to tell me, I have to fix this." I rambled on, but the words quickly lost meaning and blurred with my cries.
His cool thumbs ran over my reddened cheeks in order to get my attention. "Isabella. Look at me." My eyes searched his hopelessly. I'm looking, I see you. Please, help me. "Don't worry about her. Worry about you. Let me take care of you, and don't listen to anything she's told you. She's angry and needs someone to blame. You are beautiful and perfect. You are everything that she isn't. You're good. Jacob will talk to her, and everything will be fine. Oh, my love. You don't need to waste your tears on meaningless words."
The velvet that was his voice soothed me and calmed my heart the slightest bit. I took deep breaths and tried to drown my cries with the air I was welcoming into open lungs. My eyes flickered around the room before coming back to rest on his.
"I-Is he okay? Is the baby okay?" I wondered aloud, running my hands over my stomach with love flowing through my touch.
"Bella, ple-" I cut him off quickly. The look of hurt that crossed his eyes was more than enough to egg me on.
"Tell me. Is he okay?" I demanded with a shaky voice and trembling hands. Edward paused and leaned into my stomach, listening carefully for the thoughts he had only recently been opened up to.
"He's fine. He warm, and he's loved. He's fine." My husband's voice was emotionless. His eyes were blank. He stood and dropped his hands from my face before turning and running a hand through his bronze hair.
I reached out to touch his arm as he retreated and he turned with such quickness, I only saw the blur and felt the breeze of his movements. His eyes were concerned while mine were soft. I needed him. Now more than ever. I needed him to tell me that he still loved me. That I was still his. That nothing had changed.
"Help me up, please." I demanded rather than asked. After a few seconds of contemplation, he nodded slightly and bent down to my level. Wrapping an arm around my lower back and placing the other one under my arm, he began to lift me as slowly as he could possibly move. A gasp left my lips as my feet hit the ground and I did my best to stand on them. A sharp stab to my torso willed my eyes shut as I pushed the pain away. Breathe. Just breathe.
Finally, I was standing straight up. He didn't let go of me, however. I was thankful, because my knees were shaking and I was sure that my legs would give out the moment he let go. I took the hand that had grabbed my arm and moved it to rest on the side of my growing bump, my hand resting on top of his. My other arm wrapped lazily around his torso. I tried catching my breath as quickly as I could so as not to ruin what I had created. I just wanted to be close to him. I just wanted to show him how much he meant to me. How much he meant to us. I didn't want to push him away any more than he had already drifted.
"Bella, Bella, Bella." He murmured, the hint of a smile in his voice.
"I'm right here." I replied with a tone that was syrupy sweet. His lips pressed to my forehead with a pressure I hadn't felt in weeks. I blushed as the heat rose to my cheeks. His thumb trace patterns against my belly and a subtle flutter moved under his hand. We both loved him more than he could ever possibly understand. I laid my head on his chest tiredly and let my eyes close.
"Such a fragile heart," He spoke in a whisper at my ear. His lips pressed to the skin just under my earlobe and a shiver ran across my spine.
"I love you, my Bella."
I could feel myself fading as his arms encircled me and began to guide me back to my makeshift bed. My head hit the pillow before I could even register that I had been laid down. A sigh left my lips and I clutched to his hand with a strength I didn't know I could possess. My other hand rested on my stomach as a habit that I would forever hold onto.
I was almost asleep when I heard it. The blackness was taking over and my tired eyes could no longer stay open. If his voice hadn't been so saddened and deep, I would have thought it was a dream. His fingers ghosted over the peak of my stomach before he spoke.
"I suppose that I love you, too."