"Isabella Cullen, the doctor will see you now."
I could barely contain my excitement. Bella had undergone IVF (invitro-fertilisation) treatment and so far it had been a success. The embryos were inserted into her womb two weeks ago and today we had come to discuss the result of the blood test she took to find out whether she was pregnant.
Bella and I had barely slept last night. I was glad the longest two weeks of my life was behind us. Nothing interesting happened at office and it was driving me crazy waiting for the results. Bella had gone through so much. Two weeks of daily injections and then a small operation for egg retrieval under general anaesthesia. I had had to perform the very embarrassing task of giving another sperm sample. It was not as bad as the last time since I knew what to expect and compared to what Bella had to endure, I was lucky.
"Mr. and Mrs. Cullen, please take a seat." I looked into the doctor's face. She seemed to be absorbed in reading the report she held in her hand. I turned to Bella. She was as tensed as I was, sitting on the edge of her seat. I have to say I don't ever remember being this nervous, but what the doctor was about to tell us would have life altering implications for us. I reached for Bella's hand and held it tightly in mine.
"Mrs. Cullen, unfortunately I have bad news for you. Your test results are negative."
I felt as if my whole world had come crashing down around me. I couldn't think and I couldn't breathe. Although I had known that this was a possibility, I had never dreamed that it would become a reality. I realised at that moment that I had actually not even thought of failure as a real possibility. My next thought was for Bella. I turned to her but, she seemed very calm and collected. I had thought she would breakdown the moment she heard the result. Bella continued to talk to the doctor about something. I had no idea what. I was trying so hard not to let the tears that had gathered in my eyes fall. I knew if I tried to talk my voice would crack. Why wasn't she crying? I focused on Bella again. What I saw was courage and determination. I was amazed by her strength. It made me fall in love with her even more. I had to be strong for her. I took a deep breath and finally managed to focus on the last part of the conversation.
"So, I could start the frozen embryo cycle right after I get my period?"
"Yes. Just let me know whether you want to go ahead with it. Then I can give you medication to prepare you to receive the embryos."
"I'll discuss this with my husband and get back to you. I think we need a bit of time to take in the news." Finally Bella looked at me and I saw her bottom lip quivering. Her eyes were brimming with tears.
"Thank you, Doctor. We will let you know once we make a decision." My voice cracked as I blurted out the words.
Bella didn't even wait for me to finish the sentence before getting up. I put an arm around her and quickly walked her back to the car. We were in no condition to go to work, so I decided we should go home. We didn't talk on the way. We didn't talk when we got there either. I saw Bella going to the kitchen and pulling out her Ben and Jerry chocolate fudge brownie ice cream from the fridge. She wasn't crying. She started eating the ice cream right from the tub. I stood staring at her trying to come up with something to say. Finally, she looked up at me.
"Edward, shall we order Chinese? I want to eat some crab."
"Sure." If that was going to make her feel better I was all for it.
She hadn't eaten chocolates and other food items that were supposed to be bad for you if you were trying to get pregnant. I guess she was catching up on her eating now that she didn't need to hold back. The phone rang before I could talk to her. I knew it was Renee from the way Bella greeted her. I guess it would be good for Bella to be able to talk to her mother right now. And I knew I could barely stop myself from crying. I didn't want Bella to see my tears. It was going to hurt her even more to know how upset I was. I knew I needed to be strong, strong for both of us.
As soon as I was in our bedroom, I let go. It was only today that I realised the true consequences of Bella's infertility issue. For the first time in my life I considered the fact that I might not be able to father my own child. Bella had told me so many times that this could be a possibility. But I had not taken it that seriously. I hadn't realised how much I actually wanted to father a child with Bella. I had dreamed about holding a brown-eyed little girl in my arms. I had touched Bella's abdomen countless times during the past two weeks thinking of how our child might be growing inside her. I wanted this badly.
"Edward, are you all right?" Bella's warm touch on my cheek was what finally brought me out of my dazed state. I looked up into her eyes. There was so much love in her eyes.
"Bella…" I buried my head in her warmth. I didn't have words to express what I was feeling. I didn't want to cause Bella more pain by telling her about what I was thinking either. So I just continued to sob into her softness. She ran her hands through my hair. It should have been me consoling her. But I just couldn't stop. I almost never cried. The only times I remembered were when Bella left me and when my mother died.
"Edward, we knew this was a possibility. We have more embryos left. So we can do another cycle. It's not the end of the world. We can try again." I nodded my head still unable to talk.
We continued to hold each other like that for what seemed like a long time. Bella suddenly reached for my lips and kissed me. She was now sitting on my lap.
"Edward, make love to me." Her eyes were glistening with unshed tears. I still couldn't understand why she was not crying. I have heard of instances where the pain was so deep that you really couldn't even cry. I hoped Bella was not in that much of pain. She kissed me again.
"Please…" Oh God. I needed her too. I needed whatever comfort I could get emotionally and physically at that moment. I could tell Bella needed this too. I reached down curling my fingers on her hair pulling her to me in a deep passionate kiss. We were not gentle with each other. There was an urgency that screamed of need. An animal hunger for release and satisfaction, so unlike our normal love making, an underlying desperation to be with each other.
"Oh God, I love you so much, Bella."
"Love you too, Edward." I don't know how we got naked but the next thing I knew we were on our bedroom floor and Bella was under me. I kissed every inch of her delectable body, trying to devour her. I had a raging hunger that only she could satisfy. I felt like a starving man. We had had to go on a sex embargo for the last two weeks. The doctor had told us that there was a better chance of conceiving if the womb didn't contract during the two weeks waiting period after the insertion of the embryos. So Bella had foregone exercising and had rested as much as she could. We had not made love. It had been really difficult for both of us to sleep in the same bed and yet not be with each other. One night I woke up and Bella was stacking a pile of pillows separating the two of us. She had sheepishly admitted that she couldn't control herself when she felt my body next to hers. We had gotten used to cuddling together in our sleep and it was inevitable that we would twist and turn and end up in a tangle of limbs, and me with a raging hard on. So the barrier of pillows had stayed in the bed like a boundary wall separating us. And now the wall had crumbled letting us be together again.
"Missed you so much, Edward." Bella's hand circled little Edward stroking me softly. How I had missed her soft, warm hands on me. I had felt bad about satisfying myself alone when Bella couldn't so, this was the first time I was going to have a release in two weeks as well.
"Missed you too, love. I've been dreaming about being with you like this."
"I know. You moan and cry out in your sleep." Bella gave me a mischievous look. Oh dear, what had she heard? The last week had been filled with erotic dreams. I even had one where Bella wore a black corset and held a whip in her hand. I did like kinky, but I didn't think I would like getting whipped. This in itself showed how desperate I was for her.
"Er…what did I say?"
"You said something about, hitting you harder. What were you dreaming about?" Shit! I really didn't want to be whipped! What the hell was I dreaming that for?
"I er…" what was I going to say to her? This was so embarrassing.
"What?" Bella raised an eyebrow. I found myself blushing.
"You were a dominatrix." There I said it. Did I want to be dominated? I think not. I had never been one to give up control. Did I secretly long for it? God! I didn't know.
Bella's eyes grew huge at my admission. "Do you want that?"
"I don't know, love. I've never tried it."
"Hmm…this sounds like something we could try out." Try out? Was she willing to do this with me?
"Er…I guess so. But I really don't want to be whipped."
Bella chuckled. "Are you sure? I distinctly remember you were screaming for me to hit you harder."
"I…that's dream Edward," I stammered. As if I was two people! That's the only excuse I could come up with—very lame, Cullen.
Bella scoffed at my explanation. "We'll see about that. If I'm going to be the dominatrix we play by my rules." Hot damn! Did she just say that? My innocent Bella?
"Aha, I see you like it…well someone likes it." Yes, someone was suddenly very hard and twitching in her hand. She squeezed me harder.
"Bella…" I groaned. "I want you so bad…" I touched her core and she was already dripping wet.
"Then take me. Before I take you…" Bella whispered.
"I like the sound of you taking me." I had to smile at the look on her face. What I didn't expect was the words that came out of her mouth the next moment.
"Shut up and just f*ck me, Edward."
Suddenly I found myself pushed onto the floor with Bella riding me. Holy shit! That was hot! Well, I guess that answered my question. I did seem to like to be dominated a bit.
It was a long time before we both thought of anything else other than satisfying our hunger for each other. I had made love to Bella twice more. We had made it to the bed for the second time. And the third was in the shower. Bella's stomach growled when we finally finished taking the shower. It was only then that we remembered that we had forgotten all about the Chinese food we ordered. Bella wondered what happened to the food since we hadn't heard the bell ring. When we went downstairs there was a knock on the kitchen door. One of the secret service men held out our Chinese take-out.
"You didn't answer the bell, so I took it from them."
We were very thankful for his thoughtfulness. Now that my pressing hunger for Bella was satisfied, I was very hungry for food. When I checked the time it was past four in the afternoon! We ate, or more like gobbled down the food. Bella seemed to be in a good mood after that and I also felt a bit better. We talked about the frozen embryo cycle and agreed that we should go ahead with it. So Bella called and made the appointments to get the medication and the scans done. I admired her for her perseverance. I sincerely hoped that it would pay off during this cycle.
The next few weeks passed in a daze. Although Bella didn't cry the first day, she woke up in the middle of the night crying. This happened several nights in a row. It was torture to witness her pain. I tried everything to make her feel better. A few days after that Bella had got her period and it had been worse than before because of the medications she took for the ivf. Renee came all the way from Forks to take care of her. They were both at our house. Bella had undergone the frozen embryo cycle with the left over embryos from our ivf cycle. We had both decided that she should take more rest this time and take things easy. Bella had barely gone out of the house for nearly four weeks now. She was on extended medical leave. It killed me to go to work even for short periods of time knowing that she was at home. However, it couldn't be helped since I had to attend some of the critical business meetings. We had to go to the doctors tomorrow for Bella's blood test to check whether she's pregnant. I was dreading that visit. Unlike last time I didn't have much hope.
I was thinking about all this and waiting for a client to make an appearance, when Emmett called me.
"Ed, Dimitri is back."
"What's he doing this time?"
"Er…he followed you when you went to that lunch meeting today."
"Me? What does he want with me?"
"I don't know, Edward. I think he's looking for Bella. Bella's neighbour called and said that she had seen him parked outside Bella's apartment for two days."
"Didn't the secret service know he was here?"
"Apparently they are no longer concerned with him after they found out the contents of the containers."
The secret service had intercepted the ship that carried our shipment containers and found out where some of the goods got unloaded. Another ship had met them near the US coast and the goods were transferred to it. We were told that the additional goods that were shipped in our name contained the usual type of goods that we ordered. They had found some other goods too which they refused to disclose. They were still investigating the case to find out what they did with it. They were suspecting Carlisle and the Volturi's of having a side business selling the goods without paying tax. I highly doubted that Carlisle would get involved in a scam like this just to earn more money. My father always played by the rules when it came to government taxes and other regulations. He only manipulated people to sell and own companies. I wondered again what type of a hold Aro had over him.
"Bella's truck is still parked outside her house."
"I guess that's why he camped out there."
"Does he have accomplices?"
"Doesn't look that way. He had checked into a hotel by himself two days ago."
"He must be wondering where Bella is."
"Looks that way."
"Keep me updated then. And beef up the security at my place, just in case he figures out she's staying there."
"Will do. I don't think he knows that she's staying with you. Otherwise he would have cased your house."
"I know. But he must be suspecting something since he's following me."
"We don't know whether he followed Alice too since we didn't know he was here until Bella's neighbour called. "
"I know. God! I'm so glad Bella stayed at home this month."
"Yeah. I guess that was a blessing in disguise. The poor fellow must be wondering where Bella disappeared to." Em chuckled.
"Catch you later. Update me on everything. I'm trusting you to keep her safe."
"I know. And keep an eye out for yourself too. We don't know why he's following you now." I sighed. I had hoped all the Dimitri drama was over after Marcus turned up. As promised he had signed the documents legalising Bella's inheritance. He had also sent a large sum of money to both Bella's and Renee's accounts. I was glad that Marcus was finally coming around.
Renee had of course refused to accept the money. He had still not contacted her. But Bella to my surprise hadn't refused the funds. It was only when I went through the bank statements I had been shocked to know how little Bella had had in her account. I hadn't really checked them before since there had been no need. That must have been why she accepted the money. She had promptly sent that to Renee. And I guessed they had needed it to pay the remaining bills. I was an idiot to have not realised this earlier. Bella hadn't withdrawn anything from our joint accounts, except to buy household and grocery stuff. I needed to talk to her about this, but right now I was a bit reluctant to bring it up with all that was going on. Bella was having her mood swings again, so even a small thing would set her off. Renee and I were both walking on eggshells at home.
I sighed. So many things were happening and everything was out of my control. I have never felt so helpless in my life.
A/N: Wow you are all amazing! You have written over 1000 reviews for the story! I never imagined anything like the response I got for this story when I started writing it. A very big thank you goes out to all of you!
So what do you think they were doing with the goods in the shipment? Do you think Aro and Carlisle are doing a side business, evading tax etc.? And what do you think about Bella going ahead with another treatment cycle after the first one didn't work? What is Dimitri is upto this time?
Thank you Dazzleglo for beta'ing this chapter:) You've provided me with so much encouragement through all my writing endeavours and I couldn't have done this without you.