Disclaimer: These are not Stephanie's vampires.
There is always an ending.
Every story, every painful – and happy – memory, every day always has an ending.
The ending to the longest wait of my life happened a few short weeks ago, when my beautiful little mate was in my sight once more.
The ending to the tortuous mystery of her first death happened a short few moments ago and at my Bella's hands – or, rather, her mind.
As I hold my mate against my healing chest, pressing my nose into the crown of her head, pieces of that mystery fall into place. Unfortunately, my clan executed the wrong group of vampires for Jane's crimes; the bloodstone rings that lay underneath my grandfather's pocket watch were taken from innocent beings, a guilt that rested heavily upon my shoulders. I make a mental note to find their families to atone for that particular sin.
Bella shudders against my chest, her eyes squeezed tight. As tall as I am, my waifish little mate seems to be the perfect height – and, of course, she would be. She was born just for me.
My large hands easily cover her hunched shoulder blades as I rub her back in an effort to calm her, sending soothing feelings through our fresh bond.
My poor princess.
Jane had underestimated her – tragically so. My only regret in this nonsense is that Bella had to commit another act that goes against her very morals; my arms tighten around her as I silently promise that she will never have to kill again.
Jasper, my ever trusted guard, breezes into the room, my brother hot on his heels.
They see the macabre sight of Jane's crumpled form and quickly set to removing her and the soiled white rug from the site. Jasper murmurs that he will find her entry point and alert the King of the events that just transpired.
Carrying my mate into the bathroom, I flip on the hot water, intent on washing away this experience in all ways possible.
Yes, there is always and ending.
And with every ending, there is a beginning.
The true beginning of our lives began a short week later, after the trials for Jane's treachery were over and behind us.
With renewed vigor, I took to comforting, claiming and loving my mate.
True, she was not my little French mate – she was not Isobel. But I never really knew the first that captured my heart and Bella, her reincarnation, was my true mate.
And the mother of my child.
It was midnight and after a round of particularly enjoyable coupling that the scent of our child hit me – a slight spice added to Bella's natural scent that caused me to press my nose against the subtle curve of her stomach.
A surge of pride rushes through me – male pride, to be exact.
"You're just so proud of yourself," Bella observes once I clue her in to my admittedly odd behavior. Her fingers glide through my hair, a simple touch that awakens uncontrollable passions in my loins.
I grin at my mate, flashing my fangs. "Of course. My seed works rather quickly, even for a vampire."
She blushes prettily, looking away.
I simply kiss her stomach, eagerly awaiting the next several months.
The first full month of Bella's pregnancy is the hardest – Bella is rather violently ill, spending most of her time on her knees in the bathroom and sipping on carbonated water. Alice, my mate's trusted lady's maid, is present most of the time, happily kneeling beside my love, patiently assisting.
Month two is little better, though Bella's rushing to the bathroom in the mornings and evenings especially have drastically improved. She seems stronger, though the royal doctor insists on her having daily doses of my blood to keep the child strong and happy. I don't mind a bit.
By the time we reach the third month, my instincts to keep Bella locked away increase dramatically – so much so that I only allow Alice, Rosalie and my mother to see her. Bella is more amused than annoyed by this and spends much of her time stroking her rounded stomach. Her breasts grow slightly, much to her delight. My mate's happiness is at an all-time high and, after a round of lovemaking that I could not stop myself from, she confesses to me that she loves the changes of her body, having always wanted the rounded curves of her widening hips and growing breasts. The insecurities of her body had not been hidden from me, but I am happy to lend and ear and, much to her pleasure, positive reinforcement.
Like all other vampire pregnancies, Bella's stomach expands rapidly by the forth month – she can't seem to be able to walk without having at least one hand supporting her lower back, much to her chagrin. Thankfully, my mate isn't too hormonal, at least, until she speaks with her Father, keeping the charade up that she is in France, though she does introduce me, claiming that I was part of the same program.
The fifth month shows no growth of her stomach, only growth in her appetite for my blood and my body – and I certainly don't mind. I'm so drawn in by her body, the glowing of her skin, the rich luster of her eyes and hair. I love her. I adore her and our child; each night ends with my head pressed against her stomach, speaking to my child, who kicks strongly.
Mother had prepared me for the sixth month; I'm not ashamed to admit that the highly irregular mood swings scared me a bit. The most startling change was the sudden, final growth of her stomach and the fact that Bella could not move from our bed without assistance. During this time, though, she delegated the decoration of our child's nursery. On the days when Bella sent me away with a glare for whatever trivial thing I forgot, I spent my days in the soft mint room, touching the soft plush cows, frogs and Frankenstein. I put the crib together myself, ridiculously proud – I suspect any male would be in that situation.
And then, the day came.
Hearing the scream, I leave the nursery and come to Bella's side, alarmed by the sweat on her brow and the large wet puddle beneath her body. She clenches my hand, gritting her teeth.
"It's time! Good God, I need Daisy Duck!"
I call for Alice and send Jasper for the doctor, who arrives in just minutes.
It seems my child's entrance into the world is quick, though I'm sure Bella would disagree.
I stay by my lovely mate's side, feeding her ice chips, wiping her brow and letting her squeeze my hand with each contraction. Bella refuses to scream when it comes time to push and my heart swells with love.
And then, as if from nowhere, the loud cry of our child rings through the room.
He is beautiful – my hair, her eyes and a perfect set of fangs, which he uses right away as he nurses for the first time, pulling in a healthy amount of blood from his mother's breast before taking her milk under her tender gaze.
I am speechless when he is in my arms. He doesn't seem real, though I had been watching him grow for six months.
His grip is strong.
We name him Simon, after Bella's father – and Isobel's.
Finally alone with my mate and my son, reclining beside her tired body with my son dozing in my arms, I smile.
Now, my heart beats three times.
A/N: Well, that's it! The End of Blood!
Is it weird that I'm kind of sad? I love these characters – they've been in my head since middle school, even if the story isn't exactly the same. But I have nothing more for their story line right now – though, vampires will be revisited in the future.
BIG thanks to all of those who reviewed, favorited and followed!
Seriously, I love you all! It means so much that people actually bother to read this stuff – though, it's for the sex, isn't it?
Alright. I'm off – writing another story by the name of Hallelujah!