Creative Original or Derivative Fiction: Derivative
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Prompt: Word Prompt: Dreary
The sky looked foreboding as Bella drove to the airport, but not even the threat of the approaching storms could ruin her mood. In an hour, rain or no rain, she would be in Edward's arms again. Since the moment she got off the phone with him early that morning before he boarded, she had allowed herself to count down the minutes until his arrival, without the worry that she might burst into tears … again.
If anything, that would be the part of pregnancy she would not miss when it was over. Her morning sickness had been minimal, the frequent need to pee was steadily decreasing; so for the most part, she had very little to complain about—aside from the horrendous mood swings.
She was crying at the drop of a hat, even when she was ecstatically happy, and it took absolutely nothing to send her into the depths of despair. And then she would bounce back as if nothing had happened at all. If it was driving her insane with the drastic ups and downs, she could only imagine what it was doing to her poor husband, especially after having to go out of town and leaving her alone. He really tried to cheer her up when she got upset, but there were also times that she could hear how much it really got to him that there was nothing he could do, even if he wasn't thousands of miles away in New York.
Not today, though, she chanted silently to herself, straightening in her seat and gripping the steering wheel firmly with both hands. It had been a good morning so far, with no major episodes, and she was determined to welcome Edward home with smiles, not tears.
No sooner had she parked and stepped out of the car, the drizzling rain began increasing to a steady fall, and her clothes and hair were almost uncomfortably dampened by the time she made it inside.
"It's okay. I'll dry. This isn't a tragedy. It's fine," she mumbled in an attempt to calm herself and began hurrying through the airport. The screen she'd passed listed Edward's flight as "Arrived", which only served to hasten her steps.
Anxiously, she stood on her toes and bounced lightly in anticipation until her eyes met the green ones she'd been aching to gaze into for a week. His smile matched hers as he made his way through the small throng of people to stand in front of her, smiling when she only stared at him at first. "Do I get a hello?"
Bella laughed and the tears she swore she'd keep at bay spilled down her cheeks, stepping toward him and sliding her arms around his waist. He cocooned her in his embrace as she burrowed into his chest, feeling his lips press against the top of his head. "Hello."
Edward breathed a chuckle, his arms securing around her more as he mumbled a hello in response. "I have missed you so much, baby."
Bella lifted her head from his chest to look up at him, taking in his face and the glistening appearance of his eyes. She didn't respond with words, only met his lips with hers in a passionate kiss. Seven days had felt like an eternity to her, not feeling his touch, seeing his face, or relishing in the simple pleasure of his kiss, and she prayed that she wouldn't have to be without any of it again—at least not anytime soon.
A small giggle from beside them caught their attention and they both turned their heads at once to see a little girl of about three, gazing up at them with a grin. Her big blue eyes were twinkling and her brown curls bounced with her soft laughter, staring at them in amusement until something else caught her attention. Her entire facial expression changed and she began to cry before she took off running. "Daddy!"
Bella watched as Edward's eyes followed the child's path until she jumped into the arms of a tall, blond man, clinging her tiny arms around his neck as she sobbed. She saw a longing in her husband's gaze and turned his chin with her fingertips, brushing her lips gently on his. "We're almost halfway there."
Edward's smile grew with his nod, resting his hands on either side of her waist, pausing for a moment before his face shifted and his eyes fell between them. He looked to her again when she stroked his jaw lightly with her fingertip, gazing at him in worry. "Come on, let's go home."
He kept his arm around her all the way to baggage claim, only releasing her to grab his luggage, and pulled her to his side again as they made their way out to the car. Once they were settled inside, his head leaned back against the rest and he closed his eyes, and she released a soft sigh. "Are you going to tell me what's wrong, or do I have to keep guessing and worrying?"
"It's nothing, baby. Don't worry," Edward replied, turning his head to look at her and brushing her cheek lightly with the back of his index finger. His hand fell with a groan as she raised her eyebrow at him questioningly, turning his eyes out the side window. "It's stupid."
"Let me be the judge of that."
Edward worked his jaw with an uncomfortable shift of his body, his cheeks hollowing slightly with the pursing of his lips. "You started to show while I was gone."
Bella's eyes widened in surprise and he kept his gaze averted. "What? Honey, what are you talking about? I've been showing for a few weeks now."
"No, I've been waiting, Bella. I didn't feel a bump before I left." His eyes fell to his lap and then he brought his fingers up to pinch the bridge of his nose. "See, I told you it was stupid."
Bella tugged her lip between her teeth to suppress her smile, reaching over for his free hand and bringing it over to rest on the slight swell of her stomach. She waited for a moment as he drew in a deep breath, his other arm dropping to his lap and looking over at her. "It didn't just miraculously pop up overnight."
"Great, so now I'm unobservant?" Edward asked with a creased brow.
Bella laughed and shook her head, tugging his arm to pull him closer and kissing him across the console. "Not at all. I think it's sweet that you've been waiting for something as simple as a baby bump. But honey, you've seen me every day for the duration of this pregnancy so far, and subtle changes won't jump out and say 'here I am!'. Now, you haven't seen me in a week. You're bound to notice more, ways that I look different from the image you probably have of me in your mind."
Edward opened his eyes to look at her and caught the nervous twitch in hers, shaking his head as he traced her jaw with his fingertips. "Just your belly, baby."
"You haven't seen my ankles and feet, yet. What is still recognizable as ankles and feet, that is. And I'm beginning to think there's a very high possibility that this is a girl because my complexion is horrible, and you know what they say…"
"You've been spending time with my mom and Rose this week, haven't you?" Edward interrupted with the hint of a smirk on his lips.
Bella lowered her eyes and pursed her lips, shrugging her shoulders. "Bilbo wouldn't stop whining pretty much as soon as I got home from dropping you off. He missed you, the crazy dog. So I took him over there to play with the kids a couple times."
Edward watched her as she chewed the inside of her cheek and a slight flush came over her face. "Well, I hope that made him feel better."
Bella groaned when she heard a small chuckle escape him and rubbed her hand over her face. "I needed to be there. Sitting home alone was depressing, and made me miss you more. And being with your family, I felt closer to you."
Edward tipped her chin toward him with his fingertips and brushed her lips softly with his. "Do I look upset, Bella? You don't have to justify visiting my family. They're yours now, too, remember? Just don't let them wrangle you into their little den of superstition, okay? You don't need any added stress or worry over things like that."
"I won't. I promise," Bella replied softly, and smiled when his eyebrow rose at her. "That was different. That is something that could quite possibly be accurate. Girls and boys have different chromosomes, hormones, genetic makeup… scientific reasons that they very well could affect a mother's body differently."
Edward laughed with his smile widening, pulling her closer to kiss her firmly and then leaning down to kiss her stomach. "See, I knew your mommy was more logical than that."
Bella bit her lip and ran her fingers through his hair as he lingered for a moment at her abdomen, pressing his cheek against it. That one motion from him, the absolute adoration for the slight swell of her stomach, seemed to make everything else disappear for a moment. The dreary weather, the ache she'd felt from missing him over the past week, and even her feelings of being less than attractive…none of it mattered for that one singular space in time. She felt as loved and cherished as the child she carried within her.
With one last kiss to her belly, Edward sat up and brushed his lips on her cheek. "Now, what do you say we get out of here, and once we get home, I'll massage those beautiful feet and ankles of yours, swollen or not."
"I think you're just trying to get lucky," Bella teased, rolling her eyes as she tugged her seatbelt around her and started the engine. "And it just might be working."
Edward laughed at her mumbled response, shaking his head while she backed out of the parking space. "Hormones still tormenting you, baby?"
"You have no idea," Bella replied with an uncomfortable shift of her body. "You'll be lucky if you don't need to call in sick for work on Monday."
"That's still two days away," Edward said, his brow creased before rising sharply at her narrowed gaze. "Really?"
"Edward, I've got the sexual drive of sixteen year old boy right now. A week is a long time to be away from my husband at this point. Consider yourself lucky if you can walk come Monday."
"So, I'm guessing Sunday dinner at my parents' house is out?"
Bella's fingers gripped the steering wheel tightly, her cheeks flushing slightly. "They kinda aren't expecting us this weekend."
Edward's eyes widened. "Are you serious?"
"Please, for the love of everything that is holy, do not make me rehash the stories I heard concerning that. I doubt very much you want to hear what your mother had to say on the topic of her pregnancy with you."
"Message received loud and clear."