A/N: I don't own this. We all know who does. What I do own are about 5 gray hairs that I found the other day. I promptly yanked them out and gave a stern talking-to to the rest of the hairs on my head. They've all been warned, and they've seen what will happen to them if they decide to turn any shade of gray. :)
My girl Mariahajile beta'd this for me. She's awesome and wonderful. Oh, and I have the cutest picture of her in my cell phone contact list right next to her cell phone number. Not that I ever call her or anything. Maybe I should start sending random texts... ;)
* O * O * O *
Four and a half years later
My feet were propped up on a pillow as I watched yet another soap opera. It was either that or game shows. Or talk shows. And there was only so much of The View a sane person could handle before things were thrown at the television. Unfortunately for me, Justin Timberlake had taken to parenthood like nobody's business and become a stay-at-home dad, meaning no new albums in the past few years and no talk show appearances. It sucked, plain and simple. But those little mini-Justins were some of the cutest babies I'd ever seen. Even I had to admit that.
I reached for my hot chocolate. No caffeine in that, which also sucked. Damn. Pregnancy's really a downer. No coffee, no liquor, no crazy sex, and thanks to my latest twelve-pound weight gain, no sweets, either. It was probably a good thing Edward worked so much. Otherwise, he'd have filed for divorce by now. Though, in my defense, I was as big as a house and it was all his fault ‒ him and that fucking dick of his. I couldn't stay away from it, and that damn smug smirk he grinned at me every time I got horny showed me he knew it. I mean, he was hot and I wanted him all the time, but he wasn't perfect or anything. I found that out pretty quickly after our wedding.
Leaving Forks wasn't too eventful. No one begged me to stay, other than Mary Jane, which was weird since I never really thought of her as a clingy cling-on. I guess I was wrong. She texted and emailed me more often than my parents did after we'd left, but it was nice. She had all the good gossip no one else would give me. And she was usually high or freshly fucked, so there was no filter on her brain.
Spending two weeks with carnies was an eye-opening experience, one I would never forget. Edward and I kept to ourselves as much as we could, and once we picked up the car and were driving back to Chicago, it was a little easier. Rose and Emmett were with us, and we had a great time driving and seeing places us girls had never seen before. It wasn't until we finally got to Chicago that Rose and I realized Emmett went to school in Chicago while Edward went to school at the University of Illinois… in Urbana... which was about two and a half hours away. I think I cried more at the idea of leaving Rose behind than I had when leaving my family. At least when I left Forks, I had my best friend with me. Leaving Chicago, I only had Edward with me, and while I loved him more than anything, it was still scary.
The little one-bedroom apartment we lived in was right off campus, which was great since we only had one car. Edward was working on his master's degree and working for the school, which meant he didn't have a lot of free time. Since the semester was so close to starting when we got there, I wasn't able to sign up for classes of my own, which was okay. I got a job in a little candy shop near our apartment, and it was awesome, except for the name of the store: Mary Sue Candy. Its headquarters was in Baltimore, but Mary Sue wanted to branch out. At least her almond bark was amazing. I might've gained my Freshman Fifteen before I even started college, but Edward liked it. He said my tits and ass got bigger, and he could barely keep his hands off of either. Birth control was a necessity since we were screwing pretty much from the time he got home at night until the time he left the next morning. We did somehow manage to find time to eat and be normal people, and at the end of the day, when we were exhausted from all the sex and other things we had to do, we slept and Edward snored. Loudly. Like a bear in hibernation. And he stunk up my nice little house with his sweaty man smell. And his socks. Oh, his socks. They could peal paint off the walls. Thank heavens for bleach and the washing machine that came with our apartment. As long as I kept earplugs and a nose plug nearby, I was usually happy. Pretty much. Though he really needed to learn to put his dirty dishes in the sink and to not leave his wet towel on the bathroom floor. And for the love of all things holy, did he really have to leave shaving cream and whiskers in the bathroom sink every freakin' morning?
We settled into married life and even made some friends. My first Christmas away from my family was harder than I thought it'd be, but we went to Edward's parents' house in Chicago and spent it with them. Emmett's parents were nearby, so we spent a few days with Rose and Emmett, too. After that, things were easier for me. I started school, settled into my candy-making job, and tried to be a nice little housewife. Things were good, easy, and kinda boring, to be honest. But at the end of every day, I still curled up with my Edward, and that made everything else worth it. My life might not have been exciting or even interesting, but it was exactly what I wanted.
After Edward finished his master's, he started talking about babies. All the time. Rose was pregnant, and Jasper and Mary Jane had a baby, so Edward thought it was time for us to start trying. I managed to hold him off until the first semester of my senior year of college. I went off birth control and figured we'd see what happened. Luckily for me, my eggs played hard to get with Edward's swimmers long enough to ensure I would graduate before our little one made an appearance. Of course, that meant I'd be nine months pregnant at my graduation. Who knew graduation gowns came in a "circus tent" size? At least Edward was excited; it reminded him of his carnie days. And at least my gown was blue and not green. I really didn't want to resemble the Christmas tree I was currently staring at; the tree Edward had spent an entire evening decorating while I directed ornament placement from my spot on the couch. Why he thought I needed to spend every waking moment sitting down was beyond me, but it did mean he usually cooked dinner and rubbed my feet, which I was more than happy with.
Snowflakes were falling outside the window as I took another sip of my drink. It was one week until Christmas and the day before my graduation ceremony. Edward had gone to Chicago to pick up my parents, who were flying in to see me graduate and then spend Christmas with us. They were also hoping a baby would come popping out of me at some point during their stay. They were even bringing Jasper, Mary Jane, and their kids. And there were a lot of them. Four. All of them under the age of four. If that madness didn't get my labor started, I wasn't sure what would. Marley was three and a whirlwind of blonde curls and blue eyes. Little Snoop was two and just as laidback and easygoing as my brother, but he looked like a tiny, boy-version of Mary Jane. Obviously, he was named after Snoop Dog, though Edward made the mistake of asking if he was named after Snoopy. I never thought my tattooed husband would be afraid of anyone, but the glare Mary Jane gave him had him nearly shaking in his boots. Last year, the twins, Jimi and Janis, came along. Mary Jane got an IUD after they were born. Jasper was a little bummed, but with her in training to take over her daddy's business to make it legitimate and legal-like, she needed to stop getting knocked up. And my mother had a field day making her over and getting her all business appropriate. Mary Jane in Mary Kay was a powerful image to behold.
I heard the car pull into the driveway and smiled. It was probably good that I'd just emptied my bladder, because I had a feeling between my mom and Mary Jane that I was going to be squeezed a lot over the next little while.
"Where's my baby?" I heard my mother yell just after the door squeaked open.
"Hi, Mom," I said, hoping she'd follow the sound of my voice toward the living room. We'd moved out of the little apartment and into a real house just after I found out I was pregnant. Edward's job was paying him a good salary, and we knew we'd need more room once the baby came. I loved the house ‒ all three bedrooms and two bathrooms of it. The yard was perfect. The kitchen was recently remodeled. Everything was great. Even the neighborhood was ideal. The only unfortunate thing was the street name. Mary Lou Drive. Freakin' Mary everywhere I went!
"There you are," my mom said with a smile as she came around the corner. "Oh, look at you! So pretty. Isn't she so pretty, Charlie?" She hurried toward me and bent down to wrap her arms around me just as my dad entered the room. He was half the man he'd been when I left Forks. Literally. It was still a shock to me every time I saw him. He and my mom had joined a Bikram Yoga class not long after I moved away, and all the apple dessert weight just melted off. Hearing my mom talk about how hot he looked all sweaty and muscly made my stomach turn, but they were happy and more in love than I'd ever seen them. I had to smile at that. And I'm sure the other ladies in their class who drooled over my dad didn't hurt his ego or my mother's jealousy streak.
"Hiya, sweetheart," he said as he got close enough to lean around my mother and kiss my cheek.
"Nice place you got here. Hope you didn't go to too much trouble decorating for our sake."
"Nope. Edward did it all. I just directed," I told him as Edward stumbled into the house, his arms loaded down with bags and suitcases.
"I'll just put these in the guest room," he said with a smile and then led my dad down the hall to the room they'd be staying in.
"Auntie Bella!" Marley shouted as she and Little Snoop came running into the room. "We flied on a big plane, and I got nuts and soda and cookies! Snoop almost wetted his pants, but Daddy took him to that tiny potty, and him didn't even fall in! I knowed he would fall right out of the plane 'cause his bumbum is kinda small, but he didn't. Him's a big boy, huh, Snoop? You're big, huh?"
Clearly she'd had more sugar than she should have on the flight, but then again, she was Mary Jane's daughter. Downing sugar and talking a mile a minute didn't really seem all that out of character. Clearly, that candy apple hadn't fallen far from the reefer-lovin' tree.
Little Snoop smiled brightly, chocolate covering his face. "Cany," he mumbled in his tiny, boy voice. Edward was probably exhausted after driving for two and a half hours with all of the kids. I'd have to do something nice for him to show my appreciation. Maybe a blowjob or a backrub. Or maybe I'd make him some of the sugar cookies I knew he liked, if I could get him to let me stand up for longer than half an hour at a time. Freakin' pregnancy warden.
"Hey, Bella," Jasper said as he walked into the room with Jimi and Janis in his arms.
"How was the flight?" I asked, reaching around my mother so he could hand me one of the little cherub babies. Their chubby cheeks were rosy red from the chilly December air outside, but they were smiley, even if they did look sleepy. Jimi came right to me, cuddling into my arms and pushing his thumb into his mouth.
"Good. Chaos in a metal tube. Nothing new."
Mary Jane came in behind Jasper, her dark hair cut into a severe chin-length bob. It was a new, more grown-up style for her, but it went with the whole serious businesswoman persona she was going for. She looked worn out and tired, but I hoped she was excited to be here. I was excited to have her visit for a few days.
The evening was full of chatting and teasing and watching every time Marley or Little Snoop had a new trick they wanted to show us. They were entertaining, that was for sure, and my heart hurt a little bit knowing my child wouldn't get to grow up alongside them. Even though I'd wanted nothing more than to be away from my weird cousins when I was young, now that I was older, I craved that kind of thing for my children. Plus, my nieces and nephews are great. No weirdness here. Well, except for Jimi being obsessed with flapper girls from the 1920s. I mean, Jasper had always been a history nut, so it made sense, but a one-year-old boy being hung up on questionable women from the 1920s was strange, no matter how you spun it. And the Flapper Barbie he carried around wasn't helping things.
Once everyone was settled into the spare bedrooms for the night, Edward and I lay in our bed. The next day was going to be busy and long, with my gradation and all of Edward's family coming for the day. "You feeling okay?" Edward asked. He rubbed his hands into my lower back, massaging the aching muscles there.
"Yeah. I'm fine. It's nice having them here, you know? I never thought I'd say that." I sighed, remembering my life before. "I'd spent so much time wanting away from them, dying to get out, and now I am, but I miss them. Shit. These hormones are killing me."
He laughed a low chuckle. "I know. Though I must admit that I kinda like those hormones, even though it's gonna feel weird doing naughty things to you while your parents are asleep down the hall." I felt him push his pelvis against my ass, and he was hard, just like always.
"Hey now. Put that away. We already did it this morning, and this baby's gonna come out with a dent in his head, if we're not careful."
"You mean her head," Edward said before kissing me softly on my neck, his arm wrapping around my enormous belly to pull me tighter against him. We didn't find out the sex of the baby, wanting it to be a surprise, and that stupid decision had led to months of going back and forth about who's right. He was sure the baby was a girl, but I just knew it was a boy. With my due date only a few weeks away, we'd find out soon enough.
"We still don't have any names picked out," I reminded him, reaching back and running my hand along his naked, tattooed hip. Damn, my husband was hot.
"We'll know when we see her. Don't worry so much. And if she has to go by Baby Girl Cullen for the rest of her life, then that's fine, too."
"Edward!" I squealed as he reached his hand under his old t-shirt, the one I wore to bed each night, and squeezed my boob.
Then we heard a louder squeal coming from down the hall, followed by a moan that most certainly came from my mother.
"Oh, shit. Not again," I said. The idea of my parents getting it on just a few rooms away from us killed any mood happening in our bedroom, and though my body was glad for the sex break, my mind was suddenly filled with images I'd rather not imagine.
"Since they're under my roof, do you think it's okay if I give your dad a little talking to in the morning about what's considered appropriate behavior in my house?" Edward teased. I knew he'd never actually say anything to my father, but it was fun to joke about it
"Oh, Charlie..." we heard echoing down the hallway.
"You wanna borrow a pair of my earplugs?" I asked Edward as I reached into my nightstand drawer and pulled out two pairs.
"I only hope we're still that freaky when we're their age," my idiotic, hot husband laughed as he pushed the foam pieces into his ears.
My graduation went well, aside from Edward insisting on pushing me around in a wheelchair all day. I kept reminding him I wasn't disabled, just that I was pregnant, but it didn't make any difference. I almost had to punch him when he tried to push me across the stage to accept my diploma.
"If you ever wanna get laid again, you'll let me walk across that stage by myself!" I yelled it loud enough for the first several rows of spectators to hear, as well as the entire university governing board and staff. He backed off and let me go, clapping loudly as my name was read aloud over the sound system. I was grateful I'd worn flats instead of heels when it came time to descend the stairs on the other side of the stage on my own. I didn't need to tumble down in front of 10,000 people and have a baby pop out of me. That would certainly give a new definition to the whole "bouncy baby" saying.
Over the next week, we actually enjoyed spending time with both my family and Edward's. Our baby was the first grandchild in Edward's family, and his parents may have gone slightly overboard with buying things for our little one. Of course, everything was in either green or yellow, much to Esme's dismay, but I knew as soon as the baby was born, she would rush right out to add lots of pink or blue to the baby's wardrobe. My mother was still selling Mary Kay, and Esme was still selling Avon, and while I worried that they might come to blows over whose product line was superior, I was astonished to see them actually comparing products and trying samples from each other. It was a Christmas miracle. I was sure of it.
Christmas Eve was spent singing carols out of tune and making more food than I'd seen in years. Jasper's kids were in heaven, as well as Emmett and Rosalie's little boy. On TV, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer was on repeat, and the men were "babysitting" while we cooked and baked and gossiped.
"Oh, Bella. I forgot to tell you what I saw a couple weeks ago!" Mary Jane said. She was practically jumping up and down, so I figured it must've been good.
"What?" I asked, shoving another sugar cookie into my mouth. It was either shaped like mistletoe or a marijuana leaf. I wasn't sure. Either way, it had green frosting, and it was delicious. And when Edward had grumbled about my eating too much sugar, I just looked at him sweetly and said in my most menacing voice, "It's Christmas. Suck it."
"So I was in Hot as Hale's, showing them some samples of our new Jive Ice Cream line and‒"
"Wait. What? You have pot ice cream? Are you serious?" Wow, she really was going all out to expand their sales. And moving into junk food? Genius. She and Jasper were gonna be loaded!
"Yeah. Jive Ice Cream. Cool name, right? So far, we have Purple Haze Grape Sherbet, Sticky Icky Strawberry, and Cheech & Chong Chocolate. It's all strictly medicinal, of course, but we're trying out a few other flavors, too. Hopefully by next summer, we'll have a dozen of them!"
"You're one smart cookie, Mary Jane," Rose said as she wrapped another tamale. "I never woulda thought."
"I know, right? Everyone always thought I was just pretty and dumb, or maybe it was just pretty dumb," Mary Jane said. "But I'm smart... or I haven't killed off all my brain cells, yet."
I tried to keep myself from giggling, but it was hard. She'd never been the brightest bulb in the box.
"Anyway, so you were in the ice cream shop?" I asked, steering her back toward her big reveal.
"Oh, yeah! So, there I was, giving Rose's dad his eleventh sample – he really likes that chocolate, by the way ‒ and who should come walking in but Tanya the Town Tootsie. And hot on her heels was Mike, dragging a little rugrat with him. And Tanya's knocked up. Like bigger than a house. Maybe it's triplets or something, but damn. She's huge. Anyway, she was barking at him and yelling. I kinda felt sorry for the guy, but then I remembered what a sleaze he is." She was talking so fast that I had a hard time catching everything she said. Or maybe it was just the idea of Mike ending up as Tanya's little whipping boy that had my head spinning. I was sure Mary Jane wouldn't have put any real pot in the cookies she made. Or at least I didn't think she would... Damn. What's in these things? I wondered as I shoved another bite into my mouth.
Mary Jane took a breath and continued. "You know how they moved out of town after you got married and left? Well, I guess they were back visiting or something, but they both looked miserable. Her hair's all stringy and dull, and he's practically bald! And I didn't see a ring on either of their fingers, just that scrawny little kid with them. Poor thing. You would think it might've lucked out and gotten the few good looks genes Mike and Tanya used to have, but it didn't. Homely doesn't even begin to describe that kid. I couldn't even tell if it was a boy or girl!"
I really had to laugh then. It didn't get any better when my mom chimed in to let us know that Mike's mother had been dumped by Mary Kay for questionable business practices. Seems Mary Ellen Newton had taken to doing a few "favors" for some of the business men in town in exchange for them buying her products for their wives and girlfriends. Mary Kay's higher-ups weren't too impressed, and they stripped her of her sales awards and prized pink Cadillac. Seems like Forks' royal family, the Newtons, was imploding before my very eyes, and I couldn't help but laugh. They got what they deserved.
Rose, and Emmett's two-year-old son, Spike, came stumbling into the kitchen with my little calico kitten squirming in his arms. "Kitty!" he said as Mary Poppins struggled to free herself from the tiny tyrant's grip.
"Oh, Spike, no!" Rose yelled, grabbing the kitty and letting her go. As soon as she was free, she high-tailed it toward my bedroom, where I knew she'd spend the rest of the evening hiding under my bed.
"Kitty!" Spike yelled as he chased after her.
"Oh, that boy," Rose groaned. "Do you know what I caught him doing the other day? He had his hand down his pants, and he was… playing with himself! Emmett was so proud that he bought him an ice cream cone! What am I gonna do?"
Mary Jane laughed. "Oh, honey. It's normal. They all like their dicks. I think they worry that maybe they'll fall off or something. They check them a lot. You shouldn't get freaked out until he starts showing the neighbors and shaking his bumbum for the mailman."
Well, maybe I was glad to be living far, far away from my family after all.
"I still can't believe you named that cat Mary Poppins," Rose said, laughing.
"I tried calling it something else, but that's all it'll answer to. And Edward was so sweet to bring it home from the Humane Society that I couldn't say no."
Freakin' Mary! I was doomed.
After another hour and about half a dozen more cookies, I decided to take a short nap. Of course, that worried Edward.
"I'm fine. Trust me," I said as he hovered over me while I lay on our bed.
"You look worn out. I knew I shouldn't have let you spend so much time in the kitchen today eating all those cookies."
"Oh, please. I was sitting down the whole time. And it's Christmas. I like sugar. Sue me. I just need a little sleep before tonight. If I'm gonna make it all the way to midnight, I need some rest. I'm fine."
He didn't look convinced, and even though he left me alone, I knew it wouldn't last long. And I was right.
"I told everyone to keep it down, that we're napping," he said after locking our bedroom door and sliding off his shoes. "I missed you today," he whispered as he crawled into bed with me and kissed my forehead. He was so sweet that I couldn't even find it in me to complain about the smell of his socks that were rubbing against my bare feet.
"I was right there all day. How could you miss me?" I asked with a laugh.
He smiled. "I just did."
I traced my hand over his eyebrow. "You know what I miss? Your eyebrow piercing. Why did you take that out again?"
"Really? You wanna talk about my rebellious youth when we could be having sex?"
"Oh, um… Okay."
It only took him a couple of minutes to have us both naked, and then he was pushing into me. "You okay? Should we try a different position?" he asked as he thrust into me over and over again. How he stayed calm enough to have an actual conversation was beyond me.
"I'm good. Keep going," I mumbled as I grabbed at his chest and tried to pull his lips toward mine.
"I can't reach you. Too much baby in the way," he said. "I feel like I'm hitting something. I think I'm poking her."
"It's a him, and no, you're not. Keep going."
"Keep going!" I insisted, trying my best to tilt my hips up a little so he could get deeper into me. I had to admit that it felt different from other times, like I was wider or he had shrunk, but I knew neither of those things was possible.
"You wanna try something else?" He was short of breath and struggling to keep the bed from squeaking too much.
"No. Touch me. I'm close."
"I can't fit my hand between us anymore!"
"Lean back, and get on your knees. Pull me up," I begged. He tried, but there was just too much of me for him to get my hips high enough in the air.
"Bella, I don't think this is gonna work."
"Just do it!"
I knew he was strong enough to lift me; he just wasn't concentrating. I planted my feet on the bed and pushed my hips up as high as I could. It didn't take long until both of us where grunting and coming and breathing heavily as we tried to recover.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"Oh, for fuck's sake. Yes, I'm okay! Quit asking."
Edward was quiet for several moments. "It felt really weird. Are you sure everything's okay? The baby's okay?"
I was annoyed with him, but even with my pregnancy hormones raging, I could still hear the concern and love in his voice.
"I'm okay. The baby's okay. Don't worry," I told him, trying desperately to roll onto my side so I could kiss him. It didn't work. I simply ended up rocking back and forth until he finally showed pity on me by pulling me onto my side so I was leaning against him.
"I can't lose you," he said quietly. "I don't want anything to happen to the baby either, but I can't lose you, Bella. I can't make it without you."
"Edward," I sighed.
"You're my whole life." His hand smoothed over my huge belly and then moved up to my face, cradling it gently as he looked at me. "You. I can't ever be without you."
"I love you, too," I whispered, then kissed him before wrapping myself around him and falling into a deep, comforting sleep.
By 10:00 that night, I was dragging again. We'd eaten, we'd sang, and we'd watched a kiddie nativity reenactment, and I was ready for bed. My back had been hurting all evening, but I figured it was just a result of the awesome pregnant whale sex Edward and I'd had before our nap. I didn't say anything, but I knew my mother could tell I wasn't feeling great. Edward stayed with me, sitting next to me or behind me all evening, rubbing my lower back the whole time. He even brought me two more sugar cookies and some eggnog.
Things were finally winding down after our impromptu game of Christmas-themed Pictionary. The kids were excited for Santa and anxious to get to bed so he wouldn't pass them by. I was looking forward to that, too. The sleeping part. I was exhausted, and knew we'd be up bright and early the next morning.
I excused myself to use the restroom and was surprised to see Marley standing outside the bathroom door when I opened it.
"What are you doing in there?" she asked. "You were in there for a long time. Were you doing lots of poops? Snoop takes a long time when he's doing lots of poops. You eated a lot of cookies today. Spike's daddy said you ate a shitton of sugar, and Daddy said shit means poops."
Poor Rose and the future potty mouth her son was gonna have after listening to Emmett his whole life. I smiled and shook my head. "No, just going potty. The baby makes me do that a lot now that it's almost time for him to come out."
"Unca Edward said the baby's a girl baby. Are there two babies in there? Your tummy's super big. I never seen such a big tummy before. Can I poke it with my finger? Will it pop?" she asked, moving closer and tilting her head as she studied my stomach. I laughed and then took a step toward her. Just as she reached out and lightly touched my stomach, I felt a sudden gush of liquid trailing down my legs, splattering on the wood floor.
"Oh, shit," I mumbled, grabbing onto the door frame.
"Uh oh, Auntie Bella! I popped you! And you sayed a bad word! And you wetted your pants! Unca Edward!" she yelled as she ran for the living room. "I popped Auntie Bella and her wetted her pants all over the floor! You gotsta spank her bumbum! She did a naughty, Unca Edward!"
Soon enough Edward and my mother were standing right in front of me. "I think my water broke," I said. I was starting to shake as reality set in. I was really having a baby. Like now.
"You ready to go? You wanna change your clothes or clean up first?" Edward asked.
"Yeah, I probably should."
He smiled at me. "I told you that sex this afternoon felt different."
"Shut up and keep that dick away from me."
"You're so hot when you're angry," he growled.
My mother giggled at our interaction and then hurried to tell everyone what was happening. Edward helped me back into the bathroom, where I stripped while he started the shower. It was a challenge keeping his horny hands off my naked body; that was for sure. Once I convinced him I was not, in fact, going to have sex with him in the shower, it didn't take long until I was ready to go, and then we were off to the hospital. All fifteen of us.
Shortly before 8:00am, I sat in my hospital bed and watched my husband as he held our tiny baby in his arms. I'd never seen something as precious and beautiful before, and even though I was more tired than I'd ever been in my life, I couldn't stop watching them. The way he cooed and snuggled our little one made my insides turn to jelly. I was never going to be able to get enough of him, of them. A light knock on the door reminded me we weren't completely alone, and there were a lot of people in the waiting room looking forward to seeing us.
"Come in," I called out. My parents were the first to enter, followed closely by Edward's parents, Rose, and Mary Jane.
"Can we see?" my mom asked. "Oh, she's so beautiful. My baby..." Then she started crying. Again.
"Renee, settle down, sweetheart," my dad said as he wrapped his arm around her shoulders.
"Oh, she's perfect!" Rose said.
"Definitely," Mary Jane replied. They were both smiling brightly, though I knew they were anxious to get back to my house and put their kids to bed. It was Christmas morning, after all, and they'd all been up all night. "We're gonna have to tell the kids Santa got delayed or something."
"Oh, shit! I totally forgot about Santa!" Rose said. "Do you mind if we take off for a while?"
"No, go ahead. I'll be here."
They each kissed the baby and me before heading back to the waiting room. Jasper and Emmett came in for a quick minute and then said they'd all be back that afternoon with the kids. Apparently, Marley was convinced she'd popped my belly and the baby wasn't going to come out, because it was mad at her. Maybe some presents from Santa would take her mind off of it until she could see the baby herself.
"I knew we shouldn't have added apple juice to the marinade for the pork tamales," my mother mumbled, slapping my dad's arm.
"What? Apple goes good with pork," he insisted. "Maybe it was all those cookies Mary Jane made that Bella ate. Did you ever stop to think of that?"
"She's only two weeks early, Mom. It's fine. The doctor said she looks great and we should be able to go home tomorrow."
"My baby has a baby," Esme cried from her spot on the couch, where she was sitting next to Edward and our daughter. Carlisle laughed, but I could see how much he loved them all.
My life wasn't perfect. It was far from it, actually. I'd done some stupid things, made some rash choices, and dreamed ridiculous dreams, but all in all, it was exactly what I needed. I had the only man I'd ever loved by my side, stinky feet and all. I had parents who overcame their own issues and were more in love than ever, even if the sight of them making out did make me want to bleach my eyeballs. I had family and friends who loved me, no matter how crazy they were. And now I had the most incredible baby girl ever born, and she was mine.
"So you still don't have a name picked out?" my mother asked.
"No. Nothing yet," I said, looking over at Edward.
"Nope. Nothing's hitting me so far," he said.
"You know," Esme quietly said as she softly stroked the baby's head. "I always told my grandmother I'd name my daughter after her. I never got to have a baby girl, so maybe you could name her after my grandmother."
Edward's eyes got wide as he looked up at his mom. "Uh… I don't know about that."
"Oh, that would be perfect!" my mother said as she clapped. "Family names are always so wonderful. Especially with her being a Christmas baby. It's wonderful, isn't it Charlie? A merry family name for our Merry Christmas baby! What was your grandmother's name?"
Edward's panicked eyes met mine, and I knew what Esme was going to say before she even opened her mouth. Silently, I begged her not to do it, but then‒
Oh, you motherfu‒
* O * O * O *
A/N: Thanks for sticking with me on this. My little venture into comedy was much harder than I thought it would be. Clearly I need to stick to angst. :D And thanks again to Artemis Leaena for the great FAGE 2013 prompts. Sorry it took so long to finish this baby, but I hope you liked it. :)
Until next time... Thank you. :)