Ohai! It's December 1st! :) This is the piece I donated to Fandom For LLS. These ladies do amazing work for this charity year after year. Thank you!
SM owns all things Twilight.
I hope you all enjoy!
"Oh, no," Edward mumbles as our car rolls to a stop. "No, no, no."
"What?" I ask, pausing Plants Vs. Zombies on my phone and turning to look at him.
His nostrils flare, and without an answer, he throws his seatbelt off, scrambles out of the car, and marches up the front walkway of the house... or house-in-progress, as it were.
I get out of the car much more slowly and step up beside him, laying a hand on his tense back.
"It's all wrong." A muscle jumps in his cheek as that chiseled jaw of his clenches tight.
I wanna bite it.
Rubbing circles on his back, knowing it helps calm him, I rest my cheek on his bicep. "What's all wrong, babe?"
"The framework," he says, flinging his hand toward the house. "They've only put in room for a single front door. I've always, always wanted you to have French doors."
I hide my smile in the sleeve of his gray sweater. "Well… can it be fixed?"
"I don't know. I need to call the builders."
Edward shakes his head and abuses the screen of his phone as he dials the number he needs. I watch him pace in the driveway for a moment, and then I shield my eyes so I can look up at the large structure in front of me.
We come by pretty frequently to check on the house he designed for us all those years ago. It's gone through some revisions over time, of course, but it's still essentially the same. Five bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, a game room, a sunken living room, and a kitchen most chefs would kill for.
I'm still a complete disaster in the kitchen, but Edward will enjoy it.
I never really wanted a house this big, but he's been adamant about it for years. He wants us to raise a family here and never have to move again.
As long as I don't have to do all the fucking cleaning, I can deal. And it really is going to be gorgeous. Edward is having the builders use all the best materials. No cheap shit in our dream house. No, sir.
I still can't believe the sketch I saw all those years ago on graph paper in his bedroom is finally coming to fruition. Although, when Edward has a plan, not much can stop him from seeing it through.
Thanks to that determination and his meticulousness, he's become quite successful at his architecture firm. No surprise there, at least not to me. I've always believed in him, even when he didn't pass one of his finals during college and declared that I should break up with him because he was "a complete and utter failure."
He got my most epic of epic eye-rolls for that.
It took me almost a year to choose my path, but I ended up studying physical therapy and going on to get my doctorate, so Edward isn't the only one bringing in the big bucks. Mom and Dad couldn't be more proud to have a doctor in the family. And of course, Emmett calls me Dr. Fart-face, just to make sure I don't get too big for my britches.
Edward berates whoever is unfortunate enough to have answered his call, but then he abruptly stops, takes a deep breath, and turns toward me with that half-dimpled smile I can never get enough of.
The problem is solved.
I'm fine with any front door, as long as it opens, but I'm happy he's getting what he envisioned for us. For me.
"It's looking great," I offer once he's off the phone.
He takes a moment to survey the whole front of the house, no longer zeroed in on the door situation. "Yes. Mostly." His keen eyes narrow at something I'd likely never notice up on the second floor, and his lips twist.
When his hand moves up toward his hair, I touch his forearm to stop him. "You're gonna go bald before it's finished. Please don't stress so much. It's going to be perfect."
"Well, it can't actually be perfect, as much as I want it to be."
"It'll be perfect for us, for our family. I'm going to love it, no matter what, because you designed it for us. So stop fucking worrying already."
Edward turns and pulls me into his arms. "I'll do my best. I don't want to add to your stress, especially right now."
We both look down at my huge belly between us, and I smile, placing a hand on top to rub over it… over our son.
When we found out we were having a boy, Edward was distraught.
"What if he turns out like me?" he asked once we were home after our ultrasound appointment. He sat on the edge of our bed, and his fist came down on his thigh, but only once.
I sat beside him and covered his hand with mine. "You say that as if it's a bad thing."
Edward turned his eyes on me for a moment. "It's not?"
"Well, let's see." I began ticking off my list on my fingers. "You're smart, funny, sweet, loving, compassionate, hard-working, and let's not forget devastatingly handsome." I brushed my fingers over the lock of hair on his forehead. "What's not to love?"
"But I'm not—"
"Normal?" I blew out a sigh. "Edward, is anyone normal?" We'd had this discussion before, but he needed reminders. "What does that word even mean anyway?"
"It means conforming to a—"
I kissed him. I couldn't help it. He had this wrinkle between his brows, and his lips were just right there, forming the sexiest little pout. Plus, I wanted to shut him up. I knew he'd give me the textbook definition, but that's not what I wanted.
And… I was five months pregnant, so I was a horny bitch.
He landed with a grunt on his back as I mounted him. "Edward," I mumbled against his lips. "I love you more than anyone or anything in this world." Sitting up, I ran my hands down his chest and let them rest on his ribcage. "I'm going to love this baby just as much because he's us, honey. We made him together. And my heart feels like it's going to burst when I think about him being just like you. I'll love him no matter what… whether he's crazy and foul-mouthed like me or shy and sweet like you. You're the best thing that's ev—"
This time, he cut me off, sitting up and grabbing hold of my face in his big hands and kissing the living daylights out of me.
I almost lost my balance and fell backward, but he was quick to move his palms to my upper back, and I threw my arms around his neck, eager to keep his lips on mine and not crack my head open.
After releasing my mouth with a final soft peck, he hugged me to his chest. "How do you always do that?" he murmured into my hair.
"Do what?" I asked him, laying a kiss on his warm neck.
"Make me feel like I'm ten feet tall... even though that's impossible."
With a soft laugh, I pressed closer to him, squeezed him tighter. "You're everything to me. And so is our son. If I can make you feel like that at least once a day, then I'm happy. You deserve to feel like that because you're such an amazing man and a wonderful husband, and I'll remind you every single day."
"You already do." Edward curled down and kissed under the corner of my jaw, and I shivered. "It's hard to understand this love that I feel for you because it's not logical or rational, but I would do anything for you, Bella. I would walk across burning coals or throw myself in front of a weapon or a moving car if it meant you would be safe. You and…" He paused, swallowing hard. "...our son."
Tears welled in my eyes just as a wide smile stretched across my face. My husband showed me his love often, but he wasn't always able to express it verbally like this. I understood, but these moments when he was able to tell me exactly how much I meant to him were ones I would cherish forever.
"Don't cry," he whispered when I couldn't hold back a sniffle.
"I'm good," I said with a laugh, pulling back so he could see my smile. "No worries."
Edward can't stand it when I cry. I'm not what you'd call a crier in general, but it's bound to happen at least once a month when the cramps are killer and we're out of chocolate and I watch an ASPCA commercial or some shit. And if I cry because of a fight we've had? Oh, man. I actually try really hard not to, even if I'm pissed at him, because if he thinks he caused my tears, it just about kills him.
We moved in together the summer before our junior year of college, having lived in the dorms the first two years. Living together was definitely an adjustment. He's a perfectionist, and I'm… not. But we've learned how to deal with each other's quirks and habits over the years and thankfully don't fight too often anymore.
There have been plenty of happy tears during our relationship as well. I was a blubbering mess on our wedding day, almost in disbelief that Edward Cullen was my fucking husband.
When we broke ground on our house: check.
The day we found out I was pregnant: river of tears.
Okay, so maybe I am a crier. Huh.
"Please, Bella. Please don't cry."
"It hurts so fucking bad, Edward." His name comes out on a whimper as the pain intensifies. "Why did you do this to me?"
His eyes widen with panic, but I can't find it in me to care with this elephant sitting on my uterus.
"I... thought you wanted it," he stammers. "I'm—"
"Son," Esme says, curling her hand over his shoulder as I squeeze my eyes shut and try to remember the breathing shit they taught me. "She's in a lot of pain right now."
"Understatement," I mutter through clenched teeth.
"And she might say things she doesn't mean," she continues. "Just be patient with her, and remember to comfort her as best you can. Think about all the things you two learned in the birthing class. But just... don't tell her what to do right now. Okay?"
I peek at them, and Edward nods but doesn't take his eyes off my belly. "Okay. Um. What do I do?"
I guess his carefully laid plans for labor-coaching went out the window when I lashed out at him.
My contraction mercifully comes to an end, so I hold my hand out to him, and he almost falls forward in relief.
"I'm sorry, baby," I tell him, threading our fingers together. "I just didn't realize this level of pain even existed. I guess you don't really know until you're in it." I thought I could handle it without any pain management, but if this isn't even the worst of it...
Edward places his free palm on my gigantic belly in a silent apology. "So you're not angry with me for… doing this to you?"
"No, of course not." I smirk at him. "I thoroughly enjoyed the doing."
He laughs but blushes to his roots when Esme snorts behind him. She's used to my bluntness by now, but it still somehow catches Edward off guard at times.
I squeeze the ever-loving fuck out of his hand as another contraction starts, and every muscle in my body pulls taut, my jaw clenching and forehead wrinkling as I brace for the pain.
"Um. Bella." Edward clears his throat and makes a feeble attempt at pulling his hand out of my vise grip. "Remember what the birthing coach said. Relaxation is key. Tensing like that will only make it worse."
He jolts back when I cut a death glare at him. "You wanna try this? You wanna try staying relaxed when a fucking human is trying to rip its way out of you? Huh?"
"Well… I mean, that's not possible."
"I know it's not fucking possible, goddammit!" And the tears start up again.
"It's not too late for an epidural," the nurse says, having entered the room during my tirade. She sticks her hand up where the sun doesn't shine. "You're at five centimeters."
"That's it?" I whimper. "I've been in labor forever."
Edward brings his watch up to check the time. "Actually, it's only been—"
"Edward. Honey," Esme interrupts. "I… wouldn't," she says with a subtle shake of her head.
Just then, my mom, flustered and beautiful, rushes in. She's been babysitting my twin nieces while Emmett and Rose work at the boat shop. I figured I'd be at this a while, so I told her to just come when they closed up for the day, but it's only about 2:30.
"We closed early," she says, answering my unspoken question. "I couldn't stand not being here." She comes over to me and strokes my hair back from my face, a loving gesture that helps me relax a bit. "I took the girls to the shop and told them to just close up. Everything'll still be there tomorrow. How are you doing, sweetie?"
"I'm okay, Mom." I offer her a tired smile. "I'm so glad you're here."
"You don't seem okay," Edward supplies, shaking the soreness out of his hand.
Mustering as much patience as I can right now, I turn to him. "I just mean that I'm as okay as I can be while trying to push a melon-headed alien through a hole the size of a walnut. All right?"
"Your vaginal walls will stretch, Bella."
All four women in the room turn thoroughly unamused expressions at him, and he stands from the chair he'd pulled to my bedside. "I think I'll go get a cup of coffee or… something."
"Charlie's in the waiting area," my mom tells him. "Poor guy," she says with a chuckle after the door closes behind Edward. "So out of his element."
"No kidding," I agree. "I love that man to pieces, but if he keeps up with the gynecological encyclopedia factoids, I might have to clock him."
Esme chuckles. "You're doing fine, Bella. I thought Carlisle was going to leave me while I was in labor with Jasper. I was horrible to him. Called him every name in the book and even threw an actual book at him."
"No shit?" I say as we all laugh. Poor Carlisle.
"Jasper was sunny side up," she adds with a grimace.
"Ouch," Mom and I say together.
"Yeah." Esme shudders at some phantom pain she's remembering.
Four hours later, I'm finally pushing. I got the epidural, but it didn't work all the way, for some godforsaken reason.
"I remember this from the class," Edward says while holding my left leg. "You're going to have some burning as the head emerges."
"Ya think?" I fire back, as said burning has already commenced.
I am the hottest of hot messes right now. My face is all scrunched, as if I didn't already have resting bitchface. Now I look like I'm pissed off at the world. I'm sweating like a whore in church, and all my goods are on display for everyone and their brother to see.
The beauty of childbirth…
My mother is holding my right leg. Esme had to leave when it was time to push, as they have a two-person limit here during delivery.
"You're doing so great, honey."
"Thanks, Mom," I reply through gritted teeth, a grunt-scream emerging from my throat just after as I bear down and push again.
"It's okay, Bella. It'll be okay." This has been Edward's mantra ever since he returned from getting coffee and probably saying a million prayers, asking to not be murdered by his batshit-crazy wife. I know he's not great at the comforting, but he's trying his best, for which I couldn't be more grateful.
A low moan of pain has taken over my vocal chords, so I brush his fingers with mine in thanks.
"I don't think I could do this even if it were possible for me to do so," he says. "You amaze me."
"I love you," I groan out.
After another solid hour of pushing, Evan Anthony Cullen finally makes his way into the world, screaming his head off.
I stare at his wiggling form on my chest, tears blurring my vision. "Oh, my God," I say shakily. "Hi, baby boy."
Everyone told me I'd forget all about the pain of labor the second I saw the baby. I'm gonna have to call bullshit on that, but I do feel like it was worth every excruciating minute as I watch him flail his arms while a nurse cleans him off. His tiny but long fingers stretch out, and he's still letting it be known that he's none too happy about being thrust into the light. Dark hair covers his head, and I couldn't even properly describe the tidal wave of love that crashes over me.
Edward is frozen, his gaze fixed on our son. I watch him closely for a moment, and then a knot I didn't even know had formed in my chest is pulled loose as the most beautiful smile breaks out across his face.
"Look who we made, Edward. He's so perfect."
He turns his lush green eyes on me and nods. "He is."
My smile pushes almost painfully into my cheeks, and I reach out to grasp his hand. His statement wouldn't be a big deal to most people. But for someone like Edward, who takes everything in a literal sense, it's profound. The immense pride in his eyes makes my heart feel like it'll burst right out of my chest.
He's a daddy.
Giggling, I take another step forward, feeling disoriented as the ground slopes down a little. "Is covering my eyes really necessary?"
"Ugh. Okay. This better be good," I tell Edward playfully.
He laughs. "It is."
I grip his bicep as we walk, and after what feels like an eternity, even though I know we're still in the wooded area behind our newly-finished house, we come to a stop.
Edward takes a deep breath and then utters, "Okay," before removing his hand from my face.
"Are you fucking serious right now?" I exclaim, bouncing on my toes.
"Yes," he answers with a wide grin.
Before me stands a huge tree, and he's had an elaborate tree house built into it. It doesn't look like the one we spent so much time in as teenagers, but it's incredible, with its dark wood exterior and sage green shutters.
I kind of want to christen it, but that would just be weird and icky, since it's for our kids to enjoy when they're older.
We both want at least one more child, but we'll see.
"No wonder you always found a reason to leave when I tried to come around back. This is amazing!"
"So it's a good surprise?"
"The best," I say, beaming up at him.
"Good. I'll do anything to put that kind of smile on your face, Bella." He skims his knuckles down my cheek, and the love in his eyes as they burn into mine makes me weak in the knees.
My grin must be blinding. Throwing my arms around his neck, I crash my lips to his and make him stumble back a step.
After a few moments of bliss, where my hands are threaded into his wild hair and his fingers have slid into my back pockets, a distant cry reaches our ears, and we reluctantly separate with a few more soft kisses. Linking hands, we begin walking back toward the house, where our family is hanging out and spending some time with our newest addition after having helped us move everything in today.
The cacophony we encounter as we walk in through the back door is a sharp contrast to the quiet we just enjoyed. But seeing our family all together fills my chest with warmth. My dad is holding Evan, talking softly to him. Edward walks over and kisses our boy on the head, and my heart melts into lava.
Our two nieces are running around, being crazy as usual.
"Hey, butt-munch," Emmett greets me.
"Butt-munch! Butt-munch!" Maddy says while chasing her sister, Mac.
McKenzie and Madison were a surprise, and at three years old, they're more than a couple of handfuls… as is Emmett.
Rose gives Em a glare, and he holds his hands up in apology. "Sorry, babe. She brings it out in me."
I flick his ear on the way past him to take my fussing angel from my dad.
"Oww, bi— Uh… I mean, baby sis."
"Nice save," I tell him with a smirk.
Carlisle comes through the French doors with dinner, and everyone accosts him, taking bags and opening containers.
Bouncing my baby boy, I watch the chaos in our brand new kitchen and wonder how I got so damn lucky to have this life.
"You look happy," Edward says, walking up and sliding his arm around my waist. My grin is permanent today, and I nod as he picks up Evan's hand. A yawn stretches his small mouth wide, and his tiny fingers wrap around one of Edward's long ones. "This is another kind of love I never thought I'd experience," Edward says so that only I can hear him. "It's like it increases every single day, which doesn't seem possible." He glances at me before kissing our son on his forehead.
The sentiment completely catches me off guard, and my eyes well up with tears.
Leaning up, I kiss under his stubbled jaw. "I love you so much."
His sunburst eyes connect with mine, and my breath catches. He still has that effect on me after all these years. "I love you too. I always will. And I'll do everything I can to be a good husband and father."
"I know you will, Edward. You're already amazing at it."
With a shy smile, he turns his loving gaze back to our son. "Are you two ready for some dinner?"
"I am. And he probably will be soon, so I better grab a plate while there's still some food left."
"Good idea," Edward says with a soft laugh, pulling Evan into his arms.
The joy in his face as he looks at our son, the crinkles by his eyes, it all bowls me over in that moment. "You look happy too, honey," I tell him. "Are you?"
Even though it's practically radiating from him, I feel the need to hear him say it, to know for sure that he's content in the midst of all the chaos going on in our house, in our lives.
Still smiling softly, he moves in front of me and rests his forehead on mine—a perfect fit. Evan gurgles between us as Edward plants a sweet kiss on my lips and gives a slight nod, brushing his nose against mine.
As always, thank you so very much for reading! xoxo
Ginormous hugs and thanks to the lovely ladies who helped me with this: Twilly, Michelle (Twific Lovah), Amanda (sophiacorgi), Andi (Powered by 23 Kicks), and Rachel (winterhorses). You are all so amazing. Thank you so much!
I also want to send a big shout-out to one of my favorite fangirls. Happy birthday, Granma Dee! Sending you big geeky hugs and kisses!