Being Mrs. Black
Edward/Bella, Implied Jacob/Bella. Imagine that the Cullens were late in returning to Forks. Bella arrived on schedule, but her life proceeded normally. She and Jacob become the best of friends and with no vampires to awaken them, the wolves don't mature. When he turns 18, Jake and his friends enlist, going to look for adventure in Iraq. He proposes, and Bella can't imagine ever loving someone more than she does her best friend. They quickly marry and he leaves for war. Two months later she gets some news that will turn her life upside down. And on that same day, a beautiful, dangerous stranger appears. From the moment their eyes meet, Bella begins to question those solemn vows she made. Will Bella Black do the right thing? Banner art and banner by Seisei
7. Fear the Alone
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1958 Review this Chapter
PART SEVEN: Fear the Alone
Well. This hadn't been on my checklist of 'things to do' for today. In fact I think I'd die a happy woman if I never found myself in an ambulance again. Strapped to a gurney, I studied the roof in silence and managed a wan smile for the EMT that comfortingly patted my arm. My mind was too busy with what had happened for comfort, stuck in the moment of watching Edward Cullen stop a delivery truck with nothing more substantial than his body.
Was I really remembering everything right? It seemed impossible, I must be wrong, and yet those brief moments were seared into my mind with absolute clarity. The squeal of the tires, the certainty that I was going to die, and then the hard, cold impact of Edward's body. The strength with which he'd pulled me to him seemed infinite, my body like a ragdoll in his arms. Pressed against his chest, every breath had been heavy with the scent of him... cool and sweet, with a complexity that spoke of sandalwood, smooth amber, and perhaps just a kiss of cinnamon. Even now, if I breathed deep, I thought I could catch a whisper of it, though he was well out of reach in the front of the ambulance.
We should be dead, both of us. Instead he was perfectly unscathed, and I had only a few minor bumps and bruises. Even my truck had survived with only a small dent... a dent exactly the size and vaguely the shape of Edward's outstretched hand.
I was interrupted in my obsessive thoughts by our arrival at the hospital. I saw Edward only briefly as they rolled me in. Our eyes met for just a moment, and then a swarm of nurses descended, checking my vitals. When I had the chance to look again, he was gone. The nurses fussed a bit more, and then I was left to my own devices as the driver of the truck was wheeled in.
From the heightened urgency of the staff, I could only assume he was seriously injured. I looked around for someone to ask about him, when my personal hell broke loose. By that, I mean that my father arrived. I heard his voice before I saw him and immediately sank down lower on the bed, looking for something to hide under. Please let him not have heard the most important part. Please.
"Bella!" He came striding around the curtain in all his police chiefly glory with a nurse hot on his heels. "God sweetheart, are you alright?"
"I'm fine dad, just fine." I glanced nervously at the nurse, wondering what he'd been told.
"I'd heard there was an accident at the Thriftway and came to take a statement, I had no idea you were involved until I got here." Charlie took my hand, searching my face. "Honey... what's this I hear about you being pregnant?"
If the world had chosen that auspicious moment to come to a brief and untimely end, I for one would not have complained. It would save me from talking to my dad about being knocked up. I waited as long as I dared, looking around for some sign of impending apocalypse, but I was doomed to disappointment. Dammit.
God, I didn't want to do this, not right now. "Well..." It's funny how life works, the old adage 'be careful what you wish for' should be tattooed on the inside of my skull. I drew breath to say more, and then abruptly doubled over as unbearable pain flashed through me. "I...I think something's wrong," I said through clenched teeth. By some miracle, the nurse hadn't moved on yet, and she immediately brushed Charlie aside.
"Where does it hurt, sweetie?" she asked me urgently, hitting a call button on the wall behind me. I couldn't answer, but my hand clenched into a fist over my midsection.
No no no, this wasn't happening. Not now. How could we have survived that awful accident just to lose out here? This couldn't happen, I wouldn't let it. Distantly, I wondered how the baby I didn't want had suddenly become so vitally important. Then I realized, that moment of danger, when I'd known I was going to die had changed everything. I wasn't just a pregnant girl anymore, I was a mother, and there was no going back. How could I face myself in the mirror, how could I face Jake if I lost this baby now?
The nurse was trying to hold me down, and I could hear Charlie bellowing although nothing he said made sense to me. God, how could this hurt so much? Panting, I tried to curl into a ball, but she wouldn't let me.
I dragged in a desperate breath... and all I could smell was sandalwood, amber and cinnamon. Abruptly, a quiet calm descended on the area around my bed, a buffer of safety that I surrendered to by instinct. "It's alright Bella," Edward whispered to me, his voice as soft and lovely as velvet. "You're not alone." The scent of him intensified, and I felt something cool and smooth touch my forehead. A kiss. Then an unexpectedly cool hand stroked my fevered cheek. "I'm right here." His hand glided down and closed over my clenched fist, gently uncurling my aching fingers so that our hands lay clasped over my stomach. That touch was so reassuring, so protective, as though we stood together to guard that tiny life inside me. "Carlisle!" From the pitch of his voice, I could tell he'd turned his head. "Over here, please."
"Don't leave." I tightened my grip on his hand, panic sparking to life at the thought.
"I'm not going anywhere," he assured me.
"Chief Swan, I'm sorry, but I really do need you to stay in the waiting area for now." Dr. Cullen's voice was soothing but firm. "I'll bring you an update on Bella's condition just as soon as I can. Louise, could you please show the chief out?" Then he reached me, his hand closing around my wrist. "Bella, I hear we're having some trouble today."
I opened my eyes and looked up into Edward's face. He was worried, I could tell from his expression, but when our eyes met, a slight smile curved his lips. "Bella seems to be an expert with trouble," he said quietly.
"We can't have that." Dr. Cullen turned away briefly, giving instructions to a nurse. "Alright Bella, I'm going to give you something to make you relaxed so we can stop any contractions. And we're also going to do an ultrasound so we can make sure the baby is alright."
"It is," Edward murmured, but I wasn't sure if that were for me or for the doctor. He lifted his head, and I was sure he and Dr. Cullen spoke, but their lips barely seemed to move, the words too fast for me to make sense of.
"I'm sure what we have here is just a case of a little too much excitement," the doctor reassured me. "But we'll do everything we can to make certain that you and the baby make it through this. Alright, Bella?" He gently squeezed my hand, and I realized that his hand and Edward's felt the same. Cool and smooth, almost as if they were carved from living marble.
"Thank you, Dr. Cullen," I smiled up at him. "I'm so glad you're here." And I meant that from the bottom of my heart.
"Of course, my dear." He smiled back, making his handsome face even more attractive. "I'll be back in just a few minutes. Edward will find me if you need me."
"Just relax," Edward said as he left. I followed his gaze to where a nurse was injecting something into my IV line. "If you start feeling sleepy, don't fight it."
"Will you stay?" I searched his face, and he arched an eyebrow at me.
"As long as I can... although I can't say your father is terribly happy with my presence." He sounded amused.
"You saved my life, I don't see how he can say much." But I knew better even as I said that. I had a feeling that Charlie was going to let me know his opinion on the subject at the earliest opportunity. I wanted to say more, but Dr. Cullen returned with an ultrasound machine in tow.
Edward withdrew a few steps, but remained where I could see him. The drugs they'd given me were making me very relaxed, practically boneless, but I wasn't ready to sleep yet. I needed confirmation that the baby was still there, still moving and growing, even though the pain had all but faded. The cold glide of the ultrasound probe was oddly comforting, as was the relatively brief amount of time that the doctor had to look before I could hear the distinctive sound of a heartbeat.
A smile curved my lips, tears in my eyes as Dr. Cullen nodded. "Everything seems fine. Definitely some growth since the last time we had a look." He chuckled as my face brightened. "But I think we may keep you overnight." He patted my knee when I frowned. "Just to be sure." Then, as before, he turned the monitor so that I could see.
So that we could see. "That's... amazing." I raised my head at the sound of Edward's voice. He'd come to the side of my bed and was gazing at the ultrasound monitor. His face was rapt, the look in his golden eyes one of quiet awe. My child curled peacefully in the dark depths of my body, already beginning to take a recognizable form despite its young age. As I watched, it shifted, and you could just see the heart moving beneath translucent skin. I looked back up at Edward and wondered with a pang of regret what it would be like to see this with the baby's father. I refused to consider what it would be like if the baby's father were him.
Bad thoughts, bad bad thoughts.
"No matter how many times I see it, I never cease to marvel at what women can do," Dr. Cullen said with gentle affection. He smiled at Edward, a fatherly look, then moved aside so a nurse could begin breaking down the ultrasound. "Well my dear, we should probably get you settled in if you're going to spend the night with us. I need to make a call about the gentleman we transferred to Regional, but I'll look in on you later." He paused, and then added delicately, "let one of the nurses know when you're ready for visitors."
"I think Chief Swan's getting impatient," Edward observed, amused again, as Dr. Cullen left us.
"Chief Swan is just worried about his silly daughter." I sighed, not enjoying the prospect of talking to him. Or the idea of spending the night in the hospital.
"You could let the nurses tell him you're asleep," he suggested, and I realized that I'd let my eyes close. "It wouldn't hurt you to rest for a little while." I imagined that I felt his hand again, the lightest of cool touches smoothing my hair away from my face. "Sleep, Bella."
I meant to argue, to say I didn't need to sleep, but I had already been carried away, to dream of dark-haired babies... and angels with golden eyes.
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