Emme Fenway's life is heating up, spurred on by her father's death and an impromptu move across the country.
That heat isn't the problem, though. The problem is that Quileute boy, and he's bringing a heat all his own...
Rating 5/5 Word Count 917 Review this Chapter
“You’re absolutely sure about this, Emme?” Paul asked, not even trying to hide his giddiness.
“Positive, Paul,” I said for the millionth time, take a bite of the lunch Forks Hospital provided for me and glancing at the clear plastic bassinet beside my bed, more importantly, the baby boy inside it. He was a little on the small side, but that was supposed to be normal for first babies. Besides, his smallness wasn’t what was most prominent about him. The wild shock of black hair on his head stole that title, but it was covered up by a pale blue hospital cap they’d issued him, for lack of a better word.
“I can’t believe you’re actually letting me do this,” Paul said, snapping my attention back to himself. He was practically giggling as he filled out the birth certificate. Giggling. I didn’t know if it was terrifying, or hilarious. I hadn’t seen this sort of reaction from him since Jacob had confided in him that he had accidentally gotten Leah pregnant. He’d laughed a lot then. Yep. That was my husband, Paul. “Heheheheh…”
“You’re so weird,” I muttered, pushing my food away. I looked back at the baby. He was so perfect. Especially since he was finally quiet. The moment his eyes opened, I just knew his mouth would be opening with them. He had some lungs in his chest. Just like someone else, coincidentally with the same last name. I shot a glance at Paul, who was still giggling over the birth certificate and shook my head.
Both of us jumped when the door opened, and one of us relaxed when it was just mother bustling in, balloons, stuffed animals, and all sorts of blue baby things in arm. Lissy trailed in behind her, towing along her own armful of baby stuff. I laughed aloud at their antics, and Lissy made a gesture of choking. This was all mother’s idea, clearly.
“Well let’s see little Emmett!” she exclaimed, dropping all her goodies on the floor and couch and scooping the baby up from the bassinet. He stayed asleep like a rock, tiny jaw slightly slacked. “Oh my goodness, Emme… he’s adorable. Our own little Emmet…”
“His name’s McLain,” Paul interrupted, still all smiles despite my mother’s sudden appearance. Thank you, husband, I thought sarcastically. Mother and Paul had never really gotten along. He still maintains the idea that the happiest day of his life was four weeks after graduation when mother announced she was ready to move back to Gatlinburg and face what remained of dad and our family there. Mother still maintains the idea that the worst day of her life was four weeks and one day after graduation when I announced that Paul and I were engaged, and I would not be returning to Gatlinburg with her.
My mother turned to me slowly, McLain still balanced carefully in her arms. “Emmette?” she asked softly.
“Mom,” I said flatly, refusing to show any enthusiasm in the hissy that was about to break out, “this is your grandson, McLain Rushing.”
“No McCarty?” She sounded flabbergasted.
“No. Don’t you think that three generations is enough? Great Gran wasn’t even a legitimate McCarty, mom. We don’t honestly have a right to the name.” That and the thought of passing on a name to ‘remember’ when the origin of the name was immortal made no sense. What was the point of that? The correct answer is that there is none.
Mother passed the baby to Paul, a most diplomatic move by the parental, and sat down on the foot of the bed. “How could you do that, Emmette? Everyone is expecting to see a little Emmett next time you come home. And you’re going to show up with McLain?”
My brows furrowed with anger. “Do you seriously think they actually care what I name my baby? That anyone is going to love him any less? To quote some Shakespeare, ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.’ And Shakespeare’s like theater bible. You can’t argue with the bible, mom.”
Mother looked taken aback for a moment, but smiled. “I’m sorry, Emme. You just caught me off guard. I already had the blankets I bought for him monogrammed…” I stopped paying attention as she went back to Paul, attempting to take the baby back again. And I already knew Paul wasn’t going to go for that. He cradled McLain closer to him and glared up at mother where she stood over him. Looking at Paul and our son, I was struck again by how alike they looked. I think it was the nose. The same broad, almost too large nose combined with eyes the same almost sullen shape. He was so going to be a heartbreaker.
Still ignoring them as they started to argue over who got to hold the baby, I took the paperwork from Paul and continued to fill everything out. There, in Paul’s surprisingly neat hand writing, it read McLain Paul Rushing, followed by our names. That was why it was so neat. He had been sitting there drawing out each letter perfectly, relishing the fact he had won the argument not to name the baby after ‘the bloodsucker’ as he liked to call Emmett. I looked back up. Paul and mother were still fighting and Lissy was settling into the rocker in the corner with her iPod. Child after my own heart, still.
Male. July eighteenth. Clallam County. I tuned out the increasingly loud argument as I finished filling out the birth certificate. This was exactly what I wanted.
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