Sometimes, when things happen they can't be undone. Edward urged her to have a normal, human life...
I think this is the result of listening too many times to "Fix You", "Mr. Brightside" and others while I read Eclipse. Yeah, I know it all gets happily sorted out in BD, but still. A round of applause, please. I made myself the lovely banner within two days of acquiring Adobe Photoshop. It's a sever case of OCD I've got, in case you're wondering ;).
1. Chapter 1
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1795 Review this Chapter
“Jacob, this just can’t go on,” I announced, a hint of desperation ringing in my voice.
I was staring, a tiny frown creasing my brow, at the leftovers of what had been our food supply for the rest of the week. So much for saving up. I would have to go shopping for edibles. Again.
I opened my mouth, then closed it.
“There’s just no way we can keep feeding the whole pack much longer,” I sighed, not so audibly this time. After all, I did enjoy our evenings with the guys and their wives and girlfriends. It was just an economic issue concerning the massive amounts of food seven grown wolves consumed when gathered, and I didn’t want to bug Jake about it.
But before I had more time to give in to my fretting nature, his bark-like laughter was filling every corner of our kitchen. A warm wave spread inside my chest and lapped like water reaching the shore at the sound. In less than a second, there was no trace of worry left in me.
With the years, it had always remained the same with him. He was my personal warming sun. It didn’t matter how cold or damp my inner world was, his presence always had the same softening, soothing effect on me, like the Phoenix sun I still missed so much.
“It’s ok, honey,” he assured me. “I’ll tell Kim and Jared it’s their turn to hold the party next time.”
I’d been about to retort that poor, kind-hearted Kim already had enough on her shoulders with one big wolf and a toddler, but right then, I felt the movement.
“Oh,” I gasped.
A big, black hand, some degrees above the temperature of my own skin, lingered gently on my shoulder.
“What’s wrong, babe?,” he demanded, his tone only so slightly tinged with worry. There were few things in the world that could stress Jacob out. One of them was my constant getting into trouble. Well, I had gotten better with the years, hadn’t I? And I was being a lot more careful these days. “Is everything ok?,” he insisted when I didn’t answer.
I nodded, not able to speak for a few seconds. I swallowed, and when my brain finally caught up, a huge smile spread on my lips.
“She just nudged me,” I explained, marvel coloring my voice.
We were both wrapped up in awed silence for a few seconds.
Eventually, he spun me around, ever so gently, so that I was facing him, and when I looked up, I could see the wonder and amazement shinning in his coal-black eyes, reflecting mine.
“Oh,” I echoed, nodding.
Thrilled to bursting, I grabbed his big hand and placed it on my belly. When she nudged me again, I knew he’d felt the baby, too. Our baby.
His eyes shot open, and he stood frozen, goggling at me for a while.
“I’ll call dad. And Charlie and Sue,” he announced, suddenly unfreezing. He was beaming. “They all have to know. Our baby’s nudging!”
He kissed me passionately on the lips for one short second, then sprinted to the phone.
I chuckled at his enthusiasm, and stayed behind, slowly trying to absorb the whole expanse of what had just taken place inside me. I swirled once around myself, about to burst with joy. Then I was laughing, tenderly stroking my belly in circles. Jacob’s glee was absolutely contagious.
From day one, he had been the merriest and most enthusiastic of all dads. He had plunged headfirst into planning the baby’s room, when I was little more than one month into my pregnancy and had just gotten confirmation from the doctor. He had built the cradle with his own hands, putting into it all that amazing manual skill of his. The results had nearly melted my heart away. Everything was absolutely beautiful, charming, and very baby-ish. My Jacob was wonderful at building pretty much anything.
Sitting down on a kitchen chair, my previous concerns about food resources all but forgotten, I reflected once more on how incredibly lucky I was to have Jacob in my life.
My Jacob, my crazy, wild, overly-enthusiastic and everlastingly happy Jacob. And we had our child too, now. Our little Sarah Renée. Here was, at last, the family I had hardly known I wanted, but wanted all the same with every fiber of my being. My smile widened into a grin, and I thanked my lucky stars that he had lead me to realize that this was exactly what I wanted for myself, what I needed to survive.
He had saved me once, and again and again, all throughout our shared life. I was a hundred percent sure my heart wouldn’t be beating at all without my Jacob now. He was my best friend, my lover, my companion, the father of my child. He had been forever patient with me, and had taught me there was more than one kind of love. And, as he’d once predicted, persistence had paid off.
The day had finally come when I realized what it meant that it was hard for me to breathe in and out if he wasn’t around. What it meant that I felt that without him I simply couldn’t be happy, that I didn’t mind spending every second of my waking time with him, just sharing the simple things of life, watching him work in his garage, taking walks by the sea, getting together for pizza parties with him, Billy and Charlie. It had taken me a while to figure out that I liked him best of all my friends, that it was so easy for me to have his warm hand wrapped around mine, to wound my arms around his waist and bury my face in his chest, because I was in love with him. I had to come to terms with the idea that love can creep up on you, and shout ‘boo’ at your unsuspecting face. I hadn’t really seen that one coming, but had been delighted all the same to find out that I could give him exactly what he wanted from me, because I desperately craved it, too.
“I love you both,” I whispered lovingly to my womb. “Your dad’s the best one I could have picked up for you, you know? You’re such a lucky little thing… You’re all warm and comfortable in there, aren’t you, Sarah Reneé? But you’ll like this world so much when you come out… there are so many people waiting eagerly for you here.”
All the time, while I held my whispered conversation with my daughter, Jacob’s animated voice drifted to me, breaking the great news to all our friends and relatives, and I knew that Sarah could hear it, too, and know how passionately and unconditionally she was loved.
* * *
Outside, I closed my eyes. I was as unmoving as a statue. Anyone who happened to see me would have taken me for one. And I was genuinely turning into stone as the years passed.
I had to make a conscious effort to remind myself that I had asked for this. I had begged her to have a normal, safe, human life. A life where there was place for a normal family. For kids.
But she was just so glorious, with her pregnancy belly, and that dress that clung perfectly to her softly rounded shape, bringing it out. She shone with a light brighter than ever. And I had to admit, however reluctantly, that Jacob Black had taken good care of her. She looked healthy and happy.
And complete. She now had all the things she wouldn’t have had if I had stayed, if I had been selfish enough to keep her tied to me, to doom her to live only half a life, be it as mortal or –I could hardly bear to think the words, seeing her so lovely and full of life– as a monster, as she had once begged me to turn her into.
No – I had been right, had made the right decisions. It didn’t matter if my existence was vane and purposeless without her in it, if every single one of my minutes was grey and every second a torture populated by my perfect memories of her, her smiles, her kisses, her touch. I could live with that, if she was alive and well. And when she stopped breathing… Well, I had known what would happen when that time came, from the moment I realized I was in love with her.
Inside the house, I heard him pause on the phone and stiffen. He had probably caught my scent by now.
“I’m leaving,” I informed him, already moving. I cast one last, longing look at Bella through the window, then vanished into the night. I never stayed longer than a few minutes. Jacob always sniffed me at about that time, and that was always my cue to leave. He might have tried to stop me some time, but I knew he was afraid, for Bella. He was afraid she would know I had been there, watching her all these years, and that would bring back the pain. I couldn’t agree more with him.
But I also couldn’t bring myself to stop the visits, once every a few years, to check on her. I had vowed to Jacob, on the day of their wedding –the only time I had showed myself to him– that if he ever hurt her, in any way conceivable, he would have to account for it. But, of course, he had never even as much as made Bella cry. I had been the one who had nearly crushed her with grief.
I was the monster, as usual. Jacob had been the timely savior.
I let Alice know I was fine, then broke into my usual run. I would run for hours, with no destination in particular, until the dullness took over. It was hard, this existence without Bella. But my midnight sun was shinning all the same, brighter away from me, without the clouds I carried everywhere with myself.
I would keep existing as a shadow, away from her, away from my family, away from my heart, which I would never get back now. After all, her life would be so short… Only a few more decades to me, and then, we’d both be gone. And that would be definite parting for us. That was more pain than I could bear.
But I didn’t regret a single one of the minutes I had had with Bella. All the present pain and sorrow were a more-than-fair-enough price to pay for those long-gone months.
No – I had no regrets. And she had a life.