When Edward left in New Moon, Bella finds out she's pregnant. But carrying a vampire's baby isn't going to be easy! What will she do? Will she survive? Will she ever see Edward again? SM Pregnancy
22. Chapter 22
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2828 Review this Chapter
The pain was stunning.
That was it. The pain stunned me. It was like nothing I had ever felt before, and it was certainly something I didn't want to feel for another second. It felt like I had a hot iron pressed to every inch of my body, and there was nothing I could do to take it off.
I wanted to move, to try and find a way to stop the burning, but I felt so heavy that I couldn't even twitch my fingers.
Through the haze of the pain, memories that seemed very far away crept into my mind. Voices that were vaguely familiar to me echoed in my head, and only one word seemed to make itself present. Morphine.
It was in that second that I realised it must have been the morphine that pinned me down to the table. I was paralysed to the counter and couldn't move a single part of my body. I was locked inside my mind without a single connection to my physical body except for the excruciating pain, an attachment I would rather not have.
No! I didn't want to stay still and take the pain. I wanted to scream. I wanted to tell them to kill me. I couldn't imagine living through another minute, another second of this agonising torture that couldn't be worth anything in this life.
The burning, the agonizing fire that seemed to overwhelm me was all I could feel. It was like I had been drenched in gasoline and a lit match had been thrown on me. Red was all I could see behind my eyes, though I could not open them.
A thought that had me yearning even more for death was the realisation that I would have to endure it. Without being able to communicate, how could I wish for death?
I don't know how long I laid there, still, lifeless. I felt as if I should have been burnt to ashes by now. A slight pressure on my hand, which felt neither hot nor cold due to the blaze, made my thoughts more alert to the fact that I wasn't alone.
It was then that I thought maybe there was a motivation to fight through this – to survive. Though it seemed impossible right now, maybe there was a reason that was worth this suffering.
Time was useless to try and keep up with. It could have been a year for each minute that passed for all I knew. So when three significant things happened, I'm not sure which came first.
I began to pick out voices in the room, and if I concentrated enough through the pain, I could actually hear what they were saying. My hearing was better, and their voices were silky smooth. I could hear the brush of fabric as someone crossed their legs downstairs. Someone was humming tunefully, it sounded like a croon. A heartbeat that sounded out of place…
The other thing that happened was that I was no longer pinned to the table. I didn't feel like a weight was being pressed down on me, and I knew that if I wanted to move, I could.
But I didn't, because I remembered the reasons that might be worth the agony.
Edward and my son. Our son.
Even now, with the flames that continually lapped at my skin, I had the hope that maybe all the pain would be worth it. And that was the reason that, as soon as I realised that I couldmove, I didn't. I knew Edward would suffer with me if he knew I was in pain, and I didn't know if I could keep up the self control I had if I moved even an inch…
I listened to the voices in the room to try and distract myself from the pain and to give some meaning to time again. I picked out Edward and Alice's voices.
"I'm sorry, Alice. Please forgive my rudeness," Edward was apologising. What had he been rude about? I wasn't listening before.
"It's okay. I know how worried you must be, but really, she'll be fine. I can see her, Edward, really I can." Alice replied, trying to soothe him.
Alice could see me? It gave me hope that there was a chance I was going to make it through this fiery torture. I was glad she was comforting him. He was worried, and there was nothing I could do to console him except impersonate a corpse.
"I just don't want her to be in pain." It sounded like Edward moaned, but the sound was muffled, even to my new ears. "If she is, I would take it for her if I could."
Definitely a good idea to remain silent; he didn't need to suffer with me. I felt a light pressure on my face, but it wasn't from a physical touch; it was light and weightless like someone's breath.
I heard a shuffle of material next to where I was laying. Before I could try and guess what the sound was, Alice spoke.
"I'm sure when Bella wakes up she'll want to be wearing something more...suitable. Go and see your son, Edward. He's very special."
Alice mentioning my son brought back memories of the beautiful boy I held…how long ago? Apart from the raging fire, a strange warmth flooded through me, which felt nice.
Then I felt a little frustrated… and jealous.
While I was here being scorched, everyone else had gotten to know my son; everyone but me. It seemed wrong that through all the pain and suffering, I would be the last know him. I knew it wasn't anyone's fault and I shouldn't feel so bitter about it, but I couldn't help being envious of my vampire family. I pictured my tiny Edward with his shimmering green eyes, smiling at me with his rose petal cheeks. I never thought there could be anyone to match or exceed Edward's beauty, so I was pleasantly shocked when I saw my son's face. I remembered considering continuing Edward's family tradition. I liked that. It was the only name that could match his beauty, very much like his father. I knew any other name just wouldn't suit him; he was definitely too special. My little baby boy, Edward Junior.
"I can't leave her," Edward stated. "Not now."
If it didn't risk my control on keeping still, I would have frowned. Edward didn't deserve to sit here, fearful and anxious. I wished he would go; he didn't need to see this.
Alice tried to reassure him again.
"Edward, she'll be fine. Trust me. Please, go and see your son."
I heard a low sigh from him—a sound that would have been too quiet for my old ears—and I felt a pair of lips slowly brush my forehead.
"Be careful," I heard him say before I heard the feather light footprints of him running gracefully downstairs. I was glad he listened to Alice.
The flames continued to smother me as I heard the rhythmic steps of Alice move closer to me.
"Okay, Bella? I'm not sure if you can hear me but I'm just going to get you changed…" For the first time in a while, Alice sounded unsure, probably due to the fact she didn't know if I could hear her.
As I expected, I no longer felt the hard tabletop behind my head, and I could feel the soft brush of fabric slide over my skin. I don't know how long had passed, but I could tell Alice was taking her time, trying to be careful. I felt the soft tug as a comb weaved through my hair.
Then something changed. The burning—no matter how impossible it seemed—doubled! It felt like the temperature gauge on the hot iron that was pressed on me suddenly got turned up to a heat I never knew existed before this.
My fingers dug into the surface below me, and I knew my restraint before was a wasted effort. I heard Alice gasp beside me and I couldn't hold the scream that bubbled out of my throat.
My arms were immediately restrained by my head, but I thrashed against them, my control gone. I heard the table splinter under my feet as I kicked at the counter.
"Alice, what happened?" Edward was shouting.
Part of me no longer cared if he saw me begging for death. This new burn was far too much to bear, and I had no restraint over how I reacted. Bloodcurdling screams escaped out of my mouth, and they did nothing to either slow or help the burning. Any hope of a reason for getting through this vanished. Surely nothing was worth this.
"I don't know!" Alice shrieked. "Her path changed; she made a decision of some sort. I had a vision of this, then suddenly she started screaming!"
"Edward, hold down her legs!" The voice sounded like Carlisle shouting. A different pair of hands held down my arms and another pair restrained my legs.
Edward… Edward…Edward… I chanted this name through my mind to remind me of a reason to stop screaming, a reason to fight. There was nothing I could do to stop the screams.
"Bella!" Carlisle commanded. I gasped and opened my eyes. It was like a red film was covering them; all I could see was the scorching colour of red fire. My eyes stung like a thousand tiny needles pressing themselves into the sockets, but I fought to keep them open, to find Edward through the fire.
I couldn't see him anywhere. Only dark shapes moved in front of my vision, and it made me dizzy to try and concentrate on them; it made the stinging in my eyes worse.
I wanted to call out to him, to say his name, but only one word escaped through the spaces between my screams.
"Burning…!" I gasped. I knew it was ridiculous. How could they help me?
"Bella, I know it hurts and it's difficult, but I need you to try and calm yourself." I think it was Carlisle talking.
Hurts? I would happily take hurt. That word didn't cover a hundredth of what I was feeling. There was no way I could try to begin to calm myself. What was the point?
For the fraction of a second my body was free and my legs crashed onto the table, I heard a crack through my cries. My arms and legs were restrained again but my torso still thrashed.
I tried to concentrate on the sound of Edward's voice.
"Bella, love, I know you're in pain—no that doesn't even cover it, but you need to try and stop struggling. Otherwise you're going to hurt yourself more."
"It's burning! Please, stop the fire!" I screamed. I searched for him again, seeing nothing. With all the restraint I had left, I didn't let myself ask for them to kill me, though that idea seemed pretty good right now. This pain was too much to live through.
"I know, love, I know. Please, just try." Edward begged.
I didn't know why, or how, through the torture, but I knew I had to fight this . . . for Edward. I scrunched up my eyes and tried to become a statue again. I locked all of my joints together, and I was no longer thrashing my legs and arms around. I put all my energy through the table and I heard the little cracks form on the surface.
I couldn't do anything about the screams.
The pressure from the hands on my body left, and I could only feel the comforting arms of Edward around me, pulling me closer to his chest. I turned my face into his t-shirt to try and smother my cries, although it didn't work.
The pain didn't ease, but I grew accustomed to it. It was not that the agony became easier, I just learned that the pain wasn't eased by screaming; it was purely a reaction. All I could do now was tolerate it.
I understood now that I was far into the change, and that my mind was more vampire than human. I was able to think of more than I was able to before at one time.
It was effortless, natural. I don't know why it wasn't this easy in my human life.
My thoughts that weren't consumed by the flames were always around Edward and EJ. My memories of him were mixed with confusion and pain, but I remember him being beautiful. Thinking back, that part was going to be obvious; of course he was going to be beautiful.
My head rested on Edward's chest, so I made the time pass by counting each breath he took. Edward never left my side, and he always spoke comforting words to me, telling me how he loved me, saying how he was sorry over and over. Sometimes he spoke of EJ, but not enough to fulfil my curiosity about him.
I knew Edward was suffering with me. Every time I let out a scream or a whimper or echoed the word "burning" or "fire" his voice shook and he held me closer to him, apologising. I knew the right thing to do was for him to leave this room, to be with EJ, to not suffer, but I was too selfish and wanted him here with me. Edward was what kept me mostly sane; he was my physical proof that there was a happy ending to all of this.
Hopeis what kept me going, and what stopped me from begging them to kill me.
Although, hope is the biggest lie there is, and it is the best. We have to keep going as if it all mattered, or else we wouldn't keep going at all.
Very slowly, the pain drifted. My fingertips no longer burned, and neither did my toes. It was about the time that the whole of my hand became free of the fire that Edward muttered something about it being over soon. It sounded like he was talking to himself. He kissed my forehead again then.
Agonizingly slowly, the pain subsided more, or I should say moved. It eventually vanished from my arms, my shoulders, and my legs. But the pain moved to my torso, where it got hotter and hotter. My heartbeat quickened its pace.
"Bella?" Edward asked anxiously, hearing the change in my heartbeat. His voice sounded pained.
"Edward!" I gasped. The fire got hotter, concentrating on my heart. My heartbeat sped, and it felt like it would burst out of my chest. I squeezed my eyes tighter together.
"Carlisle!" Edward called, probably louder than was necessary. Immediately I heard the rush of footsteps up the stairs and the sound of the door opening.
"Ah," Carlisle sighed. "It's almost over."
It was almost over? How much longer was almost?
I heard Edward sigh in relief in response to Carlisle's words, or thoughts.
"Bella . . ." Edward stroked my hair and held me slightly tighter to his chest. "It's nearly over Bella, it's nearly over. I love you." For the first time in what seemed like forever, he sounded hopeful. Hopeful that this pain wasn't going to let me suffer for much longer, wasn't going to let him suffer any longer in the knowledge that I was in pain, although that word didn't even cover it.
"Shall I get the others?" It was Carlisle who was speaking.
"Yes… and yes, leave Rosalie with him," Edward said, answering both Carlisle's question and thoughts. He shifted me slightly so I was sitting more upright, still cradled to his chest. I was in too much pain to try and decipher what Edward meant about Rosalie.
The footsteps of the others quickly flooded up the stairs, Alice ahead of them.
"Not long at all!" Alice sang. I didn't want to open my eyes, to see the pain in Edward's face.
My heartbeat—impossibly—went faster. It felt like helicopter blades were spinning around in my chest, so fast my heart beat was almost a single, prolonged humming noise. The heat got hotter and hotter as it pinpointed itself in my heart alone, all the burning throughout my body concentrated into one organ.
I screamed again and clutched myself tighter to Edward, clawing at his marble skin. I gasped and my back arched on the table, over Edward's arm, which was wrapped around me. The helicopter blades seemed to drag me upwards by my heart. I slumped in Edwards's arms again as the fire concentrated on a tiny section of my heart, taking away the last human thing I had.
The fire got smaller and smaller, and my heartbeat slowed until it was only a beat every five seconds, getting slower and slower.
My heart skipped a beat and then gave up with a low gu-lump.
It was silent in the room around me, no one breathing, not even me.
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