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Twelve years ago Edward left Bella thinking she would be safe and happy away from the dangers of his world. She wasn't. How can he make it up to her?
Each chapter written from a different POV with some overlap as the same incident is seen from a different perspective. Some new characters of my own imagination.
You know, all the recognisable characters are not mine. They belong to Stephanie Meyer and I hope I've used them in the spirit in which she created them.
27. Edward - Reasonable Precautions
Word Count 3708
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I was one of the luckiest men in the world. I had everything I could ever have wanted except for just one thing. Not many people could claim to have everything they could ever want except for just one thing. Most would like a few more things than just one, but me, there was only one thing that I really wanted that I didn’t have. I wanted Bella to be completely healthy. It was something that I was still unable to come to terms with, the fact that Bella was never going to have the best of health ever again.
And now I had to tell her that I wanted her to have another surgery. A surgery that she would never have thought she would need. I wanted her to let Carlisle remove her remaining ovary.
I had searched on the net for examples of women getting pregnant without a uterus. It amazed me how many there were. I printed off the facts of three cases to show her. I hoped she saw the situation as I did. I really didn’t know what I would do if she didn’t.
“Bella love, I want to show you something” I said knowing she would be worried by my tone but not knowing how to lighten it.
“It sounds serious, what is it?”
I passed her the details of women who’d had hysterectomies and gone on to have babies without a uterus. Bella looked over them clearly puzzled as to why I would show her them.
Then, “Oh, no. No, you’re kidding me, right? I can’t be can I?” Bella was scared.
“Oh, no, I’m sorry love, no, you’re not pregnant” I tried to reassure her.
“Then why are you showing me this?”
“Because, and let us remember who has the bad luck, because since you still have an ovary it is theoretically possible for you to fall pregnant and if that were to happen you would die. I don’t want you to die.” I said the latter sentence knowing that one day Bella would die, but I didn’t want it to be yet. She should be at least a hundred and three before that happened.
“Edward, I’m going to die sooner or later anyway. I know you want it to be after I have lived a long and happy life but you have to accept the possibility that I might not live longer than tomorrow, or the day after.”
“I know that, but that is no reason not to take reasonable precautions so that the chances of you living a long life are increased.”
“What do you mean by reasonable precautions? I’m telling you now I am not giving up sex.”
I couldn’t help it. I laughed.
“Good, I’m glad you feel that way. I don’t want you to have to give up sex either. No, I want you let Carlisle remove your ovary so that there is no chance of you falling pregnant.”
I could tell that I had taken her by surprise.
“Bella, if I were human I would still want you to have your ovary removed because any pregnancy, with your heart, would be a death sentence. But I am a vampire and from what Huilen and Nahuel said all pregnancies with a vampire hybrid result in the death of the mother. Nahuel has three siblings and they all killed their mothers. So I am asking you, begging you, please let Carlisle remove your ovary so that there is no chance of you getting pregnant. Please Bella.”
Bella looked at me with her warm brown eye as if trying to understand something that she just didn’t get. “Let me get this straight, you’re begging me to do something to take away the chance of me dying through pregnancy?”
I nodded my agreement with her understanding.
“Why the heck would you need to beg for that? Will I need weeks off work or something?”
“I don’t know. I never thought to ask. I just thought that you would be loath to undergo another surgery when the chances are you don’t really need it since these examples are really rare.”
“Like you said, we have to consider my bad luck when factoring statistics. Let’s face it, we should probably be grateful that it hasn’t happened already. Let’s talk to Carlisle and see what he has to say, but I’m not missing school for it.”
I couldn’t believe how easy it was. I was expecting a battle royal over it.
Luckily Carlisle said that it was a simple operation that could be done in ten minutes at the hospital once we got back home and that it wouldn’t add to her recovery time.
New year’s day was fun. We had a vampire verses wolf baseball match. We beat them since we could hit the ball harder, even using just the one hand, and run faster. Unlike our usual practice we hadn’t waited for a thunder storm so dreaded to think what the townsfolk thought of all the noise.
“You only won because we couldn’t play in our wolf form” Jacob grumbled.
“You could have fielded as wolves, or can you not catch a ball in your mouths?” I sympathised.
“We could have, but I couldn’t guarantee that the urge to chase and kill you would not have overcome us.”
“Then thank you for graciously allowing us to win without being killed” I laughed at him. “Perhaps next time we should let you have more players.”
Jacob looked at me: I could tell he wanted to ask me something, but didn’t quite know how.
“Just ask Jacob. I can always just refuse to answer if I don’t like your question, but I have a good idea of what it’s about” I encouraged.
“Okay. How do you stick to your vow to let Bella” and I noticed that he called her ‘Bella’ and not ‘Bells’, “make all the big decisions in your relationship? I mean there must be times when you disagree with what she wants. So how do you do it?”
I knew why he wanted to know, but I didn’t know how Lizzie would feel about it.
“Sometimes I have to try to talk her into something. So far, other than not taking any sick leave, we’ve managed to reach agreement on everything. I have to remember that Bella can be reasonable, but it’s all in the presentation and have improved my diplomacy skills no end. But when it comes to the issue of not taking sick leave, well, I frequently have to remind myself that Bella knows what is best for her better than I do. So if she thinks it is best for her to be at work when I think the best thing would be for her to remain at home I just have to grit my teeth and try to think of ways to make it easier for both of us for her to be at work. I only have to look at her to remember why I decided that she should make the decisions. The result of my decision making is etched on every part of her so there is no danger of me forgetting.”
Jacob looked at Bella and his wife thinking that he was very lucky with the two women who had been in his life. He was seeing the likenesses between them, and I wasn’t sure that it was a good thing for him to think of them as too alike.
“Lizzie is a little like Bella, except for the clumsiness” I noted. “But Bella now is more of a woman than she used to be. For starters she is more assertive. She has always been stubborn but she used to be quieter about it but now she tells you straight. And she seems to have more self confidence now than she did before. She would never let me get away with saying that I didn’t want her now. If I didn’t immediately take it back and explain why I would say such a stupid thing I’m sure she would find a way to annihilate me on the spot. Although I always thought that Bella was too good for me I still used to feel a bit superior. I don’t feel superior to her at all anymore. And Bella has become a lot more volatile than she used to be. Lizzie is more composed.”
“Yeah, Embry’s commented on how ‘volatile’ Bella has become, and even Lizzie said that she’s changed since she got back with you: Bella is happy in a way she’d never seen her happy before. Even I can see it, she’s more alive and I half expect to see her blush now. If you can get her to blush again I would probably forgive you everything you and yours ever did to her.”
“We all miss seeing Bella blush too. Did Lizzie ever tell you about Emmett’s efforts to get her to blush and Bella’s responses?” I heard the answer in his head. “Get her to tell you. They’ve given us the best laugh ever.”
I could sense that Jacob really wanted to ask me questions that he didn’t feel he had the right to, especially given how he had always thought of me as a bloodsucking leech, and in many ways still did. But friendships and trust could be built if they were allowed time. I had the feeling that the change to the Quileutes meant that we would be given that time.
“I’m telling him I don’t want it” Bella said to me.
“What are you on about love? What don’t you want from whom?” And then I had an awful suspicion that she meant the operation to remove her ovary.
“The money. Carlisle told me that since you and I are officially a couple I am now part of your family and get a share of your money. At the time he told me I was tired and not my usual alert self or I’m sure I would have thought of reasons to decline there and then, but it all sounded logical when he was telling me. Anyway, now I have had time to think about it, I don’t like it. I might well be a member of the family, but I’m not a contributing one so I don’t think I should get anything out when I don’t put anything in, so that’s what I’m telling Carlisle.”
I had to think for a second before I fully understood what Bella was getting at.
“I don’t think it works like that, love. The only one of us who does contribute money wise now is Alice so on your basis only Alice should get the money. The family money comes from us following Alice’s advice on investments but all the family get a share. What we do with our individual share is up to us. I have occasionally been known to play poker but Carlisle thinks that is cheating. Emmett never spends his except when buying gifts and the occasional off road car for himself. Alice makes more by gambling on sports fixtures, but she spends nearly all her money on clothes, not just for herself, but she keeps on buying clothes for the rest of us too and never takes a cent in recompense. And I think you’ll find that Carlisle will say that you are contributing to the family, just not financially, just like the rest of us.”
I felt very proud of that speech. Then I looked at Bella. Her hands were on her hips and she had the distinct look of someone about to deliver a killer blow.
“If you had stopped after the first couple of sentences I might have fallen for it, but you didn’t. So I am going to talk to Carlisle, thank you for the advance notice of what his argument will be. I’m sure I can counter it.” Unfortunately, I was sure she would be able to as well.
“I don’t like Bella anymore” Carlisle said to me when Bella was asleep. I laughed.
“Oh dear, did you lose another argument with her?” Esme asked worriedly.
“Yes. This one was about money. She won’t accept her share of the family money until she is openly living as a member of the family. She started by saying that until she contributed she didn’t want any but I was able to point out that Alice was the one made the money for the family but we all got a share. Then she smiled at me and I was backpedalling all the way after that” he said gloomily. “Bella said that although the others might not contribute financially, they did contribute to the family welfare, for example Rosalie serviced all our cars, and until she contributed in some way she would feel like nothing more than a parasite. Before I could think of a counter argument she made her statement about not accepting the money until you and she lived openly together. We did reach a compromise though in so far as she would let me pay for the excess on her medical bills so that she didn’t have to worry about her medical costs at all.”
Given how much money she had turned down compared to how much the medical bills were Carlisle felt like he had suffered another crushing defeat at Bella’s hands. I was so proud of her, not for turning down the money, but for being able to use logic to beat Carlisle in an argument.
The Quileutes said that they didn’t want us to hand over our house and land to the tribe. The Council all agreed with Quil in that they thought that there was some important change afoot and that they wanted to keep all their options open until they knew what and why.
Huilen, Nahuel and Leah went to Denali with Tanya and Embry. It made sense because Leah would have a friend in Embry and Tanya’s family could help Huilen and Nahuel change their diet without Bella’s scent getting in the way to make it harder for them.
It was kind of sad when we packed up to go back home. Lizzie hugged Bella and me before we got in the car and promised that she would come up for another visit and would bring Angela this time. Jacob even shook Carlisle and my hand!
That, I realised was an important contribution to the family that Bella had made: she was the link between us and the Quileute. Without Bella it was likely that this visit would not have been made and we and the Quileute would have remained sworn enemies.
Alice arrived to take Bella and me to school. Alice carried Bella’s bag and I carried Bella to the car. So far not much different to when she first broke her rib cage. The difference was when we got to school.
I got out of the car and removed a folded electric wheelchair from the trunk and set it up.
Alice assisted Bella out of the car and into the chair. I hung her bag on the arm.
The controls were simple to operate and Bella really did not need either of us hovering, but we did just in case doors were not wide enough and things like that. Bella did receive some pitying looks but there were no problems.
“See, I told you it could be done” she said quietly to us as we left her at her classroom.
I was more worried about the end of the day than the beginning because of tiredness. But I knew that the only thing I could do was to make sure that if Bella did need help she could get it in such a way that it would raise no suspicions about our relationship.
I tuned in to various people’s thoughts so that I could keep a track of how Bella was getting on. It was easy when Alice was in her class but even so I was surprised at how well respected she was.
“Why are you in a chair Miss?” was asked bluntly. Bella’s matter of fact reply just received polite acknowledgement. No one seemed to think any the less of her as a teacher for it (although one student asked how fast the chair could go and could he have go to which he was told ‘not very’ and ‘no point since you could hop faster’).
Lunch times were interesting.
Alice and I joined Bella – I was mentally listening for anyone likely to come and see what we were doing – so that she could exercise her legs and I could massage her back.
“The Principal is coming” I said on hearing his intent.
We all knew what our roles were.
“That’s it Bella, keep your back and shoulders straight” Alice said as she held Bella’s hands helping her to walk.
“Isabelle I just wanted to see how you were doing? Is everything going okay?” the Principal asked looking at all three of us. (I was in the far corner looking out of the window with a piece of my lunch in my hand and a bored expression on my face.)
“Very good Principal. As you can see, Miss Cullen is helping me with my exercises. I hope I won’t need the chair for too long. Thank you for letting me use it in school.”
“Well now, there’s no need to thank me when I should be the one thanking you for agreeing to continue your teaching when Dr Cullen seems to think that you should have taken some sick leave to recuperate from your surgery. He said this one was serious and that you had already put it off so that you could have it done in the vacation.” Although the words were not questioning, the tone undoubtedly was asking for more information.
“Yes, when I broke my rib cage back in September I should have had the surgery then but never mind. It is done now and already I feel a lot better for it.”
“Good. Let me know if I can do anything to help.” He went away, his curiosity unsatisfied.
All was going well. Bella used the chair less and less and it was clear that her spine was straighter, stronger and she had more flexibility in her left leg. The physiotherapy was making a huge difference.
“I think you might need a new prosthetic eye” I said one evening after we had made love.
“What? Why? What’s wrong with the one I have?”
“If it is to match your other one it needs to sparkle more.”
“Very funny. You had me worried for a moment.”
“Not really a joke love. You actually do sparkle more now. In fact you sparkle so much that you have a bit of a problem with a couple of your pupils.”
“What now?” I knew that Bella would not really appreciate how her looks had improved with her health and happiness. She glowed now and her disabilities were becoming less noticeable.
“One girl and her friend were discussing how they could introduce you to one of their fathers who is divorced. They think you would be ideal for him. Not much fun to have a teacher as a step mom, but it could be worse and you seem to be quite nice. They either haven’t noticed your ring or have discounted it as having any real significance.”
“Brilliant, that has loads of potential for causing maximum embarrassment. What’s your plan?”
I was a little taken aback at her automatic assumption that I would have a plan. But since I did I decided to just be pleased that the love of my existence knew me so well.
“First thing is to make sure they realise that you are accounted for. We’ll consider stage two if it turns out to be needed.”
“Okay but you do realise that I never had a problem with men or boys before you came into my life. Remember what it was like at school? I couldn’t believe how different it was in Forks compared to Phoenix. I actually think one of the reasons I agreed to live with Jake was to get Mike off my back. I liked him, he could be unbelievably kind sometimes even though he could also be so incredibly thoughtless. But I made sure that I never gave him any signals that might say I was interested so why did he never seem to grasp the idea that him and me was just never going to happen?”
I laughed gently to myself as I remembered how much Mike Newton had hated me because Bella loved me. “He was too used to being the most eligible young man in town and couldn’t quite grasp that you wouldn’t want him in preference to almost anyone else. He knew we were richer so thought he saw the attraction there, but otherwise, no one else could hold a candle to him and he was sure you would come to your senses one day and see that he was the best thing available.”
“Great. He thought I was a bit of a gold digger.”
“Not really, more that you were naive enough to be dazzled by me.”
Both Bella and I laughed at that since she used to frequently complain that I dazzled her. But it wasn’t my money that did the dazzling, but my eyes.
“Will you do me a favour?” Bella asked quite diffidently.
“What?” I was immediately worried and was not about to make an open promise.
“When you next change your date of birth, will you use your real birthday or pick one either side instead of months away?”
“If it is something you really want of course, but why?”
“Because I want to be able to celebrate your birth if you are going to celebrate mine, but it would just feel too false if we knew it wasn’t the real day.”
“Okay, March the thirty-first it will be.”
So Bella planned on being with me when I next changed my date of birth, about five years hence. I don’t think I could have felt happier than I did at that point.