Full Moon- A Twilight StorybyKarennaC©
I stared at my husband. "You want me to do what?"
"You want a child," he said calmly. "I can't give you that, Bella. We tried. The fetus was killing you."
"But if you turned me, it wouldn't!" I'd been trying to persuade Edward of this for days now. "You promised if I married you, you'd turn me."
"If I turned you, you'd be unable to conceive," he reminded me. "The only reason you became pregnant is that you're still human. But a human woman can't survive a pregnancy with a vampire's child. That's why we had to take the fetus."
I was still furious with him and his father for that. While I'd been unconscious, knocked out by pain and by the drugs they'd given me to counter it, they'd aborted Edward's child. My child. I didn't know where the hell Rosalie had been when they'd done it; she was supposed to have protected the baby, but obviously she'd failed. I hadn't given her a chance to explain in the weeks since. I wasn't speaking to her.
I ran my hands over my now-flat stomach. I'd married Edward because I was in love with him, but also so he would stick to his end of the bargain and turn me into a vampire. I didn't want to worry about growing old while he stayed eternally seventeen. I wanted to spend eternity with him. But here I was, still human, and without the child that had begun growing inside me on our honeymoon.
"You want a child," Edward repeated. "And I know you love that dog of yours."
"Don't call Jacob that!" I snapped. Jacob had been the only one other than Rosalie who'd understood why I hadn't wanted to give up the baby. I wasn't going to stand for Edward insulting him, not anymore.
"No offense was intended." Edward smoothed my hair. "I've become accustomed to referring to him that way. I'll try to mind my tongue more. I know you love him."
"I love you."
"Yes, I know that as well."
"It's different. Jacob's my friend. You're my- you're everything."
"As you are to me, my Bella."
"I don't want Jacob's baby. I want yours."
"I know, darling." He pulled me into his arms. Though I resisted, it was comforting. I just didn't want to be comforted by someone who was making such a ridiculous suggestion. "If we could have a baby together, I would be more than happy to do so. But we can't. It would kill you. I can't live without you, you know that. Our child would kill you and then would have no parents, because I would go wherever you go."
"Then just turn me. Forget the child thing."
"I've told you, before you're turned I want to be certain you haven't missed any human experiences. Becoming pregnant and giving birth is one of the most basic experiences a woman can have. I want you to have it."
"Is it such a repulsive thought to you?"
"He isn't you!"
"You aren't answering the question, though. Are you repelled by the thought of having a child with him? Or is it merely that he isn't me?"
How could I answer a question like that? Of course I wasn't repelled by Jacob. He was my best friend. I loved him as much as I loved Edward. But not in the same way. Not romantically. After all, I couldn't have both of them.
Having a child with Jacob. If I weren't in love with Edward, if I wasn't married to him, I might have considered it. But Edward was here, and he was my husband. How could he even think that I would- would- How could he offer to let me be with another man when he knew how much I loved him?
"I want your child," I said stubbornly.
"And although I would give you anything you wish, my love, I cannot and will not give you a child. I will not be responsible for your death." Edward let me go. "If you want a child, then I've given you an alternative. The child would still be ours; any child that comes from you will be as much mine as yours. Think about it. I'll give you some time." He kissed the top of my head and left the room.
I flung myself down on my bed like a child having a tantrum. Why was Edward doing this to me? I wanted a child, yes. I wanted to experience becoming a parent. But with Edward, not anyone else! If I never had a child, it wouldn't matter as long as I had Edward. I'd experienced pregnancy at least, though at a much more accelerated rate than a normal pregnancy.
But my mind wandered against my will. What would a child look like with me as a mother and Jacob as a father? My sweet Jacob, with his black hair and dark eyes. A baby that was a combination of us would be beautiful, I was sure.
What was I thinking? I couldn't even consider such a thing! I'd chosen to be faithful to Edward for eternity. Unless he and Carlisle were planning some kind of sperm donation, in order for Jacob to father my child he and I would have to... I wasn't even sure it would be possible. Edward had had to restrain himself in bed with me to keep from hurting me. I knew that Jacob sometimes lost control of his wolf nature; during sex, surely he might have trouble holding back.
And would a werewolf-human child fare any better than the vampire-human child Edward and I had conceived? The acceleration of the pregnancy and the physical damage the baby had caused me had been because of the vampire blood in it; werewolves weren't the same as vampires, but what if their blood caused a similar problem? I'd wanted to die when I'd learned that I'd lost Edward's child; I wouldn't be able to stand becoming pregnant by Jacob only to lose that baby too.
Damn it, there I went again. I was thinking as though I was actually considering Edward's ridiculous suggestion! Forget it. There was no way. If I couldn't have his child, I didn't want a baby at all. I shut off the lamp beside my bed and closed my eyes.
That night, all my dreams contained an infant with Jacob's eyes.
In the morning, I felt much better. I was still sore from the damage I'd received while I was pregnant, but I could at least stand without too much pain. I'd been allowed up for short periods for a few days now, but only when someone was with me, and I'd been confined to my room. I'd had enough of that. I put on a robe over my nightgown and went downstairs to join the family.
"Bella!" Esme sounded both pleased and shocked to see me in the kitchen. "Shouldn't you still be resting? Let me get Carlisle."
"I'm right here." Carlisle came into the room. "Bella, how are you feeling?"
"Sore, but all right." I sat down at the long table. "I don't want to be in bed anymore. I'm fine. I think everything's healed." Except the pain of losing the baby.
"I'll judge that, if you don't mind. Come with me, please. Esme, you too, if you don't mind. I'll have to examine her."
I rolled my eyes and followed Carlisle back to my room. He had me take off my robe and push up my nightgown, and checked my pelvis to ensure that the broken bones had in fact healed. "Did it bother you to walk up and down the stairs?" he asked.
"No." There had been a little discomfort, but that had felt more like my muscles complaining about not having been used that way for a while.
"All right." Carlisle straightened up. "You'll still need to take it easy, but I'd say you don't need to stay in bed or even in your room now if you'd rather not. You've healed remarkably quickly. In another week or so, you and Edward will be able to resume your, um, marital activities."
My face got warm, and Esme elbowed Carlisle. "Don't embarrass her."
Carlisle laughed. "Sorry, Bella. Go ahead and get dressed, and then you can come back downstairs."
"I'll have a nice breakfast waiting for you," Esme added.
They left the room, and I went to my closet. I hadn't been in real clothes so long I wasn't sure if anything would fit, but I was sick and tired of nightgowns. I chose a pair of jeans that had been a bit loose on me and a shirt that I knew Edward liked me in and went into my bathroom to shower, which I hadn't been allowed to do since the ending of the pregnancy. I'd been dealing with sponge baths for weeks now. Once I felt clean enough, I got out and put on my clothes, then went back downstairs.
True to her word, Esme had covered the table with food. Eggs, bacon, home fries, and biscuits. More food than an entire family could eat, and it was all for me, since vampires didn't eat. That would be a relief once Edward turned me; I would never again have to worry about maintaining my weight. With Esme's cooking, I was lucky I didn't weigh a ton.
"This looks wonderful, Esme, but it's too much," I said. I sat down and served myself some eggs and home fries.
"Oh, I know. I always make too much. But Edward said Jacob phoned earlier and wanted to stop by to see how you're doing, so he can finish what you don't. He's got quite an appetite."
"Yeah." Hearing Jacob's name brought back the conversation Edward and I had had the night before. I still didn't want to think about that, or about the dreams I'd had afterward.
"Is anything wrong, Bella?" Esme was way too in tune to my mood.
"Nothing I want to talk about, thanks." I shoveled a forkful of eggs into my mouth to avoid answering any more questions.
Half an hour later, I was still sitting at the table with a plate of now-cold eggs and home fries when Jacob arrived. His face lit up when Esme ushered him into the kitchen and he saw me at the table. "Bella!" He practically bounded to my side like the dog Edward had called him. "It's so good to see you up and around. Can I have a hug?"
"Absolutely." I stood and wrapped my arms around his waist, which was about as high as I could reach, he'd grown so much since I'd met him. Of course, that was due to his being a werewolf. In his human form, he was pro-basketball-player sized. I felt a little weird with his body against mine after what Edward had suggested, but I pushed that out of my mind. Jacob hadn't had anything to do with that.
"How are you feeling?" He gently lay a huge hand on my cheek. "Are you all right? Is it okay for you to be out of bed?"
"Carlisle gave me a clean bill of health, and I feel fine. I had to get up; I was going stir crazy in that room, even though everyone's been wonderful about entertaining me. But it was time for me to rejoin the world. How's Billy?"
"He's fine, and he told me to tell you he's thinking about you." Jacob disengaged himself from me and sat down. "Mind if I help you finish this? It looks like too much for you."
"It sure is. Help yourself."
"Let me warm that up for you," Esme said. She scooped up the serving platters and popped them into the oven. "I'll come back in a few minutes to take those out. You two go ahead and visit."
She left the room. She and Carlisle, and most of the others, had accepted Jacob as my friend for the most part, despite the feud that had existed between their family and his tribe since decades before I'd been born. But I had the feeling Esme still wasn't totally comfortable having a werewolf in her home.
"So what's been going on?" Jacob asked. "I'm sorry things turned out the way they did. I really am. But I'm glad you're alive and okay. I was scared; we all were."
"I know." That didn't make what Edward and Carlisle had done any better, though.
"Maybe you and Edward can try again. Maybe this was just a fluke."
"No, he won't. He said that a human woman can't survive a pregnancy by a vampire. So if I want to have his baby, I'm out of luck."
"Oh. But there are other ways."
I raised an eyebrow. "Other ways?"
"Yeah. I mean, like you and he could adopt, or you could have a baby some other way. Not with him as the father. I mean..."
His words stumbled to a stop, but I knew exactly what he meant. "He talked to you, didn't he?" I demanded. "Edward talked to you about fathering a child with me!"
"He was freaked out by what was happening to you. He knew you wanted a child, and he thought you were only holding onto the fetus because you wanted a baby so bad. He wanted you to have another alternative."
"And what did you want?"
"I said I couldn't. That it wouldn't be right for him and me to make a decision like that for you. So I guess now he's talked to you about it. He didn't tell you he'd already mentioned it to me?"
"No." Edward would have a hell of a lot to answer for when I saw him. How dare he?
But I knew Jacob was right. Alice had told me how upset Edward had been when he and the others had thought the baby was killing me. He'd probably spoken to Jacob without thinking, out of panic. Not that that made it any better, but at least I could understand it.
Jacob hadn't exactly answered my question, I realized. I'd asked what he wanted; he'd only told me what he'd said to Edward. I wasn't sure why I even wanted to continue the discussion, but curiosity got the better of me. "I know what you told Edward. But what did you want?"
"Bella, don't. Please. I can't answer that."
Esme bustled back into the room and took the food out of the oven. "There we go," she said, setting the platters back on the table. "Nice and warm." She looked at our faces and realized we had something on our minds other than food. "I'll leave you along to talk."
"Thank you, Esme," Jacob said.
She left again, and Jacob served himself a heaping plateful of everything on the table. I picked at the cold food on my own plate, which Esme apparently hadn't noticed when she'd decided to warm things up. "Why can't you answer?" I asked Jacob.
"You and Edward belong together. I hate like hell that you're with that bloodsucker, but I saw while you were... With everything that happened, I could see that he really does love you. I wouldn't have thought a bloodsucker could love anyone, but he does love you."
"Stop calling him that." I was sick of his and Edward's digs at each other. "And what does that have to do with what we're talking about?"
"That's why I can't answer." Jacob stuffed some food into his mouth. Unlike me, he didn't stop talking. "He loves you and you love him."
"Ew, gross! Don't talk with your mouth full!"
He didn't say another word until he'd finished eating. I grew more and more impatient watching him stuff his face, until finally he put down his fork and said, "You really want to know?"
"I think... I think I'd do it. If it was what you really wanted. You're my best friend, Bella. I love you. I'd give you anything you wanted. Even a child."
I was stunned. Of course I'd known how he felt about me, but I hadn't thought his feelings went this deep. And I hadn't thought he'd admit it if they did.
"You know what Edward wants, and you know what I think," he continued. "So what do you think? What do you want?"
"I want time to think." I pushed my plate away. "Thanks for coming to see me today. It's always great to see you. But I'd kind of like to be alone now."
"I understand." He came over to me and scooped me into a hug. "Take care, and don't base your decision on anything except what you want. Edward will just have to deal with whatever you decide. And so will I." He left.
* * * *
For the next few days, I thought. When Edward came home, I didn't get angry with him as I'd planned; I was just quiet, which I think hurt him more than my anger would have. But I didn't have anything to say to him. There was too much going through my mind.
I wanted a baby. I'd never wanted to be a parent before Edward had gotten me pregnant, but now, having had that pregnancy, feeling the baby grow inside me even though it had grown at a ridiculous and harmful rate, I wanted it. I wanted to give birth, to hold the little person that would result.
But I wanted Edward to be the father.
It couldn't happen. I understood that. He and his family wouldn't allow it. That still infuriated me, but I understood that to them, I was more important than a nameless, faceless baby. Their constant referral to it as a "fetus" was enough to prove that. If I did become pregnant again by him, I wouldn't be allowed to keep it.
Did I want a baby badly enough to let Jacob be the father? Was that even fair to him? He would be biologically part of the child, and I at least would want him to be part of the child's life. He was my best friend; he was part of my life, so of course he would be part of the baby's if I had one. But would Edward and the other Cullens allow that? They tolerated Jacob now because of my friendship with him, but would that tolerance extend to letting him visit his biological child?
For nearly a week these thoughts went through my mind, and for that week I barely spoke to Edward and his family. I was polite and civil to them, and I participated in conversations when they made an effort to include me, but I didn't say much and I didn't initiate any conversations myself. It shouldn't have been a surprise when Edward finally came to me one night, after several nights of silently sharing a bed with me now that Carlisle had said I was healed enough, and said, "Bella, we need to talk."
"About what?" As though I didn't know.
He sat on the edge of the bed. "You've been so quiet lately. I'm concerned. We're all concerned. I know losing the fetus was hard for you; is that what's bothering you? Are you still in pain?" He paused. "Or are you still angry with me for what I suggested to you?"
"Yes, no, and yes," I replied. "Jacob came to visit the day you made that proposal."
"I know. Esme told me."
"He said you talked to him about fathering a child with me. You talked to him before I even lost the baby." My voice rose. "How could you do that, Edward? How could you say such a thing to him, especially without knowing what I'd think?"
"I couldn't seem to persuade you that giving up the fetus was best for you. I hoped that he would help me convince you."
"So you asked him to- to- How can you even consider letting someone else do with me what he and I would have to do to make a baby?"
"Bella." He moved over beside me and put an arm around my shoulders. "I don't want to let him make love to you. I'm your husband; that's my place. But I do want you to have a baby if that's what will make you happy, and as that's the one thing I cannot give you myself, I would allow someone else to do it. Jacob and I will never be friends, but I know that he is your friend and I trust him because you do."
"So you'd let him."
"That is the usual way to create a child, yes. If it's what you wanted, I would let him. Is this why you've been so quiet, darling? Have you been thinking about this?"
"Yes. Did you know that he would be willing?"
"He told me that he wouldn't be willing to consider anything that you hadn't had a chance to think about. Did he tell you differently?" He tried to keep his tone casual, but underneath I could tell he was angry about the idea that Jacob might have said something else to me.
"I pushed him for an answer. He said that he didn't want to tell me because he didn't want to come between you and me; he said that he can see how much we love each other and he doesn't want to interfere with that. But he said that if I wanted a child that much, he would do it."
"And do you want a child that badly? If you do, if you want Jacob to father it, I have no objections, though I will remain in the room to be sure he doesn't hurt you during the act."
I hadn't thought of that. Of course Edward would want to protect me. But the idea of having him in the same room, watching while Jacob and I- while Jacob impregnated me, felt strange. How would he feel watching that go on? How would I feel knowing he was there? No. I couldn't do this, no matter how much I might want a baby.
Edward studied me with his golden eyes. "What are you thinking?"
"I'm thinking that you're my husband." I still loved the feel of that word in my mouth. "And I love you, and I don't want to hurt you. I think that you made that offer because you were afraid for me while I was pregnant and because you know that I'm upset about losing your baby, but I don't think you meant it."