The Vibration of Love - Chapter 17 Mamma Mia!
I heard the Aston when it was still several miles away and knew Rosalie had to be behind the wheel. Only a vampire would dare to drive that fast on a country road.
Bella was reciting the alphabet backwards. Why is she blocking me?
I heard Rosalie’s thoughts; Edward, you are so fucked. I can’t wait to see your smug face when you hear what I have to tell everyone. Then she began reciting the Greek alphabet backwards.
“Apparently Rosalie has some interesting news for us,” I said to Carlisle.
A moment later Rosalie burst through Carlisle’s office door with the rest of the family and Stephen trailing behind her.
“Two pieces of interesting news, actually,” she said, looking at me to let me know she’d overheard my comment to Carlisle. “First, she can read minds now, so apparently you are the father, Edward.”
“What do you mean she can read minds?” I demanded.
“She has your gift. She knew what I was thinking when we were in the car.”
I started to leave the room to find Bella when Rosalie stopped me.
“Wait, there’s more. There are two heartbeats,” she said with a smirk.
“What?” The entire family said at the same time.
“You heard me,” she said. “You’re all vampires; you have excellent hearing.”
I looked at Carlisle. This wasn’t a contingency we had considered.
“Carlisle,” Alice began, “does that mean that...”
I cut her off. “Yes, that’s exactly what it means. One baby could be mine and the other could be his.”
“We don’t know that, Edward,” Carlisle said. “I need to examine her. Rose, why did she stay in the car?”
“She wanted me to break the news. She was terrified that someone,” she glared at me, “might overreact. She wants Carlisle to examine her, and she asked that I stay with her and that the rest of you leave the house for awhile.”
“I’m not going anywhere,” I growled.
“Look Casanova,” she glared at me, “the only way I could get her to agree to voluntarily come back here was on the condition that you all leave for awhile. She’s afraid of you, she doesn’t trust Carlisle and she thinks Esme hates her. She just found out she can read minds, that she’s pregnant with twins and at least one of them was not fathered by her husband. Oh, and let’s not forget that she’s been bouncing between realities and bodies for weeks now. So give her a fucking break you asshole!”
“That’s enough,” Carlisle said, leaving no room for argument. All of you go for a hunt except Rose. Don’t come back until I call you.”
I met his eyes. His thoughts said, I’m sorry, Edward, but Rosalie is right; we must respect her wishes.
I nodded reluctantly, and followed the rest of my family into the woods.
I ran next to Alice and asked her if she could see anything.
No, Edward, her thoughts said, revealing far more exasperation with me than her voice ever could.
I can only see when someone makes a decision. Since fetuses don’t make decisions, I can’t see them, now, can I? She glared at me and then took off in the opposite direction with Jasper.
Rosalie opened the car door. “The coast is clear. Carlisle ordered them all to go hunting, including Edward. Are you OK?” She asked. “You look awful.”
“I feel like I look. Crying like this always gives me a bad headache.”
“Hopefully Carlisle can help. Do you want me to carry you up there?” She asked.
I smiled at the thought of this beautiful, doll-like woman carrying me up the stairs. I knew she could easily carry the car upstairs, but it still didn’t compute across the synapses in my brain.
“I’m OK to walk, but thank you anyway,” I said.
We walked into Carlisle’s office; he took one look at me and said, “Headache?”
“I can give you Tylenol, but you shouldn’t take anything stronger than that,” he said.
There was a blur; he disappeared for a moment and then quickly reappeared holding two Tylenol and a glass of water.
“Thank you,” I said as I took them from him.
“Do you want to lay down?” He asked.
I nodded and lay down on the exam table. Rosalie covered me with a blanket.
Carlisle looked down at me. “Bella, I’m so sorry I betrayed your trust. I overreacted to the news of your pregnancy, and my behavior was completely out of line. I don’t deserve your forgiveness, but I give you my word that I will never again attempt to do anything against your will or Bella Swan’s will. I hope you will let me examine you today so we can begin gathering information about the babies that will help us to best care for you, Bella Swan and them.”
“Thank you, Carlisle. I accept your apology. I was out of line earlier too. I guess double pregnancy hormones can create quite an emotional upheaval.”
You weren’t out of line. They deserved it, I heard in Rosalie’s thoughts.
I smiled at her to let her know I’d heard her opinion.
“Bella, I’d like to start with an ultrasound if that’s OK?” Carlisle said.
Several minutes later, I heard a heartbeat over the monitor. Tears of happiness instantly filled my eyes.
I smiled at Carlisle. “That makes this all so much more real. Can you see anything?”
He nodded. “You are indeed pregnant with twins.” I could tell by his strained look that he was concerned.
“What is it, Carlisle?” I asked.
“Bella, based on their size, one of the babies appears to be human and the other a vampire.”
I fought back the tears since my head was already killing me.
Rosalie squeezed my hand.
I took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
“Other than the complications inherent in having two fathers who live in two different realities, what are the issues we’re dealing with?”
“Bella, I’m sure this has never happened before...in any reality. So I can only surmise what I think might occur. After you told me what happened to the fictional Bella, I did some research, and you were right. There is a being in the Amazon who is half vampire and half human; he was born to a human mother and had a vampire father. However, the mother...”
I interrupted, “She died giving birth.”
“But the fictional Bella survived,” I said.
“If we were dealing with one child and one mother, I would feel more confident that I could safely take care of them. But there are too many variables in this situation for me to even remotely feel confident in my ability to take care of any of you.”
He paused when he saw the tears well in my eyes again. He took my hand and continued. “Bella, I believe the most likely scenario with the babies is that the vampire child will eventually absorb so many of the available nutrients that the human baby won’t survive.”
I closed my eyes, trying to hold back the avalanche of tears and pain.
Carlisle paused again, waiting until I could listen.
When I opened my eyes, he said,
“My biggest concern is for you. Obviously, as soon as you shift back to your reality, you need to be examined by a doctor. Have them perform a vaginal ultrasound and see if they can determine if you are carrying twins and if the sacks are the same size. If one is significantly larger than the other, then we have to assume your body and our Bella’s body are going through the identical scenario.”
He took an unnecessary breath and exhaled slowly.
“Bella, if that is the case, you must terminate the pregnancy in your world.”
I started to shake my head, but he continued.
“I know you are very opposed to this, but you told us the only way the fictional Bella survived was by being turned into one of us. She also had two vampires with medical degrees monitoring her pregnancy and who were available to deliver the baby. There is no one available in your world to help you. You have no choice. If you allow the pregnancy to continue, you won’t be alive to mother the children you already have.”
Sobs racked my body. I had just heard one of my baby’s heartbeats. How could he ask me to kill it?
I ran ahead of my family and then circled back to the house. I stayed just inside the tree line so I was out of site but close enough to monitor the thoughts and voices of those inside.
If I still had a beating heart, it surely would have shattered listening to Bella’s sobs. I would give anything to take away her pain.
When Bella collapsed, I carried her back to our bed and cradled her in my arms. I ran my fingers along her beautiful face. She looked so peaceful, but I knew that in some other reality, she was in torment. I would give anything to end the suffering this unbearable situation was causing her.
The moment I had that thought, I felt a surge of electricity from her body and she was suddenly clutching me and gasping for air while her body convulsed with sobs.
“Bella, what’s wrong? What is it? Please tell me!”
She buried her face in my chest as the sobs continued to rack her body. I held her tightly and felt tears stinging my eyes. I was in agony knowing she was in so much pain, and I could do nothing to help her.
Her anguished sobs finally started to subside; she raised her tortured eyes to meet mine. Her voice was so raspy from crying, I could barely hear her.
“The other Bella is pregnant with twins. One is...”
She buried her head against my chest again.
“It’s OK,” I said. “You need to try to calm down first. Breathe, baby,” I whispered in her ear.
She took several deep breaths while I showered her with soft kisses and told her repeatedly how much I loved her.
She exhaled slowly and looked at me again.
“Rob, one of the babies is yours, and one is his.”
“How do they know that?” I asked her, desperate for her to tell me there was still some shred of doubt.
“Carlisle did an ultrasound. One of the babies is much bigger than the other.”
I took her face in my hands and kissed her gently. “Bella, just because that’s what’s happening with the other Bella, it doesn’t mean that’s what’s happening to you. Vampires don’t exist in this reality.”
“I want to believe that, but a few weeks ago, I would have said vampires don’t exist in any reality.”
I brushed away some of her tears and kissed her again.
“I heard his heartbeat. I was so happy to hear that fast little flutter, and then Carlisle told me I’d have to kill him.”
She fell against me in despair, too exhausted to shed any more tears.
“What do you mean, sweetheart?”
“He said I need to get an ultrasound immediately. If I am pregnant with twins and one baby is larger than the other, I...”
She couldn’t say the words out loud.
“He’s worried about the baby hurting you?” I asked her.
“He said none of us would survive. The vampire would kill me and the other baby.”
A wave of nausea hit me at the thought of a vampire child killing my wife and unborn baby. I took a deep breath and tried to relax. I had to hold it together for Bella’s sake.
“Honey, it’s still the middle of the night. We can’t get to a doctor for several more hours, and you can’t keep torturing yourself like this. The ultrasound may very well show one healthy human baby.”
Her grief stricken eyes sent a searing pain through my heart. But she nodded and rested her head against my chest. I wrapped her in my arms and continued to murmur how much I loved her until I felt her relax and heard her breathing become soft and regular.
Thank God, she’s asleep. She’s been through so much already. She is so strong, but I don’t know how much more she can take.
I woke up and saw my mother sitting on the loveseat in our room sipping coffee and staring at me intently.
“Hi,” I managed even though my tongue felt like it was wrapped in cotton.
She poured a cup of coffee from a carafe next to the sofa, added cream, and handed it to me.
“You look like you need this,” she said.
“Mom, for the first time in my life since I started drinking coffee, that smells gross to me. Do you think you could bring me some green tea and some Tylenol?”
“Of course, sweetheart. Rob is giving the kids breakfast. He called me this morning and asked me to get you an emergency OB appointment. I called Margaret, and she’s going to meet you at her office at ten o’clock.”
“Oh, that’s right, it’s Saturday. Thank you so much, Mom. This can’t wait.”
She ran her hand across my forehead. “I know. I’m so sorry you are going through this. I’ll take the kids back to our house. Kate will go to the studio with Barry and won’t even know you’re gone.”
“She’s just like I was, isn’t she?” I asked.
“Oh, she is far worse,” my mother said laughing as she headed downstairs.
A few minutes later, Rob walked in with a cup of tea, a glass of water and two Tylenol.
“So all the partying you did last night is catching up with you now?” He smiled as he handed me the Tylenol.
“I wish,” I said. “What did Mom tell the doctor was the reason for our visit?”
“She said you were pregnant and having incapacitating headaches.”
“That’s very true at the moment. Could you please schedule the limo. I need your arms around me as much as possible.”
He nodded and picked up the phone.
After he hung up, I asked, “How much time do I have?”
“It’s 8:30. Do you want me to draw a bath for you?”
“I don’t know what I did in my last lifetime to deserve you, but I must have been pretty amazing. A bath would be perfect, thank you.”
I shut my eyes and tried to relax and hoped the Tylenol would kick in soon.
By the time the tub was full, my head felt a little bit better.
Rob put his arm around me, and I leaned against him as I shuffled into the bathroom. As I slipped into the water, he sat on the edge behind me and rubbed my shoulders.
“Mmm, I was definitely a Saint in my last life. You are the best.” I suddenly remembered something. “Rob, think of a number between one and a hundred.”
“Why?” He wanted to know.
“Just humor me, and then I’ll tell you.”
“OK, I’m thinking of a number,” he said.
I closed my eyes and concentrated. I didn’t hear anything except the quiet whir of the air conditioner.
“Thank God! I have no idea what number you were thinking of.”
He laughed. “Why would you?”
“Apparently the vampire baby that Bella Swan is carrying inherited Edward’s gifts. I could read minds the last time I was there.”
“Are you kidding?” He asked, incredulously.
“No, it was very weird. I don’t know how Edward manages to stay sane.”
“I can’t imagine. It’s hard enough dealing with the constant stares I get. If I had to hear the thoughts that went with them, I’m sure I’d go postal.”
He gently placed a kiss on my head. “Honey, last night, when you told me what happened, you referred to the baby whose heartbeat you heard as, ‘him.’ Was Carlisle able to tell it was a boy?”
“Did I say that?”
“Mmhmm,” he replied.
“I don’t know why I said that. Carlisle only told me one baby was bigger than the other.” I paused and put my hands on my stomach. “But I think at least one baby is a boy.”
“Why?” He asked.
“I just know, but I don’t know how I know. Listen to me, I’m not even coherent.”
He laughed. “Just relax. I’ll go take a shower in the kids’ bathroom.”
“I wish I felt well enough to join you,” I said.
“Me too. I love you.” He kissed me and headed off to take his shower.
The water was so relaxing, I drifted off to sleep again.
In my dream, Rob and I were on the beach with the kids. I was holding a little girl who was the miniature female version of Rob but with my long dark hair that fell in perfect ringlets across her shoulders. Kate came running up to me.
“Mommy, you brought me a sister!”
“Yes, Kate, this is our little angel.”
I looked at Rob and gasped. He was holding a little boy who looked like the male version of me except his skin was pure white and sparkling in the sunlight.
“And here is our little devil,” Rob said smiling.
I screamed and sat up so quickly that water splashed all over the floor. Rob came running in.
“What’s wrong? Are you OK?”
“Yes, it was just a nightmare,” I said.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“I’m afraid if I do, I’ll start crying and never stop, so not now,” I replied.
He helped me out of the tub and wrapped a towel around me and then pulled me to his chest. “No matter what happens today, we will find a way to get through it.”
I just nodded and hoped he was right.
Margaret was a good friend of my mother’s. She was currently performing a vaginal ultrasound, which wasn’t the most comfortable experience I’d had, but it beat natural childbirth by a long shot.
I saw her smile. “Well, I see why your headaches might be so severe. She looked at me and then Rob who was sitting next to me holding my hand. You two are going to have twins.
Rob squeezed my hand, and I met his eyes. I couldn’t hold back the tears that welled.
Margaret handed me a tissue. “I know, it can be overwhelming when you first hear such shocking news.”
Hah! I thought. Twins are not shocking news. Vampire twins are shocking news.
“Margaret, I kind of...had a feeling, I guess, that I was going to have twins.”
“That doesn’t surprise me, Bella. Many women have told me they knew they were going to have twins, especially when they’ve experienced other pregnancies first. Two babies means double the hormones, which most likely explains why your headaches are so bad.”
Two babies, two realities, two fathers, two mothers…If I weren’t so miserable, I’d be laughing at the absurdity of it all.
“I am really worried about whether or not they are OK,” I told her. “Is their size normal?”
“Well, it’s hard to say. Since you were still nursing Jordan and your periods were erratic, we can’t be sure when they were conceived. But let me measure them and see what we can figure out.”
I saw her crease her forehead with concern. “Rob, will you hand Bella the calendar on the counter over there?”
Rob reached for the calendar and gave it to me.
“Bella, double check the dates. When was your last period?”
I counted back. “Ten weeks ago,” I said.
“Was the flow normal as compared to before you were pregnant and not nursing?”
“No, it was light,” I replied.
“Then based on this one baby’s size, I’d say that what you experienced ten weeks ago wasn’t a period but was implantation bleeding. That can happen when an embryo attaches to the uterine wall.”
“What do you mean, ‘one baby’s size?’ What about the other baby?” I asked; I heard the hysteria in my voice and felt Rob squeeze my hand again.
“I’m trying to get a good reading on him or her but its hiding behind its sibling.”
“I have to know, Margaret,” I sobbed.
She looked at me with compassionate eyes that said she had seen hormonal, hysterical and irrational mothers hundreds of times.
“Bella, I’m sure the baby is OK,” she smiled reassuringly.
“Margaret, I can’t leave here without knowing if they are the same size. I know it sounds crazy, but I...” I searched for some white lie. “I had a dream that they weren’t OK, and it felt so real, that I just really need to know.”
“I’ll do my best, Bella.”
The next chapter is titled, “Sex, Lies and Videotape.”
Sex, Lies, and Videotape is a 1989 independent film that brought director Steven Soderbergh to prominence. It tells the story of a man who films women discussing their sexuality, and his impact on the relationship of a troubled married couple.
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