A/N: While co-hosting the Naughty or Nice Twilight Christmas Contest, this longtime, fandom reader was encouraged by my co-host, Chrissie and our Christmas ghost, Sri to write something.
After writing so many prompts for the contest, I started to wonder, if I had it in me to do something that I had admired from so many writers for years. You see, I’m more of a picture gal. I love how a picture tells a story. However, an idea took root, and I sat down to see if I could put together anything that wasn’t 100 words or less.
A couple of days later, I had an outline and almost 10k words. It’s taken a few weeks to get it in shape but with purplec305 as my pre-reader and Midnight Cougar as my beta, I have one more Christmas story to share with you. Many thanks to both of them for working their Christmas magic. I hope you enjoy my first fanfic. Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Summary: This Christmas, all Edward and Bella need is a little hope. AH
Twilight – Rated: M – English – Romance – Chapters: 1 – Words: 10,963 – Published: Dec 22, 2017 – Bella, Edward – Complete
Disclaimer: Twilight and its inclusive material is copyright to Stephenie Meyer. Original creation, including but not limited to plot and characters, is copyright to the author of this story. No copyright infringement is intended.
“I think that’s probably going to do it, Edward,” Jasper tells me. “I don’t think we are going to get any more takers on trees tonight.”
“Me either.” I finish loading a seven-foot evergreen tree, strapping it to the top of our final customer’s car for the evening.
There’s a light covering of snow on the ground, and it looks like powdery flakes are starting to fall again. It’s cold enough to keep the snow from melting, which means a white Christmas for us.
“Only a couple left this year.” Jasper smiles. “My budgeting is getting better.”
I smile in his direction and wave to the car that finally pulls away. It’s after 6:00 p.m., and I can’t wait to get home. I have been working here with Jasper since 7:00 a.m. this morning at his Christmas tree lot just outside Forks.
Jasper Whitlock is my boss and a couple years older than I am. He owns a landscaping business, but during the winter months, he expands to plowing snow, spreading salt on roads when we have ice on the way, and selling Christmas trees.
I’m just happy to have a job and steady work. I have a pregnant fiancée at home and we need to save every cent we make.
As Jasper shuts everything down and closes up shop, I glance over at the remaining handful of trees. I almost ask Jasper about maybe a deal on a tree to take home and surprise Bella, but we don’t have any extra money for that kind of thing. Unfortunately, it’s no tree for us this year. Maybe we will be in a better position next year. Besides, we can’t afford lights or ornaments either.
Bella and I agreed to no presents, but I have been working on something for her for a while. A little time here and there on my lunch breaks, and I finished it earlier this week. I found a discarded box and wrapped it up with some newspaper to keep it safe. I’m not great at wrapping presents, but I finished it with brown paper and some twine that we had here at the tree lot. I hope she likes it.
Jasper slaps me on the back. “What did you get for Bella this year?”
“Oh, we decided not to exchange presents.”
I continue, “Money is tight, and with the new baby due any day, we have to cut out extra spending. I wish I had enough to get her a new winter coat, as she needs it.”
Jasper ponders my response and is careful with his next words. “So, did you two end up setting a date for the wedding?”
I shake my head. “No. I thought we would already be married by now. More than anything, I want Bella and the baby to have my name before the birth. I want her to be my wife. After I proposed back in October, we drove up to Port Angeles and applied for a marriage license immediately.”
“Well, then, what’s the hold up? It didn’t arrive?” he wonders aloud.
“No. That’s not it. The license arrived about three days later, but we just haven’t managed to save up enough money for the ceremony part. A Justice of the Peace will cost us another $100.” I shake my head, discouraged. “Even worse, we paid $52 for the license and it will expire in the next few days, as it is only good for sixty days. I have no idea what to do, but I think I’m going to have to come up with another $52 at some point. I guess, maybe some time after Bella gives birth.” My words sound as dejected as I feel.
“Well, I’m sure it will all work out. It always does.” Jasper gives me an encouraging smile.
I shrug. “I hope so.”
“Have a goodnight, and tell Bella, Merry Christmas.” Jasper goes to open his truck, and I head toward mine.
“Thanks, Jasper. Merry Christmas to you and Alice.”
He climbs into the cab of his truck, as I open the door of mine with a loud creak.
“Will we see you at church in the morning?” he asks.
I grin. “I’m sure Bella won’t want to miss it.”
“Okay, see you in the morning.” He slams the door shut and starts up his truck.
I give him a final wave and climb into my old beater. It isn’t the greatest looking truck, but at least it runs. Bella doesn’t seem to mind it. For the past couple months, I have had to lift her in and out of it, as the baby has grown bigger.
I bought the truck when I got this job with Jasper three years ago. My buddy, Jacob Black, is a mechanic and fixed it up as a project with his kid. He sold it to me for a couple thousand dollars, and that wiped out what little savings I had managed to stash away. However, it gets me to where I need to be and that’s all that matters.
It doesn’t take long before I’m pulling into my parking spot outside our apartment. Emmett McCarty owns the building. He is a friend of Jasper’s and mine. Bella and I were lucky to find this place. It’s two bedrooms and one bathroom. It’s older, and a little run-down, but I feel we are safe here. And it’s fairly affordable. I remember to grab her gift from the truck and tuck it inside my coat as I head to the front door.
Bella worked during her first two trimesters cleaning rooms at the Forks Hotel during the day, and she would pick up some evening shifts at the Forks Diner, as well.
However, she has really been miserable during this last trimester. The baby is very active, and everything seems to be a battle. From sleeping to certain smells, it seems she’s easy to trigger. She’s probably thinner than she should be, as she’s all baby. She tells me she’s fine, but I suspect she’s not eating enough. If her doctor has complained, she hasn’t shared that with me.
I unlock the front door, and I’m immediately enticed by the most delicious smells filling the small space.
Bella has made our apartment cozy. She has an excellent eye for finding furnishings that just work. Saturday mornings, she spends with her friend Alice Whitlock, Jasper’s wife, scouring garage sales and flea markets for gently used items. We have a compact living room that holds a comfortable couch, my favorite recliner, and small but efficient stand with a television that Emmett gave us.
There isn’t a fireplace. So, we don’t have any Christmas stockings to hang. Bella has taken the handful of Christmas cards we’ve received and put them up on the wall in a Christmas tree shape. She says it’s festive.
I remove her gift from my coat and hide it behind the cushions of the couch. Turning the corner, I find her in our galley kitchen. It’s very dated-looking with dark wood cabinets and green countertops that have seen better days. The appliances are old and white, but certainly still functional, which is fine for us.
Bella is an excellent cook. I’m always amazed at what she is able to churn out from such a tiny space. We have a little wooden table with two sturdy chairs for sharing meals together. Like tonight.
Tonight, she has outdone herself. There’s Christmas music playing in the background from a local radio station, and I’m thankful for the warmth of our home. I’ve been out in the cold all day, and it feels wonderful to start to thaw out finally.
While she is still waddling around the kitchen, I can see all my favorites on display: fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, macaroni & cheese, and homemade rolls.
She hasn’t noticed me, so I walk up behind her and slide my cold hands around her and our baby. She immediately leans back into my chest as I place a kiss on her neck.
“Merry Christmas, sweetheart.”
She turns in my arms, smiles, and gives me a quick peck on the lips. “Merry Christmas. Are you cold?”
I smile. “I’m thawing out. It’s cozy in here and smells delicious.”
“I hope you’re hungry because I made a bunch.”
“I am. How are you feeling today?”
“Really good. I feel like I have lots of energy.” Her smile widens. “Or maybe it’s just the spirit of Christmas.”
“Are we about ready?”
Bella starts to gather dishes together filled with food. “Yes.”
“I’ll go wash up and do a quick change of my clothes.”
“Good. I’ll put everything on the table.”
It doesn’t take long before I’m cleaned up and changed, and we are sitting across from each other with my plate filled to the brim. I notice hers isn’t very full.
“Aren’t you hungry?”
She smiles. “I’ve kind of been nibbling all day long while I cooked and baked. So, I might have spoiled my appetite a bit. However, the smaller amounts of food have made my heartburn better.”
“That’s good. Were you able to take a nap today?” I ask between bites. I may let loose a few appreciative moans, because when I look back at Bella, she has a big grin on her face.
“It’s good?” As if she even needs to ask.
“Sweetheart, it’s the best.”
She loves my praise and goes back to answer my original question.
“Yes, I tried to nap for a little while this afternoon, but it turned out to be just me with my feet up. I couldn’t fall asleep, because this little one doesn’t ever rest.” She rubs her hand soothingly over her belly.
I sigh joyfully. I’m thrilled Bella is pregnant. It was a shock at first, though.
We met during the spring break of her senior year in high school at a bonfire up on First Beach, which is located at La Push. My eyes never left her that night, and I knew I had to find a way to talk to her. She was simply stunning with the wind blowing through her dark brown hair. Her eyes twinkled in the fire light, but it was her brilliant smile and carefree laugh that drew me to her. I was mesmerized, and immediately under her spell. With the help of some local moonshine shared among friends, I finally found the courage and made my way to her side of the fire.
We talked, laughed, and quickly forgot those around us. After a while, I suggested taking a walk along the beach, and she happily agreed. We walked hand in hand before stopping and sharing a first kiss that led to many.
We lowered ourselves to the sand and she sat on my lap facing me. It was colder away from the fire, and I was perfectly fine with the heat we were generating. As the waves crashed to the shore, we found that our kisses weren’t enough, leaving us wanting more.
Soon, hands explored new areas, buttons were undone, and zippers were unzipped. Minimal clothing was shed, and when we were finally connected together, it felt like nothing I had ever experienced. The air surrounding us felt charged, electrified, as we chased our release.
Unfortunately, it was over too soon for me. We clung to each other, basking in the afterglow, until she began to shiver. As we redressed, I hoped it wasn’t the end for us, and asked if she would like to go out on a date.
I’m happy to say that date led to many more.
In May, we found out Bella was almost two months pregnant. She hadn’t been feeling well, but she figured it was just a stomach bug. There was the possibility of her being pregnant since we hadn’t used protection that first time on the beach. But she had assured me it wasn’t likely to happen due to her irregular cycles.
On one of our many dates, we drove to the Drive-in movie theater in Shelton. During that three-hour drive, I could tell Bella was worried about the possibility of being pregnant. She had brought it up a week prior since her ‘stomach bug’ still had not subsided.
On instinct, I pulled into a drug store, and she bought a couple pregnancy tests. As the beginning credits began to roll, Bella headed to the nearest restroom, clutching the tests to her chest. My eyes stayed glued to the bathroom door. The minutes ticking by slowly, as I waited for her return.
It seemed to take forever until she made her way back to my truck. She climbed in and set the pregnancy tests on the dash. We sat holding hands waiting for the results to show.
I wasn’t sure who was more nervous, but the positive results on both tests confirmed my suspicions. While we were both in shock, once mine started to wear off, I was excited at the possibility of a son or daughter with Bella. We could be a family. Something I always wanted. I tried to contain my building excitement on the long drive back, and held Bella’s hand while waiting for her to start a conversation.
After an hour of silence, she asked what I thought. I told her I was happy and couldn’t wait to have a child with her. She gave me a slight smile and continued to stare out the window.
Eventually, her shock melted away, and she began to wonder what we should do. I told her I thought she should graduate, then we would move in together. I wanted to start my life with her as soon as she was ready. I could tell she still had doubts and waited for her to voice them.
Finally, she asked me, “What about love?”
I was surprised by her question, and immediately squashed all her insecurities by telling her I loved her and had been in love with her since that first night of the bonfire. I watched as my words lowered her walls, and with a few more assurances from me about the baby, she became as excited as I was.
My memories of our early days together always leave me thankful and full of appreciation for the woman who has changed my life. I replay Bella’s words in my head and worry about her being on her feet all day cooking.
“Are your feet swollen?”
“A little, but I’ll put them up later.”
I look down to find my plate empty. Bella is up and out of her spot to go back to the kitchen. I wonder what she is up to when she returns holding a cake plate.
She shrugs. “I know it’s kind of a silly tradition from my family, but as a child, I always liked the idea of celebrating Jesus’s birthday with a cake.”
I smile. “I think traditions are wonderful, and I can’t wait to have many more with you and our new little one.” She cuts slices of cake for both of us, and I greedily dig into my piece.
She returns my smile. “We might have a new birthday to celebrate soon,” she says, as she takes a bite.
The fork pauses midway to my mouth. Concern covers my face. “Are you having any pains?”
She shakes her head. “Nothing but the usual discomfort.”
I reach out and squeeze her hand. “Thank you for this meal. You spoil me with your cooking, but I think this might be the best one yet.” I bring the back of her hand to my lips and kiss it gently.
I look at her face, and I can tell something is bothering her.
“What is it?” I ask, hoping it isn’t the baby.
“I have a confession.” She looks uneasy and pauses choosing her words carefully. “I know we said we wouldn’t exchange gifts, but…” Her eyes plead with mine. “It’s our first Christmas together, and I might have put together a gift for you.”
A smile breaks wide across my face. “Oh sweetheart, I know money is tight and we are watching every penny in anticipation of the little one’s arrival. However…” I pause. “I have the same confession.”
Her smile matches mine. “I have a gift for you, too. Let’s go sit on the couch so you will be more comfortable and exchange them.”
I move to the couch, while she goes down the hall and into the new baby’s bedroom. When she’s out of sight, I pull my gift from behind the couch cushions and set it on the coffee table. She waddles toward me with a square-shaped, wrapped gift.
She places it next to my gift. I help her sit, and once she is settled, I lean in to give her a kiss on the cheek. I clear my throat before handing her the package. “Merry Christmas, sweetheart.”
Bella grins at me as she tears off the makeshift bow and wrapping paper. She opens the box and unwraps the newspaper from the object. I hear her gasp, and her eyes, glistening with tears, meet mine.
“Um…I hope you like it,” I stutter. I take her hand, squeezing it gently and continue. “I made it… carved it myself.” I pause, waiting for any kind of response. Still nothing, so I continue. “Mostly during my lunch breaks at work.” I clear my throat again.
“When we found out you were pregnant, I was thrilled, and the next day, I went back to First Beach on my own. You know, where we…”
She nods and rubs her belly.
I go on. “I was sitting on a huge piece of driftwood, watching the waves crash to shore, and letting it all sink in. It was amazing how my life… our lives… could change so quickly. I picked up a piece of driftwood and thought I might try to carve something for you. You know, to keep in our home to remind us of where we started.”
A tear rolls down her cheek, and I wipe it away. I know she’s emotional, but I just want to get this out. “I drove around for weeks, trying to think what I would carve, looking at it often. I finally decided it looked almost like a feather already. So, I just continued with that thought until it was what you see now.”
She’s looking at it more closely.
“Um… feathers represent thankfulness and appreciation, and well, I couldn’t be more thankful for anyone else in my life but you, Bella. I appreciate every single day we have together, and I know these days are a gift I won’t ever take for granted. Feathers also represent fertility, and well…”
We both get huge grins with that. She finds her voice. “Definitely not a problem for us.”
“I agree. I also thought it kind of represented something like a quill and ink that a writer might use. I was thinking that someday you will be able to realize your dream to be a writer—”
She launches herself at me and a sob escapes her. She clings to me, and I soothingly rub her back.
It isn’t long before she attempts a reply. “Oh, Edward.” She pulls back with tears wetting her beautiful face.
“Are you upset?” I ask, slightly confused.
“No, not at all. Happy tears. These are happy tears.”
I wipe away her tears with my thumbs as I cradle her face and plant a sweet kiss on her gorgeous lips.
She grins. “This is amazing. I’m so overwhelmed. Thank you. I will treasure this forever.”
I kiss her two more times, then she grabs the present from the coffee table and sets it in my lap.
I unwrap the box and open it up to find a photo of when we first met that night at First Beach staring up at me. We have matching smiles and our eyes are twinkling with the same excitement. My arm is around her, and she is nestled into the perfect spot next to me where I knew she would fit forever.
I look back up at her unsure face. “It looks like we both were thinking along the same lines. We are all about our beautiful beginnings.”
She smiles. “Take it out and look at it.”
It’s not a framed photo but the cover to a photo album. My eyes seek hers.
“Open it,” she says with worry in her voice.
I do, and I’m amazed at what she has created. In addition to the photo on the cover of where we began, the pages are filled with our memories together. From our first date at the diner where we shared burgers and fries, to our Drive-in movie date that sealed our future together. It was after that date when we found out we were going to be parents. There are pictures of us from her graduation and from when we moved into our current apartment together.
The photos of us with Jasper, Alice, Emmett, and Rosalie, Emmett’s wife, are some of my favorites. They have all helped us make this life together. There are a few from the church barbeque, when we met Pastor Carlisle Cullen and his wife Esme. They have been positive, kind, and generous to us at every turn. Bella included a recent photo of us helping serve Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless. An event Esme organizes every year.
I turn the page and find the reason for it all: an ultrasound photo of our baby at twenty weeks. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find out the sex of our baby during that visit. So, we have decided to wait and find out when Bella gives birth. I’m not really rooting for one or the other. I just want Bella and the baby to be healthy without any complications.
I move on to the remaining pages and find them to be empty. Maybe I have been too quiet in my perusal of the photos, because Bella speaks up.
“Um, I didn’t spend much on the album. I found it on clearance, then Alice let me use her computer and printer to print out the photos from my camera. You know the one I got from my parents at graduation?” She’s nervous.
Her parents divorced when Bella was young. She lived with her mom, Renee, for a while. However, her mom remarried and started traveling a lot with Bella’s new step-dad. Bella didn’t like the constant changes and moving around. So, she decided to stay permanently with her dad, Charlie Swan. He lives here in Forks and just so happens to be Forks’ Police Chief.
Charlie Swan. Not exactly my biggest fan for knocking up his baby girl. However, Bella informed him “it takes two to tango,” and she has zero regrets. It was quite a first meeting. Our interactions are usually five words or less. That’s fine. He will learn I’m here to stay and not going anywhere.
The impact of her gift is slowly hitting me, and I’m not sure I can speak around the lump in my throat.
She continues. “I left the rest of the pages empty. Then we can add more memories of our journey together. I think that maybe in the future, you might be able to finish high school, then we will have your graduation photo, as well.” She smiles.
“OK,” is all I manage to respond. I dropped out of high school at age sixteen to take care of my mom, who was diagnosed too late with breast cancer. She didn’t have anyone else. My father walked out on us when I was young. I was too young even to remember him. So, it was always just the two of us taking care of each other, which I did until the end. Her end.
In my despair at losing her, Jasper and Emmett stepped in and helped me figure out my new reality. They were older than I was in high school, but we all lived near each other growing up and always spent time together. I lived with Emmett for a while, then Jasper offered me a job on his crew, as he was just starting his landscape company then. He mentioned me getting my high school diploma once and said it would be a step toward having my own crew in the future.
All of it would mean more money for our new, growing family, which is definitely a necessity. I want to give Bella and the baby so much more. They mean the world to me, and I will forever be focused on their happiness.
I’m pulled from my thoughts, as she shifts next to me.
“So… do you like it?”
How could she ever think I wouldn’t love this gift? She has given me something I haven’t had in a long time: a family, and more importantly, a future. With her.
“Oh, Bella. This is incredible. I can’t wait to add more photos to the pages that remain in here.”
She sighs in relief at my words.
I lean in and give her a not-so-quick kiss on those full, plump lips. We finally break away, both of us gasping for breath, and I rest my forehead on hers.
“I was thinking you might like to get out of the house for a little while, since you have been in here cooking all day. Maybe enjoy some fresh air? We could take a drive around town and look at all the Christmas lights?”
She leans back and smiles. “That would be great. We need something to cool you off, or I’m starting to doubt there will ever by a time when I’m not pregnant around you.” She laughs.
I stand and help her up from the couch. “That would be fine by me. You are the most beautiful pregnant woman I have ever seen in my life. And I certainly love the process of getting you pregnant.” I grin and waggle my eyebrows, shifting my eyes to her full breasts.
She returns a grin of her own. “I know, Casanova. Maybe we can do a little practicing when we get back. At this point, my doctor said it might get my labor going. So, I’m certainly interested in giving it a try and meeting our little one soon.”
I lean down for another kiss. “Me, too.” And gently rub her belly.
We manage to find shoes, and I help her with them, as she can no longer reach her feet. She claims she doesn’t need a jacket; that she is hot, but I know it is too cold outside for her to go without at least something. I put one of mine on her with much protest before shutting her up with another kiss.
“Humor me. Okay? I’m just trying to take care of you both the best way I know how.”
She reluctantly agrees, and we make our way out the front door. I lock up and tell her to wait for me because it could be slick and icy. You just never know around here, and I don’t want her falling.
After I catch up with her, I lift her and place her as delicately as possible into the passenger seat. I make my way around to the driver’s side of my truck. We head through some of the more well-off neighborhoods around town. There are lights everywhere. It is quite the spectacle, as we follow behind other slow-moving vehicles enjoying all the bright, twinkling colors of the season.
I hold her hand and mentally make plans that next year we will have a tree with lights and decorations. It will be our baby’s first Christmas, and I want to give them more than I’ve been able to this year.
Bella rolls down the window a bit, and I squeeze her hand. I don’t think there is a much happier place right now than the cab of my truck. I bring the back of her hand to my lips and put a kiss there, right next to her engagement ring. I never told her, nor do I think she knows that I pawned my guitar, so I could buy it for her. I’ll keep that secret for as long as possible.
We tour through a few more streets, and finally, we decide to head back home.
As I’m helping her out of the truck, she asks, “Do you think the truck will be okay for the baby?”
“I don’t see why not. There’s a strap in the middle seat that will hold down the car seat. Everything should be fine.”
“Do you think I should reconsider the whole diaper thing and use cloth diapers? It could save us money.” She doesn’t wait for my reply. “Or maybe we should have bought a different crib? What if the baby doesn’t like it, or it’s too big?”
“Hey, we are doing what’s best for us. We might make mistakes, but what new parents don’t make their fair share? And the baby won’t care about the crib, just sleeping in it.” I try to comfort her, as we make our way back inside our house.
“You’re right.” She sighs. “I’m so lucky I have you to help me through all this. It’s incredibly scary. I mean, what are we doing bringing a child into this crazy, mixed up world?”
“I’m sure all parents, new and seasoned, have thought that from time to time, but we always have faith things will get better.”
“And love.” She grins, as I close the front door. “We have lots of love.”
“We do.” I wrap my arms around her and hold her close to me. I kiss the top of her head. “We have lots and lots of love. I love you so much, Bella.”
She turns her face up to mine. “I love you too, Edward. I know it’s hard, and we are struggling every month, but I know we will find a way to make it all work.”
“We will.” I go to capture her mouth again with a little more intensity this time, as one hand finds its way into her hair, cradling her head to me. My other hand goes lower and cups some of my favorite assets of hers. I give her ass a squeeze when she pulls away to break off our kiss.
“Maybe we should move this into the bedroom?” she asks, barely above a whisper.
I grin. “I’ll be wherever you need me to be. Are you sure it’s okay for the baby?”
“Yes, now stop worrying.”
Funny, wasn’t she just the one worrying about everything?
She grabs my hand and leads me down the short hallway to our bedroom, then turns to face me once she’s near the bed.
I hold her head in my hands and begin to place gentle kisses all over her face as my mouth moves toward her neck.
I pause and stare into her beautiful, brown eyes, waiting to hear what she needs. She has a slight blush, so I know this is going to be good.
“What do you need? Tell me.”
“I need… I need you not to be gentle.” She looks at me, uncertain.
As if I would ever refuse her.
I grin. “Understood.”
My hands dive back into her hair as I smash her lips to mine. She meets me with equal fervor. My tongue dives into her mouth—her taste something I can never get enough. My hands slide down to her breasts. At this point in her pregnancy, they may be my favorite part of her body. They have grown larger and are way more than her normal handful. I squeeze them both and begin working my way through the buttons of her shirt. It soon finds the floor as my hands reach around to her back to undo her bra.
I hold her exposed breasts in my hands as my mouth works its way down her neck and to her chest. I suck on one nipple while pulling and tugging on the other. I move to switch to the other, but Bella stops me.
“I think I need to sit on the bed. I’m not sure how much longer I will remain standing if you keep that up. It feels too good.”
I let my hands find the waist of her leggings, but not before putting a kiss on her belly, as I crouch down. There is movement under the surface, and I chuckle at the constant response. My fingers push her leggings and panties to the floor, and she is holding on to my shoulders as I remove them from her legs and feet.
Bella is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. But pregnant? Well, she is breathtaking. I am lost in the moment, marveling at her curves, as my hands lightly trace the changes in her body.
She brings me from my perusing. “Edward. Not gentle,” she reminds me.
“Okay. Get up on the bed. On your hands and knees,” I instruct.
I help her into position, as it’s the one most comfortable for her while pregnant. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a favorite of ours.
It’s difficult to remember anything at this point, because the sight before me is absolutely incredible. The love of my life is waiting for me. Wanting me.
I quickly pull my shirt over my head and remove my jeans, underwear, and socks. I’m more than ready for her as she sways back toward me as if I needed an invitation.
She looks over her shoulder, taking all of me in, as I step up behind her. My hands, firmer in my movements, run over her back and squeeze that ample ass.
“Are you ready for my cock?”
I use one hand to see if she’s ready for me and am not surprised to find my fingers move with ease. She is drenched and just as excited about this as I am.
My fingers glide through her folds, and I gather up the moisture from there and use it on myself. I stroke myself a couple times with the same hand and position my cock at her opening.
My eyes find her half-lidded ones and she moans a soft, “Please.”
With the green light that she’s ready, I ease into her, tightening my hold on her as I squeeze my eyes shut. A groan escapes my throat. “Fuck, yes. All damn day I’ve been thinking about this.” I take a few tentative strokes to make sure she’s ready for my length, then begin to thrust in and out of her more rapidly.
“Damn, sweetheart. Can you feel what it does to me? To know that I get to come home to you? To this? To know you want me just as much as I want you?” My movements force a breathy, “Yes,” to fall from her lips.
With as good as she feels I know this isn’t going to last long, so my hand finds her clit, and I begin rubbing her in a way I know drives her crazy. Her gasps and appreciative moans let me know I’m on the right track.
I keep up my pace, never relenting, plunging in and out of her. One hand works her clit while the other one makes a circuit of slightly pulling a handful of her hair, rubbing down her back, then resting on her ass.
A sheen of sweat covers both our bodies. “Come on, Bella.” I gasp, knowing I’m not going to be able to keep up this pace much longer. She feels too good. “Give it to me.” I squeeze her ass, then draw back and swat it lightly.
“Harder.” She pants through a moan.
I comply with a few more swats to each side of her slightly rosy ass.
I switch hands and let the one that is covered in her wetness rest at her puckered opening, while I continue stroking her clit with the other. While we haven’t gone all the way here yet, I know Bella likes a little ass play.
As I continue to rub her clit and pound away at her, I know she is building. I can feel her tightening around my cock.
I let my thumb play a bit over her back opening, then slip a finger inside of her. A few strokes of my finger are all it takes to send her over the edge.
“Oh, Edward!” she yells. I’m sure our neighbors heard that.
My cock groans in relief as I stop trying to hold off my own orgasm.
Two more strokes and I’m emptying myself inside of her. I keep moving my hands and cock as I slowly bring us back down from this incredible high.
I squeeze her ass with both hands and pull out of her. I’m sure her hands and knees are sore, so I help her move to lie on her side. I give her a quick kiss on the lips and go to the bathroom to get a washcloth to clean us both. Once clean, I slip beneath the covers and pull her back against my chest. As my hand cups her breast, Bella snickers lightly, sleepily. She knows it’s my favorite sleep position.
During the later stages of pregnancy, Bella is always complaining of being too hot. So, she forgoes pajamas, which is quite all right by me.
I brush her hair to the side and place several kisses on her neck.
“Are you okay?” I whisper.
She lets out a breathless, “Yes.”
I settle in behind her and look over at the clock to see it’s after midnight.
“Merry Christmas, Bella.”
She sighs. “Merry Christmas, Edward.” She pauses. “Maybe next year, I will make cookies and we will leave them out with milk for Santa.”
I nod, even though she can’t see me. “Sounds wonderful.”
We cuddle into one another, holding on tightly. My world feels perfect. Everything I need, I’m holding right here in my arms. I hum Silent Night for a little while before finally drifting off to sleep.
I wake up to a cold, empty bed, but hear Bella making noises in the kitchen. The scent of bacon and cinnamon rolls hits my nose, and my stomach growls. I grab a quick shower and dress before making my way to check on Bella and the baby. If she’s cooking, then everything is probably okay.
As I’m walking into the kitchen, Bella sees me and sends me a big smile. She is so beautiful.
I plant a kiss on her lips. “Merry Christmas. How are you feeling this morning?”
She shrugs. “Merry Christmas, Edward. It’s just the usual discomfort. You know, the aches and pains in my back.”
I bend down to my knees and kiss my baby good morning, too. “Merry Christmas, baby.” I gently rub Bella’s belly and survey the kitchen.
She grins and runs her fingers through my wet hair. It feels divine. “Cinnamon rolls and bacon. Did you want some eggs?”
I shake my head. “Not necessary.” I steal a piece of bacon from the plate, shoving the whole thing in my mouth. It’s so delicious it almost dissolves immediately on my tongue.
“Did you get any sleep last night?” Her due date isn’t until December 29, but I’m always wary the baby could come at any time.
Again she shrugs, which I know means the little one was active. “I decided to get up and clean up from our Christmas Eve meal.”
“Did you already eat?”
Her grin gets wider. “I might have had a piece of birthday cake for breakfast this morning. It is the celebration of a birth after all.” Bella loves cake, but birthday cake is her favorite. So, I’m not surprised.
“Are we going to church this morning?” I ask, even though I’m sure of the answer.
“Yes. I can’t wait for this morning’s service. I love hearing the choir sing all the Christmas songs. Even though I’m not a great singer like you, I love humming or singing along.”
We’ve been attending the First Baptist Church here in Forks for months now. Jasper suggested it might be something Bella and I would like to do together, and be a way for us to socialize with other young couples like us. That’s how Bella met Alice, Jasper’s wife. They quickly became friends spending a lot of time together.
Emmett and his wife Rosalie also attend regularly. She was a bit distant at first, but has warmed up to Bella during the pregnancy. We are also close with Pastor Carlisle Cullen and his wife Esme.
I was never one to go to church growing up. I’m pretty indifferent to all of it. However, if this is what Bella wants, then it’s what Bella gets. She decides to go get ready; she is going to wear my favorite blue dress. She tells me I’m to wear my suit. I only have one. I’m left to enjoy my breakfast and make my way through this pile of bacon she cooked.
About an hour later, I am pulling the truck into a spot in the church parking lot. We walk toward the entrance and pass the announcement board in front of the church. I point it out to Bella.
“Look,” I say and read, “‘Congratulations to new parents, Mary and Joseph, on the birth of their new baby boy.’” I chuckle.
Bella laughs. “That’s perfect.” We make our way inside and find seats next to Jasper and Alice, near Emmett and Rosalie. Esme spots us and comes over to wish us all a Merry Christmas. We share greetings with all those sitting around us.
Carlisle starts the service promptly at nine. I hold Bella’s hand the entire time, as we listen to the story of Mary and Joseph traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Carlisle details their struggles and hardships, only to be blessed later by the birth of Mary’s baby. It felt a little too close to home.
The church choir sings so many Christmas carols. I catch Bella singing along with most, while I can’t help but hum a few tunes myself.
Carlisle begins his sermon, which centers on first Corinthians, chapter thirteen. He speaks of faith and hope and love. Something our world needs so much more of today. I hope my son or daughter will choose to make the best of their life and do good for others.
My mind begins to drift away from the sermon. I am excited to become a dad. Trust me; I am plenty nervous too, having grown up without one. However, the love my mom showed me never made me feel like I was missing a thing. Did I have the latest toys or games? No. But I had her and a few good friends, which felt like more than enough at the time.
I’m really missing her today. She would have loved Bella and been very happy about becoming a grandmother.
I’m brought out of my thoughts by Emmett tapping on my shoulder. I look at him in confusion and his head turns toward the front of the church where I see Carlisle standing and waiting for something.
I look over at Bella, who is smiling and getting ready to stand. Our hands are still locked together, and I pull back slightly on her hand.
“What?” I mouth.
She shrugs and says softly, “Come on. They want us up front.”
I stand and follow her to the front of the church, wondering why the two of us have been the only ones called forward.
Carlisle looks at us both. “Bella. Edward. It has come to this church’s attention that the two of you desire to be wed.”
My heart starts to begin a very quick and unfamiliar beating. I look over at Bella, who is smiling. I squeeze her hand and turn back to Carlisle. “Yes. We do.”
Carlisle continues, “Then to conclude our Christmas services today, we shall all be part of your wedding ceremony. Would everyone please take their places?”
It’s a swirl of activity, as Bella and I move into position. Jasper and Alice join us on each side.
Jasper leans in, smiles, and points to Alice and himself. “We’re your something old. Old friends.” He pulls out two plain gold bands from his pocket. “And I have your something new.” He grins. “Consider it your Christmas bonus, Edward.”
I’m overwhelmed at the moment. I’m getting my Christmas wish. Bella and I are going to be married before she has the baby. They will have my name, and we will be a family once and for all. A few tears leak from my eyes, and I try to brush them away quickly.
Jasper gives me a few pats on the back.
I look over at Bella. Tears stream down her face.
Alice dabs Bella’s eyes with a tissue and speaks next. “I have your something borrowed.” She winks and hands a lovely bouquet of flowers that are whites, reds, and greens to Bella. They look to be the same Christmas flowers in various locations from around the church sanctuary. She whispers, “Don’t tell anyone.” Her smile is warm and knowing. “And your dress, Bella, is your something blue. I would say you are all set.”
Carlisle asks, “Are we ready?”
We both nod and turn to face him.
We hear the main doors of the church open and turn back to see Bella’s father walking down the center aisle.
“Don’t start this without me.” He makes his way to the front to stand with us.
He extends his hand. I smile and shake it firmly. “Hello, Charlie.”
“Edward.” He squeezes my hand just a little harder.
He turns toward Bella and leans in to kiss her cheek. “Do you mind if I stand up here with you? I figured you weren’t up for walking down the aisle, but I can certainly do my part and give you away.”
Bella shakes her head and grins. “I don’t mind at all. I’m glad you’re here, Dad.”
He smiles at her. “Me too, kid. Me, too. I’m sorry, but your mother couldn’t be here. There wasn’t enough time for her to get here from Florida, but she’s planning to arrive within the next few days, for the arrival of the little one, like you planned.”
We join hands again and turn toward Carlisle.
The ceremony is short and sweet. It’s perfect for us, as I’m not sure how much longer Bella will be able to stand. For me, nothing’s better than hearing Bella say her vows and that simple “I do.” I’m thrilled when she slides the wedding band on my ring finger. I do the same for her, then Carlisle pronounces us husband and wife. The kiss is everything. She is mine and I am hers. For as long as we both shall live. I’m not sure what happens beyond this life, but I’m rooting for us beyond that.
It’s Carlisle who clears his throat with a slight chuckle, and we immediately break apart. However, no one can wipe the smiles from either of our faces. He introduces us for the first time as “Mr. and Mrs. Edward Masen.” I think my face may explode as I am grinning so big.
Esme and Alice lead us down to the basement of the church where they’ve set up a Christmas potluck brunch, as well as a small wedding cake.
“Esme!” Bella shrieks.
“Oh, Bella. I hope you like it. I’m not very good at making cakes, but it was short notice. Some of the ladies asked what I was doing, and next thing, we were planning a brunch to celebrate your wedding,” Esme explains.
Wow. I’m shocked. Everyone was in on this but us. I had no idea.
“Esme, I’m sure it will be delicious,” Bella reassures. “Thank you so much for everything.”
We share hugs and kisses with those closest to us, and the remaining members of the congregation, as they make their way downstairs. I find Bella a chair, for which she is immediately thankful. We receive so many heartfelt congratulations that I am overwhelmed by the kindness all around us.
Once everyone is downstairs, I fix Bella a plate and one for myself. Everyone else soon falls in line after us, as we all rejoice in a renewed sense of fellowship and happiness.
When most people finish eating, Bella and I go to the table Esme’s set up with the wedding cake. It is simply a three-tiered white cake decorated with flowers similar to the ones in Bella’s bouquet. The church Christmas flowers are getting a lot of use today.
We cut slices of cake and feed each other bites before Esme takes over and cuts slices for everyone.
I hadn’t even thought of it, but I am glad to find out Emmett has been snapping photos throughout the ceremony and brunch. He reassures Bella there will be plenty for her to pour over when she is ready.
I can see Bella starting to feel the fatigue from the excitement of our morning, and after posing for a few more photos, we decide to make our way home.
There are lots of hugs, kisses, and thank yous, as we head toward the exit. I even manage to get an awkward hug from Charlie and whisper of, “Congratulations.” However, Carlisle catches up to me and hands me an envelope.
“Here you go, Edward. I will file my copy with the county, and this is your signed copy to keep.” He winks at me. “Keep it in a safe place.” We shake hands, then Bella and I step outside and walk to our truck. We are married. It’s official, and I have the paper to prove it.
From behind us, we hear, “Wait! Wait! Wait!”
We stop and see Alice rushing toward us. She hands Bella her bouquet. “You forgot to toss the bouquet.”
Bella smiles and notices a group of women clumped together near us waiting for the toss.
She turns toward me, and I lean in to steal a kiss.
She breaks away too soon for my liking, but turns to the women. “Ready?”
They all giggle in agreement.
Bella counts, “One, two, three!” On three, she tosses the bouquet behind her as the women scramble for the best position.
The father of the young girl who nabs it seems none too happy. I chuckle at his displeasure, knowing that could be me soon enough, but refocus on Bella.
“Let’s get going!” My grin even bigger. “We’ve got a honeymoon to celebrate.” I waggle my eyebrows and open the door to the truck, lifting Bella into the passenger seat.
I close the door and make my way around to the driver’s side when I notice a ‘Just Married’ sign attached to my tailgate. Shaking my head, I climb into my seat and shut the door.
Who knew that going to one Christmas Sunday church service could change a person’s life so drastically? I look over at Bella, who is beaming and waving at everyone as we depart.
I grab her hand and bring it to my lips. I leave a kiss there and look over at her.
“I love you, Mrs. Masen.”
Her smile is everything. “And I love you too, my handsome husband.”
“Oh, I love the sound of that, wife.”
Today, my cup of happiness runs over. I don’t think I stop smiling the whole drive home. When we arrive, I help Bella to the door and unlock it.
“Wait,” I say, when she goes to open the door. “I want to do this right.”
I turn the knob, opening our front door slightly, then pick up Bella bridal style as we cross over the threshold of our home. Once inside, I set her down. We both turn at the same time and stand stunned in amazement.
There, in our living room, is a live Christmas tree. It is glowing with bright, twinkling lights and decorated with plenty of red and green ornaments and garland. We are spellbound in disbelief. Not only do we have a decorated Christmas tree in our living room, but there are wrapped presents underneath it.
I lean down and see there is one for Bella, one for me, and one for the baby, and they are all from Santa.
I stand back up and whisper, “What should we do?”
I hear Bella move beside me. I look down at her face to find that she is staring up at me with a sly grin.
“We should open them, of course.” Bella rubs her hands together with anticipation.
My muddled brain is still trying to put this all together. “Who? Who did all of this for us?”
Bella moves to sit on the couch, and I help her sit down.
“I guess, Jasper?” Bella replies.
“Yeah, he is probably responsible for the tree.”
“Maybe Alice did all the decorations?” Bella suggests. “Since Emmett is our landlord, he would have keys to our place. So, I’m sure he and Rosalie are somehow involved.”
“I think you’re right.” I squat down to get the presents from under the tree.
Bella opens hers first. It is a beautiful, winter white coat with a red scarf and mittens. Wow. I’m stunned. Pieces of my conversation with Jasper are all coming back to me now.
Bella stands, and I help her into her new coat.
“How do I look?” she asks.
“Like an angel.” I smile.
“It’s a little tight, but won’t be once I have the baby. Isn’t this wonderful, Edward?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Open your gift,” she encourages.
I do so to find a guitar. Not just any guitar. My guitar. The same one I pawned in order to have enough money for Bella’s engagement ring. I’m not even sure how this is possible. I can’t believe I’m holding the guitar I had growing up. I played it constantly and sang for my mom’s every request. She originally got it for me, as she thought I might have some natural ability. She was right, and I could play almost anything by ear.
It feels so right to have it back in my hands. I have no clue who I would even thank for making that possible. I strum a few cords and tighten a couple strings. I doubt it has been played in a while by the way it sounds. I will definitely be able to fix that, as I can’t wait to play for Bella.
“Edward, let’s open the one for the baby.” I move out of my seat, grab the present, and set it in front of Bella.
“You do the honors.”
She unwraps the gift to find a teddy bear and some baby clothes in various sizes that could work for a boy or girl.
“Aren’t they adorable? Oh! The little one must know they are for him or her. I just got a swift kick.” She struggles to stand back up. “I really need to go relieve some pressure from my bladder. This kid is doing a number on me today.”
I help Bella up and she waddles her way into the bathroom. I always worry about her falling in there. However, after she caught me listening right outside the door during her second trimester, she told me to back off, in no uncertain terms. So, now I know to keep my distance.
While I wait for her return, I notice I hear someone singing Christmas carols. I immediately think Bella must have left the radio on again in the kitchen. On my way to check, the doorbell rings, and at the same time, Bella emerges from the bathroom.
“Who’s at the door?” she asks.
“I have no idea.” I go over, look out the peephole, then smile, and open it wide for her to see.
It’s Jasper, Alice, Emmett, Rosalie, Esme, and Carlisle, all singing a rather rousing version of The Twelve Days of Christmas. We stop them before they get much further past the “Five Golden Rings.”
“Come in, come in,” Bella tells them, as I hold open the door.
“Thank you, Bella. I had no idea what was past the fifth day. So you saved me.” Jasper grins at her.
“We hope we aren’t intruding, but we just wanted to come over and make sure everything is good with our favorite newlyweds,” Esme says, as she releases Bella from a hug.
“We’re good.” Bella smiles.
Esme starts unpacking a bag, which contains a box of Christmas cookies, the largest thermos I’ve ever seen, and some insulated cups.
“It looks like Santa’s been here.” Emmett reaches over to nab a cookie, then sits on the couch with Rosalie sitting on the arm next to him.
“Yeah. About that. I can’t figure out how he would have gotten into our locked apartment.” I shoot Emmett the I-know-it-was-you look.
“I have no idea what you are talking about.” He quickly dismisses my questioning look and refuses to make further eye contact.
I move to stand next to Jasper, as Esme passes around cups of hot cocoa. “Bella, your apartment looks so lovely. Very warm and cozy.”
I lean in to Jasper. “I don’t know what to say, man. I’m so overwhelmed by your generosity. Everything that’s happened today is because of our conversation yesterday. Thank you doesn’t seem sufficient.”
He gives me a hug, and I pat him on the back. “It’s more than enough,” Jasper reassures.
“Thank you, man. Really, thank you.” I try not to cry, but this day has left me so emotional. Or maybe it’s just from being around Bella all the time. Her emotions are like riding a roller coaster.
I look around at everyone here. I can’t believe we are all crammed into our little living room. Alice asks if I’m interested in playing a few Christmas carols on my guitar.
“Yeah. About that. How did you guys—?”
Carlisle interrupts and puts his hand up, stopping my question. “We don’t know about that one at all, but a certain Chief of Police assured us it was the perfect gift for you.”
I’m left even more stunned that Charlie was the one to get my guitar back to me. I nod at Carlisle, but it’s Bella’s scream that draws my attention. She’s in the kitchen with Esme, as I race around the corner.
“Bella, what is it?” I’m panicked.
Esme is holding her arm, as Bella’s face is contorted in pain. If I had to guess, I would say she is having a contraction.
“Edward!” She gasps. “My water broke!”
“But it’s too soon! What were you doing?”
“I was just showing Esme the birthday cake I made.” Bella cries.
“Are you having a contraction now?” I ask.
Her face relaxes. “No, but I think I just had one.”
“We need to time them.” I barely get the words out of my mouth before Bella is clutching the edge of the countertop for dear life. I look over at Esme, and she gives me an assuring look that it’s time to go to the hospital.
“Bella, I’m going to go grab your hospital bag, then I’ll call your doctor on the way to the hospital.”
She nods her head in understanding and starts breathing through the contraction.
Once we have everything, we move Bella to my truck. I secure her in place while putting a quick kiss on her lips. We’re in between contractions, so I know I need to take advantage of her temporarily pleasant mood.
“Let’s go have a baby.” She smiles.
“A Christmas baby? There’s still time?” I wonder.
“No, our baby.”
I don’t know whose smile is greater. We are about to meet our new little one. I hope it’s the beginning of many more to come.
If I could afford cigars, I would hand them out to everyone I meet. I feel like I am walking on air. I’m sure I stand just a little taller today with my chest puffed out. I am a proud new dad.
I go back home to grab a shower and a quick change of clothes for me, but I can’t wait to get back to Bella and our baby. I pick up Bella’s favorite doughnuts on the way back to celebrate our new arrival.
I push open the door to find mother and baby busy nursing. It is a beautiful sight. Bella was amazing during the labor and delivery. Everything happened within an hour of our arrival.
I quietly walk over to the bed and give them both kisses on their heads, trying not to disturb either in the moment.
I pull out my phone and take a couple quick shots. Then look for the photo I want to show Bella.
“Here. Look at this. It’s the church announcement board when I went by this morning.” I hand her my phone and carefully cradle our newborn in my arms.
Bella laughs and reads aloud. “Congratulations to new parents, Bella and Edward, on the birth of their new baby girl.”
I grin. “Esme is fast.” I cradle my daughter to my shoulder. “Look who got top billing? You bumped Jesus off the board. That makes you pretty special in my book,” I tell her, as I try to coax a burp from her.
“Have you given anymore thought to a name?” I ask.
Bella looks reluctant to ask, “What was your mom’s name?”
She changes the subject. “I was thinking about Carlisle’s sermon yesterday.”
I feel immediate confusion. “What about his sermon? I’m not following.”
“The part about faith, hope, and love. I feel like the two of us have plenty of love.”
I waggle my eyebrows. “Tons.” I smile at her.
“I think we’re good on faith, as well.”
I agree. “We’ll be at church every Sunday from now on.”
“So, I’m thinking we go with Hope. Then we will always have that, too.”
As if on cue, our daughter lets loose the burp I’ve been after. We both grin.
I look down at my baby girl still in my arms. “Hope Elizabeth Masen, welcome to the family.”
My heart is so full at this moment, I think it may burst. While my bank statement disagrees, I am the richest man on earth, thanks to Bella.
However, the best part is that I have something now even more precious. I have Hope.
Don’t forget to check out the photo gallery for this story.