"I don't understand," i whispered. "What is wrong here?"

Surprising, absolutely. Astonishing, even. But wrong?


So why was Edward so furious? He was the one who had actually wished out loud for a shotgun wedding.

I tried to reason through it.

Maybe it wasn't so confusing that Edward wanted us to go home right away. He'd want Carlisle to check me out, make sure my assumption was right - though there was absolutely no doubt in my head at this point. Probably they'd want to figure out why I was already so pregnant, with the bump and the nudging and all of that. That wasn't normal.

Once I thought of this, I was sure I had it. He must be so worried about the baby. I hadn't gotten around to freaking out yet. My brain worked slower than his - it was still stuck marveling over the picture it had conjured up before: the tiny child with Edward's eyes - green, as his had been when he was human - lying fair and beautiful in my arms. I hoped he would have Edward's face exactly, with no interference from mine.

It was funny how abruptly and entirely necessary this vision had become. From that first little touch, the whole world had shifted. Where before there was just one thing i could not live without, now there were two. There was no division - my love was not split between them now; it wasn't like that. It was more like my heart had grown, swollen up to twice its size in that moment. All that extra space, already filled. The increase was almost dizzying.

I'd never really understood Rosalie's pain and resentment before. I'd never imagined myself a mother, never wanted that. It had been a piece of cake to promise Edward that I didn't care about giving up children for him, because I truly didn't. Children, in the abstract, had never appealed to me. They seemed to be loud creatures, often dripping some form of goo. I'd never had much to do with them. When I'd dreamed of Renee providing me with a brother, I'd always imagined an older brother. Someone to take care of me, rather than the other way around.

This child, Edward's child, was a whole different story.

I wanted him like I wanted air to breathe. Not a choice - a necessity.

Maybe I just had a really bad imagination. Maybe that was why I'd been unable to imagine that I would like being married until after I already was - unable to see that I would want a baby until after one was already coming....

As I put my hand on my stomach, waiting for the next nudge, tears streaked down my cheeks again.


I turned, made wary by the tone of his voice. It was too cold, too careful. His face matched his voice, empty and hard.

And then he saw that I was crying.

"Bella!" Hecrossed the room in a flash and put his hands on my face. "Are you in pain?"

"No, no - "

He pulled me against his chest. "Don't be afraid. We'll be home in sixteen hours. You'll be fine. Carlisle will be ready when we get there. We'll take care of this, and you'll be fine, you'll be fine."

"Take care of this? What do you mean?"

He leaned away and looked me in the eye. "We're going to get that thing out before it can hurt any part of you. Don't be scared. I wont let it hurt you."

"That thing?" Igasped.

He looked sharply away from me, toward the front door. "Dammit! I forgot Gustavo was due today. HI get rid of him and be right back." He darted out of the room.

I clutched the counter for support. My knees were wobbly.

Edward had just called my little nudger a thing. He said Carlisle would get it out.

"No," I whispered.

I'd gotten it wrong before. He didn't care about the baby atall. He wanted to hurt him. The beautiful picture in my head shifted abruptly, changed into something dark. My pretty baby crying, my weak arms not enough to protect him....

What could I do? Would I be able to reason with them? What if I couldn't? Did this explain Alice's strange silence on the phone? Is that what she'd seen? Edward and Carlisle killing that pale, perfect child before he could live?

"No," I whispered again, my voice stronger. That could not be. I would not allow it.

I heard Edward speaking Portuguese again. Arguing again. His voice got closer, and I heard him grunt in exasperation. Then I heard another voice, low and timid. A woman's voice.

He came into the kitchen ahead of her and went straight to me. He wiped the tears from my cheeks and murmured in my ear through the thin, hard line of his lips.

"She's insisting on leaving the food she brought - she made us dinner." If he had been less tense, less furious, I knew he would have rolled his eyes. "It's an excuse - she wants to make sure I haven't killed you yet." His voice went ice cold at the end.

Kaure edged nervously around the corner with a covered dish in her hands. I wished I could speak Portuguese, or that my Spanish was less rudimentary, so that I could try to thank this woman who had dared to anger a vampire just to check on me.

Her eyes flickered between the two of us. I saw her measuring thecolor in my face, the moisture in my eyes. Mumbling something I didn't understand, she put the dish on the counter.

Edward snapped something at her; I'd never heard him be so impolite before. She turned to go, and the whirling motion of her long skirt wafted the smell of the food into my face. It was strong - onions and fish. I gagged and whirled for the sink. I felt Edward's hands on my forehead and heard his soothing murmur through the roaring in my ears. His hands disappeared for a second, and I heard the refrigerator slam shut. Mercifully, the smell disappeared with the sound, and Edward's hands were cooling my clammy face again. It was over quickly.

I rinsed my mouth in the tap while he caressed the side of my face.

There was a tentative little nudge in my womb.