Carlisle put his hand on my arm. The icy touch did not feel good, but I didn't jerk away. I held still, half in surprise, and half because I didn't want to hurt his feelings.
"Thank you," he said again, and then he darted out the door with the other four. My eyes followed them as they flew across the lawn and then disappeared before I took another breath. Their needs must have
been more urgent than I'd imagined.
There was no sound for a minute. I could feel someone glaring at me, and I knew who it would be. I'd been planning to take off and get some Z's, but the chance to ruin Rosalie's morning seemed too good to pass up.
So I sauntered over to the armchair next to the one Rosalie had and settled in, sprawling out so that my head
was tilted toward Bella and my left foot was near Rosalie's face.
"Ew. Someone put the dog out," she murmured, wrinkling her nose.
"Have you heard this one, Psycho? How do a blonde's brain cells die?"
She didn't say anything.
"Well?" I asked. "Do you know the punch line or not?"
She looked pointedly at the TV and ignored me.
"Has she heard it?" I asked Edward.
There was no humor on his tense face - he didn't move his eyes from Bella. But he said, "No."
"Awesome. So you'll enjoy this, bloodsucker - a blonde's brain cells die alone."
Rosalie still didn't look at me. "I have killed a hundred times more often than you have, you disgusting beast. Don't forget that."
"Someday, Beauty Queen, you're going to get tired of just threatening me. I'm really looking forward to that."
"Enough, Jacob," Bella said.
I looked down, and she was scowling at me. It looked like yesterday's good mood was long gone.
Well, I didn't want to bug her. "You want me to take off?" I offered.
Before I could hope - or fear - that she'd finally gotten tired of me, she blinked, and her frown disappeared. She seemed totally shocked that I would come to that conclusion. "No! Of course not."
I sighed, and I heard Edward sigh very quietly, too. I knew he wished she'd get over me, too. Too bad he'd never ask her to do anything that might make her unhappy.
"You look tired," Bella commented.
"Dead beat," I admitted.
I'dlike to beat you dead," Rosalie muttered, too low for Bella to hear.
I just slumped deeper into the chair, getting comfortable. My bare foot dangled closer to Rosalie, and she stiffened. After a few minutes Bella asked Rosalie for a refill. I felt the wind as Rosalie blew upstairs to get her some more blood. It was really quiet. Might as well take a nap, I figured.
And then Edward said, "Did you say something?" in a puzzled tone. Strange. Because no one had said anything, and because Edward's hearing was as good as mine, and he should have known that.
He was staring at Bella, and she was staring back. They both looked confused.
"Me?" she asked after a second. "I didn't say anything."
He moved onto his knees, leaning forward over her, his expression suddenly intense in a whole different way. His black eyes focused on her face.
"What are you thinking about right now?"
She stared at him blankly. "Nothing. What's going on?"
"What were you thinking about a minute ago?" he asked.
"Just... Esme's island. And feathers."
Sounded like total gibberish to me, but then she blushed, and I figured I was better off not knowing.
"Say something else," he whispered.
Tike what? Edward, what's going on?"
His face changed again, and he did something that made my mouth fall open with a pop. I heard a gasp behind me, and I knew that Rosalie was back, and just as flabbergasted as I was.
Edward, very lightly, put both of his hands against her huge, round stomach.
'The f - " He swallowed. "It... the baby likes the sound of your voice."
There was one short beat of total silence. I could not move a muscle, even to blink. Then -
"Holy crow, you can hear him!"Bella shouted. In the next second, she winced.
Edward's hand moved to the top peak of her belly and gently rubbed the spot where it must have kicked her.
"Shh," he murmured. "You startled it... him."
Her eyes got all wide and full of wonder. She patted the side of her stomach. "Sorry, baby."
Edward was listening hard, his head tilted toward the bulge.
"What's he thinking now?" she demanded eagerly.
"It... he or she, is ..." He paused and looked up into her eyes. His eyes were filled with a similar awe - only his were more careful and grudging. "He's happy" Edward said in an incredulous voice.
Her breath caught, and it was impossible not to see the fanatical gleam in her eyes. The adoration and the devotion. Big, fat tears overflowed her eyes and ran silently down her face and over her smiling lips.
As he stared at her, his face was not frightened or angry or burning or any of the other expressions he'd worn since their return. He was marveling with her.
"Of course you're happy, pretty baby, of course you are," she crooned, rubbing her stomach while the tears washed her cheeks. "How could you not be, all safe and warm and loved? I love you so much, little EJ, of course you're happy."
"What did you call him?" Edward asked curiously.
She blushed again. "I sort of named him. I didn't think you would want... well, you know."
"Your father's name was Edward, too."
"Yes, it was. What - ?" He paused and then said, "Hmm."
"He likes my voice, too."