Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chapter 34: Amazing-Part 2

You're so amazing you shine like the stars
You're so amazing the beauty you are
You came blazing right into my heart
You're so amazing you are...
You are
You came from heaven shining
Breath of God still flows from fresh on you
The beating heart inside me rumbled at this one so new
ohoh ohoh Oooh ooohhh
No matter where or how far you wander
For a thousand years or longer
I will always be there for you
Right here with you

Amazing-Janelle

BPOV

"Good morning, little guy," I said, lifting a fussy Dante from his bassinet.

He didn't like sleeping in the crib yet, and because he was a newborn, Senna suggested he sleep in a bassinet for a little while. As usual, Edward insisted on buying Dante the best. It was a luxurious white confection of perfect pleats and expensive silk with green silk bows on the sides. Dante loved it. He slept like an angel.

It had been five days since his birth, and he'd already grown so much. The moment I cradled him to my breast, he calmed down. I knew that that meant he was hungry. Then again, when wasn't my baby hungry.

Thankfully, Rose and Esme had been very helpful preparing me for breastfeeding. It kind of hurt the first few times, but now I was starting to get used to it. Not that it mattered-I'd take all the pain if it meant my baby boy was healthy and happy.

After taking a seat in my rocking chair, I unclasped the strap on my blue nursing tank. It was only four in the morning, so I was still in my pajama pants. Fortunately, my little sweetheart needed no help in finding the nipple. In an instant, he latched on and sucked hard.

He's just like his daddy. 

Staring at his little copper head, I began to hum quietly. He stopped sucking for a minute to look up at me. I leaned down to kiss his soft forehead, repositioning his mouth on my nipple. Ever so often, Dante would tap my breast with his little fist and kick his legs. Yesterday, Rose told me that meant he was really enjoying the meal.

Edward was beginning to insist that I pump so he could feed our soon too, but I was reluctant to give up my most important duty. Plus, I liked having my baby at my breast. The bottle just wasn't the same!

After my baby boy finished, I grabbed my huge bottle of water from the nightstand. Senna had explained that it was very important for a new mother to stay hydrated. I was also eating a lot of healthy proteins and veggies. Dante would be taking a lot of nutrients out of my body from the constant feedings, so it was very important that I kept my calorie intake up.

I covered my shoulder with a soft towel before lifting my angel. While he squirmed, I gently rubbed and pat his back, coaxing a burp out of him. His sweet scent was a combination of baby lotion and Mustela, which made the best and most highly recommended baby hygiene products. I used their stretch mark cream on my body. Becoming a mother had been a glorious experience, but my body was no longer in prime condition.

Lately, I had taken to leaving the room to change clothes. The only time I allowed Edward to see me nude was when I breastfed, and even that wasn't my choice. I just let him stay because Dante liked him there. I felt ugly, fat, and just plain gross. I seriously doubted that Edward would ever want to touch me again or that I would even let him.

Eventually, Dante let out a loud burp. "Good boy! I am so proud of you, little man."

He was only wearing a diaper so that we were chest to chest. One of his hand sewn cashmere blankets covered his small body. Kachiri was an advocate of this parent-child chest to chest bonding called the Kangaroo Method. It had been shown to improve breast milk production and was comforting to the baby.
She'd read us a news report where a baby was stillborn. The poor mother kept holding the baby to her chest and to everyone's surprise, the little angel lived.

After hearing that story, I cried for hours and refused to put Dante down. Edward had been forced to intervene when I began to feel faint. I couldn't help it though… just the thought of something happening to my little boy turned me into a nutcase.

"I will never let anything happen to you, precious one. I love you so much," I cooed, stroking his silken cheek with my fingers. I was proud of the fact that he'd inherited my blush. I watched in adoration as his face reddened beautifully.

"What the fuck, babydoll? I told you to wake me up if D.C. woke up again. I feel fucking useless. All you've let me do is change a few diapers," my husband whined, stepping into the room.

His eyes were bright with anger as he sauntered over to the rocking chair, taking a seat on the fluffy rug in front. A few weeks ago, seeing my husband bare-chested in a pair of boxers would have made me want to jump his bones, but now…I felt nothing. Honestly, I just wanted him to go back to sleep.

He reached up, trying to extract Dante from my arms. I pulled away possessively, not willing to give up my bundle of joy. Edward frowned and pinched the bridge of his nose.

"I am Dante's father. I have a right to hold him. Please, babydoll. You are doing such a great job, but we love him, too. It's important that he bond with both of us."

Huffing loudly, I handed over our son. He blew a spit bubble and flailed his little arms. Edward smiled, making me feel guilty about my earlier thoughts. He was right and I was wrong. This was one time that I would be willing to eat crow.

"I'm sorry, Edward. I just… It's hard for me."

He smiled, leaning back so Dante could lay his head on his bare chest. Our son made what we called one of his 'happy noises'. He and Edward looked just alike. I sighed happily as I watched my husband kiss our baby's head. He was so gentle and careful with him; really there was nothing for me to worry about.

"Don't even worry about it, babydoll. I just want to be included, okay?" He smirked, bouncing Dante lightly.

Dante squealed, turning his small head towards me. I leaned down to kiss both of my guy's cheeks

A few minutes later, Dante's second favorite activity happened. "I think he went poo Edward."

My husband scrunched up his nose, holding our baby boy in front of him as if he was a deadly weapon. "I got it."

While he held Dante, I smoothed a laminated changing pad on the luxury changing table. The pads were easy to clean and disinfect, yet soft enough for my little guy to be comfortable. He kicked up his tiny, wrinkled feet, sucking on his fist as Edward prepared to change the noxious diaper.

"Dude, I swear if you weren't so fucking cute… This shit is scary enough to be in a horror movie," Edward said, holding Dante's legs and removing the diaper.

I couldn't help but laugh as I used a wipe to clean our little's one tushy. The smell was awful but after so many changes, I was almost used to it. My little angel smiled, reaching for my hands.

Shaking his head, Edward powdered Dante and put him on a fresh diaper. We used both disposable and organic cotton cloth diapers. Thankfully, we were wealthy enough to afford a launder service. I still preferred the disposables, though.

When that was done, Edward hoisted Dante into his arms, kissing his forehead. We were addicted to touching and smooching our bambino. Between all the members of the family and our friends, Dante was quickly becoming spoiled rotten.

Because I didn't want to be too far away, I asked Edward to move his bassinet to our bedroom. The nursery was right across the halls but I still had nightmares that caused me to wake up many times just to check on our son.

The horror of being held captive by James would never leave, but I was dealing with it. Dr. A. and Dr. Uley had agreed to make weekly house calls. Edward paid for this luxury, but it was worth it not to have to take Dante out of the house too much. So far, we hadn't taken him anywhere. I was really worried about my angel catching a cold.

Of course, Dante wasn't sleepy. He wanted to play. Edward and I laid down, putting one of his cashmere baby blankets in the center of the bed. Dante squealed. He loved being in the big bed, and truthfully, I loved having him so close.

Edward snapped the clasp on our little man's teddy bear onesie. "Your mom dresses you like a wimp, but don't worry, son, dad has some tricks up his sleeve."

I slapped Edward's arm, chastising him for picking on me. He leaned across Dante to kiss me on the lips. His mouth tasted divine, like mint and honey. Apparently, the kiss offended our baby boy. He yelled loudly as big fat tears fell down his cheeks. Without even thinking, I scooped him into my arms, cradling him to my breast.

"Awww, sweetie. What's the matter?" I asked, almost frantically.

My husband chuckled, crossing his arms over his muscular chest. "He's jealous, babydoll. Watch this." He leaned over to kiss me again. Sure enough, Dante went off.

I grabbed a baby towel so that I could wipe my little angel's face. Edward took him from me, placing him back on his chest. Almost immediately, Dante quieted as his eyes began to droop.

We put on a tape of Edward playing his favorite Beethoven and Mozart pieces. I laid my head on the free side of Edward's chest so that Dante faced me. He inserted his pudgy little thumb into his mouth before closing his eyes. Edward began to hum softly. I wanted to ask him about the song, but my eyes were heavy. Yawning, I fell asleep after my son.

When I woke up again, Dante was crying from his bassinet. Edward was spooning me from behind, and he had a major case of morning wood. Fortunately, since I'd give birth, he hadn't pressured me for oral sex. I knew that he was taking care of himself, and if that didn't work, taking long cold showers.

It took me a minute to get free so that I could go to my baby. His chubby cheeks were pink. I lifted him, already knowing what he wanted. After unclasping my tank, I took a seat on the bed. It was only eight, meaning he'd only slept for a little over three hours. Edward stirred, opening one emerald eye.

"Again?" He asked gruffly, rubbing his forehead. "Maybe we should hire a nanny, babydoll. That would make it easier on you."

I frowned, helping Dante latch. "No. I want to be the one to take care of my son. Besides, you'd just get some hot little nanny that would spend more time trying to get inside your pants than anything else."

"Hey! Where the hell is that coming from? I was thinking about someone older and more matronly. Don't tell me we're back on this trust bullshit again."

"We never left it," I scoffed. "I read the news. Men claim to change all the time. They get the wife, the baby, the domestic life, and they get bored. The next thing you know, everyone is in divorce court and custody is being discussed."

"I hope that is your fucking lack of sleep speaking, babydoll. I won't get bored and jeopardize my family. I worked too fucking hard to get it! I don't even like you saying the 'D' word. When I married you, I made a promise of forever, and I keep my fucking promises."

Dante unlatched, craning his head to look at Edward. I juggled him a little, shifting him so that he was more comfortable. Moments later, he began suckling again.

"If I have to put up with this shit every day, I might as well be at work. You don't let me do shit anyway," Edward griped, throwing on a tee shirt.

"Go back then! Go sleep with your whores! Be happy, drink, smoke, destroy your life if you want. Dante and I won't stop you," I yelled, flailing my arms.

After kissing our son, Edward left the room. He glared at me before walking out the door. I began to cry. The argument was all my fault, but I didn't think he'd leave.

Dante, who had stopped feeding, gazed up at me. "I'm sorry, baby boy. I was mean to daddy. Please, forgive me."

He did that thing babies do where they poke their little tongues out. Senna said it was to prevent choking, but I thought it was impossibly cute. Nuzzling my little one's nose, I started to doze again.

The next time I awoke, the sun was shining brightly through our windows. I looked at the clock, gasping when I realized that it was almost six in the evening. That meant that I had been asleep for ten hours. Where is my baby? I thought, scrambling out of bed. He wasn't in the bassinet. I groaned, going through my fuzzy memories. I'd fallen asleep with him in my arms.  

Oh my god!

After throwing on a robe, I rushed to the living room. I was halfway there before I heard voices coming from the kitchen. Quickly, I changed my trajectory, practically flying though the door.

Several pairs of eyes turned to look at me. I knew I looked crazy. My hair was a bird's nest and my clothes were wrinkled from sleep. In the center of the room, sitting at the island was Alice. She was holding Dante while Jasper made funny faces trying to get him to laugh.

Esme rushed to my side, pulling me into her arms. She kissed me on the cheek before pulling back, looking worriedly into my eyes. I collapsed, letting her fully support me. Luckily, Edward picked me up before I could bring the both of us down.

"I… I slept too long. Is he hungry? Why didn't anyone wake me up?"

Rose, who was sitting with Emmett and the boys at a table, walked over to me. She wrapped her arms around my shoulders, kissing my forehead. Di came over and did the same. It was all so comforting. I began to sob softly.

"I'm sorry, everyone. I've just been…"

Edward took my hand in his, before whispering in my ear. "Dante is fine. Since you didn't pump, mom gave him a little formula. Carlisle said it was okay. He's perfect. Look at him."

Our boy was gurgling as his Aunt Ali and Uncle Jaz tickled his belly. He really was all right. Maybe he doesn't need me at all. I'm useless. The thought made me cry harder.

Alice stood, walking over and taking the seat beside me. She and Jasper shared a concerned look. I tried to smile for them but it probably looked more like a grimace. Senna had warned me about post-pregnancy hormones, but I didn't think they'd be this bad.

"Bella," she started," Um, I was wondering if you would let Jaz and I take Dante to our place for a few hours. That way you and Edward could spend some time alone and D.C. won't be too far away."

My brother must have seen that I was about to refuse because he stepped forward. "Please, sis. It's good practice for when Ali and me have one of our own."

"But you guys are newlyweds. You should be headed to Paris. Don't let us inconvenience you."

Slinging his arm over my shoulder, Jaz leaned down to tickle me. "Stop being stubborn, Bells. Alice and I aren't leaving for Paris until after Edward's birthday. We have plenty of time to be newlyweds."

Carlisle stepped forward, looking every bit the doctor. "That's' a good idea. If you won't let Alice and Jasper take him, at least let your mother and me. You need some TLC, Bella. I've seen new mothers hospitalized because of stress, and I don't want that for you."

"Oh, that would be great, but who am I to begrudge my little girl. We'll steal him from you another night," Esme said, taking Carlisle's hand.

Di, not to be left out also staked her claim. Marcus laughed, patting her on the back. There was a small squabble when Rose, Angela, and even Bree offered to take him for the night.

Edward spoke up. "Ali and Jaz, you can take him. I'll go pack a bag. We'll be down to get him later tonight."
He exited the room to get everything together. Jasper followed him as Ali passed me my baby boy. Bree took Edward's vacated seat and began to play with Dante's fingers. It was then that I noticed Onyx was tucked into her hoodie.

I scratched my kitten's tiny head. "How is she? I miss her so much."

Bree smiled, lifting Onyx out so Dante could see her. Our kitten rubbed her little head against Dante's cheeks. There was a lot of ahhhing around the room. Rose snapped a picture.

"She is good. She uses the litter box without help sometimes. I like her a lot," Bree said, cuddling Onyx.

"I miss you, Bree. Our offer still stands. Move in with us. Edward really wants you to."

Esme tisked before taking a seat. "Nonsense. Carlisle and I love having Bree in the house. We need someone young around, especially since all my kids hog my grandchildren from me."

Colin and Brady, who had been stuffing their faces, came over to greet their cousin. The first time they saw him, they were confused as to why he couldn't play yet.

"Baby Te happy," Colin chortled, playing with my baby boy's feet.

"Pway now, Bebba?" Brady asked, resting his head on my knee.

I laughed. "I'm sorry guys. Dante won't be able to play for a while. He doesn't even crawl yet. I know that he wants to play with you and once he can, I'm sure all of you guys will drive both me and your mother crazy."

A few minutes later, Edward returned. Jasper was carrying one of my new Dior diaper bags. I had an intense need to check it out to make sure they had everything, but I held it back.

Bree started to stand up so Edward could sit back down, but he stopped her. "That's okay, dolcezza. Stay where you are. Well, I do have some news. Jacob has finished handling the situation in Athens. He and Leah will be here in a week. They're moving to Seattle."

I clapped my hands, frightening my baby boy. He began to cry, so I passed him off to Esme. She had him quieted in under a minute. He loved his nana and papa. Carlisle wrapped his arm around Esme, moving in close so that he could inspect our little angel. When our eyes met, he smiled and shrugged.

"I can't wait to see Jake again, and Leah too!"

Edward glared at me. "Yeah, well, there's more. The Russians have done the ceremony for Riley to become head of the Sokolov family. He has a lot of power now. His uncles want him to stay in Russia where they can keep an eye on him, but he insists on seeing you, Bree, and Dante. He'll be here this weekend."

"Oh no! What will I wear? What if Riley does not like my hair?" Bree asked, frantically.

I saw the twinkle in Alice's eye. "This calls for a shopping trip! Bella, are you in? We can take Dante. Rose?"

"Rose is in. She could use some new lingerie. I think I've destroyed all the others. Plus, if we're going to practice on making another baby, I need some motivation," Emmett said, blowing his wife a kiss.

She rolled her eyes, pulling him in for a kiss. "If I recall, the only motivation needed to conceive C and B was a beer and wandering hands."

Edward smirked, winking at me across the table. "You needed that much, bro? All Bella and I had was a fucking piano."

"Ewww!" Alice squealed, covering her ears. "I don't want to know these details."

Everyone in the room began to laugh. Not to be outdone, Dante squealed the loudest, which led to another round of him being passed around and coddled. He ended up in Di's arms. Marcus, who was usually stoic, even made silly faces and sounds.

Caius and Dr. A. were in Chicago. He'd been sad to leave Dante, but since he was planning on moving here, they needed to pack. Marcus and Di were staying in Chicago because it was the best thing for the Volturi, but they promised to make several yearly visits.

I looked over at a still frowning Edward. "What's wrong?"

"Riley is what's wrong. I… just. A part of me wants to kick his fucking ass and the other part wants to hug him or some shit."

Colin walked over and plopped down in Edward's lap. Dante began to whimper until Di put him on her shoulder.

"Unka Ed, what's ass?"

Rose shook her head. "Remember what I told you boys? Ignore Uncle Eddie unless he is speaking to you. He has a potty mouth."

Edward scoffed, tossing Colin in the air. "Listen to your mom, kid. When you're older I'll teach you all of my potty words. Chicks dig it."

After kissing us all, Rose and Emmett went home. I was happy to see Edward and Rose share a small hug. They were finally getting along.

Half an hour later, the rest of the family filed out. Di and Esme had hit yet another baby boutique and left us with a bunch of bags. Both Marcus and Carlisle apologized as they ushered the fussy Nanas out of the Penthouse. Bree kissed me and promised to take care of Onyx, whom I kissed on her soft little head.

When Alice walked out of the door with Dante, a piece of my heart broke. He would only be two floors away, but still… even that was too much. Jaz promised me that he would take care of my baby boy.

"Don't look at me like that, Bella. I did a pretty good job or raising you, right? Remember Charlie and the microwaved canned tuna?" Despite my sadness, I laughed.

"Yeah, you did an excellent job, Jasper," I said, kissing him. Call us if you need anything."

After the door closed, I turned around. Edward was standing behind me. His eyes went from electric green to dark as he raked in my form. I was still in my robe and pajamas.

"Hmmm, how about I run you a bath, babydoll?"

Shrugging, I walked past him. "That's okay. I'll just take a quick shower. I… I can fix us something to eat when I get out."

I made it one step before he grabbed my elbow, pulling me flush against his body. He was as hard as steel, but I was in no mood to help with that problem. Truthfully, I felt like I could sleep again.

"Let me go," I whined, attempting to pull away.

He pulled on his messy bronze hair. It had grown a bit since we got home. "Fuck this shit! I'm tired of fighting with you."

Lifting me into his arms, he stomped to the bathroom. I kicked, screamed, and called him names. How dare he treat me like this! I just gave birth a few days ago.

When we got to the bathroom, he turned on the tap, filling the tub with my favorite bubble bath and bath salts. The room smelled divine and some of my anger dissipated.

"Thank you, Edward. Now, if you will leave me be, I can take a bath in peace."

"Strip," he barked, advancing towards me.

"No. Leave! I can take a bath by myself. I was doing it years before I met you."

Incredulously, he began to forcefully remove the clothes from my body. By the time he removed my tank, I was all out crying. I didn't want him to see…this. I was still carrying twelve pounds of baby fat. I also had a few stretch marks. The cream was helping with the appearance, but it took time.

"You're… an asshole! I said no, but you didn't listen! Get out," I screamed, beating on his chest.

He sat on the edge of the tub, pulling me down into his lap. He was fully clothed and I was naked. Life just wasn't fair. His body remained perfect while mine had been mangled by pregnancy.

I sniffled, burying my head into his neck. "I didn't want you to see me. I'm… I'm ugly."

Edward snarled, raising my face so that we were eye to eye. "You are never fucking ugly, babydoll! So you gained some weight. Big fucking deal! You had our son. In my eyes, you've never been more beautiful. I love you no matter what. If the weight bothers you, we can go swimming and do our gym time together. I just want you to know that it doesn't bother me. You are still the sexiest woman in the world."

"You're just saying that because you know it's what I want to hear. Be honest, I'm disgusting. My boobs leak. I have hot flashes. I bleed off and on. I don't feel normal."

Kissing my forehead, Edward lowered me into the water. "I talked to Carlisle. All that shit is to be expected. You are not disgusting. Your body provides our son the nutrients he needs to grow. I'm a little fucking jealous."

The bath turned out to be a great idea. Edward and I got time to really talk. He actually wanted to know how I was doing. The gentleness that he'd show me the last few weeks was amazing. I opened up, letting him in on my thoughts and feelings. To my amazement, he seemed to understand.

As Edward gently washed my body, I leaned back, finally beginning to relax. He paid special attention to my breasts, which made me smile. They'd grown even larger since I started breastfeeding.

"You're beautiful, babydoll," he mumbled, rinsing conditioner out of my hair.

After the bath, Edward insisted on drying me off and helping me into my underwear. He rubbed Trilastin-SR over my stretch marks before coating me with a mix of Curel and my favorite strawberry lotion.

At first, I was embarrassed again, but my husband told me that I shouldn't hide anything from him. Because I was still bleeding, I needed to wear a pad. Edward had a panic attack because we had so many different types in the cabinets.

"What the fuck is overnight, regular, and…Pearl? I've been with a lot of bit-women, but I don't know fuck all about this part."

Giggling, I gave him a tutorial of the difference in pads as it relates to bleeding. He looked agitated when we got to the tampons. By the time I finished, he was groaning. I kissed his shoulder, letting him know that it was okay if he didn't want to discuss this ever again.

"Wow. What are you going to do when we have daughters? You know, they will have to use these things once they hit puberty," I teased.

Edward flipped the toilet lid, taking a seat as I finished getting dressed. His head was buried in his face. "Teenage daughters? Shit! I didn't think of all of that. Puberty brings breasts and horny fucking teenage boys. Promise that you'll handle the…pads and stuff. I'll make sure they stay as pure as the driven snow."

"I giggled. "How will you do that? Girls date, you know?"

"Not my little babydolls. I swear to god, I will fucking kill one of those horny little motherfuckers. If you let them date, I will tag along, with my fucking SIG, sit between them, and watch the boy like a hawk!"

"Little babydolls?" I asked, shrugging into one of Edward's white Henleys. I loved stealing his clothes.

"Yeah, you know little Bellas? I imagine they'll all be as beautiful as their mother. That is why I'm not letting them go on dates by themselves."

"Oh, Edward. How about we cross that bridge when we get to it? Right now, we have the one to raise."

"So, you admit you want more. I'm ready when you're ready," he smirked, guiding me into his strong arms.

"Someday. Right now, I'm so sore I don't think I'll ever let you inside me again."

Chuckling, he kissed my rosy cheeks. "Rose says every new mother feels that way. It will go away soon and you'll be all over my cock."

"You talked to Rose?"

"Yeah. After our fight, when I left the room. I was fucking angry as hell at you, but I didn't want us to fight in front of D.C. I grew up watching my parents have intense arguments. I don't want that for our son, so I left."

I squeezed him, silently offering an apology for my behavior. He nuzzled my slightly damp hair, sighing contentedly.

Breastfeeding gave women dry hair and skin, so Esme bought me some specialty skin and hair products. They were undoubtedly expensive, but did wonders. My long brown hair shined and my skin had never looked healthier.

"I'm sorry, Edward. You were right to leave."

After cleaning up and braiding my hair, Edward sent one of his men to pick up dinner from my favorite Japanese restaurant. I had a craving for a California roll and chicken katsu. Edward teased me as we watched Snow White, which was obviously my pick.

We were hugged up on the couch, just like old times, covered in one of our thick pure cashmere blankets. I felt safe, happy, and warm, but I still missed my baby.

"Um, do you think we should call? What if something happened to Dante?"

"Babydoll, it's only been an hour and a half. I'm sure he's fine. He's probably asleep."

I went to the bedroom and grabbed my breast pump. I didn't like the idea of Dante consuming too much formula. I still thought breast was best.

When I returned, Edward had put in another movie. He smiled sheepishly. After setting up a sterile work station on the den table, I plugged in the Medela double ease pump, preparing to fill a couple of bottles.

Edward's eyes widened. "Is that your tit juicer? It looks like you're about to give yourself open heart surgery or some shit! Uh, can I help?"

Beaming, I sent him to get the cold pack. Senna told me that it was best to freeze unused milk so it wouldn't get bacteria. Of course, it would be heated later for Dante.

When he came back, I took off my shirt and lowered my nursing tank. Then, I prepared the breast shields before attaching them to the bottles. After that, Edward connected the tubes to the machine.

The shields were then attached to my leaky breasts. I crossed one arm over my chest to keep them tight. Edward turned on the machine to the lowest setting. I winked at him before turning it up. The harder the suction, the more milk my body would expend. It really hurt, but like in most things, as long as I was doing it for the good of my child, I could take it.

I pumped for the recommended ten minutes, managing to fill four eight ounce bottles. We used Dr. Brown's bottles because they were the best at preventing colic and maintaining nutrients from the breast milk. Carlisle and Esme bought us loads of them.

After I finished, Edward made me drink an entire glass of cranberry juice. He ran downstairs to deliver one of the bottles, while I put the rest in the freezer. I wanted to go, but we both knew I didn't have the willpower to come back without my baby boy.

Edward returned with dinner. I asked him about Felix, who was currently holding things down at the club. He and his new girlfriend, Chelsea, had been by to see Dante a few days ago. Seeing my tiny son in Felix's massive arms made me happy, because I knew that he would be another protector to Dante.

Demitri was still recovering, but he would be out of the hospital next week. Edward, being a proud daddy, sent him a picture of our son. Kate and Garrett were bringing baby Sasha in time for Dante's christening next week.

I put my breast pump away, grabbing a couple of plates for Edward and me. We ate watching Goodfellas. It was one of Edward's favorite movies. He could quote every line.

"As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster," he pantomimed, quoting Ray Liota's character.

"I just hope our life is nothing like that, Edward. Henry cheated on his wife constantly. Then there were the drugs…"

Edward sighed, using chopsticks to put a piece of sushi into my mouth. "It's just a movie. I would never cheat on you, babydoll."

"Besides, things now are different for the Mafia. In the old days, you had to be one hundred percent Italian to be a made man. Some of the older families still work that way, but the Volturi don't. I'm Greek too, remember? That means I have alliances that make me more valuable than the average Don."

Leaning back, I let him feed me a few more pieces of sushi roll. It was sooooo good to actually taste my food. Lately, I only ate when necessary and I was always too preoccupied to enjoy anything.

"I trust you. It's just hard. You have the club and all those women would kill to get a ride on your dick."

He choked on his hot sake. "Fuck those bitches. They don't mean anything and you know that. If you want, I can sell the club."

I considered it. "No, you love HADES, and so do I. It's where we met and shared our first mutual orgasm. Our child was conceived in the lair. I couldn't part with those memories. We can work on my jealousy in treatment."

"Good, I didn't want to give it up, but I would for you. If it ever gets too much, just ask," he said, lovingly.

"I heard you on the phone the other day. Are you seriously thinking of running for State Senate?"

"I wanted to talk to you about that, babydoll. It's… complicated. With my fucking background, I have a chance at winning. It would be a coup for the Volturi. The current State Senator has been a good buddy of ours for years. He's old now and wants to spend his remaining years with his wife. We need someone in State Senate to give us power and help pass laws that are favorable to our Allies. The Mafia has always worked closely with Congress. There have been few Congressmen who were actually made men."

While I digested this information, Edward went to put up the leftovers. When I married him, I knew there would be sacrifices and we'd made our share. Dante and I almost died because of it. I'd never considered myself a political wife, but I would be whatever Edward needed. He deserved that much and more.

"I just want you to know that whatever you decide is good with me. I don't have any criminal record, not even a speeding ticket. Charlie as the Chief of Police and my mom was a schoolteacher. I won't embarrass you."

Edward laughed. "I wouldn't care if your parents were the town's biggest fucking criminals and you had a rap sheet a mile long. I love you."

After our talk, we sat on the couch and continued the DVD marathon. Edward held me, just content to be in my presence. I always knew that we had strong sexual chemistry, but intimacy was more than that. The fact that we could be intimate without sex gave me faith in our marriage.

Alice and Jasper returned Dante at midnight. I noticed that he was wearing a new onesie with a stroller on the front and the words, 'that's how I roll' in green letters. Alice smiled guiltily as she placed my angel in my arms.

Winking, Jaz hugged me. "He was perfect, sis. I love my little nephew. I can't wait to teach him stuff."

I rolled my eyes. "Would this be the same 'stuff' you taught me, like how to hotwire a car and spit sunflower seeds?"

Edward stepped behind me, wrapping his arms around my waist. "Those are good things for any man to know. I don't think D.C. will need to learn to steal, though. I'll buy him any fucking car he wants."

We said our goodbyes to Ali and Jaz before putting Dante into his bassinet. He stirred a little, but thankfully, didn't wake up. I was exhausted and so was Edward. We fell asleep a few minutes later.

I woke up at six. My body was used to the early morning hour, so my breasts were leaking. Edward was watching the stock ticker and playing with Dante. I kissed him, taking our son and latching him to my breast. My little man fed hungrily, kicking his legs and gazing up at me with his big green eyes.

"Good morning, Dante. Mommy missed you last night. Did you sleep well, angel?"

In answer, he kneaded his pudgy fist against my breast. Edward kissed us. Then, he stretched, yawned, and went right back to sleep.

"Men," I mumbled, waking up for the day.

I shook Edward, placing Dante on his chest so that I could wash up and use the restroom. He cradled our boy protectively, smiling sleepily. They were too cute together. I couldn't resist getting a picture.

When I returned to the room, Dante was asleep on Edward's bare chest. I lifted him. Edward tightened his grip but let go once he realized it was me. After putting Dante in his bassinet, I did my hair and fixed breakfast.

Since I'd been home, there hadn't been too much time to write. I now had a story to tell. I was going to write about Vladimir's wife and the women like her. I just hoped that there was someone out there who would publish my work. I refused to use Edward's connections. I wanted to do it on my terms.

Three hours later, the baby monitor alerted me to a fussy Dante. I fed him again, changed his diaper, and dressed him in a tiny pair of button fly jeans, like Edward's, and a long sleeved Dior bodysuit and cap. He looked adorable. I couldn't wait until he was big enough to wear the cute baby Armani suit his daddy bought for him. Edward had even gotten him Gucci loafers.

Bleary eyed and grumpy, Edward woke up half an hour later. I fixed him breakfast. He talked about hiring a cook. Usually, I would have protested, but now, it seemed like a good idea.

"Um, Rose will be here in an hour to drive us to the mall. You can stay home and catch up on some sleep," I told Edward, pouring him a glass of orange juice.

"Fuck that. If you insist on going, you're taking some of my men with you. They can follow Rose's car."

"Do you really think…" I trailed off after his eyes went hard.

"Okay. We'll be gone all afternoon. You should rest."

He cut into his omelet before speaking. "I'm okay. It's you that needs to rest more. I just have a few things to talk over with my Godfathers. I put the new fucking black card with 'Bella Swan-Cullen' on it inside your purse. Use it or I swear I'll have a fucking aneurism. We can't take it with us, babydoll."

Rose and the boys arrived early. Alice came upstairs to help me pack the diaper bag. Esme, Bree, and Di would be meeting us at the mall. After Edward rounded up his muscle, he let us go. His eyes followed me and Dante to the elevator. I lifted our son's fist, giving him a smile and a wave.

The trip was fun. We sang silly kid songs all the way. C and B were ecstatic that Dante could at least ride in a car with them. It had taken us several minutes to get him situated in his deluxe carseat. One of Edward's men had actually been the one to put it into the correct position. I thanked the mountain of a man, promising to tell Edward about his help.

Since school was out, the mall was packed. There were teenager and young children everywhere. Alice put Dante into his Maclaren Grand Tour stroller. Many people had given us prams for gifts so my little man had lots. This one was best for cruising the mall.

After Dante was covered with his favorite blanket and given a soft toy to play with, we set off. I attached my large Evian water bottle to the side of the stroller. Several women stopped to peek in on my angel and tell me how cute he was. I beamed from all the praise.

We found Esme, Bree, and Di easily. They were all dressed in bright designer sundresses, and attracting a lot of male attention. I'd opted for a light blue maxi dress that hid my fat but was still comfortable. For shoes, I'd gone with a comfortable pair of white slide-ons, nothing fancy. My hair was curled down my back.

"You look lovely!" Esme squealed before bending down to check on her grandson.

We hit up a bunch of stores and boutiques. Edward called me every five minutes. I assured him that we were okay. His security tried to be inconspicuous, but in a mall full of moms, teenagers, and children, they stood out like a sore thumb.

After awhile, Dante began to get fuzzy so I took him out of the stroller. At one of the baby store's we bought a Moby wrap. The salesperson arranged it into a Kangaroo hold so that Dante was safe on my chest, allowing my arms free movement. I liked it a lot.

When we got to a lingerie store, I tried to turn around. Bree took a sleeping Dante out of his wrap, before putting him back into his stroller. Then, Alice shoved me into a dressing room. I was given some sexier looking nursing bras and tanks to try on. I actually liked a lot of the stuff my sisters picked out. It was sexy, but practical.

As I was trying on a pair of lacy boy shorts, my phone buzzed, alerting me to a new text message.

How's my boy? Are you having fun?
-E-

He's fine. I'm trying on lingerie. Not that I fit into my normal sizes…
-B-

Shit. Don't tempt me. I was actually about to whack off to that picture I took of you after I came on your ass. Remember that?
-E-

You're so dirty, Edward. Just give me time. I know I've been neglecting you, but soon I'll be back to normal.
-B-

No rush. I can wait for you. As I recall, you like dirty. Bye, babydoll. Call me if you need anything.
-E-

I love you. Xoxo
-B-

Eventually, we paid for our purchases and went to find somewhere to eat at the food court. Di suggested Fridays so we went with that. Colin and Brady were given booster seats. I sat on the outside of the booth where we parked Dante's stroller. He was drinking from his bottle and just looking around.

C and B tried to share their fries with Dante. Rose had to explain that he had no teeth, and therefore couldn't eat their food. I told them they were sweet for including their cousin.

We were leaving when someone shoved me from the back. Luckily, Alice was the one pushing Dante's stroller. A strong arm caught me mid-air.

In an instant, Edward's security men surrounded the perpetrator. I turned to see who would have the audacity to do that to me in a public restaurant.

"You fucking filthy bitch! It should have been. That," she pointed to Dante, "should be my baby! If you had of never come along, I could have gotten him high enough to fuck me without a condom! You don't deserve any of it!"

The screaming banchee had long blond hair. She was very thin with good sized breast that I would guess were fake. Her skin was tanned in some places and pale in others. She was a hot mess.

People stood up and gawked as one of our guards carried the woman out. The manager looked frightened, going out of his way to apologize. I had a feeling he recognized Di or Esme. The Volturi had friends everywhere.

"I will fucking cut that bitch's throat," Rose seethed, covering C & B's ears.

"Me too," Alice piped up.

"Are you okay?" Di and Bree asked at the same time.

After making sure my baby boy was unharmed, I turned to the other security guy. "Who the hell was that?"

He looked visibly agitated. "Her name is Lauren Mallory. I'll let your husband explain more."

Esme hugged me, checking me for injuries. "That… stronza. How dare she put her hands on you. When Edward hears about this…"

On cue, my phone buzzed. The message read:

That bitch put her fucking hands on you? She's a fucking corpse. I'll kill her.
-E-


Italian

*Stronza*-whore, bitch
*Dolcezza*-sweetheart

3 comments:

  1. Oh man, those post-pregnancy hormones can wreak havoc on your emotional state. At least Edward is taking it in stride. Daddy Donward is too precious.

    Lauren is definitely one dead bitch. She's stupid to think she would get away with something like that.

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  2. oh bella you wouldn't know what fat was if it bit you in the ass!! boohoo...

    ed is so adorable with the baby she doesn't let him do very much though! poor guy

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  3. Your fiction is a constant émotional roller-coaster. I love it. Thank you.

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