Third Time's the Charm @sukiethree
Chapter 26

AN: If you haven't read chapter 25 because of Fanfiction's shenanigans, please go back and read first.

This is the last full chapter; apologies if you were expecting a Christmas one, but it didn't flow with this one. I'm sure the Cullens would've understood.

The epilogue will post next week pulling all the strands together.

Thanks go to MeteorOnAMoonlessNight, annaharding and Midnight Cougar, who has been ultra busy editing a book for publishing yet still found time to give this the once over.

I am especially grateful for all those who sent me messages telling me about the fanfiction fail and for the those who persevered and reviewed chapter 25. Without all of you, who would I write for? I'd definitely miss each one of you.

Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer still owns the characters, I'm just putting them in different situations to see how they do.

Third Time's the Charm Part 3 Chapter 26

Left pregnant and alone, Bella delivers a surprise to the paramedic who knocks on her door.

Chapter 26

Christmas Eve found me curled up on the sofa alone while Edward filled in for a colleague. He wasn't happy about it, but if he wanted Christmas and New Year off, it was a necessity. Emily was fast asleep, and I'd lit the gas fire and found a book to read. The room was quiet, with only the sound of the holiday playlist on the iHome playing in the background.

The sound of the door then Edward's keys dropping in the bowl on the hall table brought me out of the book I'd been engrossed in for the last couple of hours. When he didn't appear in the doorway, I got to my feet, wondering what was going on.

I found him in the kitchen with an open bottle of beer in front of him. Both of his hands were resting on the counter, his head hanging lower than his shoulders.

"Edward?" I questioned. "What's wrong?"

When he said nothing, I walked across the kitchen, slid my arms around his waist, and leaned my head in the middle of his back.

"It's fine, Bella." He straightened and unwound my arms, grabbing his beer and walking away without looking at me.

For a second, I was hurt, but in my heart I knew this wasn't Edward. Something was truly bothering him, something had happened during his shift. I followed him to find his uniform thrown on the floor outside the bathroom door. He was standing at the bathroom sink in the same position as he'd been in the kitchen, clad only in his wife-beater and boxers.

I said nothing and walked around him, setting the plug into the bathtub and turning on the taps. After adding some bath salts to the water, I went to the linen closet, grabbing a couple of large towels and hanging them over the rail in the bathroom.

It didn't take long for the bath to fill, and I encouraged him to take off the rest of his clothes and climb into the hot water. Leaning back, he closed his eyes. When he opened them again to look at me, I almost gasped at the tortured look.

Waiting for him to speak and tell me what happened was difficult, but I knew Edward needed to open up in his own time. I sat on the closed lid of the toilet, brushing every inch of his uncovered skin with cloth.

"Move forward, Edward," I said quietly.

Without answering, he did as I asked, and I divested myself of the pajamas I was wearing and slid into the water behind him, copying my previous actions on the skin of his back. He leaned against me, closing his eyes again, obviously lost in whatever memories were going through his mind.

"Seth and I were on a call early this evening," he began. "At first, it seemed to be the usual traffic accident—as usual as any accident ever is—but things took a turn for the worse. The driver, a woman, was trapped and unconscious. The Incident Commander from the fire service assessed the situation and allowed one of us into the vehicle. I managed to stabilize her and waited with her for the guys to do their job.

"The other vehicle was driven by a drunk driver more than three times over the limit." Here his voice took on a hard edge, and for the first time, Edward allowed emotion to enter his speech.

"He was driving a huge Jeep, and he crossed the central line, the side of his vehicle ripping away the car doors along the whole side of her car." He paused and took a deep breath before continuing. "She regained consciousness just as they cut away the front of the car. Her screams were for her baby, not herself, even though her injuries were life-threatening. None of us had seen a baby seat, but Seth went searching and found it over the crash barrier. The force of the impact had detached the seat from the straps and thrown it from the car."

"Oh my—" I stopped, tears filling my eyes. My arms snaked over his shoulders and hugged him tightly to my chest, hoping to give him comfort.

"There was nothing we could do for either of them. The woman ended up dying before they could get her to the hospital and the baby was pronounced dead at the scene."

"I'm so sorry you had to go through that, Edward."

I knew something of this sort could happen, and it was clear he was very upset. As the water grew too cold to stay in, I helped him out of the bath and dried his skin before leading him to sit on the bed. I dried myself off and slipped on a t-shirt and panties.

He looked up at me, tears in his eyes. "The one thing that crossed my mind was that it could have been you and Emily. I couldn't bear it if anything happened to either of you."

There wasn't anything I could say since I knew accidents happened, and no amount of promises would make any difference. He leaned forward and his arms came around my waist, his head buried between my breasts, no doubt listening to my heartbeat.

I held him tight for a few minutes, then pulled back the comforter. He slid into the bed, lying back with his eyes closed while I went into the living to turn off the lights and the fire and make sure the door was securely locked. I looked into Emily's room, to see for myself that my daughter, Edward's daughter, was safe and asleep in her bed.

Pulling her door almost closed, I returned to the bedroom to find Edward still in the same position. He lifted his arm to pull me close into his side and covered us, then turned toward me, resting on his side with his hand on my hip. He rubbed his thumb over the skin there. I moved closer to him, and lifted my leg over his hip.

Despite the circumstances, I wanted him. I moved slowly, giving him time to stop me, my lips meeting his in a soft kiss. He seized the moment and plunged his tongue into my mouth.

"I want you, Bella. Please?"

He never had to ask. I pushed him over onto his back, kneeling and straddling him. I leaned over and captured his lips, my hands sliding into his hair and holding his face to mine. His hands crept up under my t-shirt, cupping my breasts, his thumbs rubbing over my nipples.

I moaned into his mouth as he pinched them lightly between his fingers and rolled them. Detaching my lips from his, I sat back on his legs and dragged my—or rather his—t-shirt over my head. His body followed mine as he sucked first one, then the other, into his mouth.

Kneeling up, I lined his already rock-hard cock with my center and eased my body down over him. Lying back, Edward's hands gripped my hips with an almost bruising force, and he thrust up inside me.

"Fuck," I moaned.

Edward seemed like a man possessed. After a few hard thrusts, he rolled to one side, taking me with him, and settled between my legs with his cock still inside me. On his knees now, he hooked my legs over his arms, opening me up, driving deeper with every stroke. All I could do was hold on, my arms snaking around his neck as my body responded to the onslaught.

He slammed into me, his body slapping against mine as he plunged in and withdrew over and over. I screwed my eyes shut, his cock roughly hitting my G-spot again and again. My body quivered and an inferno of heat raced through me.

"Look at me, Bella."

Edward's voice broke through the pleasure coursing through my veins. Despite the relative coolness of the room, sweat beaded on his forehead and wherever our skin touched. I forced my eyes open, and he caught mine in his gaze.

"Look at us, Bella. See how good we are together?"

His eyes traveled down my body to where we were joined. I watched his abs and thigh muscles tighten as my eyes followed the same path, watching as his cock disappeared inside me and then reappeared glistening with our combined arousal. His pace increased, his body trembling as he approached his climax.

"I need you to come, Bella. Touch yourself, please."

I worked my hand down my body, smoothing over my heated skin. Edward's eyes closed for a second then reopened, his eyes fixed on where my fingers slid through the wetness between my legs, touching his cock before finding their way to my clit. I let out a moan as my fingers connected and rubbed in circles, and I pushed my hips upward, taking his cock farther inside.

My breath stuttered in my throat as Edward slammed into me, letting loose a low, sexy growl, becoming still as his body arched. I could feel his cock swell and pulse inside me as he let go completely, triggering my response. My orgasm bowled over me like a tidal wave, washing over my skin in heat rather than water. Colored lights flashed behind my eyelids and my hands gripped Edward's waist as my body bowed toward his.

A string of curse words left Edward's mouth as my muscles clenched spasmodically around his cock, holding him tightly inside my body.

Slowly, Edward let his body connect with mine. I could feel his heart beating hard and fast, echoing inside my chest and matching the pace of mine. His heated breath washed across my shoulder as his head rested against the side of my neck.

His breathing slowed, and I became aware of a trickle of wetness on my shoulder. My arms slid around his body, pulling him tightly against mine as he allowed the tears to fall.

"I love you." His words were muffled against my skin.

I didn't answer, only holding him tighter, protesting when he tried to move off.

"It's okay, stay there, please," I asked. "I like to feel your weight on me and your body surrounding mine. It makes me feel safe and cherished."

Edward, despite my protests about him not being too heavy, eventually lifted up on his hands and let his body fall beside me. He brushed his hands across his face and closed his eyes.

"Sorry about that," he said. "I don't know where it came from. I thought I was okay until I saw you and the reality hit me. The thought that I could lose you and Emily was too real."

Rolling onto my side, I slid my arm over his stomach and rested my head on his shoulder. Kissing his sweaty skin, I offered him the comfort of my touch.

He rolled to face me. "Are you okay? I was a little rough there."

I smiled and shook my head. "You don't need to apologize for anything, Edward. I'll always be here for you, whatever you need. I love you so much. I know I can't promise nothing will happen to either me or Emily, but I'll do my absolute best to stay safe. You have to do the same for me, though."

For the first time since he'd walked in this evening, he smiled as he kissed me. "Thank you."

I leaned over and shut off the lamp, leaving the room lit by the faint light of the moon and the nightlight from the hall. He gathered me into his arms and pulled me close. The room was quiet and I was drifting into sleep when he spoke.

"I can't do this anymore, Bella."

"What can't you do anymore?"

"I can't be a paramedic anymore. What happened tonight was the final straw."

"Okay, I can understand that, but shouldn't you wait until tomorrow morning to make any decisions?"

"No, I think I made up my mind on the way home. I want to go back to school—medical school. It'll take a long time and I'll have to study hard, and residency will be an absolute pig." He stopped and swallowed before continuing his thought. "It'll be hard on you too, Bella. Would you be okay with me doing that?"

"As long as you're happy, Edward, I will be, too. I love you and I'll support you, no matter what you decide. You know that, right?"

"I do." Edward took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "You've no idea how it feels to hear you say that, sweetheart. With my job as a paramedic, I know I make a difference, but I want to be there from day one for those who choose to have a child, and I want to deliver babies every day."

"You'll be the perfect baby doctor; I know you will."

I snuggled into his chest, and we drifted off to sleep knowing we were together, on the same page, and life was good. Whatever the future brought, we would tackle it as a family.

~ oOo ~ Epilogue to Follow ~ oOo ~

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