AN: And Tyler returns home!
My thanks to MeteorOnAMoonlessNight, anna harding and Midnight Cougar for their help throughout, Without them, this would be a bit of a mess.
I love every review, follow and favourite
Disclaimer: SM owns it all
Third Time's the Charm Part 1 Chapter 4
Left pregnant and alone, Bella delivers a surprise to the paramedic who knocks on her door.
Tyler called on Sunday, full of his part in the games they'd already played and what was happening next.
"When are you coming home, Tyler?" I was tempted to tell him about the baby then, but I was pretty sure he wouldn't be happy at first. We'd discussed children, and theoretically, he wanted them, but he'd said not for a long time. No, I decided, face-to-face would be better.
"I'll be home after next Saturday's game." He laughed. "You missing me, babe?"
"Of course. The apartment's so quiet without you." I grimaced and hoped he didn't think I didn't want him home.
"Hmm." He lowered his voice. "We can still make some noise, babe. What are you wearing?"
With the weight of the knowledge I was keeping from him, albeit only temporarily, there was no way I could indulge in a little phone sex. I knew it was where he was heading and quickly butted in before he could go any further. "There's someone at the door, Tyler. I'd better go. I'll call you in a day or so, okay?" I sighed with relief when he agreed and hung up.
There were a lot of things I still had to face. Telling Tyler was the first, then my dad. I knew he wouldn't be too happy about it, but he would support me. Tyler and I would have to think about somewhere new to live, although that wasn't so urgent; it could wait a year if necessary. Then there was the best part; the baby would need clothes, a crib, diapers, and it was never too soon to start.
My clothes still fit fine, and I was hoping it would stay that way for a few months. I was approaching the end of my first trimester, and could already see a small curve that hadn't been there before. My next appointment was booked for the week after the Christmas break, and it would be nice if Tyler was there with me, but it depended on his games.
I would also have to think about work. While I knew I was entitled to twelve weeks unpaid maternity leave, I had no idea whether The Tribune offered anything more. I hoped that, as a large employer, at least some of that would be paid leave. I'd only been working there for six months, so I wasn't sure of my entitlement. Even with all these problems still to surmount, I was happier than I'd ever been. The only thing marring my contented state of mind was the thought of Tyler's reaction.
The blow-up came before I was ready. I'd run a bath and was about to step into the warm water when I heard the front door slam so hard the picture frames rattled. Although I wasn't expecting him yet, I knew immediately why Tyler was two days early.
He wasn't a violent man, and I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times he'd lost control of his temper. One of those was the night he'd rescued me from Riley. Nevertheless, raised voices weren't something I'd experienced while growing up, and my heart leaped into my throat.
"Bella, where the fuck are you?" His voice echoed through the apartment, and I grabbed my robe, stepping out of the bathroom as he slammed into the bedroom. "When were you going to fucking tell me?" he roared.
"Tyler, Tyler, calm down." I put my hand on his arm, but he shook me off, pacing the length of the room and glaring at me.
"How can you expect me to be calm, Bella? You should have told me the minute you found out. I had to hear it from Garrett, who heard it from his girlfriend, Bree."
"I promise I didn't tell her anything, Ty. She happened to be in the same café I was, and I had some pamphlets in my hand. She must have seen them before I managed to slip them into my purse. You know—"
"It doesn't matter how she found out, Bella, you should have called me right away."
I could feel my anger growing. "Hey, just a minute there, Ty. I would never talk to anyone about something so personal, especially not to her. I didn't want to tell you something this important over the phone. What would you have done? Leave your games and come home right away?" When he didn't answer me, I answered my own question. "No, you wouldn't; the game is far more important than I am."
I stalked out of the bedroom and grabbed a bottle of water from the refrigerator. Fucking drama queen. "Why don't you sit and calm down, and I'll tell you everything. I promise I wasn't keeping anything from you."
Tyler refused to sit, continuing to pace from one side of the room to the other. "You know it's not the right time for kids, Bella. Playing is more important to me, and I've worked hard to get where I am now. I'm not giving it up," he said stubbornly.
"I'd never ask you to do that, and you know it. I'm pregnant, and there's no undoing it."
He shrugged. "You could get rid of it."
I gasped at the cavalier way he spoke of his own child. "Tyler! Why would you say that? I want this baby, and he or she is your child."
He stood still for a moment, narrowed his eyes, and glared at me. "I don't care what you do, Bella. I'm not having anything to do with it. I don't want kids now, and maybe not ever."
I sat there in stunned silence wondering who this man was in front of me. Oh, I knew he was lazy and messy, but I really thought he had a good heart. I was seeing a side to him I never suspected existed.
"Well, you can go to hell then, Tyler Lockwood. Get out!" I yelled at him. I stalked into the bedroom and dragged his suitcase from the floor of the closet, haphazardly filling it with whatever would fit before zipping it closed. When I turned around, he was leaning against the doorframe. "Take your stuff, Tyler, and go. If you don't want this baby, then you can't have me." I lifted my chin in defiance. "And I'm keeping it."
I shoved past him and into the bathroom, closing the door and locking it behind me. I slid to the floor, leaning my head back against it. Tears welled in my eyes, but I was determined I wouldn't let them fall or let him hear how much his awful words affected me.
A few minutes later, there was a quiet knock on the door. "Bella, come on, we need to discuss this. Do you really want to call it a day? I thought we were good together."
"Yeah, we were. Now you've opened my eyes, and there's no way back, Tyler. I want you gone by the time I've finished in here."
"What about the rest of my stuff?"
"Don't worry, asshole, I'll make sure I pack it up for you, and I'll let you know when you can come back for it. Leave your keys on the hall table on your way out. We're done."
He didn't answer, and about ten minutes later, I heard the front door slam again. I breathed a sigh of relief and let the water out of the bath, deciding on having a shower in the morning instead. I walked quietly through the apartment, glad to see he'd done what I asked and left his keys. Of course, there was a small part of me that regretted what I'd done, but the larger part of me was absolutely sure it was the right thing for me and my baby. I had to admit our relationship hadn't been that good for a while.
Another douchebag bites the dust...
It was actually a relief to know where I stood—on my own, but keeping this baby. Everything else came second, and somehow, I knew I'd manage.
~ oOo ~
Tyler and I had planned to visit his parents for Christmas. I'd been looking forward to a week away from the winter cold in Chicago, but I didn't feel even a little guilty now that those plans were out the window. Let him explain why I wasn't there.
I changed the ticket for one to Forks, leaving on December 22, deciding I would tell my dad in person. He collected me from Sea-Tac in his truck; the journey home was quiet but comfortable. He never asked where Tyler was.
After settling in and unpacking my suitcase in a bedroom that hadn't changed since I'd left home, I headed down to the kitchen. Dad, as usual, was in front of the television watching a game of some sort, so I decided to make some hot chocolate. The revelation could wait until tomorrow.
"I'm heading up to bed now, Dad," I said as I put his cup on the coffee table. "It's been a long day. We'll catch up in the morning, okay?"
"No problem, Bells. See you in the morning. Good night."
I climbed the stairs, too tired for a shower, and brushed my teeth before retiring to my room. I slipped into a warm bed, courtesy of an electric blanket, and finished my hot chocolate before pulling up the covers around my ears and falling asleep.
The following day was its usual rainy self, but at least it wasn't snowing. I slipped on my robe, heading down to the kitchen to make myself some tea. Dad wasn't far behind me and raised his eyebrows at what I was drinking, although he didn't say anything.
"Um, can you sit down please, Dad? I need to tell you something."
Let's tear off the bandaid all in one go.
I knew Dad always liked Tyler, and the fact that he played football was a bit of a winner in his book, so I wasn't sure what his reaction would be to the news we were no longer together. "Tyler and I split up six weeks ago, and I haven't seen him since."
"What did he do? Do I have to kick his ass? He didn't hurt you, did he?"
"No, nothing like that, Dad. I promise. It was me who told him to go."
I took a deep breath. "Well, I'm kinda pregnant, and he told me he didn't want it, and I want to keep it, so I told him to get out." I got everything out in one sentence, not looking at him.
He scrubbed his hands over his face. "Kinda pregnant, eh? I didn't know that was possible." He smiled briefly. "So, you're keeping the baby, and Tyler doesn't want to be involved at all. Is that right?" Dad had always surprised me at how accepting he was, and he always thought before speaking. "How far along are you?"
"I'm almost twelve weeks, Dad. Morning sickness is mostly gone, and I'm feeling good. I told Tyler that if he didn't want the baby, then he couldn't have me. You know I could never terminate a pregnancy, and I already love him or her. I'm not giving my baby away."
"You know I'll always support you, no matter what you decide. What about the apartment? Can you afford to stay there without Tyler's income? I can drive to you and bring you and your things back here if you want to come home. It wouldn't be a problem; you know you're always welcome here."
"I know, Dad, and I'm grateful for the offer, but I'm not ready to leave Chicago yet. I have some savings, so I can cover the rent for now. I'll have to look for something else as the baby grows, but I'm okay. Don't worry about me, please. For now, I can't afford to lose my insurance, so I can't quit my job, even if I wanted to. I'm going to work for as long as I can and take my vacation time, too. Of course, things might change once the baby's here, but I can change my mind later, can't I? Is that okay?"
"Of course it is, Bella."
"Thanks for being so understanding, Dad. I love you."
"I love you, too, Bells, always will."
I felt so much better now that Dad knew about the baby. I was somewhat surprised he wasn't upset about it. I didn't really know many people in Chicago, but I liked living there. I decided once Christmas and New Year's were out of the way, I'd send out a few emails and see if I could reconnect with Alice and Rose at the very least. For now, I was happy where I was.
And just like that, the conversation was over. "Um, have you done anything about food shopping for Christmas?" I asked.
"Not had a chance yet, Bells." Dad stood and dropped a couple of slices into the toaster. "You want some?" he asked.
I nodded and we moved around each other as we'd done for years. "I'll get to the store later today, okay? Anything particular you'd like me to get?"
He shook his head, finished his coffee and toast, then left for work, leaving me with a kiss to the top of my head. I made myself a second cup of tea and headed upstairs to shower and wash away the travel grime from yesterday.
We had a quiet Christmas dinner, just the two of us, and the rest of my time in Forks passed peacefully. Dad wasn't a big conversationalist, and I was content to relax and catch up on my reading. My return to Chicago came too fast, and although I told Dad it wasn't necessary to drive me to Sea-Tac, he insisted, even parking the truck and walking me to the check-in desk.
"Go on, Dad. You don't need to wait here with me. You've a long drive back and your shift starts early tomorrow."
"If you're sure?" he asked. "Don't forget to call me if you need anything; anything at all. Okay?"
"I won't, Dad, and thanks for being so understanding."
He hugged me. "Take care of yourself, Bells, and let me know you got back safely."
~ oOo ~
My bump started to show as I moved toward the twenty-week mark, and I was looking forward to my ultrasound when, hopefully, I would find out if my little one was a boy or a girl. I honestly didn't care which, as long as he or she was healthy.
Two weeks later, I was back in Dr. Cullen's office with a full bladder, waiting excitedly for my second scan. I'd had a few visits between my first appointment and now, but this was the one I had been waiting for, ever since I'd seen that plus sign.
His door opened and he looked around the waiting room, smiling when his gaze landed on me. "Miss Swan, come in, please."
I practically leaped to my feet, hurrying to follow him into the room. The mobile scanner and the table were already in position, and I wasted no time dropping my purse on the empty chair inside the door and hopping up onto the table.
"Eager, are we?" he teased. "Okay, we can do the usual check-up after we've had a look."
He handed me some paper towels, which I positioned to make sure none of the goop spoiled my clothes. The gel was cool on my stomach as he spread it around, pushing the transducer against my skin. As with the first scan, the sound of my baby's heartbeat filled the room.
"Good, strong heartbeat." He looked at me. "Ready to know if you're having a boy or a girl, Miss Swan? What were you hoping for?"
"I'm happy with either, Dr. Cullen, as long as he or she is healthy."
The image on the screen was now recognizable as a baby, and I nodded enthusiastically as he moved the transducer over my stomach.
"Look, there!" He pointed between the baby's legs. "No outie, as it's known in the trade." He laughed. "So that means you're having a baby girl."
He pointed out arms, legs, fingers, and toes. My mind conjured up a little girl with long brown ringlets and brown eyes. Unfortunately, there was no doting daddy in the picture, but I was only sad for a second; Tyler would miss out on so much, but that was his problem, not mine. There was a selfish part of me that was glad I was having a girl; there was less likelihood of Tyler wanting to be involved. I shook that thought away as Dr. Cullen proceeded to wipe the gel off my stomach, handing me some more paper towels to finish up while he washed his hands.
"Thank you, Dr. Cullen. It's so exciting. When will I feel her move? What's next?" I asked as he checked my weight and blood pressure.
"You may already be feeling small movements; they'll feel like butterfly wings, or so I've been told. Those movements will become much more noticeable over the next month. You might even see the outline of a limb when she stretches. As for what's next, I'll see you every four weeks until you're twenty-eight weeks, then bi-weekly until thirty-six weeks, and weekly until the baby decides she's ready. We'll set up another ultrasound much later to make sure she's in the right position for the birth."
I left the office with a few pictures from the scan in my hand and studied them, my finger stroking over the outline of her tiny body for the whole journey back to the apartment. I missed having someone to share them with, although now that I was well past twelve weeks, I knew I could start letting the few people I was friendly with know I was expecting a baby.
When I returned home in January after the New Year, I sent emails to Alice and Rose, telling them Tyler and I had parted company and wondering if they'd like to get together at some point. Rose replied immediately, telling me she and Emmett were still together and would love to visit when she returned from her latest modeling gig.
Alice took a little longer to answer and was hugely apologetic that she hadn't made more of an effort to find me. She and Jasper had just returned from a three-week honeymoon on a deserted island. I was happy when she agreed to visit in April and looked forward to telling them both about my baby.
It was unfortunate neither Emmett nor Jazz would be able to come with them, but in a way, I was glad to catch up with the girls first.
~ oOo ~