In a Heartbeat ~ Chapter One

Summary:  In a heartbeat, Edward’s life changed. What was supposed to be the joyful, life-changing experience, the birth of their daughter, turned into a nightmare. The love of his life, lifeless on the delivery table, as he held his daughter in his arms. The gift of organ donation was always his wife’s desire. Bella was in the critical care unit at John Hopkins, praying for a heart transplant. What happens when years later Edward moves back home to Baltimore and enrolls his daughter in a dance class? Will the beauty in pink tights capture his heart? But what happens when he learns her secret?

“Dr. Cullen, page 223, Dr. Cullen 223,” the voice over the loud system boomed.  Coming alive after his quick nap, Edward stretched his long arms about his head and twisted his torso, getting the blood flowing.  After rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he took out his phone and returned the page.

“This is Dr. Cullen,” Edward said, wondering what the emergency was this time.

“Dr. Cullen, I have a message from Mrs. Cullen, who has been trying to get you on your cell phone.”

Edward looked down at his phone and noticed that he, in fact, had missed five calls from Maggie.  “What is the message?”

“She said that she is in the taxi and will meet you on the second floor.”

“Second floor?”  Edward asked, wondering why she was going to the second floor because she knew his office was on the first floor.

“Dr. Cullen, the second floor is labor and delivery,” the operator answered, trying not to chuckle.

“HOT SHIT, IT’S TIME!”  Edward yelled, standing up quickly and doing so knocking over the chair.  “Thank you.”

He hung up with the operator and quickly headed toward the second-floor labor and delivery wing.  As he rushed towards Maggie, he couldn’t help but think how he got here.

He was born in Baltimore, Maryland to Dr. Carlisle and Esme Cullen, well, his father wasn’t a doctor at that point.  Carlisle and Esme had met at a sophomore mixer and fell head over heels in love with each other, so much so, that they got married between their sophomore and junior year of college.   Both came from wealthy families and even though they were concerned, they embraced the young love of the couple.

Esme was studying English Lit, while Carlisle was pre-med, just like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather before him.  There was a long line of doctors in Carlisle’s family.  Carlisle had decided early on he wanted to be a heart surgeon and was prepared to spend the next sixteen years in college, med school, and residence to do so.  After graduation, Carlisle got accepted in the Maryland School of Medicine and they settled down in a house near the school.  During Carlisle’s first year in med school, Esme had Edward and, two years later, had his twin brothers, Jasper and Emmett.

While his father studied and worked long hours to become a doctor, Esme had to be both mother and father.  Edward tried not to get his feelings hurt when his father didn’t make any of his baseball games or wasn’t there when he needed the advice that only a father could give, but it still hurt.  After seeing the same hurt on his brothers’ faces after their father had missed some of the significant events, the sadness in his mother’s eyes when he didn’t show up for planned dates or anniversaries, Edward decided that, since he had also decided to become a heart surgeon, he wouldn’t marry or have children.  He would pour all his passion into his work.

While Edward went to NYU to get his degree and training, his brothers decided to stay in Maryland and go to school.  Jasper had decided on becoming a pediatrician because he was a kid at heart and, since Emmett loved tits, he decided to become a plastic surgeon.

After studying his ass off and spending long hours training, he finally became the one of the top thoracic surgeons in the country, pioneering a new technique for heart valve replacement.  He had received offers from every prestigious hospital in the nation, even Johns Hopkins, where his father was head of vascular surgery. As much as he would have loved to work there, he just couldn’t work this close to his father.  He accepted the offer at Mt. Sinai in New York, where he had lived for the last 16 years and considered it his home.

After purchasing a brownstone on the Lower West Side, he had it professionally decorated and laid the designer and got twenty percent off the price.  He was, after, all a man with carnal needs that only a hot, tight pussy would satisfy.  Over the years he bedded many women, but never more than once.  He didn’t want any woman getting the idea that he wanted anything more than sex, but several tried over the years.   Edward was steadfast in his conviction that he would allow no woman to take hold of his heart, however, that all changed one spring morning on the water ferry.

He had just finished up an emergency surgery in the wee hours of the morning and stayed until the patient was stable and awake.  Changing into his suit, he headed out to the water ferry to go home.  It was stupid to own a vehicle in city and the only way to get around was public transit.  His favorite was the ferry because it reminded him of home and his childhood next to the water.  Due to the overnight storms, the water was choppy and rocked the ferry back and forth.  Edward was sitting alone on a bench; the boat pitched suddenly a woman landed on his lap.  She grasped his arm trying to steady herself and looked up through her long, curly red hair and gasped.  ‘HOLY SHIT, HE IS BEYOND HANDSOME,’ she thought.

“Sorry,” she whispered.

Edward looked down at the woman and something happened, he felt a warm feeling pulsing through his body.  She had to be the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, with lush red hair and sparkling green eyes.  “Are you okay?”

“Yes,” she whispered.

He didn’t know what came over him, but he reached forward and cupped her cheek in his hand.  Time seemed to stop; he didn’t care about anything other than getting to know everything about this woman and that is what he did.  They spent every moment together if they weren’t working.

Maggie was an owner of a small bookstore and had published seven romance novels.  She was born in Ireland to an American mother and Irish father.  They wanted her to stay in Ireland and go to school. However, she wanted to see what America held for her.

By the end of the month, they were living together and three weeks later they were standing before the judge, pledging themselves to each other until death did they part.

Edward had never been as happy as he was whenever he was in the same room with Maggie.

The months passed and their love grew more each day, so much so that she became pregnant with their first child.  Edward would spend hours talking to her belly, telling their unborn child all the great adventures ahead.  As he left their home this morning, he made her promise to call at the first sign of labor.  So here he was running through the hospital to get to his lovely Maggie and to support her as she brought their precious little one into this world.

Reaching the maternity floor, he was out of breath and he rushed to the nurses’ station.

“I am having a baby,” he said.

The nurses couldn’t help but chuckle a little bit.  Here was the great Dr. Edward Cullen, the epitome of professionalism, sweaty and flustered.   “Mrs. Cullen has arrived and is suite 202.”

“Yeah, thanks,” he said as he turned toward the hallway.

“Dr. Cullen, it’s that way,” one the nurse said, pointing the opposite direction than he was going.

Edward spun around and rushed down the hall and quickly found the room, opening the door he saw the woman who held his heart and soul, laying on the bed panting through a contraction.  Coming to her side, taking her hand, Edward places a kiss on her forehead.  “I am so sorry I didn’t hear your call,” Edward pleaded.

Blowing out her last cleansing breath, she smiled.  “You fell asleep in the doctor’s lounge again.”

“You know me so well.  How are you doing?”

“We are good.  Dr. Johnson said that I am doing great and already at seven centimeters.”

“Already?”

“Yes,”  Maggie said.

“Do you need anything?”  He asked, wanting to help in some way.  He hated the idea that Maggie was in pain.

“No.  I called mathair agus athair and they will be here on the first flight in the morning,” Maggie said but concerned what Edward would say to her next question.  She was extremely close to her parents and it saddened her that Edward wasn’t, but she hoped he has changed his mind.  “Have you called your parents?”

Edward just shook his head.

“Why not?  They are about to become grandparents,” Maggie asked.

“You know why,” Edward grumbled.

“Edward, they need to know, so, if you won’t call them, I will,” Maggie commanded.

Looking into those emerald green eyes, always full of love, however now they were full of determination.  “Fine.”

Edward decided he would call his mother’s cell because he was afraid that his father would answer the house phone.  With each ring, his heart rate increased and his breathing became labored.

Esme had just come in the house from working on the flower garden when she heard her cell phone ring and picking it up she almost dropped it, when she saw it was Edward calling.  She had not talked to him since the day he called to that he had gotten married.  After she hung up from the call, she broke down in tears and that is how Carlisle found her hours later.  When he finally got her to calm down, she told him what happened.  Carlisle wished he could mend his relationship with his oldest son, but he didn’t know how.  He knew it was his fault for not being a better father when Edward was growing up.  Jasper and Emmett had rebuilt their relationship with him, but with Edward living in New York, it was almost impossible to show him that he had changed.  Now that he was the head of the department, he could spend more time at home and less time at work, even though it was too late to see his children grow up and experience all their life’s firsts.

“Edward?”  Esme asked.

“Hi, Mom,”  He answered.

“How are you and Maggie?”

“We are really good and that is the reason I am calling.  Maggie is in labor.”

Esme gasped.  Her little boy was going to be a father and she just found out.  “Oh Edward, that is wonderful.”

“Yeah, we are very happy about it.”

“Can I come to New York?”  She asked.

Edward really wanted to share this with his mom, but he didn’t want him here.  “Yes, but not him.”

“Sure, he actually is at the hospital with a patient anyways.”

“Same damn M.O,”  Edward growled.

“Edward he has changed.  Look, maybe when I get up there we can talk about it.”

“Maybe.  We are at Mt. Sinai, but I don’t know how long this is going to take,”  Edward said, looking over at Maggie who had a huge smile on her face.

“I will take the first available flight.”

“Great mom, see you when you get here.”

Edward hung up and leaned down, kissed Maggie on the lips.  “Thanks for pushing me.”

“Always.”

Over the next several hours, Maggie endured her labor like a trooper and when she wasn’t in pain, they would talk and even watch some shows.

“Edward, I had no idea that people still have a negative view of organ donation.  I mean it is not like their organs are going to do them any good when they are dead,”  Maggie said.

“Unfortunately, you are right.  So many people are on the waiting list for an organ and die because they never receive it.”

“Well, God forbid anything should happen to me, but I want you to promise me that you will ensure that my organs are donated,” Maggie pleaded.

Edward couldn’t think of a world that his Maggie wasn’t part of, but he would do it, even though he hoped he was the first to go.  “I promise, but no more talk of death, let us talk about this little one.”

Hours later, Maggie was ready to start pushing.  Esme had arrived and was in the waiting room, keeping Carlisle up to date with the progress.

“Come on Maggie, one more big push,”  Dr. Johnson instructed.

Maggie pulled herself up, with Edward supporting her back and even though she was exhausted gave the biggest push yet, then she heard the sweetest sound in the world, the cry of her baby.

“It is a girl,” Dr. Johnson declared.  “Dr. Cullen, would you like to cut the cord?”

“Yes,” he exclaimed.

Once he had, they brought the little girl up and laid her on Maggie’s chest.

Maggie overcome with emotions, here was a new life, created out of love.  “Edward, she is so perfect,” she cried.

“Oh Maggie, she is and I love you both so much.”

The nurse walked over.  “I need to check her out, but I promise to bring her back.”

Maggie and Edward watched as the nurse took her to the table and began to check her over.  They swaddle her up and place a pink hat on her head.  When the nurse walked back, she began to hand her to Maggie, but she shook her head.  “Miss Elizabeth Marie needs some daddy time.”  The nurse smiled and laid her in Edward’s awaiting arms.

Edward had only limited experience in holding a baby, but holding Elizabeth in his arms felt so natural.  “She has your eyes,” he told Maggie.

“She has your nose and chin,” Maggie said.  “Why don’t you take her out to meet her grandmother?”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.  We have a lifetime to spend with her.”

Edward brought Elizabeth down closer to Maggie and she placed a sweet kiss on her forehead.  “I love you so much Elizabeth.”

“And we love you,” Edward replied.  “We will be right back.”

Edward walked out the room to find Esme, who was waiting for him.  “Mom, I would like to meet Elizabeth Marie Cullen.”

“Oh Edward, she is lovely.  How is Maggie?”

“She is doing great.  I am so in awe of her; she is so strong,” Edward bragged.

“CODE BLUE ROOM 202, CODE BLUE ROOM 202,” the voice over the loudspeaker sounded.

Edward head whipped around and saw the crash cart pushed into Maggie’s room.  Running back toward the room still holding Elizabeth in his arms, he pushed open the door to see Dr. Johnson doing chest compression and barking out orders.  “What is happening?”  Edward yelled, causing Elizabeth to start crying.

“Get out of here Dr. Cullen!” Dr. Johnson barked.

“I will not, that is my wife.”

“GET HIM OUT OF HERE NOW!”

Two nurses got in front of him and ushered him out the door.  They motioned for security to come and stand guard.  “You stay here and take care of her; we will keep you up to date when we get some information.”

Esme came over and helped Edward to a chair close to the door.  “What is going on?”  She asked.

“Her heart has stopped,” he whispered, his voice so heavy with worry.  Elizabeth was still crying, almost knowing that something was wrong with her mother.  “Shh little one.”

As the minutes ticketed by, it felt like an eternity, however, Elizabeth finally stopped crying and was back to sleep.  Dr. Johnson came out of the room and over to where Edward was sitting, stilling holding his daughter.  She had only had to do something like this a few times, but each time was shear agony.

“Dr. Cullen?”

“Dr. Johnson, how is she?”

“Dr. Cullen, I am sorry but I have some horrible news.  Maggie has suffered an Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage.  I believe she had a weak blood vessel in her brain and the stress of childbirth cause it to burst.”

“What is being done?”  Edward questioned.

“She is on life support, but there is no brain function.”

Edward felt as if a train had run over him.  “Are you sure?”

“Yes.  Do you know if your wife wanted to be an organ donor?”  Dr. Johnson asked.

How could this be?  She was fine and smiling, just a little bit ago and now she was being kept alive by a machine.  How was he going to survive without Maggie?  What was he going to tell Elizabeth when she got old enough to ask about how her mother died?  How could he be both a mother and father to her?  He could keep Maggie on life support, but his doctor’s brain yelled that it would only deteriorate her organs.  Pushing through the pain and heartache, he knew what he had to do.

“Yes, she is a donor.  Please make the arrangements, while we go say our goodbyes.”

7 Comments Add yours

  1. exclusiverob says:

    What a heartbreaking chapter.

    Like

  2. Fran Richards says:

    How heartbreaking. Looking forward to reading this.

    Like

  3. nelisabeth68 says:

    WOW, what a first chapter!

    Like

  4. FangirlinGranma Dee Creston says:

    So sad, but I must read it. Beautifully written, Sweetie! Looking forward to more.
    Love you! {GIANT GRANMA HUGS AND SMOOCHES!}
    – FangirlinGranma Dee

    Like

  5. biblepam says:

    Hey sweets.. Great (and heartbreaking) chapter. Looking forward to following.

    Like

  6. Wow, starting out so tragically! Poor Edward!

    Like

  7. What a heart wrenching story, can’t wait to see how it all pans out, thanks.

    Like

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