The black shroud of darkness wrapped itself around Edward, pulling him deeper into despair. How was he going to survive without her? She was his everything, his reason for getting up in the morning, the reason he laughed, the reason that his heart beat. Over the years, he’d had to tell the families of some of his patients that they didn’t make through the surgery and, even though he had compassion for them, he never truly understood or felt their pain. However that all changed today.
“Edward, you need to eat,” Esme implored as she walked back in the room to find the sandwich untouched. She had come home with Edward and Elizabeth after Maggie had been taken off the machine and was wheeled to surgery to harvest her organs. Her lungs, kidneys, liver, and heart were matched with donors all over the country. Elizabeth had been checked out by her pediatrician and was given a clean bill of health. Edward numbly held Elizabeth in the back of the cab as they traveled to Edward’s home. “You need to keep your strength up and Maggie’s parents will be landing soon.”
“Fuck, I had forgotten about them,” he groaned as he looked around for his cell phone.
“Don’t worry, Jasper and Emmett have also just landed and they are going to meet them at the airport.”
“They don’t know them,” Edward said.
“They know their flight and have a sign.”
“Okay,” Edward said, as he thought about her parents. “Mom, how am I going to tell them that their daughter is dead? Hell, I haven’t even met them in person yet. Maggie and I were going to take the baby when she was a little older to Ireland, but they decided they would travel here when the baby was born. Now they are coming to see their dead daughter. Damn it, this is my fault.”
“No, it is not. Neither of you knew that she had this brain issue, so stop beating yourself up over that,” Esme said.
“I don’t know if I can, Mom. She was my life and I really don’t want to live without her.”
“Maggie is not with us any longer, but a huge piece of her still remains in Elizabeth. You have to be there for her because no child should be without both her mother and her father.”
“How am I going to do that? I know nothing about raising a baby,” Edward confessed.
“I know and I am here for you as long as you need me,” She offered.
“Mom, you can’t stay in New York. You have a home and a life back in Baltimore.”
“I do, but, until you get back on your feet and maybe hire a nanny for Elizabeth, I will be here for you both.”
At that moment, Elizabeth decided to wake up and began to cry. Edward jumped to his feet and rushed over to the bassinet that was in the room. Maggie had decided that for the first few weeks that the baby would be in their room, so she could keep an eye on him or her and make sure they were okay. Edward down at her precious face all wrinkled up and reached in, picking her up. “What is the matter, little bug?”
Her cries grew softer as she stared at her father. Pulling her tiny fist up to her mouth, she began to suck on it. By this point, Esme had come over. “Looks like someone is hungry. Let me go make her a bottle.” She was thankful the hospital had sent bottles and formula home with them. The entire staff had been so supportive of Edward during this horrible time. His boss had come down when he heard what had happened and sat with Edward as Elizabeth was being checked out. He told Edward to take an extended leave of absence and keep the team up to date on any need that he might have.
After Elizabeth was feed and changed, Edward took her over to the rocking chair and slowly rocked her back asleep. As he did, he thought about what his mom had said. He knew she was right. He had to be there for Elizabeth and be the best dad and mom he could for her. Once she had fallen back asleep, she was placed back in the bassinet, so Edward took the baby monitor with him and walked out of the bedroom, leaving Elizabeth to sleep peacefully. Walking downstairs, he found his mom in the kitchen eating a sandwich but also had his plate beside her. Sitting down, he began to eat the sandwich, soon, it was gone along with the glass of milk that she had poured.
Esme hated to be the one to bring it up, but they needed to start thinking about Maggie’s funeral. “Edward, do you have a plan for Maggie’s funeral?”
“It was her wish to be cremated and her ashes scattered back at her home in Ireland.”
“So you are planning on taking her back to Ireland?” Esme asked.
Edward thought for a moment. “Someday, but I really want to wait until Elizabeth is old enough to understand.”
“I think that is a wonderful idea, Edward. It might be a good way for Elizabeth to say her goodbyes.”
As they continued their conversation, Emmett and Jasper had found Maggie’s parents and had broken the devastating news. Esme had discussed with Emmett and Jasper, feeling it would be best if they were told immediately after they landed. Of course, they were devastated and had many questions about what had happened and how the baby was. Soon, they arrived at Edward’s home and his brothers helped them with their luggage and opened the door. Esme had heard the door open and walked towards it to greet them.
“Hello, I am Esme Cullen, Edward’s mother.”
“We are Michael and Linda McGuire, Maggie’s parents. Where is Edward?” Michael asked.
At that moment, Edward walked around the corner and looked at Maggie’s parents. He recognized them from the photographs and the web chats that they had during the time that he and Maggie were together. As soon as they saw him, they walked over and wrapped their arms around him, allowing their tears to flow. After several minutes, they pulled away. “What happened?” Linda asked.
“Come into the living room and I will tell you everything that I know. Also, I know you will want to see your granddaughter, but she is sleeping right now,” Edward said.
Edward explained to them what had happened and what the doctors had found during their scans of her brain. They believed that she had been born with it, but there was no way she or anyone else would have known it was there. As they continued talking, Esme went upstairs to get Elizabeth so she could meet her grandparents. They were overcome with emotions as they held her for the first time.
Jasper had gone into the kitchen and called his girlfriend, Alice. They had been dating for the last six months and he had planned on asking her to move in with him, but, now he didn’t want to waste time; he couldn’t see himself with anyone else. He could not help but smile with the memory of how they met. He had just left the hospital and was on his way home when he decided to see if he could get a haircut. It had been months since his last cut. He pulling into a parking space in the downtown area and began walking up the street, looking in the windows hoping to find a salon. A few minutes later, he saw a sign that said that said walk-ins were welcome. Opening the door, he was taken back by the decor. It looked like something straight from Alice in Wonderland. The floor was black and white checkerboard, along the walls were large mushrooms with the Cheshire cat, White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, and Queen of Hearts painted on the walls. The chairs were designed to look like teacups. Jasper thought he had stepped into another dimension and was about to turn around and leave when he heard the voice of an angel.
“Welcome to Alice’s Wonderland, I’m Alice; how may I help you today?”
Jasper was floored by her beauty. She was short, no more than 5’2″, long dark hair and the bluest eyes he had ever seen. She was dressed in a short, white ruffled skirt, that showed off her creamy white toned legs and a tight, low cut red top that emphasized her breasts. Damn, she had to be at least a C cup or maybe even a D cup. Instant thoughts of having his mouth and hands on them flooded his mind. Then, he saw that she had several tattoos down her arms and on her chest. Fuck, that was hot.
“Sir, are you okay?” Alice asked, staring at the fuck–hot man standing in her shop. He was tall and had broad shoulders, a narrow waist, and, fuck, he had a massive cock; she could see the outline of it through his tight jeans. Damn, if it was this big now, she couldn’t help but wonder what would it be like erect.
“Yeah, sorry. I need a trim,” he murmured. “Do you have time?”
“I sure do, good looking. Come, let me give you the Alice Special.”
After she had washed his hair, which had given him a massive hard on as she scrubbed her fingers through his wet, lathered hair, she had him in one of the teacup chairs, trimming his hair. As she worked her magic, she chatted away asking him question after question, some were basic questions, while others were quite risque, no, downright dirty. Before he left, they exchanged phone numbers and made plans for dinner that evening. After that dinner, they spent every minute they could together. A few days later, he had come to pick her up and was met at the door by a very naked Alice holding a pair of handcuffs. “Want to play?”
There were no words that could describe Alice in bed; to say she was fantastic was an understatement. Moreover, she had a huge heart for children. She came to the children’s ward at the hospital several times a week, dressed as Alice, from Alice in Wonderland, and read to the children. He could not believe he had not seen her there, but now he made it a point to be there when she did.
“Hello, sweetheart,” he cooed.
“Jasper, how is everything going?”
“We just arrived at Edward’s home, however, I don’t think he even realized that we walked in. We brought Maggie’s parents with us from the airport. Emmett and I broke the news to them, not wanting Edward to face that duty.”
“Oh, how horrible. I am en route to pick up Rose and we will be there a little after ten tonight,” she stated. She had wanted to go with him when he received the call, however, she needed to call her clients and cancel their appointments. Rose agreed to wait for her and they would ride up together, since she had been giving Bella’s parents a break as they sat with Bella. Alice only hoped that she would be back before Bella’s heart finally gave out. She had met Bella through Rose. Jasper had introduced Alice to Rose and Emmett a few weeks after they began dating. She hit it off with Rose and they became fast friends. Rose even came with her to her weekly read along at the children’s ward at Johns Hopkins.
One afternoon, after they were finished, Rose waved over a tall, good looking older man. When he came close, Alice could not help but notice how familiar he looked.
“Rose, my dear, so good to see you,” he said, placing a kiss on her cheek.
“You, too, Carlisle. I would like to introduce you to Alice, Jasper’s girlfriend,” Rose said.
“Oh, the spitfire that has captured my son’s heart,”
“Dr. Cullen, what a pleasure to meet you,” Alice said, sticking out her hand, but instead of shaking it, Carlisle placed a kiss on her hand.
“None of that, it is just Carlisle, and when you meet Jasper’s mother, it will be just Esme,”
“All right, Carlisle it is,” she smirked.
“Are you here to see Emmett or Jasper?” Carlisle asked.
“No, we just finished Alice’s weekly read along with the children,” Rose replied. “We don’t mean to keep you from a meeting.”
“No meeting today, Bella has a check-up,” he said.
“Is she feeling okay? I mean I talked to her on Tuesday and she sounded a little tired.”
“She is a good as she can be; this is just a checkup. Would you like to come and say hello?”
“Yes, I would. Alice hasn’t met her yet.”
They walked through the hospital and met Bella at his office. Once Alice met Bella, she felt like she had known her all her life. Bella loved that Alice didn’t treat her like someone with a bad heart. She also loved her view on living life to the fullest.
“I can’t wait until you are here,” Jasper proclaimed.
“Me, too. I will call when we land,” Alice said.
Once he had talked to Alice, he went to find Emmett, who was standing outside of the living room, keeping an eye on his brother. He might be the youngest and the one who always joked around, but he was the protector of the family.
“How is he doing?” Jasper asked.
“Not good. I have never seen him like this,” Emmett said. “He is holding on by a thread.”
“Damn. I just talked to Alice and they will be here after ten tonight.”
“Okay, thanks. Have you heard any news from Dad?” Emmett asked. Esme had explained that their dad wouldn’t be coming right away because a heart had been found for Bella. They all knew the special bond that they all had with Bella and her family. They would have loved to been there for Bella’s family, however, Edward’s need was more dire.
“No, but we know that the surgery will take some time and I am sure he will want to make sure she is out of the ICU, before leaving her,” Jasper commented.
“Yeah. It was a miracle that one was found, because, the last time I talked to dad, he said that she only had a few days left,” Emmett said.
“Yes, it was a miracle.”
Edward had been talking to Maggie’s parents and watching them love on their granddaughter. He had explained what had happened in a way that they could understand as well as Maggie’s wishes for her final plans. They understood, but wished she had wanted to be buried in the family plot. “I haven’t talked to the funeral home yet, but I am sure we can have a small jar of the remains to give to you that you can take back with you. When Elizabeth gets older we will come over and do a formal service.”
“That sounds like a great idea. Thank you,” Michael said. “Is it all right with you if we visit Elizabeth as often as we can?”
“Of course. I just want her to understand when we have Maggie’s service. Hopefully, it will bring her some closure.”
“We understand. Do you have any idea what you are going to do with Elizabeth, once you go back to work?” Linda asked.
“I am staying here as long as he needs me,” Esme interjected.
Edward looked up and saw his brothers. Getting up, he walked over to them and, as soon as he was at arm’s length, Emmett wrapped him up in his massive arms, pouring all the love and compassion he had for him. Together, as a family, they would help Edward through this, no matter what it took.