The glare of the sun woke me; I had to shield my eyes from its brightness. A bright glitter just out of the corner of my eye caught my attention. I turned my head towards it.
"Gah!" I jumped a foot and slamming into the headboard. I rubbed my head. "Aunt Alice! What are you doing here?" "You sleep forever!" she complained. "I've been waiting for ages to talk to you! Did you take sleeping pills or something? Never mind, it's over with. But why didn't you tell me?!?!" she demanded, glaring at me. I was still groggy and my head ached. "Tell you about what?" "You know." she glared pointedly at my stomach. "Aunt Alice, I don't--" there was a nudge. Yesterday's events came flooding back to me in a rush, so forceful that it made me a little dizzy. "Oh." "Yeah. Oh." She continued to glare. "Do you know how I found out? Everyone knew about this baby but me. Yes, true, Jasper and I were hunting, but you could have at least called. Your parents were talking with Carlisle about something, but they paid no attention to me when I asked them about it. Emmett kept taunting me, providing me with less-than-helpful information everytime I would ask a question. 'What are they talking about?' I asked him. 'Something I'm sure you want to know about.' he answered. 'Yes, I do want to know, so what is it?' 'Something I'm sure you want to know about,' he would reply over and over. Finally Jasper picked up on the mood and told me what it was. A baby. Really, Nessie, isn't that worth telling a person?" I watched guiltily while her expression became so forlorn and sad that I reached over to comfort her. I put my arms around her. "Sorry, Aunt Alice! But Jake and I were kind of in shock, you know?" She just nodded, her lower lip sticking out into a pout. I sighed, then glanced around the room. "Hey--where is Jacob?" "Oh, he's making you breakfast," she said, still not happy. "Really?" "Yeah. I think it's eggs and pancakes, from the smell of it." I sniffed. "Mmm! Let's go downstairs." I stood up and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
"Whoa..." My stomach had a distinct bulge in it, not flat as it had been yesterday. It was as if a small throw pillow was up my shirt; about that size. Aunt Alice watched me as I cradled it with my hands. "Do you want to feel?" I asked. She nodded eagerly, excited to finally be part of the big secret. She put her cold hands on my shirt. The baby kicked then and she stared up at me. "That's unbelievable!" she said. I smiled, pleased that she had forgiven me.
Jacob was cooking, much to my surprise, when we came downstairs. He flipped a few pancakes on a plate in front of me as I sat down. I sniffed appreciatively. "Wow, I never knew you could cook," I said, taking a bite. They were soft and fluffy and melted like butter on my toungue. They were by far the best pancakes I had tasted. I began to wonder what else Jacob could secretly do. "Rebecca taught me," Jacob confessed, standing across from me to eat. Aunt Alice had taken the liberty of sitting next to me on the only other stool, her hands still feeling my stomach. "She said that I would need to learn how to cook. She said you'd appreciate me for it." He laughed. "I do," I told him. "These are the best pancakes ever! Better than I can make." I shut up so I could eat. I had another plate as well, then Aunt Alice volunteered to do the dishes. "We have a nanny," Jacob said, tracing the curve of my stomach with his hand repeatedly. Aunt Alice finished washing and drying in record time, then bounced over to us. "Is that a request?" she asked. "Do you guys need a nanny?" she asked. I looked at Jacob. Laughter danced in his eyes. "We'll have to think about it," I told her, managing not to laugh myself. I knew what he was thinking; How far would Alice go to make sure we didn't forget to tell her anything else about the baby again? She would probably never leave us alone again.
"So what are your plans for tonight?" she asked. I glanced at Jacob. He shrugged, his way of indicating we had no plans. "Nothing I guess," I said warily. "What's up?" She bounced up and down on the balls of her feet, as hyper and energetic as ever. "You need maternity clothes!" she said. "I bet you don't fit in much of your own stuff right now..." she eyed the bulge. "Do you want to go?" she asked. Her golden eyes looked up at me, the face of a two-year-old on Christmas Eve, begging to open presents. How could I disappoint such a face? "Sure, I'll go," I said. "Just let us get dressed and we'll meet you at Grandpa's. I have to check in with him this morning, anyway."
Alice was right--I didn't fit into anything except a loose T-shirt and unzipped swearshirt. Jacob laughed. "I guess it's good you're going shopping," he said, kissing me and then tracing my stomach. "I'll miss you, though." "I'll miss you, too," I said. I would have stayed home if I hadn't been in actual dire need of clothing. "Save me!" I said. He laughed again. "Let's go check in with Carlisle." He picked me up and carried me downstairs and through the door. "Jake," I protested. "I can walk." "No." he refused to put me down. "I only have you for, what, another half hour? I refuse to let you go until then." That was fine with me. It was amazing how much even a little bit of time apart hurt us. I stopped the struggle and snuggled into him. It was cold out this morning.
Grandpa was waiting for us in the extra exam room. I could sense a big difference from the picture of the baby yesterday, and the one today. This worried me a little, but Grandpa said it was just a slight difference, not anything drastic to worry about. "If this growth holds up, the baby should be fully developed in about five months," he said. I grinned at Jacob, but he looked worried. "Will it be a normal birth?" he said, looking at Grandpa. "As far as I know, yes," he said. Jacob nodded, satisfied. He finally met my excited smile. "We'll be parents in only five months!" I said. "I know," he said, helping me off the table. He kissed me. "I can't wait!" Aunt Alice's head peeked around the door. "C'mon, Nessie!" she said. "Let's go!" she jingled her keys impatiently. "Bye," I said, standing on tiptoes to kiss Jake again. I sighed and let go of his hand wistfully as I followed Aunt Alice.
We took her Porsche to, of all places, a mall in California. Next to my Dad, Aunt Alice drove the fastest, and we got there in a few hours. She pulled in the parking lot and we walked inside the mall. She barely glanced at the directory. "You've been here before?" I asked. "Yes, tons of times!" she said. "This is the best mall threre is." She turned right. We stood in front of a large department store. "This is what I was looking for!" she squealed, running inside to pick up a shirt. I was equally excited as I shopped with her. She forced me to go into a dressing room, dumping a load of clothes on me once I was inside. "Aunt Alice!" I complained, taking a shirt off my head. "Oops! Sorry!" she giggled. "Now try them all on. I want to see each one." We spent about an hour in the dressing rooms, then left with bags and bags of clothes.
Shopping with Aunt Alice was just as I expected. The clothes weren't enough for her; she made me get a manicure and pedicure and we stopped for lunch at an expensive restauraunt. When she suggested shopping for baby furniture and baby clothes, I dissuaded her. "I'd rather have Jacob with me," I explained. She understood immediately and appologized for being so pushy this morning. "You aren't pushy!" I told her. "But I promise not to forget to tell you anything else about baby." I patted my stomach. "Which reminds me. Grandpa said that I'll only be pregnant for five months, and that it should be a normal birth. No freaky secection." She smiled. "Glad to hear it. Ready to go home?" I made a face. "I don't want this trip to end, but...yeah I'm ready." I laughed. "I'm so boring now!" She disagreed. "No. And thanks for letting me take you shopping. It's more than your mother would have let me do." she rolled her eyes and grinned at me.
The ride home was quicker than the ride to the mall. The Porsche's back seats and trunk were filled with bags of clothes for me. It was much more than I needed, but Aunt Alice insisted it would all come in handy eventually.
Aunt Alice dropped me off at our house. She carried the bags to the door, and I thanked her and said goodnight before she sped away. Jacob met me at the door, holding all of the bags with one arm. "Hi," he said, kissing me at the front door. I was unable to breathe for a moment. "Hi," I managed to say when I caught my breath. Jacob always left me breathless. He chuckled and made a quick trip upstairs with the bags while I collapsed on the couch. He came back down and sat next to me, taking my feet and rubbing them. I sighed and leaned my head back on the couch cusions.
"Pedicure?" Jacob questioned, cocking an eyebrow and looking at my toenails. I laughed. "Yeah. She couldn't stop with the clothes." I folded my hands across my stomach and smiled when the baby kicked. Jacob spoke again. "What are you thinking for names?" He asked curiously. "I mean, if you don't have anything, it's okay. We have time to think. Four months and twenty-eight days, to be exact," he grinned at me. I shifted my position so that I was lying on top of his chest. I kissed him. "You're excited aren't you?" I asked. "Nessie, I can't even tell you how excited I am!" he assured me. "The feeling of being a parent is almost better then the feeling I get whenever I look at you..." he looked into my eyes. "I'm serious. And I want this baby so bad, don't think I don't!" I shook my head quickly. "I never doubted you did," I assured him. "But I haven't thought about names very much yet. Have you thought of anything?" He hesistated, and I could tell he had a name on the tip of his toungue. "Go on," I said. I was eager to hear it. "I haven't thought of much yet," he assured me. "But maybe, and it doesn't matter to me whether we use it for a middle or first name, but...Jennifer, after my mom." His voice broke a little at the end, and a tear rolled down his cheek. I felt a tear slide down mine, too. "Of course," I said, catching the tear and wiping it away. "Of course we'll use Jennifer. It's beautiful. But we'll only use it if it's a girl," I added, trying to lighten the mood. It worked, he laughed. "Right," he said. I shook my head. "You're much better than I am. I haven't even thought of a name for this little one." I patted my stomach again. "Hey, you're the one pregnant, not me!" Jacob said. "I have more time to think about these things. You're the one getting all the nudges." He rolled up my shirt and placed his big, warm hand on my bare stomach.
Eventually our breathing became deep and even, and we fell asleep like that, both listening to our baby.