"Hey," I began, looking at the faces around me, "I'm kinda hungry." At that moment Carlisle came bounding in the door followed by Esme, Emmett, Jasper and... Seth? Hunting with the Cullens? I wondered if Leah was out there too, and I attempted to crane my neck to see outside. I fell back to the couch as I failed.
"I heard screaming," he said nervously as he glanced at me.
"It was just Bella," Jake muttered next to me. I scowled at him. Then I looked to Carlisle.
"I'm starving, am I allowed to eat, Doctor?" I added for effect. Bella, you haven't been able to keep anything down for days," he insisted as he sat down in a chair across the room eyeing the stain below me. I remembered back a few days to when I was only slightly ginormous. I wasn't able to eat the eggs and bacon breakfast that Esme so kindly made for me. It came right back up.
"I know," I countered, holding my breath, "but the baby is hungry too." I worked my best to make my eyes big and pathetic, thinking blindly that this could persuade them.
"Bella," Edward moaned quietly beside me, his eyes still tightly shut. He looked so tired and so pained. I wished there was something I could've done, but what was there? What could I do?
I persisted. "But I'm so hungry! I feel so empty!" Alice's eyes, who was now sitting on the arm of Carlisle's chair, flickered down to my torso. I rolled my eyes and muttered sarcastically, "You know what I mean." Suddenly it was silent. I looked around to my family who were all still as a winter's night. Alice's eyes were glazed over and Edward's, who's eyes were open now, were far away. I could tell he was listening to someone. Suddenly Edward's lips twitched.
"Edward," Carlisle stopped him. "We must try." Edward nodded solemly twice then stood. He was gone in the next second ad I heard rattling in the kitchen. Carlisle was approaching me.
"Now Bella, you don't have to do this if you don't want to. It's just an idea, and we don't have any idea how you're body will react to it. Just keep in mind it might help you and the baby." He looked up and Edward was at his side, a styrofoam cup in his hand. The red straw was already bent at a perfect angle to fit between my lips.
"What is this?" I asked hesitantly. Edward looked to Carlisle, who said nothing. Both of their faces showed signs of disgust. Alice was the one who finally spoke up.
"Bella, we think that maybe the baby's diet is more like ours than yours. Haven't you noticed that she, or he, is taking away nutrition from you to keep itself alive?" Her sparkling topaz eyes probed my face. I laughed wearily and gazed at my mountain of a stomach,
"Well, it's not like that hasn't stopped him from growing." At this point we still weren't sure if the baby was a boy or a girl, because the skin was too thick for Carlisle to do an ultrasound, but I still insisted that it was a boy, my little Edward Junior. But no one laughed at my crack. Rosalie even scowled at me.
"Bella, this isn't funny. We are all concerned about you. And the baby," she added. This definitely surprised me, that my well-being was included in this matter, especially to Rosalie. I almost teared up but cleared my head, returning to the conversation as the scent of whatever was in the cup creeped down to my nose. It automatically curled up as the warm, salty smell filled my nasal cavaties. I took the cup in my frail hands, and the scent engulfed me. Edward's hand was there to retrieve the cup, but I pulled it back.
"No," I murmured quietly, "it smells, well, good." All sets of eyes were gauging my expression now, probably wondering if I had gone insane. I rolled my eyes and lifted the straw to my lips. The salty smell now filled up my lungs, and there was no escaping my oncoming doom now. I took the tiniest of sips, tasting every flavor, feeling the thick liquid in my mouth, under my tongue, between my teeth. I leaned back to look at my family. Jacob looked the most concerned, or was it disgusted?
"It tastes good too." Jacob's face turned a faint tint of green and his eyes bugged. I frowned.
"If this is too much for you, Jake, you can go." I stated almost defensively. Of course I didn't want him to leave me, but I had already caused him so much pain. How could I not think of his feelings before mine? He shook his head slowly, his eyes staying focused on the cup in front of me.
I could feel it. I felt stronger and warmer. My throat, which had previously been aching and scratchy, was now clam and smooth, and I swallowed naturally. I glanced around at the suddenly hopeful faces in front of me. How lucky was I to have the best family and friends in the entire world surrounding me right now?