Keep Holding On
I have another son.
Arron is my son, and how did I not know about this? I mean how did I not see the similarities between myself, and even Alex?
The more I thought it, about how Arron looked very similar to Alex; I'm amazed I hadn't noticed the similarities sooner. Looking back now, I find it somewhat ironic about how Kate said that she didn't want to be the cliché home-wrecker, but with hindsight being twenty/twenty I should've been smart enough and realized that though she claimed that she didn't want to be a home-wrecker, she was one sadly. But it takes two to tango as they say. I hated how I had ruined things with Bella, but deep down I suppose my subconscious knew that I was no longer happy – that I was no longer in love with her.
No matter how hard we tried, Kate and I couldn't stay away. There had been a brief couple of months where the two of us tried to keep things strictly professional, and no longer have our 'secret' lunches together. We lasted two months before I ravaged the woman over my desk. I hated myself for it afterwards, but a small part of me didn't feel the least bit guilty for giving in.
These thoughts continued to flood my mind even after I arrived at the condo around half past eight. I was currently renting a condo in the city. Bella had the house, something that I gladly gave her, and I had stayed there through the holidays. It was painful to sit down with Charlotte and Alex and explain to them that I would no longer be living in the same house with them and mommy, but that I still loved them. I hadn't spoken to Kate in a few weeks; she and I hadn't really spent much time together outside of work since I told her about the divorce. You could say that karma had caught up with the both of us I suppose.
A glass of Jack Daniel's was calling my name. I had just found the bottle; I had hidden away for 'special' circumstances, and began to pour myself a small glass. I slowly sipped from my glass and was skimming through the newspaper. But I wasn't really paying attention to what I was reading – my mind continued to wander towards thinking about Arron, and whether or not he was actually my son. I slammed down the newspaper and grabbed the file Bella had given me earlier today.
As I was reading through the file, I realized that there was a strong chance that Arron was, in fact, my son. I mean there were copies of doctor records for visits Kate made to her OBGYN, and then there was the birth certificate. I did the math and roughly about nine months before that Kate and I were together and had had sex in the hotel we were staying at that night. I had to call her and see if she would even try to deny that Arron was my son, but before I could even dial her number my cell phone rang form inside my jacket pocket that I had thrown over the chair next to me. I took it out and didn't recognize the number, but something told me that I should pick up and see who it was anyway.
"Hi, yes, is this Mr. Jacobsen?" That was strange how this person knew my name. I decided to play along and try to get some information out of them. "This is Mr. Jacobsen, who may I ask is calling?" What I heard next left me feeling frozen in place. "Mr. Jacobsen, my name is Carmen Denali and I'm a nurse at Palos Community Hospital and I'm calling about your wife, Ms. Isabella Jacobsen?" I immediately started running through all of the worst case scenarios in my head that could wrong with her. She was clumsy by nature, but never anything that required a trip to the hospital. As calmly as I could I confirmed that Bella was my wife and I asked if she was alright.
"Mr. Jacobsen, there was a fire at your home; your wife is being treated for smoke inhalation and possible carbon monoxide poisoning." I nodded a few times to myself trying to wrap my head around this piece of information. It couldn't possibly be what I thought it was. It was only supposed to be threatening phone calls; a coworker I confided in at work assured me that all those gang bangers were just talk and never any action.
How could I possibly be so stupid?
I was about halfway to the hospital when I realized that I should call Alice, Bella's sister. She and I don't exactly get along and the pending divorce didn't make things any better, but I sucked it up and called her. After I assured her that everything was going to be OK, I told her I was on my way to the hospital. I even promised to keep her updated seeing as how she had the kids today, and she wouldn't be able to come to the hospital.
I may no longer be in love with Bella, but she is my best friend, and the mother of my children. I couldn't stand it if anything ever happened to her.
When I got to the hospital, I suppose I expected to be directed right to where Bella was at, but instead I was being given the run around. I was nearing the point where I was going to cause the biggest scene this hospital had ever seen when a man came strolling up to me and calmly asked me what it was that I needed. "I got a phone call telling me that my wife had been involved in a house fire. I need to know if she's ok, please tell me that Bella is ok!" I said nearing hysterics. The man, who looked like he could pass for thirty-five, calmly asked me for my name and information. He had a nurse type it all into the computer system. When something popped up, the doctor walked around the nurses' station to look over whatever it was he had the nurse type in.
How could you be so careless Garrett, you should've told her about the threatening phone calls.
"I'm sorry Mr. Jacobsen, but your wife is still in critical condition. I'm afraid that you won't be able to see her just yet. She was lucky and has not suffered any burns to her body, but she did inhale a good amount of smoke from the fire. You are welcome to stay in the waiting area until we have news about your wife.
The doctor quickly left after that and I shuffled over to the nearest chair. I hated not knowing what was wrong, and I hated even more that I was responsible for Bella being in here in the first place. I suppose that I should've told her about the phone calls I had gotten, but if I told her about the phone calls, then she would do what she does best, and that was worry. The more I thought about everything, the more I maybe should've told her about the phone call that was meant to threaten me and my family.
I had maybe been sitting in this uncomfortable chair for a good hour or so when a police officer found me. He asked me if I knew who would go after my wife, and asked if either her or I had any enemies. I said no to both questions, and I cautiously mentioned the threatening phone calls I had been getting the past couple weeks.
I also mentioned that I thought they were just bluffing about coming after me and my family, and obviously now that was no longer the case. He told me that a detective would be in contact with me, but never really mentioning when they would call me. I just assumed that it would be later tonight.
After making a few phone calls to Bella's parents and mine, I came and sat back down on the uncomfortable bench.
It was as if time was against me, it felt like I had been sitting here far longer than just two hours – it felt more like days at this point. I felt myself slowly start to doze off as I waited for word that I could see Bella.
"You stupid son of a bitch, she could've been killed because of you!" When I looked up at the person who was yelling at me, it was the last person I expected to be here.
The strange phone call I got from Alice woke me up immediately, and I couldn't believe I managed to make it here in one piece. I practically drove here on autopilot.
Before I could ask Alice how she got my phone number in the first place, she quickly explained that she 'might've' stole Bella's phone and copied my number into her phone. Boy was I glad that she liked sticking her nose into other people's business right now.
I was walking through the parking lot at warp speed it felt like, but stopped short. I saw a pair of police officers standing outside the emergency room doors gossiping about something.
"Yeah, I heard that the husband had received a bunch of threatening phone calls; thought they were just prank phone calls."
"I suppose the jokes on him, sad thing that his wife happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."
How Bella could have married such an ass was beyond my comprehension. I had overheard some police officers gathered outside the ambulance bay doors talking about a man that had gotten threatening phone calls for a couple of months. Then one of the officers mentioned how the man's wife was now up in the ICU hooked up to a bunch of wires after the fire that burned about half of the interior of the house.
Bella had told me that Garrett had represented a drug dealer, in the past that had ties with the King Cobras. I remember Bella mentioning during one of her workout sessions that shortly after the case Garrett's Mercedes had been vandalized, and that the catalytic converter had been removed – basically rendering the car useless.
"What do you think you're talking about?!" The lousy excuse for a human being said as he got up in my face. I shoved him back and told him exactly what I thought.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about! I know that you apparently had been receiving threatening phone calls, and you hadn't thought to tell your soon to be ex-wife about these phone calls?!" I could see a glint of hurt in his eyes – good, it served him right! Bella's up in ICU because of him!
"You need to keep your damned nose out of others people's business! She's still my wife, and you have no business being here, so leave before I call security on your stalker ass!" Stalker? Really? He was resorting to name calling; oh how I had a slew of different names I could call him right now. I could feel my temper start to flare, and I also knew that if someone didn't stop me I would end up punching this asshole in the mouth!
Well, that wouldn't be so bad…would it?
"You're calling me the stalker? You're the one who's still hanging around his ex-wife like a sad little puppy dog, don't you have something 'important' at work to do? I mean that's what you're best at aren't you; leaving your family to fend for themselves?!"
"At least I have a job that can support a family! Do you really think that working as a 'personal trainer' pays the bills?! I'm a fucking lawyer; I can afford the finer things in life. I'm fairly certain that your furniture, you probably got at IKEA by the way, is way below Bella's standards anyway!" That was the final straw.
I did the last thing I expected – not saying that jack-hole didn't have it coming either.
I smirked when I saw the dazed look on that son of a bitch's face after I landed a hard right cross to the left side of his jaw. He stumbled back a bit, and I can honestly say I found sick pleasure in pissing him off. But my celebration was short-lived when he surprised me with a left hook. I faltered, only for a second, and responded with a hard right hook; this is when we toppled over on one another and started blindly throwing punches back and forth.
Someone had called security, because within seconds the two of us were pulled apart; both of us wheezing and bleeding. Once the two security guards were sure that we wouldn't start punching one another again after they left I was carted off by my father. I hadn't realized that he actually landed a decent punch on me until I felt my father dabbing 'gently' at my cut lip and, sometime during the fight I had managed to get a small gash in my forehead.
But when he assessed my nose by gently pressing on either side I felt my eyes start to water.
"Well, you're lucky that your nose isn't broken, you are going to have a nice array of bruises for a few weeks. Don't you think I'm entitled to an explanation as to why I was called down to break up a fight my son was involved in? I thought that I was through with this fighting after you graduated from that expensive private school I sent you to." I clenched my jaw to prevent me from saying anything that would get me into trouble, I couldn't afford to at this point. I didn't want to be thrown out of the hospital – lord knows the man I called father wouldn't bat an eye.
I had to tell him about Bella. He was going to find out eventually, it might as well be from me instead of someone else.
"Did grandpa tell you about the conversation I had with him after dinner during Christmas vacation?" I waited for him to nod his head, "Well, it just so happens that that same woman is here in this hospital…she was brought in a few hours ago to be more precise." Oh, if I hadn't just dropped a bombshell on my dad right now I would be laughing my ass off right now. His eyes looked like they were going to pop out of his head at any second. "Why in god's name are you laughing right now?! Edward Anthony Masen Cullen, the woman you are talking about is Isabella Jacobsen; she is married to that man you punched back there! Hell, I shouldn't even be telling you this, I could be breaking fifty different HIPPA laws right now." My father said as he ran his fingers through his hair.
"Dad, for once in your life could you just trust I know what I'm doing? I'm not a total idiot like you seem to think I am. I know that that man is her husband; I also know that she is going to be his ex-wife in a few weeks (I hoped). Now if you don't mind, I'm going to go see if Bella is awake." I didn't wait for my father to speak.
I marched down to the nurses' station to try and find out Bella's condition, but was stonewalled by General Jackson himself. The male nurse behind the desk refused to give me any of Bella's information – he wouldn't even tell me if she was in fact in this damned hospital!
"I'm sorry sir, but I cannot let you see Mrs. Jacobsen unless you are immediate family."
"But I am! I'm her fucking boyfriend for crying out loud!" I shouted. I hated that I had to raise my voice, but this damned nurse was trying my already frayed patience.
"Like hell you are! I'm still her husband until the court says otherwise! So why don't you go on home!?" I turned around to give him a piece of my mind and was met with a face that had been bruised up as badly as I was, and he even had a splint on his nose – I couldn't help but smirk at the fact I broke his nose.
His lower lip was already swollen twice its normal size, and it looked like he was going to have a nice shiner around his right eye.
Good. Serves him right for all the shit he's put Bella through.
Tensions started to rise again, but I tried my hardest to remain calm and not cause another scene and risk being thrown out. Almost another half hour – but felt more like years – passed, and the glaring match Garrett and I were having felt like it was going to explode and develop into yet another punching contest when my father caught up with me. He explained to both Garrett and I – but his eye contact was trained on Garrett since he was still listed as her next of kin – that he had just checked on Bella in the ICU and she had been downgraded from critical condition to serious condition. Though she had been downgraded to serious condition, she still remained unconscious. The EMT's that were first on the scene assumed she had suffered from smoke inhalation. My father told us that the paramedics tried their best to counteract the effects of it with the oxygen mask, but the lingering effects of smoke inhalation caught up with her. My father left us after that and once again I was left in painful wondering and running through all of the different worst-case scenarios that could happen.
As time passed, I was growing impatient. I had called Alice a few times to keep her updated on the situation. I saw Garrett get up from his spot across the room and walk over to ask the nurse behind the desk a question. Sitting here in the waiting area of the ICU was painful. I wanted to be by Bella's side.
Garrett had just sat back down when a loud siren went off and a voice over the intercom yelled something about a 'code blue'. Growing up with a father who was a doctor, you learn pretty quickly that 'code blue' meant that a patient had coded and had no heartbeat. I watched as the crash cart was pushed down to the room where it was needed. I about felt to the floor, I had overheard that Bella was in ICU room 2, and that was where the crash cart was headed.
I heard someone yelling at me that I couldn't go back there, that I needed to stay in the waiting room. I wasn't about to wait a second longer. I pushed myself through and got the doorway of Bella's room. The sight before me nearly broke my heart. My Bella, she was hooked up to a bunch of different wires. There was a ventilation machine next to her bed, but she was unhooked from it and an ambu bag was connected to her ET tube. There were countless people in the room, a nurse was trying to politely push me back out of the room; telling me that I didn't need to see this.
The team had been working on her for about three minutes – yet it felt like hours had gone by – and had just given her another jolt with the defibrillator. They waited the few seconds to see if there was any rhythm. I nearly broke into tears when I saw her heartbeat return to a normal rhythm.
She's going to be ok; she's going to pull through.
I didn't fight when the nurse pushed me out of the room and ushered me back to the waiting area. The nurse told me that the doctor would be in shortly to give an update on Bella's condition. That didn't matter to me at this point, I was just glad that Bella was ok.
My father walked in and I could tell that he was exhausted. He explained what happened, and that Bella was still in critical condition, but that he felt comfortable downgrading her to serious condition – even after the code blue that had been called. My father explained that they weren't quite sure what caused Bella to code like that, but that her vitals improved slightly after she regained normal sinus rhythm (meaning that her heart beat returned to normal).
He told us that the baby was doing wonderfully, and that it didn't seem to be affected.
Bella was pregnant?
"I take it, by the look on your faces that Bella had not gotten around to telling the either of you. Well, Bella seems to be about nine weeks pregnant. The baby is still very small at this stage of the pregnancy, so we are keeping a close eye on the baby as well. Your wife is lucky that she managed to get to the floor where there was much more clean air to breathe; that is probably what saved her life, as well as the baby's." I clenched my jaw as I did my best not to knock some more sense into Garrett for his stupidity. Before my dad left he said that though she was still unconscious, it wouldn't hurt if either of us visited with her; though neither of us could stay very long.
Was this my father's way of telling me that I could see Bella with my own eyes; that I was given permission as someone who was not next of kin?
I didn't question it and hurried towards Bella's room ahead of Garrett.
When I got there could feel my heart breaking all over again. She was still hooked up to all different kinds of wires and the sound of the ventilator made it all the more real.
Garrett stuck around for most of the night, and some of the early morning. He and I were never going to be best buddies, but we came to an understanding. We both wanted what was best for Bella, and that was for her to get better. Garrett gave me a very awkward congratulation about the pregnancy then made a clean getaway.
It was nearly half past eight in the morning; I had been here for almost ten hours. I had no intention of going anywhere and if any of the nurses tried to make me move they would be in for a rude awakening.
"Bella, I don't know if you can hear me, but you need to wake up. Keep holding on love, I don't know what I would do if I lost you. I know that Charlotte and Alex would be devastated if something were to happen to you." My voice cracked as the last word left my mouth. I've never been this honest with anyone – not even my family. I've always had to put up a front for them; I had to show them that I was OK, and that my father's disappointment never bothered me when it clearly did.
Bella was the first person who I felt that I could be myself around. I knew that she wouldn't look down on me, and that she would still love and care about me – faults and all.
"That's why you need to get better Bella, you need to get better and wake up. Let me see those beautiful brown eyes of yours." No change. Her heart rate remained the same steady rhythm; all of her vitals were in their normal ranges considering what she's been through.
I had to use the restroom, but I didn't dare want to leave her side, not even if the bathroom was just a few feet away from her bed. It was all the coffee I drank to stay awake during the night, it was finally catching up with me. I stood up and gently pressed my lips to her temple and whispered, "I'll be right back love, don't worry." It was at that very moment the monitors started going haywire and made loud alarming noise.
Bella's nurse for the morning came rushing in and asked what I had done. While managing to keep a level head I told her I didn't do anything. I told her that I had just kissed her forehead before going to the restroom and the monitors started going crazy. I looked up at her vitals and they were elevated, but not by much.
"Isabella, Mrs. Jacobsen, my name is Nurse June. I need you to open your eyes for me if you can."
She again talked to Bella, and tried to get her to open her eyes. I about collapsed into the chair behind me when I saw her eyes barely fluttered open. They were just tiny slits, but her bright chocolate-colored eyes were still visible. The nurse asked Bella to blink once for yes and twice for no for the next couple of questions. She asked if Bella knew where she was.
She squeezed her eyes tight once. Good, she was aware of what was going on around her.
Then the nurse asked if Bella remembered what happened. Bella squeezed her eyes once, and then quickly blinked twice. I wasn't surprised, I'm sure the details would be a bit hazy for her the next couple of days. Finally, the nurse asked if Bella wanted the tube out.
Of course she wants the damned tube to come out! Just pull the damn thing out!
This is what I wanted to scream at her, but I refrained. Instead, I held Bella's small soft hand. I felt a tear fall down my cheek when I saw that Bella was able to barely nod her head. The nurse left the room to go find the doctor who was on call to come in and she filled him in on what had just transpired. He had the nurse go ahead and disconnect the tube from the machine.
"Hello Mrs. Jacobsen, now I want you to nod your head if you want this breathing tube to come out. I know that Nurse June just asked you this, but we want to make sure you are awake enough to breathe on your own." I suppose that made sense.
The doctor explained that he wanted Bella to hold her breath and then when he pulled out the tube he wanted her to cough. When the tube was out Bella could barely speak, but that was to be expected. Nurse June then hooked Bella up to a low level of oxygen through a cannula that put the oxygen into her nose. The doctor told us that if she continued to improve at this rate they would consider moving her up to a regular room.
When the nurse and doctor finally gave us some privacy it took all I had not to leap into bed with her and kiss her like she had never been kissed before.
"H-how…long was I asleep?" Bella's voice was barely audible, but I could still hear what she asked. I told her the truth, that she had lost consciousness before she got to the emergency room last night. I didn't think I should mention the last part to her, but when she noticed the hesitation in my face she knew that there was more to the story. Even when she was weak and tired, she managed to squeeze the truth out of me. When I told her that her heart stopped for a few seconds I was expecting her eyes to bug out, something; but I wasn't prepared for her reaction.
She just said," Oh…" like it didn't even matter to her. I knew that she kept all of her thoughts bottled up inside her, and I wanted her to tell me, but I wasn't going to push at least not right now. She started coughing and told me that her throat felt like she swallowed a bucket full of nails. I quickly poured her a small cup of ice chips. The nurse said that when Bella woke up she was to have ice chips instead of water for the first few hours so that she wouldn't choke on swallowing water.
"So the doctor says that the baby is doing OK too." Her eyes grew huge at my mentioning the baby.
Now that was the expression I was looking for earlier. She seemed genuinely surprised that I knew.
Just how long has she known she was pregnant?
"So I guess I am pregnant…" Wait, she didn't know she was pregnant? "I was somewhat hoping the three pregnancy tests I took were all false positives." I couldn't help but laugh. Only my Bella would take three pregnancy tests to be sure she was pregnant, but I can see why she did that. Then I remembered when she told me that I didn't have to wear a condom anymore since she had the birth control shot-thingy. It was rare, but I heard women could still get pregnant even if they have the shot.
"The doctor says you're around nine weeks. You might find this hard to believe, but I am so excited about this. I kind of always wanted to be a father, granted I didn't think it would be so soon." My heart warmed when I saw Bella smile. I was glad that she was just as happy about the pregnancy as I was. "It won't be easy…" I just laughed and told her that I knew that already. I had heard the pregnancy speech my aunt had given Tanya during my time in Orlando – I still haven't gotten my lost luggage yet come to think of it.
"Mommy!" I jumped a bit at the sudden sound of a little boy running in and catapulting into bed with Bella. This must be her little boy. I think I remember her telling me his name was Alex. Charlotte, whose name was easy to remember since it was a fairly uncommon name, stuck close to Alice. I assume this is the woman who called me out of the blue and told me to get my ass over to the hospital since she had to Bella's kids and couldn't.
"Aunt Al-wus said you sick momma! You no look sick…" I smirked; the kid definitely had his mom keen since of observation that was for sure.
"Well, I was very sick. But you're right I'm all better now – well for the most part anyway." Bella said. She kissed the top of her son's head. His giggle was very infectious, soon the whole room was quietly laughing.
It was a little bit before dinner time, and the kids had long been gone when Nurse June came in with a wheelchair. She announced that though Bella had just woken up a few hours ago, she was being moved up to a regular room. I noticed that it had a small slim oxygen tank strapped to the back. I was glad for that, though I could tell she hated having the cannula in her nose, I didn't want to take the chance of her breathing to suffer from not being hooked up to the oxygen.
Bella was a bit surprised that her new room was in the maternity ward, however, I wasn't the least bit surprised. They wanted to make sure that the baby and Bella continued to improve, and this way they both were close to an obstetrician. We had to say good bye to Nurse June – something I was 'sad' to do. I'm not sure why, but she just annoyed the shit out of me.
Our new nurse wasn't any better – in fact he was much worse.
"Hello, my name is Liam and I'll be your nurse during your stay up here. Is there anything I can get you…Isabella?" I smirked to myself. She hated being called by her full name, and I was certain that Bella would correct him. But she didn't, she just smiled and asked if she could have more ice chips. I had to chew on the inside of my cheek to prevent myself from making a complete jealous-ass of myself.
When Nurse Liam left to go get her pitcher of ice chips Bella turned her head to me and said, "He seemed really nice. It's a shame that he bats for the other team." I was left flabbergasted, but Bella didn't seem the least bit phased by what she said and just turned her attention back to the television and started surfing through the different channels.
Maybe it was just my jealousy coming through, but I was fairly certain that Liam wasn't gay, and that he was flirting with my Bella. Wait! Did I just sound as possessive as I think I did?
God help me, this woman is doing things to me I didn't possible. I was becoming one of those jealous boyfriends I would normally make fun of.
I sighed and attempted to watch TV right along with her, even though an occasional thought of Liam flirting with Bella continually floated into my thoughts. I knew that Bella loved me, and that doesn't have a wondering eye. Then as i thought about it more, the more I started to fixate on the possibility that Bella could fall out of love with me and leave me for that damned Nurse Liam.
"I'm glad you're here...with me." Bella croaked. Instantly my paranoia melted away and all I could do was smile at the woman I have fallen madly in love with.
I returned the smile, and gently planted a soft kiss on her forehead.
Yes, I could definitely get used to calling her mine.
What did you think? Let me know in the reviews! Did the fight scene live up to the hype? I had to rewrite that section a few times to get it just right, hopefully it wasn't cheesy, and that it was believable.
What do you think will happen next? Do you think that another attempt will be made on Bella's, or her family's, life?
You know the drill, leave me your thoughts in the comments and I will see you next update day!