Some of you are thrilled about this and some are not. General thoughts are that you all want Lily to be theirs. Others think the same but that they should communicate with each other.

Haven't y'all ever heard of a surprise?! He knows she wants Lily but doesn't want her hopes up if he can't make it happen. Just my thoughts...

Bella stood outside the hospital. She had been there for several minutes, trying to find the courage to go inside and not run away.

Today was the day. The day that Family Services took Lily. Bella had done everything she could to find a reason to keep her there but the truth was Lily was a healthy baby. And she was thankful for that, she really was, but she just wanted the best life for Lily.

"Hey, Bella." Tanya said breathlessly as she rushed past her. "I have a Piggy Back today at eight and this is the first one I am doing solo and…" Tanya stopped when she realized Bella had not followed her. She turned back and walked to her. "Why are you standing outside the hospital like a corpse?"

Bella didn't respond.

Tanya waved her hand in front of her face and when that didn't work she pinched her.

"Ow!" Bella exclaimed. "What?" She glared at Tanya as she rubbed her arm.

"What is wrong with you?" Tanya asked.

"I… I just…" Bella trailed off, shaking her head.

"Life doesn't turn out the way you plan sometimes." Tanya said sympathetically.

Bella nodded, took a deep breath and then walked into the hospital.

"And then again, sometimes it does." Tanya said softly to herself.


"Just get it done!"

Edward turned towards Bella's voice, not at all surprised that she was reeming out an intern. Bella had reached her breaking point. She was entering the first stage of grief.

"That will be all Dr. Morrison." He intercepted and the intern shot him a grateful look and scurried off.

He look searchingly into Bella's face.

"What?" She snapped.

"It is going to be okay." He told her.

"Yeah. Whatever, I have paperwork to do." She said.

"Bella? Are you going to go say goodbye?" He asked. He didn't know if everything was going to work out and he needed her to have closure. She needed to have closure.

"I can't." Her voice broke, his heart broke with it.

"You have to. If you don't, you'll regret it." He told her, wrapping his arms around her in the busy hallway, not caring who saw or what conclusions they came to.

"I know, but I just don't know if I can do it. Maybe it's better this way." She told him as she tried to convince herself.

Edward sighed.

"If you think that's best."

"I do." She smiled weakly at him and then headed in the direction of her office.

Edward watched her go and pulled out his cell phone and called Victoria. He needed to know what was going on and he needed to know now.


"AARGH!" Bella screamed in frustration and threw her pen at the wall. She couldn't focus on her work. Her mind was two floors up in the NICU with a baby who was going home. Bella scoffed. Home. It really wasn't the accurate word in this situation. Lily deserved two parents who loved her, who wanted her, who had a warm stable home.

Bella froze. She had a warm stable home. A loving home with a loving man. A wonderful man who wanted a family… wanted a family with her.

She stood up so abruptly that her chair clattered to the ground. She was so fucking stupid.

She could adopt Lily.

She ran out of her office and forgoing the elevator, took the stairwell entrance and rushed up the two flights of stairs. She threw open the door and hauled ass down the hallway. She skidded to a stop and went into the NICU scrub room and scrubbed in, suited up, took a deep breath and slowly opened to door to the nursery. Her eyes touched on the several babies fighting for their lives before focusing on Lily's incubator. Lauren, Maggie and some woman she had never met were at her bedside.

"Hello, Dr. Mallory, Dr. Meyers." She forced herself to keep her voice steady and turned towards the stranger. "I'm sorry. I'm afraid we haven't met. I am Dr. Swan and you are?"

"My name is Whit. I'm the social worker on this case and I'm here to pick up the baby." She informed her.

Bella nodded softly and looked at Maggie and Lauren. They quickly took the hint and left.

"Where are you taking her?" Bella demanded.

"Forgive me but I don't know if that is protocol, you asking where the baby is being placed. With all due respect, you have done your job and I now have to do mine." Whit said, her voice soft but stern.

"You don't understand. I want to adopt her. I have a stable loving home with a great man. And I don't even know why I didn't think about it before, I mean I did, but I was so afraid to get attached and then I did anyway and I just…I want her. I need you to tell me what I have to do to get her."

Whit's eyes were really wide during her ramble and then they softened with sympathy.

"I am so sorry, Dr. Swan, but we have a family for her already."

Bella sucked in her breath and fought the overbearing tears that were threatening to fall.

"Oh." She whispered. "Is it a… I mean are they… good? Will they be good to her?"

"Yes. They will." Whit's voice rang with sincerity.

Bella looked at Lily, who was awake. She lightly caressed her cheek and then her tiny hand, choking back a sob when her little fingers curled around one of her own.

"That is all that matters then. Can I have a minute? Please." She begged softly.

Whit nodded and slipped out of the room. Bella finally let her tears fall as she gingerly picked up Lily and sat down in the rocking chair. She cradled her tightly and breathed her sweet baby smell, committing it to her memory.

"So you are going to your new family today. The nice lady says they are good people. She says you will be happy and that is the most important thing to me. I want you to have everything you want in life and I want you to know I will never forget you and I will always love you, but I have to let you go now. Be safe. Be happy. Be loved." She kissed Lily's downy blond hair and they stayed that way until Whit came back.

"Dr. Swan? I have to take her now."

Bella squeezed Lily tighter and closed her eyes, the tears slipping down her face in silent tracks.

"Okay." She whispered and slowly stood up and with her heart breaking, handed her over to the social worker.

"I'm sorry Dr. Swan," was all Whit said before leaving, taking a piece of Bella with her.


"What the hell am I paying you for?" Edward demanded, the door slamming into the wall.

Victoria looked up and raised her eyebrow.

"Hello Dr. Cullen, I'm doing great and you?" She said sarcastically.

"They are taking her today. Who got her? Who did they give her to? Did they find the person who abandoned her? Did they even consider me?"

"Sit down and shut up." Victoria demanded.

Edward took a deep breath and then sat down.

"I just wanted… if you tell me that the home she is going to is safe and she will have good life then I will deal with it, but if she is going to a foster family or to the woman who left her out in the cold then I can't accept that. I won't accept that."

Victoria looked at him and then to the papers on her desk. She started reading.

"Dr. Tanya Denali: Bella Swan and Edward Cullen are good people, mostly stable, willing to give up anything for a child that isn't theirs, including their jobs, very unselfish."

"Dr. Jasper Whitlock: Edward Cullen and Bella Swan would be good parents. Better than I had, more than I could wish for."

"Dr. Alec Volturi : Bella is a great woman, very kind but firm. She wants to help people, most of the time at the expense of herself. Dr. Cullen is a great surgeon, very caring, very invested in the lives of his co-workers and his patients. Comes from a great family."

"Dr. Alice Brandon: Bella is great mother material, has a very big heart, great boss. Edward is infinitely kind and loving, great teacher."

"Dr. Rosalie Hale : Dr. Cullen has been a wonderful addition to my staff, has babysat my son on more than one occasion, loves his mother, loves Dr. Swan. Dr. Swan is kind, patient, loving and perfect for Dr. Cullen. If they don't get this baby, you will be hearing from me and no one wants to hear from me."

"Dr. Jacob Black: Edward is a great guy, very dependable, very smart, very patient. I don't know Dr. Swan as well, but she is a fair boss with a good head on her shoulders."

"Dr. James Riley: Edward has been my family since I was six. I had a bad family and his took me in. Edward has always wanted a family and he has a great example in his. Bella Swan is a wonderful addition to our family and our mother loves her and if she loves you, you are golden. They will be wonderful parents and any child would be lucky to have them."

"Dr. Maggie Meyers: I have made a living out of treating children and talking to their parents and I am being completely honest when I say that Lily couldn't ask for two better parents. She will have anything she could ever want and she will be loved."

"Dr. Lauren Mallory: As I write this I am looking down at this beautiful child and I am saddened by the fact that already her life has been tainted. But I am heartened by the fact that it doesn't have to remain that way. I have known Edward for a few years now and he has always wanted a family and he would be an amazing father. I have only known Dr. Swan for a few months and I will admit that we don't see eye to eye, but she would be the best choice to be Lily's mother. I don't think you could pick better parents for her."

Victoria finished reading and looked up at him, slipping her glasses off her face and waited.

Edward sat there stunned.

"What is that?"

"That was your letters of recommendation. We had to have two and we talked to Dr. Hale and that is what she sent us six hours later. Nine letters from well respected doctors. Very impressive."

"But they are taking her." He told her.

"Correction: They have already taken her and she will be delivered to her new family momentarily." Victoria informed him.

"She isn't a package." He said, his eyes flashing. Victoria remained relaxed and somewhat smug.

"So that's it. I never had a chance did I?" He asked.

"I don't know, did you?"

Edward stood up and glared at her.

"Just send me your bill." He demanded before storming out.

Victoria sighed and followed him.

"Wait! She will be happy, she will be loved. I promise you that. Do you want to meet the parents?" She asked.

Edward stared at the ground for a long while before looking at her. He had to know, he had to see, so he could tell Bella she would be happy.

He cleared his throat and swallowed hard.

"Yeah, sure." He agreed.

"Okay then, let's go."

One more chapter left, then an epilogue.