Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight SM does, I just like playing there. All poetry is the property of the original author. The rest is mine. A/N:
Here it is the final chapter. Thank you all for sticking with me. Sorry it took so long to finish. I had been prepared to complete the story after I posted the last chapter but I actually broke my arm and could not type with the cast I had. It was a big adjustment, it was the first major bone I have ever broke. Since very few people know I read fanfiction let alone write it and as you may know I am unbeta'ed so I did not have anyone to step in and help me finish.
I would like to really thank all those it who have or will read this story and stayed with it till the end. I appreciate the reviews and encouragement I received.
I have several other ideas for stories and I will be posting a new one. I am hoping to have more of the final project completed when I start posting. The next will be a Bella/Jacob story. The first chapter should be out in a few weeks. I originally did this project for a special person for encouragement and as a promise for them completing a goal. Through this I have reawakened a creative bug that had been buried deep. This might not always be my first priority as real life family/work/school/friends has to come first but I will be around. Thanks again.
Once upon a time,
I became yours,
& you became mine.
And we'll stay Together,
Through both the tears & the laughter…
Because that's what they call,
Happily Ever After.
Chapter 26: Ever After
The entire family had been very happy for us when we announced we were getting married and by the time Alice had received our all clear and got to the house she had resigned herself and meekly offered her assistance. By the time the evening was over we had set the wedding date for the first Friday after graduation. Mother and I went to work on a Victorian themed wedding. I had selected red, black, and white as my colors, with lots of ivy, creating a very sophisticated look. The ceremony and reception itself would be very small, consisting of the family, the Denali's, and of course our friend Garrett.
The first meeting with Garrett and Edward after our reunion had been quite tense, at least the revolutionary was respectful of my mate and had found his. I was very happy for him. Edward still felt the need to make his claim known. I had been thinking he was over reacting until I met Tanya who was not as respectful.
I had slowly rebuilt my relationships with the remaining members of my extended family. It was actually quite helpful to have them around as Edward and I were having a difficult time waiting for our wedding and it was nicer to have another couple to tag along with, than to always feel as though we needed chaperons. This resulted in several group dates away from the cities we lived in. Due to the long runs we were able to talk and reconnect. Rose and Jasper had been the easiest to build relationships with. Partially due to the lack of relationship and because they both understood my emotional scars and knew I had to work through them. They understood that I could not just let things go. Emmett was hard at first because not only did he just want to pick up where we left off but the teasing he had always done, took on another meaning when he was gone and hearing it again made me feel insignificant. Alice's normal obsession with fashion and makeovers had a similar effect at reinforcing 'I'm not good enough'. I really had to thank my fiancé for knowing when to jump in and for talking with them when he knew I would have rather just removed myself from those relationships. In the past I would have hurt in silence. Now with the self-esteem and love I had learned to trust in, in the decade since my human life ended, I would have removed the toxic people in my life.
Though graduation had been what I was holding out for by the time it came it was only the quiet ending to a long chapter. Edward and I had both graduated obviously and it was a wonderful moment. I finally got to say it was done. Mom and dad both had tears in their eyes as they watched us. Even though it wasn't the first time Edward had graduated it was the first time they had seen it. Waiting for graduation had given me the time to heal and move forward with a free heart. After nearly a decade I could finally let that part go. We celebrated with a family hunt and then moved right into full swing wedding preparations.
Edward and I had purchased beautiful white gold wedding rings, with Edwardian crafted filigree patterned bands, mine surrounding a round cut diamond. Edward had originally planned to give me his mother's ring and he would wear his fathers that he had held on to for so long. However he knew the two should have them. When Edward finally gave me my engagement ring he planned an amazing night out at the symphony with our parents and when we returned home had asked everyone to follow him out to the pond. When we reached the back of the house you could see a beautiful new ornate bench surrounded by rose bushes and candles overlooking the back of the property. Obviously it had meant something to his parents as they both gasped. Apparently his father had built one similar to this in his childhood back yard that they would use to sit and watch over him. After he directed them to have a seat he placed a blanket at their feet and helped me take a seat next to him.
Taking my left hand in his he began. "Even though I ran from you Isabella when we first met I knew you were my forever. I had already imagined you in a beautiful white dress and I could spend all night outlining all the errors I made between then and now that have kept me from experiencing that one joy that I dreamed so much about, but I won't." We all chuckled quietly. He pushed a strand of hair behind my ear before continuing. "I love you so much Bella and I have so much to be thankful for. One of the greatest being you agreeing to be my wife. I hope you will also agree to wear this as a symbol of our promises and my love for you." He had brought out a beautiful black satin box that had my engagement ring.
I whimpered out a quiet "Yes." as I gazed at the beautiful ring. I could not hold in the sob as he placed the ring on my finger and only barely acknowledged the sobs of our mother and father as Edward placed a chaste parent acceptable kiss on my lips.
After we had all collected ourselves Edward pulled out another black box and addressed all of us. "When I had first envisioned proposing to you my love I had pictured a different wedding set that I would use, I had set it aside and not looked at in in more than half a century until you walked into my life. Then I looked at it often. I envisioned the set on our entwined hands millions of times. However it was not meant to be. It's time I return them to their rightful owners." With that said he placed the box in his father's hand. I had never seen these rings that he talked about but from the looks on our parents' faces and the little speech I was sure it had been their rings.
Both of our parents gasped as our father opened the box, letting out a strangled, "Oh Edward." Father embraced his son. Whispering "Thank you." Edward took my hand so we could give them privacy. We had only taken a couple of steps before father spoke again. "Please stay." He said as he stood from the bench then turned to mother getting down on one knee. "Beth, I have loved you since I met you. Even though some of those human memories are cloudy I still remember you. I remember being nervous when I began courting you. I remember when I first placed this ring on your hand. I remember the tough years when you often felt like I cared for my work more than you. Which never was the case I only wanted to give you everything you ever deserved." At least I knew my Edward came by it naturally. I thought as I looked at my smirking fiancé. "I remember wishing I could take on your pain as our son was brought into this world. I remember wishing the same thing when I brought you into this second part of our life. I would have never imagined all those years ago how all our pain and suffering would be rewarded but much like my son I know I am the luckiest man alive. I ask that you would once again wear this ring as a symbol of my love for you, my love for our family, and my promise to always cherish all that we have been given."
Mother let out a huge sob as she enthusiastically nodded her head. Her hands were shaky as she plucked fathers ring from the box and sobbed through her attempt to recite the same promises.
Following the mutual declarations and the celebratory hugs and kisses father and mother returned to the main home to continue their celebrations. Edward and I remained at our spot by the pond enjoying each other's company.
When the day finally arrived I dressed in an ivory gown with a hug shoulder neckline, with lace over lay, and a corset fitted bodice with an organza ruffled skirt that flowed into the train that stretched behind at least five feet. Father would be walking me down the aisle. Carlisle who was in fact a licensed minister would perform the ceremony for us. Edward had asked Jasper to stand as his best man for having always had his back and for taking care of me. Even though Alice and I were rebuilding our relationship, I asked Rose to stand as my Matron of honor. She and I had become sisters and she understood the scars from my emotional past, much like hers, you can move on but they are still there.
The ceremony was over quickly, but with vampire memory, we could recall each detail as often as we wanted. Once we had completed the customary traditions and mingled for a moderate amount of time, we were off. I thought we would be heading to one of the Cullen's multiple extravagant homes but to my surprise while my mother and I were planning the perfect wedding. Father and Edward had had a little project of their own, with of the help of Esme. On a piece of land not far from the family cottage Edward had one built just for the two of us. I was shocked by the wedding present but he stated he wanted a place that was only ours, our own escape from the world. Designed with only us in mind and small enough to never have guests. It had a wonderful living room with a large couch we could both fit on with a fire place and television. There was the customary unused kitchen. It had two rooms, the smaller of the two had been turned into a library that already housed a number of books with plenty of room to grow. The last being our room with a beautiful antique looking wrought iron bed in black. The bedspread was in the same red we had used at our wedding, carrying over the sophistication with white roses on ever surface.
We had stayed in our cottage for several months finally enjoying being husband and wife. When we were finally sated Edward made good on a promise he had made to a very human Bella. When we left our home he took me to see the world. Many times the family or at least part of it tagged along. He had taken me to see England and Ireland first then we slowly crept across the globe for several years until it was time to settle again.
Eternity had turned out pretty good. As the years moved on our families had had several configurations but we were almost always together. The Cullen's were never the scandalous group they had been in the past. Shortly after the Cullen family moved to a new town another new family, the Masen's would move in. The children of each family would always fall deeply in love and the parents became fast friends.
It had taken a long time and a lot more pain than I thought necessary but there was a lot of learning and growing done. As time passes our love for one another only gets stronger and forever never looked so good.
I hope you have enjoyed this story. Please let me know what you think and remember I will have my Jacob/Bella story up shortly. I hope you will join me for that journey as well.