I'd like to start off with a massive apology for the delay in getting this chapter to you. When Hurricane Irene hit my town on August 27th, 98 percent of my town was left without electricity, phone service, hot water, refrigeration, and internet for one week straight. We didn't even have a working traffic light in our town. The important thing was that my family was safe, and our home was completely intact. I thank those of you who sent messages wishing me luck. They really made my day. Thank you for understanding why this chapter is so late.
This chapter was beta'd by the fabulous bean hating, Zeba loving, carnivore, Sparkling Fae.
The awesomely creative LunarEclipse1 gave me and my readers a special gift. She created a new banner plus character banners for each mated pair in the story. It's still a work in progress, but most of the couples are up. Click on the link on my profile page to check them out.
This story is AU/OOC.
All characters belong to Stephanie Meyer. No copyright infringement intended.
Mature readers 18+ only please.
The next day...
"Baby, do you need the truck today?"
"Can I use it? I have to finish my Christmas shopping. I haven't had time with running the shop and whatnot."
"Go ahead. Besides, I can always take the toy if I need to go anywhere."
"That's right." Jasper's new toy was a Lamborghini that he had special ordered from Italy. It was a stick shift, of course, so driving it was not an option. I kissed Jasper on the lips and told him that I'd see him later.
"I want more of that sugar later, Bella!" he called after me.
I drove the familiar route to Encino Valley, parked the truck, and entered the shop called, "The Mystical Pixie." There were lots of new age books, trinkets, amulets, jewelry, and other things for sale. The store offered all sorts of readings: psychic, crystal ball, palm, tarot, spiritual, you name it. If my mother were still alive, she would have pitched a tent and moved in here.
I approached the girl at the register. "Hi, I'm here for my reading. I have a one pm appointment."
"Oh, sure, you're our last appointment for the day. That'll be three hundred dollars."
"Of course." I paid the girl the fee. I always paid because I didn't feel right usurping Alice's time.
Alice came out of the back, then. "You can go home now Shoshanna. I'll pay you for the next hour. I can lock up."
"Are you sure?"
"Absolutely, you need to finish up your Christmas shopping anyway. Your mother doesn't want what you're planning on getting her. She wants a new coffee maker."
"Oh, okay. Thank you."
"You're welcome. Merry Christmas."
"Merry Christmas, see you on Monday."
Shoshanna grabbed her purse and left. Alice locked the door behind her, then led me to her reading room. I took out my notebook and pen.
"You know, you didn't have to pay me."
"Yes, I did. You could have taken in another client," I said.
"Bella...I see no use arguing with you."
"You're not getting a tip."
"Okay, fair enough."
"Now, let's get down to business. What should I get everyone for Christmas?"
"Bella, part of the fun of Christmas is...oh I'll shut up. Oh my God! First I have to tell you something."
"Vicky went nuts with the sewing and knitting, and she's giving you an orange sweater for Christmas."
"And it's an ugly orange, too. I have an idea. Just put it on and when I get there tomorrow, I'll bump into you while you have a mug of blood and you can spill it all over it. No wait, that's not going to work because Esme is going to take it and get the blood out and make it like new again. I'm sorry, you're stuck with the sweater."
"Can't I just throw it in the dryer and shrink it?"
"Let me see...yes, yes, that'll work. In fact, you'll have to throw Rose's sweater in there too. If you think yours is bad, hers is going to be mustard and lime green."
"Mustard and lime green?"
"Okay, so, this year, you're going to do gift cards for the Beverly Center for everyone, but me, Edward, Mike, Jasper, Peter, Rose, Riley, Emmett, and Rex."
"Are you sure? It seems so generic."
"Trust me, the gifts that you were thinking about would have been re-gifted. They'll appreciate this more. All except for Edward, he's going to love the new e-Reader. Jasper is going to love his gift too. I want a gift card to Walmart and Mike wants tickets to a Laker's game. You're going to get Emmett, Riley, and Rex tickets to the Star Trek Convention in San Jose, California—you're going with them. Really, Bella? A Klingon? The next day, you three are going to a Fang Lovers Festival in San Francisco dressed as werewolves. I swear, you four are so weird."
"Sounds cool to me."
"Oh, and get an extra ticket because Jasper is going to get all worried that there are going to be real supernatural creatures at the Fang Lovers Festival." She rubbed her temples a bit more. "Get one more ticket for Mike and scratch the Laker's tickets, he actually wants to go to those venues."
"What about Rose and Peter?"
"Well, you and I have to go to the junkyard now to get their gift."
"Um, you leave your truck here. I'm not getting into a vehicle with you driving."
"That's fine, I hate driving anyway."
"Bella," Alice whispered, her eyes glistening with tears. "Thank you. Thank you for being my only true friend through all of this. You know, it's you that I hurt the most, and I don't deserve you."
"Well, Alice, you did tell me once, when I was in high school, that you saw us being friends for all of eternity. I just thought I'd keep my end of the bargain."
She tumbled into my arms after that, and I held her for a bit. She looked up at me, after a while, "You know, I really did see us as friends for all of eternity, that part wasn't a lie."
"Well, good, now let's finish up our Christmas shopping."
"Yes, we should. We might even be able to get it all done today if we can get to the junkyard on time."
"Oh, and Alice?"
"Lose the turban."
"Ah...early Christmas present for me, I see."
I rolled my eyes at him. I was lying down on a table, naked, except for a paper thong, getting waxed. Then, I was getting airbrushed.
"Quit teasing her, Sahil," Amar said. "Jasper will kill you."
Amar was getting his hair cut by Claude. Jasper couldn't come with me because he had some work to finish up at the office so Amar volunteered. Amrita was keeping watch in the room. It was so funny. Amar took his job as my chaperone seriously. This was the only time when Jasper freaked out about me coming alone because in order to get waxed or airbrushed, you have to be stark naked. And the only reason why he minded was because it was Sahil, and he loved to get a rise out of Jasper.
"Did I mention that I have the best job in the world. I get to see all of the women in our family naked, and more. Yesterday, I got to see Rose and Katie naked. Today, I get to see Bella naked. Spread your legs a little wider so I can get the hair between your thighs."
"Owwww! Did you have to pull so hard?"
"Geez Bella! Ouch! Amrita, put that riding crop down! Call your mate off, Amar! What if I slip and spill some hot wax on Bella's pussy."
"Ooh! Sounds kinky!"
"Shut up, Claude!" I yelled. "You know, why can't we be like those fictional vampires and have hair that doesn't grow back?"
"Because, it's more fun to be able to get haircuts. Besides, after a few years, your hair would probably become dry and unmanageable, and you'd end up looking like a freak."
"True. So did Tony give any hints as to what's on the menu tomorrow?"
"Nope, and it's pissing me off, too. He and Manuel have been holed up in the kitchen mixing blood for three days straight now. Why can't they do it at his house?"
Jasper and I spent most of yesterday dropping gifts off to our family members. The majority of our family members received five hundred gift cards to The Beverly Center. Alice received a five hundred dollar gift card to Walmart. I purchased the tickets online to the Star Trek Convention and the Fang Lovers Festival for Emmett, Rex, Riley, Mike, and me. I also ordered an extra one for my husband who was bound to freak out as soon as he found out we were all going.
Alice and I went to two separate junkyards yesterday and purchased two junked 1957 Convertible Cadillacs for Rose and Peter. I called a vampire friend who runs a towing company and he was having them delivered to their shop this morning. I gave Rose and Peter notes that told them to stop by at their repair shop before coming to my house today. Alice assured me that they were going to love them.
After that, we grabbed Edward's e-Reader and a gift card so he could purchase books to his heart's content, then Alice and I worked on her Christmas gifts. I didn't mind going with her anymore. She was such a sensible shopper. More sensible than me, even. I spent time with her, not because I had to, but because I wanted to. In the beginning, I forgave Alice for Mike's sake, but, then, after listening to my family members bitch about her and attending counseling sessions with Lorena, I realized that what Alice really needed to get better was a friend. So, I decided to put our differences aside and become one to her because I knew how lonely life could be when you're all alone in the world.
Jasper and I were sitting in front of the Christmas tree opening gifts. Riley and Vicky were at Peter's house right now so it was just the two of us. We were down to our last two.
"At the same time?" he asked.
Per usual, Jasper tore open the gift wrap. This time, I was prepared. I had wrapped ten boxes, one smaller than the other, so he couldn't get to his gift so quickly.
"That's a dirty trick, you pulled," he said as he finally got to the envelope holding his gift. He opened it up and took a look at the contents. "I love you!"
"I know," I said.
"No, I mean, I really, really love you."
I reserved a spot for the two of us for a Civil War Re-enactment weekend in Grandview, Texas in March. I also reserved our costumes and booked our plane tickets. Then, we were going to a country music festival in Dallas, the following weekend.
Before I could even open my gift, he had ripped my clothes off and plowed his cock inside of me. There goes the new, orange sweater that Vicky had knit for me. I guess Alice didn't see that.
After our quickie, I finally got to open my gift from him and I was blown away. It was a gorgeous pink stone surrounded by flawless white diamonds.
"Jasper, this is...this is so beautiful."
"Do you like it?"
"I love it. What kind of stone is this?"
"It's a pink diamond."
"Aren't they really rare?"
"Not as rare as you are."
He pulled me onto his lap and kissed me. I was always a puddle of goo with him.
"Thank you, Jasper."
We stayed in each other's arms for a while, then we realized that we had about ten minutes before our family started arriving. I had my ring securely on my finger. He swept up all of our gifts and ran them up to our bedroom while I shoved all of the gift wrap into the recycling bin. After that, we quickly got dressed, but not before Jasper scented me. He did it in a minute flat which was fast for him. We got back downstairs just as our intercom buzzed.
"Open the gate and get the fuck outside!" Pete yelled. We pushed the buttons and waited for them outside.
"Merry Christmas!" we both greeted as they stepped out of two cars. Peter, Char, Riley, Vicky, Em, Rose, and Juan were the first group.
"Did you buy a new car?" I asked Peter.
"Yeah, I sure did. What do you think?"
"It's a Ferrari, what's not to like."
"I'm glad you think so because it's yours."
"Yep, you needed a new car since your idiot brother doesn't know how to drive."
"Wow." I stared in awe at the brand new Ferrari. It was shiny and black, and absolutely gorgeous.
"It's actually from me, Rose, and Manuel. I purchased the car, Rose purchased the custom leather, and Manuel did the custom upholstery work for you."
"Oh my God! Thank you!" I hugged and kissed all three of them. The seats were done in a raspberry pink so there was no doubt that it was my car. It contrasted perfectly with the exterior of the vehicle, and I loved it. Plus it had an automatic transmission so I could drive it.
I sat in the seat for a bit. Pete sat next to me on the passenger side.
"Only the best for my grandbaby," he said.
"So, what did you get for Riley?"
"Oh, he's on punishment for crashing your Maserati. He's going to driving school with the humans, then he gets driving lessons from a race car driver."
I chuckled at that. My poor brother didn't have a license to drive with right now anyway.
We got out of the car and I asked them all if they liked their gifts. Vicky and Juan were psyched to go shopping, Riley and Emmett were both excited about the two conventions we were going to, and Rose and Peter were head over heels over the idea of rebuilding their 1957 Cadillacs.
"What made you choose the '57 Caddies?" Rose asked.
"Well, I figured you two were always raving about how they were cool to drive so I had Alice look for two. She found them in two separate junkyards in East Los Angeles. She even went with me and haggled them down in price. Oh, by the way, I'm supposed to tell you that there's a 1970 Dodge Challenger at one of the junkyards."
Pete's face lit up in a huge smile. "Oh, yeah. Thank you, Pixie."
Other family members started showing up so we went inside the house to let them through the gates.
"Bella!" Rex twirled me around. "Fang Lovers Festival? I so can't wait to go!"
"Shit, I know right," Mike agreed.
"Wait a minute? What Fang Lovers Festival?" Jasper asked.
Alice winked at me from across the room.
"Oh, it's a festival for all supernatural creatures with fangs," I replied.
"You're not going to that. What if there are werewolves?"
"I was gonna go dressed as a werewolf," I said.
"Jasper, it's going to be fake."
"Well, I'm coming with you, just in case. This is California after all."
"That's fine, Jasper," I said with a chuckle.
Amar walked up to me and Jasper, just then. "Bella, that's a beautiful ring. Did Jasper give it to you for Christmas?"
"Yes, do you like it? It's beautiful, isn't it?"
"Yes." Then he punched Jasper in the nose.
"What the fuck was that for?"
"You're the fucker that outbid me on the Christie's phone auction. Amrita was begging me for that ring. Did you know that she wouldn't talk to me for days afterwards."
"Yeah, well, you could have outbid me."
"Yes, Amar. You could have outbid him, why didn't you?" a feral Amrita asked.
"He outbid my final bid by almost two million dollars, I had to think about it, my maharani. By the time, I got back on the line, my time had run out."
"Two million dollars?" I asked in shock. "How much was the final bid?"
"Eleven and a half million dollars," Amar said. "My final bid was nine point eight million dollars."
"Fuck me!" I gasped.
"The pink diamond that you are wearing now is one of the rarest in the world. The rock itself toured all seven continents before it was turned into a ring. It is the most coveted pink diamond in the world," my brother, the Maharaja explained.
"Jasper, I'm not worth eleven and a half million dollars!"
"Yes, you are, Bella. You're worth it. Never sell yourself short."
"He's right, Bella," Amar agreed and pulled me in for a hug. "You are worth it."
Manuel and Tony called us in for dinner. We sat around our large dining table, eager to feast on their blood creations.
"So, what's on the menu today?" I asked.
"Roast beef with au jus, fingerling potatoes, Bella's lasagna, and Chicken Tikka Masala," Tony said.
"Don't we get a vegetable with that?" Rex asked.
"Potatoes are a vegetable."
"Yeah, but what about corn or green beans or something? Aren't you even concerned with our daily fiber intake?"
"Don't fucking press your luck, bro."
They served our meals to us, which we ate out of soup bowls. Then, it was time for dessert, which I was looking forward to the most.
"You have a choice of flan, pumpkin pie, or cheesecake," Manuel said. "And for beverages, we have hot chocolate and our newest invention, coffee."
"Yes, coffee. Actually, we're testing it out. If all goes well, you can carry it around in thermoses throughout the day and drink to your heart's content."
"Um, what about cream and sugar?" Mike asked.
"We've come up with solutions for that as well. Trust us."
"Okay, then I want a tall with four teaspoons of sugar and some cinnamon sprinkled on top, "
"Mike! This isn't fucking Starbucks," I said. "Don't be a smart ass."
"I swear to fucking God, Bella. This is fucking Christmas. You should really try to curtail the fucking swearing. Angels and shit are watching upstairs."
"Fuck you," I giggled. "Well, shit, then I want a tall Cafe Latte with six teaspoons of sugar, then."
"Alright, you two, you get a choice of cream, sugar, none, one, or both. Got it? This isn't Starbucks!" Tony said. "This is blood."
"Damn, and I was going to order a Caramel Macchiato," Rex said.
"Alright, you three get your coffees last for being smart asses."
Riley raised his hand next.
"What is it?" Tony asked.
"Does your coffee come in a decaf version because I really don't like to take caffeine into my system after one pm."
"Back of the line, asshole."
Everyone was laughing at our banter.
"I don't understand what the four of you were ordering. The younger vampires seem to understand, but we older ones are confused. Isn't coffee, just coffee?" Esme asked.
"No, coffee was just coffee until Starbucks made it part of pop culture in the nineteen nineties. They created different ways of flavoring and mixing coffee, and between 1995 and 2000, worldwide consumption of coffee rose by over seven hundred percent," I explained.
"Where the fuck do you get this shit, Bella?" Claude asked.
"I told you before, I read."
"Alright, Claude, you take the coffee orders. Bella, can you give us a hand in the kitchen?" Tony asked.
An hour later, we had all finished our desserts and coffees and we were helping with the clean up. Afterwards, we sat around in the living room and just hung out. I looked around my house and everyone was genuinely happy. Some were hanging out in the jacuzzi watching a game, others were splashing around in our swimming pool, still others were just content talking.
Edward wrapped his arms around me from behind, and took in the sight of our family. "Just think, Bella. This whole crazy family of ours came about because you wouldn't leave me alone, and I couldn't stay away from you in high school."
"Yeah," I chuckled. I really did love each and every one of them, some more so than others, but as nutty as this entire crew was—the fact remained, they were family.
Christmas came and went, and it was now well into January. The last few months have been both crazy and busy for us at the same time. Christmas night was nuts. We all went to the Venom Nightclub for the Christmas Vampire Mixer. Everyone got a little too drunk for their own good.
Rose, Bella, and some of the female California vampires managed to convince some of the male vampires to participate in a male stripping contest. Much to Tony and Rex's chagrin, a vampire named Tex Steelhammer was chosen as the winner. Emmett declared that he was going to fuck up the guy's driver's license photo the next time he asked for one. Meanwhile, Tony and Rex dragged Bella outside and insisted that she needed her eyes checked. Later, when Tex asked Bella to dance, Rex wouldn't let go of her. He told Tex to go find his own wifey to dance with. Then, Tex introduced them to a blonde bombshell named Desiree who was his wife and mate. When Desiree asked Rex if he wanted to dance, Bella cocooned him in her physical shield so that he couldn't move. The two of them shook their heads at the strange couple and walked away. Later, they asked me and Tanya if we knew them, we told them that they were our mates. Their eyes widened in shock, and we didn't see them for the rest of the night.
And then there was Chelsea, oh Chelsea. I don't even know what to say. The girl had too much Jack Daniels and started undoing bonds and mating people with others. She mated Riley with Brent Sanderson, his football rival, and Angelo with Vicky. She mated Rose with a delighted Vinnie. Even Bella wasn't immune to her actions. She, somehow, managed to get Bella to drop her shield, then undid her bond to me and mated her with Garrett for fun, and me with Amrita. Amrita bent me over a barstool and smacked me a few dozen times with the riding crop that she always carries. It took Renata and Carlisle to get her to put everything back in ship shape order. After that, my pissed off wife gave Chelsea a master's bite to keep her in control. Thank God Vicky taught her how to do that.
Speaking of Vicky, she was, by far, the worst. She was so drunk on tequila that she tried to form a newborn army. Unfortunately, there were roughly twenty-five female vampires, including Alice and Esme, who had all been given master's bites in the past by her at Venom. They all snapped to attention on her command and tried to corral us all together. As soon as she saw Tony, who was wearing his contact lenses that night for fun, she mistook him for a human, and tried to feed off of the poor guy. Marcus Volturi was able to pull her off of him, but then she turned around and gave him a master's bite for disturbing her feed. Bella and Renata threw their physical shields on everyone, and Vicky's drunken tirade finally ended after I gave her a master's bite to keep her in control, and, hopefully, preventing future occurrences like that one.
Now, we were at some ridiculous Fang Lovers Festival filled with ridiculous humans who liked to dress up as supernatural creatures. It was bad enough that I had to dress up like Captain Kirk for the Star Trek Convention yesterday, but now I was dressed up as a fucking vampire from True Blood, and I am a vampire. All I knew was that I was going to get Bella back for this.
The host of the festivities was now up on stage. "And the prize for most authentic looking Eric Northman goes to Jasper Whitlock."
Bella, Emmett, Mike, Rex, and Riley started guffawing at the win. Emmett shoved me up onto the stage. Rex was already up there. He had just won the prize for most authentic looking Dracula.
"So, Jasper, how did you get your skin to look so pale?" the host asked me.
Well, what the fuck was I supposed to say? I couldn't really say that I hadn't gotten my spray tan in since November so I was in my natural vampire skin.
"Um, it was airbrushed on," I told him.
"Well, you look like a real vampire."
"Uh, thanks, I do my best."
I ran my hand through my hair. Suddenly, the women in the audience started clapping and shrieking, "Eric! Eric!"
"Jasper, you've won, the Silver Fang Statuette, two tickets to next year's Fang Lovers Festival in Las Vegas, and a chance to defend your title next year."
Then, the host went on to make the final announcement of the night, "The last and final prize is the award for Most Authentic Vampire. That prize goes to, Jasper Whitlock. Jasper, you had the most overall votes for the grand prize which includes the Golden Fang Statuette, four tickets to next year's Fang Lovers Festival in Las Vegas, and a chance to defend your title next year."
"Aw, man, I'm not dressing up as a werewolf next year. I'm going as a vampire!" I heard Emmett complaining.
"You are a fucking vampire, you dufus!" Riley yelled. "I thought I made a better Eric than Jasper."
"Riley, you get a spray tan once a week so you can blend, and you're just too...I don't know...pretty."
"Rex is pretty, and he won best Dracula!"
"Shut the fuck up guys, Jasper just won Most Authentic Vampire."
"Bella, Jasper is a vampire so it was cheating when you think about it," Mike pointed out.
Am I really listening to this conversation? What the fuck am I doing on this stage? I noticed that the host was waiting for a response, I hope he's not expecting a riveting answer.
"Uh, thank you," I said into the microphone, then whispered to Bella, "I'm gonna get you."
She just smirked and winked at me in response. I'm really gonna have to get her back for this shit. Then I chuckled internally, my girl had a knack for getting me to do things that I would have never even conceived of doing myself, and I loved her for it.
Two months later...
Bella and I were at our home in Dallas relaxing. This past weekend was the Civil War Re-enactment in Grandview which was about an hour away. I had so much fun with Bella. She really got into character and looked so pretty in her Antebellum dress. It dawned on me that, had I met her when I was still serving in the Confederate Army, I would have jumped hurdles in order to get her to marry me. Next Saturday was the country music festival, then we were heading home to California.
This break came at the perfect time. Between Riley's case and some others that we had, we were busy as all hell. Riley's case was fairly simple and straightforward, we negotiated with the Palm Dessert Police Department and the California Highway Patrol to have his driver's license reinstated after he completes his seven hundred twenty hours of community service, which adds up to roughly eighteen weeks. He was providing substance abuse counseling at the Los Angeles County Jail. He also has to take a driver's education course, then go before a judge before he can get his license back. To say that he was pissed off was an understatement. He took it out on the other team during our weekend football games, so much so, that everyone was begging to be on his team. Peter told him that he fucked up so deal with it. He didn't pick Pete to be on his team after that. Other than that, there was no major drama going on in our family. We were just living our lives contentedly in California.
I was taking a walk on our property, strolling through the lush green field behind the house. The hot Texas sun was beating down on us and we were sparkling like crystal chandeliers in the sunlight. It didn't matter, our property was secluded and private, and my neighbors on either side of me were Peter and Carlisle, and their homes were vacant. It occurred to me how completely at peace with my life I was, finally. I had my wife by my side, and we were at my mama and daddy's home just walking in the sunlight, being happy.
"Jasper, what's this?" Bella asked. She had stopped in front of a magnolia tree that I used to love to sit underneath to read when I was a kid. She was pointing to a carving in a tree. It was a large heart, and inside it, the words, 'Jasper loves...' was etched.
"Huh, I forgot about that. I carved it when I was a boy using a penknife. My mama called me in for dinner before I could finish it, and I never got back to it."
"Aww...that's so sweet. What was the name of the girl that you loved?"
"Dunno, I forgot. I was only about ten years old. I remember what my mama made for dinner that night, though. It was cornbread and rabbit stew." I took out my Swiss Army knife from my pocket and finished the carving. "There, now it's complete."
Bella had a beautiful, sparkling smile on her face. She read the words out loud, "Jasper loves Bella."
"Yeah, he does," I said, because I really did. We made love under my favorite magnolia tree after that and stayed there until the stars were shining down upon us. I couldn't help, but think about my life and everything that's happened to bring me to this moment. I looked up at the stars and thanked them for looking out for me, for bringing me home, for bringing me to Bella.
One hundred years later...
I was sitting on my deck, in my lounge chair, watching my kids on earth. They were splashing around in the swimming pool, Riley had just thrown Bella into the water. While he was laughing at her, my grandpa Pete had come out of nowhere and pushed him into the swimming pool. He was watching the pair with twinkling eyes and snapping photos of his two beloved great-grandchildren.
Off to the side, Rex and Tony were in another fistfight about something stupid.
"Bella!" Tony yelled. "Help me!"
"Christ, Rex. Leave him the fuck alone, you know that he can't fight!" Bella chastised.
Just then, my wife came to sit on my lap and watched the scene unfold in front of her with tenderness in her eyes.
"You know, Tony could never fight. Rex and his brothers always had to fight his battles for him. It's a wonder that he made it out of the military alive," she reflected.
Heaven wasn't at all like I expected. As soon as I got here, I was assigned a house and welcomed into the fold by everyone. When I looked in the mirror, I looked like I was back in my twenties, young and in my prime. Everyone was like that. My mom and dad were waiting for me, they showed me the ropes up here. They explained that, from our vantage point, we could keep an eye on our loved ones down below. I found out shit that I never knew, for example vampires, shape shifters, and werewolves roamed the earth. They couldn't tell me why they were there, just that God put them there for some odd reason.
I also learned that we all had soulmates up in heaven like the vampires and shapeshifters do down on earth, only we didn't have to look for them; they were sent straight to us as soon as they arrived up here. Some couples who were married on earth, wouldn't be in heaven because they weren't soulmates. My mom and dad were among the lucky two that were soulmates on earth and in heaven.
About twenty years after I arrived, my soulmate was finally sent to me. She knocked on my front door and when I opened it, I was completely mesmerized. Standing on my doorstep was the most gorgeous woman that I'd ever beheld. She had long, raven hair and blue, almost violet eyes, that could see into my soul. I invited her inside, and when I took her hand, I felt shocks running through my system. I knew that she was the one. And I mentally thanked the big guy for sending me such a knockout.
We sat down on the sofa and I asked her what made her knock on my front door.
"I'm here to fulfill my promise to my daughter-in-law, Bella. Her words to me before she sent me up here was, 'Take care of my Daddy for me.' So, I'm here to take care of you."
"What's your name?" I asked her.
"Iris Fantasia, well Fantasia was my married name on earth. I should probably say Iris McGinty."
"Well, I'm glad you're here, Iris. I have to tell you, though, I think you have the wrong guy, my daughter's last name is Whitlock, and she's a vampire."
"Oh, no, I have the right person, the woman who helped put me out of my misery was a vampire. My son's name is Rex."
"Ah, let me explain a few quirky things to you. Um, come with me."
So we went to my deck and looked down on earth. Apparently, no one had shown her the ropes yet since she had just arrived. The Big Guy had sent her straight to my house.
"Is that your son hiding in the tree?"
"Yes, that's Rex, and the girl over by the corner store talking to my two grandsons is his wife."
"No, that's not his wife. They share a close bond though. I think if Jasper and Tanya didn't exist they'd be together. Bella and Rex support each other in a way that their mates can't. Let me show you something else. Look over there. The beautiful blonde woman trying to put together a bracelet is Rex's wife and soulmate, Tanya. The blond man reading a book in the other house is my Bella's husband and soulmate, Jasper. Now, do you see the man knocking on Jasper's door right now? Does he seem familiar?"
"Oh my goodness, that's my Tony. He's still so handsome. Is he still gay?"
"Yes, he's gay, and he's still with Claude."
"As long as he's happy. So, why did Rex tell me that Bella was his wife?"
"His nickname for her is wifey. And she really is, his wifey. They take care of each other. You'll see what I mean as you watch over them."
We talked for a little more, she said that she was told that this was where she would be living from now on. She also said that she was told that her husband on earth wasn't her soulmate. I explained that it happens more frequently than not, then I told her that she was definitely mine for all of eternity, and we would watch over our kids together. Then, I took her into the bedroom and we got it on because, damn it, it had been a few decades for me.
A few hours later, Iris wanted to see her kids again. That's when I saw that Maria, the soulless bitch, had arrived to kidnap Jasper and family away. I immediately sent out large doses of pain to their mates to alert them that their other halves were in danger. We saw Rex pick up Bella and start running to help, then we saw how the two of them kept their heads together and helped each other through the storm.
At that point, everyone's family members had arrived to keep an eye on things and guide the kids through their crisis; well, everyone that was in heaven, that is. Some didn't make it, like Rose's parents or Amar and Amrita's parents. Renee had made it, but she didn't have the authority to keep watch over relatives. Only a select few of us did. I was really good friends with Emmett's parents, they were so jovial. Jasper's parents were also a hoot. Most of my friends from La Push and the Quileute wolves were here, with the exception of Quil Ateara, he liked living so much that he never stopped phasing. He was still living on earth and he and his imprint, Claire, were frequent visitors at Bella's house. And of course, I had all of my relatives from my mother's side. They were all jokesters, but they doted upon me as if I were a newborn baby. I was the last of the line, you see, so I'd always be the baby in heaven.
Everything turned out okay, and today, the kids were still living in California. We all kept our kids safe and guided them from heaven. Our family has gone through some tough situations, we took shifts keeping Bella safe when she left Jasper for two years. We watched over both Bella and Jasper at that point. Jasper was suicidal, and Bella was close to it.
When Emmett shook Rose and she left him, we did the same thing. We kept vigil over the pair every minute. We men sent Emmett an intense dose of agony so he would feel remorseful. We were all pissed off at his actions. At the same time, Rose's sister sent Bella pain so she would go running to Rose. She felt that Bella would be the best person for her to be with. Rose's sister, Natalie, was the one that created the bond between Bella and Rose, she never liked Alice or Esme, and knew that Rose needed a sister so that she could get through life. So, when the two ran off to Asia, she bonded them together because she knew that they'd need each other.
Rex's bond to Bella was created by my mother and his grandfather. They felt that Bella needed a friend that was as curious as she was and that was from her generation, and vice versa. Her bond to him increased significantly when they were up in Cheboygan and my son-in-law was acting like a self-righteous dunderhead again. This was intensified because Tony was acting big-headed about his military experience to Rex. As a result, Rex and Bella latched onto each other.
We were able to create bonds like Bella's with Rex and Rose, or Jasper's with Vicky, but we weren't allowed to touch mating bonds. Those were handled by the big guy himself. We asked him why he gave Chelsea the power to make and create bonds. He said that he did that because he was drunk one night and lost in a game of poker to Chelsea's father, who I might add, has to be the funniest guy around. In any case, he sent her to Bella because he felt that she was the one that would ultimately end up keeping control of the wild girl. We had to laugh at that.
We also kept the kids safe when they were up to no good either. Oddly enough, these incidents generally involved Riley. For example, when he held that ridiculous graduation party in New Hampshire, we sent Jasper and Bella home because we knew they'd keep the humans safe. We also made sure that when the helicopter he was piloting crash landed, it did so in water so that it wouldn't burst into flames. And when he totaled Bella's Maserati, we made sure that the gas tank stayed intact. By the way, having his license suspended, and making him do community service was my idea; that kid sometimes puts me at wits end. Everyone backed me up a hundred percent on that one, especially my Piper relatives, they said that he was even worse than Peter was when he was human. I guess when Peter was little, he didn't want to get a vaccine so he cranked up the doctor's car and tried to drive it. Of course, he was only seven years old so he had no idea how to drive. Practically the whole neighborhood had to go chasing after it. Fortunately, his great-grandfather Piper intervened from up above, then made sure that Peter got the whooping of his life.
My friend Jason stopped by with a case of beer along with Jasper's parents, Henry and Violet. Apparently Violet made some of her delicious rabbit stew. Iris brought out some chips and homemade dip for us to munch on. She and Violet were in another room where the women were just going to have some coffee and chat before dinner.
"How's our Isabella?" Jason asked.
"She's fine. She's just reading a book in that gazebo you set up for her. That was great thinking."
"Well, she always did love to read."
"Yeah, she did."
"Now, where's Jasper? I don't see him."
"There he is. He's in his room planning something."
"Like what?" Henry asked.
"He's planning another hunting trip with my idiot son, that's what he's doing." Joe, Emmett's father walked out to the deck. His wife, Mary, Emmett's mother, went to hang out with the girls.
"Why on earth would he do that? That boy can't fire a gun or hunt for beans. It's a wonder that he made it to the rank of Major in the Confederate Army."
"It's probably why the South lost. Lucky my boy wasn't alive back then. He probably would have given everyone's positions away with his big, clunky feet. How he became a lawyer, I have no idea. His wife I can understand, but Emmett?"
"Hehe, I don't know how Jasper became one, either. The boy's always been a mama's boy. Violet babied him too much. Always had his nose pressed into a book, that one did. Couldn't teach the boy how to use a hammer no matter how hard I tried."
"Now, Jasper's not that bad, Henry. He's a little rough around the edges, but he's as smart as a whip," Jason said. "I wouldn't have left my business to him if he couldn't handle it."
"Yeah, well, business savvy he may have, but he never did well with man stuff like hunting."
"Henry, you're the one that was overprotective. He was twelve years old when you finally taught him how to hunt, the other boys in the neighborhood were seven," Violet said.
"Yeah, well, I knew that he wasn't ready. He was too little."
"Just admit that you were too frightened that he'd get hurt."
"Alright, I admit it. It's just that he was so adorable. Now, what are we going to do about those fools going on another hunting trip again?"
"That's easy," Joe chuckled. "We'll send the skunk their way again."
"Yeah," we all hooted at the thought. We've been sending the same skunk to them each and every time they go hunting. The idiots never gave up, though. If anything, they were persistent.
Two more guests arrived at that point. These two were friends of Tony and Claude, and they were assigned to my block because their family members had all shunned them because of their sexual preference. They were all demoted by the big guy for that, but Kenny and Randy needed people to watch over so they got our family.
"Hi Guys!" Kenny engulfed me in a hug. He was loving like that. He hugged everyone in the room and out on the deck, then peered down below towards earth. His soulmate, Randy, came skipping along behind him.
"So, what did Tony and Manuel create for Sunday dinner tonight?"
"Violet's Rabbit Stew along with Mary's Pecan Pie. They loved it," Joe said.
"Of course they did. I've spoken to some of our friends on other blocks, they said that we had the best tasting food in heaven here."
"Yeah, we do. Speaking of food, Kenny, did you bring your crab cakes?"
"Joe, you're always thinking with your stomach. Of course, I did."
"Such a gorgeous house," Randy noted as he peered down at Jasper and Bella's not so humble abode.
"I can't believe you built such a monstrosity for them," I told Jason.
"Anything for my beautiful Bella."
"Yeah, I would have given her the world if I could have," I sighed.
"I brought my seven layer bean dip and tortilla chips." Lauren Mallory Jenks set the food on the table for us before going inside to join the ladies. In all my life, I would have never believed that she, of all people, would be soulmates with Jason Jenks, up here in heaven. Henry, Joe, and I have all discussed the fact that the man was truly in heaven. I mean, who wouldn't want to have a porn star for a wife, making love to him for the rest of eternity? Then there was Jason's father, Jason Senior, his soulmate up in heaven was Rose's sister, Natalie. Now, I thought Rose was a looker, but, damn, Natalie blows her sister right out of the water. Of course, I'm not complaining because Iris is hotter than all hell. Tony and Rex definitely got their looks from their mother. I've met her six other sons up here. They all looked like pitbulls, but they were the friendliest most well-mannered guys you could ever meet.
We went back into the house to join our wives for dinner. My buddy, Billy Black, showed up with Sarah, and so did Harry and Sue Clearwater. They brought Harry's Famous Fish Fry over. We talked, had fun, played strip poker, lost to the women, then everyone went home for the night. Iris went to bed early.
I decided to have a glass of Jack Daniels and check in on the kids one last time for tonight. Riley and Vicky seem to be doing fine. It looks like he's doing some work, scratch that, he's making plans for Saturday's football game with his friends. Vicky is sewing something. That woman can't get enough of crafts.
Grandpa Pete and Grandma Charlotte are...nope...don't want to see that. I don't want to have to bleach my brain again. I'll just tune them out for now.
Ah, there's my little girl. She's dancing under the stars with Jasper. I loved watching the two of them together. They had a few really rough patches in the beginning, but they worked through their issues together and came out stronger. I chuckled at the thought of how pigheaded the two of them were back then. Now the two of them were so relaxed and at ease together that they just rolled with whatever life threw at them.
Jasper twirled Bella around a few times, then pulled her in close to him. She snuggled her head into his chest and he wrapped her up in his strong arms and swayed in the moonlight with her. They looked into each other's eyes with all of the love and devotion they had for each other, then went back to their midnight dance underneath the stars, stopping to kiss each other every now and then. Before they went back into the house, they both looked up at me in heaven.
Jasper nodded his head at me and said, "Thanks for trusting me with Bella, Chief Swan. I'll always look out for her. You have a goodnight, now."
Bella, then whispered, "Goodnight, Daddy. Thanks for always looking out for me and Jasper. I love you and miss you so much."
I decided to send the two of them some warmth before going off to bed. They both looked up and thanked me, and watched me for the longest time. I couldn't help, but tear up. I was a lucky guy. Sure my life was unexpectedly cut short, but I get to watch over my kids and guide them from afar for all of eternity. What guy wouldn't want that?
A piece of advice that I used to drive home to Bella, while I was still alive, was that there were many uncertainties in life that just happened with no explanation. The best thing for her to do was to just roll with the changes, because whether it was a good thing or a bad thing, she'd learn from the experience. And, out of all the things that I tried to teach her, it seems as though that one piece of advice stuck with her. Watching my daughter for almost a hundred and fifty years from heaven, I knew that Bella rolled with whatever changes life threw in her direction, usually with Jasper by her side. After all, life happens, so we should all just roll with it.
So, what did you think of the ending? Did it surprise you? Also, I'm seriously considering writing some outtakes for this story, would those be something you'd want to read? I would dearly love to hear your thoughts one last time on this story, and promise to respond to your reviews as always. XOXO
Special Authors Note:
This is the final chapter of my very first fanfiction story, Life Happens, So Just Roll With It. Never in my life, did I think it would receive the reception it did. I have so many people that I need to thank, and I'm afraid of leaving anyone out. It's an absolute must that I thank IzzyBFFAddict92, Sparkling Fae, KareBear1965, LunarEclipse1, Wendy1969, Mynxi, VSPS, Arrr, AbbeNormal, and Svtwilfan for their friendship in many different capacities. I would never have gotten through this story without these ladies and one gentleman.
Most of all, though, I need to thank you, my readers. You've touched my heart with all of your reviews, and you've kept me going with your inspiring reviews and heartfelt messages. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the passion that you felt for every single one of these characters that I hold dear in my heart.
Now, in case you're wondering. I've just posted two new stories which will run concurrently with my Peter/Bella story, You'll Find What You're Looking For At Walmart. The first story is a Paul/Bella story called, Intensity, and the second is a Jasper/Bella story called, Dates, Mates, Hate, and Fate. Just before the hurricane hit, I also posted a fluffy, Jasper/Bella oneshot called, Getting the Hell Out of Dodge. I'm excited for you to join me for those stories.
So, with this I am signing off.