***STEPHENIE MEYER OWNS TWILIGHT, THAT LUCKY WOMAN!***
A/N: I can't believe we are here at the Epilogue already. This has been such a fun story to write. I have loved every part of it! Thank you to all who stuck with us while we kept these two apart a LONG time! I can't tell you how many people have told us that they have been inspired by this story. That means so very much to us! So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you!
Let's check in on Edward, Bella, and Maci a few years down the road.
EPOV – 5 Years Later
"Daddy, I. Don't. Wanna. Go." My daughter is her mother's mini me, not only in looks, but in attitude. Maci Marie Cullen ended up with hair just a shade lighter than mine, but with her mother's deep chocolate eyes. She also looked exactly like Bella. She basically had me wrapped around her little finger. She was a Daddy's girl, provided I caved to her will.
"Maci, baby girl, you have to go to Kindergarten. Mommy is downstairs now getting your breakfast ready so you are going to go brush those pretty little teeth and then put this on. When you get finished come downstairs and I'll help you with your shoes." It doesn't escape me that she does not move. She only stands there with her hip cocked out to one side and her eyebrow raised.
"Daddy, pleeeeaaaseeee don't make me go." Oh crap. She has pulled out the big guns. She is using what I like to call the Maci-Ella face. It's the same face Bella uses when she wants me to do something for her. They know I can't resist the eyes. They know what a pushover I am.
"Maci Marie Cullen, enough. Do what I asked you to do or you are going to be in trouble. Now. Move it." I used a little bit of the "Daddy" voice. When I glanced at her I noticed the bottom lip start to tremble just a bit. This is where I usually cave.
"Hey, what's going on up here? Breakfast is ready." My gorgeous wife steps into the room and just like that, Maci goes to the bathroom and does what I told her to do.
"It seems someone doesn't want to go to school. She gave me 'the face'."
"Edward, she knows how to work you. You just have to toughen up on her a bit."
"Yeah yeah, I know. I can't help it. She looks just like you and you know I'm hopeless." I grabbed Bella by the waist and pulled her to me as I placed a gentle kiss on her lips.
"You're not hopeless, just whipped." She winked at me as she moved to the bathroom to hurry Maci along.
An hour later we had dropped our daughter off for her first day of Kindergarten. It went better than I thought it would. Now, Bella and I were headed to the student center at UDub. I had been invited to give a presentation to their students who were currently studying health related fields such as personal trainers, physical therapy students and medical students. The presentation was also open to anyone who was interested in my story.
After Maci was born, I continued to write for the Seattle Times as well as submit articles for Men's Health Magazine. In addition to that, I began putting my personal story down on paper. What I ended up with at the end was a multi-chapter book detailing my journey to fitness. To my surprise, it was published and became a fixture on the New York Times Best Seller List. Finding My Weigh appeared to have touched several people on a personal level and I found myself thrust into the spotlight soon after its release.
"Are you nervous Edward?" Bella was running her thumb over my knuckles as I rested my hand on the gearshift of my Audi.
"Eh, a little bit. I guess it's because of where the presentation is. Being back on that campus brings back some amazing memories but also some pretty harsh ones." Flashes of my 305 pound body arriving for class amid stares and whispering assaulted my mind.
"That stuff sticks with you doesn't it baby?"
"Sadly it does. Especially when I gain back a few pounds or skip some workouts." Bella leans over the console and places a soft kiss on my cheek. She knows exactly what I am talking about.
Shortly after my book hit the best seller list, I had to go on a three month book tour to promote it. Bella was teaching so she couldn't go with me long term. Because of that, she and Maci stayed behind. I missed them terribly but was able to see them a few weekends during that time, which helped to break up the weeks. Because it was a very fast paced tour, working out was nearly impossible and unfortunately, fast food was the quickest option. Long story short, by the end of the tour, I had gained back twenty pounds. I found it ironic. The people handling things had the author of a book about a weight loss journey eating fast food. All in all though, it was my fault in the end. I could have made better choices. My first day back in the gym, when I stepped on the scale and the digital numbers flashed 203 pounds, I knew I had to get back on the proverbial horse.
We arrived at the Husky Union Building and were lead to a holding area off the main stage where I would be speaking. As we made our way back, I caught a glimpse of the stage and saw the huge before and after pictures of me that Emmett had taken for the gym. There was also a large rendition of the cover of my book standing on an easel off to the side.
"You better go find your seat Sweetheart. Just being able to see you in the crowd will be calming for me." I pulled Bella into my body and kissed her deeply. She moaned into my mouth and I smiled, knowing I still had the same effect on her as I always had.
"Oh Cullen, you don't fight fair. You know I can't resist that mouth." She nipped softly at my lips.
"I'll tell you what Baby, as soon as we get out of here I'll take you home and show you all the ways that I can make you scream my name. How about that?" I winked at her as I gently kissed her neck.
"Dammit Edward. I better go. Give 'em hell baby." She hugged me again and as she pulled away to leave, smacked me hard on the ass. Oh, she was so going to pay for that later.
I walked to the refreshment table they had set up for me and grabbed a bottle of water. This was the largest audience I had ever spoken in front of and I was just a bit nervous. No sooner than I downed the water, a young lady wearing a headset stuck her head in the room and asked me if I was ready. A few moments later I stood in front of a packed student center, telling my story.
"Good morning everyone and thank you for coming. I'm Edward Cullen, and this is the story of my journey toward a healthier me. When I was nineteen years old, I weighed 305 pounds. I was a freshman here at UDub, majoring in English. Life for me was easy. I woke up every day, did my thing, ate whatever I wanted and lived my life. I wasn't concerned about where I would be in twenty years, or even in ten years. Sure, I heard the insults, saw the looks and the general disdain someone of my size warranted. I never let it bother me. I used to hide behind something I liked to call Cocky Cullen. He was a side of my personality that I would let come out when Edward's feelings got hurt. Cocky Cullen could handle the ridicule. Cocky Cullen was always there to deflect. One day, however, Edward met a beautiful brown eyed brunette that set his heart on fire." I glanced down at Bella in the front row and winked at her. When she winked right back I couldn't help the smile that found its way to my face.
"That beautiful co-ed became my best friend very quickly. We were inseparable. Naturally, before I knew it, I found myself falling in love with my best friend. I also began to realize that I could never have the relationship with her that I wanted. She was gorgeous, she was curvy and amazing. I knew she deserved a man that was comparable to her and not an overweight kid who's only concern was if he should supersize his extra value meal or not. So I did what I always did. I hid my feelings from her and resigned myself to being her best friend and nothing more.
About half way through our junior year here, I finally mustered up the courage to ask her out on a real date. Fate, it seemed had other ideas. A group of fellow students had been relentless in their insults and physical confrontations with me and the same day I wanted to ask my best friend for more, they very publically embarrassed me, ridiculed me, and basically pushed me to the point of changing colleges. It was one of the most painful times of my life, but looking back now, it was the day that saved my life. It was the catalyst to my attitude change and the beginning of my weight loss journey.
Over the next year and a half, that beautiful girl and I admitted our feelings to each other and fell in love via email, text and phone calls. The amazing thing about all of it was that she loved me at 305 pounds. She saw me for who I truly was and that meant and still to this day means more to me than I can ever tell you. I married that beautiful girl and today we are the parents of a feisty five year old little girl." I paused as the audience broke out in a loud round of applause.
"What I wanted to say to all of you today is this. Don't give up. You are the only one who can decide what will become of you. There's always hope. The journey to fitness for me was miserable in the beginning. Learning to eat correctly and keeping an active workout schedule all while attending a full load of classes and working is difficult at best. I had very high highs and extremely low lows. I fell off the diet wagon several times. Getting back on is the hardest part, but I promise, if you get back on, you will never regret it. It is so very worth it. Every ten pounds I lost gave me such a sense of accomplishment. I saw the physical effects happen and that spurred me on to keep going. Making my goal, I had never felt such a wonderful sense of accomplishment. When I moved back home to Seattle after graduation, I surprised my brunette beauty at the airport. See, I didn't tell her about what I was doing. I didn't let her see me the entire time. It was…earth shattering…..when I finally had her in my arms. I'll leave it at that because I'm sure she wouldn't want me to go into detail about our reunion." The laughter of the audience was deafening and Bella's blush along with a gigantic bitch brow told me I better shut the fuck up.
"Even today, after all this time, I still sometimes feel like that fat kid. Sadly I don't think that will ever go away. Bullies exist; that's a sad fact of the matter. The trick is to not let them win. You are better than that. YOU deserve to be happy and to have all your dreams come true. Quite simply put, you are worth it. Never forget that. Life isn't about the end result. It's about the journey along the way. Live well, love hard, and soldier on. You'll be glad you did. Thank you all. Thank you so very much for coming today and for your support. Always support those you love in their own personal journeys. Support is the key. Again, thank you and have an amazing day." The audience once again erupted in loud applause. Bella looked up at me and just being able to see the pride in her eyes made me a little choked up.
The organizers of the event had asked that I sit for a Q&A Session after my speech. I was more than happy to do that. If I could reach one person and help turn their life around then I was a happy boy.
As I stepped off the stage, my wife greeted me with a hug and kiss.
"You were amazing Edward. I love seeing you so confident and in control."
"Thank you Sweetheart. Seeing you in the audience helps center me. Bell, I know I don't tell you nearly enough, but you are the biggest reason I made the change. I wanted to deserve you. I wanted you to be proud of me."
"Edward, I have always been proud of you. I have always loved you for you." She reached up and threw her arms around my neck just as I heard a throat clearing behind me. When I released my wife and turned around, I found myself standing face to face with none other than Mike Newton. An extremely large, obese Mike Newton.
"Edward, um I don't know if you remember me; wait that's not true. I'm sure you do. I was such a douche to you. I was wondering, could I speak with you a moment, if Bella doesn't mind?"
"Uh, sure Mike. Sweetheart, I'll meet you out front in a few minutes. Here are the keys to the Audi." I gave her a look that said 'what the fuck' as she nodded her head and kissed me quickly.
"Ok baby. Hi Mike. It's good to see you." Newton tipped his head at Bella as we both watched her walk away.
"So Mike, what can I do for you?" I gestured to a row of chairs beside us and he turned to take a seat.
"Look Edward, uh, I just wanted to apologize for how I treated you back then. As you can probably tell, karma has a way of coming back around. I was such a dick to you and the only reason why was because you had the girl I wanted. I couldn't understand how she could want you over me. I see now how deeply in love you guys are and it's a beautiful thing." I'm stunned at his admissions. It appears Mike Newton has finally grown up.
"Thank you Mike. I accept your apology. In a way I guess I should thank you and Crowley. If it wasn't for what you guys put me through I might have never left here and got my shit together. And, I might never have admitted my feelings to Bella. So, thank you for that." I offer my hand and he reluctantly takes it. He looks so forlorn and depressed. I can't help myself, so I asked. "So, how have you been?" He snorted out a laugh and shook his head.
"Well as you can see, I'm a fat fuck now. My marriage ended last year when Jessica couldn't get passed my uh, robust, figure. She blamed my size for our not being able to have a baby. I lost my job six months ago so I had to move back in with my parents. I joined a weight loss group last week and this is my first trip with them. When I heard you were the one speaking, I figured it would be my only chance to set things right between us. I read your book. It's amazing man. Truly."
"Thank you Mike. I'm honored that you read it. Look, Bella and I live out in Shoreline. We'd love to have you over for dinner this weekend. Maybe you and I could spend some time talking. I'd love to help you get back on track."
"Why Edward? Why would you do that? I don't deserve your kindness, ever."
"Because man, two wrongs don't make a right. What kind of person would I be if I couldn't let the past stay in the past? Like I said up there on stage, live well, love hard, and soldier on. If you're willing to commit to it, I'll get you back in shape. My cousin Emmett owns Athletix Gym here in Seattle. I can get you a free membership if you want it."
"Thank you Edward. I think I'll take you up on that." For the first time, I feel like Mike Newton has a human side. He's been dealt some bullshit in life but he earned every bit of it. Maybe I can help him like Emmett and Rose helped me.
Newton and I exchanged numbers and made plans to get together this weekend. My head was absolutely spinning as I walked out to my car to find Bella. Rounding the corner, I stopped quickly when I heard her voice. It sounded like she was on her cell phone.
"Wow. Ok, thank you Dr. Brady. Yes, I will set up an appointment right away. Uh huh. Ok. Thanks again. Bye." What the fuck?
"Bella? Is everything ok Sweetheart?" She spun around so fast she nearly fell sideways. Rushing quickly to her side, I captured her in my arms. "Whoa there baby."
"Edward. Hi. So what did Newton want?" Oh no Sweetheart, I don't think so.
"Bella, why was Dr. Brady calling you?"
"Look at the time, we need to pick Maci up from school soon." I looked at my watch and wrinkled my forehead in confusion. Maci would be in school until one in the afternoon. It was just barely after eleven at this point.
"Isabella Cullen, WHAT. IS. WRONG?"
"Let's just go home Edward." With that, she took off walking toward the Audi.
Several minutes later we pulled into our garage in silence. Bella hardly spoke a word the entire way home and I was starting to get worried. Once we both made it inside, she headed directly upstairs to our bedroom, me hot on her heels.
"Are you going to tell me what's wrong? Bella have I done something to upset you? Are you sick?"
"Well, I have been for the last few weeks, off and on anyway." I know I am missing something here.
"Sweetheart, you haven't been feeling well? Why didn't I notice this? What's wrong?" I move to take her in my arms as she threads her arms around my neck.
"Edward Anthony Cullen, I swear sometimes you are as dense as a box of rocks but I love you." Her lips engulf my own and I'm lost in her within seconds. She still has the ability to turn me into mush. Pulling back slightly I capture her face in my hands to stroke her cheeks when I notice wetness.
"Edward, I'm pregnant. Dr. Brady confirmed it today." Pregnant? But she's on birth control. How is she pregnant? "Well, apparently your swimmer's are Olympic-worthy." Shit, I must have said that out loud.
"Bell? A baby?" Reeeal eloquent there Mr. Gifted Author.
"Yes honey. Are you ok with that?" Is she kidding? Doesn't she know I'd love to have more kids? I needed to convince her just HOW ok I was with this. Time to turn on the old Cullen charm.
"Let me show you how ok I am with that." Thank God I finally snapped out of my stupid-mode because now I wanted to make love to my wife. With a sweep of my hands I had Bella in my arms and my mouth on her neck.
"Mmm Edward, I guess you're…Oh yeah right there….happy about this?" She reached between us and began to stroke my massive hard on. I can't help but feel a little smug right now. I managed to get my wife pregnant while she was on birth control. I am THE man. Suddenly, my inner caveman threatened to come out.
"You like that Sweetheart? You like how good I fuck you? Show me Bella." I roughly pulled Bella's hips flush with my own as I angled her body to find that spot deep inside her that I know is there.
"Fuck Edward." She moaned and it spurred me on further. Without warning her, I pulled out and fell to my knees while I buried my face in her heat. She tasted like the sweetest nectar and it was always my undoing. I flicked her clit with the point of my tongue just like I knew she loved. Using her two favorite fingers, I began a punishing rhythm in time with my tongue strokes.
"Oh God, Edward, I'm gonna….Uuunnggghhhh." I felt her walls squeezing my fingers as I lapped up everything she gave me. But it wasn't enough. I wanted more. I knew she had it in her because I'd gotten her there before.
"Fuck yeah baby, you taste so sweet Bella. But you know what I want. I'm not stopping Sweetheart. Not until you come for me again. You know I can make you do it. Come on baby. Show me how you belong to me." I had to hold Bella down with my free arm because when I stepped up my efforts she all but flew off the bed.
"Shit shit shit…..Mmmmmmm Ed….warrrrdddd!" She was almost there. I heard it in her cries. She just needed a little bit more and I knew exactly what that was. She needed the dirty talk. I stopped my tongue assault temporarily but doubled the efforts of my fingers. I had curled them into her G spot and I was alternating between tapping at it and rubbing it.
"Do you feel that Sweet girl? That's the spot isn't it? This one. Right. Here. Come on Isabella. Give it to me baby. My cock is hard as steel for you. You're. Having. My. Baby. Again." I punctuated each word with a hard thrust. "I'm gonna fuck you so hard that every time you move for the next three days you'll know I was here. You'll know I made you see stars and forget your own name. I fucking love you Isabella. I love that you are having my baby. Fucking give it to me Sweetheart…Come for me…NOW!"
"FUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!" And just like that, my girl is flying off the edge of the earth into oblivion. She's panting and writhing as I slowly bring her down from her high. I'm so hard it's painful. As soon as I knew she was back on earth I crawled up her body and slid inside her. Ah. I'm home.
"Oh my God, Edward. Mmm I fucking love you."
"Hold on baby, this isn't going to take long and it's not going to be easy. Turnover and get on your hands and knees." She quickly complied and within moments, I was buried in her again, deeper now. Grabbing her hips, I roughly pulled her back to me.
"Yes, Yes…Fuck. Harder Edward."
"You want it harder baby? I can do harder." I don't even give her a chance to answer me before I give her what she asked for. Sooner than I liked, I felt the tingle down low and the telltale tightening, but I needed her to come one more time. I'm nothing if not thorough when I satisfy my wife. Sitting back on my legs from my knees I brought Bella with me and angled my hips. She was basically sitting on my lap facing away from me as I held her tightly to me so I could whisper in her ear.
"Come on you beautiful woman. Come on my cock. You own me Bella. You've always owned me. Come for me one more time Sweetheart."
"Oh Edward, yes! Fuck, I'm coming!" As soon as I feel her let go I do the same thing, filling her with my seed.
"Uuuunnngghhhh Bella! Mmmmm….baby…." I swear I see stars and white light. It's always like this with Bella. It always has been. She's everything to me.
Bella is wrapped in my arms, a light sheen of sweat on her skin. She's never looked more beautiful.
"Are you ok Sweetheart? I didn't hurt you did I?"
"Are you kidding? I'm way more than ok. I love it when you totally lose control. It makes me feel so damn sexy and I love that I can make you lose yourself like that."
"It's easy to lose my mind when I making love to you. I love you so much Sweetheart. I can't believe we are going to have another baby. Are you sure you're ok with it?"
"Edward, don't you know by now that I would have a hundred of your babies? Maci is going to be so excited."
"She really will be. Speaking of Maci, we have just enough time to shower and go pick her up from school. What do you say Mrs. Cullen? Will you join me in the shower?"
"Absolutely Mr. Cullen. I AM feeling just a bit dirty."
SEVEN AND A HALF MONTHS LATER
"He's beautiful Sweetheart." I can't help the smile that has taken up permanent residence on my face since my son was born yesterday. Bella had just been given the okay to go home and as soon as the nurse comes back with the discharge paperwork, we would be on our way.
"He is an angel. You and I make some awfully pretty babies Edward." I watched in awe as my wife picked up our son and cradled him in her arms.
Connor Anthony Cullen came screaming into the world yesterday just before noon weighing six pounds twelve ounces. Bella's labor only lasted six hours and the delivery had been so much easier on her than when Maci was born. Connor had my hair, poor kid. It was the same exact color and stood on end in every direction. And the little guy had a head full of it. I chuckled at Bella each time she tried to tame it down. It would simply pop right back up. I hated to tell her that her efforts were futile.
Before long we found ourselves at home relaxing in our living room. Bella had just finished nursing Connor and put him in his bed upstairs. The baby monitor would let us know if he woke up and needed something. Mom and Dad were on their way over with Maci, as she had been staying with them since Bella went into labor.
"Sweetheart is there anything I can get you?"
"No baby. I'm ok. Just a bit tired." I opened my arms to her as she scooted toward me. There, cuddled together on our sofa, I began to reminisce about our relationship.
"So, Bella, would you care to be my study partner? I mean, if you don't have someone already?" Please say yes…please say yes.
"That would be great Edward. I'd love to. Hey, give me your phone and I'll put my number in it, then you call me and I'll have yours. Text me anytime."
"Edward, listen, I'm sorry about Newton. I know he hurt your feelings. Is that what's wrong?"
"Nah, Newton's a dick. I'm used to him and Crowley teasing me all the time. In case you haven't noticed Bella, I weigh 305 pounds. I'm kinda gross."
"Bella, you know that I care a great deal about you right? Sweetheart, I have to do something for myself. The other day, with Newton and Crowley showed me that I can't deal with being here, around them, anymore. I can't listen to their words anymore Bell. I'm transferring schools. I leave for Chicago tomorrow morning."
If you will have me, I promise to make you the happiest woman in the world, for the rest of my life, until my dying breath. I want it all with you baby. I want to change your last name to Cullen, I want to see you pregnant with our child, I want to fall asleep every night with you in my arms after having made love to you. Bella, I want to grow old with you and sit by the fireplace on Christmas morning while covered with our grandchildren.
Quietly, I walked up right behind her and sat my bags on the ground. I was so close I could smell her and I nearly moaned out loud. I was sure she could feel me behind her but she didn't turn around. I got as close to her as I could and with restraint I didn't know I possessed, I leaned into her ear and spoke. "Hey Beautiful."
"Isabella Marie Swan, there is no other in this world for me. God Himself made you, just for me. There isn't anything I wouldn't do for you Bella. There isn't anything I wouldn't give you. Today, I'm asking you to give me something. Bella, will you give me your heart? I promise to cherish it always and more than that, I promise to love you every moment of forever. Will you make me the happiest man alive? Bella, will you marry me?"
"I love you Edward, so much. You're going to be an amazing father."
"I love you too Sweetheart, and you are going to be the most beautiful, amazing, perfect mother to ever have a child."
"Edward? Edward? Where'd you go?" Bella's voice brought me back to reality.
"Sorry Sweetheart. I was just thinking back on our relationship. It's been such an amazing journey so far."
"It's only the beginning Edward. Only the beginning." She pushed my wayward hair back out of my eyes and kissed me gently on the lips.
"Thank you Isabella, for this beautiful life. Thank you for Maci Marie and Connor Anthony. Thank you for loving the fat guy in your Medieval and Early Modern Literature class. But baby, most of all, thank you for waiting for me."
A/N: And with that we can mark this one complete! It's been an incredible journey. To every one of you that reviewed, commented on our Facebook page, joined our group, read each chapter, and those that told us how this story reached you on a personal level, THANK YOU. We hope this story will continue to inspire all of us to get healthier and love ourselves a little more. YOU are worth it. XOXOXOXO Ally and Shannon XOXOXOXO