Here we are! The end for this little family. I cannot thank you all enough for sticking with me and taking the time to review. Much love to you all!
Also, I swear the flashback in this chapter is teeeeeny tiny, LOL.
Huge thanks as always to Tracy Jones, Mich Ellis, and Sophia Corgi.
Twilly, I hope you enjoy! xo
SM owns all thing Twilight. Everything else is mine, including any mistakes.
"A whole new woooooooorld," Bella belted out in the shower. Off-key.
Toothpaste dribbled down my chin as a laugh burst out of me. You'd think I'd be tired of that by now, but it still struck me as funny every single time.
Wiping my face with a hand towel, I ogled the outline of my wife's naked body through the mirror and the fogged glass of our shower.
Goddamn, that woman is fine.
And holy shit. My wife.
I still wasn't used to calling her that, even in my mind, but it filled my chest up with warmth whenever I thought about the day I'd slid that simple platinum band onto her finger.
Glancing at it lying on the counter along with her engagement ring, I remembered the day I'd proposed to her, not long after we'd moved in to our new place.
"This was my grandmother's ring." I stopped to clear the emotion out of my throat as Bella looked at me with watery eyes, her hands cupped over her nose and mouth. "I hope it's okay…" I said, unsure because of Kate's reaction to it all those years ago. It wasn't anything flashy, just a small round diamond surrounded by tiny sapphires.
"It's perfect," Bella said.
"Yeah." She smiled softly at me, and I got lost in her eyes for a long moment. "So… are you gonna ask me?"
"Yes, definitely asking."
Thank God she'd said yes. I was so fucking nervous because I still didn't really feel like I deserved her after everything.
And when she'd walked down that aisle to me… I was a goner. She'd stunned me in the best way, and I'd fought tears the entire ceremony, from the moment she'd stepped into view in her simple white dress.
We'd done our best to bring Lily's dream of our wedding to life, having found a botanical garden in which to get married. The "one-thousand million flowers" were essential, of course. It was small and intimate, just family and close friends, which, ironically enough, included Kate. She and I had been friends our entire lives, after all, and it didn't even feel weird to have her there. If Bella hadn't assured me she was comfortable with it, I wouldn't have invited her, but by then, it'd been well over a year since Kate and I had broken things off, and Kate was already engaged to Garrett, the true love of her life.
Nothing but a protective-brother feeling had come over me when I met and shook hands with Garrett, and I'd just asked him to take good care of her. Kate had given me a warm smile and a congratulatory hug, and that was that. The brotherly affection I still had for her settled into my chest, and it felt right.
We'd all been able to move on from the mess we'd made and find happiness.
Thankfully, Bella hadn't felt the need to invite her ex, Riley. He'd drunk-texted her a few times after she broke it off, and they weren't able to remain friends because he was too bitter about her not wanting to be with him.
Even though I still thought he was an asshat, I could admit I felt for the guy to an extent. Bella was amazing, and I knew I was one lucky fucker to have her love.
Bella stepped out of the shower, reaching for her towel, but I stopped her with a hand on top of hers.
She questioned me with her eyes, but I didn't say anything as I moved my gaze to her chest so I could watch the droplets of water slide down over her beautiful curves.
There was no way I could resist cupping her heavy tits, and she moaned, then giggled as I jostled them.
"Having fun?" she asked with a smirk.
"Yep. Your fun bags are very fun."
"My fun bags?" she asked, one eyebrow cocking up as she gave me a playful glare.
"Aptly named," I replied, pinching her nipples and pulling a gasp out of her.
"We're never going to make it on time if you keep doing that."
I hummed in agreement, squeezing both breasts in my hands again.
We both let out a frustrated breath as I released her and she reached for her towel again, but in reality, we loved letting the tension wind us up until it exploded into frenzied fucking when we finally got the chance. Parenthood brought the sneaking around with it, just like we'd had to do at camp.
And it was still hot.
"After you, milady," I said, inclining my head and gesturing for Bella to go ahead of me out the door.
She gave me a knowing smile, because yeah, she knew I wasn't so much being gentlemanly as I was mostly doing it so I could smack her ass on her way out.
Which I did.
And which she loved, despite the death glare she sent me over her shoulder.
Palming my dick, I watched her walk down the hall of our new apartment to help our little girl with whatever she needed, her towel being a total cock-tease by just barely covering her luscious ass.
I wanted to at least rub one out, but I had no time for anything other than finishing up our packing so we could get on the road.
When we pulled up to Bella's dad's house, I wiped my sweaty palms on my thighs. Charlie still made me nervous. I didn't think he hated me anymore, but I could never be sure. He really loved to polish his guns whenever I came over.
Bella scolded him for it each time, but then he'd call her pumpkin, and she'd melt and hug him, and I'd be left wondering when he'd decide enough was enough and use my balls for target practice.
Shuddering at the thought, I glanced at Bella, and she laughed at me, shaking her head.
"He doesn't hate you, Edward," she said, reading my mind in that uncanny way of hers. "You're his granddaughter's father. He's never hated you. It's just his idea of a joke."
"Yeah, really funny," I muttered, resting my hand on my junk as if that would protect it.
She rolled her pretty eyes and pulled my hand away, giving it a squeeze and then opening her door. "Let's go."
We had a surprisingly nice Christmas dinner with Charlie and Sue. No guns in sight this time around.
I must've muttered something out loud about it because Bella said, "They're not even loaded, you know. He'd never risk Lily or any of us getting hurt. His only loaded one is in a locked safe in his closet."
I nodded. "Good to know. I wondered if this was why he didn't have them out this time around," I said, resting my hand on her rounded belly as we stopped in front of a little shop.
Bella wanted to walk around town for a bit the morning after Christmas since it'd been a little while since we'd made it down to visit. Charlie and Sue had come to our wedding and then had been up again a few months back to help us move into our new place.
The rebuilt apartments were amazing, and the fresh start was good for all of us. As I'd looked around when we first moved in, I'd let that feeling of renewal wash over me. Like that apartment, my relationship with Bella had crashed and burned, but it too had been rebuilt into something much better, stronger, more stable.
And now… we had twins on the way.
She'd been just a few weeks pregnant when we got married, though neither of us knew at the time.
I couldn't believe it, and I couldn't have been happier.
As challenging as parenthood was, I loved being a dad.
"Bella, babyyyy!" a man's voice bellowed from behind us. "Is that you, hottie?"
I turned around as Bella groaned, "Oh, dear God."
None other than Mike Newton was strutting up the street toward us. He had on an expensive-looking suit, and his hair was slicked back, a platinum blonde tottering on high heels behind him.
It was then I realized we were just a few doors down from the monstrosity that was now Newtons' Outfitters' flagship store. It was unrecognizable compared to the original and almost as big as a Walmart Superstore. Way too big for the tiny town of Forks.
"I was just about to head over to Charlie's to see if you'd come home for Christmas. Your old man never tells me what's goin' on with you— Whoa, girl," Mike said upon reaching us as Bella turned to face him. "Knocked up again?"
A growl rumbled in my throat, and he finally seemed to register that I was there.
"Cullen? Holy shit. How are you, man? It's like a Want-a-snatch reunion!" He opened his arms like he was going to hug us, and we both took an instinctive step back.
"Nice to see you haven't changed, Newton."
He let out a boisterous laugh and punched me in the shoulder. "Yeah, dude. Shit, what's it been? Eight years? How you doin', man? You just run into our sweet B here?"
Bella cringed, and I asked, "Our?" with a raised eyebrow.
"Yeah, this sweet thing worked for me for a while back in the day, not too long after she was at camp with us." He moved to put his arm around her, but she pressed into me and away from him.
I put my arm around her instead. "Yes, my wife is very sweet," I said with a smug smile.
Mike's eyes narrowed and zoomed in on our left hands. His jovial smile turned cold. "Ah, snagged a daddy for your little bastard, huh? Nice job, B. Guess I dodged that bullet." Bella looked up at me with a scrunched brow as he prattled on. "I could tell you were pining for me when you worked at that little shithole my parents built, but I couldn't be tied down with a kid and all back then." He shrugged. "Too bad… Now I'm worth millions, just like I always planned." He tugged down the sleeves of his designer suit, his grin turning cocky. "If you'd kept your hot little bod, you could've had it all."
The girl standing behind Mike looked up from her phone for the first time and frowned.
Bristling, I clenched my hand into a tight fist, and Bella let out a loud snort. I started to speak, to give him a piece of my mind, but Bella beat me to it.
"Actually, Mikey, you can keep your millions. And rest assured I was never EVER pining for your sleazy ass. And Edward is the father of my 'bastard,' if you must know, so shut up about things you know nothing about." Mike's eyes widened and swung to me, so I gave him another smug half-smile.
Was it wrong for me to relish the fact that I'd gotten what he wanted so desperately?
If so, then I was so wrong.
"What the fuck?" Mike muttered, probably stunned at the way "sweet B" was speaking to him and hurting his brain by trying to do the math on her first pregnancy.
"Yeah," Bella said. "So you can take your money and your delusions and go back to wherever it is that you came from. You're living in Chicago now, right? How's Jessica and your four kids? I'm sure you're on your way to Seattle right now to spend time with them, aren't you?" Mike's cheeks pinked up at the mention of his ex-wife. We'd heard Jessica had finally come to her senses and divorced him last year.
His flavor of the month looked up again. "You have kids?"
Bella rolled her eyes. "Nice. Really nice, Mike. Clearly, I'm the one who dodged a bullet. Not that I'd have ever touched you with a ten-foot pole anyway, so..." Her shudder vibrated through my body. "Yeah… We'd better get going. See ya."
"Hopefully not," I muttered as we walked away from a sputtering Newton.
"Losers!" he finally yelled at our backs.
"That's the best you can do?" I asked, laughing as I turned around and took in his red face and balled up fists. "Get a life, dude."
We continued on our way, heading back to our car. And I may or may not have thrown the bird over my shoulder at that son of a bitch. If I never saw him again, it'd be too soon.
As we buckled up, Bella said, "God, that felt good. I've been wanting to tell him off for years."
"I'm glad you got the chance, baby." I'd never told her about all the vile things he'd said about her at camp, but it sounded like she'd gotten her fair share while working for him. I was proud of her for putting him in his place. God knew he deserved it and worse. "You sure you don't want to leave me for ol' Mikey now that he's a millionaire?"
I knew the answer, but I wanted to make her snort again because it was cute as fuck.
She didn't disappoint.
Her incredulous laughter then filled the car, and I joined in. Money couldn't buy class or decency, and instead of growing up, it seemed Mike had only gotten more immature over the years.
"You know…" I said, backing out of our parking space. "Lily could go off to Camp Wallasatch in just a few years. If she wants to."
Bella smiled at me. "I think she'd love it. As long as there are no Mikes there," she said with a scowl. Then she sighed and looked out her window. "I wonder if our tree's still there."
I reached over and covered her hand with mine. "It has to be. It's solid, just like us." She grinned at me, and I picked her hand up to kiss her fingers.
"Yeah, you're right. It can stand the test of time."
It was the night of the first bonfire at Camp Wallasatch, and an eleven-year-old girl strolled around the edge of the meadow. Her long dark hair shone with strands of vibrant red in the waning sunlight. Her big hazel eyes took in all the natural beauty surrounding her, and she smiled in contentment.
Her grin only widened when a boy around her age ran up and gave her a flower before scurrying away, back to his friends, who gave him thumbs ups and claps on the back.
She giggled and smelled the flower, continuing her walk around the perimeter.
One of the girls in her cabin found her just as she stopped in front of a large old tree that towered above them. The girls stood side by side, gazing at the tree, and the second one asked the first, "What are we staring at?" in a soft whisper, not wanting to disturb her new friend but confused, nonetheless.
"See that carving there?" The dark-haired girl pointed at the tree. "It says E heart B. That's my mom and dad." She smiled at her friend, bringing her new flower to her chest in her clasped hands. "They met here. Isn't it romantic?"
Lily had been unsure about going away to camp for so long by herself, but as much as she loved her twin baby brothers, she decided she could use a break from their antics. "As long as they stay out of my room while I'm gone," she'd told her mom and dad.
"So romantic, oh my gosh. Think that'll happen for us? Maybe this camp is magic or something."
Both girls swung their wide-eyed gazes to the group of boys huddled across the meadow.
Lily considered them and the question with a tilted head. She zeroed in on the fair-haired boy who'd given her the purple flower she still held. His cheeks turned pink, but he gave her a little wave.
She finally turned back to her friend, and they giggled together. "Nahhhh," they declared at the same time.
Six years later
A fair-haired boy of seventeen pulled out his pocket knife and stepped up to the tree that stood tall next to the meadow. He eyed the carving already there and then set to work, hoping to make his heart a little less ugly than the one nestled between the E and B.
Lily giggled at Peter as he worked, and he scowled playfully at her.
He carved and carved, sweat dripping from his brow, but he would do anything to make his Lily smile.
Peter knew the story of the carving above his. He knew Lily's parents loved each other fiercely. He knew they got their happily ever after, and he wanted that with Lily. She deserved to have everything she wanted, and he wanted her for always. He'd been in love with her since he was eleven years old, after all.
Another camp session ended, and no one was there to see the two figures drive up and sneak into the grounds one late August afternoon. They held hands and laughed as they raced down the tree-covered trail to the sunlit meadow they knew so well.
It'd been twenty years since they'd lain in the bed of grass and flowers and learned all of each other's secrets. Twenty years since they'd fallen in love under the summer sun.
Edward cupped Bella's face in his hands and backed her toward their tree, all the while peeling her clothing off one piece at a time. She sighed as he kissed her neck and traced the shell of her ear with his tongue.
"Do you have any idea how long I've wanted to do this? Shit, Bell. You're even sexier than you were at eighteen."
She didn't believe him, but it didn't matter. He was always so good at making her feel wanted and loved, just as she was.
Pressed to the tree where he'd carved their initials so long ago, he kissed her slowly, savoring her sweetness. It felt like he'd loved her all his life.
He'd thought ahead and brought a blanket with them so he could have his way with her against that tree like he'd wanted to since they were teenagers. They didn't even take the time to look at their carving before they were naked and he was inside her.
And as they lay on the blanket afterward, naked and spent, warmed by the setting sun, feeding each other cheese and berries, Bella noticed a second carving just below and to the side of theirs.
"P and L… You don't think…" Bella gasped and covered her mouth, smiling. But then her eyes widened as that smile slipped off her face. "Aaaaand we had sex on it. Welp. Still parents of the year."
They shrugged and laughed at themselves. They'd made plenty of mistakes over the years, but that was life. That was parenthood.
"Damn," Edward said, strolling over and checking out what appeared to be Peter's handiwork for their beautiful daughter. The two of them were engaged now. Why hadn't she told them? "His heart looks better than mine." He shot a grin over his shoulder at his beautiful wife. He could've stared for hours at the way the sun kissed her skin.
"Aww, c'mere," she said, patting the spot next to her on the blanket. "Your heart is perfect."
"Ha. Not even close," he said, joining her once more and locking their fingers together. Edward kissed his Bella deep and slow and then whispered, "But it's all yours."
Thank you so much!
(Credit to RubyDee for the idea to have Lily go to camp and see the carving. xo)