Please read me at the end... there's also an announcement.
Eight Years Later
Edward sat behind his desk in his home office in his sleep pants and t-shirt, looking at an old photo album. As he turned the pages, hethought back to a happy time in his life.
Twenty-six years ago.
"Pregnant? Seriously?" Edward questioned in shock.
"Yeah, seriously," Victoria confirmed. "I know it's not something we planned and we're still in school, but Edward, I want this baby... our baby."
Edward looked at Victoria, his girlfriend of over a year. They met and fell in love fast. They were both still in school, barely twenty-one, and now they were having a baby. Edward felt many emotions in that moment, but one thing was for sure, he wanted their baby too. There was no doubt in his mind that he wanted this, that he wanted to be a father. He pulled Victoria into his arms and then placed his hand on her stomach.
"I want that too," he told Victoria. "Everything will be okay, we're together and we love each other. We'll figure it out. I'm going to take care of you, Victoria, both of you."
"I know you will, Edward," Victoria sighed in his arms. "I love you."
"I love you too," he replied. "And I love our baby."
Seven months later in February, Katherine Elizabeth Cullen was born and Edward was so far gone when he came to his baby girl. His heart was so full of love; he knew he'd never be the same. He was now responsible for a tiny life and he'd spend his life trying to protect her.
"I love you so much, little one," he said as he held his newborn baby in the still of the night. "I'm going to do everything in my power to keep you safe and happy. You're going to have a great life, even though you're not allowed to date until you're 30. You hear that, Katherine? No boys." Kate cooed in his arms and latched her little hand onto Edward's finger.
~ RoL ~
Edward chuckled at himself when he remembered that first conversation he'd had with Kate about boys; funny how that didn't work out too well.
He flipped through more pictures in the old album. Page after page was filled with different milestones in Kate's life. From her first steps to her first day of Kindergarten, to pictures of her in her girl scout uniform. So many happy times in her life captured in pictures.
Edward's thoughts then turned to a time in their lives that was by far the hardest and the saddest.
It was just past eight o'clock at night when there was a knock on the door. Edward was in the kitchen with his mother who was holding a sleeping Emily while Kate and Maggie were watching TV in the living room. Edward looked at his watch, knowing it was too late to expect anyone. He walked to the door and when he opened it, he was faced with two officers from the Forks Police department. Edward's heart sank, his mouth ran dry.
"Mom, can you uh, please... t-take the girls upstairs? Please?" Edward called from the front door.
"What's going on, Edward?" Esme asked as she saw the officers at the door. "Oh dear God." Esme nodded and told Kate and Maggie it was time to go upstairs.
Once they were out of sight, Edward looked back at the officers, his heart in his throat.
"Mr. Cullen?" one of the officers asked.
"Mr. Cullen, is Victoria Cullen related to you?"
"Yes, she's... my w-wife," Edward stammered.
"I'm so sorry, Mr. Cullen, there was an accident," the officer informed Edward.
"My wife, is she okay?" Edward asked although he already knew the answer to that question).
"I'm sorry, your wife's car was hit head on... she was killed instantly, sir."
"Oh God!" Edward grabbed his stomach. He felt like he was going to vomit. She was just in the house an hour ago and now she was gone.
"I'm so sorry for your loss, Mr. Cullen," the officer offered. "We recovered this from the scene." The officer handed Edward Victoria's purse. "We're very sorry."
Edward took the purse and held it in both hands. "Where is my wife?"
"She's been taken to the hospital, she was declared DOA. She'll be in the morgue until arrangements are made. You can go there when you're ready. And if you want to talk to me after you've had some time, here's my card."
"T-thank you," Edward stammered. He took the card from the officer and stuffed it into his jeans pocket.
Having heard the front door close, Esme came downstairs in search of news. She found Edward stand stock-still at the door holding Victoria's purse.)
"Edward?" Esme called.
"S-she's gone. Victoria, she's... oh God!" Edward collapsed to the ground and his mother rushed to his side. She got down on the floor with him and held him as he clutched Victoria's purse to his chest.
"Kate?" Edward asked from Kate's bedroom door. "Daddy needs to talk to you, baby."
She was twelve years old and her whole life was about to change. Edward took a deep breath and sat down beside her on the bed.
"Kate, um..." Edward paused. He took her hand in his and took another deep breath. "Mommy had an accident tonight."
Kate looked at her father, her tears welling in her eyes. "Is she in the hospital? Is she going to get better?"
"No, baby, she's not in the hospital... and she's not going to get better," Edward replied. "Mommy... went to heaven tonight. She's not coming home."
Kate's tears were falling. "No, Daddy, she can't be in heaven. I want her home with me. I want my mommy!" Kate started crying harder and Edward gathered her in his arms.
"I know, baby, I'm so sorry," Edward tried to comfort her. "I love you so much."
Telling his daughters their mother had died was the hardest thing Edward had ever had to do in his entire life. At that moment, he didn't see how he was ever going to get through it. Even though he and Victoria were going to get divorced, she was still the mother of his children and their lives as they knew it would be forever changed.
That was where the photo album ended. Of course Edward had taken many photos over the past thirteen years sinceVictoria's death, this particular photo album ended with her.
"What are you doing in here all alone?"
Edward looked up and saw his wife standing in the doorway of his office. He and Bella had been married for eight years now, and even though he was just thinking of a time in his life when there was so much sorrow, when he looked in her eyes, he saw only love and joy.
"I was just looking at an old photo album of Kate that Victoria put together," Edward said. "Made me think about how much time has gone by."
Bella walked over to him and took a seat on his lap. She glanced at the album and smiled.
"I can't believe she's getting married in a few hours," Edward said. "My baby, she was just in my arms, and now she's twenty-five years old and about to become a wife."
"You did good, Edward; she's turned into a wonderful, successful young woman," Bella said. She kissed his lips and then touched his cheek. "Victoria would be proud."
"Thank you," Edward said. He then leaned in and kissed her lips again. "You brought me back to life. I love you so much."
"I love you too," she replied and gave him another kiss. "But we need to start getting ready. The cars will be in here a few hours to pick us up."
~ RoL ~
Edward got out of the shower and wrapped a towel around his waist. He looked at the reflection staring back at him. He was forty-six years old and he felt it. He now had flecks of gray hair at his temples to go along with the fine lines around his eyes. He made it a point to get to the gym three times a week and still coached the boys soccer team at the high school, but his body wasn't as toned as it used to be. Fifty was creeping up on him.
Edward's thoughts went to Bella and how much he loved her. Their age difference never mattered to either of them, even though Edward wondered from time to time if his wife, who was only thirty-two, would always find him desirable.
"You're thinking too much," Bella said, walking into the bathroom.
She stood behind her husband and wrapped her arms around his waist. She inhaled his clean scent as she rested her face on his bare back. Edward covered her hands with his own and then spun around to face her. She was every bit as beautiful as the day he met her. She stood before him in her robe, her hair wrapped up in a braided twist and her face was clear of make-up.
"You know me too well, Mrs. Cullen," Edward said, leaning down to kiss her.
"What's on your mind, Coach?" Bella asked, still using the nickname she had always called him.
"I was just thinking how incredibly sexy my wife is... and how old I look." He chuckled.
"Edward, stop," she said, playfully pushing on his chest. "You're not old. I mean, yes, you've gotten older, but you're still the sexiest man I know, and every school year, the girls still drool over their hot science teacher."
"You still think I'm sexy?" Edward asked, raising his eyebrows at her.
Bella leaned up on her tiptoes so she could kiss him. Edward met her halfway and captured her lips with his own. As their passion built. Edward turned them around and lifted Bella onto the vanity, moving between her thighs.
"Very sexy," Bella said, breathless. "You can still make me come. Hard and fast, like no other."
"Jesus fuck, Bella. You still can get me hard in five seconds flat."
Just as she was about to go for Edward's towel, a small voice stopped her actions.
Bella looked at Edward and shrugged her shoulders. They knew there was no way they could continue.
"Later?" Edward asked.
"Definitely later," Bella agreed.
"We're in here, bud," Edward called from the bathroom and then helped Bella off the vanity while making sure his towel was secure.
Liam came bouncing into his parents' bedroom still dressed in his pajamas. He was six years old and he had his mother's dark hair and father's green eyes. Bella got pregnant right around their first wedding anniversary, and nine months later, Liam Alexander was born.
When Bella found out she was pregnant, the entire family was thrilled. And then when they found it was going to be a little boy, there was even more excitement.
Edward remembered the day Bella told him she was going to have his baby.
It was Saturday morning and Edward was getting himself dressed. He had a morning soccer practice to get to and then it was home to cook out on the grill for dinner.
Bella was in the bathroom for a while it seemed. Edward wondered what was taking her so long.
"Babe, you okay in there?" he called to her.
"I'm fine," she said, coming out of the bathroom dressed in her panties and a white camisole. She didn't speak as she walked over to Edward and then pushed him down on the chair that sat in the corner of their bedroom. Bella then climbed on his lap and placed her hands on his bare shoulders.
"Everything okay?" Edward questioned, his cock coming alive from the feel of his wife straddling him.
"Great," she replied with a smile. "I have something to tell you."
"Okay, should I be glad I'm sitting down?"
"Well, how would you feel about..." Bella paused, looking in Edward's eyes. "...becoming a daddy again?"
"Get the fuck out?" Edward questioned with a smile. "Are you serious?"
"Yep, seems as if I am going to have your baby." Bella then pulled out the two positive pregnancy tests she just took and held them up to show Edward. "See?"
Edward took both tests from Bella and saw the word pregnant on both of them. He then looked back at his wife and pulled her toward him so he could kiss her.
"Are you happy?" Bella asked, pulling back from his mouth.
"Are you kidding?" Edward questioned. "I am so happy." He then moved his hands down over her breasts and stopped when he got to her stomach. He ran his hand over her flat tummy and then a tear fell from his eye. "Our baby is in there."
"Yeah, it is," Bella said with a smile as a tear rolled down her cheek. "Our baby."
Edward loved his daughters more than his own life, but when Liam was born, he was ecstatic to have a son, another gift from Bella. Liam was all boy; he loved trucks and playing in the mud, and much to his father's delight, he loved soccer. Liam loved when his daddy would kick the ball around with him in the backyard. Liam picked up on the sport easily and he was already playing on a tot team.
"Liam, did you eat breakfast?" Bella asked. She scooped him up and placed him on the vanity, making him giggle when she kissed his cheek.
"Yeah, Mommy," he replied. "Emmy made me waffles." Liam was now the only one besides Edward who got away with still calling Emily "Emmy."
Emily was now fourteen years old, and if she had one weakness in her life, it was her baby brother. Liam could do no wrong in her eyes. When he was born, Emily always wanted to help with him, whether it was feeding him, changing him, or just holding him. Emily was always around doting over her baby brother.
"Okay, good," Bella said. "I need to get my make-up done and help Kate get dressed. Can you get him dressed please, Edward?"
"Yeah, I got it," he replied.
Bella kissed Liam on the cheek again and then gave Edward a kiss on the lips before leaving the bathroom.
"After I shave, bud, it's time to get dressed."
"In my suit?"
"Yeah, in your suit."
"Does it match yours, Daddy?"
"Yes, it does, it matches mine," Edward said.
"Will we still see Kate after she gets um..."
"Married?" Edward looked at Liam. Liam nodded.
"Sure we will, bud; I mean, as much as we can, I guess." Edward sighed. "You know your sister loves you, and I'm sure she wishes she could come home more often."
They all missed Kate. After she graduated from ASU with her teaching degree, she got a job in Portland teaching science, just like her dad. Of course, Edward couldn't have been more proud of her, but she was five hours away and didn't get home as much as he would like. Kate had been living in Portland now for two years... with Garrett.
Kate and Garrett were still together and more in love than ever. Much to Edward's surprise, Garrett proved years ago that he had staying power. He graduated from ASU with a degree in finance and was able to land a great job in an investment firm in Portland. He's a good man, and even though he and Edward had their differences in the past, they had become very close and had formed a mutual respect for one another.
And to this day, Kate and Garrett still get reminded of the night Edward walked in on them in her bedroom. They did the crime and their family was definitely making them do the time, all these years later.
After he was finished shaving, Edward told Liam to go in his room and grab the garment bag that held his suit.
Edward dropped his towel and put on a pair of gray boxer briefs, his black socks, and his dress pants. Liam then came back in the room with his little suit and Edward got him all dressed. Even though Liam's hair color was the same as Bella's, it was out of control just like his father's. Since it was a special occasion, Edward put a small drop of his hair gel in his hand and ran it through Liam's crazy locks, giving it some much needed hold.
"There you go, bud, you look good," Edward said. Liam looked in the mirror and smiled at his reflection.
"Daddy, will I get tall like you?" Liam asked.
"Someday," Edward replied.
"But Mommy is small," Liam said and then pursed his lips together. "I want to be tall like you."
"I'm sure you'll be close, bud. But you're six; you won't get tall like me for a few years."
"Okay." Liam paused and then looked at Edward again. "Daddy?"
"Will my peepee be big like yours, too, one day?"
Edward choked on his own spit from Liam's question. He cleared his throat and tried to hide his grin.
"One day," Edward choked out. He then finished getting dressed and splashed on some cologne, hoping this line of questioning from Liam was over. He wasn't ready yet; one day, but not today.
Edward took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, but then held it again, not knowing what was going to come out of Liam's mouth this time.
"Can I have some?" Liam pointed to Edward's cologne bottle.
"You want some cologne?"
Liam nodded and Edward took a very small dab of his cologne and placed it on one side of Liam's neck...
"There you go," Edward said. "Now let's head downstairs and wait for the girls.
~ RoL ~
Edward turned around and saw Maggie dressed in her maid-of-honor dress. It was a strapless, dusty rose floor-length gown. In her hair was a rhinestone headband that sparkled in the light. Edward smiled at her and moved in her direction.
"You look beautiful, Mags," Edward said, placing a soft kiss on her cheek.
"Thanks," she replied.
"Mom still upstairs with Kate?" Edward asked.
"Yeah, they're just finishing up."
There was a knock at the door and Maggie's face lit up as if she knew who was was on the other side. Edward watched as she walked away to answer the door. When she came back in the kitchen, she was on Pete's arm.
Yes, Maggie and Pete were still together, but it hadn't been all moonlight and roses. There was a time during their first year of college that they broke up. Maggie was devastated. They had gone to different colleges, Maggie to U-Dub and Pete to Berkley. It was a hard time for both of them, and when they decided to part ways, Edward's heart broke for her.
But a year passed and then fate stepped in. Pete found he wasn't happy in the Bay area and knew where he had left his heart. He decided to transfer to U-Dub in his junior year, and when he found Maggie one day on campus, there was no doubt in either of their minds that they belonged together.
They both would be graduating this spring from U-Dub and had talked about staying in Seattle, much to Edward and Bella's dismay, but they knew they had to let her go into the world and make a life on her own. And of course another one of his daughters picked a pretty good guy, so Edward had learned to relax a lot over the years.
"Hey, Pete, good to see you," Edward said, extending his hand out to the young man.
"You too, Mr. Cullen."
"Yeah, enough of that Mr. Cullen BS, I think you've been around long enough to call me Edward."
"Edward." Pete nodded.
Pete and Garrett had also become good friends through the years, so it was no shock when Garrett asked Pete to be one of his groomsmen.
"Daddy, Mommy said she and Kate will be downstairs in ten minutes," Emily said, walking into the kitchen dressed in the same dress as Maggie.
"Okay, Emmy," I said. "You look very pretty, my girl."
"Hey, do me a favor, can you look after your brother? Make sure he doesn't jump in a puddle of mud in his suit, please?" Edward asked Emily.
"Sure, Daddy." Emily smiled and then went in search of her little brother.
~ RoL ~
Upstairs in Maggie's bedroom, Bella was fixing the train of Kate's dress. They were alone in the bedroom and silently lost in thought. Once Bella had the material straightened out, she looked at Kate through the mirror and noticed tears in the corners of her eyes.
"Are you okay, honey?" Bella asked.
"Yeah," Kate replied. "I'm sorry, I was thinking... about my mom."
Bella nodded and turned Kate around to look at her.
"That's understandable," Bella started. "She would be very proud of the woman you've become."
"Thank you," Kate said. She let out a breath and looked at Bella. "I miss her, some times more than others. Today especially. But then I think about all the time that has gone by and I know my mom will always be in my heart."
"She will be, Kate. Always."
"You've been my mom for the past eight years," Kate said, making Bella look at her. "It's was you who has stayed up me with late at night when I had a fight with Garrett. It's was you who has encouraged me to be the best teacher I can be. It's was you that was alwaysthere for me whenever I needed you, and I am so happy that my dad found you and made you a part of our family. I'll always miss my mom, but I know you don't have to be biologically related to love someone like a mother and I wanted you to know that. I love you, Mom. Thank you for always being there for me, loving me like I was your own, for never making me doubt your love, especially in this moment."
While Maggie and Emily had called Bella "Mom" for years, Kate still always called her Bella. Bella always understood and never felt any less love from Kate, but today was the first day she called her "Mom," and Bella felt as if her heart was fully and utterly complete. Even though they were only seven years apart, the love they shared knew no years.
"I love you so much, Kate," Bella said. "I am so proud of the woman you have become. I am honored to be your mother; it's a gift that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Meeting your father that day changed my life. Not only did I fall in love with him, but he let me fall in love with you and your sisters. It's been the best thing that has ever happened to me, and Liam coming into the world, tying us all together, has been more than I could've ever hoped for. Thank you for accepting me in your heart and allowing me to love you like a mother should and for being my amazing daughter."
"I love you," Kate said with teary eyes.
Bella pulled Kate into her arms and held her close. Both mother and daughter held each other and cried.
"Okay, come on, let's get it together," Bella said. "Your father is waiting to see the bride and now we have to fix our make-up."
Kate laughed and nodded her head.
~ RoL ~
Edward was pacing back and forth in the kitchen. He couldn't) believe that, in a couple hours, his firstborn daughter was going to be a married woman. And in a couple hours, he'd be giving her away to another man. Edward's heart was full of love and sadness; it was a strange moment for a father.
"Edward?" Bella called.
Edward looked up and smiled from ear to ear. She was stunning in her gown; one shouldered and deep blue, that hugged her curves perfectly. She looked just as beautiful, if not more so, as the day he met her.
"You look stunning, babe," he said. He crossed the kitchen and took her into his arms, kissing her softly, being careful not to smudge her make-up.
"She's ready," Bella told him.
Just then, Kate walked into the kitchen fully dressed in her wedding gown. Edward's breath caught in his throat when he saw her for the first time. There was his little girl standing before him in an ivory lace strapless wedding gown ready to get married.
"Oh my," Edward gasped. He could feel his tears welling in his eyes.
"What do you think, Daddy? Do I look okay?" Kate asked.
"Oh, baby girl, you look beautiful," Edward said. He steppedcloser to her and then he pulled her into his arms.
"I'll give you two a minute," Bella said as she handed Edward a box before walking out of the kitchen in search of their other children.
Edward choked back his tears again as he looked at Kate.
"I am a lucky man to have a daughter who's as beautiful and smart as you are. I am so proud of you, Katherine Elizabeth. I am honored to be your father. I love you so much."
Kate wiped a tear away from her eyes.
"Dad, you've been so amazing, even when it was just you. You were always there when I needed you, even if it was to buy me tampons." Edward laughed while Kate giggled, at the memory. "You've been the best father I could ever ask for; you never caved, even when times got really hard. I love you, Daddy."
Edward hugged his daughter and then handed her the box he was holding. Kate looked at him.
"This was something Bella and I picked out for you, for this day."
Kate smiled, taking the box from him. She opened it slowly and gasped when she saw what was inside.
"Oh, Daddy, it's beautiful."
Inside the box was a diamond and amethyst tennis bracelet. Amethyst was Kate's birthstone and she had always loved it. Edward removed the bracelet from the box and then fastened it onto Kate's wrist.
"Beautiful," he said.
"Thank you, Dad. For everything."
~ RoL ~
"Are you ready?" Edward asked.
"I'm ready," Kate replied.
The doors to the church opened, and slowly, Edward walked his baby girl down the aisle toward her future. Toward a man Edward once despised, but now whom he loved like a son.
When they got to the altar, Garrett was smiling at his future wife, unable to hide his own emotions.
"Who gives this woman to this man?" the minister asked.
Edward swallowed the lump in his throat. He looked at his daughter and then to Garrett and nodded.
"I do," he choked out. Edward then placed Kate's hand in Garrett's and slowly let go.
Edward returned to his seat next to Bella where she grabbed his hand in her own and squeezed. Edward looked at his wife and blinked back his tears.
"By the power invested in me by the state of Washington, I now pronounce you husband and wife. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Garrett O'Connell."
The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was in full swing. Edward watched with a smile on his face as Emily danced with Liam; well, more like made him dance. Maggie was dancing with Pete and Kate and Garrett were talking with their guests.
"Thought you could use this," Bella said, handing Edward a beer.
"Thanks, babe," he replied, taking the bottle and then taking a big swig from the bottle.
"How are you holding up?" Bella asked.
"As long as I have you, I'll always be okay." He leaned down to kiss her. "Even though I just gave my daughter away."
"She'll always be your baby, Edward," Bella told him.
"Have I told you how beautiful you look tonight?" Edward asked and then placed a kiss on her forehead.
"At least ten times, but it's always nice to hear," Bella said with a smile,
Edward watched as Garrett pulled Kate out on the dance floor to a sweet dance. He watched as Garrett put his arms around his daughter and it really hit him that she was now his wife, and no longer his little girl.
Look at the two of you
Dancing that way
Lost in the moment
And each others faces
So much in love
You're alone in this place
Like there's no body else in the world
I was enough for her
Not long ago
I was her number one
She told me so
And she still means the world to me
Just so you know
So be careful you hold me girl
Edward wiped a tear away from his cheek as he watched Kate dance with her husband. More memories hit him.
"Daddy, I can do it," Kate said.
"Are you sure?" he asked. Edward was holding the back of the seat of her bike; he'd just taken the training wheels off.
"Let go, Daddy, I can do it."
Edward took a deep breath and slowly let go of the seat. He watched as she peddled down the street on two wheels, the training wheels no longer needed.
"I did it, Daddy! I did it!" Kate cheered.
"Yeah, you did, baby girl, you did it."
Edward came back to the present and took another sip of his beer while he held on to Bella.
Time changes everything
Life must go on
And I'm not going to stand
In your way
Edward looked surprised when Kate walked up to him and grabbed his hand. He nodded to her and then handed Bella his beer. Kate led her father out to the dance floor and wrapped her arms around his neck, burying her face in his shoulder. Edward held her close to him and was now unable to stop his tears as he danced with her.
But I loved her first
I held her first
And a place in my heart
Will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
And I prayed that she'd find you someday
But it's still hard to give her away
I loved her first
Edward wiped Kate's tears away as they danced. His little girl, all grown up and now someone's wife, could still cry like a little girl in his arms. Another memory hit him.
"Dad, I have a date tonight."
"I'm sorry, you have a what?"
"A date, you know, with a boy."
"I know what a date is, but you're barely sixteen, you can't date."
"Daddy, come on," Kate said. "Besides, you know him, you were the one who introduced us."
"What? Who is it?"
"Garrett O'Connell, he's on your team."
Shit. Damn. Fuck. Kate was right, Edward did introduce them, but not because he wanted the little fucker to date her.
"Come on, Dad, Garrett's nice and he likes me," Kate said with a smile.
"Fine, Katherine, you can go out with him, but I want you home by ten p.m. Not ten-oh-one, ten, are we clear?" Edward said. He knew this was a losing battle.
"Thanks, Daddy," Kate squealed and leaped into his arms, hugging him.
How could that beautiful woman with you
Be the same freckle faced kid that I knew
The one that read all those fairy tales to
And tucked into bed all those nights
And I knew the first time I saw you with her
It was only a matter of time
But I loved her first
I held her first
And a place in my heart
Will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
And I prayed that she'd find you someday
But it's still hard to give her away
I loved her first
The music faded out and Edward pulled back to look at Kate while still holding her. She'd always be his little girl. He leaned in and kissed her cheek and then whispered in her ear.
"I loved you first."
~ RoL ~
Later that night, the house was quiet. The wedding was over, the bride and groom were on their way to Hawaii for their honeymoon. Maggie and Pete were heading back to school in Seattle, and Emily and Liam were asleep.
Edward unbuttoned his dress shirt and slipped it off, then removed his pants and socks. He sat down on the bed in his boxers and exhaled.
He watched as Bella came out of the bathroom, dressed in a pair of blue panties and a matching tank top. Her face was clear of make-up and her legs long and out on display, just as Edward always loved. She smiled at her husband, walked over to the dresser, and began pulling out the pins that held her hair up.
Edward stood up and stepped behind her, looking into her eyes through the mirror. He reached up and covered her hands with his own. Bella grinned and lowered her hands, allowing Edward to search for all the pins. Once he was sure he had gotten all of them, Edward ran his fingers through Bella's tresses and massaged her scalp as her hair fell down her back.
"You are so beautiful," Edward said, leaning down to kiss Bella's neck. "And you smell so good."
"You're still a smooth talker after all these years." Bella smiled at him. "Tonight was a good night."
"Yeah, it was." Edward kissed her neck again and went back to sit on the bed. Bella followed him and stood between his parted thighs.
"I know it was hard for you, but Edward, you did the very best you could for Kate; you gave her everything she needs to live a good life."
"I know," Edward sighed. "I'm so glad I found you that day so many years ago."
"I remember it as if it were yesterday," Bella said with a smile. "The day you knocked me on my ass."
"I remember the first thing I saw was your legs." Edward placed his hands on Bella's hips and then moved them down her bare thighs to her knees and then back up again. "They are still just as long, smooth, and sexy."
"Always for you, my love," she replied.
Edward looked up at Bella and reached up to cup her face.
"Thank you for loving me, for loving my daughters, and for giving me a beautiful son. You are my ray of light, Bella, and had you not come into our lives, I'm not sure I would've ever been as happy as I am right in this moment."
"It's been my pleasure, Coach." Bella leaned down and kissed him deeply.
Edward pulled her down on top of him as they moved up the bed. As the rest of their clothes were shed and they became one, they each thought of how far they had come, how much loss and heartbreak they each suffered, and how, now in each other's arms with so much love between them, they knew they'd found their once in a lifetime love in each other.
Now and forever.
A/N: It is with such heavy heart that I mark this one complete. I can't tell you how much I have loved writing this one. I think I am the most proud of this story. I think I have come a long way in my writing, I've learned a lot, and I have had the best time writing this one.
So many thanks, thanks to Chandrakanta for her beta work and thanks to Pixie Kat for getting things straight and for her amazing suggestions. We are going to do so well together. And most of all thanks to all of you, the readers for coming on this journey with me. For all your kind words and support. For talking with me on my FB group, you all are the best. Love to you all.
I have posted many pix from the epi as well as the YT video for the song I used for Kate's wedding. It's perfect and you will need a tissue when listening to it. I cried like a baby, that's how I knew it was the right choice for Edward and Kate and for Edward giving Kate away to Garrett. So do check it out.
So here's my announcement. I have a new story coming and I have a new beta which I am so excited for. I will be posting the story title. the banner, and summary only on my FB group page, Awish's Fanfiction, this weekend! So if you're not a member, then get in there. If you're not on FB then make sure you favorite me as a author so you don't miss the new story.
Let me know what you think of this final conclusion. I love hearing all your thoughts.
And for the last time on this one...
Song Credit: I loved her first by Heartland