Jasper and I went back to our cabin in the Rockies after the wedding but it wasn't long before Peter and Charlotte found their way to us and in truth it felt a little empty without them sometimes, they were like a brother and sister that you missed after the first few days of freedom without them. Darius and Sara kept in touch after the wedding but they were happy in each others company and as Jasper explained, they had been vampires for centuries and it did make you see things a little differently. Charlie and Esme had enjoyed their cruise so much they took another around the Norwegian fjords and then another to the Arctic circle and I wondered if we would ever see the two of them again! Garrett and Lexi did turn back up eventually only to tell us they'd been married, in Switzerland of all places And Lexi was now a vampire too. That's why we hadn't heard anything of them. He'd kept her out of sight until she was controlled enough to be among humans although he still kept a close watch on her. I was glad he'd found someone, we all needed a mate after all.
Marcus rang to tell us that Faith has been welcomed back by Vladimir "most warmly" and I had to wonder if he didn't mean with a flame thrower. Although the guard had kept watch in case he threw her out or she tried to escape there was no sign of her.
"Why would Vladimir throw her out? She's got a powerful gift and if she was telling the truth its the only gift he has now."
"Ah yes, I rather think the same trick they pulled on Edward came into play."
"You mean the Volturi took her gift away? Then she's of no value to Vladimir at all. Do you think he'll kill her?"
"No, he'll keep her in confinement, to suffer until Stefan is freed or killed. If the former then she would be one reason for Stefan to return to Romania."
"Surely he knows Vladimir would kill him for his treachery?"
"Not necessarily Bella, they don't see things in quite the same way as you and I. Vladimir would see Stefan's actions as merely those of an ambitious man. If Stefan had won the gamble who knows, maybe it was always his intention to bring Vladimir to Volterra to rule with him. If the tables were turned he would probably of done the same thing, Maybe Faith is the spoils of war. After all she was Vladimir's girlfriend first I think."
Peter was just relieved she was locked up, he didn't care who held the key as long as they didn't use it to free her and although I think Charlotte pitied her in some ways she knew better than to say anything to him.
Scattered though we were over the next few years somehow on our fifth wedding anniversary our friends started to appear. Rose and Emmett came first and the next day Charlie and Esme turned up with of all people Peter and Charlotte, informing us they had all been back to the Poseidon Hotel now it was finally open to the public.
"Not as good as when we had it to ourselves but it was still nice."
Esme sounded as if they'd still had fun! Garrett and Lexi appeared that evening and we had a party out back by the creek where Emmett and Peter, to no ones surprise, stripped off for some water fun! Which translated was soaking the rest of us by jumping in from a tall fir-tree that stood nearby. We could have complained but it would only have encouraged them so we held our peace and suffered the drenching with good humour. After all you couldn't stay mad at Emmett for long, Peter either if truth be told.
We were still missing two of our friends though and that made me a little sad but as Jasper had told me, they were more insular than the rest of us and I guess understood. I enjoyed my time alone with my husband and sometimes weeks would go by when we saw and spoke to no one else without our even noticing. As the sun came up the next morning we received unexpected guests, Edward with his new girlfriend Andi, a nomad he'd met at Yale. She was rather nice and had wrought quite a change in my ex, or was that the loss of his gift? In either event he was much more relaxed and less aloof, even joining in the new game Emmett, Charlie, and Peter had invented which was a cross between horseshoes, water polo, and baseball although I was totally lost when they tried to explain it to me. I'm not even sure they understood but they seemed to be enjoying themselves and eventually drew Jazz and Garrett in too while we girls sat talking and looking at them puzzled from time to time when an argument would break out as to who scored what.
It was as the sun set that evening I saw a truck making its way towards us down the rutted track leading to the cabin. When I saw the driver I couldn't help smiling, Darius put a hand up and Sara grinned as they pulled up.
"Hello there, we heard there was a party going on. What happened to our invitation?"
"It must have got lost in the post Sara. Come and join us."
Darius glanced over to the guys who were standing in a huddle conferring over a rule or score or something.
"It sounds like I've arrived just in the nick of time"
He strode over shouting loudly,
"Peter shut the fuck up for a minute and I'll tell you how to play the damn game properly"
"Fuck you Darius, you don't know squat about it."
"Oh really? I'll have you know I was playing before you were a lecherous look in your daddy's eye"
I could see a fight looming and we girls moved inside,
"Leave them to it, they'll fight then kiss and make up. In the meantime have you heard the latest gossip about Alice?"
All ears pricked up at Sara's question.
"No do tell"
Esme was eager for news, she hadn't heard from her daughter since the wedding when Alice had rung with good wishes and got a cool reception. I think Esme had softened since then but of course she was happy with Charlie and I'm sure that helped.
"She's only got herself tied up with Alec Volturi. It seems the two of them are quite a talking point in Volterra."
So Alice had found a way to get ahead in Volterra, well good for her so long as she stayed there. We were all happy so I guess I didn't deny her a little too, she paid a high price for her actions, shunned by her family and stuck in Volterra for her own safety. As I thought this we heard a shout and ran out to see Peter at the top of the tall tree which was being shaken violently by Darius, things were back to normal and I loved it.
A huge thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read this story and those who left reviews, both are appreciated. Its been some journey but now its ended. Until the next one, bye Jules xx