Freaking finally! I've had a less painful time tweezing minute hairs than pulling these words out of my mind. But here is the full and finished epilogue.
I don't own Twilight. I don't own a lot of things and that's okay with me.
Charlie Swan paced the living room of his small house. He was trying to come up with the right words. He had half his speech prepared with phrases that no man should ever have to say to his grown daughter. The first time he had had this kind of talk with her was much easier. She was only twelve, she needed the information and didn't know enough to be embarrassed that her father was giving it to her. Mind you, all he really had to do was hand her the book that the lady at the library recommended and tell her to ask if she had any questions. A year later Esme Cullen moved to town and Charlie happily handed her carte blanche to continue Bella's education in these matters.
But this conversation was much harder. He would have to talk about feelings and emotions. And contraception, shit, he forgot about contraception. He looked at his watch. He didn't have time to drive to the next town to pick up condoms, cause there was no chance in hell he was going o get them at the Thriftway. That little manoeuvre would be all over town in a heartbeat. Plus he thought that maybe providing latex for his daughter would be construed as giving permission.
Also then he would have to consider which size to get. That was a mental picture of the little shit she was seeing that he didn't want to have. As far as Charlie was concerned Mr. Grabby Hands better be sporting a Ken doll crotch if he wanted to date Charlie's daughter. Charlie liked the kid up to a point. He was polite without being smarmy and he treated Bella well if her smiling face was an indication. He was older but not too old. His background check came in clean as did his credit check. The regular patrol unit never mentioned anything unusual happening at his apartment when Charlie told them to be on the lookout. He was a good kid. But still he was a kid that probably wanted to stick it to his daughter next weekend after Bella's prom. That fact alone made Charlie want to show the shower drain reject the inner workings of a Beretta.
Charlie checked his watch again. Bella should be home any minute. She had spent the weekend up in Seattle with Alice dress shopping. He knew his daughter would come home with something tasteful and demure not like those little sluts in her class. Maybe he should have stopped at two beers this afternoon. Maybe four was too much but he felt he needed the courage to get through what he had in mind. But his brain was feeling a little fuzzy. He went outside hoping that the damp air would help clear his thinking.
That's when he noticed the car parked just down the block, it was the stud muffin's shitty Civic. He also noticed that soon to be soprano Cullen was necking with Bella in the front seat. He turned around and slammed the door behind him.
Now he was mad. Just because she was conceived on Prom night didn't mean he was ready to be a grandfather because her's was next weekend. He stood just inside the door with his arms crossed over his chest. No, he thought, too confrontational. He walked over to his recliner and sat down. He closed his eyes to relax for a minute.
Twenty minutes later Bella walked in to the house to find Charlie sleeping in his chair. A couple beer cans empty at his side. She laughed to herself and decided to let him sleep. A mid-afternoon nap wouldn't kill him. She grabbed the throw blanket off the back of the couch and spread it over him. He snuffled and started to talk in his sleep. Bella sat down to listen. He didn't do it often but it was always very entertaining when he did. He didn't speak in full sentences but individual words that when pieced together gave insight to his dreams. Words like pressure, abstinence, condom, virginity, prom, Chevette, and castration tumbled out of Charlie's dreams. It was all Bella could do not to laugh out loud at her father. He had obviously been planning some sort of sex talk with her and she was very happy that he slept through it. She stood up and walked over to his recliner. She kissed his forehead and looked down at him lovingly.
"Oh Dad, thanks for your concern, but that ship sailed months ago. I'm being safe and I'm happy. No need to talk about it further."
She left him in his chair and went upstairs to do some homework. In his dreams Charlie watched his daughter take a vow of chastity in front of the President while Chuck Norris had Edward in a headlock. It was the best dream he had had in years.
Charlie woke up feeling the beer he had drunk pounding behind his eyes. He knew there was something he had wanted to say to Bella but for the life of him, he couldn't remember what it was. Bella made a simple, starchy meal to help Charlie with his hangover. They chatted a bit about the weekend but stayed within safe topics such as the end of school and baseball season. Bella had her acceptance to University and her dorm assignment already. With Mike being sent away for the summer; he refused to say where, Bella had picked up a full schedule at Newton's for the summer. There was a sophomore starting in August who would fill Bella's part-time position when school began again. Every single one of Bella's ducks were lined up very prettily in a row.
After many long talks with the school's guidance counsellor Bella had a six year plan to become what Charlie stubbornly called a Home Ec. Teacher. Bella was enrolled to take classes in Economics, Accounting, Culinary Arts, Teaching and even some Organic Chemistry. Every time Tyler called her Martha she smacked him. Some of her classes would be taken at the local community college where both Tyler and Edward were attending. Both were going to take Small Business Management, Edward with the goal of opening his own Physiotherapy clinic and Tyler wanted to open a candy shop. They were even going to split an apartment together, a two bedroom man cave. Tyler had his license reinstated six months after his last seizure but was still content to have Edward drive him almost every where. Including to prom.
After observing Edward bumble through his secret crush on Bella, Tyler felt quite confident asking Jane to go to prom with him. Jane was delighted, she had had a crush on Tyler for years but had never been on his radar before. They started dating about a month before prom and were very happy together. Tyler had been worried that his brain injury would deter her, Jane had been worried that the extra thirty pounds she carried would deter him and they were both wrong.
Once Bella had successful escaped the dreaded talk with Charlie she relaxed in her bed staring at the ceiling. She remembered back to the night she had stormed over to Edward's apartment to confront him. Their relationship had been going well. They talked a lot. Edward came to dinner a few nights a week and sometimes, most of the time, got along with Charlie. They kept their relationship to themselves at school but were occasionally seen around town together. No one batted an eye at them being a couple. The only tension between them was just that, tension. Or rather Edward's tension. After that New Year's Eve kiss there were other kisses, lots of other kisses, but nothing else. Edward's hands did not wander or stray. If Bella's hands wandered anywhere south of Edward's ribs he froze and redirected her hands. Bella tried talking with him, letting him know subtly that she was ready for more, but he would change the topic or avoid her questions. Bella was getting more frustrated by the day. She was falling for him and wanted to express her feelings physically but he seemed unaffected by her at all. They had had the previous partner talk; he had a few, she had none. They had had the safety talk. He had been tested before starting to work for the Crowleys as part of a standard health check. Bella had been getting the shot for three years on the advice of her doctor. Bella didn't know what else to do short of draw him a map.
During March break Charlie had a fishing trip that took him out of town for four days. After a lovely date together where Edward came over for dinner and stayed to watch a few movies, Bella was feeling worked up and frustrated. The last movie they had watched hadn't been provocative or even slightly soft-core porn-like but there had been a few sex scenes and they had missed the ending because there were making out on the couch. As soon as it got too hot and heavy for Edward, he shot out of there like Charlie had threatened him, proclaiming that it was late. Bella stormed around the house for hours before grabbing her car keys and speeding to Edward's apartment. Bella was determined to get to the bottom of his issues. If he didn't want her sexually then he should just tell her. She didn't want him stringing her along, it wasn't fair to both of them.
She hammered at his door until he answered it, wearing just a towel. Some of her resolve left her but what remained forced her to go on.
"Bella, are you okay? What are you doing here?"
"I don't think we should see each other any more."
"What? Why?" Edward was thoroughly confused. He had just enjoyed a very nice shower, twice, while thinking about his girlfriend. Now she was at his door breaking up with him.
He pulled her inside and shut the door. He jogged into his bedroom and grabbed a hoodie to cover up. She stood just inside the door, waiting.
He walked back into the room and sat on the couch. He patted the seat beside him and watched as she came towards him. She didn't know how to start the conversation that she felt they needed to have. She took a deep breath and jumped in with both feet.
"I think we should stop dating and just be friends. We've become good friends in the last three months but that's it. There seems to be nothing to us other than friendship."
Edward just stared at her. He couldn't believe what she was saying.
"I just don't think you are interested in a romantic relationship with me, Edward. I think you liked the idea of it, as a way to make up for your behaviour before, but it is fairly obvious that you have no real interest in me. I mean, you don't find me physically attractive, I understand that and it's fine, but I don't think it's fair to continue dating like this. Not fair to either of us, because some day you might find some one you do want and I don't want to get in the way of that."
Bella watched him the whole time she spoke. He barely moved a muscle. He just moved enough to breathe and blink. His lack of reaction spoke volumes to her.
She lent over and kissed his cheek. She stood up and walked back over to the door. She had hoped that she was wrong and that there was some other explanation than she repulsed him, physically but he made no move to stop her from leaving. He was probably relieved that he would not have to pretend any longer.
"Good night, Edward. Call me in a few days and we can chat, okay?"
She opened the door and went out into the cold March night.
Bella sat in her truck for a few minutes to get a handle on her emotions before making the drive home. She didn't want to cry and drive at the same time, it wouldn't be safe. She was happy that Charlie was out of town so she could break down at home with out bothering him. Her first relationship was over and it had fizzled out like a spent sparkler. It had had such great potential too but now there was nothing left for her to do but move on.
Bella raised her head and concentrated on putting the key in the ignition. She started the truck and glanced a look out the window and swallowed a scream. Edward was standing, arms crossed over his chest, glaring at her in front of her truck. He was still only wearing a hoodie and a towel. She stopped the truck and waited. He stood there for a minute before stalking over to the driver's door and yanked it open. He grabbed her arm, pulled her out of the vehicle and up the stairs into his apartment.
"What the fuck was that?" He asked as he dragged her into the living room. She wrenched her arm free and sat on the couch fuming.
"What part didn't you understand? I'm letting you go so you don't have to pretend any more. I mean, it's obvious that you don't want me the way I want you. What other conclusion can I reach than that? I don't want to fight with you about this and if it goes on much longer it will be that much harder to end it."
"I don't want to end it, Bella. I'll admit I've been hesitant with you but that doesn't mean I don't want you."
"Hesitant, bullshit. You couldn't be more tense any time I've tried to touch you. We get to a certain point and you stop. There's only so much rejection I can take, Edward."
"I was trying to be respectful not reject you. I wasn't sure if you were ready for more and I didn't want to push you too far and have you end up regretting it."
"So, you push me away instead? How is that not rejection, Edward? What am I supposed to think about that? That's not respect. Respect would be talking to me about it. Respect would be listening to me and trying to understand what I want while voicing your opinions. Making a unilateral decision about our physical relationship is not respect, Edward. If you want to wait until you do find me attractive you should let me know. We should talk about it, together."
"I'm so sorry, Bella. I've made so many mistakes with you in the past and I just keep making more of them. I was afraid that you would think that I only wanted you for sex. I wanted to show you that I was interested in your mind and your thoughts not just your body. I guess I went too far. I didn't think you would interpret it as me not wanting you at all. I thought you knew how I felt. I love you, Bella, all of you. You have no idea how difficult it has been not to touch you the way I want to."
He leaned forward and place both of his hands on her knees. He had forgotten that he was only wearing a towel and the fabric fell to one side exposing one thigh.
"So, I don't repulse you?"
"Fuck, no." He leaned closer wanting to kiss her and show her exactly how much she did not repulse him. He was shocked and a little saddened when she stood up. His hands fell down to his sides and he had to bend backwards a bit to see her face from above him.
Bella looked down at him. He had such a sad, almost pained look on his face. She raised one hand and stroked his cheek before cupping his chin in her hand. She bent down and kissed him softly and smiled at him.
"That's good to know. By the way, you don't repulse me either."
Edward laughed and wrapped his arms around her waist. Bella moved her legs so that she could sit astride his thighs. Their kiss was full of passion and apology, voicing what they could not convey properly with words. They explored each other in ways they hadn't before but both were too tired and emotionally overwrought for much more that night. They each had a tacit knowledge that it was too soon and there was too much talk about before fully surrendering to their desires.
That was the first night Bella slept at Edward's apartment.
Bella woke up the next morning feeling overheated. She had never shared a bed with anyone before and although she was very comfortable, Edward let off a lot of body heat. She tried to get up but he had her pinned to the bed. His arms were tight around her. His head was tucked into the back of her neck and she could feel his hot breath through her shirt. One hand was gripping her breast and the other was splayed across her hip. She glanced at the alarm clock on the night-stand. They had only been asleep for a few hours but it was morning and she couldn't sleep any longer.
She tried to wriggle out of his grasp but he only held her tighter. She stroked the hand covering her breast to see if he would let go. Her gentle touch made him groan and begin to move behind her. It was subtle at first but his movements gained strength and purpose the longer they lay there. The hand that had been on her hip moved up and under her shirt until he was caressing the bare skin of her stomach. His hips were rubbing against her slowly.
Bella reached back with one hand and ran her fingers through his hair. That action arched her back and pressed her backside to him. He moaned his delight. He loosened his grip on her breast and moved back to let her turn around to face him. Edward smiled at her sleepily and kissed her hard. He slipped his hand under her shirt and palmed her breast again. She ran her hands down his back and slid her fingers just under the waistband of his sleep-pants. He shuddered with pleasure at the feel of her hands on him. He pushed her shirt up as high as it would go and pulled his mouth away from hers. He bent his head and started kissing the breast the was not in his hand. When he took her nipple in his mouth and sucked on it, her hands clenched and her fingernails dug into his lower back. He raised his head and stopped kissing her long enough for her to remove her top.
As soon as she was freed from the fabric he all but growled at her and continued kissing her every where he could reach. He rolled over her and held himself up with his forearms as he kissed and sucked on her neck. Her hands found the waistband of his pants again and she pushed them away from his body and down his hips as far as she could reach. He took over shimmying them down and kicked them off. She wrapped one hand around him and started stroking his hard flesh. His eyes rolled back into his head.
Edward was slightly disappointed when Bella removed her hand from his dick and started to push on his shoulders. He rolled away from her, panting to catch his breath and sat with his back against the headboard. Bella made quick work of her underwear and threw one leg over him. His hands reached for both her breasts as she held his face in her hands, kissing him. Her hips rocked back and forth over him.
Bella slowed her movements and pulled back to look at Edward. He moved his arms so that he was holding her in a gentle embrace.
"I love you, Edward. I didn't say it last night, but I do."
Their next kiss was soft and reverent. Bella raised up on her knees and reached to hold him in one hand as she guided him into her body.
Bella's reminiscing was interrupted by Charlie's heavy footsteps on the stairs. She rolled over to the side and felt the heat of her blush on the pillow. She was very happy that Charlie did not come into her room to say goodnight. There was no way she could explain the blush or the goofy look on her face to her father.
For Bella that morning had been beyond magical. It was not the explosive, orgasmic coming together of souls like she had read about in those books she wouldn't admit to liking. Sure it was passionate, but it was also messy, awkward and a little painful. It didn't matter to her that she didn't come and Edward did. It didn't matter that he seemed to finish just as she was getting started. All that mattered was that they were together and in love. There was plenty of time for orgasms later.
For Bella and Edward there was plenty of time. They moved in together three years later. Edward started up a little clinic in Tacoma focusing on sports injuries. He partnered with a few people, a massage therapist, a nutritionist, a nurse practitioner, and another physiotherapist. It was a few lean years until they turned a profit but they enjoyed working with each other and became good friends.
By the time Bella graduated with her degree there was both a hiring freeze for High School teachers and budget cuts that hit the arts and domestic sciences departments state wide. She found part-time work combining cooking and English as a second language at a community college near the university. She loved her students and quickly learned how to swear in many different languages.
The only problem that effected their relationship wasn't an issue that they had with each other, but rather ongoing arguments they had with their families. Although Bella was eventually able to convince Edward that marriage wasn't for them, Alice and Esme harped on the matter every holiday meal. Nothing either of them could say would sway the pair from their plan to live in glorious sin, or common-law, no matter how hard the ladies tried. Surprisingly Charlie was all for it and Carlisle didn't care one way or the other. But when the discussion turned to children, the tides turned. Charlie refused to stop asking for a grandchild. For years he asked, cajoled, begged and pouted. It wasn't until Bella and Edward gave him a Basset Hound puppy that he backed off.
Tyler Crowley quietly observed Edward and Bella's relationship from the comfort of his laptop on their many Skype chats. They both claimed him as their best friend and told him everything. He knew every argument and disagreement they had. He opened his candy shop and lived happily ever after.
AN: There are too many people to thank and I am woefully behind in responding to reviews. I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to leave me a message, yes, even the nasty guest ones. Thank you for reading.