Disclaimer: I do not own the Twilight series and am not Stephenie Meyer.

Song To Listen To: "Real Gone" by Sheryl Crow.


"Real Gone" by Sheryl Crow

I'm American made – Budlight, Chevrolet: My momma taught me wrong from right: I was born in the south, sometimes I have a big mouth

When I see something that I don't like – I gotta say it…Well we've been driving this road for a mighty long time paying no mind to the signs

Well this neighborhood's changed, it's all been rearranged: We've left that chance somewhere behind

Slow down, you're gonna crash: Baby, you're a-screamin it's a blast, blast, blast – and look out babe! You've got your blinders on

Everybody's looking for a way to get real gone – real gone, real gone

Look there's a new cat in town, he's got high-paying friends – thinks he's gonna change history

You think you know him so well, yeah you think he's so swell – but he's just a perpetuating prophecy

Come on now: Slow down, you're gonna crash: Baby, you're a-screamin it's a blast, blast, blast – and look out! You've got your blinders on

Everybody's looking for a way to get real gone – real gone, real gone, real gone…uh!

Well you can say what you want, but you can't say it 'round here, cause they'll catch you and give you a whipping

Well I believe I was right when I said you were wrong: you didn't like the sound of that – now did you?

Slow down, you're gonna crash baby you're a-screaming it's a blast, blast, blast – look out! You've got your blinders on: everybody's looking for a way to get real gone

Well here I come and I'm so not scared – got my pedal to the metal, got my hands in the air

Look out, you take your blinders off, everybody's looking for a way to get real gone – real gone…real gone…ooh! Real gone…

Real gone...


Curse

Glimpses

"How's this one?"

A dark blue bathing suit appeared in my line of vision. Silver stitching around the edges created little leaves and larger roses sewed the same way appeared on the right hip and both side of the top. The thing was thankfully void of strings and instead had a racing back top – almost like a sports bra – and shorts on the bottom.

It was obviously a winner compared to all the string things and thongs that Alice had thrust at me already. "You already knew it was this one, why waste time with all the others?" I groused, taking it from her hands: I couldn't' help but smile as I felt the soft, silky material between my fingers.

"I had to give you options, didn't I?" my sister laughed before darting into the closet to pull her own swimsuit on. "Go ahead, change out there – I'll wait until you're done." I looked around me at the empty, grandiose bedroom that served Alice's taste of the moment – elegance and romance.

The room would probably be redecorated by the next day. I smothered a grin as I quickly shed my plain sundress and donned the suit: it was perfectly covering, even though the fact that it was a bikini still grated on my nerves. Oh well: it was still nice.

And I had to admit that even without a mirror, I probably looked pretty decent. Alice came bouncing out of the bathroom the instant I was finished adjusting it on my body, grinning widely and already reaching out to fix it wherever she thought it didn't look quite right.

Alice looked stunning: her suit was a brilliant, fiery red that sparkled and shimmered with an almost sequin-like dazzle. It was technically a one piece, but the middle section was barely an inch wide, connecting the halter-top of the suit to the bottoms across her stomach.

"There. Beautiful." She pronounced me ready to go. We each threw covers on – for me, my sundress and for her, a mesh pool cover – and raced each other out the back door. From there, we ran side by side towards the secluded pond that had become our swimming pool, for lack of better term.

It was only a few miles out. I reveled in the run. I had found my love of running alongside Edward back in our first move – London. And the love kept strong when we went to Milan, Paris, Rome, the Greek islands, Spain…every tourist destination in Europe, Edward had taken me to.

It was part of my wish, to see the world…and now we had moved on from Europe to other parts of the world. This place was my favorite, so far: I hoped that we would be able to come back some day.

Far-off laughter drew me out of my daze. It wasn't really that far: the laughter was echoing from our pond, which was on the property of the house we had bought in this particular city. I eagerly increased my pace, nearly catching up to Alice in my haste.

She glanced over her shoulder at me, grinning widely. "Don't worry – he'll absolutely love the suit." I stuck my tongue out at her, prompting more laughing and an increase in her own pace. Sometimes I really disliked being the slowest runner in my family.

When we broke through the trees, there were several feet of dirt-covered rocks, moss, and spurts of grass. It trailed right up to the edge of the little pond, where the ground suddenly turned to water-smoothed pebbles and clear, pale blue and white water.

Rising behind the miniature lake was a rocky cliff side: the swimming hole was rather large, and the rocky precipice rose quite a few feet in the air. Toppling from the ledge was a stream of icy melted snow, forming the cascade of water that ran down into this spot.

Taller mountains stood all around us: this forest was right at the base of the largest one, and our house had a spectacular view of the mountains with the sun setting in ripples of orange and red. The ledge where water streamed off into our small pool was just high enough to double as a high dive, the pool deep enough to allow it.

My family was clustered around the edges: Esme and Carlisle treaded water, side by side closer to the edge than the deep blue center. My brothers and Edward were swimming around the center there, splashing each other and laughing together.

Alice and I headed for Rosalie: she was spread out on a towel at the far side of the pool, in the line of the sunlight: she glittered like a diamond, a beautiful mirage of sparkles embedded in her skin. The bathing suit draped on her body seemed to be the typical string bikini – designed to cover as little as possible and jet-black in color.

She cracked one eye open as we approached, smiled in our direction, and let her eyes drift shut again. Without a word, Alice and I took a seat on either side of her and stretched out across our own towels. I locked eyes with Edward for one instant and exchanged a smile before lying back and basking in the glorious warmth.

I felt undeniably content as I lay in the brilliant, bright sunshine. His trust in me was slowly built back up: although slightly fragile, I knew that was only to be expected. I couldn't believe he would ever trust me absolutely, but he was getting closer to it.

And I was getting closer to trusting him, as well. Even though so much time had passed in human years, I knew that we couldn't measure by that same standard. As far as we knew, we would live forever. That put quite a damper on the human standards of time.

For my part, I knew that I could trust him now. Years had passed and there was no sign from him that he was losing interest, that our love was dying or otherwise in jeopardy. He was coming to believe in me as well. And that was truly all I needed.

It was enough to soak this day in warm contentment, in life. I rolled my head slightly, easing the semblance of tension from my shoulders. I felt utterly relaxed, lying here with my sisters and listening to the background noise comprised of the chatter made by my family.

For several endless hours, I lay there with my sisters until I began to feel a pang of loneliness. It wasn't quite loneliness, however: more like a longing for something. I knew all too well what that longing was for.

Peering out of one eye, I watched until Edward, Emmett and Jasper had flown into another laughing, water-splashing battle. Flipping to my knees, I locked eyes with Alice and Rosalie one after the other while I stood. Each grinned and closed their eyes in lazy relaxation again.

Taking my steps quickly, I flitted into the trees to stay out of sight of everyone. Making my way to the cliff side, I took the narrow pathway up the rocky face of the mountain to the ledge where the water ran over.

Then I paused: from up here, the air was so crystal clear and the forest around me was truly breathtaking. It was a scene that would have inspired many a human artist, had they the capability to reach this spot.

"Beautiful, isn't it?"

I jumped at the light, teasing comment: whirling around, I managed to just barely keep my footing on the very edge of the cliff. Edward's arms wound around my waist before I could possibly fall over the edge.

Huffing, I grumbled, "I wanted to surprise you!"

"I know." His smug grin told me where he had seen what was happening. "Alice couldn't keep the vision out of her mind – and I knew a quicker way up here. Probably because you tried to be secretive."

I couldn't really be mad at him: there was nothing to be mad about, for that matter. "Oh, you…" I sighed, letting a gentle smile fall over my lips. Grinning, he leaned forward and pressed his lips to mine in a wildly passionate kiss that left me completely breathless and wanting more.

"That's unfair," I gasped, not needing the air but finding the habit hard to resist. He nuzzled my neck: I felt his smile on the side of my neck.

"Mm, really? I didn't know," he teased. I tried to open my mouth to say something more, but his lips stopped me again. It was futile to resist his kisses: I gave in with a blissful murmur of approval. When he pulled away, he took my words away with him.

"What say we head down now?" His topaz eyes glittered as they bore into mine. It took me a moment to realize what he was saying – that he was even talking, for that matter – and once I did, I felt the smile spread haphazardly across my face.

"That sounds wonderful," I agreed.

Edward smiled as he released most of me – all except for one hand. We stood side by side, looking out over the forest before us. There was something about the moment I couldn't quite put my finger on – a sense of almost-déjà vu, or remembering something that felt almost like this.

Standing at Edward's side before a fantastic leap off into something else…whatever the feeling or even or place or whatever it was, was – it was something else. What I knew now was not what I knew then.

That much was very certain.

So I looked to him, standing beside me. He was looking down at me, eyes sparkling with a hunger that had nothing to do with thirst as they raked over my body, the swimsuit Alice had handed me earlier that day.

He was wearing black swim trunks – my favorite color on him. I smiled just at the thought of that color on him: it made my Edward look so gorgeous. Even though he always looked incredibly handsome. The color black just made him look so much more so.

As I looked at him, I couldn't think about anything else but all the goodness that was in my life now.

I had the Cullens: Alice, Jasper, Esme, Carlisle, Rosalie, and Emmett…

I had a new life: a vampire life…

I had a wonderful home – and a new one, a new location, every few years or so…

I had a life that I could never have dreamed of. I had a family that loved me and I, them. I had a wonderful man in my life that was everything I could have asked for and more. I had eternity to be with him. What more could I ever asked for? Nothing. What more could I say?

I looked him straight in the eye. "I love you, Edward Anthony Mason Cullen."

He would have been startled had he not somehow felt the same spirit, the same life, that I did standing there with him now. His eyes were so incredibly soft and gentle as he returned my loving smile. "I love you too, Isabella Marie Swan…Cullen."

I loved the sound of it. Every time I heard it pass his lips. We laughed together at the sound of both our names, ending the same way. 'Cullen'.

Rocking back on one leg, then taking that step forward and pushing off, into the air – both of us, at the same time. We flung ourselves out into thin air and plummeted towards the crystalline water.

I felt his hand encircling mine as we fell: that was where he would always be, beside me. Loving me. Supporting me. And I, him: the same way.

We hit the water together. As one.


A/N – Aww… :) Sappy endings are my specialty, I believe. And do you know how long this scene has been in my head? I really hope I did it justice: I'm almost positive that I did. I really hope so, anyway.

And this is it. THIS IS IT! The ending of it all. Oh, the tragedy…I had so much fun writing this one. You know, this is the first one I think I've managed to finish? Amazing, isn't it? I'm so glad I was able to finish it. I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't been able to. And now this is one off my workload that I don't have to make sure I keep updating, which will thus free me to complete the others that I know I need to work on. Really had. Yes.

So! The last A/N will be tacked onto this chapter, just because. I hope you've enjoyed this story! I know I have. :) Love you all!

Thanks for reading!


THE FINAL A/N OF 'CURSE'

'Curse' Playlist Review

"Dani California" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers – Prologue

"Savin' Me" by Nickelback – Reception

"Born To Lead" by Hoobastank – Change

"Over My Head (Cable Car)" by The Fray – Transformations

"What I Wouldn't Give" by Holly Brook – Thoughts

"Out Of Control" by Hoobastank – Learning

"Please Forgive Me" by David Gray – Discovering

"Time Is Running Out" by Muse – Fight

"How To Save A Life" by The Fray – Sanctuary

"If Everyone Cared" by Nickelback – Discussion

"It Ends Tonight" by the All-American Rejects – Farewell

"The Long Way Around" by The Dixie Chicks – Overview

"Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield – Thoughtful

"Summer Rain" by U2 – Showing

"The Sharpest Lives" by My Chemical Romance – Anger

"You Are The One" by Shiny Toy Guns – Runaway

"Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day – Departure

"What I've Done" by Linkin Park – Facedown

"Walk On" by U2 – Reasoning

"Here With Me" by Dido – Reconciliation

"Real Gone" by Sheryl Crow – Glimpses

Final A/N – A huge thank you to all of my reviewers. I love each and every one of you, no matter what you told me! So here you all are (from Chapter One to last chapter, as of 9/25/07):

Addie W., FeuBrillant, Hotaru89, Em'sGirl23, 'Michele', apple.parachute, theloserhobbs, NotMixedEqually, amsrule, Isabella-Anja, Jennifer, liz, deludedfreak, Priestess Kohana, twilightgirl1918, xox-Candy-Canexox, Deliriously Withdrawn, wrecking hotel rooms, Serenity Argetlam, Bella Sangue, Chrissienuil, luvs2danc, ithinki, XxMarie.Alice.Brendon.CullenxX, themysterious"H", lostxinxtwilightx, Piper of Locksley, quietandclear, ljv, irockupurple, Katluva0323

And all those who added me to their Story Alert list (oh, thank you:) That's so sweet, you guys!):

.in.love.w.Levi.aka-Sagatis, Adele19, Aleakim, AllisonWalnut620, Bellezza-Eterna, Clarks Blue Eyed Angel, Dazzled Dragonfly, Deliriously Withdrawn, Em'sGirl23, Fall out of grace, Hotaru89, Isabella-Anja, Kttn851, LadyMiyu, MiSelf014, Monkey-en-TuTu, Nahenahe, Nature's Tempest, OnlyALullaby, Priestess Kohana, Serenity Argetlam, TwilightMoon7765, XxMarie.Alice.Brendon.CullenxX, amsrule, degausser, irockupurple, ithinki, justadreamer1980, lostxinxtwilightx, luvs2danc, quietandclear, reginah72, serinity lena, starslaugh, wrecking hotel rooms

And those who, by honor of honors, put 'Curse' on their Favorite Stories lists (now I'm blushing! Thank you all!):

Armed and Fabulous, Bella Sangue, Bkcbookworm, Count.Applesauce, Dazzled Dragonfly, Em'sGirl23, Hotaru89, Isabella-Anja, Katluva0323, MiSelf014, MidnightAsh7184, Monkey-en-TuTu, Nature's Tempest, Of Wolves and Witches, Piper of Locksley, Priestess Kohana, XxMarie.Alice.Brendon.CullenxX, amsrule, angstar54, deludedfreak, lostxinxtwilightx, luvs2danc, mwacha, omgoshxitsxmeg, wrecking hotel rooms, xoxCandy-Canexox

I would like to thank all of you: I know this isn't one of my most popular stories and I considered stopping it a few times, but I decided to keep it going – for all of you. :) I sincerely hope you enjoyed it! I loved writing for all of you! Thank you so much for reading!

Love you all! Thanks for reading 'Curse'!

BlueSea14