A/N: Okay, so ummm, yeah… I don't really have a good excuse for abandoning this fanfiction for two months… I just kinda forgot about it…. But then I woke up one day and was like, "Oh yeah, fanfiction." So this is the final chapter that I have made you all wait to read for so long. I thought it was pretty long, but you can decide.
His lips turned upwards as we headed out of the room.
"Where are we going?" I looked up at Edward; we were following our adopted parents through a door. In the big, stone cavern, everyone stood waiting. When they all saw Carlisle, a great cheer went up. I was more than a little shocked that another cheer went up when they saw both Edward and I. I looked around anxiously, mentally checking off that everyone was alive, or well, whatever it would be called, and were no longer missing body parts.
There was Jake and April, cuddled up in a corner. I saw the female coven standing in the middle of the room. I counted them; Ashes(plus her arm, firmly attached to her shoulder), Summer, Kate, Chelsea, and… I had a momentary panic attack until I spotted Brooke off to the side, curled up in Fenix's lap. I had forgotten about that.
Fenix was laughing, his huge bulk shaking as his dangerous face relaxed into a wide smile. My mind was having trouble processing that. But if Fenix was on our side, then he would certainly be a welcome ally. That, and Brooke was looking extremely happy. Riley and Serena had joined the female coven, and both of their heads were smiling and laughing. There was Rosalie and Emmett, and Jasper, smiling at me with amusement. I was wondering why until I was knocked over yet again by something rather small with a shrill voice.
"BELLA!!" Alice's smile was clear, her angel's face glowing. "I've been waiting forever for you to come out of hiding!!"
"I have NOT been hiding." I stood up, brushing dust off of my shirt. That was when I noticed that my faded red shirt was missing a sleeve, covered in ash, and my ivory stomach was exposed by an enormous rip. My cut off jeans were uneven, and one of my back pockets had been totally sheared off, showing off my pair of blue painties.
"So you've noticed," Edward smiled. "You look like hell." He pulled up the ripped corner of my dusty shirt, so that my belly was covered, then let it go again. I smiled sheepishly. I hadn't changed my clothing since the fight two weeks ago. There was a light, gentle touch on my shoulder.
"Come with me dear," Esme smiled at me, taking my hand. "Lets see if we can find you something better to wear."
I followed her gliding footsteps into another corridor, and back into my room. Just like Carlisle, her smile held no accusation as she pulled out a fresh shirt and a skirt, but when I met her eyes, I saw the pain reflecting in their depths.
"Esme…" As much as Carlisle may have been tortured, it was Esme who must have really suffered. Her scream echoed around in my head. She had watched as her husband's body slowly, painstakingly mended itself together, and she couldn't do anything to help him. I could see in her black eyes that she hadn't left Carlisle for one second. "Esme, I-"
She held up a hand to stop me. "Bella, I have to thank you."
"Thank me? But after what I did to Carlisle, how can you-"
"You saved him." She smiled again, looking me full in the eyes.
"Saved him? I destroyed him."
"No, Bella, if you didn't do what you did, he wouldn't have survived at all. None of us would have."
"But you've suffered so much."
"Me? Yes, it was painful to watch. However, I knew that he would be okay. I knew that we both just had to wait it out, and he would be okay in the end."
"That doesn't excuse the pain I've caused you."
"Bella, you haven't caused me pain. You've saved me, you've saved everyone from a much greater pain. How do you think I would have felt if you didn't have the courage to do what you did, and Carlisle was killed?" She smile wavered as she said this, but she was still looking me in the eye.
I sighed, looking down as I took the clothes out of her hands. She laughed suddenly, surprising me.
"Oh Bella, you really do have an interesting mind. I think if anyone else had saved her entire family they wouldn't be so upset about it. Are we really that bad?"
I laughed too, relaxing a little. "Well, I don't know. If Alice doesn't stop attacking me whenever she sees me…" I pulled on my clothes, and we walked out to rejoin the rest of our family.
"You took an awfully long time just getting clothes." Edward smiled, and kissed me sweetly on the lips.
I took his hand and pulled him toward Jake and April. I heard his voice behind me.
"Bella, you really must let Alice take you shopping. Your wardrobe is sadly lacking in taste." I whirled around, yanking on his hand. He was laughing. As I looked at him, his voice came from behind me, and there was something slightly off with it.
"I hear there is a really good mall a few miles away from here. You should let Alice pick you out some Italian clothes." I turned around and came face to face with a far too innocent looking Alice. She spoke, manipulating her vocal cords so she sounded almost exactly like the man who's hand I was hanging onto.
"Because," his deeper voice came out of her lips. "You would do anything for your darling Edward… right?" She raised one eyebrow and smiled with one side of her face, just like Edward's crooked grin. It was so absurd that I collapsed against Edward, his real voice mingling with mine as we started laughing hysterically.
"And of course," Alice's voice came from across the room. We all turned, and Emmett was standing there, partnered with a mischievous grin. "I would let you pick out a whole set of clothes just for me, and I would wear them everyday!" Huge Emmett bounded up to us, bouncing up and down and clapping his hands, looking far too excited.
Alice looked horrified. There was a moment of silence as the rest of the vampires in the room stared at Emmett. Then Jake snorted, breaking the spell. The room dissolved in laughter.
"Okay!" Carlisle actually had to rise his voice to quiet us. He was grinning too, but his raised hand gradually brought silence.
"Obviously, there are still some things that we need to talk about." I wasn't sure what he was getting at. The Volturi were gone, we were all together, everything was okay now. Except maybe future shopping torture.
"The Volturi are gone, forever. This raises quite a few problems. As much as they were corrupted, they were necessary. Who now is going to keep our existence a secret? Who now can protect the humans? We still need a way to keep order."
We all looked at each other. I hadn't thought of all that. But Jake just shrugged.
"Why don't we just stay here? I vote that Carlisle takes over. There's enough of us here, and this way we can all stay together." He shrugged again.
"I second that." April hugged him.
Felix raised his massive hand.
"All in favor of joining together and taking over for the Volturi, raise your hands." He kept his hand firmly in the air, and Brooke's hand joined his immediately.
Jake and April's hands were in the air.
The female coven turned inward, and Serena and Riley whispered with them. They kept their voices low, but their conversation still only took a little over a minute. Then they all raises their hands.
Emmett raised his hand. He and Felix exchanged maniacal grins. Carlisle walked towards us, and the rest of the Cullen family joined us. I could feel the room's eyes on us.
"I think it's a great idea." Emmett of course would go for it.
"I don't know… " Rosalie was hesitant. "We would have to commit to this. Do we really want to spend all of our existence here?"
"It would be dangerous." Jasper looked worried.
"Actually," Edward's face was thoughtful. "I think we'd be safer staying here. There aren't many vampires stupid enough to go against a group of seventeen, no, eighteen vampires. And after they find out that we actually took down the Volturi. And we'd be together, we'd never have to keep moving around from place to place."
I felt worried, but that was probably just Jasper's doing. "I think we should stay. We don't really have another choice at the moment anyway."
Carlisle's face was calm, his decision already made. "I don't think there is another group of vampires more suited to this task than us. And maybe our lead will encourage other vampires to stop drinking from humans too. As long as we can stay together, this is what's best." Esme took his hand and nodded.
"Why don't you just ask me?" Alice grinned at all of us, raising her hand. I guess she would know.
"I guess that settles it." Slowly, we all raised our hands. Edward grinned at me.
"You don't want to know what Alice has in mind for uniforms…"
A/N: okay, so im sorry that took so long, but I worked really hard on this last chapter. I hoped you enjoyed the finale instalement of Never Say Die. Thank you all so much for reading!!! You guys are the best!!!