Innocence Lost; Epilogue

"Bella! That's not fair!" Edward complained as he held me to his chest, resisting my struggle.

"It is too fair, I promised Alice I would go shopping with her today!"

"No! I'm sure we can work something out," he pulled the covers back over us and began kissing designs on my neck again, "Alice," he called out, "if you leave Bella with me I'll buy you a shiny car," his fingers slipped between the waist band of my sweats.

"Nope," Alice called out from the hallway.

"Oh! I'll buy you a mall! Your own mall! Your own Chanel store? All the Tiffany jewelry in the world?" he continued, his kisses pushed against the neck of the shirt I was wearing.

"Nope," she giggled.

"You know Edward, as romantic as it is that you're currently bargaining for me with Alice, I'm just not in the mood anymore, not with you talking to Alice at the same time," I pouted, "I feel like you're two timing me."

Edward rolled his eyes, he knew I was joking, "God, look at that lip," he stared at my bottom lip, puffed out and pouty. His lips kissed it, "Can I convince you to stay home? Rebel against Alice."

I pulled out from his kiss, "Nope!" I drew upon my newborn power and slipped out from underneath him. I went to our closet and began looking through the clothes for something to wear. When I came back out from the closet I had never seen Edward look so forlorn, "Who ran over your dog?" I began getting dressed.

"It wasn't my dog, Isabella. It was my heart. And it was done by the most beautiful girl in the world. She came around 12 years ago and stole it from me, she pumped it back to life and has had control over it ever since. And right now, she doesn't know that she's breaking it."

I smiled sadly at him, he looked tragic lying there in the bed, the blankets precariously hung against his hips, "I think the girl does know. And maybe the girl will bring him home something from her shopping trip."

"But I don't want anything. Just you," he said, the want completely obvious in his voice, "And the bed," he added in afterthought.

"What about this?" I asked, throwing over the magazine Alice had given me full of lingerie I would never think of wearing. I smiled as Edward's eyes glazed over with lust.

"All of it! All of it! I'll buy you all of it!"

"Maybe, if you're a really good boy, I'll come home with something," he closed his eyes, "And no looking into Alice's mind to see what I'm going to buy!"

He groaned, "You're no fun."

"That's not what you thought last night. Or the day before. Or the night before," I grinned, trailing off.

After only fifteen more minutes of good-byes Alice and I were out of the door to Seattle's shopping center, "What time will we be home?" I asked Alice after the fifth text in the past hour from Edward.

"Some time today," she said giddily. She was enjoying Edward's torture along with me, although for entirely different reasons.

"I keep telling him that, he's threatening to get in his car and kidnap me back from you."

"That wouldn't be wise," Alice said already knowing the outcome.

We sat there in the car, the music floating gently in the background of her comfortable car.

"Were Jasper and you like this in the beginning?"

"What do you mean?" she asked.

"Was it impossible for you to keep your hands off each other?" if I still had human blood flowing through me I would have been blushing, but my face stayed cool.

"I think we were similar to you. You have to remember, Bella, Edward lived with all of us for a good fifty years. I mean, living in the same house with Rose and Emmett would be bad enough. But having two other vampire couples around was pretty hard on him. Vampires are naturally more easily aroused; we enjoy the physical longevity our condition allows us. Besides, most of us are stuck as over-hormonal teenagers, teens that don't need to worry about getting pregnant or some STD. We take advantage of that.

"You and Edward are always going to feel a pull for each other. You're always going to feel that desperate need for something else, the sensation that says without him you're missing something.

"You'll learn to control it, ignore it, you'll let it dim. It's nice, when you let it all go, it's just as powerful as ever. People say that if you wait till that special someone for your first time, it's wonderful, the feeling you get when you let it all go, when all that pent up emotion is released… it's always like that for us. For our kind."

My hand played with the door handle, "Don't even think about it, Bella!"

I groaned.

"Two, three hours of shopping. That's it. I promise!"

We walked around the mall arm in arm, carrying an extreme amount of bags in our free hands. We knew we were going to have to stop soon, Alice frowned, "Are you up for one more store?"

"Yeah, I guess," I was getting tired. Not tired like my feet hurt, but tired of the gnawing sensation that Edward was home waiting for me. It was worse than the sound of every bloody pulse beating around me.

Alice and I split up in the next store, "Bella?"

I turned around, frowning at the person who had called out my name. I knew that voice, if I still slept it would be the voice that would haunt my nightmares.


"Bella, how are you?" Mike asked. He looked awful, too thin from his time in prison and the stress caused by probation.

"I'm fine. How are you?" was that an okay question to ask. Where the hell was Alice?

"Okay. You look great. You look like your still in high school. You are 28, right?"

"Heh. Yeah, really good genes I guess. My mom still looks young as well," I hadn't even thought that going to Seattle would bring up old memories. I hadn't thought that I would run in to anyone I knew.

And why hadn't Alice seen this?

"Are you and Edward still together?"

"Yeah," I held up my left hand, showing off the rock Edward had placed on it eleven years ago.

"Whoa! Congratulations, although I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. You two always were perfect for each other," he looked down at his intertwined hands, rocking back and forth on his feet.

"Yeah. Um, thank you. Are you doing okay? With everything."

He took awhile to answer, my eyes shifted over his shoulder trying to find Alice, trying to find my escape, "I think so. I still have community service and therapy to go to. But, I'm doing okay. I'm living on my own now, I was in a rehabilitation center during my parole. I'm doing okay."

"That's good," Alice, where are you?

"I'm glad you're happy."

I hadn't said that. But, even through my stressful glances around the store I guess it was obvious. I smiled, ease floating back into me and my world returning to normal, "So am I."

A Final Author's Note!

Kay, there ya go. It was fast, but it was what I wanted to achieve.

If I had known that withholding chapters would get me reviews I would have done that the entire time. 40 reviews for chapter 19 you guys! That's crazy.

In December I will be editing this story. I'll be taking down almost all the chapters and reposting them, prolly five chapters at a time. If you want to read the changes (there might be some added scenes) then keep this story on Story Alert, however if you don't want to read the changes, take it off Story Alert, but leave me on Author Alert!

After November I will be starting a new Jake/Bella fic, hopefully. And maybe continuing Solar Flare.

During November I will be writing my first original novel. So excited!

(Don't you love the backwards timeline?)

This story has meant a lot to me. It originally started out as a maybe five chapter story that I was only writing to challenge myself on writing Edward's POV. But then it took off. And it took over. This story was so far from what my own life has been like (almost) so it was hard writing even Bella's POV. And, although it was never my intention, I wrote a story where Bella had a backbone. Most people want prince charming to come wake them up and rescue them, Bella loves her prince charming, but I don't believe she would rely on him.

"I'd always scorned the stories where the princess hung around, waiting to be rescued: Sleeping Beauty, spare me! Tell the stupid little wuss to wake up and sort the wicked little fairy out herself." (Sunshine, Robin McKinely, p.331)

Thank you to everyone who reviewed and especially to everyone who has read this story from the beginning, when it had zero reviews and a long authors note for a first chapter. And thank you to everyone who sat at their computer for two hours reading all nineteen chapters in one sitting. I never thought anyone would ever do that for my story, ya'll rock.

And I promise if I ever come up with a plot for a sequel I'll post it, until then…

not done baking

Samantha c: