Author's note- And finally...the epilogue. I apologize for not announcing the last chapter as my last, but at the time I was still too attached to admit it. I'm definitely not finished with these two, not yet at least. Perhaps look for another piece later. Pictures of the described outfits are linked on my profile :)
His hand met the small of my back, the same electricity as always jolting through my skin.
"Did I mention how breathtaking you look tonight?" He purred in my ear. My skin shivered at his honeyed words. His bronze hair was hanging in his eyes, shadowing the sparks of mischief that danced there.
"A couple of times," I assured him, smiling against his cheek and pressing my lips against his jawbone.
Chicago had been wonderful so far. We all had moved out of the Alaskan house and left Carmen and company in peace. I'd finally been back to the house that Edward's parents had left in his name. The experience was…beyond words. Nostalgia practically sang from the home, old pictures and furnishings still intact.
We lived there now; Carlisle and the others had purchased a tasteful estate outside of city limits. It was nice to have a house to ourselves—a whole house…all to ourselves, all the time. The butterflies in my stomach jittered just as the reminder flew across my consciousness.
Jasper, Alice, Edward, and I had transferred into St. Ignatius Collegiate Preparatory as juniors last December. It had been an interesting ride, to say the least. But luckily we avoided any replays of the day we took the tour of the school in Alaska, and for that I was more than grateful.
There had been so many new experiences, new people, new places, but unfortunately, the same old classes. I realized very quickly that school was the same everywhere. Boring, dull, mundane, and routine.
But I didn't mind it so much as long as I had everyone with me; they made it bearable…enjoyable almost. I thought back to Volterra sometimes, of the nightmare that had come to take my entire family from me. The memories still haunt my head, ready to shoot chills down my spine whenever they come to visit. We've been lucky thus far to avoid contact with the Volturi, and I can only hope that they have finally come to rest with whatever score they needed settled.
I stared longingly into those molten eyes as Edward twirled me around the ballroom floor, dipping me towards the floor. The candles' flames persevered through the spins and trips from the dance floor, flickering strongly atop the linen tablecloths. Prom was done much different here than at home.
"Enjoying yourself?" He asked, his breath tickling my ear.
"You could say that," I teased, smirking at his bemused expression. Alice and I had searched for months for her prom dress; mine took me four minutes to find. Hers was a silk black number straight out of D Squared's Milan Spring Fashion week. I have no idea how she got her hands on it, and I wasn't really interested in finding out. It was short and ruffled minimally at the bottom and around the hole that exposed the centerpiece of her chest. I don't think Alice could have looked more perfect in anything.
Mine was just as fancy, a Valentino Haute Couture that Alice had put on hold for me from Paris's 2008 Spring show. The crème colored silk bodice clung tightly to my curves, the sleeves falling deliberately onto my biceps. The fabric was covered in water-color type flowers, twisting down the ruffles that entwined my legs. To my utter amazement I had liked it, a lot. But I never did bet against Alice.
My hair was secured at the crown of my head, looking purposely tousled and perfectly messy. Edward was in a black dress shirt and pants, looking stunning as always. Sometimes I wished I still had a heartbeat to stop. But the rewards of this situation were much better anyways.
"Remember the last time we tried this?"Edward laughed, pulling me into his arms to sway to a slow song.
"What I remember is my foot in a cast, and very lovely vampire who was still astutely stubborn," I said, letting my smile crawl jovially into place.
"And look where you are now," he insisted, "a vampire and as stubborn as ever."
"Must be a side effect," I commented, snickering at the raise of his brow. We strolled lazily back to the table where Jasper was stirring a glass of water with his finger. "Thirsty, Jazz?" I jeered. He rolled his eyes and flicked some of the water from his fingers at me.
I folded into a chair and sighed as my love draped an arm around my bare shoulders.
"Oh no," Edward muttered, stiffening.
"What is it?" I demanded; my adrenaline…or the vampire comparative, piquing as I scanned the room for crimson eyes and black capes. He just responded by stuffing his head into his hands. Jasper sniggered mischievously as a thin blonde girl approached the table. Her huge green eyes were filled with a mix of terror and interest, her cheeks flush with embarrassment.
"W-wou…would you maybe dance with me?" She stuttered, facing Edward. I stifled the laugh that begged to tumble from my lips with a hooked finger on my lips. A group of girls stared at her with reverence and envy. My husband looked to me, his eyes wide with discomfort and irritation, waiting for me to tell her that he was most definitely taken.
But I was never one to pass up a memorable moment.
"I'd bet she's a great dancer," I confirmed, watching as Edward's face fell and the girl's lit up simultaneously. He growled nearly silently towards me as he grudgingly stood from his chair, nodding politely to the swooning teen.
Jasper and I laughed achingly hard as the scene played out in front of us, the poor girl's entire body shaking so badly that it threw her off balance. The beads of sweat gathered noticeably on her upper lip and brow as Edward gentlemanly held her up on the wooden square of polished wood, refusing to whisk her around the way he liked to do me. After one song he bowed to her and thanked her with a smile, nearly making her collapse with happiness.
"You're going to pay for that," he murmured to the both of us as he pulled the chair back underneath him.
"She's the one that owes, Ed," Jasper pointed his finger to me, "I didn't instigate anything."
"Liar," Edward claimed, rolling his eyes at the feigned innocence. Alice skipped over to the table, her lips freshly red.
"Where have you been?" Jasper wondered, gratefully accepting a kiss.
"The restroom." She tossed her clutch onto the table.
"Why?" Edward and Jasper requested at the same time. She sighed and rubbed the underside of her jaw.
"Reapplying makeup," she answered smartly, scoffing as if they should have realized such. They both chuckled lowly and turned their attention back to the dance floor, where multiple couples were twitching awkwardly to the music, holding onto their partners' waists and shoulders.
The pixie crossed her legs into the chair next to me, rearranging some of my curls back into place.
"You look flawless, Izzy." I groaned at the nickname. Alice had decided to revive the first half of my name in an effort to be individualistic.
"Oh, Alice, please don't call me that," I complained, shaking my head as she laughed at me.
"But it's cute," she insisted.
"It's horrible," I promised. She giggled musically and stood up, dragging her blonde haired husband to the dance floor and scaring a few people off the floor with her dramatic entrance.
"Care to join me in the courtyard?" Edward invited, his lips moving against the rim of my ear. He didn't need to hear my reply to know my answer.
The crescent moon was slung dazedly between the stars, glowing mutely. Its light was plastered against the deep green of the grass in the courtyard, the moonbeams playing tricks with our glittering skin.
We sat onto a bench by a wall and gazed into the night, staring quietly up at the vast expanse of stellar bodies above us. Edward's charming laugh interrupted the silence.
"Why are you laughing?"
"I never thought things would be this perfect," he divulged, shrugging. I tilted my head, wordlessly requesting an explanation, "Bella, there has always been something hanging over us, the change, the Volturi, the wolves…"
I nodded in acknowledgment and let out a long exhale, expelling the weight that the memories brought to my chest.
"And now that we're free to be the way we're supposed to be…" he trailed. "Like I said," he continued, "it's perfect."
"Like a dream," I filled in. He smiled at me and pecked the corner of my lips.
"You've always seemed that way to me," he confided. I would've blushed if that blood had still existed.
"Too bad you can't dream," I reminded him.
"There was never a need," he said, "I had you while I was awake."
"Well, aren't you the charmer tonight?" I smirked.
"Remember our vows?" Edward pondered, squeezing my fingers between his.
"How could I forget?" My heart fluttered into my throat as I thought back to the precious day when I had been bound to him forever. "Why do you bring it up?" I prodded. He smiled and glanced shyly to the wet ground.
"Just thinking about the things we said."
"Anything in particular?" I wondered aloud, chewing on the side of my cheek. He let out a satisfied sigh.
"Yeah," he mentioned, playing with my fingers between his own, "when I said, I try not to blink when I'm around you, better not to miss any of your enchantment," he stated. My chest tingled at the words. "It's truer now than it ever was," he confided, letting his teeth show themselves as I stared into his alluring gaze.
His lips collided with mine, allowing all of the heat that was buried somewhere in me to surface. He tugged at my hair until it all came tumbling down. His hands slipped into my curls, pulling them gently.
"Alice is going to be upset about that," I joked, "it took her sixty-two seconds to get it to look like that."
His lips greedily swallowed mine again, his hand resting against the back of my neck. His hand closed around my left wrist and pulled it up to his face. He kissed the diamond on my fourth finger and turned the ring around my finger.
"It seems like forever since I gave you this," he whispered, twisting the engagement stone around.
"We don't have an eternity behind us," I rationalized. He looked up to me, causing me to lose my breath.
"You're right," he conceded, "it's what we have to look forward to."
Author's note- These are the lyrics to Twilight Serenade by Jason Myles Goss. They seemed to fit...so here they are.
So here's to you, like brother's tonight
Tried and true, fading in the twilight
Well I can hear you breathin', see your picture
On the wall
I would give you my wings, if they'd help you at all
Well this city's growing cold, from the needle it heats
There's a howling wind rushing through these Chicago streets
Oh and you were dreaming of Alice, But you got wrapped
In her chains
And even midnight is burning, alive tonight like the
Blood in your veins
And this is my Twilight Serenade
This is my Twilight Serenade
And I'm singing for you
I'm singing for you
This crumbling moon, dressed in black and white
Well it fades away, hiding, from your ghost tonight
And you said, "hey man, don't follow", Oh but I was
You were walking on a tight rope but you were
Too young to care
…and I'm singing for you
Author's note- Thanks for everything guys! This whole thing has meant more to me than anything else! Closing thoughts or arguments would gladly be accepted! I can't say I am finished with this story. So perhaps in the future check back for a third piece. If you're interested in other pieces of my fiction, Belated Birthdays is my recent obsession. Again thanks for everything, it's meant more than you could know!