EPILOGUE - BEGINNING
Three days later I awoke to ice cold lips pressed on my stomach. I was smiling before my eyes even opened. I looked down at him and ran my fingers through his hair.
"I'm sorry," he mumbled into my skin. "But I just couldn't wait any longer for you to wake up."
I smiled as I pulled him up to my lips. "You did keep me up the whole night, but all is forgiven."
He laid his ice cold body completely over my own and I shuddered with complete joy.
"Mrs. Cullen," he purred.
"Yes, Mr. Cullen," I breathed.
"So far this marriage thing is pretty amazing," he smiled as his lips lightly pressed on mine.
My fingers ran up his marble back and he sighed. "Amazing doesn't quite cover it," I breathed out. I bit his bottom lip softly and then ran my tongue over his mouth.
His eyes lit up like fire. "I can't wait until you're unbreakable," he murmured torturously.
I pouted. "The trips we're taking to Florida and Forks don't have to be really, really long, do they?"
He rested his forehead on mine and exhaled deeply. "If we didn't have something very important to do here in the City today, I would be tempted to race you back to Carlisle right now."
"We don't need Carlisle," I whispered.
"True," he smiled, giving me his crooked smile for a moment, and then his eyes clouded over a bit. "Still, I would like to have him close by, just in case."
I looked at the clock. "I don't need to get ready for an hour yet."
He smiled and ran his lips across my collarbone. Then his cold lips began traveling up to my mouth. His kisses made me forget my name.
A little over an hour later, we walked out into the cold December morning. Edward was holding my gloved hand as we walked. We both instinctively looked up to check the sky. Thick clouds hovered just above the Manhattan skyline, and we both looked at each other and smiled.
Edward hailed a cab and we were soon traveling towards Staten Island. I could see the Statue of Liberty far out in the harbor long before the taxi reached the shore.
We stood in line for the Staten Island Ferry, trying to stay inconspicuous. I looked around warily just in case either one of them were early. The crowded ferry docked just a few hundred yards from the Statue of Liberty, and we made our way down the pier, crunching on fresh snow as we walked towards the large green statue. But instead of making our way into the heated visitor's center like everyone else, we ducked into a grove of trees just to the left of the building.
I had my arms wrapped around my middle to keep warm and Edward moved farther away from me, not wanting me to catch the chill off his skin. I wasn't having any of that. I pulled him closer to me and just the thrill of feeling his cold lips on my cheek sent electricity racing through my body that warmed me instantly. I was nestling my face into his chest when his muscles tensed. "Thomas is coming," he whispered.
I turned and saw that the ferry was still some distance out, but I knew that Edward was hearing his mind.
"He's wondering who is supposed to meet him here," Edward murmured. "He's still extremely hurt and saddened over losing you." His arms instinctively wrapped tighter around me and when I looked up at him, his eyes were like jewels.
"I don't know what I'd do if you said good-bye to me," he confessed.
I shrugged. "You'd probably shut everyone out and work for a high power investment firm in New York City, and strike fear into everyone you cut off at the knees."
He chuckled as his lips grazed across my forehead. "That's sounds pretty bad," he teased.
We watched the ferry travel nearer to the shore and I thought about Vaughn. I wish I could have explained to him that I never should have dated him in the first place. It was my fault. I knew I was never going to love anyone but Edward, but I had selfishly tried to make a life for myself anyway.
Now, using the conversation I'd had that night with Thomas in the carriage, I was attempting to make things as right as I could.
The ferry was docking and it wasn't long before we saw Vaughn come walking down the pier. He looked a little confused, and a little embarrassed. Five minutes later, Edward alerted me that the next ferry was approaching.
"She's on the boat," Edward smiled.
I jumped up and down, clapping my hands.
Ten minutes later, we were scrutinizing every person who came off the ferry. Suddenly Edward said, "There she is."
I peeked around his arm, and then took a step forward to get a closer look. A woman in her mid twenties walked hesitantly along the pier. She held her coat tightly around her in more of a self conscious gesture than anything else.
The first thing I noticed was that she was tall and slender. She had beautiful long dark hair that fell in soft curls around her face, and high cheekbones that were red from the cold. As she started down the sidewalk, I saw that her eyes were large and almond shaped.
"She's very pretty." I whispered.
Edward's wrinkled his nose. "Not as breathtaking as the girl he just lost, but she'll do."
I elbowed him in the side. "Good answer."
Vaughn had been examining the crowd that came off the ferry, and when he saw her, I watched his eyes widen in surprise. A large smile spread across his chiseled face.
"Kristin, is that you?" His face registered shock and pleasure. He walked quickly to her and she looked up at him and tilted her head in confusion, and then suddenly her face brightened with recognition.
"Thomas Vaughn . . . from Rockmont High School, right?"
Vaughn's easy smile spread across his face. "Yes, that's right." He looked around and said, "What are you doing here?"
She looked at him sheepishly. "Well, I got this invitation; on really nice paper I might add. It said to come here at 11:00 on December 5th. I have no idea why." She shrugged her shoulders and smiled at him.
He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a piece of paper and said, "Did it look like this?"
She took it from him and after looking at it for a moment, blinked in surprise.
"Exactly like this," she replied suspiciously.
She looked up at him and asked, "Did you do this?"
He was shaking his head before she finished. "No!" He said emphatically. "I swear I had nothing to do with this." He swallowed hard and said, "But I hope someday I get the chance to thank the person who did."
They stared at each other for a long moment and then Kristin said, "You know, every once in a while your face just pops into my head. I've often wondered what happened to you."
His eyes never left her face as he took a deep breath and said, "I know just what you mean."
"Are you still playing football?" She asked.
"Funny you should ask that," he chuckled and then said, "Would you like to talk about it over lunch?"
Her smile showed perfect rows of white teeth as she nodded her head and said, "Yes, I would love that."
Edward and I watched them walk back to the Ferry together.
"Well," Edward sighed. "If this first meeting has any bearing on their future, I predict from the thoughts that were charging through their heads that they are going to be very happy together."
I raised my fist in the air and exclaimed, "Yes!"
We waited inside for the next ferry, and then hailed a taxi. When we began driving, I looked at Edward and groaned. "Alice is going to have a huge party waiting for us when we get there, isn't she?"
His smile was bright. "There would have been no living with her if we hadn't given in. She is beside herself that she didn't get to throw the wedding of the century." He laughed deeply. "She may never forgive you for the fact that Michael Simmons got to be your maid of honor."
I rolled my eyes. "The party with your family, then we stop in Florida and Forks to break the news and then we're off . . . somewhere . . . just the two of us, right?" I looked at him expectantly.
"Whatever you want, Mrs. Cullen." His velvet voice was so gentle and warm.
"Say it again," I whispered.
"Mrs. Cullen," he purred. His lips were on mine as he spoke.
"While we're in Forks," he murmured. "There are a few things I need to get from your floorboards."
I pulled back, rather confused.
"What are you talking about?" I asked.
His gave me his crooked smile, and my heart skipped three beats. "I'll tell you when we get there," he whispered teasingly.
The taxi turned onto Wall Street and I looked up into his miraculous face. "I never thanked you." I said thoughtfully.
"Thanked me? Why?" He asked.
"For loving me, all this time . . . for seeing past the monster. For hoping that there something worth saving deep inside of me."
An ancient sigh escaped from his chest and his fingers brushed my cheek. "I've wanted to thank you for that very same thing since the night I first heard you say my name."
His kiss was soft and gentle, yet it held so much emotion and love. This was too much. Too much happiness. Too much joy. Too much bliss.
The taxi pulled in front of my apartment building and when we entered the lobby, he said, "You know, we don't have to leave for the airport for another two hours."
Before I could blink, his lips were my moving back and forth on my jaw.
"We could play a game of Scrabble," I offered breathlessly.
He laughed, and it sounded like music. "That's not the game I was thinking of."
The elevator doors opened and I jumped in and called out, "Race you!"
That beautiful crooked smile was on his face as he stood there watching me smugly. And as the elevator doors slid shut, I knew this was a race he would win.
But this time, I didn't care one bit.
Everything, by Michael Buble
You're the falling star, you're the get away car.
You're the line in the sand when I go too far.
You're the swimming pool, on an August day.
And you're the perfect thing to say.
And I can't believe, that I'm your man,
And I get to kiss you baby just because I can.
Whatever comes our way, we'll see it through,
And you know that's what our love can do.
And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It's you, it's you. You make me sing.
You're every line. You're every word. You're everything.
Thank you to every soul who has read this story. I can't describe what it means to me and my confidence as a writer. I hope to hear from you every now and then on my PM. - edwardsoul
*Update - For anyone that doesn't know, I wrote a sequel to this called, wait for it...LOST 2. It is entirely in Simmon's POV. Bella and the Cullen clan are included.