AN: Thanks to everyone who has read this story. Every single review was most appreciated. Isn't it nice to know we don't have to wait too much longer to find out the real story?
Disclaimer- Twilight is the creation of Stephenie Meyer. No infringement intended .
100 years later.
Edward and I were sitting on an outcropping of rocks that were slightly sheltered by the mountain side. We were fairly high up, and in very rough terrain - so we had little concern of anyone coming into sight. We sat silently, waiting. It was our anniversary again - and although Rosalie kept dropping hints that it was about time we had another wedding - neither of us had any interest in that. In reality - after so many years - the date wasn't that important - but it had been a marker and precursor to much that came after - and so we honored our day - year after year. I can say with fair certainty that we are the only family that look as good today as we did on our wedding days - no matter how many years had passed. (Of course - I can actually claim to look even better today - but Edward would say that that is debatable.) A few years back, we had taken a break from our family in order to celebrate our day privately - and we had enjoyed our time so much that we had continued to do the same thing each year since. We climbed this beautiful mountain, and we shared our memories, and then we sat in silence as the sun began to rise, delighting in the warmth as it began to shine down on us. We celebrated our treasured love with the breaking of the dawn, delighting in the still incomprehensible way that fate had thrown us together.
With so many years together there are a lot of memories to sift through. Each year that we had come here we had focused on different groups of memories. One year Edward had shared all the things he remembered about me from my human years. That was actually a pretty enlightening year - as there are occasions when Edward lets me glimpse deeper into his soul than usual, and I was able to grasp with a deeper appreciation his immense struggles in the beginning. Another year we had talked a lot about things that we had shared with our family, trips and pranks and talks - that was lovely. Even though we had come to be alone together- our family had been with us that year in spirit. And this year we had spent a while discussing my memories, events and remnants of my human life and some of the craziness of my first year as a vampire.
I didn't remember that much about our wedding. I had a very strong sense of the emotions that I felt that day, and luckily I had hundreds of photos, and a family that could tell me any detail I wanted to know with vampire precision. Before we had been married Edward had claimed that I should ask him why he had been so set on marrying me as a human after a hundred years - once I had gained some perspective. Alice had actually reminded me of this before we had set out yesterday. I had asked Edward and he had laughed - remembering perfectly having said it - he said he had been wondering if I would ask.
"I think I have a pretty clear idea of your answer - what with my perspective and all," I smirked, stroking my fingers through his hair while he rested his head in my lap. " I'd still like to hear your answer though - I am sure it is a perfectly worded wonder that is full of your own brand of romance and wit - so I just feel I have to hear it."
He opened his eyes and gave me my crooked smile - good Lord - even after all this time , it completely floored me. "Okay, since you must know my answer, and since it does happen to be a perfectly worded wonder, I will tell you. My having found you, my perfectly beautiful Bella, was the most completely unbelievable anomaly that could ever have occurred. I was so set in my self, so sure of my completeness - and then you were there and so many things that I had held as certain truths - were crumbling at my feet. My desire to protect you and keep you safe, my desire to hold you close and breathe in your heady scent, my desire to selfishly steal away your humanity in order to look upon your beautiful face for eternity - nothing else mattered to me in all the world , once I had found you. And although you had claimed to feel the same, though I knew how your body betrayed you when we were close - I felt I could never truly be certain. Of course - once we had both ascertained that living without each other was not even a remote possibility - I realized that I had to find a way to make you mine. Even still there was a part of me that had doubts - that couldn't quite hope to believe that you saw me as more than the monster that I am."
I growled low as he said these last words - it still angers me when he refers to himself that way.
He glared back and then laughed. "Okay, okay - I'm sorry I said I was a monster. Anyway, I think that somehow, in spite of the impossibility of it all, a part of me believed that if you would choose to be my wife, if you would choose to bind yourself to me in your human life - that somehow that would make a difference. I think when you agreed to be my wife - it felt as if I really was just that seventeen year old boy, who had found the girl of my dreams, and that I was just down on my knee begging for a chance to be worthy of her. In truth, I think of our wedding day every day, and know that I am truly the luckiest monster alive." He laughed at his last words.
I smacked him in the head - and then kissed him fiercely, knowing with certainty that regardless of the lack of logic to what happened between Edward and I, it had all been destined anyway.
We had talked of other things as well. Renee had died , fifteen years after I had been changed. She had been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer. Near the end, when she was in the hospital and heavily sedated - Edward and I had visited. She was sure we were angels (of course our unchanging age and beauty helped fuel that feeling), and I think that seeing us, knowing that in some dimension we were still there - helped her. It had been sad, heart-wrenching, and yet I selfishly savored the moments we had spent together that night. Charlie had died several years later, suffering a massive heart attack in his sleep. I had taken comfort in knowing he had not suffered as my mother had. It was a strange thing, to get a glimpse of them from time to time in the beginning, to see the signs of age mark their bodies, as I remained unchanged.
Of course, Jacob was a topic that had come up last night as well. It was a bit amusing how time could change relationships so dramatically. Three years after our fight in Alaska, Jacob had imprinted on an amazingly beautiful woman. She really was perfect for Jacob, and seeing them together had immediately squashed out any lingering feeling or resentment that had existed between him and Edward and myself. There was a rightness to them that was not definable. They wound up having seven gorgeous children. Jacob joked that he was spawning his own pack, but I knew he would never want any of them to endure being a wolf - ever.
Of course that nasty fight in Alaska had lasting after effects. We did wind up having to visit Italy. It was not an easy visit - and I credit Carlisle's amazing levels of compassion and understanding for the outcome that we eventually arrived at. It had helped of course that with a bit of practice - we found that my power was quite formidable, and if nothing else - we would be safe. It might sound as if I were bragging - but in truth - the Cullen family was a bit of a footnote in vampire history. Our visit to Italy had ended under terms of tolerance - and in effect we were the only coven outside the rule of the Volturi. On occasion, a rogue vampire would attempt to stand against us - but with our combined talents - it never amounted to anything. Of course, we wanted nothing of power (this argument eventually helped our case in Italy), so we were all just thankful that we could live as we chose - filling our lives with as much love for each other as possible - moving through the years - trying our best to do our best with what we've been given.
And so time has passed. Being a vampire is different than I expected in some ways, but the ability to be with Edward and my family - for an eternity - always seemed to me, to be an unfathomable gift. It turned out that I had pretty good control when it came to human blood, especially after the first year. There had been a few close calls - but my family always came through, and so I had never tasted human blood or taken a human life. I had completed medical school twice ( which of course prompted Edward to go back for a third round), and I can now say that I have more than my share of high school years under my belt as well. I can completely understand now why Rosalie and the others hate having to go to high school again. It never gets better, and if I had ever thought that I would be used to the attention of the male population - it hasn't happened yet. I may be more confident, and not in danger of my human proneness to clumsiness - but I still couldn't deal effectively with teenage boys. It still amazes me that they can see you kissing someone, in a more than friendly way, and feel that five minutes after said kissee is out of sight, it is the appropriate time to make their move. I think high school is by far worse for Edward now than ever. He had been right about my allure attracting men, they were in awe of Rosalie - but would never approach her (though I am sure the look of Emmett always attached to her hip was an equal deterrent), and somehow I was like the honey that attracted the flies. It annoyed me excessively, and I'm sure Edward was bothered much more than I was. Such was our life, and in spite of juvenile boys or the purgatory that is high school - it was a pretty good 'life' indeed.
My thoughts flickered to my family. Rosalie and I had come quite a long way. We would never share the same relationship that I had with Alice, but we had something else, and though it was taking it's time in developing - I knew that we truly were sisters and that I had no fiercer friend than Rosalie. I could never picture Carlisle and Esme as anything other than my parents. The one thing I always marveled at was that no matter how long we spent together, I still felt like I had no idea just how deep a relationship they had - or how great their love was for all of their 'children'. Of course Alice and I were thick as thieves. The term best friend does not remotely cover what Alice and I share. It seems at times like somehow, somewhere, once upon a time - we were sisters before. She has actually taught me, against all odds, to enjoy shopping and to develop my own personal sense of style. If that doesn't tell you something, you can't possibly know much about me. Most surprising to me is the friendship that I now have with Jasper. Emmett is my fun-loving bear, and will forever be my favorite big brother - but Jasper and I have a bit of a strange relationship - laced with a bad history and an interesting future. We have found much common ground over the past many years, including our love of literature and our love of arguing our point to death. In fact - at the moment, we are both enrolled in college and studying philosophy. We are spending endless hours debating the classroom discussion and our own personal views - but it has served to bring us even closer. My power actually has a funny glitch that has also served to strengthen my friendship with my stoic brother. Even after all this time he is still the weakest link. He has not had any problems resisting - but he will occasionally be overcome with blood lust at unexpected times. I've found that I can actually immobilize Jasper when he loses control - and protect him from himself. I'm not quite sure how, but it works, and Jasper is more than grateful - knowing I would never let him hurt anyone.
Edward's magical voice broke the silence. "It is times like this that I wish desperately that I could read your mind. When I look at your face and see so many emotions racing across it, knowing that your thoughts are carrying you far from me. I even find myself still trying to reach out and hear you at times like these, in the vain hope that I will be given a glimpse into how your amazing mind works. Of course it is still tightly sealed - but I still wish."
"My thoughts don't carry me away from you, my wonderful husband. How could they? Most of my thoughts are about you!"
"What were you thinking about?"
"I was thinking about some of the memories we shared last night. I was remembering Charlie and Renee. I was also thinking about how very much I love you - and our family. I was thinking that despite your misguided belief that you are a monster - I am loving every minute of eternity with you and your beautiful soul. You don't need to wish you could read my thoughts, I'll always tell you what you want to know - and my mind can be a scary place - you should be happy you don't have the need to visit." I looked into his eyes and he laughed.
"Really? You think your mind is scary? I think it is probably an amazing place, as beautiful as your lovely face. I know you appreciate the fact that I can't hear you - but I am still eternally curious."
"Perhaps I don't think my mind is scary. Perhaps random is a better word. Maybe I worry that if you could read my mind, you might not find me as unique and wonderful as you do now."
"My beautiful Bella, I will always think you are the most unique, amazing, wonderful - and absurd creature that I have ever come across. I'm still in awe of your ability to love me so completely and so fully. Don't ever doubt that."
I nestled my head into his shoulder. We grew silent once again as he kissed the top of my head. The sun was just beginning to peak over the horizon - already painting dazzling colors across the sky and landscape. This was the perfect place to watch the sunrise - one of those incredible spots that only Edward can find - and that he only shares with me. We snuggled together as the first rays of the sun sparkled off our skin and warmed us ever so slightly. Neither of us spoke again until the sun was much higher in the sky. Sometimes our unspoken moments said more than words ever could.
I finally broke the spell by leaning into Edward and kissing him tenderly. "Isn't it nice to know that even though we've been married for a century, we're still considered newlyweds by our family?"
Edward was kissing me back in earnest now, I could feel the anticipation and desire in his kisses. "One thing I know is that I intend to act like we're newlyweds, forever, because I will never be able to get enough of you. The desire I have for you is like an unquenchable fire. One hundred years of loving your perfect body is not any where near enough for me."
And then Edward's lips were at my neck, and my hands were tangled in his hair - and everything was as new and perfect as it had been in the beginning. Wrapped in the arms of my angel, my love. I smiled once again - for this love was enough - enough for forever.