Chapter Twelve

EPOV

It's been days since the fight. My Bella's been out the entire time. The Volturi have begun to give up on her. The 3 of the 4, or I suppose 5, brothers have given up. I've never seen Aro so depressed nor Caius so silent. Hell, someone could expose our kind and they probably wouldn't care. Carlisle and Arden were still hopeful though. "Carlisle, I don't understand. Why hasn't Bella woken up yet?" I was sitting by her side when Alice asked him about it. "I wish I could give you a complete answer Alice. The most Arden and I have been able to figure out is she pushed her body to its limits. Even as vampires, our bodies can only take so much pressure and stress. Knowing her, she was probably watching out for everyone at once, her mind running a hundred miles too fast. By what I can see, she acquired many wounds not only from her fight with Charles, but also from the battle with the army itself. I'm guessing her body just shut down after she killed Charles. She did the same after killing James. I'm almost positive that she'll be fine."

That caught my attention.

"Almost positive? Meaning there's a chance that she won't be?" I couldn't hide the fear from my voice. Carlisle looked towards me sympathetically. "I can't be one hundred percent positive Edward. She's not human so I can't watch her vitals. The most I can do.... the most any of us can do.... is hope. She's a warrior Edward. She's not going to just lie down and let herself die. Have faith in her." I sighed.

Of course I had faith in her. I knew she wouldn't leave this world without me. I knew she loved me and I knew she trusted me. That was all I needed to know that I could trust her. Sure, we've had those times where trust seems impossible, but we've always pulled through them. Every time, she did something or she said something, and then, before I could even think, I was falling for her all over again. Just like I did over a century ago. Just like I did when I finally found her again. No, I know I hadn't been searching for her and I should have been. I should have been searching for her, like she was for me. Now I'm going to repay her. I don't care how long I have to wait for her to wake up.

I'll wait for all eternity if I have to.

It's been nearly a week now. Her coronation was supposed to be today. The decorations were still up, her crown sitting upon her throne. I walked up to it and gently grazed it with my fingers. It was beautiful. Emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds covered the white gold crown, the colors dancing around the walls from the sunlight shining in.

"You know, technically, it's yours now. With your wife unable to rise to receive her crown, it passes to you."

I narrowed my eyes at Caius. "Keep your crown. I would never take what rightfully belongs to Bella. She's coming to take it and I am not standing in her way." He looked at me as if I had lost my mind. He rested his hand on my shoulder and smiled sadly. "I'm incredibly grateful to you Edward. When she first arrived her many years ago, I felt as if I were looking into an empty soul. Sure, she possessed the same fire and energy she does now, but she rarely showed it. She was more like your brother Jasper. Very reserved and collected. Her eyes never lit up with excitement or joy as they do now. I think I may have seen her real fire once, and that's when Aro mentioned Carlisle to her. Now, because of you, I see it everyday." He sighed, gave me a small smile, and walked off.

Aro was going to present a ceremony in Bella's honor. To him, she was dead... she no longer existed. He was simply going to honor her and move on. Many covens had heard about the battle and had tried to come to Bella's aid, but many of them arrived a day too late.

"We gather here today to honor a brave soul. Isabella Marie Swan... the heir to the Volturi throne. There are too many words that can be used to describe the beautiful Isabella. She was always there when a friend needed her, always able to lend a helping hand, even if it caused a detour in her path. She was a loving wife to our own Edward Anthony Cullen. She was a mother, a daughter, and a sister to many of us. She made the ultimate sacrifice about a week ago. She selflessly saved her adopted mother from being killed by allowing herself to be killed instead. Though this loss has caused much pain and sorrow within our walls, we will never forget.." A sudden crash caused us all to freeze. No one moved for what seemed like hours.

"Good to know you're not going to forget me. Especially since I'm not going anywhere." Her laughter echoed through the room. Cheers were heard all around the hall as the crowd split. There, walking down the middle, was my Bella. She made her way through the crowd until she reached us. She placed her hands on her hips and smiled at Aro. "I'm not dead idiot. Even if I was, I'd still be haunting your sorry ass. Now, my crown if you please?"

BPOV

After that, things actually settled down. All of the covens returned home and I got my crown. There's only one more problem I have to take care of.

"Arden, I need to speak with you."

Alice POV

Today, we were leaving Volterra to return home. As much as we didn't want to go, none of us wanted to spend any more time around the Volturi. We all loved Bella dearly, but our ways of life were just too different. We were not going to change our ways because we lived with the Volturi, yet if we didn't return home, the little animal population that lived in Volterra would be gone before even we could blink.

Edward was the only one who was staying behind, not that we expected anything different. "We're going to miss you so much Edward." We were saying our goodbyes at the airport. He had driven us there so we could spend the last few hours together. Bella wanted to come, but there were things that she needed to do that she just couldn't leave unfinished. He smiled sadly. It was hard to believe that after all the years we've been together, that after we boarded the plane, we would probably never see him again. He would never go anywhere without Bella and the odds of the Volturi letting her out of their sight was a hundred to one. "Bella and I will come and visit whenever we can.... I promise."

I tried to stop myself from bursting out into sobs, but I couldn't help it. I latched my arms around my brother's neck, holding on tightly. He and I shared a special bond, being the 'freaks' of the family and all. His arms wrapped around me and I heard him trying not to cry. Soon, everyone joined us in our last family hug. "All passengers boarding the 56B flight for Seattle, Washington, this is your last boarding call." God damn it! I didn't want to let go of Edward, but Jasper pulled me away. He waved goodbye as we boarded the plane. I didn't even try to look into the future to see if and when he and Bella would visit...I was too sad at the moment. Jasper pulled me close to him. "You know Edward always keeps his promises. Not to mention Bella is going to get restless if she has to stay in the castle all the time. We'll see them again love. We will." I smiled.

"You're right Jazz."

EPOV

I watched my family board onto the plane headed back to Forks. I felt a presence behind me, and soon soft yet strong arms wrapped around my waist. "Everything is set. We have to hurry though." I smiled.

CPOV

It was hard leaving my son behind...I won't even try to deny that. But knowing that he had a loving mate who would remain at his side for all eternity was a bit more comforting. Esme cried almost the whole way home. I'm not going to even begin to say I know what she felt, but after losing her child when she was human...I can't even imagine how hard this was for her. Edward was her son, in almost every way possible.

But, I suppose it was harder leaving Bella behind. It may just be chance that she is my true niece... but perhaps that's the way life works. It all depends on the cards one is dealt. And I guess we all received a very lucky hand this time around because not only were Bella and I reunited, she and Edward were as well. Esme met the niece she never knew she had.... Emmett and Jasper gained a new sister who loved wrestling with them and didn't care if she got dirty in the process.... Alice and Rose a sister who they could pamper and polish after she got dirty. And Edward.... well I don't really need to describe what happened to him. I'd rather not insult your intelligence nor waste my breath stating the obvious.

Anyway, everyone was silent when we arrived at the Seattle airport. We piled back into our cars and proceeded to take the long and lonely journey home. No more Edward yelling at Emmett to stop singing and constantly changing the station... No more Bella calmly changing the station back and continuing her and Emmett's karaoke contest. I felt saddened by these memories, but I knew that Bella wouldn't stay in the Volturi castle for long. This made me a little bit happier, though I doubt that our paths will cross again. But I guess we never know.

The house, obviously, hadn't changed. Everything was probably dusty inside and Esme would probably have a fit because she had it perfectly clean before we left. I sighed. The next couple of years were definitely going to be interesting.

But, when I opened the door... everything was still spotless. Anything that had been left out before our departure had been put away. Fresh flowers decorated the tables, and new paintings covered the previously empty walls. "This is amazing." I looked at Alice curiously. Had she not seen this coming? She shrugged, "I'm not really watching right now." I nodded. A sudden snarl alerted me of someone else's presence. Emmett, Jasper, and I immediately shifted into a crouch. A beautiful and familiar giggle floated through the halls.

"Honestly Carlisle," a silky smooth voice laughed as she spoke, "You really think that you can beat me, after all these years?" I relaxed my stance and looked up the stairs. There....standing on the staircase, leaning up against the wall were....

Bella and Edward.

Alice and Esme screamed in joy and happiness. They rushed up the stairs and pulled the two into a chokehold. Emmett and Jasper soon followed them. Rosalie laughed and followed as well. I simply stood behind, and let a smile of pure happiness fall across my face. Bella made her way over to me. I pulled her into a hug. "How did you get out?" She raised an eyebrow at me. "You honestly think I was going to stay in that hell hole for very long? Of course not! So, I made a deal with Arden. I can live wherever I want, but I have to return to Volterra at least once every 6 to 8 months and stay for no shorter than 3 weeks. It sucks." I laughed at her seriousness and pulled her back into a hug.

"So.... still think you can beat me?" She raced out of our embrace and flew out the door. I rolled my eyes.

There will always be times when she and Edward will leave us because of her duties to our world. Everyday, at least 3 of our kind arrive on our doorstep, seeking out her advice and help. The longest they've been away from us is 6 months, in which they constantly emailed and called us, letting us know how everything was going. I never really realized how wise Bella was. As usual, she's mature beyond her years, but she's also experienced more in her life than normal girls her age. Though I am no physic like Alice, I am beginning to see the start of a very happy eternity, and we know that we'll always have each other to comfort, to protect, to depend upon, and to simply love. We'll always be on the look out for each other.... hey, no one ever said it would be easy.

"Come on Carlisle! Is that all you've got? Bring it on old man!" I couldn't help but smile as Bella and I lightly sparred. Of course it would be difficult... but we could handle it...

since great power always comes with great responsibility.


Sorry about the random POV changes. It worked so no complaining. Haha I'm just kidding. Anyway, I saw the movie. Better than I expected. I'm kinda in cardiac arrest because Carlisle was so fabulous, so that's why I ended with his POV. Yes, sadly this is the last chapter of this series. I'm on Thanksgiving break right now so hopefully I'll have time to write some more. I already have a new story lined up and ready to go.... It just needs to be written. Thanks to everyone who patiently waited on this and I really hope you enjoyed it!