READ FIRST PLEASE - 4/11/2012 - If you are reading this story for the first time, then congrats on making it to the end! I used to have a sequel to this story up, called Eighty Years, which was about halfway done before I deleted it. It picks up right where the epilogue leaves off. I'd been writing it for three years, before I really fell out of this fandom, and writing it became more of a chore than a pleasure. So, instead of letting more people get frustrated, and get really into the sequel only to find that it does not have an ending, I took it down. However, I have the entire thing saved, and if anyone wants to read it just for the hell of it, then feel free to PM me, and I will gladly send it to you. It was around fourteen chapters and 254 reviews at it's last day.
Author's Note: So the tale comes to a fateful end. You guys all voted for the ending that I was leaning towards, and it only fueled my fire to use it. Personally, I wish that the epilogue I've written for this story is the end of Breaking Dawn, because it's the only ending that fits and it's just right. I hope you guys like it.
Why was Bella so stubborn?
"You promised me Edward." She said. I was torn as I looked at her pleading face. I knew I had promised but there was no way she could be in the room as I changed. At least not at the end.
"Bella, I know that I promised but think about it, Carlisle is wrong. You'd be dead in an instant the second I'd be done. Remember that I am more dangerous to you than anyone else. Imagine how many thousand times it would be intensified if I were a newborn." I did my best to explain it to her. She just couldn't be near me until she was changed.
"So I'll change first."
"Then you would kill me."
"How do you know? You're not completely human." She tried to argue but we both knew it was a moot point.
"I'm human enough. I have blood in me." Bella remained silent. When she looked up at me she had a small smile on her face. It made my now beating heart melt.
"Compromise?" she asked.
I grinned. "What do you have in mind?"
"I'll stay with you for the first two days. And then when you're done I'll go. Once I'm changed it'll be fine." She said. I paused.
"On one condition." I said. She pouted. Then her eyes lit up. She turned her head upwards so she could kiss me slowly.
"Please. Just do this one little thing for me, Edward." She whispered against my lips. She lightly brushed them across my cheeks. I couldn't speak. She stood back to look at me and she looked like she wanted to laugh.
I didn't forget my condition though. "If Carlisle tells you it's too dangerous for you to be in the room, you'll leave. As soon as he says it. And you won't try to see me until you're changed." I didn't want to be away from her for a second but this time we really and truly couldn't risk it.
She considered my condition. "Okay, but on another condition."
I groaned. "You can't add a condition to a condition."
"Stop making up rules." She said. "I'll leave when I'm told as long as you come and see me when I'm changing."
That was fair. "Deal." I said.
"We'll seal it with a kiss." She gently brushed her lips against mine as Carlisle re-entered his study.
"Have we reached a decision?" he asked us.
"Yes." We said in unison.
I was doubtful in the beginning that I would even be aware of Bella by my side but I was. I've had good practice with tuning things out, so I did my best to tune out the pain.
It was impossible not to feel it though, like someone had lit several matches and was dropping them one by one into every nook and cranny of my body. Some matches felt like firecrackers.
I would forever be grateful for making that promise to Bella, her voice by my ear made it all the more bearable.
"One day down Edward, I love you." I tried to tell her I loved her but I couldn't make sense of how to control my voice at that point.
I knew I was changing, I was aware of it this time, whereas the last time I just thought that I was dead. I drifted in and out of consciousness but the pain never ceased. I felt something warm, warmer than the fire raging inside me; it touched some part of me, but only briefly. Was I wrong in assuming that it had been Bella's lips?
I felt…thirsty. I thought about water but it only made me feel worse. I didn't want water now.
I wasn't aware, by any degree, how much time was passing.
"He'll be able to speak again, in about an hour. You're smell will hit him full on in about ten minutes but he'll be in too much pain to attack you just yet." It was a female voice. I knew it well, but I couldn't place a face? All I knew was Bella.
My angel spoke. "How long do I have, Alice?" she asked.
A male was speaking now. "I suggest we leave the room, so I can change you. By the time you open your eyes again both of you will be finished. I really am surprised that Edward's change has gone successfully."
There was silence. Then Bella spoke, but to me this time. "I'll see you in a few days. Remember, you promised me." Then a small pressure was lifted off me. I could only guess that her hand had released mine.
"Where's Bella?" They were the first words I spoke.
"In your room. Don't worry about her Edward, how do you feel?" It took me a while before I registered who was speaking to me.
Carlisle was busy writing something. He looked at me over his desk. I stood up off his one long couch.
All of a sudden I was directly in front of Carlisle. I hadn't even registered that I'd moved.
My mind was still behind my reborn body.
"I feel fine. How is she?" I asked. I couldn't not think about her.
"She's in pain of course; I think Rosalie and Alice are in there with her right now. She's a day down." He answered me, going back to writing.
"I should go to her." I turned to run again but something held onto my arm. Carlisle was in front of me now.
"Stay." He said. Then, "Jasper?"
Within five seconds Jasper was in the room with us. "Yes?" he asked.
"Have you gone in to see Bella yet?" Carlisle asked.
"Around an hour ago." Answered Jasper. Why did it matter?
"And? Could you smell her?" Carlisle asked.
"Barely. I sat right beside her and didn't feel an urge to drink at all. Her heart has already stopped." Said Jasper. Carlisle let go of my arm.
"The venom has spread fully then, it's safe for you to go." He said to me. I followed Jasper up the winding staircase.
Just as Carlisle had said, Rosalie and Alice were both at Bella's bedside. They turned to look at us as we entered.
"She can hear us." Said Alice.
"I know." Rosalie and Alice both moved aside so I could go and sit by my angel.
Her eyes were closed and she was very pale. It wouldn't be long until she was as pale as me. Every few seconds her body twitched. I took her hand in mine; it still had warmth about it but not a human one. She was a lot colder now.
"Bella? It's me." I knew she would not reply, but I kept talking. "So you're finally getting what you wanted."
Before she stopped talking she was saying your name over and over.
I recognized Alice's voice in my head. She cocked her head to one side.
Did you catch that?
"Yes, I did." I replied.
"Oh great." Rosalie rolled her eyes. "You heard her thoughts? I was hoping you would've lost that..."
I could hear Emmett now.
I should go see how far along Bella is.
"Emmett's on his way." I said to others. I watched Bella twitch and squirm. Then something hit me.
As we compromised on how we'd change I had been looking into Bella's brown eyes for the last time.
For the next year or so they would be red, and then gold. I laid my head down on her chest. No beat.
There was nothing I could do about it at this point. And I suddenly realized that there was nothing I wanted to do about it.
Bella and I were in this together, and no matter how many times I told myself I would never let this happen I knew all along it would. In a strange way, this was how it was supposed to be.
Nothing happens without a decision being made, and this was Bella's decision. She'd subconsciously made it when she'd met me and I'd been avoiding it long enough.
Bella stirred. I laced my fingers through hers. They closed around mine; the hold was surprisingly strong, especially for Bella.
"I love you." I said to her.
And even though I couldn't hear her thoughts, I was sure I knew what she was thinking.
I love you too.
"That really wasn't fair, I saw the deer first." Bella complained.
"So? I've always been faster." I shot back.
"Oh yeah? Race you." And she took off."
"That's cheating Bella!" I called before running after her. She was abnormally fast for some reason. I'd expected due to her clumsiness in her human life she wouldn't be, but she was.
Not fast enough however. I caught up to her in a matter of minutes and tackled her to the ground.
"Okay, fine, you've always been faster." She said, looking up at me with golden eyes.
"And?" I pressed.
"And you will always be faster than me." She said through gritted teeth.
"And don't forget it."
Oh, there you are. Rosalie's thoughts echoed in my head.
Then she appeared with Emmett, Jasper, Alice, Carlisle, and Esme right behind her.
"Carlisle has some news for us." Alice was bouncing up and down.
Carlisle was trying to block his thoughts from me but I heard them anyway, as I got up. In a flash Bella stood beside me. She took my hand in hers.
Cold on cold.
"I think it's about time we returned to Forks." He said. Rosalie's eyes widened. Jasper and Emmett exchanged grins. Esme was already in on it, Carlisle had told her.
I turned to gauge Bella's reaction. She was grinning from ear to ear.
"Can you believe we have to attend that high school again?" I asked Bella later that night.
She shrugged. "There'll be new people."
"It won't be the same without Mike Newton following you around and Lauren glaring daggers into the back of your head." I said.
She laughed. "No, it won't. I can barely remember them. If it weren't for the scrapbook I'd have no idea what they looked like."
"Trust me, as soon as we walk those halls again there will be plenty of Mike's to stare at you." I was sure of it. Bella had already been all kinds of beautiful in her human form, I remembered her back then with perfect clarity although she'd already forgotten most of what happened in those eighteen years. But now, she was beyond perfect. Even Rosalie's mouth dropped open a little once Bella was finished.
"You're better than any one of them. And I've known it all along." She leaned in and kissed me.
"So you're not tired of me, after eighty years?" I asked her.
"Never." She whispered. "There's no such thing as too much of a good thing."
I pulled her into my lap and hugged her with my strength, something I'd never done while she had been human.
"Well, I promised you forever." I said.
"Thank you for not breaking that promise." She said.
"I would never dream of it." I replied which sent us both into laughter.