Chapter Twenty-Four

A/N: Once again, I'm sorry this chapter took so long. I really wanted it to be perfect, seeing as I think it's my final chapter. It wasn't intended to be until I was writing it, and I decided how to end it. I really hope you enjoy it, please review when you're done and give me some feedback. Also, I definitely intend to write more stories, so feedback of what you want to see next is GREATLY appreciated - I don't have anything in mind yet, so if you have some idea, by all means review on here or shoot me an email or something, I really wanna write some more so give me some ideas! haha, that being said, here's my final chapter of Breaking Dawn, My Way. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: Not Stephenie Meyer, don't own Twilight or any of it's characters.

Chapter Twenty-Four

All of the wolves looked to be in pretty bad shape. Jacob was the only casualty, but they were all down on the ground, injured. Carlisle ran wolf to wolf, setting bones as quickly as possible before they had a chance to heal incorrectly. He was thoroughly occupied, but I had too much to think about and nothing to do.

I panicked. It was a good thing that my body no longer required oxygen, because I would've otherwise passed out from hyperventilating. I found it difficult to stand, and crumpled to the ground; Edward lowered himself beside me and wrapped his arms around me.

"It's over," he soothed, rubbing my arm, "you're safe, you have nothing to worry about."

"Yeah, I'm fine," I gasped, "but the others… they're not fine."

"Bella, love," he began, but I cut him off.

"It's my fault. All my fault. If it weren't for me, they'd still be alive. Rose, and, and Emmett," I choked out, "and… and…J….Ja…." My dry sobs drowned everything else out, and I couldn't even articulate his name.

"Jacob," Edward tried to speak again, but I shook my head.

"No. No no no no no."

"Bella," said a stronger, deeper voice from beside me. I looked up to see Sam standing there, his left arm holding his right elbow tightly. It looked like he had somehow injured his shoulder, and was holding his arm steady so that it wouldn't jostle anything.

"Sam, are you alright?" I asked quietly.

"Yes, I'll be okay," he assured me. "I broke my collar bone, but it should be fully healed shortly. But that's not what I wanted to talk about. I want to talk about Jacob."

My air caught in my throat again, and I had to look away. I couldn't look Sam in the eye as he told me how it was my fault that Jake had died. I couldn't stand to see the pain in his eyes that my problems had caused. I cost him a brother, a friend, a pack member… I had taken something away from them all, and it was something I could never replace.

"Bella," he said softly, sitting lightly on the ground beside me, "It's not your fault."

"How can you say that?" I protested. "If it weren't for me, none of you would've been here; no one would've died…"

"We saw his thoughts as clearly as he did, if not more so," Sam said simply.

"More so?" I asked. I didn't understand how Sam thought he could see Jacob's thoughts more clearly than he did.

"When we see into his mind, we watch the situation from his point of view, of course, but as we are removed from the situation, we can see it much more clearly than he could. We understand better. Given this, we know that he never wanted to live without you, and every day grew worse for him from the moment you changed."

I cringed. I made Jacob's life worse just by being a part of it. And now I was responsible for his death.

"You still don't understand," Sam said softly, staring at me thoughtfully. "Jacob loved you, with all of his heart. It pained him to see you change, but it didn't make him love you any less. He didn't want to live in a world where you didn't exist, and leaving this way was perfect for him."

"Leaving?" I asked.

"Yes, we believe that life on Earth is only one small part of a much bigger picture. Jacob has left this Earth, but I'm certain that he's now somewhere much, much better."

"So why was leaving perfect for him?"

"I can't imagine that Jacob could've seen a better way for himself to go than to do it protecting you. His final sacrifice on this Earth was to save you from harm, and he didn't want it any other way."

"It's true," Edward said quietly, rubbing my arm. "I could see that fleeting thought just as clearly as Sam could."

It was slightly comforting to hear that these circumstances were exactly what Jacob would've hoped for in leaving. However, I still would've preferred that he not have to leave at all. I thought about him for a few minutes, and what kind of "better place" he might be in now. I imagined there must at least be a giant garage full of sodas and broken engines for him to work on. It was a cheesy thought, but still comforted me.

Alice, Jasper, Esme, and Carlisle all came to surround us where we sat on the ground. Seeing them all standing there reminded me of who was not. Who would not ever stand among us again. Rosalie, Emmett… what had I done? Guilt came rushing back so strong that I thought for sure it would pull me under once more.

"I… I killed them," I whispered quietly, horrified, under my breath.

"Oh Bella, no," Carlisle said, shocked.

"If it weren't for me… if I didn't…" the dry sobs continued to come, and it was an awkward feeling; for the first time in my life, I really needed to cry, and ironically no tears would come. I finally understood, too late, why Edward had been so hesitant to change me; this was something I never could've seen coming, but could only experience. I couldn't cry, couldn't forget… this pain couldn't possibly fade with time. And time… it was now infinite for me. I literally had an eternity to experience this pain; I couldn't imagine it ever going away. Every sharp detail of this day would stick with me forever, regardless of whether years, decades, or centuries passed, I was certain of that. The memory of seeing my friends fall would surely stick clearly in my mind for centuries.

"Did you know?" Esme asked Alice quietly.

"That they would…?" she trailed off, implying the words she couldn't say. Esme nodded. "Well, I saw the future without them, yes," Alice admitted. "But because the wolves were here, I couldn't see them… go. I couldn't be sure that they didn't just leave us for a while… I just didn't see them here."

We were all silent for a moment as everything sunk in. Would we ever recover from this blow? I didn't know how Edward could ever forgive me for costing him two members of his family. It didn't make sense for him to sit here, arms wrapped around me, comforting me. I should be on my knees apologizing, begging him for forgiveness, not sobbing in his arms. I had spent so much time insisting that I not cry over Jake anymore, not hurt Edward anymore, yet here I was, Jake gone, and still forcing Edward to comfort me as I cried.

"I'm sorry, so, so sorry," I whispered into his shoulder, unable to look up and see the sad faces I had caused.

"Well," said Jasper's voice after a moment, "I can't think of a better way Emmett could've gone."

This caught me off guard. Where was the sadness? I didn't hear it in his voice. I looked up at him in surprise.

"What?" I asked, incredulous.

"Well, he was always a fighter," Jasper reasoned, and Edward and Carlisle both nodded in agreement. "And he cared about you more than he was willing to admit," he added with a chuckle.

"He didn't mind protecting you," Carlisle added, reading correctly my horrified expression at the thought that his feelings toward me had cost him his life. "He would've insisted on it, in fact," he said thoughtfully.

"It's true," Edward said. "He would've died to protect any of us, no questions asked, no matter what the cause."

"It's not your fault," Carlisle said gently. "You can't shoulder the blame for this. It's too much for anyone, let alone someone who shouldn't be feeling any guilt."

I sighed, and tried my best to breathe normally. Maybe they were right. I mean, it was my fault that the Volturi were here, but I didn't ask them to come. I would've gone to them instead, given the chance but they came here.

"And Rose?" I asked gently, hoping for more words of comfort to abate the guilt.

"She was getting restless," Jasper said, and everyone nodded in agreement.

"What?" I asked incredulous once more.

"It was no secret that she wanted to be human more than anything. She didn't want to live forever. Every time her life hit that point where she had to start over, begin high school again, she grew more restless. She wanted to keep going… get married, have children, grow old. She couldn't stand to be constantly starting over. I could sense that something was going to happen soon; her mood was never as bad as it's been these past few years."

"I don't know that dying was the solution she had in mind," I whispered.

"She went with Emmett," Edward said simply. "He died to save her, and she in turn avenged him before dying herself. They went together."

"And they're in a better place, like Jacob," Carlisle added, "I'm sure of it."

"Hopefully they're not together though," Alice said wrinkling her nose. "Rose wasn't Jake's biggest fan."

I chuckled, and thought back on my memories of them. My time in Forks hadn't actually been that long, in retrospect, but the memories here were sharper, so much more defined, than those in Phoenix. The bonds forged with Emmett and Jake in particular, though I'd really only known them a year or two, were so much stronger than any that preceded them in Arizona. And Edward… our time together wasn't all that substantial, but I couldn't imagine caring about anyone more. Emmett, Rosalie, and Jacob were like a fierce storm… they blew in quickly, did their damage, and left in a hurry, but the amount of time they spent didn't matter. They left me forever changed.

Finally, it was time to move. We rose to our feet, and began walking from the clearing. We had picked up what pieces we could, and now it was time to move on. Edward gripped my hand, but it was no longer that frantic, worried grip. He held me loosely, realizing nothing would ever take me away.

"I love you," I whispered, smiling up at him.

"I love you more," he said, flashing me my favorite crooked grin.

Suddenly, everything changed in an instant. Something clicked in my brain, and I realized I'd be okay. They were gone, but I'd go on. I had Edward, and he was all I really needed. Whether floods, plagues, fires or famines struck, as long as Edward stood beside me and held my hand, I would be fine. Edward made me whole. In the end, as long as I had him, life would go on. I could survive.

As long as I had Edward, I would be complete.

The End.


Well, I really hope you've enjoyed my story! I wrote my final paragraph, and realized that it needed to end right there. I suppose I could write an epilogue if there is a seriously high demand for it, but I think the story is better ended this way. Maybe a sequel will follow? Who knows. Anyway, pleeeeeeeeeeeeease review, they make my day SOO happy when I get review alert emails! And once again, tell me what you want to see in future stories!!

Thanks for sticking with me for so long, and I really hope this story was everything you expected it to be. 3