Author's note at the end of chapter.

Stephenie Meyer's the genius, I'm just a geek that got inspired. Please review!

Chapter Twenty-Nine:

Once the nomad had been properly disposed of, and a fire raged on long enough to reduce body parts to ash; everyone had reassembled at the house. Even the wolves, now all in their human form, had collapsed in various spots on the lawn in front of the house while my family crowded in on the front porch. Even after everything that had just happened, with two immortal enemies coming together to destroy a mutual enemy; they still felt the need to put space between themselves. It was probably for the scent, none of us being able to stand being so close to the wolves.

Either way, as soon as Edward had come back to the house, I didn't leave the safety of his arms. The magnet that had been joked about being embedded beneath our skin felt even more powerful, now that we'd faced nearly losing one another. But there was still an uncomfortability that no one seemed ready to address. We had one large obstacle now out of the way, the nomad wasn't going to be able to hurt anyone else. It had cost Michael's life in the end, but the danger from the werewolves still loomed heavily over our heads.

It made me sick in a strange way, thinking of Michael's demise and how he was never coming for me again. The thing that had set all the craziness into motion was when the nomad finally succumbed to his thirst and buried his teeth in Michael's neck. The force of it had snapped his neck and he was gone instantly. There was no recovering from an injury like that and a weird sadness enveloped me as a result. I couldn't entirely be sure that it was all because I'd just lost someone I never intimately knew, but the heaviness was there nonetheless.

"Carlisle." A familiar voice broke the silence and I finally pulled my eyes from Edward's face to see the leader of the wolves slowly approaching the front steps. He looked wary, as if the small battle had taken more out of him than he'd thought he had to expend. There was also a sadness in his eyes that hadn't leaked to the surface until now. Maybe he'd seen something that had changed his mind. Either way, my body tensed as I sat up to watch the head of our family pull away from his true love to join the leader of the werewolf pack. "I think we have finally reached our decision."

I was on my feet before Edward could pull me back down to his lap. A million thoughts began to swirl through my mind as I counted every possible, negative outcome. Was it our turn now to burn in a well-contained fire? We were doomed to the same fate we had just delievered a nameless, bloodthirsty vampire into?

Edward stood as well, lightly gripping my arm as if he sensed me creating a repeat of what had happened just an hour before. But I felt rooted in place, my feet too heavy to lift and carry me to the edge of the porch landing.

"While it did break the treaty, creating her," He pointed at me then let his hand fall back to his side as he continued. "She has posed no immediate threat to our families and after today, we don't believe that she will. I think I can speak for my pack when I say that we would consider replacing the old treaty with a new one."

"Of course." Carlisle consented at once, the relief heavy in his voice as he nearly danced down the steps and raised his hand for the leader, who Edward whispered was named Sam in my ear, to accept. "We are certainly ammenable to that. The old boundary lines will remain in effect, along with the agreement that no harm will come to a human by our hands. I also cannot forsee us having the need to create another vampire while residing in Forks."

"All the same," Sam sighed and hedged an uncertain look at Carlisle as their hands briefly clasped before dropping. "We would like it very much if, were the need presented itself again, we would be notified of it beforehand."

Carlisle nodded again, the smile never wavering on his face as he took a step back toward the porch. Probably to give Sam enough space that he would feel even a little confortable again. After all, this man was giving us our freedom back. Our families were parting on a good yet somber note. No more blood would be shed today and the realization made me sag back against my husband's chest. "Thank you." I nearly breathed the words out, my hand finding Edward's blindly as I smiled gratefully at Sam, then Jacob who slowly advanced toward the house.

A curt nod was delievered in response to my feverish outpour of gratitude, then the wolves turned and darted into the woods once more. They didn't return, as a deep pocket in the back of my mind irrationally feared.

"Is it really over?" I was still whispering as my body whirled around to face Edward easily. His lips met mine briefly before a genuine, worry-free smile lit up his features.

"It's really over, Houston. We may have to leave Forks now, before anyone can suspect that we're connected to Michael's death. But yes, love. We're once again safe to resume our old habits."

"Thank God." I sighed heavily then quickly threw my arms around his neck. I was still being supported by him, but couldn't help the small peal of laughter when he picked me up and nearly crushed me against him. The air swirled around me for a brief second before Edward's lips met mine once more. I easily ignored the obnoxious throat-clearing from Emmett, tangling one hand in the back of Edward's hair before I pulled away suddenly. "Where are we going now?"

"To Denali, of course." Edward laughed easily as the rest of our family gathered around us, everyone still rejoicing and hugging now that the danger was gone. "We have to tell them the good news they were unable to stick around for. They're probably still very worried about us all."

"Oh great." I moaned suddenly and let my forehead fall against Edward's shoulder.

"What?" He was anxious all over again, fingers combing through my hair in an attempt to get me to look up at him.

"It's just that..." I frowned and looked up at him, a pitiful pout contorted my lips. "Well I was hoping for a little recovery time before my self-esteem took yet another beating."

The most perfect sound in the world flowed around me as I was once again pulled protectively against my true love's chest. "You impossibly silly, beautiful girl." He breathed into my hair, making it impossible for me to escape since my feet were nowhere near the floor anymore. "Haven't you realized yet that you're the only woman in the world I would ever be able to see?!"

"You have to say that!" I exclaimed, though the laughter was rampant in my voice as I buried my face in the crook of Edward's neck. "You're completely stuck with me now."

"I'd say it even if I weren't." The ringing tenor in his voice didn't falter as he gently guided my head back so that our lips could meet yet again. My dead heart, were it even possible, swelled even more as I wrapped my arms tighter around Edward's neck. We'd been through so much since walking into one another's world's. It was still crazy and so surreal at times, to see just how far we'd come. It boggled my mind that love had carried us as far as it had. That invisible current that bonded two people together so absolutely had risen above so much. Nothing could squander the flames that always errupted within me whenever my husband touched or looked at me. No amount of distance or time, space, or even death could have torn us apart. After seventeen years of pain and searching, loss and bitter resentment; I was extremely grateful in that moment to have lived through it all. Every single thing thrown at me during my human existance had been to strengthen me. I'd stumbled, yes, and I was sure that there would be more times when my footing grew unstable. But because I'd been patient, believed so absolutely in a fairytale that I'd never thought could actually exist; I now had someone to help me back to my feet whenever I didn't think I could bare much more.

All the waiting had been for this moment. Now. Forever seventeen and in love with the most beautiful soul in my world. Life, existance, whatever the next phase of my journey could be called, I was so completely ready for it. Nothing could stop me. Not while I was still and continued to be Mrs. Houston Cullen.


AUTHOR'S NOTE: And so Waiting for Now has come to an end! It's not quite the ending I'd expected for this story, but I can honestly say that I'm pleased with out this crazy journey turned out. When I first began posting Mad Season, I was honestly terrified. I lost count of the number of times I deleted the story out of fear that no one would like it or even want to read it! But I was so happily proven wrong. Thanks so much to everyone that read and reviewed this story; your words inspired and kept me writing. And to all of those that read, but did not review; thank you as well! Seeing the numbers and everyone that favorited and story alerted this kept me writing just as much as the written reviews did. I cannot thank you guys enough for sticking with me and being genuinely curious to see where this ended up. Expect another story from me very soon!