NOTE: My apologies to those who received the email stating this chapter was updated yesterday.
FF was giving a lot of Author's some problems, and apparently multiple ones -- including myself -- received error logs,
and the chapters were "frozen". It's all taken care of now though. I hope you enjoy!!
[No beta, sorry guys. Please excuse the errors.]
Chapter 24: Where are Bella and Edward now? Read to find out.
Officially rated M. ... And again PLEASE REVIEW!
[Pictures of Jack in profile. Announcement at bottom!]
Disclaimer: Twilight/Characters not mine. I just like to dabble.
For what shall it profit a man,
if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul.
Chapter 24: Eternity's Epilogue
I closed my eyes, breathing in the sunlight that shed over the trees and across my face.
The fresh smell of pine trees, spring water, sunflowers, and wheat intoxicated my senses, while the gentle feeling of a warm index finger creating lazy trails on the middle of my palm kept me calm.
Blinking a few times, I turned my head to my right, blowing a few stray pieces of grass from my view, so I could look at my husband.
Edward had his eyes closed, soaking in the sun as well. Little white diamonds flickered along his eyelids, his cheeks, his lips...
I trailed them down, imagining his arms beneath his jacket, and finally re-appearing on his hands, which were intertwined with mine above the grass.
It was so serene here.
I smiled to myself and turned back toward the sun. In the secret section of the woods behind Carlisle and Esme's old house -- which was now ours, -- we knew that no one would find us here. It was our secret, a place where we could be ourselves.
This was our serenity.
"Uh oh," Edward chuckled, not bothering to open his eyes. "Here he comes. He found something."
I giggled, biting my lip as I listened to the pitter patter of footsteps through the field. "Do you know what it is?"
"He's not thinking about it. I don't think he knows what it is, just that it's ... 'magical!'."
I curled out my bottom lip, listening to the heart beats of a wildly beautiful boy. He was breathing hard, as he was over-excited, and I listened while he tripped along a few long pieces of stubborn wheat. He picked himself quickly back up, heading in our direction swiftly.
"Daddy, daddy!" he shouted, followed by a grunt from Edward.
I threw my arm over my eyes, shielding them from the sunlight so I could glance at the two most important men in my life.
"Daddy, I found something!"
"You did!" Edward replied, sitting up and tickling the straight, blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy. "What is it?"
"I dunno," he replied with a shrug, cupping his hands together between their bodies. "You must tell me!"
Edward chuckled, reaching out and opening his tiny hands between his own. "That... my son," he replied smoothly. "Is a grasshopper."
His mouth dropped in surprise, "A... WOW! Mama I found a grasshopper!"
"Cool buddy," I said, reaching out and rubbing his arm. "Where did you get him at?"
"At the spring."
"Jack..." Edward warned, giving him a tsk glance. "What did we tell you about going to the spring without us?"
"I know, I know, it's daaaangerous-es," he replied with a roll of his eyes. "But I only went for a second, I promise!"
"Regardless," I said, rubbing his knee through the fresh whole on his grass-stained, brand new pair of jeans, "we don't want you to get hurt. Stay in the feild, okay? I'm sure you'll find grasshoppers here as well."
"Yes, mama. Otay."
Edward reached over and found the glass jar that Jack keeps all his findings in, before transporting them back to his 'zoo' in his bedroom. "So, what are you going to name him?"
Little Jack pondered for a moment, lifting his index finger to tap on his chin -- an action he learned from his father. "I think I'm going to name him... EMMETT!" He giggled, throwing his head back, falling into his father's legs.
"Emmett?!" we both asked, while Edward began to tickle him. "Why Emmett?"
"Because! He's green and bouncy, like Emmett is!" Jack giggled, thrashing and laughing beneath Edward's hands. "Plus! He's got a really big body and skinnier arms and legs! It's perfect!"
"So it is," Edward chimed, grinning at me. "I think it's perfect."
I shook my head, giving him a smile back.
Those two , I thought to myself, will be the death of me. Such handsome troublemakers.
After a few more minutes, Edward released Jack, allowing him to run freely through the grass. We watched in silence as he ran around chasing butterflies and blue-jays. Those birds were his favorite. He loved to find them, and name them, and pretend they each had magical powers, like the rest of us.
Edward and I stayed in Rome another year after we got married. We grew to love the city, of course... but nothing could ever measure up to where it all began, here in Forks, Washington.
Sure, it wasn't the best attraction for entertainment purposes. But Edward and I weren't much of go-getter's. We appreciated the serenity and peacefulness that this small town had to offer more than the twinkle lights of Rome.
Plus, we weren't having much luck with the adoption agencies there.
So we decided to move back here, and a few months after, we met Jackson Anthony Wade.
Besides his personality and charm... even the middle name had us convinced that this was fate.
He was only two at the time. His parents had died in a car accident, making him the only survivor. He had no family, being that his parents were both only child's, and his grandparents were long and passed.
After a long and grueling six-month adoption process, we brought him home with us.
At first, he was much reserved and shy... but we just knew there was something special about him. He was too young to understand the loss of his parents, and though we put our names on his certificate after the process was through, we never kept his parent's hidden from him. Both their black and white pictures hang above his bed, as a memorial to his past-life.
The three of us each had a past of our own. Edward and I felt as, though he would always know his parents, he could also be re-born, just like us. But we'd never change him. Not without his consent, and not for a long, long time.
Jack grew to be the sunshine of our lives. Very bouncy and bubbly. Very energetic and alive. Very intelligent and wise, but clumsy on his own two feet. He has characteristics of himself and his own, as well as Edward, myself, Charlie, Carlisle, Esme, Rose, Emmett, Alice, and Jasper.
At almost five years old now, he's clearly a Cullen in his own right: Jackson Anthony Wade-Cullen.
Jasper and Alice decided to tour the world. Stops to Australia, Italy, Germany, Indonesia, Africa, Spain... last call we got from them was yesterday, letting us know they were in China for the weekend.
Rosalie, Gracey, and Emmett live a few towns down from us. They're learning so much from Gracey, especially now that she's in her "boys are yucky but Daddy's okay" stage.
Carlisle and Esme sold their home to us, looking for something smaller now that all of their children have moved out. They found a two-story cottage on the other side of the spring from this house, and Esme is long on her way to redesign and decorate it.
She spends her week-days babysitting Jack and Gracey, while we are off doing our own things.
Since we just "graduated" from "school" this past summer, we decided that we'd take the next four years to pursue our "careers" again. Edward has decided to work toward his Doctorate's degree, while I am looking into writing a novel.
I haven't been able to stay in much contact with Angela anymore. Being that I look the same as I did in school, and she is now in her mid-twenties. Last I heard, she was married to Ben Cheyney, and they were expecting their first child. They live in California now.
Snapping myself out of my hour-long daydream, I noticed the sun was starting to go down. I rolled over on my side, and lost my breath.
Jack was laying on Edward's chest, his lips slightly parted, his eyes fluttered closed. He was asleep. Edward's chest was slowly rising up and down, soothing him.
Though he knows what Edward and I are, he doesn't fully understand everything. He's somewhat afraid to go to sleep, so Edward and I do pretend we sleep at night, so he'll fall asleep. We cannot stand to eat human food, which he thinks is hilarious, and sometimes he'll try and refuse to eat unless we eat along with him... That works very rarely though, let me tell you. I still hate pizza.
As an inside joke, because Jack wanted to dazzle like us, Edward and I found 100-proof sun block with sparkles in it, which we put all over his body before we bring him out in the sun. He's fair-skinned and burns easily as it is, so it is a necessity for his protection. Plus, he likes to run around in the sun with it on, saying he's just like us.
It's quite cute.
I watched as Edward's hands ran soothing circles along Jack's black t-shirt, while he slowly turned his head to face me, "Are you ready to go? It's getting late out."
"Let's wait just a while longer," I whispered with a smile. "It's such a beautiful day, and he'll wake up if we move him."
"All right, my love," he said, giving me a wink.
I reached out and touched his hand, scooting closer to his body.
Once my head was rested on his shoulder, I lifted my left hand and began to run my fingers through Jack's long hair. "We've got so much to learn with him," I whispered with a smile. "Each day is a different story."
"I know. But we'll get there... Having Jack and you, it's such an adventure," Edward replied. "I cannot wait until he grows up... Seeing him go through things... Adolescence, and puberty. Seeing him with girls, and on the honor roll. What career choice he'll make... What he'll grow up to be... I can't wait to watch life from his eyes."
His voice trailed off for a second. Edward lifted his head, kissing the top of Jack's head. "I just love him so much."
I bit my lip, smiling up at my husband, "He loves you too. You two are twins, almost!"
"Aww, Bella, you know he loves just as much."
I giggled, "I know. But you two are inseparable."
He smiled, lifting my hand up to kiss the back of it sweetly, "We all are."
Taking a deep breath, I absorbed all the depths of his piercing, golden, diamond eyes.
And though I knew he was being truthful about us being inseperable, meaning we'd be together as a family forever, I wanted to hear him say it.
I gave him my best grin, batting my lashes at him, "Promise?"
He gave me a gentle nod, wiping away a strand from my face with his free hand, "I promise, my love. We have eternity."
I closed my eyes, listening to the sounds of the meadow, feeling the wind on my face.
Then I inhaled the scent of my husband and my son, "...Eternity sounds wonderful."
So there we go, Chapter 24!
Keep the reviews coming in!! They are always welcome.
So there we go, Chapter 24!
-- Writing "The Search For Myself" has been an experience of a lifetime for me. I've learned so much as time has passed. Each and every single review you guys have given me, I have absorbed it and used it to grow as a writer. It's funny, looking back at how my writing was at the beginning of this story, to now... I cannot wait to see how much I'll grow as the days continue to pass.
Thank you to all of my readers. For your patience, your understanding, your advice, your critique, and your support. I adore each of you, and hope that you will stick with me in the many future E/B stories I am dying to share with you!! And I cannot wait to read more of YOUR stories as well!!
p.s. For those of you who have asked me about future plans... There is still "The Ex Factor", which I have not yet finished yet but am thoroughly enjoying, as well as "A Love With No Limits". My next story should be available within the next month or so.