Chapter 19: A New Dawn

Bella's POV

Dawn was seconds away from breaking over the Canadian Rockies. The snow was falling gently, adding another layer to the ivory blanket that stretched out as far as I could see. I stood barefoot on the snow-dusted veranda of the cabin Edward and I called home for the past six months and leaned forward against the railing. Looking out at the mountains that adorned the horizon, I smiled, not only at the beautiful scenery, but at the joy of where I was in life at the moment. More importantly, who I was with. Edward had conquered his fear of losing me, and ensured that our love would never die. I was now a vampire, like him, and we were connected by an everlasting bond which started even before his teeth pierced my flesh.

My white nightgown fluttered softly out behind me in the light breeze which felt more like a summer's caress than a cold chill. As I watched the snowflakes float down around me, my thoughts were reeled back to the first moments we spent at this place, high on the side of a mountain in British Columbia. Alice and Jasper had found the abandoned dwelling for us to stay in during my transformation.

My memories from the harsh days of my change were flashes of consciousness riddled with inexplicable pain, and I knew it was just as hard for Edward to see me that way as it was for me to endure it. However, Jasper was also there throughout the entire duration and he lent his powerful calming force to us both. Nonstop throughout my transition, as my human body was slowly dying, his comforting presence held us both up, making us stronger and more able to cope.

When my heart stopped beating, the pain finally ended. The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was the incredible relief on Edward's face. It had been an arduous journey for us both, but we came out of the darkness and into a new dawn. The time for our pain was over.

As I looked at Jasper for the first time with my newborn eyes, I struggled to find the words to properly express my gratitude for his continual support. But before I could piece together the overwhelming thoughts in my mind, my new brother, having felt my emotions, smiled humbly and nodded with understanding.

My main concern was how the side effects of my change would affect Edward, specifically, my craving for human blood. I was worried that my newborn bloodlust would have made it difficult for Edward to overcome his own, but the secluded location of the cabin was actually the ideal solution for our situation. The complete lack of a human presence inhibited temptation for us both, making it easier to cope, so we had decided to continue living there even after my change had taken place. Alice and Jasper eventually left us to ourselves with confidence that we would not harm any humans, and slowly, the matching color of our eyes faded from ruby to golden as we proceeded to feed on the animals around us. The isolation also proved to be the best possible distraction, allowing us the opportunity to focus on each other, to reconnect and solidify our love. It was our honeymoon, before the actual wedding.

We were finally married in the fall beneath a tree with golden leaves. The wedding took place at dawn, and the sunrise ushered us into our new beginning as man and wife. Carlisle had lead the small ceremony, officially uniting Edward and I in our marriage, and welcomed me as part of the Cullen family. Without their help and guidance, I might have lost Edward forever, but instead, my forever would be spent in his arms, and for that I was eternally grateful.

Never a day went by without Edward showing me how much he loved me, and how thankful he was for having been bestowed another chance at happiness with me. There was rarely a moment that his body wasn't in direct contact with my mine in some way, almost like he needed the reassurance that I was real. It was as though he thought I might vanish in thin air, or fade like a dream. We've come a long way since I found him that foggy evening on the pier so many moons ago. Our lives had been so full of uncertainty and doubt, guilt and regret... but what was done was done. We decided to overlook the darkness in our past and to focus on the brightness in our future. As long as we were together, the sunshine was in our lives.

I was pulled out of my daydream when a sliver of light slipped through a break in the clouds. The golden ray caught my skin and sent diamonds glimmering off its surface. I gazed in wonderment at the luminous reaction. Even after having been a vampire for all this time, I was still awed by the facets of my new body.

A set of arms suddenly wrapped lovingly around my waist from behind.

"You're a stunning vision, Mrs. Cullen," my husband murmured into my ear, then proceeded to kiss my earlobe.

I hummed softly at the sensation, then I turned around in Edward's arms to face him. Leaning up against his bare chest, I lifted my head up and grinned at the sight of the mess of bronze hair that stuck out in every direction atop his head.

"You're quite the sight, yourself," I laughed teasingly, raking my fingers back through his hair in an attempt to tame it.

His golden eyes glinted with mischief. "Well, you only have yourself to blame," he teased back before catching my mouth with his. He kissed me tenderly at first, then picked me up and seated me onto the wooden railing as he deepened our kiss. I wrapped my legs around his waist, reeling him closer, reveling in the thought that I could kiss him for forever if I wanted to, without the need to ever take a breath.

Another aspect that I had grown to appreciate of the remote area we lived in, was the complete and utter privacy that two young lovers required.

Edward felt me smile against his lips and he pulled his head back with playful intrigue.

"You know, it drives me crazy sometimes that I can't tell what's going on in that head of yours," he said with a small laugh in his voice.

I ran my palms down the sides of his arms and grinned coyly. "I was just thinking how much I love living here with you," I replied, drawing him even closer against me with my legs.

"Mm-hmm..." Edward hummed, correctly suspecting there was more to my statement.

He softly kissed the apple of my cheek, then eyed the rising sun behind me. The sunrise captured his thoughts for a moment then he grasped my hand in his. He looked at my hand as he smoothed his thumb across my wedding ring. I watched his eyes as they clearly watched a memory from our wedding day, and I smiled at the serenity that claimed his features.

Bringing my hand to his lips, he kissed my fingers over my ring. "My Bella... I promise to love you, and to protect you, for every single moment of forever," he recalled the vows that he spoke on our wedding day.

My heart melted. "I love you so much, Edward."

I pulled him back into another kiss.

Edward grasped my lower lip, and kissed me like the way he did when I was last human. I could still feel the light scarring that graced the inside of my lip from where his teeth had broken the skin. It was a constant reminder of the strength of his love. Edward could have easily killed me that day on the pier, but his love had proven to be far greater than his bloodlust.

For both of us, there would never be a stronger craving, than the love we held for each other.

The End.

A/N: My eternal gratitude goes to Bratty-Vamp, my amazingly wonderful friend and beta. Without your support and guidance, Bloodlust would have remained in the dark corners of my mind, struggling to be told. Thank you for listening to my endless frustrations and for cheering me on until the very end.

Thank you to Char and my Jenny-Jen, who always gave me that special boost. Your endless praises and support are heartwarming.

A very special thanks goes to my ever so patient readers who have stuck with this story since I first posted. It's been a very, very long ride and I'm happy you took it with me.

Thank you to all my readers and reviewers. I loved to have read your thoughts. Much love your way!

Add me to your author alerts if you're interested in what I have coming up next. I have another multi-chapter story brewing in my mind already!