So just when you think you can never go back to a story, you find something you wrote long ago and the blasted plot bunny starts bouncing around in your head…honestly I had struggled with a long time for the right epilogue for this one and had never planned on a sequel but then all of a sudden it happens…with apologies for an update fail of epic proportions I give you the epilogue. This hasn't really been edited too much, I literally wrote while it was fresh in my mind and then posted right away, so all mistakes are my own lazy fault. Love Tink……..
Nerves brook lose inside my stomach and I twisted my hands in my lap, feeling somewhat sick yet strangely excited. Across the table Dr Stephenson smiled at me and closed the manila folder she held.
"You've come a long way Bella and honestly I don't think you need to see me anymore"
I swallowed convulsively and cleared my throat "But what if…the nightmares, the dreams what if they come back?"
"Then you have my number, you can make an appointment anytime but Bella, you really don't need me anymore, you've done so well in the time we've been meeting" her voice was kind but her blue eyes steely.
I looked down "And you're sure?"
She laughed gently "Bella, hon if I wasn't sure I wouldn't discharge from my care...you'll be fine and if you're not then you know how to find me"
I huffed out a breath and noticed her glance pointedly at the clock behind me. It was time. The therapy I had been in since my ordeal with Jacob was over, I was cured. Cured? That was a laugh. I could still see his face when I closed my eyes at night and almost feel his skin crawling over mine but I no longer felt physically sick. I had stopped sleeping with light on and checking my closets. Cured, I didn't think I would ever be cured but I was healing, with Edwards help.
My heart skipped a beat as it always did when I thought of my wonderful, handsome, caring thoughtful best friend/boy friend. I knew that without him I wouldn't be where I was today, wouldn't be alive and wouldn't be living. I would be a shadow, existing in the darkness, looking for light.
"Edward picking you up today?" she asked as I got to my feet and headed towards her door.
I nodded, flushing a little. She knew all about Edward and how he had saved me, first from Jacob and later from my own despair. It had been a long struggle but one that had changed my life.
"We're going out to dinner…you know to celebrate"
There was a tap at her door and her pa appeared a professional smile on her face "You're six o clock is here"
"Thanks Mary" she said and then turned her attention back to me.
"It's time Bella" she rose and proffered her hand.
I grasped it firmly and shook, hoping I could convey just how grateful I was. Without her I wasn't sure I would have gotten through the trial, giving evidence and seeing Jacob sentenced. Without her I would have broken down long ago when I received Jacob's letter, apologizing, explaining that he was sick and that with proper help he would get well. The anger I felt would have consumed me, he was sick and could get help, he could get better but I was living with his actions for the rest of my life. She made me see that even though he had failed me badly, Charlie was only human and loved me.
She had got me through the nightmares, the resentment, the feelings of guilt and self-loathing, the fear that would strike me at odd times. Talking with her made me see that there was nothing wrong with me, what happened was not my fault. She helped me realize that I had self esteem issues, which allowed him to control me for so long. She taught me I was worth something. Now eighteen months later I was ready to stand on my own, with Edward's help.
"Thank you, so very much" I murmured not surprised by the tremor in my voice.
"You are very welcome Bella and I wish you all the luck in the world…be happy Bella, you deserve it" she smiled warmly and I nodded, turning and leaving her office.
I stopped dead when Alice jumped to feet, embracing me with her usual exuberance.
"Congratulations Bella" she squealed in my ear, her grip surprisingly vice like for one so tiny.
"Hey Alice, where's Edward?" I asked disappointment welling inside me.
"I'm sorry Bella, he wanted to come fetch you but he's sick"
" I know he wasn't feeling too good when I spoke with him this morning…Is he okay? What's wrong with him?"
"I don't know…it's nothing serious Bells" she said noting the look of concern which was on my face "he's just bummed he can't be here to collect you himself, he said you guys were going for dinner?"
"We were gonna celebrate…kinda an early anniversary"
"He's really upset Bells…I have strict instructions to take you there right away" she told me as she led me to the car.
Fighting back the urge to cry, I sniffed. This was not a big deal. Just because Edward was sick didn't mean this was any less reason to celebrate me being discharged from therapy. Suck it up Bella, I told myself as we drove the thirty-minute journey to his house, my mind and stomach in knots the entire way.
I leapt from the car almost before it had stopped moving and was through the door as fast as my uncoordinated legs could carry me…
"Hi Bella" Esme embraced me in a warm hug, meeting me at the foot of the stairs.
"How is he?"
She didn't even pretend not to know who I was talking about.
"Grumpy and sick…he was never a good patient even when he was a little boy" she said with an affectionate chuckle.
"Can I go up?" I didn't want to ask permission, I was going whether she said yes or not but I had to be polite.
"Please do…he's driving us all crazy asking if you're here yet…Carlisle is with him"
Trying not run, I took the stairs two at time and almost sprinted across the hallway to his room. Knocking gently I pushed the door open, my heart aching at what I saw.
Edward was sprawled across his pillows, arms and legs akimbo as he dosed restlessly. His messy bronze hair was even more disheveled, his skin paler than usual expect for the twin flags of scarlet across his prominent cheekbones. I dragged my eyes away from the beauty that was his naked chest, to Carlisle who sat watching me from across the room, hands folded.
"Is he okay?" I whispered, moving closer to his bed.
Carlisle shook his head "He's pretty sick Bella"
My entire body ached for him and I wanted desperately to soothe him, to take away his pain as he had taken mine so many times.
"What's wrong with him" I asked my eyes sweeping over his inert form, taking in the swollen appearance of his face.
"Mumps, I think…Edward never got it as a child"
"Mumps?" I wanted to laugh, I remembered having it myself as a small child and it didn't seem so bad.
"As he is an adult now, it's affecting him in different ways" he began tactfully, his voice quiet and full of caring.
"What do you mean?" I sank down on the floor beside Edward's bed and reached out stroke his hair gently.
"Mumps in children is mainly a sore throat, flu like symptoms, maybe some nausea, headaches that kind of thing…you can take some Tylenol and wait it out…but it with adults it becomes more complicated….Edward has a severe case and has Orchitis"
Puzzled I looked at him "Will he be okay… I've never heard of Orchitis…it's nothing serious right?"
" Orchitis is a complication which can develop from mumps…it's swelling in other glands of the body…. I don't think it is serious but he will be very sick for at least the next week to ten days"
Carlisle looked at me with clinical authority "His testicles, Bella"
I felt my face flush scarlet and I averted my gaze, looking down at my poor Edward, who mumbled and turned in his sleep, his eyes opening slowly.
I bit back a gasp, the green of his eyes standing out more vividly than ever against the fever flush on his skin.
"Bella?" he asked croakily,
"Hi Edward…how are you feeling?" I asked capturing the hand that had reached for my own, alarmed by the heat emanating from his skin.
"I'm sick Bells…I'm so sorry about today, I really wanted to be there for you" he apologized, guilt written across his face.
"Edward, you're sick sweetheart, please don't feel bad," I murmured brushing his hair away from his sticky forehead.
"I had plans, stuff to talk about"
I looked over at Carlisle who shrugged and got to his feet.
"Is there anything you need son?"
"Some water and more Tylenol"
Carlisle nodded and briefly pressed a hand to Edward's head, before withdrawing a thermometer from his shirt pocket.
"Open" he said and I smiled as Edward gave him a disgruntled look but did as he was told.
I smiled down at Edward, resuming my stroking of his hair, anything to try and soothe him.
"Hmm not good 39.6…I'll be back in a moment…please try not to tire him too much Bella" Carlisle said with a wink and I flushed once more.
As soon as he left the room, I perched on the side of his bed, gratified as Edward gravitated to towards me. Suddenly he froze and let out a muffled groan.
"What's wrong?" I asked worried instantly.
"I moved too quickly" he rasped, eyes screwed up, his hands across his lap over the sheets. I glanced down and saw what he meant, my eyes going back to the expression of agony on his face.
"Carlisle said you were having, um, complications" I said gently, not sure if Edward would mind me knowing.
He nodded and then opened one eye to look at me "Want to kiss them better?"
I chuckled and felt a little stirring inside, which I tampered down. Bad Bella, Edward is sick. Instead I smoothed the sheets across him and allowed him to rest his head on my lap. We were silent but comfortable, Edward's regular breathing told me he wasn't in too much pain but I couldn't stop stroking him, soothing him. Occasionally he would sneeze and I passed him a tissue from his nightstand, which he accepted with a mumbled thank you.
"I'm so sorry Bella," he said after a few minutes.
"Hey it's okay…it's not that big of a deal" I soothed, not wanting him to develop a guilt complex too.
"But it was going to be"
I winced each time he spoke, his voice was rough and though a little sexy it was so different to the velvet tones I was used to hearing from Edward.
"There will be other times Edward, I promise…for now you just have to focus on getting better" I told him as Carlisle appeared in the door way, carrying a pitcher of water, bottle of small pills, and a cloth. He said nothing when he saw the way Edward was laid across me, merely lifting one golden brow as he set his burden on the nightstand.
"Have you had Mumps Bella?" he asked pointedly.
I stamped down a little surge of irritation, he was only looking out for me but I just wanted to be near Edward, I didn't care that he was sick. In point of fact I had mumps as a child but even if I hadn't I would still be here now.
"Yes…Edward would you like a drink?"
He nodded and swallowed a little whimper; I had never heard such an adorable sound in my life and felt instantly guilty as I remembered what was causing him to sound like that.
I handed him the glass and watched as he drank greedily his Adams apple bobbing quickly.
He sighed when it was drained and snuggled against me once more.
"Edward, it's time for your medication…this should help with the pain and the aches, it will also bring your fever down" Carlisle said, his tone a mixture of paternal concern and professionalism.
I refilled the glass and watched as grudgingly Edward placed two capsules in his mouth and swallowed. Carlisle hovered for a little while longer, making sure he didn't vomit the capsules back up but left when it was clear he was okay, with instructions to call him if Edward didn't improve.
"Hot" he protested, shifting away from me, his long legs kicking away the sheets. I felt the loss of his body the second it was away from mine but I knew he had to be comfortable. He was what was important, not me.
"Want me to wet this cloth for you?"
He nodded and I hurried to the bathroom, running the face cloth under the cold faucet. My heart tripped as I found Edward naked except for a pair of snug gray boxers, the damp sheets now tangled around his legs. He had pushed the pillows onto the floor and was flat out on his back. Unable to help myself my eyes were drawn to his lap, as I tried to make out any signs of swelling. Feeling a little perverted and guilty for ignoring his need I hurried forward and pressed the washcloth into his hand. Immediately he clasped it to his throat, just below his ears. A soft moan came from him and I knew it was helping. Could it help everywhere I wondered?
"Edward, sweetheart would you like another compress, for your…other swellings?" I asked kneeling beside him, almost whispering for fear of being over heard. It was one thing for his parents to accept we were together and intimate but it was quite another to hear me talking about his balls.
He didn't move except to nod his head and I got to my feet instantly. Grabbing a soft hand towel from the bathroom, I doused it in cold water and returned to the bedroom.
It felt a little strange to be playing nurse but it was oddly rewarding, for once Edward needed me, needed me to take care of him, not the other way around.
"Do you need some help with this one?" I asked biting my lip. Again he didn't speak, simply nodding his head drowsily and I got the feeling he wasn't altogether conscious.
Breathing deeply I leant across the bed, getting level with his hips. Sucking in a breath for courage I wrapped my fingers around the waistband of his boxers and pulled them gently down, leaving him bare to my greedy eyes.
Even after all this time, I could never believe that this beautiful man boy, was mine. He was perfect in every way and he was mine. His body was changing, become thicker and more muscled as he grew, the long lanky boy I'd known had filled out into a beautiful Adonis. I looked down at the sharp angles of his hips, to the soft shape of his penis, nestled in the dark bronze curls and wanted to reach out and feel him in my hand.
"If you're going to stare at it all day this is going to get messy" he rasped.
I jumped, my eyes jerking to his and the crooked naughty smile, he saved for times when we were alone.
"I'm sorry, you're just so beautiful" I mumbled, mortified at being caught ogling my boyfriend.
"Relax Bells, it's allowed…I'll worry when you don't think I'm beautiful" he mumbled, his breath hissing out of his teeth.
Glancing down I watched amazed as his penis began to twitch and grow long and thick against his skin.
"Told you," he grunted ruefully.
"I'm sorry," I said but I wasn't not really. I was sorry I caused him pain but not sorry for his reaction. Inside I was thrilled, even sick he loved and wanted me.
Gently I opened the cloth and placed it across his lap, enjoying his sigh as the cold compress began its work. He shifted a little giving me access to his boxers as I tugged them back up his body and tried to arrange them the best I could across his body.
He yawned and closed his eyes, his skin already feeling cooler, the medication he'd taken earlier kicking in.
"Thanks Bells" he murmured into the mattress as he turned on to his side.
"You're very welcome sweetheart"
"I love you…I'm sorry about dinner…so much to say"
"I love you too Edward, we can talk when you're better…sleep now Edward, please" I breathed, bending and placing a soft kiss onto his forehead.
"Need to tell you…love you…always have…want you…marry me?" he mumbled half delirious now.
My heart stopped and restarted in the same beat, feeling as though it were going to explode from my chest.
"Bella…marry me…nightstand draw," he said sleepily.
Heart racing I opened the drawer with trembling fingers, there amid the condoms and tissues and gum wrappers sat a small black box. As I withdrew it, I was aware of the tears in my eyes leaking slowly onto my cheeks. Hardly daring to breathe I opened the box and gasped. A single white gold solitaire winked cheerily at me.
"Oh Edward…yes, yes I'll marry you" I said, tears dripping from the end of my nose as I laughed, overjoyed.
Turning to look at him with a tremulous smile, I couldn't believe my eyes or ears for Edward snored softly, finally asleep as fever and exhaustion caught up with him. Smiling wryly, I knew there would be time enough for everything eventually. Edward had healed me through my sickness and now I would do the same for him and we would love and laugh the rest of our lives as we remembered that Alice's plan was indeed Foolproof.
Okay so I was supposed to leave it there and then I found something I wrote a few years ago, which adpated like this, would be a perfect continuation of Edward and Bella's life together, a few years down the line. If you're interested in reading it then leave me a review, if I get enough interest then I'll post it, if not then never mind. Happy belated Holidays everyone. Love Tink. XX