This is the final chapter of escapade, and the epilogue! I know people, its heart-rending stuff! *Sobs*
Again I'd like to thank all of you who are reading and reviewing, and who have made this so much fun to write. Thanks to those people, (Which is basically all of you,) as you already know, there will be a sequel! And, proud to finally call this story complete, without further ado, I give you chapter 20....
Disclaimer: Twilight is like a box of communal chocolates. As much as you want it to be yours, you can't have it!! :(
We sat in our clearing for what could be the last time for a few centuries, savouring the time we had left in our little sanctuary, the one in which our love for one another had been kindled.
I was wedged in-between Jasper's legs, my head lolled back right onto his shoulder as he watched the sky, intrigued by my expression as I observed the stars that seemed always to loom over this clearing whenever we visited it. The ground was dewy, and so were the surrounding flowers of the early spring, though I was besotted by the splendour of being able to see from across the open space, tiny flowers of contrasting and colours, crimson, ivory, sapphire and gold, the condensation making them seem as though they had been weeping. In happiness or sadness I didn't know. The sky, however, had endowed upon us such a blessing of beauty as before if not more that it had taken me a moment to breathe when we had at first returned. Now, the moon was full, but I smiled at the philosophy behind it. I could have been that moon, barely visible on some of the occasions we had visited, needing to be shown to the world, so everybody, including itself, could be shown that it was not worthless; to prove that it was, and could be a whole entity. Could the moon be smiling, it would have grinned at me just then, proud that I finally saw what I had been convinced otherwise of this whole time. That I was special. That I was worth it. If Jasper could see something in me, that managed to extinguish all his pain, then I couldn't be that worthless. Nothing that made him smile was worthless.
Feeling what I felt, I felt Jasper's constricting arms wound tighter around me, the love pooling off of him in hazy, thoughtless torrents. He needn't say much. What we felt for each other meant more than all the words in the world to me. Of course, words were necessary for some things. And I was glad; otherwise I would never get to hear his voice. "It'll be alright." He promised.
He was referring to us moving, to Portland. But how could it possibly hold any magnificence for me compared to forks? Where I had been born, watched my parents distance, and taken away, only to return and re-strengthen my bond with my father, fall in love, find a second family, fall out of that love, and be spiralled into an entirely new, truer one that I would be able to keep for eternity, which still wasn't enough.
I didn't see how it could. I sighed, nodding solemnly, though I knew he wouldn't buy it. He released me, only to rotate me in his arms so I straddled his lap. From there, he pressed his forehead against mine, our noses touching and our tresses mixing in a fascinating blend of chocolate gold. His face was determined, yet not angry, not at me, at least. The love was still flooding through, and-out of habit of letting Jasper taste my emotions and partial inability to keep both my physical and mental shield up at once, my physical shield was down, no longer around either of us.
"Its fine, Bella." He said, his breathing very slight, and almost undetectable. "Don't you see that what you've once know in Forks will follow you? And from then on, you'll make much brighter, much more amazing memories that you'll never forget. Until you return to those places, and continue to build many memories for all eternity." When he said it in that faultless way he has, with not one stutter, there was no possibility of not believing him. But surely, he was speaking from what he knew, not what he imagined.
"But it won't be the same..."I brooded. "For you, it's not new. You already have all these wonderful memories. And you'll make more, but age always makes things more sentimental..."
He laughed, which irritated me, though I didn't say so. But his burst of amusement was short. "Age makes thing sentimental, but love makes things sweet. Time gets longer, but my love for you is stronger than any love I've ever known, whether it's been mine, or anybody's. And Love conquers all." He said theoretically.
I sulked, realising that I had no other explanation for why I wouldn't like Portland.
"Don't be discouraged, Bella." He soothed, smoothing the creases from my forehead with his thumb. "I know what really troubles you." He whispered into my ear, his hands toying with my fingers, twisting my beautiful engagement ring from left to right in hopes of catching it glisten in unison with the stars. "You have many loose ends to tie, with the humans, tomorrow." He elaborated.
Yes. I would be the first vampire to not be though to have been 'missing in action'. Humans would know I was dead(in some aspects) And then we could move on; return to Forks in sixty years or so when all the humans we knew have either moved onto bigger and better places, or died. My father would definitely be among the latter, a depressing thought. Besides being a vampire, I didn't know what happened in the afterlife. And when my father died, I would never see him again.
Jasper, without me even expressing these thought, knew all this, of course. "And, naturally this will be the hardest part for you. I was a ravenous newborn, Rosalie, Edward and Emmett had already accepted death, Carlisle would not have been re-accepted after being bitten, and Esme felt she had no reason left to live, anyway. So, none of us could understand the extent of the conflict you are feeling."
"But you..." I added zealously, leaning in as I cupped his face in my cheek. "And a life without you all is unquestionable. My humans, I will miss, but my Vampires, I cannot bare living without. A life devoid of you is not a life at all."
And with that, I had made him speechless. My lips captured his, and I refused to release them until the peak of dawn.
I lay in the mahogany encasement, not breathing, my eyes closed. My hands clutched a bouquet of orchids to my chest as the funeral procession began. Charlie had been led to believe that I died in my sleep peacefully, of mysterious causes. Rosalie, being my roommate, best friend, and female, shared a room with me. Having had a terrible nightmare, she went to seek solace from me in the middle of the night. She'd sat beside me, only to find that my body was cold, and I was not breathing. Alarmed and disturbed, she'd called Carlisle in a panic, and he and Esme had come down to Alaska personally to check up on me. By then, Jasper had seen me, trying to calm Rosalie's hysterics, though he himself was distressed. The twins were incredibly shaken, and Carlisle had diagnosed my death. Charlie, feeling sick to his stomach, requested that no post-mortem be carried out, as it would not bring me back to the living.
It turns out that although I had a small tolerance to bloodlust in animals, I had no bloodlust whatsoever towards humans, so if I was careful, I could get one last look at Charlie before I had to say goodbye forever. Even though I was the 'Deceased' person, I was still in black. I wore a frilly ebony dress that flared at my hips and ended just above my knees, and the lacy strapped corset hugged at my still curves. I lay completely still, death had taken my heartbeat, but venom had preserved my beauty, as the movement stopped, and I could no longer feel the vibrations of unsteady surface and rocks that certain men stepped over. Charlie and the La push boys had carried me, as Jacob had agreed to fulfil my last request and wished the best for me. The minister said some words on my behalf, and some of my friends came to speak. Jacob stood, and I was worried about what he would say. I could tell that Jacob was using his feelings towards never seeing me again to help his speech seem more authentic.
"Well, I've known Bella since we were kids. She's pretty much always had the happy, compassionate personality she had. A little while back, she came to her home town, forks. And I got to see a lot more of her. She became my best friend, and eventually it hurt us both a little to be away from each other. And even though she's gone, I want her to know that we'll always be best friends; and that not even death could do us part." I sneaked a quick sniff, being careful not to move my shoulders as I inhaled. I could smell salt, and I knew that Jacob was crying.
My mother managed to choke out a short dialogue, before erupting into inconsolable tears as she was guided blindly off of the podium. It took a lot of strength and willpower that I didn't know I had, not to even move a muscle towards the torrents of pain I could hear Renee enduring. It almost seemed worse than the obscurity I withstood no more than a year ago when I lost my entire family.
I listened intently for Charlie's speech, until finally it was his turn. Charlie and I had never been good at telling each other how we felt. I suppose I got that from him. But once I'd been exposed to the Cullens, I had gradually learned that nothing should keep you from confiding in family, even if we sometimes lost sight of that. I wanted more than anything to know that he approved of me. I wanted to know that I had made him proud before I said goodbye.
"Bella. She was my daughter, whom I'd only just gotten back. But, other than her death, I don't regret any of it. It was a pleasure to watch her grow from a rosebud into the blooming flower she was, and nothing she did could stop the amount of pride I had in her. She was one hell of a cook, and she was never gave me the normal teenage grief-" He paused. I imagined him grimacing as he remembered the whole Edward ordeal. "Every parent knows that it's terrible to have to outlive your child...Bella in particular. Patient, kind, compassionate, and more aware of others around her than even herself. Wherever she is now, and if you can hear me Bells, good luck…I love ya Bells." I heard sniffing and the gentle padding as he stepped off of the altar. Then I heard the most heartbreaking sound ever. Charlie tried, but failed miserably to hold back several sobs. I knew that would be a wound to his ego, but the guilt and happiness mingled into one that he cared so much about me was overwhelming.
There were songs before the priest said several more words on my behalf, and then people stood to murmur their last goodbyes to me. Besides Renee, Angela's was the most upsetting.
"I hope you aren't in any pain at all Bella, please rest in peace…" Not physically. But this is what I had wanted. Of course, the Cullens stood and said fake farewells. Rosalie in particular had to be dramatic for obvious reasons. But when she told me that she was sorry she couldn't save me, I wasn't entirely sure it was for show. Jasper was the last, and when everyone had entered their cars, he ran a finger over my lips as a reminder of their touch.
"Don't forget. At nightfall, we'll give you the signal. Then we run from there." He said in a hushed Vampire tone. I couldn't speak, so I sent him torrents of understanding. I was going to be buried, and erupt from my personal coffin to walk amongst the living once again.
The priest said his final words before everybody said their final, final goodbyes. The casket was now closed, but I could still hear Charlie and Renee grieving over the loss of their daughter, and the gentle thumps as my coffin was showered with orchids and various other flowers. Then I heard the distant sound of cars leaving, and I knew that my parents were out of my existence forever. I was left to my own devices for approximately five hours. It was late February, and it was roughly 12:00 (A/N: I'm going by around about the time it gets dark in England in the winter, so...it could vary. If so, use your imagination to make it fit your country.)
I thought of how, despite the way my parent's final goodbye tainted our departure with bitter sweetness, I was still doing the right thing. At least I knew the ones I cared about who couldn't protect their selves were safe. Even if I did naturally, I wouldn't have my ideal heaven, as there would be no waiting for Jasper; I'd spend my eternity watching him spend his eternity without me. So now I had my angel, and although I'd lost my human family, I would gladly give my life again infinity times over for Jasper. I had never been more content in one's arms than I was in his. Eternity would be dull without his embrace. My mother, my former best friend, as much as I hated to admit it, did neglect me slightly when Phil joined the family. She would always be with Phil, and even though she tried to be a dutiful mother and stay with her daughter, she just didn't have the same twinkle in her eye as she used to when we spent time together; so in her best interests, I went to Charlie. Charlie was like the wind: he moved swiftly, didn't hover, but was always there. Even though I hadn't lived my childhood with him, the three years I spent with him were nice. Just him and me. And despite the several mishaps with Edward, my father had kept me happy. I knew he liked having me around, he'd just never told me so directly.
My train of thought was stopped abruptly when I heard a shallow crunch six feet above me. I guessed that was my queue. My Vampire senses gave me sight in the dark, though it was more like being colour-blind. In the night, the vibrant colours of the day would turn into warm, rich colours of the night. I marked out a weak point in the wood (not that it mattered where I punched) and burst straight through, to be met with the unpleasant soil all around me. As it was newly placed, it was easy to navigate with my Vampire strength and hearing up to the surface of the earth. I punched through, scratching the earth desperately as a joke I was sure would amuse Emmett. I wondered if I looked like a zombie. My other arm burst through, and I gently heaved myself upwards, rearing my head through the dirt. I hoisted the rest of my body out of the dirt patch, and my eyes scanned my surroundings for Jasper. He chuckled, seeing me looking for him and embracing me in a hug, despite my dirtiness. My hair was caked with dry, brown soil, as was my face and my very porcelain skin. My dress was shredded slightly at the straps and the frills hung rebelliously from where they had been sutured from the strain of digging me to the top. I was shocked that he could still kiss me when I was in this condition. Off to the side, Emmett chuckled, wielding a shovel.
"Gotta' pat it down. Ya don't want it to look like the dead are walking do you? Oh, by the way, you have to tell me what it's like being buried alive--oh, I'm sorry, buried dead." He snickered. I rolled my eyes, feeling every crack from where the mud had encrusted around my eye area. I wiped the fragments off of my face in annoyance, combing helplessly through my hair with my fingers. I'm sure my appearance resembled a zombie. Jasper chuckled, teasing my hand out of my locks to keep in his hand. He looked over at Emmett; waiting for him to make sure the soil looked untainted. Emmett caught his glance and waved his hand nonchalantly.
"Go ahead; I've got to dispose of this baby anyway. Speaking of babies, tell Rosie I'll catch her up." He turned away. We both agreed.
When I twisted back to Jasper, his beauty still struck me; I wanted so badly so kiss him then, but I didn't want him to be uncomfortable with all the dirt on my face and anywhere else it may lay dormant. He must have caught my pang of longing, because he kissed me gently on the lips, motioning his head towards the woods. I took one final look at the cemetery, knowing that I would never see anyone from forks again. I looked at my gravestone, which read:
Here sleeps Isabella Mary Swan,
Beautiful daughter, and an undeniably caring friend.
May you rest in peace.
I brought my undivided attention back to Jasper, and when I did, I didn't feel so melancholy. He wasn't using his powers on me, as he knew I needed this moment. I needed to leave some reminder, just so they knew I'd always be with them. I decided, nobody would ever notice, and scratched a tiny, almost unidentifiable 'B' onto the back of the stone. Then I turned to Jasper, and when my hand touched his warm one, I smiled a real smile, ready to let go of all of my past, and look into the new immortal future I was to have with my new immortal family.
"Don't miss me too much," I whispered quietly into the dark, and then I pivoted, never turning back. Jasper smiled tentatively, but amorously at me, his eyes dancing with pride. I pecked his upper lip, and tightened my grip on his hand, thanking him for being so loyal and supportive. To my left, I could see a large roaring flame to the west. Was that really called for, Emmett? I could also hear his delighted laugh, at entertainment he received from his means of disposal. My sharp eyes scanned the forest ahead, and we could see Rosalie and Esme at the peak of the trees, giving us the signal that the cars were waiting before taking off to make their own way.
"Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there.
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there.
I did not die. "
Then we ran into the night, like the undead lovers we were.
And that's a rap people! Not sure who wrote the poem, but it was not me. It was about death, and fit nicely with the story, so I put it in. Do not forget the sequel 'Eternally yours', which will come in a few months, depending on its progress. I may put some more one-shots up before then. Whether it's twilight, or another fandom I'm not sure. Maybe a bit of both. I really want to enter a contest, but I have no Idea how to get into one. If any of you are doing any, or know of any, then please PM me about them! Not just Bella/Jasper, but anything. A stretch of skill would do me good. And I need to do more of Esme's new moon! Like I promised!
Thank you again for your amazing reviews, and all the support I've received throughout the story. You're all fabulous, and I hope you'll stick with me through the nearing sequel. For anybody who hasn't put me on their author alerts, or is just interested in the popularity (I don't actually mean that it's popular...That would just be plain big-headed...) of this fic, I'll be posting an end-stats chapter, and a heads up for the sequel.
EDIT:: I'm leaning in the direction of a Rosalie/Emmett fic called 'Summit', where Rosalie is a human instead of Bella at the beginning of twilight. I'm wondering if any of you would be interested in that first, or want Eternally yours straight away... PM me if you're unsure, and I've kinda got a lot of Spiraling plot bunnies in my head that I want to grab and stretch, so I might put a poll up on my profile about that soon. This is crucial, because I have no freaking idea what to do first!!!!!
And, for the last time (For a while), THINKY THINGS!!!!!
Goodbye people! *Screen turns off*