So, here we are, the end of the story. I want to say thank you to everyone who reviewed this story and waited patiently for weeks and even months for updates. There was so much encouragement from everyone and it was such a wonderful experience getting this story out. I struggled with this story so much and those of you who started reading it in the begining know from my author's notes that this story literally made me want to rip out my hair at so many different points. But, finally, it's finished.
I really have to say thank-you to my beta, DollyBigMomma who put up with me for over a year with this story. She answered emails from me at all hours of the day and night. I'm sure she cringed several times while correcting my work. You are the best, my glue, my post it note. This story definitely wouldn't have gotten all the attention it has without you pushing me along and gently encouraging me through the touch spots.
I also want to say to the girls over at Sacrificial Lambs, YOU ROCK! Thank you for all the interviews and shout outs and all that jazz. It was really one of the coolest things ever! Nothing better than getting a pat on the back!
So, I present to you the end of our tale, told by none other than Alice. I'm going to go have a little cry and then start to finish out Revealing Eternity. Enjoy!
Chapter 19 – The Epilogue
"I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be."
~ Douglas Adams
I leaned back into his embrace and watched our family gathered around us. It had been a long road to get here, but we had finally arrived. There had been sharp, unexpected turns on the endless stretch of road, but they had shaped us all, changing us and turning us into what we were today.
I wish that I could say that my conscience was clear on the whole of it, but the truth was that it wasn't.
When you live as long as I have, you tend to forget that your actions can have lasting consequences on the future. I should have known that and should have followed my own advice. My only defense was that I did what I had thought was best, not for myself, but for everyone involved. I guess that's what will happen when you have so many relying on you for the truth. Just because you have the ability it doesn't give you the license to use it without restraint. I learned that the hard way.
"Let it go, love." His soft voice whispered into my ear, his warm breath sending hot currents through my veins. "It's in the past."
"I know." I replied, snuggling into his chest further.
Sure it worked out in the end, but I had kept them apart for so long. My first vision of Bella came to me years before we ever meet. At her emergence into the world, I knew that my life was going to change. No matter what I tried, the vision didn't change. Jasper was always going to end up with Bella.
I took matters into my own hands and urged the family to return to Forks, sure that if we were there that I could control the future. It hadn't taken much, gentle nudging on my part to Edward, had for a time, seemed to change the future. He had fallen in love with her quickly, recognizing her from brief glimpses of my visions, never knowing the full truth. It was sheer luck that she seemed to fall for him too.
For a few weeks, my visions changed slightly, allowing me to contemplate the chance that Jasper would remain mine. It didn't last long. On the day that Edward brought Bella to meet the rest of the family, my vision changed back to what I had always known. Jasper had finally seen Bella the way that he was meant to. It had only taken one look to pass between the two of them for something to click between them and set the events of the future into motion.
I tried to keep them apart, but I now knew that you can't stop destiny. Some things are set into stone long before they ever happen and no matter what you throw in the way, that writing can't change. Bella and Jasper were one of these things.
"I think it turned out alright." Edward said, brushing a fleck of snow out of my hair.
I smiled gently at him and pressed my lips to his.
Things had turned out the way that they were supposed to. Carlisle and Esme were still as in love as they were from the first time they met. Emmett and Rose were just them, completely in love with themselves as well as each other. Edward and I were something that I had seen once, long ago when Bella finally grew into a woman and realized that her life was waiting for her with Jasper. I let go of everything at that point and let fate run it's course. Seventy years after the day in Forks that Edward finally let Bella go, our friendship blossomed into love and eventually into what we were today. Two people madly in love.
I chuckled as I turned in Edward's embrace to see our family. I watched Rose attack Emmett from behind with a massive snowball that caused him to fall down to his knees and beg mercy from his beautiful wife.
My face broke out into a bright smile as I looked over at Jasper and Bella, their amber eyes the same color with the same expression, love. The scene struck me and I couldn't tear my eyes from them. They were just as they had always been in my vision and it was with a relative peace that I watched it finally unfold before my eyes.
They were surrounded by the white of the snow. The trees were glistening and the wind was blowing lightly, causing Bella's hair to fall in her eyes. I could see her smile and hear her laugh.
It was such a wonderful sound because Jasper was next to her, pulling her into his arms, simply loving her.
Just like he was always meant to do.