A/N: OMG, This is it. The Epilogue!
My song choice for this chapter is:
"Time in a Bottle" – by Jim Croce
A link to the video is on my profile.
Thanks to everyone who has read my little story, and stuck with me for the nearly two years it's taken me to write this story. Bless you if you were kind enough to leave a review. Even if you haven't, I still love you for reading!
My special Birthday wishes go out to my beautiful, darling Beta and "Sister by another Mister", Melolabel. I love you so much, Melly! Please take time to check out her new story, "Come Back To Me". It's in my favorites!
And birthday wishes also go out to Teacher1209, who has been so supportive of me during my journey into fan fiction.
Special Thank you to NobleKorhedron for keeping me focused on the goal of finishing this story. I love you, bb.
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight, and all the characters. I just borrow them from time to time and make them do my bidding…
Now, without further adieu …
Enough of this crazy stuff! Just shut up and post the chapter already…
** BM **
Chapter 44 – Epilogue… Watching Robbie Grow.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR ROBBIE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU," the chorus rang out around the room as Edward and I watched the dearest thing in our lives blow out five candles. It seemed like only yesterday we were watching him being born. Each day with Robbie was more precious than the last. Edward and I had decided to forgo any college plans for the time being, and devoted ourselves to being full-time parents. We didn't want to miss a moment of our baby's childhood. College could wait, but we only had one opportunity to watch Robbie grow up.
The cake was huge, even though only six people would actually be eating it. Edward's parents had flown in for the celebration, and were standing beside Charlie. We had to hand it to Charlie. When Edward's father had finally clued him in on our family's true nature, Charlie had handled it like he did everything else: with stoic calm. After the initial shock had worn off, he raised an eyebrow and said, "I knew there was something special about that family." The fact that Billy had already felt it necessary to enlighten Charlie of Jake's, and the rest of the La Push boys', proclivity to change into wolves at will, only helped The Chief accept the unconventionality of his nephew's new family. Yes, Charlie Swan was a special man.
Billy, Jake, and Jake's bride, Leah had also joined us for the celebration. Jake and Leah had been married for a year and Leah was seven-months pregnant with their first child. Alice still didn't like having Jake around, but she had become resigned to it. After all, Jake was Robbie's Godfather, while she and Rose shared Godmother honors.
Elizabeth had taken over serving the cake, placing a generous piece of the sugary treat in front of the birthday boy. Before I could voice a protest, she gave me a look and said, "It's his birthday." I just shook my head and smiled, more than willing to spoil my baby today. The rest of the family milled around the room while Robbie and our human guests enjoyed their dessert. I could see that Emmett was getting antsy. He was as big a child as Robbie; he wanted to get to the main event – opening the presents.
Suddenly Robbie, who was apparently even more precocious than his father had been at the same age, put down his fork in exasperation and said, "Uncle Em, I'll open my presents in a minute, and no, I won't open yours first."
Amid the snickers and giggles that arose from his comment, Robbie calmly picked up his fork again and deftly shoveled a huge bite of cake into his mouth.
"Hey, Little Man, I didn't say anything about opening gifts," Emmett protested lamely.
Robbie, always a well-behaved and polite child, swallowed his bite of cake before answering his uncle.
"You didn't say it with your mouth voice; you said it with your other voice."
My head whipped around to Edward, whose startled expression was now turned to me. The rest of the family had become eerily silent at Robbie's words. Edward had no way of knowing what Robbie was thinking, for we had discovered early on that Robbie shared my ability to block Edward's mind-reading skills. It seemed he had also inherited a special talent from his father.
Edward and I moved to either side of our son where he sat in his place of honor at the head of the table thoroughly enjoying his cake, and squatted down to be at his level.
"Robbie," his father began softly, "what did you mean by Uncle Em's 'other voice'?"
Robbie turned to his father and swallowed his bite before answering, his little face perfectly capturing a 'duh' look. "The voice he uses when he doesn't use his mouth."
Edward seemed a bit nonplussed by our son's words and took a moment to glance around at the rest of the family before he focused once again on Robbie's wide, green eyes and asked the next question. "Does everyone talk to you without using their mouth?"
He gave his father another look and said, "Everybody but Mommy. Mommy only uses her mouth voice."
Alice's voice rang out, giving voice to the obvious, "Oh, my stars! He's a little mind-reader!"
Amid the gasps of shock around the room came the dry voice of Charlie Swan. "Doesn't surprise me," and he calmly resumed eating his cake.
"GO, ROBBIE, GO!" The chorus of voices shouted out as Bella and I watched our ten-year-old son round first base and slide feet first into second.
"SAFE!" yelled the umpire, and a round of applause and whistles rang out from the crowd.
It was the bottom of the sixth, and last, inning in the Little League game, and Robbie would be the winning run if he made it safely home. Our son was a natural-born athlete. In fact, he seemed to excel at everything he tried. We realized early on that knowing what pitch would be thrown gave him somewhat of an unfair advantage in the game of baseball, but we still wanted him to experience the thrill of the game while he was young. We had made him practice blocking out the thoughts of those around him until he got pretty good at doing so. Only then would we let him play on the team. He gave us a 'thumbs up' and a huge grin, letting us know that he had made that hit without using his gift.
I glanced around at the crowd of onlookers watching the game. The late June day was overcast enough that our whole family had decided to attend. My dad had taken an early retirement, and he and my mom had moved to Alaska a couple of years ago to be closer to their only grandchild. Robbie was thrilled to have Pops and Nana around all the time. Bella and I, along with the rest of the family, had moved here three years ago when Carlisle's non-aging became a problem in Forks. Jake, Leah, and five-year-old Vanessa, had come up for a visit and were sitting with the rest of the family in the stands. Vanessa idolized Robbie and followed on his heels everywhere he went. Robbie just smiled and accepted her adoration with graciousness born from spending most of his upbringing surrounded by adults who not only adored him, but also taught him to be respectful and mannerly.
Robbie raked his hand through his unruly chestnut-brown hair as he took a few steps away from second base in the direction of third. I saw him look in our direction before rolling his eyes and looking toward his coach. What was that all about? Then I glanced over my shoulder and saw Emmett gesturing wildly and mouthing what looked like, "Steal, steal, steal," before I rolled my eyes too, and turned back to throw a sympathetic look in Robbie's direction. He caught my eye, shrugged his shoulders, and returned to watch for the coach's signal. He was used to Emmett's antics by now.
When the next pitch was swung on and missed, Robbie took off for third. He was fast, and easily stole third before the catcher could even begin his throw. On the next pitch, the batter got a hit and an RBI as Robbie slid across home plate, scoring the winning run.
After the game, we treated the whole team and their families to pizza. We were joined by my parents and Jake's family while the rest of our family went home. Bella and I smiled as we watched Robbie help Vanessa into the chair next to him and make sure she had a slice of her favorite pizza before he got his own. Her big brown eyes seldom left his face as they enjoyed their meal. We had raised a gentleman.
"ROBERT EDWARD MASEN! SLOW DOWN!" I yelled from the passenger seat, as my sixteen-year-and-two-days-old son skidded his brand new silver Volvo into the entrance to the driveway of our New Hampshire summer home. "Robbie, I mean it…"
"Aw, Mom, what are you yelling for? You know Uncle Em taught me to drive as soon as I could reach the pedals. And please, I told you I wanted to be called Rob from now on."
"Okay, then, slow down, Rob!"
"Mom, no worries, besides, we both know you're pretty much bullet proof."
"Yes, I am, but you're not, Robbie, uh…, excuse me, Rob." I gave him an exasperated look, my lips pressed tightly together.
He rolled his eyes but slowed the car to a normal speed as he drove along the winding, mile-long, driveway to our house. He cast me a sideways smirk, identical to his fathers, and replied, "Not yet."
My breath puffed out in a resigned sigh as I realized that he was right…
Robbie was special; we'd known that since his fifth birthday. But when puberty hit, we started noticing other things that set Robbie even further apart from his classmates. The first time we saw a difference was at his first practice for Summer Junior League baseball the year he turned thirteen. He ran just a little too fast to first base after hitting the ball just a little too far. Luckily, the coaches and other players were too busy watching the ball sail way past the outfield fence to notice his unusual burst of speed, but not me or his father. We noticed immediately. Nothing Robbie did escaped our notice. Perhaps we were over-zealous parents, but we paid attention to every detail of Robbie's development, not wanting to miss a thing.
Our lives began to get complicated that day, as if we needed any more complications. The hardest part was telling Robbie that he could no longer play baseball, or do any other sports, where he competed with normal, human children. It just wouldn't have been fair. Though disappointed, Robbie accepted the change with only a minimal amount of grumbling. It helped that his uncles reminded him that he could still play with the family when we played vampire baseball.
Over the next year, Robbie went from being a somewhat normal middle-school child of barely thirteen, to an extraordinary young man of fourteen. He grew at what we soon realized was an accelerated rate, and by the end of that year, was the size of his father, perhaps even a tad bigger. He was disappointed when we told him we would have to move, yet again, because his sudden growth spurt was too much to explain to the children and parents that we had become acquainted with during middle school. It was hard enough to explain my and Edward's youthful appearance, even though we did everything we could to disguise it, from sporting unflattering hairdos and horn-rimmed glasses, to wearing unfashionable clothing and hideous shoes. These measures were extremely distasteful for Alice, but she came to think of it as dressing for Halloween all the time.
On the upside, as his body grew, so did his unusual talents. His running speed and endurance continued to increase. He found he could jump higher and farther than humanly possible, and his eyesight and hearing were phenomenal, along with his reflexes. His strength was increasing daily, and cuts and bruises healed almost instantly. While he wasn't Superman or anything, he was still something more than a mere human.
Carlisle had done test after test trying to explain what was happening, and finally had discovered that Robbie had a slight mutation to his genes. Carlisle theorized it was caused by the interaction of the venom in my system coming into contact with my unfertilized egg. We had thought the egg had been completely insulated from my venom and thus unaffected, but it seems we were a little premature with that conclusion. While Robbie's body had grown as a normal human during his childhood years, puberty had triggered the mutation and had kicked his physical development into overdrive.
Robbie had always been extremely intelligent, much more so than most children his age. We had just chalked it up to interacting with vampires during his formative years and having all of us eager to try to 'teach little Robbie to do this' or 'show little Robbie how to do that'. We took it as normal when he played piano at age three, and read at a high-school level at age five. We thought it was just precociousness on his part when he learned to speak French, Spanish, Greek, and Italian during a two-month-long family vacation through southern Europe when he was six. We took his intelligence for granted, especially as we had to also deal with his mind-reading abilities. Edward's parents, however, kept telling us that Robbie was brilliant, but we just dismissed that as the opinion of doting grandparents. We now knew differently.
Up until he turned ten, we had home-schooled Robbie, finding it was fun to educate him in alternative and interactive ways. He learned history by visiting historical places and museums with his Uncle Jasper; he learned science by conducting experiments with Poppy Carlisle; he learned math through cleverly-designed computer games courtesy of his Uncle Emmett. Goof-ball he may have appeared, but Emmett was a mathematical and engineering genius, who also taught Robbie how to take apart and reassemble said computer and how to tweak the pre-installed programs to make them – "work better". Aunt Rosalie taught Robbie how to tear down an engine and rebuild it by the time he was seven. He was taught art appreciation by MeMe Esme and given a sense of style by Aunt Alice.
Through it all, Edward and I had strived to, first and foremost, make sure he developed a strong feeling of self worth and didn't become spoiled by the constant attention by all those around him. More than anything, we wanted him to have as normal a childhood as was possible, given our unique situation. We knew it was important that Robbie make friends and learn to interact with children his own age. Plus, Robbie loved sports, just like his father had at that age. For these reasons, Edward and I decided to enroll Robbie in a regular, human middle school when he turned ten. All in all, we were very proud of the caring, unselfish, and polite child we enrolled in Mirror Lake Middle School in Chugiak, Alaska. After preliminary testing, he was immediately place in all advanced classes, and the teachers wondered if they'd be able to keep up with him. He was soon taking high-school courses via the internet, and sailing easily through every class.
When we left Alaska over two years ago, after discovering just how special Robbie really was, we decided to settle here in New Hampshire. By the time he was fourteen, Robbie could easily pass for eighteen, so we had decided to let him apply to Dartmouth. Edward decided he might as well begin his college education, too, and had also applied. All the necessary documents and paperwork had proved easy to obtain. Edward had aced both the SAT and ACT tests; they weren't that challenging when you were a vampire. However, Robbie had aced them, too. Quite a feat when you were human, albeit an extraordinary human. They were both accepted. So now both my husband and my son were completing their second year at Dartmouth, Edward in Pre-Law and Robbie in Pre-Med. The entire family had decided to come for a visit during Spring Break this week to celebrate Robbie's birthday. The Volvo was a gift from his Poppy Carlisle…
"Mom… Mom… Earth to Bella… Mom…" Robbie was snapping his fingers and waving them in front of my face.
I gave a little head shake as my thoughts came back to the present and I saw that we were now parked in our spacious garage. I turned my head toward him, my eyes once again focusing on the handsome features of my son. I couldn't help the nostalgic look that came over my face.
"Oh, Robbie, you've grown up so fast," I said, a little sadly.
He rolled his vivid green eyes and said in exasperation, "Aw, Mom…it's Rob!"
"Robert Edward Masen".
I sat in the audience beside the rest of our family and watched as our eighteen-year-old son accepted his diploma during Dartmouth's graduation ceremony. His father had just crossed the stage before him after receiving his own. They looked so much alike that we had let everyone assume they were twins. After all, it was highly doubtful that anyone would believe they were actually father and son.
To my right sat Ed and Liz, the former snapping picture after picture, while Liz dabbed lightly at tears with a tissue. To my left sat Carlisle and Esme, wearing proud expressions and clapping loudly. Farther down the row past Esme was Jasper, Alice, Em, and Rose; while Charlie, Billy, Jake, Leah and thirteen-year-old Vanessa took up the rest of the row on the right.
As Robbie crossed the stage, I cast a quick look at Vanessa. She was growing into a beautiful young lady, with long, straight black hair and dark eyes. She shared her father's contagious smile and innate charm, except where Robbie was concerned. Over the last few years, whenever our families visited, Robbie delighted in teasing her, especially by giving her the nickname "Nessie", which she hated. I was proud to say that Vanessa held her own and came back with a snarky remark to each of his digs. She persisted in calling him Robbie just to annoy him, even though nearly everybody called him Rob now. The two of them seemed to feed off each other; the more he teased, the snarkier she got, and the snarkier she got, the more he teased. It was a vicious cycle.
We had discovered a few years ago that, surprisingly, Vanessa was able to block her thoughts from Robbie most of the time. He was only able to read her mind if she let her guard down and allowed him in, much as it had been with Edward and me. We also found that Vanessa had a very strong will. Seldom did she allow Robbie to see her thoughts, much to his chagrin. When he questioned me about it, I simply told him that it was very impolite of him to try to read her thoughts, and he should exercise more control. He didn't like it, but he finally accepted it.
Now, however, when she thought no one was looking, her guard was down and I saw that star-struck look from her early childhood glowing in her eyes as she watched him descend the steps from the stage area. She continued to watch him until he was swallowed up in the sea of his classmates. Then as she turned her head, she caught my eyes on her. Her face suffused in a lovely peachy rose blush and I saw her bite her lip and drop her head in embarrassment. I had to smile and caught Leah's eyes over her daughter's head and we exchanged a silent message as only mothers can. I think, perhaps, our little Vanessa had a crush.
The angry buzz of my pager signaled that I was needed back in the ER. I sighed, setting my lunch aside.
Well, it had been a good sandwich, at least the half I had been able to eat in peace during the ten minutes I had allowed myself to get some lunch. I gave a half grimace as I finished the sandwich in two bites before rising to leave the cafeteria. I finished off my bottle of green tea in a couple of long pulls and tossed the empty container into a recycle bin by the cafeteria doors. I pushed through the doors and headed down the hall toward the Emergency Room. At least the page hadn't said "STAT", so there wasn't a dire emergency awaiting me; no need to run.
I had chosen Emergency Medicine as my specialty because I wanted to help people, while at the same time be exposed to as many different medical conditions as possible. Emergency Medicine fit the bill. My heightened senses and endurance made the normally wearisome job easier to handle. But even I needed to eat.
One of the perks of the job was working with Poppy Carlisle. I had dropped the "Poppy" from his name when addressing him aloud years ago, but deep down inside, he would always be my Poppy and I still thought of him that way. We had both started here at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center when I completed my residency two years ago, and I felt very privileged to work with him. No matter how much I had learned in medical school and during my residency, I still learned new things every day from Poppy. He taught me how to develop my bedside manner and how to never take any patient, or anything they had to say, for granted. He taught me how to deliver good news with warmth and humility, and bad news with empathy and grace. He taught me that sometimes even the best treatment was nothing when compared with the faith of the patient, and he taught me that sometimes no matter what you did, it wasn't enough. He taught me how to never give up hope but also to accept that failure was part of the job.
After we graduated from Dartmouth together, Dad had continued on to law school at Columbia, while I was accepted into Dartmouth Medical School. Dad had completed law school six years ago but knew he'd never be able to practice in a regular office. He, Mom, Jasper, Alice, Em, and Rose had set up, and now ran, the Cullen Foundation. It was a charitable organization dedicated to making the dream of a college education a reality for as many deserving students as possible. They had finally found a useful way to exercise Alice's prognosticating abilities. Together, the six of them had already doubled the two billion dollars that Carlisle had originally endowed to begin the foundation, and next year they hoped to offer full tuition scholarships to ten thousand worthy high school seniors. They hoped to double the number of recipients in the next two years.
Dad was in his element. He had discovered while an undergrad that he had a knack not only for the law, but also for finance, which sort of went hand in hand with Alice's gift. All six of them were having a ball, and I, for one, was glad that Mom and Dad finally had a hobby other than living in my hip pocket, and I meant that in the nicest way possible. But, really, the whole 'watching every move I made' kind of got old the older I got.
After being accepted to medical school, I really wanted to date. I was eighteen and dating had proved to be nearly impossible with my parents around all the time. So when Dad expressed an interest in going to law school at Columbia, I encouraged both him and Mom to move to New York as they had planned to do before I was born. They still had the apartment Carlisle had given them as a wedding gift, so they finally decided, after much encouragement from me and the rest of the family, (yes, I admit, I begged Uncle Em and Uncle Jasper to help get them out of my hair), they moved to New York while I stayed in New Hampshire. I was finally able to breathe.
And breathe I did. I breathed on Becky Lewis, the first girl I actually dated. That lasted all of three weeks until she found out my family was rich and thought I would be her ticket to a better life. No, not happening.
Then there was Kaitlyn Shepherd. Oh, yes, I breathed on Katie - a lot! She was the first girl I slept with, even thought what we did involved very little sleeping. Katie was fun and we dated for six months before we went our separate ways by mutual agreement. We're still friends.
Then I breathed on Megan O'Conner. Oh, Lord, that girl was hot! She taught me things you could never learn in a textbook, and that's all I'm saying about that. Our relationship lasted for nearly a year until she graduated and moved back to California. We both realized that what we had wasn't a forever kind of thing, so we broke it off. I'm still friends with Megan, too.
After Megan, there was Francesca Devereaux, a gorgeous girl from New Orleans. I dated her for two weeks, and then spent three months trying to avoid her at all costs. Saying she was a little eccentric was being kind. In all honesty, Francesca was a few fries short of a Happy Meal. She was crazy! She just couldn't accept that I didn't belong to her. She followed me around campus, hanging around the quad, just waiting for me to pass by. Frankly, it got a little scary when I took a peek at her thoughts and saw her sticking pins in a voodoo doll with my name across its chest. I had to call in the big guns, then. Yes, I'm not ashamed to admit it – I called my mother. One face-to-face encounter with a pissed-off vampire and Francesca moved back to New Orleans. Needless to say, we are not still friends.
After that, I was a little more careful. It was six months before I felt confident enough to date again. That's when I met Lori Monetti, and then there was Jill Turner, and finally Lily Gerard. Nothing was ever really serious with any of them, and I was still friends with all three.
I never considered myself a womanizer because I never used a woman for selfish purposes. Everything between me and my chosen partner was always what we both wanted. I just loved women in general. I loved everything about them, the way they walked, the way they talked, the way they smelled, and the softness of their skin. I loved the way they tasted and the rough feeling of their tongue as they licked my skin. Yes, I loved women, and I enjoyed the freedom of being single. I didn't think that would be changing anytime soon. Yeah, right. Maybe if I kept repeating that, I would actually convince myself it was true.
Not for the first time, I realized that my last relationship had been with Lily and that had ended right after Thanksgiving during my last year of med school. I hadn't had a serious relationship, or even a real girlfriend, since that time. I had dated plenty of women since then, and tried to feel something for each of them, but it was like that part of me belonged somewhere else. I just had no desire for any of them. Suddenly, the memory of my visit to see Uncle Charlie and Jake's family right after Christmas that same year sprang to the forefront of my mind. Even now, just the thought of that late December night caused my heart to quicken and my dick to get hard. It amazed me that one memory could still wreak such havoc within me, even after all this time. I had to pause for a moment to get my body back under control. After filling my mind with visions of blunt force trauma injuries and severed limbs, I finally succeeded.
I pushed open the right side of the double-doors leading into the ER. My eyes went immediately to Stella, the day-shift receptionist and general mother-hen to all the ER staff. She reminded me so much of my Nana Liz. Stella was in her early sixties and sported a poufy hairdo that I swear could have housed a family of robins and no one would have been the wiser. Her laughing eyes crinkled at the edges as she gave me a broad smile.
"Hey, Stella, I thought you would have at least let me finish my sandwich before you called me back down here. Did you miss me that much?" It was our running joke that Stella wanted my body, and she had told me more than a few times that if she was twenty years younger, she would have declared open season on me.
"Oh, you wish, Dr. Hottie McHotterson. You couldn't handle me." She giggled like a teenager. "No, I called you in because you have a visitor."
She waved toward one of our private, outpatient waiting rooms as I asked, "Who is it?"
Stella just shrugged her shoulders and said, "I don't know, but she sure is pretty. You two-timing me behind my back, honey?"
I gave her my most innocent grin, "Now, Stella, you know you're my number one girl."
"Oh, aren't you a charmer. I'll remind you of those words after you see your visitor." She threw me a smile and added, "Take your time. Dr. Cullen is here to handle anything that comes up in the next, oh, say, hour or so?"
I left her with a wink and a smile as I headed toward the waiting room. I pushed open the door silently and drew up short as my eyes took in the woman waiting there. She was turned away from me as she stood studying one of the generic paintings on the far wall. I could see her long, black hair where it rested stick-straight and thick past her mid-back. The skin of her arms and shoulders, shown to perfection in a white, sleeveless dress, was tanned and smooth. My eyes dropped to her long, shapely, toned and tanned legs, also exquisitely displayed below the short skirt. Her feet were encased by a few straps of white leather which left her pink toes tantalizingly bare.
I drew in a deep breath as my heart thudded heavily in my chest. I could taste her scent on the air and my body reacted accordingly. I hadn't seen her in over five years, but it might as well have been yesterday. My body remembered her; my heart remembered her. No matter how much space and time had gone between us, those facts would never change. Five years ago she had been too young, too innocent to be the subject of my thoughts that night. The feelings she had caused to course through my body had shaken me to my core, both with their power and in the depth of the passion she inspired in me. I had felt nothing like it before or since, and no matter how hard I tried to forget her, I couldn't. My heart wouldn't let me. It was as if she became the center of my universe that night, whether I wanted it or not; she simply was.
And now she was here, in this hospital waiting room in Seattle, and I could see she wasn't that little girl anymore. I knew in an instant her power over me was just as strong as it had been all those years ago, a power I had come to realize that she had had over me from the time we were children.
She must have sensed my presence in the room, or perhaps she heard my ragged breathing, but slowly she turned to face me. Her warm, brown eyes, looking much too big in her heart-shaped face, met mine from across the room. I took a couple of steps toward her, letting the door swing closed behind me. I saw a look of determination cross her face as I stood rooted to the spot. I was again struck by the fact that the person before me was a grown woman; the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.
She began walking toward me slowly, as if she was afraid I would turn tail and run from the room. The thought did cross my mind, but the look in her eyes left me paralyzed. I couldn't move away even if I wanted to. She stopped a few inches from me and I watched her tongue come out to moisten her lips before her hands lifted and reached out toward me. She placed her palms against my chest and I felt a shudder pass through me from her touch. Slowly her hands moved up my body, across my shoulders, and around until her long fingers were tangled in the hair at the nape of my neck. I felt a gentle pressure as she pulled my head towards hers, saw her tongue appear again, right before our lips met.
A fire ignited in my soul, placed there by the sparks that were tingling between our mouths. I felt her tongue softly lick my lips, a silent entreaty, begging for entrance. With a wild groan, I surrendered. My arms came up to clasp her tightly against me as I opened myself to her. Not just my mouth, but my whole body, my soul. I could deny her no longer. She was my other half; she completed me.
Our kiss continued for what could have been days, but in reality was just a couple minutes, as we fed off each other. I had wanted her for so long, thinking that I couldn't have her, but now, she was here, and I'd fight all the demons in hell before I'd give her up now.
Finally, our initial hunger for each other temporarily sated, our lips parted. I didn't let my hold on her slacken, so she couldn't draw back very much.
She drew in a shaky breath and laughed a little. "I've wanted to do that again for five long years. I was so afraid I'd never be able to. I've missed you so much, Robbie."
I couldn't hide my smile. Other than my mom and dad, she was the only one who still called me Robbie. I kissed her again, softly and with all the love that was due this special woman.
"I've missed you too, Nessie."
Okay, lovely readers. I hope the Epilogue delivered, and before you ask, YES, I do plan to write a little mini-fic, five or six chapters, that tell the whole "Robbie/Nessie" story. I will begin it with the final part of this epilogue, and tell a little more of their back story, especially that December night. It will be posted as a separate story, so if you want to read it, you might want to put me on author alert, unless you have already. Robbie and Nessie's story may just surprise you, I know it surprised me when I completed the outline.
I want to thank each and every one of you for coming on this rollercoaster ride with me. I posted the first chapter of Bella, the Lioness nearly two years ago, on March 12, 2009. I have lived and breathed these characters every day of those two years and I really hate to let them go. However, Bella and Edward's story is finished, even if Robbie's still has a few chapters to go.
I wish I could give each and every one of you a hug and a personal thank you for reading this story. If you've been with me since the start, I love you HARD! And if you just started this story last week, or last month, or last night, I Love you, too. Those of you who have reviewed have been my lifeline sometimes. Just seeing that little email pop up and knowing that you took the time to let me know you were there, meant more to me than I could ever say. I truly love every one of you!
As I told you at the end of the last chapter, I will be continuing my other stories now that BtL is finished. Updates to 'A Twilight Star Trek', 'Broken Wings, Fallen Angel' and 'Rocket Man' are half written. I have a one-shot that I wrote for FGB that I will be posting very soon. I also have another one-shot that I wrote for the 'I'm With the Band' contest. I will be adding an EPOV to it and posting it as a mini-story. It will have only 4 or 5 short chapters, and if you read it when it was in the contest, then you already know how it ends. I just wanted to write a little more detail to it. Just for fun.
Also, just in case you ever go back and re-read this story, I'm going to be re-working each chapter, taking down the crazy stuff in the A/Ns. When I go back now and read some of that stuff, I cringe a little. So, I will be cleaning it up, making it a little more reader friendly for the person who just starts reading it next week.
In the meantime, lovely readers….
I really love you guys, and remember…
** May all your dreams be filled with Edward **