Okay--I'm posting! Yeah! Thank you to all of you who reviewed this story & to bluebird--my best beta ever! I really did enjoy writing this & was thrilled when so many of you thought the same thing. Yes, this is the end of this story. (I know it makes me a little sad too.) I have had many questions about continuing the story/writing a squeal/covering the other 3 books and I say yes--but not right now. I started Witches of Twilight to see how a witch Bella would react & I would like to see what kind of twists I could turn with the other books' plots. BUT with that said--there is a ton of back work I need to do to make the story not only believable but also enjoyable for you. I have already started outlining but don't plan on writing/posting for a few months. I HAVE started a completely new story/plot. I am excited about this new spin on Twilight and will post something for you all to read very soon. please put me on Author Alert so you'll be notified when I do post. Thanks again for reviewing! Enjoy
Epilogue: Prom Night
"Okay Bella, open your eyes!" Alice's voice trilled with excitement. I shook my head wildly, terrified of what I might see if I did open my eyes.
"Isabella Marie Swan, I did not spend countless hours making sure this night would be perfect to have you sit in Alice's bathroom!" Addy's voice was forceful but equally excited. "Open them missy or there will be trouble!"
I felt the threads around me arch as Addy drew in their power. "Don't do anything brash," I muttered. Taking a deep breath, I slowly opened my eyes. I recognized Alice and Addy standing off to the side, holding each other's hands in anticipation. I smiled at their giddy faces and slowly turned my gaze to the third person in the mirror. For the longest time I didn't recognize her. She had brown hair that fell in soft curls. They shimmered and bounced softly with the slightest movement. She was dressed in a royal blue dress, and her pale skin glowed against the cool color. Her brown eyes grew in amazement, just as I felt my own eyes start to widen. Then the realization hit: That's me. A blush flooded my cheeks and made me instantly more recognizable.
Leaning in closer to the mirror, I examined the amazing handiwork of Alice and Addy. My brown curls were pinned carefully around my face, unlike my usual messy ponytails. My makeup was surprisingly subtle—especially considering it was Addy who did it—but it covered over every imperfection and left my skin as smooth as porcelain. A soft rosy-pink lip-gloss shimmered on my lips and almost made them match in fullness.
Having completed my facial examination, I more carefully searched my outfit. The blue dress was sleeveless. The v-neckline fell to a wide white ribbon that ran just below my bust. Standing carefully, I watched the soft fabric move around me. The fabric clung closely to my ribs and flared out softly before touching my hips. The hem reached just to my mid-calf. Upon standing, my fears returned. Alice had put me in 3-inch stilettos. These shoes will be the death of me.
Alice moved behind me and was instantly at my side with a white garment. "I knew you'd complain about the sleeves," she said, holding out a soft cashmere sweater. "But I'm not giving you this until Edward sees you and I'm taking it away as soon as we arrive at the dance—You are not going to cover up that beautiful dress."
I smiled and nodded. Tonight would be one night that I wouldn't dare fight Alice—it really wasn't worth it. "Okay, I'll agree with the sweater limitations only if I have veto power over the shoes."
Alice shook her head and I quickly snatched the sweater away with the threads of the blanket. It was flying into my hands when Alice sighed in frustration, "Fine! I knew you wouldn't wear those—even though they are absolutely perfect for your dress. I bought a back-up pair I know you'd like."
She disappeared into her closest and returned with a pair of white wedge, peek-toe shoes. The heel was still a bit high for my taste, but at least it was a wedge. I sat back down to remove the death traps and fasten on the new shoes.
Alice flared her nose in slight disapproval and Addy chuckled softly. "I told you so," she said to Alice. Satisfied with my attire, I turned to see what the girls were wearing.
Addy wore a wine colored, halter-top dress. The bustle was heavily beaded and glittered softly in the light. It was an A-line cut and a slit ran up her left side to her thigh. As she moved to settle into her black heals, I saw her fishnet stockings and a beaded garter. Her blond hair was pulled up into several braids that wove into a tight bun. An antique black beaded hair clip contrasted perfectly with her blond hair. I smiled, realizing the reason she chose this wine colored dress—she would have never been able to wear it with her natural, fire-red hair.
Addy's makeup was perfect and bold. Her eyes were smoky and mysterious. Extraordinarily long lashes and a deep eye shadow made her yellow-green eyes pop. A soft blush dusted her cheeks and a dark wine lipstick covered her full lips.
And Alice was wearing a dress that only Alice could pull off. It was black and had intricate patterns cut all over that reminded me – in a soothing way – of the weave in the blanket.
Alice ran the mascara brush over her long lashes one final time before turning to me. "Okay, it is time." Reaching out to take my hand, she gently led me out of her bathroom and down the hall towards the stairs. "Stay," she commanded before turning to the stairs and disappearing down them.
I heard the soft steps of several pairs of feet and Alice appeared back at my side. She smiled warmly and pulled me forward to the stairs. My ears barely picked up the quiet gasp that escaped from the bottom of the stairs. Instantly, my eyes found the warm topaz orbs of Edward. I blushed at his slacked jaw. Staring again, Cullen? Edward's mouth shut with an audible snap and his perfectly crooked smile rose over his face. Clutching the railing, I carefully and slowly made my way down the stairs.
As often as I dared, I lifted my eyes to capture a quick glance at Edward in a tux. He would make any tuxedo model jealous. His pale white skin contrasted beautifully against his black tux. Rather than attempting to match my dress color—which Alice wasn't telling him anyway, Edward opted for a white tuxedo shirt and black bowtie. He looked like James Bond—only much more perfect. My lips crinkled a bit as I thought about what Edward would say to that.
At the last step, he pulled out a corsage. It was a single red rose surround by baby's breath and freesia. Edward brought it to his nose and then held it out towards me.
"May I?" he asked softly. I nodded and Edward quickly pinned on the flower, placing it closer to my shoulder than anything else. I giggled at his innocence and obvious discomfort in pinning anything to my bodice. Taking my hand, he brought it to his lips and kissed it softly.
"It almost smells as lovely as you do," he said through his crooked smile. I blushed at his compliment. Edward raised his other hand to brush gently over my flushed cheek, "You know this is my favorite color on you. Bella, you look absolutely beautiful."
My bush deepened and Edward chuckled softly. Finding my voice I finally spoke, "You don't look half bad yourself." Edward raised a perfect eyebrow and shifted to my side, lifting and arm for me to take.
"Shall we?" he asked.
"Let's get this over with," I mumbled.
"Bella!" I heard from over my shoulder. I twisted to see a fierce looking Addy running down the stairs. "We let you skip out on the Sadie Hawkins dance only because of your 'illness.' You are not getting out of this one! We're all going—even Will trapped a date! Stop complaining—who knows, you might actually enjoy yourself!"
"I intend to do everything within my power to make it so," Edward whispered in my ear. I shivered with his words. Wonder how far I could make that go… Our relationship was quickly developing. We spent almost every waking—and all of my sleeping hours together. Our conversations touched on every subject. There seemed to be nothing that we couldn't talk about and his mind never ceased to intrigue me. It felt like we'd been friends my entire life. There was nothing that separated us—nothing except the small fact that I was human and Edward still thirsted for my blood.
Edward played it off well, but occasionally, I saw the shift in his eyes. His normally soft honey eyes would darken and grow cold. His body would stiffen and his breathing would stop completely. I witnessed him do everything he could to quench his thirst. Every few days it seemed, he was off hunting, gorging himself on animal blood. But it did little to make my blood less appealing, especially since he had now tasted it for himself. To counter this, Edward remained very innocent with his touch. Whenever possible, I made contact with his cool skin—holding his hand, tracing patterns on his arms—anything that kept us close. It seemed to help, my touch seemed to soothe him and his eyes changed with less frequency. But still against my wishes, we hardly kissed and when we did, it was soft and pure.
The battle with James left me weak for almost two months. It was only recently that I was able to fully test and explore the new limits of my powers. I didn't have any revelations like Addy's healing, but my powers did expand. Things I struggled to do before came with ease. Often I found myself changing things within the blanket without making a conscious effort. For instance, if I couldn't hear the teacher, my mind automatically manipulated the threads to bring his words to my ears. I was trying to use this fact to my advantage, reassuring Edward that I could protect myself if he ever lost control. But then again, I was worried that if I was attacked, I might overreact and hurt him. I didn't trust myself—I'd killed one vampire on pure instinct—I could do it again without even thinking.
Perhaps Edward understood my hesitation, because his actions were always slow and controlled. He took care never to startle me. Emmett, on the other hand, had found my overreactions amusing and was always looking for the opportunity to force them out of me. Just days after I had returned to school, I had asked permission from my math teacher to use the restroom. As I was walking out of the restroom, I opened the door only to be pounced on by Emmett. I screamed and shot out a matter shield that grew out of control and blew up. The heat from the mini explosion caused the water in the pipes to expand rapidly and burst. Emmett's body left a huge hole in the ceiling and the restroom immediately flooded. I was soaked and had to fly home dripping wet to get a change of clothes. I could hear Emmett's booming laughter all the way from my house.
Edward and Alice apologized for days, telling me they didn't know what he was doing until it was too late. After my heart rate returned to normal I was able to laugh it off, but it was only funny the first time. Less than a week later, I had just woken up and was stumbling into the bathroom to wake up in the shower. I pulled back the shower curtain and Emmett leapt out of the shower. Again, I screamed but this time I didn't just fling Emmett through the roof, I used so much force that he ended up in the ocean outside of Port Angeles. The roof over the shower and three quarters of the shower wall were destroyed with his body. Thank goodness Charlie was already at work that morning. The twins and I had to knock down a tree branch and lay it carefully in the damaged area just to cover up my action. Charlie and I had to shower and use the bathroom down the street at the twins' house for over a week while a repairman fixed ours. Edward sent flowers—over five dozen roses—to try and apologize for Emmett. After the fifth delivery of roses, I told Edward to stop. I wasn't upset with him, but I was going to get even with Emmett.
I think my threat only made things worse. Emmett got wind of my plans and increased his obnoxious behavior. Finally, when I set fire to the Cullen's kitchen (don't even ask how that happened—but I found out that you can create a spark off of vampire skin), Esme and Carlisle put their foot down and told Emmett to stop. That was just over a week ago and thus far he hadn't done anything, but his eyes glittered with mischief and trouble whenever I happened to pass by him. Edward reassured me he would never go against Carlisle's command, but the more time that passed the more I was certain Emmett was planning something big. Not tonight—please Emmett. Don't mess with me on Prom Night.
My thoughts were broken with a crude catcall that echoed from down the hall. I turned to see Emmett coming out of the living room with Rosalie on his arm. He winked at me and opened his mouth to speak.
"Don't Emmett, you don't need to say it," Edward interrupted, holding up a hand and pulling me towards the door. Emmett's laugh reverberated through the house as Edward escorted me to his car and stood with the door open. Edward mumbled something under his breath and I couldn't help but smile.
"Like a big brother you never wanted," I told him as I slid into the seat. Edward rolled his eyes and gently shut the door.
The booming music from the gym greeted us from the parking lot. Edward cringed with the poor choice of music, but his expression changed completely when he opened my door. I couldn't help but blush under his stare. Edward's eyes had the ability to make me feel precious and overwhelmed with self-consciousness at the same time. I hesitated in my seat and Edward growled playfully.
"I lost a bet Miss Swan. I am not a man to go back on my word. I owe you this night." He reached into the car and pulled me to my feet.
"Oh, so you're only taking me to Prom because of a bet?" I teased.
Edward eyes grew wide as he realized the corner he'd placed himself in. He quickly tried to recover, "Well, I would have… No of course it isn't only because of…"
I placed my finger over his cold lips to silence him. "I guess I'll just have to win a few more bets to get what I want."
Edward grinned under my finger before taking it in his hands and gently kissing each one of my fingers. "I would give you anything. Ask for the world and it is yours."
Edward pulled me into his arms. I don't want the world. I thought to him as I snuggled further into his chest. I only want you.
"You have me," Edward said kissing my hair. "I love you, Bella. I will always love you."
He pulled away and offered me his arm again. We walked silently to the gym and through the wide doors. Somehow the rest of the Cullen family had arrived already. Emmett twirled Rosalie around the dance floor, flaunting her grace and beauty to the gaping students lined along the walls of the gym. Addy came bounding over to Edward and I with a tall boy in tow.
"Bella! You remember Jacob, right?" she exclaimed, as she pulled Jacob to her side. I wouldn't have recognized him from the boy that used to play with me on First Beach. I remembered Jacob was a year younger than me, but already his body was growing into a young man. He practically looked Edward in the eye and had a lean frame. Jacob's face was still round and childish, but the strong, more angular features of a man were beginning to emerge. I smiled warmly and extended my hand.
"Hey Jake. It's been forever. You've really grown up."
Jacob looked at my hand as if it were offensive and scooped me up in a big hug. "Missed you Bella. I'm glad to know you're back." He set me back on my feet and winked at me, "Thanks for sharing your friends."
Addy giggled and wrapped her arm around Jacob's. "Oh Jacob, this is Edward Cullen."
The two boys took a moment to size the other up before a civil handshake was shared between them. "Cullen, I've heard a lot about you," Jacob said.
"I as well," Edward said calmly. I sensed an unusual tension between the two. I was going to send Edward a silent message when Will and his date walked up. Will looked dashing in a black tux that resembled something from the 1800's. His date was a tall girl with beautiful black hair. She had the same rich skin and dark eyes as Jacob. She wore a simple green dress that highlighted her natural beauty.
"Hey guys," Will spoke. "Let me introduce Leah Clearwater. Leah, this is Edward, Bella and my sister, Addy. You know Jacob."
Leah nodded to each of us and smiled. Addy and I exchanged a look. Neither of us had ever been able to picture Will with anyone, yet here he stood before us with a girl holding his hand. Will looked comfortable and natural with Leah at his side—it was rather mind blowing.
The music shifted to a slow song and Edward took my punch and placed it on a table. "It was a pleasure to meet you both," he said politely, "But if you'll excuse us, I owe Bella a dance."
I froze and Edward squeezed at my hand. "We need to have at least one dance," he whispered as he gently, but firmly pulled me towards the dance floor.
"I…but…wait." My words were pointless. Edward's crooked grin spread across his face as he pulled me into his arms.
"Breath Bella, it's all in the leading," Edward reassured me. I attempted to follow his lead, but kept stumbling over his feet or my own. Edward chuckled softly and picked me up, placing me on his own feet. Once I was settled, he twirled us gracefully and beautifully around the dance floor. I relaxed in his arms and our movements became almost effortless. I am in love with the most amazing creature—and he loves me in return. I smiled into Edward's chest and sighed deeply.
"So dancing isn't as bad as you feared?" Edward whispered in my ear.
I giggled softly. "I don't know how anything with you could be bad."
The song ended and Edward pulled me towards the back door. I followed closely, thankful he wasn't interested in pushing our luck with my dancing. Once outside, Edward led me to a bench and sat. I crawled up into his lap, earning a soft chuckle from him. Nestling my head in his shoulder, we sat in comfortable silence for the longest time.
Eventually I broke the silence. "Edward?"
"When James bit me, why didn't you simply let the venom spread?"
Edward took a haggard breath. "And have you miss out on this?"
"What?" I pulled back my head so I could clearly see his expression.
"Bella, I am not going to take your life away from you." Edward's eyes were sad. "You have a beautiful future ahead of you filled with endless possibilities. I am not going to steal that from you."
"My future will amount to nothing without you," I told him.
"I will be here," Edward whispered, gently wiping a tear from my cheek. "I will never leave you."
"But Edward," I took a steadying breath, "I'm getting older. Every second that ticks by ages me. Every breath I take could be my last."
Edward's jaw flexed and he returned my head to his shoulder. "As is the way of life. I will not trade your life for an endless death. I love you too much to damn you to an eternity as a monster."
"You are not a monster."
Edward sighed and pulled my face towards his, "Then cherish the time we do have together." And before I could speak again, his lips touched mine. Our kiss was sorrowful and longing. Before I was ready, Edward broke it and set me on my feet to lead me back into the gym.
This conversation is not done Edward. I thought to myself as we wandered back towards our friends. You are my life now and I will find a way to spend it with you—I need to be with you forever.
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