Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight.
Alright. Here is the last chapter. Oh my goodness, I can't believe we're here! I am very glad to have this finished, but it is almost bittersweet. This is just a nice little treat to seal up the story. It's short, which I think epilogues are supposed to be, but I hope that y'all like it. I really have no idea how I can possibly express my thanks to all the reviewers that have stuck with me - through the writer's block, through everything - but I want everyone to know that I really appreciate everyone's kind words and advice for this little fic of mine, and that I couldn't have gotten here without their support. Thanks so much to everyone that has reviewed and favorited this story as well as me as an author. It means so much, y'all have no clue.
And, without further ado, the epilogue.
Long Road to Ruin
His name was Jasper Whitlock.
And everything was now in place.
Years had passed like days, like minutes, like seconds.
An immortal's concept of time was vastly different from a human's, he knew, but this was almost ridiculous. The years seemed to float by like clouds, passing him with the brevity of something truly sad and beautiful at the same time.
He had learned the tricks and trades of the vampire from the best. Carlisle, Esme, Emmett, Rosalie, Edward, Alice, and Bella. Always, always Bella.
The most minute things were taught as if they were the most important. The way he was supposed to keep moving, since vampires naturally didn't need to move at all. How to control his lust for blood. How to manage his gift of controlling, emitting, and transmitting emotions. How to live forever without dwelling on the negative things. All of this came surprisingly easy for him.
But, this...this was a different beast.
Isle Esme was covered in white. Every inch of the quaint little house where he and Bella first consummated their love for one another was covered with pretty, floating decorations. White, the color of purity, the symbolic shade of this whole business he had ahead of him.
The whole thing was a small affair, the people there being only the Cullen coven as well as the Denalis. Carlisle stood towards the center of the space marked for the occassion. Emmett, Edward, and Diego were standing calmly behind Jasper, while across from Jasper himself stood Alice, Rosalie, and a spot reserved for Esme. The rest of the Denali clan folded into a circle around the place, leaving only a space big enough for a person to get through.
That person being Bella.
Jasper twisted his fingers in the pockets of his loose khaki pants. His white shirt hung, only half-buttoned in a very Jasper-like manner, loosely around his thin frame. Staring out towards the house, he gulped, wondering how in the world he could have gotten himself into this.
Of course, he was the one who had caused it, that was a ridiculous thing to say.
Alice looked up and met his eyes, giving him a sly wink.
Yeah, this was her fault, too. At least they had avoided her attempt to make it something bigger. Bella wanted just a small event, nothing extravagant.
Jasper dug his bare feet into the sand, feeling the grit between his toes. The sound of the ocean called to him. He wanted nothing more to do than take Bella and leave here.
Which he would.
After all of this had occurred.
Because she deserved something special, and he wanted it to happen - to be bonded to her in every way possible after so long together - that's why he asked her, after all. Besides, Alice wouldn't have it any other way.
The waves crashed behind him, gulls keened above him, the sun shone down on them all, making them look like an array of beautiful, sparkling creatures.
And then, there she was.
Walking toward him, just having left the interior of the small house, was Bella, arm in arm with Esme and looking absolutely radiant.
Her white dress was appropriate for her, and not the strange, cake-looking thing that Alice had wanted to put her in. It was a simple sundress with thin straps, sinched at the waist, the fabric falling straight and simple to above her knees. In her hands she held a bundle of tiger lilies, a stunning color against the crispness of the white dress. Her hair was left wavy and natural, almost as if she had just had it blown dry by the wind of the beach, half of her thick hair was pulled back with a clip styled to look like seashells. Her feet, free of any shoe, glided smoothly across the stand. Her golden eyes looked at nothing but him, her grin splitting her face into something so stunning that it hurt to look at her directly - however, he couldn't take his eyes away.
Around her neck, she wore the same topaz pendant from so long ago.
There were murmured sounds of approval from everyone there. Emmett even gave a loud, boyish whistle, and Alice glared at him as if to shut him up for ruining Bella's big day.
But the person in question didn't mind at all. Esme guided her to her spot, before taking her place right behind Rosalie.
The love flowing off of Bella was so much that Jasper could hardly stand it. He grinned brightly, and their hands reached out for one another, clasping in the middle right after Bella had handed Alice her flowers.
"You're beautiful," he said. There was nothing in the world other than Bella at that moment.
She shimmered in an approximation of a blush.
Instead of hiring some random person, Carlisle - luckily - was able to legally perform the ceremony. His dulcet tones broke the silence, and he said every word with such care and happiness for the two of them that Jasper had to fight to keep control. All the emotions swirling in the air were a great climate for him, and he could barely contain himself.
Vows were said, rings were exchanged - of course, no one objected.
"You may now kiss the bride."
Jasper did, of course. He leaned down, planting a tender, heart-wrenching kiss upon the lips of his beloved, wrapping her in his arms like she was the most precious of cargo. Applause sounded as he twined a hand through her casually styled hair.
God, he loved her.
They parted, and everyone around them congratulated the couple. Jasper pretended to notice, but nothing had captured his attention as well as Bella had - it seemed that was the norm for him when it came to her.
"I love you," she said, twining her hand with his. The wedding bands clinked together, seeming to resonate through Jasper's very being.
Jasper bent down and whispered his reply against her lips.
"I love you," he murmured, "forever."
And he pulled her into his arms, complete for all eternity.
End Long Road to Ruin.