*tears* Last chapter... hope I didn't disappoint anyone. Personally, I like the ending, but that's your decision. I will have a new story up soon. Yes, it is Twilight. So don't worry! I hope EVERYONE enjoys! (:
Before Garret let Renesmee go completely, he stopped and looked me directly in the eye. "Are you telling the truth? Are Tanya and- Kate really dead?" Please, please be lying… His voice broke when he spoke the name of the one he loved. He cared more than he led on.
I gave him the hardest, coldest stare I could manage without doing anything that would make him want to put Nessie in any more danger. "Yes." Was all I could manage without thrashing out toward him and ripping his throat out.
"Edward," he looked to my left, "Bella. You have to believe me. I only did this because Kate convinced me it was the right thing to do. I didn't wish any harm."
Neither of us answered. Instead, I looked into his mind and, strangely enough, Garret was telling the truth. He really did mean all those things he said.
This time, it was Bella who spoke up. I expected her voice to show at least some form of anger or frustration, but she seemed clam as ever. Bella had a better poker face than me.
"We believe you, Garret. Just put our Renesmee down and you won't have to die. We won't follow you, you'll be free to go back home or wherever you want to. Just put Renesmee down."
To my right, I saw Alice had a smug smile plastered on her face. I didn't even have to tune into her thoughts to know that we had won and no one would be hurt. This was a surprise to me, I had truly thought that it would come to a fight between Garret and I.
With one quick glance, Garret placed Nessie softly on the grass. He stood up straight and looked to me. "There. I didn't hurt her. I will be on my way now." His arrogance at a time like this was getting on my nerves.
Garret looked to Jasper and I, and we both nodded. It also annoyed me how Garret didn't seem to look to Bella or Alice for instruction or approval. He only took the men seriously.
No one said a word. The only sound came from the forest; all the little creatures wandering around, the leaves rustling in the wind. Garret left so quietly, I could have closed my eyes and barely noticed him leaving. My hearing was quite impressive, so it was really something when someone was too quiet for me to hear.
A fraction of a second after Garret disappeared, we all rushed to Renesmee. I let Bella get to her first and pick her up. There was no mistaking the relief in Bella's eyes, which confirmed my theory about her improved poker face.
"Mom! Dad!" Renesmee called to us, obviously very happy to see her overwhelmed parents.
"We're here, baby. We're here," Bella and I reassured her. How many times could a child go through so many traumatic incidents and still be so happy and cheerful? Our luck had to go out sometime.
I chuckled, wondering when we had ever actually been lucky.
While I let Bella and Renesmee have their moment, Jasper turned to me. "Edward, you did well. Despite the condition, you protected Bella and Renesmee together. I would have never had the courage to leave Nessie, but you did. And because of that, they are both alive."
I stared at my brother in shock. "What do you mean 'courage"? I acted under pure selfishness. Renesmee could have been killed! And it would have been all my fault!" I was beginning to feel even more terrible as the adrenaline wore off and reality hit me.
Jasper's smile turned into disapproval. "What do you mean? No one was hurt."
"But Renesmee could have been hurt! I left her and stayed with Bella because I know I can't live without Bella. But look at Nessie! She's much more fragile than Bella! What was I thinking?" I started criticizing myself out loud.
"No, Edward. Bella would have been killed if you left her with Tanya. And if she would have left to look for Renesmee, she would have gotten killed when she decided to meet up with Garret. You know how selfless she is. Now stop tearing yourself apart and enjoy the fact that everything is over now. We're all safe."
Despite my previous thoughts, I had to agree with Jasper. What he was saying made sense. And, now that I thought of it, if I had chosen a different path, one of my loves would have been taken away from me.
At that moment, Bella's warm body pressed against mine. With Renesmee in her hands, she hugged me as tight as she could and pressed her lips against mine.
"Edward, when is all of this going to stop? Why can't it just be us - only us?"
I thought over that for a second. There didn't seem to be any logical answer other than we were just marked for disaster.
"Love, I wish I had an answer. But you know I will always keep you and Renesmee safe. Nothing will ever happen to you."
She smiled her beautiful smile. "It's not me I'm worried about."
Of course. "Hm… Why doesn't that surprise me?" I teased.
A second or two of silence passed. Bella decided to break it. "Actually, there's something that has been bothering me."
"What is it, love?"
She looked at me and her expression was puzzling. It looked like she was embarrassed, but what did Bella have to be embarrassed about?
"Well… you just always seem so sure of yourself, and so confident. Are you really always so confident? Was there ever a second where you thought we would lose?" Her question caught me off guard. I thought she would ask something more along the lines of, 'Why in the hell did you choose me over Renesmee when she could have been killed?'
By now, we were walking back toward the house. Alice and Jasper were a few hundred yards behind us, and I knew they would do their best not to listen in.
"No. No, I'm not. I mean, there was no doubt in m mind that you would get out safely, but you would be surprised to know how far I would do to protect you. Well, actually, you probably wouldn't be too surprised. But I was considering the alternatives if, for some reason, Tanya or Kate came too close to you."
Bella was quiet. Taking in all of the information, probably. Renesmee was in her arms, sleeping like a rock. All the attention and events over the past few days had definitely worn her out more than we had anticipated.
Instead of answering me out loud, she let me in her mind for a few precious seconds. Edward, there are not words on this earth that can describe what I am feeling right now. You are my life, my world-my everything. Why are you so good to me?
I smiled down to my wife. Before I answered her, I leaned down and kissed her as passionately as was possible in a few brief seconds. The kiss was sweet and romantic, exactly as I'd hoped.
"It's good to hear that. And I think you have it backwards-you are too good to me." I waited for a few seconds. "But now that you have told me that, I need to tell you something."
She smiled at me again. God, could I ever get used to her beauty? Probably not.
"You probably won't take this the same way I do-you being Bella, but I'll try to explain this to you.
"When Tanya and Kate were getting closer to us, and you let me listen to your thoughts and told me you were scared, that moment was a mix of fury and pure happiness."
Bella looked shock. What? How could you have been happy?
"You have to look at it from my perspective, love. You're always so self-righteous and independent and stubborn. You know how good it was to hear you actually need me? For you to finally realize the danger and fear for your own life?"
I knew I wasn't describing it the way I needed to for Bella to understand, but I just needed to get that out so someone heard me. Just saying it out loud felt good.
"I guess that makes sense… in a way," she smiled, "But I truly could not have gotten happiness out of your expression. It looked like you were about to smash them into a brick wall."
I hadn't thought Bella had been paying so much attention to my facial expressions. If I had known that, I would have tried to control myself a little bit better.
"You aren't very far off," I teased my wife and hugged her closer to me. It was so good to have her and my daughter safe in my arms. To know that they were both safe and out of danger was just an all around good feeling.
We talked for a little while longer, but then the impatience was eating at me so we took off running. It only took us a minute or so to get back to Carlisle and Esme because we had walked so far.
"Oh, Edward! Bella! Renesmee! I'm so happy you three are safe!" Esme was the first to greet us on the back porch of the house. Her and Carlisle, along with Emmett and Rose, were waiting for us there.
We hugged her and assured her everything was taken care of and no one needed to worry. But then again, how could you worry when Alice was there to let you know when something would happen?
Even though it pained her, Bella went off to talk with Rose and Esme, while I held Nessie and walked with Carlisle and Emmett. Emmett was dying to hear all the details of the fight. He was a little disappointed at how little violence there had been. It was mostly talking.
"Edward, son, you never cease to amaze me. You kept both your daughter and Bella safe. It takes a real man to calm himself and think clearly while such important things to him are at risk." I'd heard his words before form Jasper, but they took on a different meaning from Carlisle, and I appreciated his compliment.
"Thank you, Carlisle. That means a lot."
A few minutes later, Renesmee woke up. Her cheeks were a rose pink, and her teeth gleamed in the light.
"Jake?" Nessie asked.
I was so surprised to hear Jacob's name that I didn't register that he should have been with us until a second later.
"Bella, where is Jacob?" I asked my wife, hoping she would have some type of answer.
Bella looked at me, obviously confused. I don't know, Edward. The last time I saw him was in the meadow just before Tanya and Kate went after us.
It was too early to get worried. Jacob was grown and knew how to take care of himself. There wasn't much out there that could hurt a werewolf. Except a vampire.
Bella and I were at the step of the front door, when a loud noise came from the back door. Instinct had me crouched in front of Bella in a fraction of a second. When I was ready for the fight, I looked into the mind of my intruder.
Whoa! Calm down, Edward. It's just me.
I instantly recoiled and relaxed. Bella looked at me with a shocked expression, wondering what had made me get out of my defensive position so quickly.
I was going to tell her everything was all right and it was just Jacob, but I didn't need to. Jacob walked into the front room before anyone could speak.
"Jake!" Renesmee and Bella rejoiced together.
He ran to them and hugged them both together. "How are my best girls?" He cooed and kissed them both on the forehead..
Bella couldn't stop smiling. I would have been jealous if it was anyone else she was hugging, but this was Jacob. And all he wanted was for Bella and Renesmee to be happy and safe. Just like me.
"Jake, I'm so glad you're okay! I was so worried about you!"
"What's there to be worried about, Bells?" he chuckled.
She punched him in the arm lightly. "You know what I mean. You could have run into Garret in the forest!"
Jacob laughed his booming laugh. "Bells, even if I would have run into him, the fight would be more than easy. I would have Garret killed in a second."
Having Jacob talk about killing like that had always bothered Bella, and she flinched at his words. He could sense how his words had upset her, as well.
"Not that it would have come to that. Anyway, the important thing is that neither of you got hurt," he looked to me, "Edward, how did you manage? I have to admit, I was pretty impressed."
What was with everyone and being so impressed and proud? All I had done was put my daughter in danger and then fixed my mistake. What was there to be impressed with?
I decided to take the easier route and simply thank Jacob. If I got the chance, I would explain everything to him later.
"I just went with my instincts, you know. And thank you. Your compliment means a lot."
Bella smiled at me and moved from Jacob's side to mine. I enjoyed that much better.
"Well, either way, we are all safe. All we have to worry about now is each other," Bella whispered the last part in my ear, even though it was a wasted attempt. I saw Jacob flinch in the corner of my eye. I wondered briefly why he was still so attached to Bella when he had Renesmee. Why did he still get so defensive and protective? I decided it was because he would never forgive me for leaving her, and I couldn't argue with that logic.
Subtly, we all moved outside in the back yard. Renesmee was playing with Alice and Jacob in the river a hundred or so yards away. Rose, Esme, and Carlisle lounged by the trees, discussing the events that had passed recently. To my right, Emmett and Jasper were arm wrestling. Those matches were always the most interesting.
And, right beside me, was Bella. As beautiful and amazing as ever, she sat in the sun with her eyes closed, enjoying the calm. It seemed my existence was laid out before me right then, and I had to admit, I loved it.
My daughter was happy with my family and her wolf. She was safe, and that was all that mattered. My family was still happily together, and they happily accepted the new members of our family. It seemed silly to think of how I used to despise Jacob. Because now, I thought of him as my brother.
But more importantly than any of that, I had the core of my existence with me. It was strange to think of how our paths had crossed. I had come so incredibly close to ending her life that first day of school. It was hard for me to think back to that insane day back in Forks. Everything had been so different; there was no reason for me to be living, I didn't love anyone or anything, I was alone.
Taking all of that into consideration, if I could go back in time and fix what I had done, I wouldn't. I loved everything the way it was. The happy smile on my daughter's face, the content look all my family members wore.
And the silent heart of my soul mate.