I can't believe this story is over! This is different then when I finished Dance with Me because I knew the sequel was coming right after it, this is the first time I'm finishing a story and letting it rest! Thank you to everyone who read and reviewed this both on here and ffn, especially all the ladies who stayed with me through the hiatus! An ocean of love to my awesome beta on the last few chapters, A Cullen Wannabe, you really helped me end this the way I wanted it to. Have a great week and thank you for everything.
One note about the timing, the headings for years are a progression, so the first part is three years since the last chapter and the second part takes place 7 years after that.
Three Years Later
We'd been back at La Push for two days and I was a complete wreck. It had been three years since anyone had seen or heard from Jacob. The day he fought Beth was the last time he ever phased. He ran back to the border of the reservation, where Sue Clearwater drove Billy to say good-bye before he got in the car with Hilary.
I wasn't sure if Jacob would really stay away. It wasn't like he had been invited to our daughter's wedding, but you never know.
That was the other source of my anxiety; today Beth was marrying Seth in a small ceremony at First Beach. To most of the tribe, she was still Lizzie, the sweet girl that had won Seth's heart on a brief visit to see his sister. It wasn't the Quileute's way to question the council, so when they added the relative newcomer to their ranks, they simply assumed the elders knew something about the young woman that they didn't. If only they knew.
It had helped that Sam had stopped phasing soon after their return from Denali, as it meant that the likely challenger for her position, not only as Alpha, but as Chief, was actively taking himself out of contention, although Sam was still a member of the council. So Seth and my Lizzie were co-chief of the tribe, and he was her Beta, complimenting each other in every way imaginable.
The tribe had changed a lot over the years, with an explosion of children running around. Sam and Emily's marriage brought us home, and although we couldn't make the trip for it, Jared and Paul had married Kim and Rachel soon after. All three couples were now parents and enjoying the normalcy it brought to their lives. Sam had been adamant before everything happened with Jake that he wouldn't marry Emily and start a family while there was still a need to phase, and my experience had only confirmed it. So now that the main vampire presence was gone and the bond between us and the tribe was so tight, the need for werewolves in La Push at all wasn't entirely necessary, but old habits die hard, I guess.
The Cullens were an interesting sight standing outside the house that the boys had built for Beth and Seth to live in once they were married. Seth had refused to break any type of old-fashioned rule when it came to the two of them. He made it clear that he was willing to wait until we were okay with the two of them moving on together. My husband and daughter had been much quicker coming to terms with it, but both smiled and dealt with my slow attempt to be okay with the fact that she was growing up so soon, in more than the just the physical sense.
It was around this time that I was knocked from my reverie by a tug from the pixie herself. "Bella, Beth is asking for you."
Giving Edward a peck on the cheek as I passed, I entered the house where Leah and Emily fussed with Beth's hair. She had wanted to grow it out for her wedding, but in the end, the visual of a fluff ball Alpha werewolf was enough for Seth to convince her that she'd have plenty of time to grow out her hair when their phasing days were done.
Finally happy with her hair and make-up, Beth stood and hugged me to her. "Mom, thank you for everything. I don't know what I would have done without you all here."
Hugging her again, I changed into my yellow 'bridesmaid' dress and then helped Beth begin to get ready. The pack boys had already headed down to the beach with Seth, meanwhile, the Cullen men were waiting to wish our girl well before joining them at the wedding location.
Watching Beth slip into my wedding dress, the one I had married Edward in, I was quickly overcome with emotion, but thankfully, I had no tears to cry. Fastening the last button and helping her put on her flat shoes, because the rocks were a little treacherous to go barefoot on, Beth called out for everyone to join us.
The girls came in, Esme first to give Beth a hug and tell her how beautiful she was before Rose and Alice quickly agreed. Jasper smiled at his niece as he pushed a wave of calm towards her, hoping to keep her tears at bay.
Emmett nearly tackled her with his hug before remarking, "I can't believe our little puppy's all grown up and getting married."
The round of laughter that followed gave Edward the moment to squeeze my hand. "I don't know if I can do this, love. How are you so calm?"
Leaning into his side, I wrapped my arms around his waist. "Because I know Seth is a good man and my daughter will be well taken care of. She only has so many years to experience a lifetime of happiness and I want to see her start that lifetime today."
With another squeeze of my shoulders, his lips were at my ear. "You're amazing, Mrs. Cullen. Thank you for that, and for giving me a daughter to give away today."
"You earned that right; I just brought you two together."
It was Beth that tugged us out of our bubble. "Dad…it's almost time."
The smile that lit up his face, even after all this time, was unmistakable as he stepped forward to take her in his arms. "You're a vision, dear, just like your mother."
Giving Beth one last kiss, I exited and made my way to the beach to sit beside our family as we waited for the ceremony to begin.
A few minutes later, Seth looked up, alerting us to the presence behind us. Leah was first, stepping out from behind the driftwood and dunes at the entrance to the beach. She walked at a painfully slow pace, teasing her brother for as long as possible, before taking her place opposite Sura where he stood as Seth's best man. Their daughter, Harriet, sat on Sue's lap next to Sam and Emily's twins.
Once the moment had finally arrived, Edward appeared at the top of the entrance, Beth peeking out a moment after. Letting myself look between Seth and Beth, it was obvious how much they adored each other. And watching Edward's eyes glued on Beth, I knew that I had made the right choice bringing my daughter with me to Denali.
Shaking Seth's hand, he kissed Beth on the forehead, and then handed her over to her soul mate, joining me in my seat and taking my hand. "You're like a ray of sunshine today, between the look on your face and the color of that dress."
"Sun and Moon…sharing the sky for all eternity." I whispered as I rested my head on his shoulder.
The ceremony was short and the reception was held at Emily and Sam's house, with dancing on the grass and a small buffet set up inside. Watching my daughter interact with her two families brought me so much joy. Knowing that I couldn't be there all the time, it was nice to know that I would be able to leave her with the people who had kept me safe for my years at the Rez.
Hearing a howl, I turned to see Edward swing Leah around before putting her down and beginning to dance. Seth was making his way towards the porch when I walked down the steps, taking his hand and dancing with him.
"Bella, thank you so much. You've given me everything I could ever hope for today. If you hadn't moved and Lizzie hadn't phased, then I don't even want to think…"
I stopped Seth's thoughts with a hug, pausing our dance as I set the record straight. "You, Seth Clearwater, kept me from danger for years, and now, you're making my daughter unbelievably happy, so I'm the one who owes you. Just be good to each other, and you and I will never have a problem."
"Threatening the boy…tsk tsk tsk." Emmett whispered as Rose and he danced by, causing everyone to laugh.
Seeing Beth up on the porch in her jeans, I nudged my son-in-law. "I think your bride's ready to go."
Looking behind him, Seth gave me a quick kiss as he made his rounds with Beth following behind him. Edward came behind me as Seth went to hug him and Beth did the same. "See you soon…and thank you for today; I'm glad you agreed to give me away."
Edward sighed, his voice thick with emotion. "You're one of the most important women in my life. Of course I would be here for you. And we want pictures from Hawaii."
I was a little nervous that Beth was going to be so close to her Aunt Rebecca, but Beth didn't want to meet her and risk the tribe after how she left when her mother died. We stood there for a few minutes, watching them get in Seth's car as they pulled on to the dirt road and headed off to start their new life together.
Seven years later
Usually, Bella was the one to get nervous when Beth was on her way to visit. She was always looking for what had changed or what she had missed. She was sad that the Cullens' presence in Forks would certainly be noticed, keeping us away for much of the two years since making the trip down for the wedding. Beth's role as Alpha required her to stay at La Push for a time, causing precious years to pass, even if her daughter didn't show it.
But this time was different. Mainly because of the way Alice was avoiding me like the plague. Esme was off with the guys, building a new house for Leah, as the old one was now too small for her growing family, but with Beth set to arrive, Alice told me to keep Bella from tearing out all the trees around the meadow before she turned it into a vast plain that could be seen from the road.
She was also singing the theme songs to every show on NickJr, as Leah had satellite TV and all of her children loved watching the educational cartoons it offered 24 hours a day. Those two things told me all I needed to know, but not what I wanted her to tell me, she'd had a vision, and it was big.
I kept this worry from Bella as best I could, but as we heard the car make the turn up the mountainside, Bella placed her youngest goddaughter, Susie, in her bassinet and walked out the front door. I joined her and soon the slamming of doors was followed by a squeal as Beth ran to Bella and Seth walked briskly behind her to clasp my shoulder.
"How are you, son?"
He pulled back from the hug, smiling at me. "I'm great, Dad, we all are. How about you and mom?" He winked at Bella and she went to gently swat his arm.
"Edward's been a nervous wreck for the last three days, so please whatever it is, just tell us." Bella's arm snaked around my back and the boom from the forest let us know that the rest of our family was fast approaching.
Leah beat Emmett through the woods to scoop up Beth in a hug before nearly tackling her brother. The rest of our family emerged and I had the feeling we were being set up, that somehow they all knew what we didn't.
"Will one of you just tell us already?" I bemoaned as Beth's face lit up and she took my hand.
"I stepped down as Alpha. Quil took over the pack, which is now only the four of them."
"Why?" Bella's eyes were full of questions.
"There isn't really a need. There aren't vampires around, and if a stray one wanders by they can handle it. The only reason Quil took over is because he's waiting for Claire and the others want to see if they'll imprint, or are waiting until they feel it's time to stop. There's no longer a threat so they don't need a huge pack."
"But why did you two stop?" I asked the question that had been burning the tip of my tongue since it entered my mind.
"We had more important things to work towards." Seth smiled at us.
"You're moving up here, aren't you? The big house for Leah, it's so you can live in the cottage. I knew it! There's no way Leah would ask for something like that for herself." Bella accused her best friend who just smiled.
"Why don't you shut up and let them tell you the big news?" Leah quipped and Bella and I turned to our daughter.
"What could be bigger than that?" I asked as Bella gasped, intuition flashing across her eyes.
"This." Beth held out a small piece of photo paper that was so dark you could barely make anything out at first, until I saw the tiny shape.
"Grampy!" I was pulled out of my memory as the russet skinned beauty that I had just been remembering as a blip on an ultrasound, tugged on my arm, her raven hair flowing around her shoulders.
"Okay Sarah, what is it?"
"You didn't come. Grammy Bella was calling you! It's time for dress up."
Sarah led me to the couch in the living room of the main house, sitting me next to Beth, before running upstairs and calling out. "Here they are…my master pieces!"
I laughed as she mimicked Alice right down to her arms a moment before Rose came down the stairs in a witches hat and designer dress, makeup all over her face and her hair sticking up at weird angles from the hair accessories clipped into her hair.
"Where'd you go just then?" Beth asked as she patted my knee.
"I was remembering the day you told us you were pregnant with Sarah. I can't believe she's almost 4½. Time moves too quickly."
"Maybe for you it does, but I wish the next few weeks would fly by. I love being a mom, but I hate being this pregnant. This little girl is worse than the twins." Beth laughed before hissing in a breath as both our hands flew to her stomach where my newest grandchild was tap dancing on her mother's bladder.
"Be calm, little one. Your mommy needs a break." The movement quieted and we turned back to see Leah reach the bottom of the stairs, with Alice in a fairy costume right behind her.
It took another minute, but finally Bella reached the top of the stairs and my breath caught. My little Sarah was definitely a smart cookie, because she had dressed Bella up like a princess. Even with the makeup smeared on her face and her long hair going in every direction, she was a beauty. Reaching the bottom of the stairs, all the models bowed, before Sarah stepped in front of them and bowed herself.
Turning to her great aunts, aunt, and grandma, she dismissed them to change before launching herself at me as the boys came in from outside. Charlie and Billy both gave me a quick hug before Seth wrangled his kids for naptime back at the cottage.
Bella emerged in sweats a minute later, her hair and face still a mess from playtime, but I couldn't help but smirk at her. "How's my little one?"
"She's dancing. Now if Seth can get Sarah and the twins down for a nap, maybe I can get a little rest myself." We both helped Beth off the couch, before I took Bella's hand and wandered out the front door in the direction of our home.
"Where'd you go in there when we were calling you? It had to be somewhere special, because you didn't hear any of our thoughts."
I squeezed her hand and met her eyes. "I was remembering the day Beth and Seth moved here, finding out I was going to be a grandfather, and that we would get to be a part of their lives. I don't mind that Sarah asks why Carlisle couldn't find a way to make us better. I'd rather them think it was an illness causing our agelessness than them knowing the truth."
Bella nodded. "I wish we could tell them the truth, but I don't want to put them in danger either. I'm just sad for when they'll have to leave."
"That isn't for years still, and I'm sure Alice will find a way to use hair and makeup so we can still visit with them."
"I know, but then what about when Sarah has children? Are we going to spend the rest of eternity pretending with them?"
"I don't know, love, but let's not think about that now. How about we do something to clean you up?" I quirked an eyebrow at her and she cackled before turning to face me.
"You, Mr. Cullen, have a dirty mind."
"And you, Mrs. Cullen, have a dirty body. How about we try and remedy both at the same time?"
Bella's smile grew incredibly wide. "I'll race you."