A/N: So, you must be wondering why in the hell I would decide to finish my story, finally, after three years without an update. Well, I have a very inspiring story and I will start at the beginning. About a month ago, I decided to reread Twilight, drawn in by the initial pull it had to me and found myself falling in love with the story once again. I hadn't written much of anything in the years that I have been absent, aside from school projects. When I finished high school last June, I stopped writing entirely. I continued to read – Harry Potter, The Virgin Suicides, The House of Night Series, and various others, but realized I had misplaced my Twilight books. The only place I could think that they could be was in my father's house, and sure enough, on Christmas morning, I found them at the bottom of a container filled with all the things I had not taken with me when I moved out. That evening, I started reading, and within the next week I was back on but under a different alias. I started writing again – the first time in so long. It felt wonderful and gave my life that extra boost that I had been missing. But then, the most amazing thing happened. I logged back onto this account and saw something that inspired me so entirely, that finishing this story as I had promised became unquestionable. I clicked on my story stats, out of pure curiosity and found this: 459 reviews – some of them even recent, 361 favorites, 379 alerts, and – here's the thing that nearly knocked the breath out of me – 105,611 views. I was…beyond astonished, and more than a little ashamed. How could I let such a fan base of faithful followers down like this? How could I be so shitty to just let you all wonder and come up with an ending of your own? They should create a fan fan fiction website for authors just like me (the kind of author I promised I would never be.) I don't imagine that many of you are still even on this sight, let alone remotely interested in this story anymore. But regardless, I'm finishing it. I'm giving this story the ending it deserves and the ending I always intended. So, here it is…the last chapter.
Chapter 13: Epilogue
We stood in the large circular turret, the sun shining dimly overhead. It must have been late in the afternoon. I wondered briefly how long we had been held in that awful cell and if we would make it out of here alive. I saw Aro eyeing me appreciatively; most likely surprised I was still alive. Edward was hunched over, leaning heavily on Carlisle's motionless form. I noticed that he still wasn't breathing and felt a large twinge of regret that I had to cause him so much pain.
"I can imagine you already understand why it is we have demanded this little…visit if you will," Aro started, his voice unnaturally pleasant. "And I want you all to return safely to your home as much as you do."
I highly doubted that. Edward seemed to be thinking the same thing when a snarl slipped through his barred teeth. Carlisle's hands tightened around Edward's shoulders.
Aro looked at him, seeming to remember something. "But, of course, how could I forget?" he asked delightedly, clapping his hands. "Felix!"
The brawny vampire stepped forward from the shadows and in his arms was a small woman who was very much human. She was bound and gagged, her eyes red and swollen from the tears pouring down her face. Felix pushed her forward so that she fell to ground, scraping her arms on the rough bricks beneath our feet.
"I do apologize for the treatment, Edward. But I hope you understand that violation of the law does not go unpunished, regardless the size of the crime. I figured a treat should bring you back into working order and possibly allow me back into your good graces. Maybe then we can discuss this more…rationally."
Edward's eyes tightened in pain as he looked at the young girl. It was clear that one should never deny a "gift" from the Volturi, but on the same token, he didn't want to take this girl's life. I watched in horror as Felix dragged the girl by her long brown hair and dropped her in front of his weakening form. His eyes were the blackest I've ever seen and he seemed to be losing his internal argument. With a quiet and broken sob he whispered, "I'm sorry," to the terrified girl. Before I could turn my head, I saw Carlisle's eyes close softly, his face twisted very subtly in pain. I heard muffled cries for only a few seconds and then it was over. Evil chuckles echoed around the room and I turned my face reluctantly back to the white-faced girl who lay on the hard floor, bloodless and unmoving. I swallowed back the bile. I had wanted to be a vampire so I could be like Edward and my family, beautiful, strong, and forever young. But now, I saw its true nature, the side I had never been exposed to before this instant. It had its evil side, and I knew it was also the more dominant side. Was it still what I wanted? Even as I looked into Edward's now crimson eyes, I knew the answer instantly. Yes, I could fight what I would become, and I wouldn't be alone. I knew from seeing Edward struggle that it would never be easy, but a life without him was hell in itself.
"There," Aro cooed wickedly, "Isn't that better?"
Edward only nodded, and his neck was completely healed, as if it had never been cut in the first place.
"Excellent," he said, "Then let us move on. Bella, dear, I am so sorry that you have become mixed up in this mess. I know it really isn't your fault, but rules are made not so they can be broken, contrary to popular belief. I hope you understand." He moved fluidly over to where Edward now stood next to Carlisle. He placed one palm on the back of Edward's hand, closing his eyes lightly. I saw Edward stiffen.
"Oh, now that is very interesting." Aro's voice was a soft murmur. "Can you imagine, my children, Edward is in love with this human, but how very strange that you raised her." He made no attempt to hide his disgust.
Edward narrowed his eyes, "You know damn well that's not what it's like."
I froze, Edward shouldn't be so callous, but to my intense surprise Aro just laughed it off. "No, I suppose not." He turned to Carlisle then, his voice apologetic, "My old friend. I am truly sorry that your son and his…interesting taste in lover got you into this mess. But you must understand my reasoning. I hoped that you could keep us all civil. I know how good you are at that."
"I'm nothing compared to my son, Jasper." Carlisle was just as pleasant as Aro, but I sensed his unease.
"Yes, Jasper. What an interesting talent. I saw him through Edward's thoughts and, of course, through his own due to Edward's talent as well." His eyes seemed almost envious as he glanced briefly at my love. "I see great potential in that. Imagine, going in to clean up a mess someone made and be able to calm them in seconds without them even realizing why. It would make our jobs much easier."
I fought back a shudder, picturing what he was saying.
"Can we please get to the point?" Edward snarled.
Aro smiled, eagerly. "Yes, I think we shall. I'm sorry; I'm so very easily distracted." He folded his hands in front of him, becoming completely immobile aside from his lips. "So you see, because young Bella knows of our existence, there are only two options possible. The first would, of course, be the most unpleasant for all of us: to kill her." The blood drained from my face. "And the second would be to change her. It's a simple decision, but one you must make immediately. You see, we don't have the time to waste on such an insignificant violation, and I would much rather get this all over with and send you on your way. I'll give you an hour to make up your mind and I will have my children show you back in when you are ready."
"There's no need. My decision has already been made..." Edward's voice was clear and confident. I knew he planned on changing me at some point, but I felt my stomach drop as I thought about going through it now. I knew it wasn't pleasant, far from it in fact, and little beads of sweat began to form on my neck. "…Which you knew all along. I was planning on waiting a little longer until she was at least an adult, but I can see your point of being cautious." Why was he suddenly so cool about this? "I would, however, like some privacy when I do it, if that's not too much to ask."
"Of course," Aro smiled. "Alec, why don't you show them to the sitting room?"
A small boy stepped forward, his face angelic. "Of course, Master. Come." He said to us. He walked us to a small room filled with elegant sofas. "Please try to not get any blood on any of the furnishings. Aro will be most unpleased."
"Of course, thank you." Edward kept up his pleasant façade until Alec left, leaving just the three of us in the room alone.
Edward turned to me and smiled, only a little grimly. "I'm sorry, Bella, that it had to be like this. But, assuming you would rather live as a vampire with me than die, I think you understand."
I rolled my eyes, hiding my terror, "Yes, I understand. So…who exactly is doing the biting?" My stomach was clenching and unclenching uncomfortably.
Edward and Carlisle shared a brief glance. "We'll leave it up to you. Carlisle, as you know, would never present any danger to you. But I hope you also know that neither would I."
I nodded, my voice cracking as I spoke, "Then I want it to be you, Edward. Of course I do."
"Okay." He whispered. He glanced briefly at Carlisle who nodded the smallest amount and he swept me off of my feet, laying me on the couch. "I'm not going to lie to you and tell you this isn't going to hurt."
"I know. Just…get it over with. The faster you bite me the faster it will be done."
He nodded, wincing slightly as he thought about it. Then, he lowered his lips to my neck and bit me. At first it was just a sting, and then it was everywhere, comparing to no other pain I'd ever felt. I tried at first to fight back the screams, but eventually, I gave up, not quite remembering why I was trying at all. It could have been years before the pain finally ended and then it was over.
I opened my eyes to find myself in Edward's bedroom. I was confused, at first, not sure how I had gotten there, but was quickly distracted by, well, everything. I saw the dust motes floating in the air, each individual water droplet against the window, each thread in every piece of fabric, and saw Edward in all his glory. With my new eyes, I could see every detail, every curve, every crevice of his long, slender body and found no imperfection. Just as I had always known, he was perfect. His eyes had returned to my favorite shade of gold and he was smiling at me crookedly. He touched my face, his skin finally warm.
"I love you," was all he said.
"I love you too," I murmured, reveling in the sound of my new voice.
Simply put, we made love for the first time ever. How fitting that we were finally equals, one half to the whole. We were both perfect, flawless, and our love – not our diamond skin – made us indestructible. Our bodies moved together perfectly, soft and smooth and wonderful. I would never need anything else but the man connected to me in that moment.
We were we still and forever.
A/N: I hope you don't mind my lack of lemon. Honestly, one of the reasons I stopped writing this for so long was because I became uncomfortable myself with the plotline and I wanted to make the transition a little easier to handle – mainly for myself than anyone else. Sorry about that. So, here's the thing. If any of you happened to read this and want to read more of my stories, my new name is My Written Words. Maybe I'll see you there, maybe not, but in any case I hope this was the end you wanted and were expecting. I think it came out okay :)