Thank you all so much for the reviews, alerts, and fav's! I tried to keep up with replies, but at some point it became impossible. Each one has been read and is appreciated.
Thank you to my beta Ivy Rain... for EVERYTHING!
A/N at the end with questions answered
Disclaimer: I still don't own
25 years later
"What's taking so long, Aunt Bella?" Nelson asks, tugging my pant leg. He has been impatient since last week when his parents told him Carlisle would be coming home. Jake and Gianna took him to Italy this past summer to visit with the Volturi, and there is no question about it, I have been replaced; Carlisle is Nelson's new favorite person. Enjoy it while it lasts. I think to myself, already knowing that he is one day going to phase.
"Calm down, baby. Italy is far away, so it's taking him a little time to get here," I say, reaching down and stroking the back of his long black hair.
Jacob quit phasing a few years after the Volturi left. He and Gianna were ready to start a family and well, he couldn't stay seventeen forever. They now have three boys. Nelson, the youngest, is six and was an unexpected surprise. Gianna was terrified when she found out, saying she was too old to have any more children, but she quickly changed her mind the second he was out of the womb. Kyle, the middle child, is fifteen and has just started to phase. He is a handful and doesn't come around much, but out of all their children, I probably understand him the best. He feels like an outcast, trying to find a place where he belongs. The change was very hard on him. Jake made him say goodbye to his girlfriend, saying that it would be easier on them both when he found his imprint. If anyone knows the pain that losing your first love can cause, it would be me, so I am sympathetic, even if he doesn't want to talk about it. Sammie, the oldest, is nineteen and alpha of the pack. He was named after Sam, after he was injured fighting off a group of nomads passing through La Push territory. Of course, he won, but is now in a wheelchair; paralyzed from the waist down. Although he has never said it, I think he is relieved to be freed of all the responsibility. He and Emily have two girls, Cassie and Blaire, and are extremely happy. We visit them often. Jake, Gianna and the boys still technically live on the reservation, but they spend seventy-five percent of the time here in Oregon with Jasper and me.
We have moved three times in the last twenty five years; Alaska, New York and now Oregon where we've been for the last five. Jasper and I decided to branch out on our own after the Volturi left with Edward and Carlisle. Both of us yearned for alone time and only expected to be apart from the family for a couple of years, but we found that we really enjoyed the privacy. Now, Rosalie, Emmett and Esme all share a home about twenty miles down the road from us, just like they have in every city we've moved to. Esme goes to Italy often, but not as much as she would like. She and Carlisle slowly built their relationship back up, with the understanding that honesty and communication were necessary. Eli moved back to Rochester shortly after Ana left, but once he fulfilled his teaching obligation for the year, he left for Volterra and hasn't come back but once to visit. We talk often, keeping each other updated. He and Carlisle have formed a strong relationship and it seems like he even has begun to work things out with Edward.
Edward. I sigh at the thought of his name. He calls often. It's apparent that he misses his family and freedom, but I can't say that I feel sorry for him; his life in Volturi has been pretty easy compared to what everyone thought it would be. Hell, with that gift of his, they practically treat him like a prince. I think the guilt is where Edward's true punishment lies.
Our family has slowly put the pieces back together. It's a shame we had do lose a few members, but we gained some great ones along the way. Eli, Ana, Gianna, Nelson, Kyle, Sammie and the rest of the new pack are all Cullen/Whitlock's as far as I'm concerned.
"What's got you feelin' so sentimental, Darlin'?" Jasper asks, wrapping his arms around my waist. He kisses my neck softly and I immediately melt into him.
"Just thinking about everything that's happened in the last twenty-five years – so much has changed." I sigh before turning around in his embrace to look him in the eye.
"Indeed it has, Darlin', but it's been a fun ride. Don't you think?"
"I don't know what if I would call it fun, Jas. Interesting and long would probably be more fitting."
"Nah, we've had fun haven't we." He whispers seductively, running his hand up the back of my thigh.
"Not now, Jasper." I smack his hand away and look down to our nephew, hoping Jasper gets the hint.
"Alright, alright, but the minute this little reunion is over I would like to spend some time with my wife." He says as he turns to walk away.
"Anything you want, baby." I make sure my tone is full of sugar.
"Anything?" he asks, turning around to look at me with an eyebrow raised.
"Go. Carlisle will be here soon."
Nelson and I stay there a while longer; I know better than to even try to move or else he'll throw a fit. I sense Esme coming up from behind us, but don't turn around as I assume she must be going to the guest room we have set up for her. When she doesn't walk past us, I look to see where she went. She's pacing the floor behind us with her nails planted between her teeth.
"Esme, you alright?"
"I'm so nervous. It's been a long time since he's been home, Bella. What if everything changes when he gets here?"
"Everything's going to be fine. Carlisle loves you and you love him. Please don't worry."
We stand and wait in silence, with Nelson on one side of me and Esme on the other. We hear a car pull onto the drive. Esme looks at me with wide eyes and begins to tremble slightly. I wrap my arm around her back, trying to give her some sort of comfort. As the car gets close I try to nudge her towards the door, but she refuses to go. I drop my arm from around her, giving her a sad smile and take Nelson outside. The car winds around the curve of our long driveway and I can't stop myself from bouncing. I knew that Peter and Charlotte were coming, I just didn't know when. They come to a stop in front of Nelson and me; both of us run to the car. I throw the passenger side door open and watch as my adorable nephew crawls into Charlotte's lap.
"I missed you."
"We've only been gone two weeks, Buddy," she says, ruffling his hair. He doesn't respond, just nuzzles himself into her chest.
Peter and Charlotte haven't left us since the first time we met. Of course, they don't live with us and keep to themselves most of the time, but every time they talked about leaving Peter and I would both break down. Jasper and Peter are like brothers, Charlotte and I like sisters, but Peter and I, we're best friends. Everyone assumes that it's because of the shared gift, and perhaps that has something to do with it, but our connection runs deeper than that. The best way I can describe it is, Jasper is my soul mate and Peter is half of my soul.
"Don't I at least get a hug or something?" Peter says, stepping out of the driver side. I run and jump on him, happy to have my friend back home.
"How was Mexico?" I ask after he releases me.
"Eh, just like every other time we've been. Where's that asshole husband of yours?"
"I can hear you, fucker." Jasper yells from somewhere upstairs.
"Then get down here." Peter yells back.
"Stop yelling," Nelson yells to the pair, causing both Charlotte and me to laugh.
"Carlisle's coming." I state simply the second the thought entered my mind.
"We know," Peter says, shrugging dismissively.
"No, I mean. He's coming right now. He'll be here in a second," I say, smirking.
Peter rolls his eyes, annoyed by my knowledge. It bothers him to no end that my gift has advanced much further than his. Jasper comes down the stairs and greets Peter and Char. He walks over to stand beside me and pushing as much calm on me as he can. Esme isn't the only one nervous about Carlisle coming home. We have only talked a handful of times in the last twenty five years, and even though our conversations were pleasant, the reunion is bound to be awkward.
We see the black Mercedes pull around, prompting Nelson and Charlotte to get out of the car. Carlisle doesn't have time to park before Esme runs out of the house. I look to Jasper to get a sense of what she's feeling, but he only shrugs and turns back to watch the scene unfold. Carlisle steps out of the car and runs to take his wife into his arms at vampire speed. I think about the time they spent apart and suddenly it becomes heart wrenching to watch.
"You alright there, Darlin'?"
"Yeah, I just feel bad for them. They lost so many years." I don't add that it's because of me. I know Jasper doesn't agree with that, but had I not come up with the punishment, Esme would never have gone through even more heartbreak.
"But they're together now," he says, smiling down at me.
"I know." I nod and smile back.
"Uncle Carlisle," Nelson huffs. Carlisle releases Esme and turns to the rest of us.
"I apologize, Nelson." He puts his hand over his heart in sincerity. Nelson runs to him and flings his body into Carlisle's arms. It's amazing that this one little boy can turn a family of vampires into mush. Carlisle swings Nelson around for a moment before sitting him down on the ground and looking at us with concern in his eyes.
"Where are Emmett and Rosalie?" He looks to each one for an answer. To be honest, I'm not sure where they went. I have been pretty preoccupied most of the day.
"They went to hunt, dear. They will be back shortly." Esme says quietly. I'm sure she is afraid
Carlisle nods in understanding. We all head into the house, agreeing to get his luggage later. We sit and talk for a long time. I can already tell that everything is going to work out fine. Esme seems to know it too. Rosalie and Emmett come back and are happy to see their father. When Gianna and Jake arrive back from their shopping trip they are happy to see him as well. I figure they think he'll make the perfect babysitter. As the night wears on I become kind of restless. Sitting in one position, even for a vampire, is kind of hard to stand. Everyone but Jake and his family should be leaving soon, but with this group you never know.
"You wanna go upstairs, Darlin'?" Jasper drawls in my ear. I cock my head to look at him and laugh when I see him wiggling his eyebrows.
"Let's go, Cowboy," I say standing up and taking him by the hand. He walks behind me as we make our way up the stairs.
"Keep calling me that and I may never let you leave." He growls playful, just before we get to our room.
"Mm, promise?" I ask, turning around to attach my lips to his.
A/N: I'm sad to see it end, but happy to have completed my first multi chapter FF. I am still flabbergasted by the response this story received. There are so many of you who have stuck by me and reviewed every chapter. I'm grateful and honestly ya'll pwn my ass! Thank you!
Someone asked me last chapter if Edward was at the wedding and the answer is NO! I said the Volturi, Cullens, and the pack were there, but probably should have clarified. I had a terrible time with the chapter. Eh. Sorry. Just wanted to clear that up in case you guys were wondering.
I told you all last chapter, but I do have a new AH. Benson Hall is a Geeksperella fic. :) I will also be starting a new alternate New Moon Darksper, so look out for that.
I sat down with the lovely ladies from P.I.C FF Corner this week and had my brain picked about FemmeSlash and some other fun stuff, so if you'd like to read that you can check it out at http://picffcorner(dot)blogspot(dot)com
Forgotten Femmes Anonymous Contest is open until the 31st!!!! Write an entry and show some love for the unloved! You can find rules and links on the Les Femmes de Twilight blog (link in my profile) or http://fanfiction(dot)net/~theforgottenfemmes
One more and then I'm done :) If you have not checked out Jasper's Darlin's please do so. We have a lot of new stuff coming up and also a new lovers scorned contest that is currently open. (link in my profile)