My beta is the fabulous changedbyEdward.
Stephenie Meyer owns the Twilight world. No copyright infringement intended.
The final chapter - don't freak out...explanation will follow! :O)
We made our way back to the house quickly, heading directly to the second floor bedroom where Esme and Alice had taken Angela. Esme rose immediately, flying to Bella and gathering her into her arms.
"I am so glad you are safe," Esme murmured, releasing Bella and pulling me into a hug. "Both of you." I patted her back affectionately, knowing the day had not been easy on her.
"How is she?" I asked Esme quietly as Bella approached the bed, taking Angela's still hand in hers.
"Alice says it won't be long. She has been quiet for awhile now and Carlisle feels that she is through the worst." I nodded, knowing that by the worst, Esme meant the burn, but in my mind the worst was still to come – when her heart ceased to beat. I did not voice this thought however, knowing it would only upset Esme and most likely Bella.
I stood silently in amazement at the doorway and watched my beloved as she stroked Angela's hair and whispered calming words of encouragement to her friend. Even though Angela was close to joining us, she still was human, yet the scent of her blood appeared to have no affect on Bella. The strength of my beautiful wife-to-be continued to astound me. Standing, she squeezed Angela's hand and smiled at Esme before moving towards the door to join me. I wrapped my arm around her shoulders and guided her down the hall, stopping at her bedroom door.
"I'll let you freshen up, love. I just need to see Carlisle for a few minutes." Bella nodded and kissed me lightly on the mouth before disappearing into the room.
Entering the study, I found Carlisle sitting at his desk waiting for me. There were no secrets in this house, not with Alice around, so I wasn't really surprised that he already knew I had proposed, evident by the item sitting in front of him that I had come to retrieve.
He turned the velvet box delicately in his hands, and I resisted the urge to read his thoughts. Things had been strained between us since Bella's change and although I still was upset by how it all had transpired, I no longer held Carlisle responsible. The only person accountable for how things had happened was me, and I would spend the rest of my days making up for the pain I had caused. I owed this man my life and everything I had in it – he had brought Bella back to me. I vowed to myself at that moment that I would never allow myself to treat him with such utter disrespect again. A son should never treat his father that way.
"Edward, I want you to know how happy I am for you." Carlisle spoke softly, his eyes meeting mine. "When I took this ring from your mother for you to have, I had no idea whether you would ever meet someone you cherished enough to give it to. At that time, I didn't even know it was possible for us to feel that depth of emotion; develop that kind of commitment. But then, when Esme came back into my life and joined our family, I hoped that one day you would find that same kind of love." He pushed the velvet box towards me. "I am sorry that it took you so many years to find her, but I am so pleased for you to finally have such love and know that you will cherish it always."
I opened the small box and stared at the ring cushioned inside. A flicker of a time long since past flashed in my memory, a warm, gentle hand clasping mine while I watched the sun reflect off the shiny stones. I glanced up into my mother's smiling face and down again to the ring, the memory fading away as quickly as it came.
"I think she would have liked the idea of me giving it to Bella," I spoke, almost to myself.
"Without a doubt, Edward. You were everything to her. All she wanted was for you to have a life and be happy. She would be thrilled for you, I am sure of it."
"Thank you." I looked up into my father's eyes. "Thank you for looking after this for me while I was lost. Thank you for protecting Bella when I didn't. Thank you for everything you have done for me, Carlisle – even when I didn't deserve it." I stood and reached for his hand, clasping it in mine tightly for a moment before leaving him to find Bella.
I entered the bedroom and found her standing at the window, staring out into the darkness of night that had fallen around us. I moved across the room soundlessly, wrapping my arms around her waist, my lips moving to her neck and kissing her softly.
She turned in my arms, her hand caressing my cheek as she stared up into my eyes. "Is everything alright?"
"Yes, Bella, everything is alright," I whispered as I pressed my lips to her forehead. "You have nothing to worry about."
"Wow that is an amazing feeling!" She giggled softly. "It's been a long time since we've been able to say that!"
"Bella, I think that is the first time, since I met you, that I have been able to say that." I chuckled as she cuffed me in the shoulder. "Hey…watch it, newborn strength there, love!" I feigned pain and dropped to my knees holding my shoulder, wincing to make it believable.
"Oh my God, Edward! I'm sorry, I didn't mean it." Sensing her panic, I chuckled, catching her left hand in mine and kissed the inside of her palm gently. "What? Oh my.." Her eyes widened as they focused on the small box that lay open in my palm. "Oh, Edward…"
"Bella, I wanted to do this again, the right way. I know you said yes in the forest, but I had wanted things to be so perfect when I asked you to be my wife. After everything that has happened over the past few days, I got ahead of myself. I hope that you will let me try again?" I looked up and locked my eyes with hers and smiled when she nodded. "This ring belonged to my mother. Carlisle was kind enough to retrieve it for me and I have treasured it all these years, hoping one day I would find the one who was meant to wear it again." I pressed my lips to her ring finger and removed the cluster of diamonds from the box. "Bella, will you wear this ring for me? Will you marry me, love?" I waited for her answer, praying that our earlier words over Angela had not changed her mind.
"I would be honored to wear your mother's ring, Edward." She leaned down and kissed me gently on the lips. "So yes, I will marry you!" I slid the ring onto her finger and pulled her to me, crushing her mouth with mine. I had envisioned that very moment so many times since she had come into my life, but to finally have it be a reality was absolutely electrifying.
We laughed as we pulled apart; the bedroom door swinging open as Alice danced into the room, followed by the rest of the family. "Edward! Do you know how hard that secret has been for me to keep?" Alice asked me laughingly as she hugged us both. "Finally we have something to celebrate!"
Turning to Bella, I saw the wheels spinning in Alice's mind. I leaned down and whispered in Bella's ear, knowing my sprite of a sister would hear every word. "Just remember it is whatever you want, love. Don't let her make you do anything you don't want to do."
Alice pouted mischievously, her eyes darkening as she glared at us both. "You are not eloping! And no, Bella, you cannot wear Nikes with lace bows!"
Jasper pulled Alice into a hug, calming his wife with a kiss. "Now darlin', give them a chance to enjoy the moment." Sighing, she nodded and relaxed in his arms while the rest of the family offered their congratulations. I could not take my eyes off Bella; the peace and joy that glowed from her entire being was spell-binding.
Sensing my captivation, she leaned her head against my shoulder and smiled up at me, her scarlet eyes glittering brilliantly. "I love you," she whispered and I grinned, pressing my lips against the top of her head.
"And I love you."
I glanced around the room slowly, silently thanking the powers above for once again protecting my family from harm. The joy and the laughter in the room was like music to my ears as we all celebrated Edward and Bella's engagement. I felt Esme's arms wrap around me and looked down to see her face, radiant with love. I kissed her lips gently before she slipped away again, not wanting to leave Angela unattended for too long.
Angela. Her journey through the burn was near its end and I hoped that all would end well. There would be much confusion when she awoke and I feared how she would react to her new way of life, knowing that her last few days as a human had been far from pleasant. I feared that she would look upon us all as the monsters that Victoria and the Newton boy had been. What would that mean for her? Would she be able to accept her own immortality or would she be mortified to discover that in her eyes, she had become a monster herself?
"Carlisle?" Pulled out of my thoughts, I smiled at my son as he joined me. "I don't believe it will be a problem." Edward turned and watched Bella as Alice handed her several bridal magazines she just happened to have stashed away. Chuckling he turned back towards me, the elation he was feeling clearly written all over his face. "Angela is intelligent and a very gentle soul, hopefully those traits will follow her into this life. And with Bella and Alice to help her along; how can it not be alright?"
"All we can do is wait to find out, Edward. But as you know, these next few months will be difficult for both Angela and Bella as they adjust." I cleared my mind of any negative thoughts and smiled. "Now we won't worry about it any further today. Esme and I would like to offer our island to you for your honeymoon, unless you had other plans?"
Edward smiled enthusiastically. "That would be perfect, Carlisle. Thank you so much. I believe we will need the warmth and solitude of Isle Esme once Alice gets through with us!"
I chuckled as the wedding planner stuck her tongue out at us and then continued her discussion with Bella, who in reality looked more terrified with each passing moment. "Perhaps you should go and rescue your future wife – she looks as though she may pass out, which is truly unheard of for a vampire."
Nodding in agreement, Edward moved towards them, stopping suddenly as Alice stiffened slightly, her eyes glazing for a moment and then returning to normal. "It's time." She spoke softly and we moved quickly to join Esme in the room adjacent to us.
I smiled at my wife as she moved towards me, her arm wrapping around my waist as we stood in a semi-circle with the rest of the family around the room. Not too close to Angela as we did not want to overwhelm her, but close enough that we could move to restrain her if needed.
I glanced over at Bella and smiled encouragingly, knowing she was most likely remembering the final moments of her change. She smiled back, her eyes leaving mine and once again focussing on the bed in the center of the room. Edward stood behind her, his arms encircling her protectively as the only heartbeat in the room slowed with each passing moment and finally shuddered to a stop.
We waited in silence, the room dimly lit as the early morning sun made its way skyward. A new day had dawned for my family and I smiled in welcome as my youngest daughter's eyes fluttered open and met mine for the very first time.
A/N – Now before y'all decide to throw stones at me for ending A Different Kind of Moon here, let me explain.
As this story progressed, I realized that there was going to be a whole lot more to tell, but not necessarily solely focussed only on Edward and Bella. A whole new world is about to open up for our dear Angela, and I really think she deserves to have that story told. That being said, please see below for a sneak peek of the sequel,
"Be Careful What You Wish For" (the first full chapter will be posted soon!)
Please add me to author alert if you would like to be notified or feel free to follow me for updates and silliness on Twitter: eyes_of_topaz
I hope you will all follow me on to the next story, but if you choose not to, please let me thank you again for all your support and love for "A Different Kind of Moon." MWAH!
And now onto the sneak peek…
I have been told that human memories are difficult to hold on to for a vampire – more like snapshots of our life before the burn. Some of us are luckier than others, carrying more mementos from our previous existence, while the less fortunate of our kind have little if any recollection of the time when their heart was still beating, their blood still flowed.
I guess I am luckier than most. I remember that I had family and friends who cared for me. I remember that I had parents that cherished me and were proud of my accomplishments. I remember that there was a boy who loved me, held my hand and gave me my first kiss. I hope those snapshots will stay with me.
I find it funny however, that my most vivid memory is not of any of those people. The photograph most clear is that of a shy, sweet girl on her first day of school. A girl who would become my best friend, my confidante and finally my eternal sister – Bella.
I remember her face as she watched them arrive in the cafeteria, our dear friend Jessica providing the play-by-play as first Rosalie and Emmett, then Alice and Jasper, and finally Edward entered. I believe Bella fell in love with Edward at that very moment, sealing both our fates in that one instant.
The conversations that happened that day are like whispers on the air, and I fight to capture them as they escape me. All but one. The words echo in my head over and over and will most likely haunt me for the rest of my days.
"Dr. Cullen is like this foster Dad, slash matchmaker," Jessica joked.
"Maybe he'll adopt me." A passing fancy spoken aloud, never meaning any harm.
Be careful what you wish for.
My name is Angela Cullen and I am a vampire. This is my story.
Hope you will stick around! Would love to hear what you think and thanks again to all! MWAH!