A/N: Well, this is it, guys…
My wedding day. It was something I was still coming to terms with. But I only had two more hours to comprehend it, so the freaking out would have to be skipped. My mother, on the other hand, was going batshit crazy enough for me and everyone else in the wedding party. She was currently picking at my hair, making sure the blue clip attached to my veil was secure for the umpteenth time since I'd gotten my hair done.
"You just…you just make sure not to move your head too much, okay, Bella? That damn woman doesn't know what she's doing, I swear. I knew I should have flown Barbara in. She could have gotten this to stick to your hair like duct tape," Mom said, talking about her own hairdresser back in Florida.
"Mom, I'm walking down an aisle, not competing in the Winter Olympics. Calm down," I told her, guiding her over to a chair. She humored me for a second and sat down before standing up again. I was starting to think she was freaking out just so she'd have something to do besides cry.
"Alice, would you be a dear and bring me another glass of champagne?" Edward's mother called to her daughter. "And get one for Renee, too, while you're at it." I looked over at Esme and mouthed a grateful "thank you". She winked at me coyly.
Suddenly I heard crying near the door and turned to look at my daughter, who was currently throwing a fit over having a strange woman zipping up the back of her dress.
Helen, my mom's neighbor and best friend, looked up from the chaos that was my daughter and decided she'd best let me deal with it. She brought my little Sable, who had just grasped how to walk, over to me.
"Someone wants her mommy!"
"Come see, baby, don't cry," I cooed to her, taking her from Helen's arms and rubbing her back. She stopped wailing after a minute and I put her down, straightening out her dress.
The pearl headpin in her pretty copper hair had been knocked askew and was now holding on by a few strands, hitting her in the nose. I tried to fix it as she started crying again. It was her father's fault; when he was home, she was always either in his arms or in her crib, sleeping. He spoiled her rotten, and I could not compete. She was Daddy's little girl and got anything she wanted, but she would have to get over it today, for I couldn't give her my undivided attention for the next few hours.
Life had certainly calmed down after our return from the island. People got over our story just like every other big news report, but every once in a while we would be stopped by a stranger's curiosity. After the baby was born, however, life became nonstop. Edward had to start his year of internship all over, and I decided to get a little job with the local newspaper just to have something to do while he was gone. His parents helped us a lot, and we still received money from Voyage Airlines. It wasn't exactly easy, but it wasn't hard. We had a blast raising Sable, even though sleep was definitely cut down by at least two hours a night. We waited a while to get married for many reasons, but finally the day had come.
The beautician came over to me and started pulling out makeup for my face, scrutinizing my pale skin with a frown. "Mom? Can you take Sable?" I called out to my mother.
Renee came over and held out her arms for her granddaughter while I planted a big kiss on her cheek. "I love you, baby," I told her, handing her over.
"No!" she shouted, her favorite word at the moment before smiling at me, her six little teeth poking out of her gums.
"Okay, Paula," I said, turning back to the beautician. "This will probably be the only time I get married, so make me as pretty as you can!"
Two hours passed like minutes, and soon I was watching my little girl get pulled onto the aisle by Edward's cousin. Rose's son Henry, who was only a month younger than Sable, was our ring-bearer. Edward's twelve year old cousin was carrying him and leading Sable, trying to keep our little flower girl from tripping.
Sable's big brown eyes met my gaze, and I blew her a kiss, hoping she wouldn't start crying in front of all those people.
And then came my turn; the music changed and our wedding planner fixed the train of my dress. My heart started beating out of my ribs, and my breath fell short. But I'd never felt more sure of anything in my life.
"Bella?" my dad asked, offering his arm. I linked mine through his and smiled.
"Don't fall," he chuckled.
"No promises," I said as we walked out onto the aisle. The church had been decked out with white ribbons and decorations, but the only thing I could pay attention to was the handsome man standing at the other end. He threw me a dazzling smile and a wink.
I could hardly pay attention to the vows and everything the priest was saying. All I could think about was how I was going to have Edward to myself by the end of the night for the first time in a long time. And by the way Edward was looking at me, I knew he was thinking the same thing.
Edward slid the wedding band onto my finger, and we both looked at the string that was still tied there after all this time. I'd kept my promise that it would never leave my finger. He took my hand and kissed my rings before kissing me.
Bella really had no idea where we were going for our honeymoon. But to give her credit, I never would have guessed it, either.
After landing in Atlanta, I grabbed our bags and led her to a waiting area. Our next flight wasn't for another hour.
"Rio?" Bella asked, looking at the plane ticket in her hand.
"Yup, but that's not the final destination," I said.
Bella huffed. "I hate planes."
I chuckled and rubbed her back. "This is the last flight, I promise."
She sat down quietly in a chair and sighed. "Do you think Sable will have forgotten us in a week?"
"Bella, she's a baby, not an idiot," I said, laughing. "It's only a week. What, do you want to go back now?"
"No!" she said loudly. "She's going to hate us, though. A year old, and she'll already have abandonment issues…"
Sable had thrown a fit when she watched us get into the car headed for the airport. Both of us tried soothing her, but she wouldn't have it. No amount of kiss-blowing and peek-a-boos would calm our little girl down. I briefly wondered whether she would hate us when we came back. But my mom guaranteed to make her have some fun while we were away. If anything, she'd probably be ten pounds heavier and twice as spoiled in a week's time.
Not long later, we were on the next plane.
Once in Rio, we were driven to a boat dock. The boat I rented was there, keys hidden beneath the driver's seat, just as planned.
"Edward?" Bella said uneasily, giving me her hand so I could help her in.
"Don't worry, I know how to work this."
She scoffed. "Where are we going?"
"It's a surprise! Just about fifteen more minutes and you'll know." The ocean smelled wonderful, and the farther from Chicago we got, the better I felt.
Not long later, Bella gasped.
"Is—is that…?" she whispered, catching sight of the small piece of land just above the water.
I looked at her and smiled, though I hoped she wouldn't be too disappointed when I told her where we were.
There was a small dock that had been recently built on the island, along with a little cabin big enough for two people. I helped Bella from the boat once I tied it tight, and she instantly ran to the sand.
"How did you—I can't believe it!" Bella said, looking back and forth from me to the trees. Before I could respond, she grabbed my elbow and used me for balance as she took off her sandals. The second they were off, she dug her toes in the sand, feeling each particle against her finely pedicured skin. I heard her take a deep breath, the kind of breath one takes upon returning home after a long vacation.
"It smells just the same," she commented happily. I smiled at the delight on my new wife's face. "Is it our island?" she asked, looking at me hopefully.
I bit the inside of my cheek, unable to lie to her.
Shaking my head, I told her how this had come to be.
"I wanted to get our island, sweetheart, I really did. But it's so far from civilization. If we were to have gotten it, there was no guarantee we would be safe so far away from help. Here, it's almost the same size, and it's got the same trees and plants. There's even a cave quite like the one we had! Well, two, actually…It was just a little island that wasn't being used…" I ran a hand through my hair, preparing myself for her disappointment.
If she was sad, however, there was no indication of it. She merely beamed at me and walked over, kissing me gently.
Tears lined her eyes. "Thank you. You don't know how much this means to me."
Relief spread through me instantaneously. She was happy. "I love you," I said, putting my forehead against hers.
"And I love you." She trailed a thin finger down my chest before turning around and walking toward the tiny wood cabin.
My family and I had bought the island and built the cabin but I'd decided to rent it out when we weren't using it. I was right; it really was very similar to our island. There were palm trees and white sand, birds and humidity.
And oh God, the sound. I'd waited so long to hear the rhythmic waves hitting the sand. I felt home.
I followed Bella's idea and took off my shoes and socks, deciding the suitcases could wait until later. We could stay naked for all I cared. It's not like anyone was going to see us.
I found Bella inside the cabin, taking in the small house. I'd never seen it before; my mom and dad had arranged most of the plans and got my okay before doing anything too crazy. My mom had wanted a three bedroom magnificent house, the "perfect getaway" in her words, but I knew with the island already being so small, it would swallow up the natural beauty, and Bella wouldn't like that as much. So I had them build the small cabin. I tried very hard to recreate the island we'd been stranded on for months. There wasn't even electricity, but at least we had a bed now.
"This is so beautiful," Bella said, touching the silky curtains billowing from the small breeze through the window. My chest swelled with pride, glad to be told I'd done well.
"Are you hungry? Think I could still catch a fish?" I asked her.
She snorted. "Please. What are you talking about? You never could catch a fish."
I laughed and set my shoes next to hers on the floor.
"So, did I do a good job on choosing our honeymoon? Would you rather be in Italy or something?" I asked, already knowing her answer.
"Hmm. No, I think you did a decent job, Mr. Cullen," she replied, walking over and loosening my tie. "But I'll have you know that I picked sand out of my butt for months, and now I'll have to start the process all over again." She started unbuttoning my shirt.
"Well, then mission accomplished, Mrs. Cullen. And that's what you were doing all that time? I just figured you had a hemorrhoid or something," I joked, watching her beautiful skin blush as she rolled her eyes at me. She walked over to the decorations on the wall and I went into the bedroom to check it out, lighting candles along the way.
"Wow," I sighed as I surveyed the fancy bedspread. I guessed Mom couldn't help herself when it came to this room. It was decked out with expensive furniture, and the bed had a silky transparent cover over it.
"Bella, have you seen the bedroom?" I called out to her. When I didn't get an answer, I returned to the living room to find her missing. I walked outside, where the sky had turned dark.
I saw her outfit crumpled on the sand between the cabin and the water. Impatient woman…
I walked over to her clothes, trying to spot her. She'd lost her tan not long after moving into our house, and if she was naked, it should be very easy to spot her.
She was waist-deep in the water, right under the moon, her back to me, her skin looking creamy smooth and practically glowing. Her hands were above the water, palms down, her head back and the tips of her hair just getting wet. It was a sight I'd seen before, the first time we'd shared each other on our island.
I quickly shed my clothes next to hers and walked forward, the mixture of water and sand a silent reminder of everything I'd lost…
…And everything I'd gained…
A/N: Holy moley, I struggled with this chapter. I rewrote it twice! Sorry it took so long and that it's short, but what can I say? It's an ending. I hope you guys feel that I ended it just right and that you've enjoyed this whole ride.
Sable means "sand" in French. I thought it was appropriate and cute. I hope no one hates the name, sorry if you do. Got it from freetranslation.
Thank you so much to all my readers and reviewers for sticking with me the last two years. I can't say how much I appreciate it. This is the first story I stuck with and actually finished, and it's honestly because of you guys. I'm so proud to have reached over 2,000 reviews and 1600 favorites, most of them good. I'll probably cry when I switch it to "completed".
One more thing, I have other stories I'm writing (ones I don't struggle with but promised not to continue till I finished this one) My favorite is No Such Thing as Love. I have so much fun writing the mystery and OOC and IMO it's my best writing so far. I work really hard on it. And there's Until the End…
I'll be starting a new horror story soon. It'll be short, but you'll get to see me kill off a bunch of bitchy sorority girls. (I'm in a sorority, and sometimes I hate my sisters so much, I've just got to write this.)
Anyway, thanks again for reading! And please review! Last chance!