Hello my lovelies! I'm back with one more chapter to StAwMb and then I will be working on the sequel. I had a request for an Epilogue so you all could get a look into Charlie's transition into his new 'vamp' life – and so this is it… I know some of you are a bit stand-offish about Charlie becoming a vampire, but this is a choice I've made as a writer and who's to say that there aren't a few surprises in store?
Yeah, I'm evil like that…
Once again – you know the drill here, it isn't mine, it never was and it all belongs to Stephenie Meyer – blah, blah, blah. This storyline, however, came from my mind!
Charlie's POV – I Loved You With The Fire Red
"Bells, stop staring at me like that – you're making me nervous," I chuckled as I wrung my hands together in my nervousness. Nothing I had ever done in my life could have prepared me for this. No life experiences I'd gone through could make me ready for this moment – the talk about what my transformation may be like.
Of course I knew the basics: I'd die – obviously, but I'd still get to live and see my little girl be happy for all of eternity. And then there was the possibility that I'd be a blood-crazed maniac that would want to drain and/or slaughter the entire town of Forks.
Yeah, that possibility didn't sit all that well with me. Not only had I spent the past 30 or so years protecting this town, but I'd also grown to love most of the people in this community.
"Charlie, you know that you don't have to do this," Edward said softly as he held tightly to Bella's hand.
So I'd also figured that my son-in-law wasn't all that bad – I still hated the fact that I wasn't the only man in my daughters' life, but he was a good kid. I also knew he'd take care of her in ways that even I couldn't.
"I know," I nodded, "I can't understand where this unsure feeling is coming from." I added softly.
I'd been so damn sure that this was what I'd wanted – to live forever and get to watch my daughter live on and never worry about sickness or death, along with my granddaughter (who I was so glad that I was finally getting to know as such).
They were a part of me: Family. Blood.
But I just couldn't shake this nagging feeling that I wasn't making the right decision in becoming the undead. What was it that could possibly hold me here now? All I had in my life was my little girl and my granddaughter, and their extended family. So why couldn't I be sure about this and just get on with my change already? We'd been going over this for 2 months now – 2 long months since the Volturi had been destroyed and I'd learned my daughters' secret.
"Dad, if you're not sure about this," Bella whispered as she sat down next to me on the sofa, "I can't, in good conscience, change you. This is one of the hardest decisions I've ever made – and I won't let you go through with it if you're not completely sure about it."
"She's right, Charlie," Jacob agreed as he sat down across from me and Bella. "As Alpha, you know I have to make the best choices for everyone in my pack – which also includes the Cullen's, and you."
I nodded slowly as I scrubbed my hands over my face roughly. I wasn't sure – not anymore. I wasn't quite sure why – but it just didn't feel right.
"That settles it then," Edward said matter-of-factly as he read my thoughts (which still freaked me the hell out). "If you're not sure, we're putting it off until you are sure one way or another."
The room remained quiet – eerily quiet, as they watched me closely. I was like an insect under a microscope and I felt my palms begin to sweat suddenly as I looked between the faces in the room.
"Okay," I finally said. "We won't go through with it until I am 100 percent sure – either way."
Jacob nodded his head and stood up. "I have to go find my wife," he said with a smile.
Watching those two was something I'd never imagined could be possible. Sure, Bella and Edward were an enigma all of their own – but Jacob and Renesmee, they were like two pieces of a puzzle – they fit together almost perfectly. They were obviously made for each other in a way I could never understand. When one moved the other moved – like magnets. You could practically feel the love that they shared rolling off of them – and I envied them that.
The pit of my stomach tightened and a feeling I hadn't experienced in a long time flared up inside of my chest as I thought about all of the mated couples in this family – my family. The angry pain inside of my chest didn't let up as I watched Bells and Edward both stand and walk hand in hand out the door.
"What the fuck is wrong with me?" I sighed heavily as I once again ran my hands up and down my face. The feeling once again flared up inside of me as I thought about what they all had together.
What they all had and I didn't…
The feeling inside of me was so painfully obvious: I was jealous.
I knew what it was like to be loved, to be in love – but I didn't have that anymore. I'd loved Renee completely and with everything inside of me. When she'd left me I thought I'd never be happy again. The only saving grace I had was Bella – she was everything to me that mattered now, right?
Then why couldn't I be sure about the choice that now sat in front of me? If that was all I had left then the decision should be simple – but it wasn't anymore. I wanted so badly to believe that I could just go through with my change and be happy about it. I had thought that I knew what I wanted – to spend the rest of eternity with my daughter and watch her be completely happy and that in turn would make me happy.
But I now knew – it just wasn't enough.
I was pulled out of my thoughts by the ringing of my cell phone. I lifted it up from the coffee table and recognized the number instantly.
"Sue?" I answered softly – not even bothering with the customary 'Hello'.
"Oh, Charlie, I'm so glad I caught you." She sighed heavily into the receiver as if she was out of breath or on the verge of tears. "We need to talk, can we meet up somewhere?"
"S-sure, what's going on?" I asked, suddenly afraid that she was in trouble.
"Charlie," she said my name softly – her voice wrapping around it like a caress. Just her saying my name made my heart speed up and my palms started to sweat. "Leah and Seth told me about what you're thinking about doing."
"Oh," I sighed and rubbed my free hand over my face roughly. Of course she would hear about it – her two children were wolves.
"I can't let you do it, Charlie," she stated matter-of-factly. "I just can't let you go through with it without you knowing the truth."
I gulped suddenly as the lump in my throat became almost too much to bear. "Why, Sue? It would be my chance to watch my daughter and know that she was happy for – well, forever."
"And I know that," she agreed and I could almost see her shaking her head. "But you have to know all of your options and realize what's right in front of you."
My heart suddenly felt like it was going to beat of my chest and my hand that was holding the phone was sweating to the point that the device slipped from my hand and fell to the floor with a clatter.
"Charlie," I could hear the muffled sound of her voice calling out from the cell phone that now sat at my feet. "Charlie, please – I haven't felt this way about anyone since…"
My eyes clouded over with tears as I listened to her pleading with me to give her chance – that she had feelings for me and couldn't bear to think about us not at least giving this a shot. I deserved to be happy, too and she could offer me that and we could be together for as long as time would allow – if I could just find it in my heart to give her a chance.
"Charlie," she said again and I leaned down and picked up my phone – holding it once again against my ear as I cleared my throat and swiped angrily at my eyes as the tears threatened once more to escape. This was, after all, a chance to have what I had wanted since Renee had left me. A chance to be in love once more – and I already did harbor feelings for Sue, I had for quite some time.
"Charlie, what do you say?" she asked softly. "Please, I'm begging you – don't go through with it. I want to try to be with you."
I couldn't speak – I could barely think as I realized that this was exactly the piece that had been missing. The chance for me to finally be happy again with a woman – not that I needed a woman to be happy. But it was everything that was wrong with my life that I had desperately wanted to fix. This was what had been holding me back in making my choice…
"Sue," I choked out, my voice catching once again on the tears that were ever-present at the moment. I was happy that she had called – because I wasn't going to go through with the change – I was going to give love a shot and be happy with someone for as long as I possibly could. "I'll always be grateful that you called me right now – because I have been torturing myself over this decision for the past two months."
"I know," she said softly. "I just couldn't let you go through with it without telling you how I felt first. I know that Harry was one of your best friends – but I can't fight what I feel and you had to know…"
"Sue," I interrupted her with a soft chuckle, "I want to try, too."
"Oh, Charlie," she sobbed into the receiver and I couldn't help the smile that pulled across my lips.
"I won't go through with the change; I want to be with you, too."
My mind was made up – this was what I wanted. I could feel it deep inside – this was right.
Edward's POV –
I listened closely to the conversation in the next room as Charlie told Sue that he wanted to be with her. My dead heart swelled with pride that Bella had been right – their feelings for one another wasn't just as friends and I had been right to tell Jacob to get Leah and Seth to talk to Sue. Everything was working out – except the deep-seeded concern in the back of my mind that the vampire world was now without some sort of rule.
"You're worrying again," Bella said softly as she ran her finger down the crease between my brows.
"I can't help it, love," I sighed heavily. "There's always someone that is going to want to rise to power – and I just can't help but worry that they'll come after us when they learn we were the ones that took out the Volturi."
"Over my dead body," Jacob growled as he walked toward me, his hand clutched tightly around Nessie's. "I am telling you right now that I will make any vampire pay if they come after our family again."
"We cannot be without rulers," I sighed heavily again – the very human-like gesture was now a habit of mine when I became worried or frustrated. "We need to be sure that there is a government in place or there will be those of our kind who will cause problems."
"I'll go and take over my damn self if that is what I need to do," Jacob growled again, the Alpha power within him was beginning to take over and I watched as his eyes changed and flashed red – looking almost like a vampire himself – and his body straightened up and his staggering height caused me to take a small step back. "I will not allow harm to come to my family – I will not be pushed around and walked over as if I am nothing."
Charlie chose that moment to walk into the hallway and glanced in both directions – his face screwed up in confusion as he stared at Jacob.
"What's going on? Did I miss something?" Charlie asked as he folded his arms over his chest in a very Jacob-like fashion.
"Jacob and Edward are discussing what is to come in the near future – other than your choice to stay human," Bella smiled at her father. "I'm happy for you dad, and I know it wasn't easy for you to give up what you wanted, but Sue is a wonderful woman. You deserve to be happy."
"Thanks, Bells," Charlie chuckled slightly and began to blush.
"Jacob, we need to figure out what to do about Volterra and those of my kind who will try to take over if they see the opportunity." I said seriously, my tone leaving no room for confusion. This was a very serious matter and had to be dealt with before any trouble arose.
Jacob pulled his hand away from Nessie's as he stared straight at me – his red eyes becoming brighter as the sneer on his lips etched deeper. His hands clenched into fists and his eyes burned brightly as he lifted his palms – flames licked against his skin and his teeth snapped together as the flames burned higher and hotter – I could feel the heat coming from him and took another step back.
"Edward," Jacob said just as seriously, his voice dripping with authority as his eyes stared into me like he was reading my soul. "Like I said – I will do something about it. I am Jacob Black, the blood of true Alphas run through my veins– and I am Alpha of this family, this pack – no harm will come to us without them learning that they do not fuck with me and those I love."
My throat felt dry – which I knew was impossible – as I stared straight back at my son-in-law in complete awe of the power that stood before me. I was about to agree with him when I heard:
"Ya'll, he is one scary motherfucker. Our Alpha is a total badass."
"Peter," Charlotte hissed followed by the distinct sound of a slap.
"Hmm," Charlie mumbled as he looked around at all of us, a slight smirk pulled across his lips. "Even though I have decided to remain human – I sure am glad I have the protection of all of you – especially Charlotte."
Jacob's eyes closed and the flames stopped burning up his skin as he began to laugh loudly, the former conversation forgotten as we all looked toward Charlie - He simply shrugged and pulled his jacket on and walked toward the door.
"You're sure about your decision, Chief?" Jacob asked as he turned toward Charlie – his friendly demeanor once again in place instead of the badass Alpha that had been there just moments before.
Charlie stood with the door handle in his hand and turned back toward all of us.
"I've never been so sure of anything in all my life," he nodded and looked toward Bella and Renesmee. "But if you don't take care of my two girls here – I will find a way to make you boys hurt, you hear me?"
"Loud and clear, chief," Jacob nodded and turned toward me with a smirk on his face.
"How about you, Cullen - You understand what I'm saying to you son?" Charlie asked me seriously.
My life for the past 100 years, I had been surrounded by numerous scary creatures – but for some strange reason none of them scared me quite like this human man that was staring straight at me waiting for my answer.
"Yes, sir," I agreed. "You have my word on it."
"Good," he said with a smile. "I'll be back – I have a gal waiting for me." He cleared his throat and chuckled once. "Don't wait up." And with that he walked out of the house leaving us all staring after him.
"Maybe our Alpha isn't the real badass here," Peter chuckled.
This was followed closely by Charlotte hissing out: "Peter!" And a resounding slap.
So this was the family that was going to ensure vampire law?
God help us…
There you have it – the Epilogue is done and Charlie is going to stay human… I honestly was going to put that as the first chapter of the Sequel but it's awesome that some of you couldn't wait that long! I'm working hard on getting that out to you as well – so thank you all so much for supporting me and the many kind words for everyone! Much love, and I'll be back soon…