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Outtake #2 – This is My Happy Ending


A happy ending used to mean something completely different to me, back then. Back then, it was a technical term, something I could joke about but nothing more. Happy endings were what paid the bills, after all. Happy endings usually involved a man coming on my face, and then the scene fading to black.

A happy ending meant something completely different to me now…and it wasn't even the end.

It had been two years. Two years since my gaze had locked with a beautiful green-eyed stranger from across a crowded restaurant bar. Two years since we'd played mini-golf and laughed and started down the road we were still on now. There had been bumps and stalls along the way, but we still had each other, and that was the most important thing.

Of course I'd had to accept that a "happy ending" didn't automatically equal perfection, but I don't think either of us wanted perfection. We were just like any other couple now…we squabbled from time to time and more rarely had full-blown arguments…but then again so did Jasper and Alice, and Emmett and Rosalie. But for the most part, we were happy. Incredibly happy and very much in love.

I was still going to school full-time at University of San Francisco, and with the credits I'd already accumulated from my time at UCLA, I'd be graduating with a bachelor's degree in History at the end of the spring semester. Edward was urging me to consider continuing on to pursue a master's, but I genuinely wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my degree. I loved the idea of becoming a teacher like Jasper…but I could also see myself working in a museum, or as an archivist…doing something I loved.

Although my life before was starting to seem more and more like a hazy dream, the years I'd spent as Isabella the porn star occasionally whispered over our lives. The lawsuit and its surprising outcome were public record, and it had spurred much discussion on porn industry blogs, radio and tv shows, and even mainstream shows, debating the legality of pornography contracts. Not all of the attention was positive or favorable toward me…indeed, quite a lot believed that a woman knew what she was signing up for when she got involved in the porn industry, and trying to cry off simply because she'd had a change of heart wasn't a valid basis for breaking a contract.

Other groups flat-out stated that I was a whore for what I'd done, and that I deserved whatever I got.

Edward and I were vigilant about maintaining my privacy, and I turned down all requests for interviews and appearances, even from those who were sympathetic to what I'd gone through. Maybe it was selfish, maybe it was wrong, but…I had no desire to be a poster-child for a reform movement within the porn industry. I just wanted to go to school during the day, fall into Edward's arms in the evening, and to just breathe.

As far as I knew, I'd only been recognized publicly twice. The first time was while Edward and I were on vacation in Hawaii, months after we'd moved into together. I'd been approached by three guys on the beach, and although their words were crass, they hadn't been aggressive.

"I'd recognize that body anywhere, Isabella, I'm a huge fan." This from one of them, a surfer dude in garish board shorts.

"Yeah, could we maybe get an autograph?" His gap-toothed friend grinned at me, but their smiles had faded in the cool politeness of my smile.

"I'm sorry, but I don't do that anymore."

The first one blinked in confusion as I felt Edward tense beside me. "Well…but…could I have a picture then maybe?"

"No, I'm sorry."

I knew they took pictures of me sitting there on the beach even as they walked away, but I forced myself to calm down. And as I turned to meet Edward's angry green eyes, I whispered what we both needed to hear. "It's all in the past. Never again."

The second time had been a creepy guy at USF, in my Women in American History class. He'd sidled up to me after class one day, a copy of Full Moon in his hand. "How about an autograph, Isabella? You got me off harder than any of those other chicks, hands-down."

I'd politely turned him down and then promptly called Campus Security to walk me to my car. As much as I hated to do it, I'd told Edward about it, including the guy's description in case anything else happened. Thankfully it had been within two weeks of the end of that semester, and I never saw the creep again.

If anyone in San Francisco society had figured out what I'd done in the past, they kept it to themselves. I'd been to plenty of parties and fundraisers on Edward's arm over the past two years, and never once had I felt judged or looked down upon. Regardless, it had still taken me almost a year to stop assuming that the person I'd just been introduced to knew.

Those shadows aside, our life together was as normal and wonderful as I could have asked for. Edward was happy in his job, I was happy at school, and we were blissfully happy at home together. Home. Every passing day brought another moment of normalcy…serious discussions when they were needed, and laughter and joy as we kept falling more in love with each other.

Carlisle and Esme were everything I could have asked for, and better than I deserved. Esme in particular regularly referred to me now as her daughter, and we went shopping together when a Center event required a wardrobe upgrade. Edward and I usually went over for Sunday dinner every week, and Esme now served granita on both her wedding anniversary along with the anniversary of my and Edward's first date. I had a wonderful easy relationship with both of them, and I loved them both dearly.

And now here we were, at our third Platt-Cullen Cancer Research Center 5k Walk and Run. After the first disastrous year, we'd had a blast at our second time around. Esme had walked between us, clasping our hands and chattering away as we'd crossed the finish line.

This year, Jasper, Alice, Emmett and Rose had opted to join us. None of us were joggers, so we lined up with the other walkers and started off as Esme fired the starting pistol. It was a perfect day for the event, and we laughed and talked for the entire duration of the 5k.

Jasper and Alice had quietly eloped to Gatlinburg, Tennessee a few months earlier. In the spirit of not running up debts on anything formal or unnecessary, they'd opted for a low-key ceremony. Alice had found a new job as the personal assistant of a successful CEO within weeks of my leaving OPB, and by her own account, was much happier.

Per her plans, Rosalie had opened up her own car-customization business, and Rims was booked solid with jobs several months out. She had no problem acknowledging her porn-star past, and in truth, it seemed to only help. Men came in with their high-priced toys out of curiosity, and left impressed by her hard-core skills and abilities. I'd occasionally go down to Rims and answer the phones and make appointments for her in between studying, in return for her buying my drinks when we went out afterward.

Today had nothing to do with work, though. Esme had caught up a bit back, and assured us that although Carlisle was at his regular post in the medical tent, that we'd all meet up later in the evening. Emmett was whining about the exertion as Rosalie jammed her elbow into his side, Alice and Jasper were laughing quietly together.

"Yet another perfect day," Esme declared happily.

"Mother Nature wouldn't dare mess with your fundraiser, Mom," Edward commented dryly, before putting his arm around me. "Let's go out to eat after this, baby. I think we've earned a date night."

I laughed, our pace had been steady, but I wouldn't exactly call our efforts vigorous. "If you want."

"I feel like celebrating."

"You need to hit the gym more often if you think successfully walking three miles calls for a celebration."

He gave me a squeeze before dropping his arm and taking my hand in his. The finish line was just ahead, and Esme waved at the crowd assembled there. Emmett made a dramatic show of pretending to drag himself over the line, then grabbed Rosalie around the waist and spun her around.

She shrieked. "Put me down, you big lug!"

"That was fun," he declared. "We should do more of these."

"Says the man who started asking are we there yet? halfway through!" Alice giggled.

"I was excited to get to the finish line," Emmett defended himself. Edward's hand slipped from mine as he knelt to re-tie his shoelace, and I reached up to pull my ponytail a little tighter. It was nowhere near as warm as it had been at my first 5k, but exertion of the brisk walk had me sweating.

Esme murmured something to the photographer who approached her, and he nodded and backed away just as Carlisle appeared. He kissed his wife firmly on the cheek and then turned to smile at me.

Actually…they were all smiling at me.

I lowered my arms and looked around at each of them, puzzled. "Um, do I stink or something?"

"Bella," Edward said, and I turned to see him still kneeling, but now with a small black box in his hand, an enormous diamond ring sparkling in the center of it.


"Bella Swan," he said softly, his green eyes meeting mine, "I love you. You are my soulmate, you are my other half, and more than anything else I want you to also be my wife…will you marry me?"

At some point my hand had come up to cover my mouth, but I was nodding before he even finished speaking. The crooked grin I loved so much flashed across his face. "Is that a yes?"

"Yes," I managed to croak out through my fingers. My heart was beating so loudly in my ears that I wasn't sure if he'd heard me, but he took my left hand away from my mouth, kissed it, and then slid the sparkler onto my ring finger. A split second later he stood, and I reacted automatically. I threw my arms around his neck and hugged him with every ounce of strength in my body.

Not even Emmett's sudden bellow from behind us couldn't pry me away from him. "She said yes!"

There was a burst of laughter from the assembled crowd, and then cheering and applause. Over the noise I could hear Edward's whisper in my ear: "I love you."

I finally released my grip on my new fiancé, and he pulled me tightly into his side as we turned to face our friends and family. Esme was sniffling through her beaming smile as Carlisle handed her a handkerchief, Alice was bouncing in excitement, Jasper was laughing, and Rosalie and Emmett wore matching enormous shit-eating grins.

"I told you I'd manage to keep it a secret," Emmett boasted.

"Never mind all the hints you kept dropping," Edward growled. "I'll deal with you later."

The photographer Esme had waved off before approached again. "Mrs. Platt-Cullen, may I take a picture?"

She nodded and then pulled us close to her. After a few photographs, another reporter approached and Esme squeezed my hand before moving off to do the obligatory post-5k interviews.

"Did everyone know about this?" I whispered to Edward as he bent down to steal another kiss.

"Not everyone…just those four clowns and my parents."

I giggled. "And in public…Edward, I'm going to be on the society page tomorrow all sweaty with my hair glued to my neck and a goofy-ass grin on my face."

"We'll both have goofy-ass grins on our face," he corrected. "And I wanted an audience just in case there was any chance you were thinking about saying no. I figured that witnesses improved my odds."

"I wouldn't have said no," I replied softly. We'd discussed getting married before, he knew I was willing, but I'd assumed it would all be after I graduated. "It was the most perfect surprise ever, thank you."

"Thank you for saying yes," he countered. "I was pretty sure you would, but I was nervous as hell until you started nodding."

I looked down at the enormous solitaire on my finger and decided not to comment about how much it had probably cost…besides, it really was a gorgeous ring. "I'm going to be your wife."

"As long as we both shall live. I wish…" he paused for a moment. "I wish I could have asked Charlie for his permission."

I smiled wistfully. "Don't worry…wherever he is, I'm pretty sure he approves."

"Okay, I think you mentioned something about wanting to celebrate!" Emmett yelled. "I already made reservations for all of us at seven o'clock at Très Bien, so get a move on!"

Edward and I both grinned then; Très Bien had been the site of our first date. The symmetry of it was perfect.

"I feel like Cinderella…again," I noted as we started walking to the reserved parking lot, to head home and clean up. "This is the best happy ending ever."

Edward tugged my ponytail and chuckled. "Happy, yes. Ending, no. This is all just getting started, and we've got a wedding to plan."



This is the last outtake for MYOKoM. Thank you for sticking along for the ride!