A/N: See bottom. SM owns all.
Chapter Fifteen Epilogue: My Love as performed by Sia. (Of course in honor of the release of Eclipse, which I felt bombed, poo. Taylor Lautner was my reason for watching.. and he my friend is a VERY good reason to watch, hehe).
Butterflies. I actually had butterflies in my stomach. As a century old vampire, I was astounded to realize that I could still have such a human reaction to this extraordinary day. The day that Bella Swan, my one true love, would become my wife. I smiled at myself in the mirror, straightening my bow tie. Alice had taken extra precautions finding the right tuxedo for me, and I couldn't be happier with what she chose. She found a vintage-inspired Salvatore Ferragamo. The jacket was a single breasted, wool-mohair blend, and featured a silk shawl lapel, reminiscent of an old smoking jacket I used to have (if anyone knew how much knowledge I actually attained on fashion over the years, I'm sure I would never hear the end of it. However, you cannot be related to Alice Cullen and not pick up a thing or two over the years). I wore it over a cream colored button up. It was a bit snug, but that only seemed to accentuate my shoulders and my chest. The trousers were also a simple, slim cut, with a single silk stripe going down each leg. I was tying my black Ferragamo shoes when I heard a knock on my bedroom door.
"Come in." My father, wearing a more modern black tux, and mother, dressed in an elegant cranberry red floor length gown, came in the room. With a smile, Carlisle pulled me into a hug.
"Son, I am so proud of you." He words were kind and sincere. "I know you must be nervous. I'm even a little nervous. But you know that you and Bella were destined for this. You're going to do great."
Esme pulled me into her loving arms next, breathing a short "I love you" into my ear. I held her tighter to me.
I looked at Carlisle and took a deep breath. "Carlisle, I want you to know that… I… That this day would have never happened if you had never…" He nodded, knowing what I meant. "I know I haven't been the most acceptant or gracious about this way of life… I've been alone for so long, I was beginning to resent everything… And then Bella walked into my life and everything just fell into place. I understand now why I'm still here. I was born for Isabella Swan, just a century too early. However, you made it possible for me to be with her. Thank you." I pulled him into a hug and he slapped my back, trying to keep things as manly as possible.
Esme looked as if she was about to cry. I addressed her next. "Esme, you have been my mother and my friend for so many years. Your warm, loving smile has helped me deal with my pain and discomfort. You made my life bearable, pushing me to find someone I could spend all of eternity with. Thank you for showing me what love truly is, and by doing that, allowing me to truly love Bella like you love Carlisle." I pulled her into my arms, placing a soft kiss on her cheek. She beamed with happiness.
Esme took a step back, holding on to my arms. "Edward, darling, all my life I have wanted nothing more than to see you finally happy. When Rose was brought into our lives, I thought that maybe… Maybe you would find happiness. It broke my heart when I realized she was not the one for you. But when Bella came around… I just knew it."
"How could you possibly know?" I asked.
"I'm a mother Edward, and mothers always know." She said with a smile and a wink. "Come Carlisle, it's almost time for our son to get married." Together, they left arm in arm. I smiled to myself, thinking that would be me and my Bella in just a few short moments. I took one last fleeting glance in the mirror and made my way downstairs.
The butterflies again began to assault me. Alice had decorated the entire house for the occasion. It would be a small ceremony, just my family, the Denali's, and some of the wolves were attending. Alice had hung white and cranberry red Chinese lanterns in the backyard where the ceremony would take place, and several white chairs were set out. The guests had taken their seats, and Jasper, Emmett, and I had taken our spots at the altar. Irina and Tanya had agreed to play the violin for us, and as soon as Pachabelle's Canon began, the butterflies soared up into my throat. Rosalie was first, wearing a knee-length cranberry dress, with a satin waist and capped sleeves. Alice followed behind, adorned in the same color. Her shoulders were bare, as the dress had a sweetheart neckline, and ruched bust. The wedding march began and I felt a wave of calm soothe me. I looked at Jasper who gave me a sly grin and I smiled back. Carlisle had been kind enough to agree in giving Bella away. As much as she wanted Charlie there, she knew it would still be too dangerous. When Bella stepped into my view, it was like I was seeing her for the first time all over again. Her chestnut brown hair seemed to be sparkling as it fell in loose waves framing her exquisite face. Her eyes were golden and her cheeks slightly pink, probably due to the make- up Alice had applied. It reminded me of the old Bella, when she used to blush at everything. Her dress was… breathtaking. The gown screamed vintage, as it was lace with a scallop trimmed straight neckline. The bodice was of empire design, and heavily adorned with beaded lace, crystals, rhinestones, and pearls. It trumpeted out at the bottom, completing the look. Bella was a vision. Slowly, Carlisle walked her to me, took her hand in a symbol as old as the world, and placed it in mine. I touched the cool miracle of her skin, and I was home.
Eleazar began the ceremony and I leaned in and whispered into her ear, "You are so beautiful, love."
She smiled back at me, her eyes triumphant.
Eleazar asked if we were ready with the vows, and I nodded. I took my love's hands in mine, and looked deep into her beautiful eyes before I began.
"I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz or arrow of carnations that propagate fire. I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries hidden within itself the light of those flowers. And thanks to your love, darkly in my body lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride. I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I breath it is your chest that rises. I was made to love you, my dear Isabella."
Her eyes were brimmed with venomous tears that would never fall, and I gave her a small, crooked grin. She took a deep breath, and I swear I saw her blush, and began her own vows.
"My dearest Edward, our miracle lies in the path we have chosen together. I enter into this marriage with you, knowing that the true magic of love is not to avoid changes, but to navigate them successfully. Let us commit to the miracle of making each day work together. Respecting each other, we commit to live our lives together for all the days to come. I ask you to share this world with me, for good and ill. Be my partner, and I will be yours."
I sighed, in pure content, knowing that our love would be strong enough to conquer all. We exchanged rings and the second Eleazar pronounced us husband and wife, I pulled her into my arms and kissed her with all that I had. All the passion, love, desire, adoration, and devotion I had for her, was poured into that kiss. She responded, wrapping her hand around my neck and pulling me tighter. As the clapping and catcalling died down, we separated, smiles as wide as possibly could be spread on our faces, we marched down the aisle, hand in hand, as husband and wife.
We reached the end of the aisle, she turned to face me. She took both my hands in hers, and drew them up to her face and kissed each one. "I forever love you, Edward Cullen."
I brought my face to hers and whispered against her lips, "And I love you Isabella Cullen, always and forever."
A/N: Wow. It's come to an end. Like, for real. This is it. This story did everything I had wanted it to, with the help of two fantastic betas, Kikithebookworm and Endlesslywaiting.
Kikithebookworm: I don't know if you're still out there, but I do hope that you're okay. I'm sad that we didn't get to finish this together, but I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for pushing me and urging me to continue and truly use my passion throughout this story.
Endlesslywaiting: Babe, you came from way out in left field and I can not thank you enough for stepping up to bat. You helped me tremendously in getting this story finished when I was just about to give up on it. Without you, this would be complete. So, thank you, thank you, thank you.
For all my constant reviewers, I honestly can not tell you how much you got me through this story. The constant push and need to read more kept me writing. And kept me pushing to give you more and give you something better.
As much as this story was for my readers, it was also for me. It did exactly what I wanted it to- Got me through a year in China. It took me nearly a year to write, rewrite, review, and edit to get everything the way I wanted it. I feel it ended perfectly- albeit sadly for some. I am so happy that SM allowed us to use the characters and her plot line to develop our own ideas and dreams into something that others could see as well.
For those would-be writers: all it takes is a dream. Write it down. Elaborate. Beta. Post. I promise- it's completely worth it.
Finally, as I mentioned before, I have another story posted on Fanfic. I was in the process of Twilighting it, but I apparently have punctuation issues... and frankly, not enough spare time to fix it. So, please venture of to and read Fearless. I'm posting ever so slowly as I go, but I know that you'll love it :) Just keep an open mind of course ;)
That's all from me, my loves. I hope to hear from you all. Thanks again for everything.