Disclaimer: Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer and her peeps. Not me.

I struggled with writing this a bit, because it really is the epilogue for Sin, too and not just The Price of Permanence... The story sorta stands complete on its own, but this is more of a little tie-up-a-few-loose-themes sorta thing for both stories.

Thanks to ElleCC who is a mad genius.


Epilogue


"What time is it?" he gasped. He knew they were taking too long. They should have left five minutes ago.

"Fuck the time," she sputtered at the same moment that her nails dug into his shoulder. Then her hips shifted, and all logical thought went...

"Fuck..." he groaned out.

"—the time," she finished the sentence for him.

He laughed—then groaned again because she was doing that roll-thing with her hips.

He grabbed her hips and started to move her faster against him, his lips attacking under her jaw, when she burst out, "Wait! Wait, turn! Need to turn."

"Turn?" Edward murmured, not stopping.

"My knees—are... too—raw."

Edward halted, stilling their movements. "From before?" he asked.

"From the dozen times before."

"Mmmmm." He hummed back to her even as he rolled the two of them over, and then they were shifting together again. Her beneath him, supple and alive with legs clenched around him and the rough of her heels scraping back and forth across his ass.

But then he realized his knees were sore, too. They really fucking stung.

But also that the pain didn't matter.

Because one of Bella's hands was pulling hard on the hair at the base of his neck and the other arm was arched back high while her mouth shot open as her eyes squeezed shut and her whole body lifted, and a long, "Edwaaa..." began that started low in the back of her throat but went into the upper octaves as he sped up and thrust harder, and they both forgot about their knees and anything called pain, and moved and pushed and pulled until they both cried out, tensing and tight together.

When they finally relaxed, they lay together, panting and warm and, admittedly, rather sore.

Edward kissed the silver band on her finger. "I'll get you something nicer," he said.

"But I like this." She pointed at his finger. "It matches yours."

"You don't want a diamond?"

"I had one. I don't want another. I like this better." Her finger circled the metal.

He smiled at her.

She smiled back before patting his shoulder with a quick slap-slap. "Time to go?" she asked.

He laughed and pulled her off the bed.


"A drink, dear? Wouldn't you like something with a bit of a zip to it? Irish coffee, some espresso liqueur with a dash of cream, a Mimosa, Bloody Mary, Melon Patch, or just a simple screwdriver, dear? We have good vodka—so I assure you it will balance nicely—"

"—Mom—" Edward attempted to interrupt.

"—with the juice—but of course, we have a rather full wet bar, so please feel free to request any others because I would never want you to feel like you couldn't ask, and even with the... odd circumstances," and here Esme paused for the first time, frowning, before seeming to realize her breach of etiquette, "but really, dear, you're my new daughter-in-law—if somewhat unexpectedly—and shockingly I seem to be the only one truly shocked by it, so Bloody Mary? Yes? Bloody Mary it is?" Esme answered for them before either Edward or Bella could muster a reply.

Carlisle came into the room. "Hello, children!" he greeted with a wave of his glass. Some of the clear liquid sloshed onto the white carpeting.

Esme, for once, didn't seem to notice. She was impatiently looking at Edward and Bella.

"I'll have coffee with milk, thanks," Bella replied with only the smallest of smiles.

"The same," Edward agreed.

Esme only looked slightly put out, before smiling and cheerfully amending, "I'll add a shot of Bailey's!" and then bustling off to the other room.

Then they were alone with Carlisle.

"Edward, Bella—come have a seat. Someone needs to explain to your dear mother why she went over to visit your brother only to find him 'occupied' with Rosalie while little Del explained to her that Rosalie was her new 'mommy' and that Uncle Edward had a new 'lady.'"

"It's pretty simple, Dad. Rosalie and I should have admitted along time ago that we would never have worked—especially when..." and here Edward winced, "it turns out that she should have been with Emmett. I shouldn't have been able to fall for Bella if Rosalie had been the one for me, and as for Bella," Edward turned and smiled at her. She smiled back. "She's willing to put up with me, it seems." To which Carlisle laughed, and Bella rolled her eyes. "When it comes down to it, we talked it all out. I think we were all being a pack of idiots, honestly," he added at the end, because after the fact the whole affair sounded rather ridiculous when spoken aloud, even to himself.

"And then you got married the next day." Carlisle chuckled, and with another swish of his glass, replied, "Doesn't seem like talking has much to do with it."

Bella, at his side, jerked away with laughter, unable to keep a straight face.

Carlisle started laughing too, then—looking rather pleased that someone thought he was funny.

Squeezing her hands tightly together, Bella looked up and smiled at Carlisle. "I think everything that has happened was as unexpected to us as it might be to you—but I also think that we have the best of all possible outcomes.'"

Carlisle dipped his head in acknowledgement, and his glass dipped perilously along with him, and Edward just barely managed to grab it by the stem before it capsized.

"Well, not to worry," Carlisle continued, "I think you're great, Bella."

Bella laughed again, teasing back, "And I think you're darned swell, Carlisle."

Carlisle beamed at her. "Oh, and Esme thinks you're wonderful, too. I just think she's a bit overwhelmed by everything at the moment. Oh, and Rosalie and Emmett are getting married in the spring, and Del will be a flower girl, which Esme will adore—once she realizes it's okay for her to adore it—and then it will all be fine!"

"It will," Edward agreed, and he looked at Bella, he believed it.


They broke apart as they heard the threat of approaching footsteps.

A rough, hollow knock at the door made Bella jump slightly in his arms.

Edward opened the door the second Bella finished straightening the dress.

Though wearing a white tuxedo, Emmett looked ever boyish as he sighed, "Edward, you suck so badly as a best man."

"Err... sorry?" Edward failed to wipe the grin out of the apology.

"Whatever—now, out—the both of you—and Bella, it would appear that you have a mop strand in your hair..." Eyes rolling, Emmett stomped away.

Edward looked longingly back at the closet.

"You really do have to go. Rosalie will roast your balls and twist my nipples off if we cause any delay."

Edward nodded. "I know. I know," he muttered, but then he smiled as he reach to untangle the long mop thread from the hair on her shoulder.

She kissed his cheek one final time. "We'll talk after, okay?"


The wedding was nice. Rosalie had said "no one is going to cry at my wedding," and yet she was the first one to start leaking tears—that was until Emmett got teary, too, which made Rosalie laugh, which made everyone laugh.

Then there was the reception.

Edward had both his and Bella's champagne glasses in his hands. He was carefully balancing them in each of his hands and was preparing to set them down on the table when a blaze of red suddenly blew past him and launched itself at his wife.

"It is Bella!" a small red-haired woman proclaimed.

"Oh, um, Poo--fuck--Victoria," Bella stumbled out.

Rosalie chose that moment to swoop over in her wedding dress. "Bella, you know Victoria?" she asked incredulously.

"YES!" Victoria declared with loud delight.

"Huh, small world. Victoria was in my law school class," Rosalie explained.

"Oh, really?" Bella said. "I know Victoria through a friend." Edward couldn't help but notice Bella's voice was a bit high, and that her tell-tale blush was high in her cheeks.

"Rose, you look soooo beeeautiful," Victoria declared, seeming already bored with introductions. "As always, I like your hair."

"Oh, but I always liked your hair. Red hair is so rare," Rosalie argued, smiling at her friend.

"Bella has nice hair, too," Victoria added, winking at Bella.

Edward glanced over at Bella expecting to see her wearing her usual sardonic expression that graced her face whenever anyone talked about something like hair or shopping. Instead, Bella's face was unmistakably redder. When he saw her flinch, he glanced over to see Victoria pointing from Rosalie's hair to her own red locks to Bella and nodding with a look that was wicked and highly... suggestive.

Was she actually implying...? On Rosalie's wedding day! And with his wife! That was... Edward felt the sudden tightening in his pants and started trying to imagine old, curdled lady butt.

"How's James?" Bella blurted.

"He's great! But he wouldn't come to this. He said he 'refuses to participate in archaic breeding rituals,'" Victoria explained with a rueful expression.

"You always picked weird ones," Rosalie muttered, shaking her head, while absently watching Emmett dance the Macarena with Del.

Bella made a funny squeak.

"Are you okay, Bella?" Edward asked, curling a hand protectively around her waist.

Bella looked up at him in horror, as if just now realizing that he was standing there and bearing witness to the strange exchange.

Bella said, "Have to pee!" and suddenly dashed through the crowd.

Victoria, Rosalie, and Edward watched her go.

But then Victoria started clapping and turned to him to ask, "Are you going to have a baby?"

Edward blinked. "Er... no?"

###################

Love-at-first-sight is only the beginning and not the end. After the debut of passionate rapport and the victory dance found with transcendent fucking, the remainder of this unlikey love is found in the details of sweet affinity: the way she curls up in the recliner, finger unconsciously tracing her lips as she listens to him play on the piano; the way she laughs when she talks to Emmett or Carlisle, and how she chides him for being too hard on Rosalie.

Then, the bigger pieces as well: the both of them sitting at the dinner table in Edward's apartment, Bella mapping out the pros and cons of all possible futures while he focuses far too much on all the cons, at which point Bella smacks his thigh, points with the pen to the page, and says, "Future, here. Focus."

They map it out. He stays at the company for another year and a half. It's not so bad with an end in sight and her at his side. Bella works it out so that she's transferred to a more flexible position. Her new job will allow her to mostly work from home. Edward finds a job in a small town as a music teacher. They move.

His family is not happy about the move, but then they're too busy living their own lives to interfere with his, for once. Rosalie is expecting. Del is entering kindergarten. Carlisle and Esme are in Haiti for Doctors Without Borders. Emmett makes a lot of jokes, but then offers to help them move in.

Two weeks after the move, they have their own personal wine and chocolate party in celebration because all boxes are "visibly" unpacked (and the boxes pushed into the back of closets do not count).

Outside, it begins to rain. They stand under the overhang of the back porch and watch the drops fall. There's a creek at the bottom of the hill, and Edward watches alongside Bella as the creek slowly begins to fill, and then finally, flow. They say nothing as debris and mud and silt get washed away with every new and odd drop that joins.

Then Bella spins in his arms.

She smiles up at him as he catches her hips.

"It's pretty warm, even with the rain. Do you want to...?" she trails off, but her eyes point to the creek.

Before she can say anything else, Edward has her over his shoulder. She's shrieking and laughing as he walks them down the hill.

He throws them both into the current.


End note:

Happy Hols. Hugs and Kisses and more hugs to all of ya. -P.