Happiness, hit her like a train on a track
Dog Days Are Over - Florence & the Machine
Epilogue: Happy Ness
Renesmee blinked, welcoming the early morning sunlight on her skin. The weather was still slightly chilly in Denali, but it no longer bothered her as much.
She would be moving south soon, and that was all that mattered.
Much, much further south.
She sat on the rocky ledge of the mountainside, letting her feet dangle off the edge. Watching the sunrise was something she would miss when she moved away, and she wanted to enjoy the last one she would see for awhile. Where she was going, there weren't going to be many sunrises.
But that was alright with her.
She missed the rain and the green.
She missed Forks.
Denali would always have a special place in her heart though; it was where she had fallen even more in love with Jacob.
It was where she had learned how to love Jacob.
Yes, Denali would always be a special place.
The sun peeked over the mountain, pleasantly stinging her eyes with its brightness. Smiling, she rubbed her hands over her shoulders to warm herself. Far below, her eyes could see the green that awaited in the lower elevation, and it called to her. She wanted to see green again, not eight more months of winter.
Yes, it's time to go home, she thought. She stood, her body erect almost the second she thought about it. Turning away from the sunrise, she slowly put one foot in front of the other on the cold, snowy ground until she was at a full run. The icy branches flew past her as she ran down the mountainside where she had been watching the sunrise. It would be warmer the further she went, and she couldn't wait. It was summer in Denali, and the lower she ran the more signs she saw of it.
Further and further she went until she was all the way down the mountain. The scent of wildflowers and fresh water met her nose, and she knew that her prey wouldn't be far.
Sniffing the air, she heard the heartbeat of the giant cat not far off. This was a meal she had waited nearly three weeks for, and she wasn't about to let it get far.
One last hunt…. she thought.
Her feet barely touched the ground as she made her way towards the river where the giant cat was drinking. Sensitive hearing allowed her to pinpoint the exact place where it was without her even having to think about it. By the time the cat looked up, it was already over. Renesmee drank greedily from the animal's jugular, enjoying the way the blood slid down her throat. The liquid soothed her throat and gave her a warm, satisfied feeling.
The older she got, the less blood she needed to survive. In a lot of ways, her body was more human than ever. The thought that she would become more like a vampire with time had been wrong; they had all been wrong. In fact, she required less blood, her skin grew softer, and she had lost a bit of the strength she had when she was younger. Even so, they were all changes she was willing to accept. However, the things she still kept were her speed, her youth, and of course, her love for her other half - Jacob.
The most important things were still in tact, even after a hundred years.
It's strange to think of myself as being over a hundred years old….even with all this time to get used to it, she mused to herself.
After disposing of her meal, she turned her head south. The familiar tugging on the base of her spine had returned, calling her home. With a small smile, she began to run again.
Her pull to Jacob never lessened.
Faster and faster she went, letting the chilly air touch her cheeks and make her hair fly out behind her. The temperature grew warmer and warmer, and suddenly she was no longer surrounded by the snow. Instead, it was late spring on the Alaskan countryside, unlike the snowy temperatures of the mountaintops. The sunlight hit her skin as she broke through the trees in a flat out run, streaking across the now grassy meadow. Her feet barely touched the ground as she moved across the open space, back into the cover of the trees. The green forest was teeming with life and new growth, but she didn't notice. She just wanted to go home.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him. He moved like a blur through the forest beside her, but she could tell he was trying to make a stealthy approach.
The chase was on.
Renesmee ripped through the trees, picking up speed. Her predator did as well; she could hear his light footfalls behind her now, undoubtedly following. She ran up hills, through some heavy thickets, and finally she thought she had lost him. Her follower had lost her trail, and she was almost positive she was in the clear. Pausing, she sniffed.
He won't give up easily, she thought. Beginning to run, she picked up speed quickly as she tore through the forest.
This will lose him for sure, she thought with a smirk. With one strong push from her leg, she propelled herself up into the air, her body sailing over the wide river. Time slowed as she gracefully paused midair, enjoying the feeling of her powerful launch.
She landed on the ground with a thump. Brown feet welcomed her. Slowly, she looked up, her eyes dragging all the way up his chiseled body.
"Thought you lost me, didn't you?" his deep voice said, a welcome change to the quiet woods. His words coated her ears, soothing her body and calming her nerves.
"You're getting faster," she admitted sheepishly, grinning at him. Jacob smiled cockily, giving her a smoldering stare.
"I should say the same about you," he teased, sauntering closer. He closed the short distance quickly. She pretended to glare at him as he walked up to her, wrapping an arm around her waist. Laying a lingering kiss on her forehead, he laughed. Her body molded easily against his, enjoying his warmth.
"Shouldn't you be taking it easy?" he reminded her gently.
"Me?" she asked, closing her eyes and leaning against his chest. He nodded, resting his cheek on the top of her head.
"When have I ever taken it easy?"
"My wife the hell raiser."
He looked down at her, smiling. "You might want to take it easy though because this little guy might have a say so," he said, letting his hand rest of her subtly protruding belly. She felt a flutter inside of her stomach as his hand touched her. They shared a smile, knowing that their baby was inside of her.
"He likes the speed," she said, letting her hand join his on her stomach. "I can tell."
"Does he now?"
She nodded. "He does."
"Well I could stand here and argue with you all day but….It's time to go home," he said to her. She nodded happily, rising up on her tip toes to peck his lips sweetly.
"Care for a ride?"
"I'd love one. I am a little tired," she admitted, sighing heavily. He took a few steps back, phasing quickly into wolf form. Renesmee effortlessly hopped on her husband's back before they took off. They arrived back at the Denali home in a matter of minutes, and she waited patiently for him to dress before walking inside.
The familiar layout of the log cabin mansion spread out before her, it's pleasant scent of pine and fresh snow coating the air. She would miss Alaska - the wide, open spaces, the glittering white snow, the crisp mountain meadows….but, it was time to go home.
It had been a hundred years, after all.
Time had flown by effortlessly for them. She and Jacob had been to college several times, they had traveled all over the world, and had built many happy homes together.
But so far - none in Forks.
She was eager to collect the last of her things and move onto the next phase in her life. She wanted to raise this next baby in Forks, where she herself had grown up. Reaching down, she patted the side of her little bump and grinned.
"We're going home, little guy," she whispered as she paused in the doorway. She listened as Jacob walked up behind her, placing a lingering kiss on the crook of her neck. Her skin still sizzled pleasantly where his hot lips had touched her.
"We sure are. I'm gonna go round up a few things….meet you in the driveway in ten?" Jacob asked.
"Yup. I'll be right there," she agreed, giving her stomach a final pat. He flashed his teeth at her in a wide grin, which she returned. He walked back to her, wrapping his arms around her middle.
"This means so much to me. You know that, don't you?"
Renesmee nodded, looking up into his soft brown eyes. Even though his body hadn't aged, his eyes had. His dark chocolate orbs held so much more worldly knowledge now, as opposed to the recklessness that had been there when she was younger.
She knew he needed to go home.
"I know. It means a lot to me too," she replied, nuzzling her nose against his neck. He swallowed thickly, nodding.
"Sure…well….I'm just glad to be heading back. I….I want to be home, I can feel it in my bones," he chuckled, shifting his weight.
She knew Jacob was ecstatic to be moving back to Forks again; it was his home, too. Even though their mortal friends and family were gone, the rainy little corner of Washington held some of their fondest memories.
"Meet me at the car when you're ready. Take your time," he finished, giving her a last peck on the forehead. She smiled, turning towards the library as he walked outside. There was one last person she would need to say goodbye to, even if it was only for a little while.
Renesmee paused, listening. She grinned to herself when she heard the strong, steady beat of his heart. It was easy for her to pick out, even through the thick walls of the log cabin.
The door to the library creaked as she opened it, sticking her head in. He stood in front of the windows, looking more like a statue than a person. His tan skin glimmered slightly in the morning sunlight shining through the large library windows. His strong heart echoed in her ears as she watched him from across the room.
"You're sure you want to stay?"
The man in front of the windows turned around, his green eyes bright. He strode over to her, grabbing her into a tight hug.
"Of course I do. Tanya would never leave her Alaska behind."
Renesmee nodded, quickly realizing that he would never want to make his new wife leave the land that she had grown to love. She pulled away, reaching up to stroke the side of his perfect tan face.
"You're my baby, you know that right?
He heaved an embarrassed sigh, rolling his bright green eyes. Her first son was a perfect combination of all of her family members; he had her father's bright green eyes according to Carlisle, Renesmee's wild, wavy copper hair, and Jacob's smooth, tawny skin. He was also stubborn, just like Bella.
"I know, I just worry about leaving you up here on your own."
"I'm never alone, Mom. I can run home to you and Dad in a few hours. And I've got Collin here with me, and his boys. We've practically got our own pack up here."
Renesmee nodded, remembering that Collin and his wife Estrella would be staying in Alaska with the rest of the Denali family. Estrella missed her sister, Isadora, and they wanted to be together for awhile. Isadora and Stefan had been living deep in the Amazon rainforest for the last two decades, and were ready to be around family again. The half-breeds and their mates were happy to make a home in the wide, open Alaskan forests.
"I'll keep an eye on him," a voice answered. Renesmee turned around, a smile lighting up her face.
"Stefan!" she gasped, clapping excitedly. He nodded, opening his arms to welcome his old friend.
"I'm glad you're back! But…we're leaving in a few minutes. Forgive me?
"Of course," he answered, nodding at her. His still golden and green tinged eyes sparkled as he glanced up at her son.
"Make it easy on me, okay?"
"Right," Caden replied, rolling his eyes. "When have you ever known me to stay out of trouble?"
Renesmee sighed, shaking her head at her first born. "Help your mother sleep at night. Keep on eye on Caden, will you?" she asked Stefan. Her son rolled his eyes, shaking his head at Stefan.
"Not necessary," he whispered jokingly.
"Oh, quiet," Renesmee spat, embracing her friend.
"Like he is my own," Stefan promised, patting her shoulder. "We will be one big happy family up here in the north. Just promise to visit."
"I will. I've developed such a taste for walrus, I couldn't possibly go long without one," she added with a wink. Stefan laughed, walking over to Caden.
"We'll all be fine up here, won't we?"
"Fine," Caden agreed. "Now go, you know Dad is antsy to get home. It's been a hundred years, don't make him wait any longer. I'll visit in a few weeks when you're settled."
Renesmee smiled, nodding. "I know he is. I'll go, just…call me, okay?"
Caden smiled, nodding at her. "I will, Mom. Now go before I phase and drag you down to Forks myself."
She walked through the house, stepping out the front door onto the snowy porch. The sunlight shone through the pines, making the light dance across her face.
A peaceful smile crossed her features as she closed her eyes and turned her face to the light.
"Goodbye sun….hello Forks."
Renesmee smiled at her husband as they drove down the road towards Forks. She wasn't surprised that not much had changed; sure, there were a few more subdivisions and stores, but it was still the same sleepy little town they had left so many years ago.
She was glad that the last century had done little to Forks.
"It's good to be home."
"Yup," he agreed, taking her hand in his. He wove their fingers together, bringing them to his lips. He kissed the back of her hand softly, holding it in his lap as he drove.
"Well go see your parents in a few hours. I figured you want to get settled in."
"You know me so well," she replied with a wink. And that was quite true; the most time they had been apart in the last century was a week. She had gone to the Amazon with all the women in her family to visit Nahuel some years ago. By the end of the week, her body had been longing with need to be next to Jacob's again.
There was a flash of white beside them, making her jump. She smiled at Jacob when she realized what it was.
"She'll drive all the boys wild," Jacob replied, shaking his head.
Renesmee glanced out the window, tilting her head to the side. "She hasn't met any of them yet…do you think she'll…?"
He shrugged. "Hard to say. Not sure how those things work. Leah never did."
Renesmee smiled to herself, watching the flash of white as it followed them in the safety of the trees. As they drove down the road to the secluded cottage, Renesmee felt a satisfying feeling in her gut. It was good to be home.
She opened the doors to the truck, hopping out when they pulled up to the gate. The stone walls had crumbled slightly, the roof needed replacing, and the shutters needed a fresh coat of paint, but it wasn't anything they couldn't fix in a few days. Renesmee sighed, breathing in the familiar rainy air of her first home. The cottage had aged well, and would only need a few repairs to feel like home again.
There was another flash of white in the trees that made her look to the side. Jacob grinned at her before grabbing a bag and walking into the cottage.
"See you inside."
Renesmee leaned on the gate, crossing her arms as the large white wolf walked into the clearing in front of the cottage.
"Glad to see you found us. Your tracking skills aren't getting rusty. Come inside - I can smell that Esme already cooked something for you," she told the animal. It nodded, retreating to the bushes.
Renesmee walked into the cottage, savoring the feeling of home.
"Is it everything you hoped it would be?"
She smiled, leaning back into her husband's arms. Jacob wrapped his arms protectively around her stomach, affectionately palming the small bump in her abdomen.
He sighed into the top of her head. "Ready to do this again?" He asked, rubbing the bump on her stomach.
"I am. Are you?"
"Ready as I can be. I just want this little tyke…whatever he or she is…to grow up near home…like I did."
She patted his hand, nodding. "Agreed. Speaking of children…"
The door opened, squeaking on the hinges.
"So this is Forks."
Renesmee laughed. "Yes, honey, this is Forks. What can I say? Get used to the rain, Aria."
Her daughter laughed, pushing her long, straight dark hair over her shoulder.
Renesmee watched her beautiful young daughter as she embraced her father. "Good to see you, Dad. Keeping Mom off her feet?"
"As much as she'll let me. School finished?"
"Took my last final yesterday. Took me all night to run here from Arizona."
"You could have gone to school in the North," Renesmee pointed out.
Her daughter, Aria, rolled her dark brown eyes. "What can I say? I have a thing for hot weather and tan boys."
"Oh lord," Jacob grumbled, stalking in from the kitchen. He shook his head, mumbling to himself.
Aria's brown eyes went wide. "What did I say?"
Renesmee grinned at her daughter, shaking her head with a laugh. "He's worried you'll drive the La Push boys wild. Distract them from their duties."
Aria made a disgusted noise as she sat down in a nearby chair. "Why would he say that? My goal here isn't to meet a guy. I just got done with college, and I want to explore and live life. Not be shackled to some pack."
Renesmee smiled, sitting on the arm of the chair where Aria was currently sprawled. "He just worries about you. You're his little girl."
"I'm not a little girl anymore though, that's just it."
"True, but….my father was protective over me, and rightfully so. I was a demon-child."
"So I've heard," Aria quipped, letting her head roll over to the side to glance up at her mother. Renesmee watched her youngest daughter look around the living room with a happy glint in her eyes. Aria had just finished college for the first time, and Renesmee was ecstatic to have her back home.
"Enough about me," Renesmee replied, standing up slowly. She rubbed her belly, giving her daughter a wink. "Bets?"
Aria grinned, following her mother into the kitchen. "I say…..girl. And….a vampy girl at that."
"You think so?"
Aria nodded, opening up the refrigerator. "I think it's time Momma's side sparkled through. Literally," she joked, pulling out a tray of baked tortellini. She grabbed a fork, digging into Esme's 'welcome home' concoction.
Her mother watched as she ate, reveling in her happiness to finally be at home. As much as she loved their various homes over the years, Forks was the only place that really felt like her roots. Over the years they had lived a variety of places: Alaska, Canada, New Hampshire, New York, and even Brazil. But no matter where she went, Forks still felt like it was where they belonged.
She wanted to have this next baby here and raise it where she had grown up herself. With a soft smile, she walked down the hall and looked at her childhood room. The furniture was still draped with white sheets, but the late afternoon light pouring through the skylight made it somehow bright and cheery.
This would be her third child. After marrying Jacob, they had briefly tried for a baby but had been unsuccessful. Year after year they had waited, and their hope had slowly faded that they would ever have children. Although he never said much about it, Renesmee knew that it broke Jacob's heart just a little more with each passing year. They had focused on their life together instead; traveling, furthering their educations, and dabbling in careers.
And still, there had been a silent hope between them.
And then there was nothing.
Time wore on, and soon the years became a decade.
As much as she had tried to not let it bother her….it had.
Nothing seemed to lighten her mood when the subject of children arose. Year after year they would receive pictures of Jacob's pack mates' children. They watched them grow and change and move on with life.
They were still happy, but something was missing.
And then, one day….
Renesmee sat in the middle of her vegetable garden, mindlessly picking weeds from around the base of her plants. She had grown somewhat meticulous lately; the tiniest flaws suddenly bothered her when they never had before.
She was happy though.
She and Jacob were living in upstate New Hampshire, and were steadily approaching their tenth wedding anniversary in the fall.
Jacob was still at work for the day. He had found a job managing an antique car repair shop in town, and he was due home any second. Before she could wish for him home again, she heard his truck hit the gravel lane that led to their house.
"Aren't you a sight for sore eyes."
She looked up, squinting in the afternoon sunlight. "Some seem to think so."
Jacob smiled down at her, his hands jammed in his pockets as he stared down at her, sitting in the middle of her garden. Her pale legs were smudged with dirt from kneeling, and her side braid had frizzed to the point of no return.
"You managed to not get dirt on that one part of your face there…"
"Oh shut it!" she giggled, wiping her cheek with her muddy hand.
He held out his hand, helping her weave her way carefully out of her lush garden.
"Why the big garden this year?" He asked, looking at it skeptically.
"Not that I'm complaining. It's just….a new hobby."
She turned, hands on her hips, and surveyed the garden. "I don't know. Just felt the need to…grow something. Create?"
He shared her bemused look and grinned, watching as she bent down suddenly to pick a stray weed.
"These stupid little-"
She didn't finish her sentence before almost toppling over. Jacob reached out, catching her before she face-planted in the mud of her garden. They both frowned as she stood up, completely perplexed. Renesmee never lost her balance.
"Are you okay?"
She took a deep breath, doing a quick inventory of her body. She felt fine. In fact, she felt great. She just had gotten slightly dizzy for the first time in her life.
"I feel….fine, Jake…let's just…go inside."
However, the dizziness continued. She had two more incidents before finally packing up and driving the short distance to her grandparents house.
"She smells different. Is she aging?" Jacob asked, leading his wife into the house.
He heard Esme gasp before clamping her hand over her mouth with a squeak. He barely had time to question that before Carlisle ushered Renesmee into his office for a closer look.
"You sure you're feeling alright? Minus the dizzy spells?" Carlisle asked.
She nodded, shifting nervously on the chair. "What could this mean? I've never….I mean, I don't….I haven't changed in so long. Does the dizziness mean I'm changing…or…aging?"
Carlisle paused, a strange smile appearing on his face.
"What is it?" Jacob questioned.
"You're certainly not aging, Renesmee. But…you are in fact changing."
She gave him a quizzical look, and glancing at Jacob his expression matched her own.
"I assure you you're perfectly healthy. Listen….Can you hear your heartbeat? Strong as ever," he assured her. "But just listen."
They had stood still and listened, and that's when she had heard it.
She had heard Caden's heart beating with her own for the first time. Her heart was so fast that both she and Jake had been unable to pick it up. However, Carlisle and Esme had heard it right away with their sensitive vampire hearing.
Carlisle was unable to get a really clear understanding of the fetus, but they guessed that her pregnancy lasted about six months. Renesmee's hard skin was just as difficult with Carlisle's ultrasound machines as it had been when she was in the womb; the sex of the baby - and identity- had been a complete surprise until the day he was born.
Caden had come into the world fairly easily. Renesmee's durable and quick-healing body had given her an advantage, and childbirth hadn't been nearly the nightmare it had been for Bella. A few hours of uncomfortable pushing and their son had entered the world. His bright green eyes were unlike anything they had ever seen; he had a full set of sharp teeth and his skin was tawny, just like Jacob's. However, he had also been born with Renesmee's exact color of wild, coppery brown hair. He aged about half as fast as she had; it had taken him nearly fifteen years to reach full maturity. Caden lived on a normal human diet, only hunting occasionally for animal blood. He was practically indifferent to human blood, never craving it or being a danger to anyone around him.
However, he did inherit one trait in particular from his father; Caden had first phased around age twelve. Renesmee had been shocked to walk into her living room one afternoon to see a gangly looking, smaller version of Jacob in wolf form standing there trembling slightly.
Closing the door to her childhood bedroom, she shuffled out to the living room to flop down on the solitary couch that had been uncovered. She could hear her daughter rummaging around in the kitchen. Jacob had gone to say hello to the members of the La Push wolf pack. They were currently without an Alpha and in need of a leader - yet another reason he was so ecstatic to return to Forks.
"What are you doing?"
Aria's voice was light, albeit slightly raspy as it always was. Her long legs easily carried her into the room where she ungracefully flopped down into a still-covered chair.
"Just resting. This kid is wearing me out."
"You think you'd be used to this by now," Aria laughed, biting into an apple. She munched quietly for a few moments, her eyes shifting around the warm room.
"I like it here. I can still have your old room, right, Mom?"
Renesmee nodded. "Of course. I don't expect you to stay at the main house all the time. We might add on a small nook for the baby. But yes, you can always stay here. Anytime."
Aria smiled, her brown eyes dancing happily. "Thanks. I'm gonna go explore for awhile. You'll be alright?"
"I'm home. I couldn't be any better," she answered. Aria stood, and soon the door opened and she heard the sound of her daughter's wolfy paws hitting the ground outside. She busied herself uncovering furniture and dusting; she was definitely in the nesting phase of her pregnancy. She wondered what the little guy inside her would be like. Honestly, she hadn't expected to get pregnant again; Caden had come nearly ten years into their marriage; it had been another eighty-five years before she found out she was pregnant with Aria.
Renesmee had accepted that there was no rhyme or reason for her pregnancies; she just learned to enjoy each and every one of them.
She heard his heavy footfalls before she saw him. He phased in the yard, pulling on a pair of sweatpants before walking inside.
"I'm home. We're home," he laughed, walking up behind her. Jacob kissed her cheek, giving her stomach a reassuring pat. She felt a flutter inside of her again.
"Where have you been?" she asked, giving him a little smile. He opened the kitchen window, grinning.
"Catching up with all the guys. There's quite a pack. Where's the kiddo?"
"She went exploring. They know she's out there, right? And she's no harm?"
Jacob shook his head. "Oh yeah. They know not to touch her. She's hard to miss. They're excited to meet her."
"She said she's not going to go joining any silly pack anytime soon," Renesmee laughed, walking over to him.
Jacob scoffed, embracing his wife tightly. "We'll see. Sometimes we behave stubbornly in the ways of….well, love and all that other junk."
"Junk, huh?" she laughed, leaning against his chest. He chuckled to himself, wrapping his arms around her smaller frame.
"She'll find her way here. It might take a little while, and…she might break a few hearts along the way…"
"But we all figure it out eventually, right?"
She turned to face him, his arms still wrapped securely around her.
"Yes…we certainly do find our way," he replied, leaning down to kiss her cheeks. She gave him a satisfied smile, wrinkling up her nose at him.
"Do you want to go visit your parents?"
She nodded. "Sure…soon. I really just want to enjoy being here for now," she replied, taking his hand. She knew her parents were still getting settled into Charlie's old house; they had purchased it and had remodeled it themselves over the course of the past few weeks. The rest of her family would be living at the main Cullen house once again, just as they had over a hundred years ago. He followed his wife out the back doors of the house, both of them walking barefoot to the backyard off the master bedroom. They stood in the garden were they had been married. Even though it was overgrown, it still looked perfect to her because of the memory of that night.
"Look familiar?" she asked. He nodded.
"I think I probably think about that day almost….everyday," he said softly, taking her hands in his.
"I think I do, too," she whispered back. The warm, late summer breeze blew around them as they stood together in the tiny, private garden. The crickets chirped soothingly, making them both smile.
"We're home, Jake."
He sighed happily, his brown eyes shifting around the canopy of leaves surrounding them. "We've waited a hundred years for this."
"I know. And it feels as good as I thought it would."
"So how about an update on that forever thing? How's it going so far?"
She giggled, swinging their hands. "I'd say pretty decent so far. You know - it has its ups and downs, but…"
"….I think we're getting the hang of it."
"It's taken us a few years, hasn't it?" She asked, playing along. He grinned widely again, nodding.
"Good to know. So if you could go back in time a hundred years, would you still tell yourself to marry me?"
"Of course. How else would I have gotten such a perfect life?" she whispered, leaning against him. Her eyes looked up at his, her uncertainties melting away with his warm gaze.
"You've given me this life….without you I was just drifting."
She grinned. "Which I'm hoping you'll forget that part in a few more years."
"Make me forget it," he pleaded with a lopsided grin.
"Haven't I already?"
"You have. Before you, my life was only half-lived."
"Getting sentimental, are we?"
"A little. I'm a sap deep down. Now….what to do you say we go unpack and go work on that whole 'rest of forever' thing. Deal?"
She nodded, letting her body mold against his in a tight embrace. "Deal."
I told myself I wouldn't cry when I finally did finish this story, and here I am: crying. My hope is that you enjoyed reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it for you. I wrote this story for myself; this was my first fic. I began writing it solely for me and never planned on posting it. Although, I'm glad I posted it on a whim one day, aren't you? This has been a labor of love for me, so I truly thank you for reading.
Another big thank you to my lovely beta, Rain-It-Shall. She had taken her time and patience and has helped make this story what it is today. I am truly in debt to her, and she has become a great friend. Thank you.
Thank you to all of the people who have gone through and read each chapter - some of you have even commented on each one! This warms my heart and makes it all worthwhile.
I hope you enjoyed it; I tried to tie up all my loose ends, but please let me know if you have any questions.
If you've read and enjoyed - especially this last chapter- it's my plea for you to review. I put a LOT of work into this story, and I would love to hear from you all.
Oh, and the chapter was written with 'Dog Days Are Over' on repeat. So yeah…listen to that song while you read : )
Thank you for reading ; )