~*~ Epilogue: The Bite ~*~

Winter, 2012

Alaska was a land of constant night this time of year. The curtains of their secluded cabin were all open, letting in the nocturnal light, creating shortened shadows inside. There were no house lights on as Carlisle and Bella made love, starting soft and slow.

The firmness of his flesh against hers was as familiar to her as all the little things that occurred around a loving couple: the sound of his laugh when she unwittingly did something that amused him, the scent of his hair when he was by her side, the sight of him stiffening his posture when they'd disagree, the smell of the tension that would give way when they'd find a resolution.

Bella tightened her legs about him, pressed her fingers against his back, encouraging and confirming all they'd been and were becoming. Closer and closer they came together until the final human joy was reached.

Bella closed her eyes briefly and took a deep breath. Opening them, she smiled at Carlisle, his face radiant in the sliver light of the moon. Her chest still rising and falling, she lifted her left hand to stroke the side of his face. If the wedding band on her finger caught the light, she didn't notice. Bella looked only at Carlisle.

Her own face was a little older now. Not quite as round, slightly more lined. Carlisle lightly stroked the crease that had begun to form from the corner of her eye, something he'd tended to do. It would likely be gone. Bella's lids softly closed, and she smiled in perfect ease as Carlisle leaned in to brush his lips where his finger had just stroked.

When he lifted his head they gazed at each other. Everything she felt inside, Bella saw in his eyes. There were no doubts.

"I love you," she said, exposing her neck as she held his gaze.

"I love you," he answered and lowered his lips, placing a kiss on her soft skin before sinking his teeth in.

~The End~