Disclaimer; It's not mine SORRY
A/N A huge thank you to all who reviewed saying that they liked how things turned out and that they wanted a sequel WOW. That means so much guys - but sorry no sequel ….yet, maybe - I'm not ruling it out. But it will be the last update to this story - so thanks for sticking to it.
Chapter 22: Epilogue
The next day
"Bella honey, I would rather we did this in stages - to do it like this… well it could be dangerous" Carlisle said standing behind me. "Well then it's a good job that you're a doctor and indestructible isn't it" I told him as I turned around and pecked him on the chin. "Now out of my kitchen, I need to get this food done before Charlie gets home from work." He turned and left the room muttering something about not being nearly indestructible enough as I turned around and got on with making the dinner.
I looked at the clock, it was seven pm - Charlie would be home any minute. I looked around me, dinner was almost done, the kitchen was spotless and the table was set. Now all I had to do was figure out what exactly I was going to tell him, I mean the truth obviously - or as close to the truth as I could get without the whole vampire thing. I know that Carlisle's right when he said I shouldn't dump to much on Charlie at once - but if I do it the right way then Maybe it wont be so bad. I want to get started with our new life together as soon as possible and for that I needed Charlie on board.
I heard Charlie's cruiser pull onto the drive. Okay Bella breathe. I busied myself doing last minute food checks and double checking the table settings until I heard the tell tale thump of Charlie's boots as he came into the house. "Hey dad" I said turning to face him. "Hey Bells, something smells good" he said. "Thanks dad, I've made Spaghetti and meatballs - I remembered how much you liked it the last time I made it" I told him. "You spoil me too much" he said ruffling my hair.
"Yeh yeh, now out of my kitchen, I'll call you through when I've dished it up. By the way, I hope you don't mind but I invited Carlisle over for dinner dad…." I said while trying not to sound nervous as I felt. He looked surprised "You invited doctor Cullen over for dinner?" he asked. "Yeh I did - Is that okay?" I asked him. Please say yes. He scratched his head and said "Sure it's okay Bells, just a bit of a surprise that's all." I gave him a smile "Great well he's in the living room if you want to go and chat while I finish up here" I told him.
After Charlie wandered off in the direction of the living room I leaned against the counter and breathed a sigh of relief. Okay so this was going to be a lot harder than I originally thought it would be - on the plus side at least Charlie had hung his gun up when he came in….he did didn't he?
I made my way over to the coat rack by the door to check to see if he had hung his holster there. But the hook was empty - so he must have been still wearing it. That was not good, It was hard to pretend that your boyfriend's human after your fathers just shot him and he's not bleeding. "Charlie, Carlisle" I called.
A few seconds later Charlie came into the kitchen with Carlisle following closely behind. "What's up Bells" Charlie asked as he leaned against the table. "Well I thought it would be nice if we all talked while I put the dinner out" I told him. "Um.. Sure okay - about what?" he asked. "I don't know Dad, whatever. But are you still wearing your gun?" I asked. "Huh" he said patting it under his jacket "I guess I am." I rolled my eyes "Well do you maybe want to go and hang it up please?" I asked him.
He shrugged and rolled his eyes at Carlisle before he went over to the coat rack and hung it up. I gave Carlisle a wink as I walked past him to start putting the dinner out. "You have no idea how grateful I am that you got him to hang the gun up" he murmured. I smiled and started to put the dinner out.
"So Carlisle" Charlie said as he sat back down at the table "How are you holding up?" Carlisle gave him an awkward smile as he joined him at the table. "Surprisingly well" he said "My marriage to Esme had been difficult for a while and there are no hard feelings between us." "Really" Charlie said surprised "Well it's nice that it's worked out alright for you two. I expect you're going to have a great deal of interest when you start back at the hospital." I glanced over at Carlisle who was looking distinctly uncomfortable muttered "God I hope not."
Charlie let out a loud laugh "Carlisle you're one lucky man, you could have your pick of women in this town - hell probably any town and you don't. I respect you for that" he said. Oh god - it just gets worse. Carlisle let out a nervous chuckle but didn't say anything else.
I finished putting the dinner out and brought it over to the table "This really looks lovely Bells, doesn't it Carlisle?" Charlie asked. "Yes lovely" Carlisle agreed. I couldn't help but feel sorry for putting him through this because no doubt the food smelt disgusting to him. Then add to that the fact that he actually had to eat some of it as well - it wasn't going to be pleasant. But things had to be done this way to make it a bit smoother for telling Charlie. Renee always told me, if you have to give a man bad news - feed him first. Apparently it makes things easier and at this point I was willing to try anything!
"So how was things at the station today dad?" I asked Charlie. He laughed and said "It was good and Deputy Taylor back which is great." I smiled, Taylor had been on leave because of an ongoing back problem. But it would be great for Charlie to have his friend back and he was always good for a laugh.
"Actually he had a lot to say, apparently his mothers been listening to the local gossip again and felt the need to share" Charlie said.
"Really, anything interesting?" I asked. "Well" he said as he put his fork down and rubbed the back of his neck "Apparently the good people of Forkes have been taking it in turns to guess the reason behind your divorce from Esme, Carlisle" he said. "Really?" Carlisle said as he choked slightly on the bite of pasta he'd just swallowed. "Yup" Charlie said "They're under the impression that someone else must have been the cause of it."
I fought the urge to panic, because so far it wasn't working out. We really should have just got married in Vegas or something so then Charlie wouldn't have had any choice but to accept it. He wouldn't have shot Carlisle then… at least I don't think he would have anyway.
"And I suppose that they also took it in turns to guess who that person was as well did they?" Carlisle asked him. Charlie gave an awkward smile "Pretty much" he said. "Hmm…" Carlisle replied as he put his fork down and pushed his plate away. "That was lovely Bella" He said looking at me "I'm sorry I couldn't finish it all, but I'm feeling rather full."
I gave him a smile "That's fine Carlisle, I'm just glad you enjoyed it" I told him. He turned to look at Charlie again and asked "Who were the top candidates?" "Well" he said looking a bit uncomfortable "A few people thought it might be someone from the hospital, others thought it might be someone from your past…. And ….well one or two people might have implied that they believed you'd had an affair with someone a lot younger than you."
"And where do you stand Charlie?" Carlisle said as he sat back in his chair. "Well I don't really give much thought to how other folks live their lives as long as it doesn't do any harm" he replied. At this point I was practically on the edge of my seat, it seemed that the whole dinner aspect of the evening was long over with and we were getting on to the real reason why we were all here.
"And what if I told you that the last reason you gave was at least partially correct" Carlisle told him. "Which part?" Charlie asked seriously. "The part where I've fallen in love with a younger women" he replied. Things had gotten very quiet very quickly, both Charlie and Carlisle were sitting in their respective chairs just looking at each other.
"And do I know this younger woman" Charlie asked glancing at me. Carlisle nodded his head in agreement. "Carlisle if your telling me what I think you are, then I should tell you that as an officer of the law I have the authority to shoot you if I think you pose any kind of a threat to peoples safety - especially my daughters" he said seriously.
"I am aware of that Charlie, however I do not wish to take back anything I have said. I am in love with your daughter sir and the only thing that makes me happier is the fact that she feels the same way about me" Carlisle told him. I leaned forward "I love him dad, I really do and I know that he would never hurt me" I told him. "And what about Edward and Esme, how do they feel about all of this? Charlie asked us. "They understand that you can't choose who you fall in love with. Look dad I know that this isn't going to be easy and that people are going to judge us. But I don't care, as long as we have you on our side who needs anyone else?" I finished.
I held my breath as Charlie looked over at Carlisle and then back at me. "I'm not going to pretend that I'm ecstatic about this - because I'm not. But I do want you to be happy Bells - and if he's what it takes then that's good enough for me. But I do have a condition - if you want my blessing" he told us.
I glanced over at Carlisle who was watching Charlie intently "What is it dad?" I asked him. "in the future, when Carlisle makes an honest woman of you" he threw a glare over at Carlisle "Then you have to let me walk you down the aisle."
I got out of the chair and threw myself into Charlie's arms "Of course you will dad, I wouldn't have it any other way" I told him as he patted me on the back awkwardly. I heard Carlisle stand up behind me and I pulled myself away from Charlie and when to stand beside him. "We're so grateful for this Charlie" Carlisle said as he put his arm around my shoulders.
"Can I ask you something Charlie?" Carlisle said from beside me. "Sure" he replied. "When you came in here this evening did you already have an idea about what was going to happen, because you don't seem quite as surprised as I thought you would be" he said. Charlie smiled slightly "Well I had a clue that something might be off when I found out that Bells was making a slap up meal. Then when I found out you were here…I had my suspicions. Renee Used to do the same thing - whenever she had something bad to tell me she used to cook dinner - and that itself was never a good thing." We all laughed and some of the tension seemed to dissipate.
"Don't worry dad I'll still come over and cook for you all the time" I told him "I don't want you to go back to living on take out." Carlisle tapped my arm in warning "What are you talking about Bells" Charlie asked. Crap, I'd forgotten we hadn't gotten to that bit yet "Well…" I said slowly "When me and Carlisle move in together."
Charlie took a deep breath "Yeh but that won't be for a few years, so no worries yet" he said. "Well actually dad we were thinking a bit sooner than that. Tomorrow actually" I told him. Charlie stared at us, his face had started to develop a purple tinge to it. "TOMORROW" he shouted.
Yep this definitely wasn't going to be easy but at least we had each other and that's all that mattered for now.
Thank you all again for reading the story and I hope you enjoyed the journey
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