A/N: Hey, everyone! I know it's been a LONG time since I've updated. Long story short, if you didn't see my note on my profile page, I've decided to stop writing fan fiction. It wasn't an easy decision, but I've been writing fan fiction for almost 18 months and I felt it was time to retire. I tend to let writing stress me out, and since I've stopped writing, I've been much healthier mentally. Thank you so much for your understanding and continued support of my stories. The PMs I've received over the past few weeks have made my day. The fact that I have so many caring readers is AMAZING. You guys are awesome!

That being said, I'm excited to bring you the final summative chapter of WTDK. Chapter 14 ended on a major cliffie, and I thought that you deserved to know the rest of the story. I've tried my best to answer all of your questions, but in case I left something out, please PM me and let me know. I'll try to add information as needed.

Again, thank you SO much from the bottom of my heart! Hope you enjoy the ending.


Previously:

When we left off, we learned that James didn't have blond hair; he was a brunette (as he was in the books). We also knew that he wasn't the one Jacob murdered that night at the ice cream shop; he did in fact die in the accident involving her parents. In addition to this information, we know that the black car belonged to Victoria and that Mrs. Laurent never knew what happened to it after she was killed. Finally, we know that Victoria, Edward, and Carlisle all worked at the same hospital in Seattle prior to Victoria's death.

At the end of Chapter 14, Ness had just finished talking to Carlisle on a payphone outside the diner. Ness called her grandfather to find out if he knew Victoria Laurent, since she worked at the same hospital as him, and Carlisle answered that he didn't. Ness theorized that her father, Edward, had an affair with Victoria, and after she died, James sought revenge, killing her parents in a horrific car crash that also claimed his life. Jacob was then approached by a man in a trench coat, who had pulled up beside the phone booth in a beige-colored car.


"And if these are my parting words,

Grant me this, my last request:

Hold me here, until I sleep.

If I burn, then I burn for you."

~Anberlin, "Cadence"

~.~.~.~

WHAT THE DEAD KNOW

Chapter 15: Life Goes On

The man in the trench coat is Riley Biers, the private detective who Charlie had hired to track down Ness's stalker and find out the truth behind Edward and Bella's accident. Riley introduces himself to Ness and Jacob, informing him that Ness's ex-boyfriend, Nahuel, has gone missing from the University of Washington's campus. Ness's uncle, Jasper, had been keeping watch over Nahuel in Ness's absence (since he was suspicious of him), and somehow, he disappeared right under his nose. Riley and Charlie suspect that whoever is following Ness and Jacob had something to do with Nahuel's disappearance. In fear of Ness's safety, Charlie sent Riley, a former cop, to protect the couple.

The three of them (Ness, Jacob, and Riley) enter the diner and take a seat at the table, ordering more coffee and continuing their discussion on the matter. Ness notices how Riley watches her and can't help but blush at his admiring eyes. Riley is about 35 years old, but looks much younger, with short, blond hair and striking blue eyes. Ness mentally remarks that, besides Jacob, Riley is the most beautiful man she has ever seen. Riley is instantly smitten with Ness as well, but holds back his interest in her, knowing that she is with Jacob and the granddaughter of his client.

As the trio talk over coffee, Ness notices a figure dressed in black from head to toe out of the corner of her eye, sitting at the counter. She turns her head to get a better view, only to see the figure slip out the rear entrance of the diner. Riley notices the figure as well, and he and Jacob race out of the diner, chasing the figure down the dark street and down an alleyway, guns in hand. Riley and Jacob fear that this may be the stalker in disguise, trying to spy on them up close. Ness is left behind at the diner to worry over the safety of her lover and new friend without protection. She darts out of the diner, only to have a hand clasp over her mouth. She immediately faints, surrendering to a chemical (chloroform) on the cloth covering her mouth.

Jacob and Riley continue to chase the figure until it disappears into the familiar black Chevelle at the end of the alleyway. Unable to chase after the vehicle, Jacob and Riley then realize that they've left Ness by herself in the diner. Jacob is instantly worried, and they both race back to the diner, only to find that Ness is nowhere to be found.

Ness wakes in a dark room with only the light from several lanterns hanging on a far wall. Her muscles ache, and she realizes that her hands are bound from behind. Looking around the large, musty dungeon, she notices Nahuel, lying unconscious near the opposite wall. He is bound and gagged. It appears as if they have both been kidnapped. Scooting as best as she can over to her ex-lover, Ness removes the cloth around his mouth with her hands, which are still tied together behind her back.

Nahuel comes to and is instantly concerned about Ness's wellbeing. They share a reunion, and he apologizes for being so protective of her. Ness apologizes for kicking him in the balls when they were last together (LOL). Nahuel tells her that he was kidnapped from his dorm on campus by two figures cloaked in black. He could only hear their voices, but knew that there was a male and a female. He remembers being brought to the dungeon, but not much else after that. Ness tells him that a similar thing happened to her and also reveals to him the whole story as to what happened back in Forks. She tells him that she believes these people were the ones who murdered Angela and Ben and had something to do with her parents' death four years ago.

There is a moment of silence between them. Then, Ness breaks the silence and apologizes for treating him so badly after meeting Jacob. Nahuel says it was partly his fault; he ran away when he should have stayed and fought for what he loved. Ness smiles and tells him that she never stopped loving him. Nahuel says the same, but he knows that she deeply cares for Jacob. He can see the love in her eyes, but it's not for him (Nahuel). They share a brief, but passionate kiss. Ness mentally laments that it is their last, the final seal on a wonderful relationship. She hopes Nahuel will find someone to love in the future, someone who can give him her full heart, something she never could.

Ness diverts her attention from Nahuel's eyes and focuses on freeing him from his bindings. They are interrupted by someone entering the dungeon. Light footsteps approach their position. A young woman's menacing face comes into view. She has short, curly brown hair and blue eyes. Ness recognizes the face from the picture inside Mrs. Laurent's house, the one with all the dust caked atop it. Ness wondered before if the girl was Victoria's younger sister, but the girl before her appears to be about Ness's same age. In her hands, the girl holds a handgun, pointed toward them as she approaches.

Ness stands up to face her, asking who she is and why she brought her and Nahuel to this horrible place. The girl introduces herself as Bree Tanner-Bree Volturi Tanner-with a cocky grin. Victoria and James were her parents. She says Ness's parents were responsible for her parents' deaths, and now Ness is going to pay for it.

The pieces of the puzzle begin to click together for Ness, but she is still dumbfounded as to how her parents could have been responsible for Victoria's death.

Bree begins to pace in front of them, saying that James was the brother of Caius Volturi, a powerful crime lord in the city of Seattle. James fell in love with Victoria when they were teenagers, but Caius never approved of their relationship, so he had Victoria murdered five years ago, making it look like a random killing. One night, after walking home from work, Victoria was found by a passerby in an alleyway; she had been raped and brutally beaten by an unknown assailant. The Good Samaritan rushed her to the University of Seattle's hospital where Edward Cullen was the attending ER doctor. Edward tirelessly worked over her, but couldn't save her. A later autopsy revealed that Victoria was with child at the time of her passing.

James never knew that Caius was responsible for her death; Caius showed James video evidence that Victoria had been having an affair with Edward before she was killed and that the child in her womb was their love child. They worked at the same hospital after all; the affair would have been just too easy. With this information, James blamed Ness's father for letting her die that night in fear that his reputation as a doctor and faithful husband would have been ruined. He believed Edward knew about the pregnancy all along and maybe was responsible for her attack in the first place. In a drunken rage, James plowed his car headfirst into Edward and Bella's car on that fateful night, killing them instantly. In James's mind, Edward and hiswife deserved to die for taking his wife away from him in more ways than one.

Ness is shocked by what Bree reveals, but still wonders why Bree would have it out for her when Caius was the one who murdered Victoria in the first place.

Another figure steps into the light, revealing himself as Demetri, Caius's trusted servant for several many years. Bree and Demetri share a deeply-passionate kiss much to Ness's disgust.

When they finally break apart, Demetri says that Jacob did the deed for them. Caius was the one who attacked Ness outside the ice cream shop and the Carver Diner. Bree reveals that she gained Caius's trust after her parents' death and urged him to murder Ness, the daughter of the man who had ultimately been responsible for her James's death. Caius was so distraught over his brother's death, which he ultimately caused, and never knew that James would be so upset to commit such a heinous crime. He was easily duped by his niece's conniving ways.

Disguised as James to heighten Ness's fright and suffering, Caius attacked Ness both times as Bree watched in the distance from the safety of her mother's black Chevelle. Bree had all intentions of incriminating Caius for Ness's murder in the end, finally repaying him for the years of heartache and pain she'd endured without her mother and father in her life. Little did she know that Jacob would complicate things and murder Caius unintentionally.

But there was one deed left undone: Ness was still alive.

Bree's plan then became to incriminate Jacob for murder to get him out of the way, so that she and her partner and lover, Demetri, could get to Ness without him interfering. So, they murdered Angela Weber (Jacob's former lover) and Ben Cheney, planting evidence that Jacob committed the crime in a jealous rage. With Jacob out of the picture, Bree set her sights on Ness. However, with Ness having a cop for a grandfather (Charlie) and an ex-military man for an uncle (Jasper), Bree found herself at a standstill and unable to get to Ness. And then, lack of conclusive evidence vindicated Jacob and soon he was released from jail, only to run back to find Ness in Seattle.

Nahuel then became the likely victim to target next. So, Bree kidnapped him with the intention of brainwashing him into killing Ness for leaving him for another man (Jacob). However, when Ness was left unprotected at the diner in Seattle that night, Bree just couldn't resist—she had to have her for herself.

(Back to the dungeon)

Bree then points the gun in Ness's direction. "I've been waiting for this moment for so long."

Nahuel then jumps to his feet and tries to protect Ness, but ends up getting shot by Bree. He falls to the ground as Ness's screams and Bree's evil laughs fill the entire torch-lit dungeon. Bree then turns to Ness.

This brings us to the prologue:

"The light from the flames licked around the face of the enemy, her pale blue eyes boring into me like a dagger into the very heart of innocence. I knew this was the last time, the last chance to breathe, before my time on this earth would be said and done. Everything we had worked for, every action over the past few weeks, had led to this very moment. As she raised the gun steadily in the air, I braced myself, gladly welcoming death, for my spirit would soon join the man I loved (Nahuel) in eternity. I heard her finger lightly squeeze the trigger, and felt my heart gloomily beat its last…"

Just then Jacob and Riley storm into the dungeon. Bree had made one fatal mistake earlier; she left the Chevelle parked outside the abandoned building. It didn't take Jacob or Riley long to find Ness's whereabouts. Unbeknownst to Bree and Demetri, Riley had been investigating the Volturi family's possible involvement in the situation since James was the drunk driver who had killed Bella and Edward. The building had belonged to the Volturi family for years, an easily discovered hideout.

Riley is taken down by a bullet from Demetri's gun, but he is still alive. Bree grabs Ness by the neck and holds her in front of her body, the gun held to her head, taunting Jacob to take his best shot. Jacob doesn't know what to do; if he shoots, he risks hurting the woman he loves and losing his life as well. But if he does nothing, Ness will end up dying anyway.

Bree taunts Jacob, saying that she watched them make love those countless times, wishing Ness was screaming out in pain instead of in pleasure. It was Bree who put the murder weapon in Ness's truck, causing her to faint that night. She got a kick out of watching Ness suffer; it was like heroin to her. Jacob hesitates, anger building in his veins, as he takes in the terrified look on Ness's face. He looks back to Demetri, who is aiming his gun at him as well.

Just as all hope seems lost, Nahuel bravely comes onto his feet and rams his head into the back of Bree's, causing her to stumble to the ground. Ness is freed and runs toward Jacob who immediately fires his gun at Demetri as he is caught off guard by Bree's fall. Demetri falls dead to the ground, but Bree suddenly comes to, rising back to her feet, gun in hand.

Bree points her gun at Jacob and Ness, but is sent to her grave by Riley, who has revived and fired his gun without hesitation at the assailant.

Jacob gives Riley a look of gratitude as he releases Ness's hands from the bindings, and Riley nods, slumping back against the wall of the dungeon and gripping his injured arm now streaming with blood. Once freed, Ness embraces Jacob, crying into his shoulder, the floodgate of emotions hitting her all at that moment. Nahuel walks up to them, clutching his side where he was shot by Bree, and the two men share an unspoken truce.


One Month Later

Ness and Jacob stand over the graves of her parents, Bella and Edward. Ness laments to Jacob on how she can't believe that her father would ever have an affair on her mother. She clutches the locket around her neck that her parents once gave her. Her worst fears from before were confirmed. Jacob tells her that Edward loved her mother more than any other woman in the world. Caius must have been mistaken; it couldn't have been Edward.

Riley speaks up from behind them, his arm in a sling: "It was all a lie." He apologizes for startling them, and then walks up to meet them at the gravesite. Riley reveals that Caius made up the whole story and fabricated the evidence, so that James would never know that he was the one who had Victoria killed. Caius never knew that James would take it so far as to murder Edward and Bella. They were just innocent victims; Edward happened to be the attending ER physician that night at the hospital and a co-worker of Victoria's—an easy target.

Relieved, but still unsure, Ness asks how Riley knew this information. Riley says with a chuckle that it's what he does for a living, and Jacob thanks him. Riley then excuses himself and leaves Jacob and Ness alone at her parents' grave. Riley looks back, marveling on how lucky Jacob is to have such a beautiful, sexy woman in his life. He silently wishes them well, despite feeling an overwhelming attraction to Ness.

Ness is left in tears over Riley's revelation, falling to the ground in front of her parents' gravestones. Jacob embraces her and, after several painful moments of listening to her sobs, whispers, "They loved you above all else, Ness. More than their own lives. Know that."

"I know they did. Thanks, Jake," Ness whispers as the wind tosses her copper curls in its gentle breeze. She laughs with a sniffle. "I sort of know how that feels."

"What do you mean?" Jacob cups her face with his hands, looking into her eyes searchingly.

"Well…" Ness laughs again, smiling amongst the tears glistening on her cheeks. "You were right—you should've taken better precautions that night."

Jacob's mouth drops wide open, but soon forms a knowing smile. "Well, Charlie's definitely going to kill me now."

He kisses her with an ever-increasing fervor, his heart filling with joy at the news that he is now to be a father with the woman he's waited for all of his life. A series of tragic and rather unfortunate events have brought Jacob and Ness together, but one hope still remains. Life goes on...and brings new life with it.

THE END


Questions from readers…

-What's the deal with Nahuel?

Nahuel was never the bad guy; he loved Ness very much and that caused him to act very irrationally. He did survive the attack from Bree.

-Riley…really?

I might be in the minority, but I've always found Riley's character in Eclipse fascinating. The movie and Bree's story only further increased my interest in him; therefore, I included him as a good guy in this story and gave him a little crush on Ness. LOL A little secret fantasy of mine: Jacob and Riley vying for the same girl's affections. Mmhmm, you know that's right.

-Whatever happened to Caius's body?

Of course, his body would eventually be found. That's a tricky situation because Jacob killed him and then got rid of the body without going to the authorities. Charlie and Riley could possibly be able to vindicate Jacob here, so I'm sticking with that scenario. I don't want Jacob to go back to jail, especially with a baby on the way! LOL

-Was Ness's vision of James/Caius at the top of the stairs real?

Nope, it was a figment of her imagination/guilty conscience.

-Was Charlie really spooked by raccoons the night Jacob slept over or was there something else out there?

Good question! Bree said that she watched Jacob and Ness have sex (eww), so it could have possibly been her lurking outside…along with the raccoons.

-Did Mrs. Laurent (Victoria's mom) know that Caius was behind Victoria's murder?

No, she believed as the authorities did that it was a random attack. Caius was very good at covering his tracks. I'm not sure if Mrs. Laurent knew about Caius's dark past either.

-Did Mrs. Laurent know about Bree? Who was in the missing picture?

Ness noticed a picture of a younger Bree in the upstairs hallway of Mrs. Laurent's house, so she did know about her granddaughter. One can assume from the way Mrs. Laurent talked about Victoria that they must've had a falling out and she wasn't allowed to see Bree. Bree didn't even know that her grandmother was still alive, which is unfortunate. As for the missing picture, it was a family portrait of Victoria, James, and Bree. Mrs. Laurent found it too difficult to keep on display for her to have to see every day.

-Why did James/Caius have a picture of Ness in his wallet?

Caius had James's wallet tucked into his jeans to keep up the charade that he was James, back from the grave to make Ness pay for his wife's death. Bree's plan was to ultimately frighten and mentally torture Ness before she had her killed.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this final chapter. I hope I did the story justice and that you weren't disappointed with just a summary. I toyed around with several different scenarios before finally deciding on this ending. Please, please let me know if I missed anything. It's been awhile since I've written on this story, and I tend to forget things. LOL Hope you enjoyed it. :)

Special thanks to Overprotective(dot)Fool/Nik/AnEnduringHope (she goes by many names, lol) for her overall awesomeness and help with this chapter. Love you, my telepathic twin!

Love you all,

DAZZY xxoo