Until new readers started reading and reviewing this story, I had no idea the final chapter had not taken back when I posted it, when fanfic were having all those issues that time. Sincere apologies. I don't seem to have written an Epi, does it need one? (That would require me rereading the story, I've mostly forgotten it).
The wedding is pretty much an open invitation free-for-all so any residents of Forks interested in attending are welcome. Instead of gifts, they are asked to bring plates of food to share, and thus Charlie avoids paying out more than he could afford to keep everyone happy. Most of the folks in town want to see his daughter wed and this way, he doesn't have to cull anyone from a too long list.
Of course there is a lot of interest in seeing the Chief of Police's 'little girl' walk down the aisle and probably a lot of the folk are here to see who she did marry, seeing the expected pairing with Jacob Black had no eventuated and he had surprised them all by marrying Leah.
Bella looks beautiful and wears a traditional white lace frock, of such a style that our child inside is not obvious, and although she hardly qualifies to wear white, it's what she always imagined she would marry in, so I insisted she ignore the implied virgin status and just go with what she wanted.
My father-in-law is very welcoming to me, and I think he sees me much as the knight on his white charger coming to save his daughter from single parenthood, and he is generous with his praise when anyone asks about me. I am known widely in this town as 'Dr Carlisle's younger son' rather than in my own right.
Esme is blubbering quietly as Alice then Rose precede my Bella walking towards us. The girls are both dressed in deep blue gowns and Emmett and Jasper have their eyes fixed on their own mates as the girls approach.
All I can see is the vision in white and I step forward to accept her hand from her father. Bella is all smiles and Charlie steps back and lifts Twila into his arms and rocks gently back and forth as the ceremony happens.
I can't wait to hear the final words, when Mr and Mrs Edward Cullen are presented to the crowd for the first time.
The reception is held in the local town hall in order to accommodate a crowd this size and the ladies soon have a magnificent buffet prepared and it's drinks all round as we at the bridal table select our meal first, then Charlie starts the speeches once everyone has eaten.
Many of the Quileutes are here as well, including Jake and Leah.
As my friends and family surround me, offering congratulations, I am watching Bella and I see Jacob approach her and they speak for several long minutes. They part happily enough, he kisses her cheek, she smiles and turns away and comes straight to me.
"What did he say?" I asked her, pulling her to one side of the room, and sitting her on my lap.
"I asked him about their new baby and he told me he suspects it's Sam's, and that he doesn't care. He loves Leah and just wants her to be happy. Sam and Emily have moved to another Res to live, at Emily's insistence, so I guess she knows too."
"Once again just more poof love is more important than biology," I laugh.
"I'm a little sad he will never have an actual heir but then, he chose this path for himself."
"You aren't sorry he didn't choose you?" I check. I guess there will always be a little doubt in the back of my mind. She gives me 'the look' and strokes my jawline.
"Edward, I have exactly everything I could ever want in life, once this baby arrives. Never doubt that. You and I are perfect together, we are the winners in this whole jumbled up situation. We got the baby, we got one another, and soon our son will complete our family."
"A boy?" I question, pretty sure she has no clue what gender it is.
"I have no preference but I admit I look forward to raising your son as well as your daughter. Who wouldn't be hoping this baby has your hair and your eyes? I would be crazy not to want this one to triumph and take after the better looking parent."
"That would make it another Bella clone," I replied.
Why she can't see her own beauty is completely beyond me. My looks are fine, I have never really pondered over them. They got me attention from a young age and they attracted Bella to me, so I'm hardly going to whinge about them.
But a dozen little girls who look just like their mother would be fine with me.
"Come on, come and dance you pair. I'm sure you will acquaint your wife to the generous benefits package she gets for becoming Mrs Edward Cullen later," Jasper smirks.
"Oh I do believe Bella is already well acquainted with his package," Alice grins. She's almost as wide as she is tall these days, having becoming well acquainted with Jasper's package.
Their wedding takes place in two days from now, so we can't disappear on our honeymoon until it's happened.
Bella is more nervous about being Alice's bridesmaid than she ever was about becoming my bride today. I understand, this is just a natural progression of how things were meant to be, whereas Alice's family circus with be a military precise event with no room for mistakes.
Despite providing the food, most of the residents of Forks have come adorned with gifts so Bella is called upon to open them and she insists I sit with her and try to look excited over every hand embroidered table cloth or toaster.
Twila enjoys the wrappings and sits in a sea of ripped gift wrap, shaking it around and attempting to taste the more brightly colored pieces.
We are staying in my old bedroom tonight and Esme packs our daughter up to take home with her as Bella and I do the traditional leaving scenario, and head for the meadow with a blanket and bottle of alcohol free wine, and two glasses.
I toast us there, in the middle of the wildflowers and promise her again to love her for every day of forever.
We have some busy years head and have agreed to stop at two children until I am a fully fledged doctor and we have a home and I am working at Carlisle's side in Fork's Hospital.
I wrap the blanket around my back as the temperature falls and sit her on my knee and spoon myself around her and we watch the red golden flames filling the sky as the sun gives up and goes to bed.
"We should go," I sigh and reluctantly pack up. I want her alone, all to myself and have another endless 48 hours to endure before than can happen.
Twila has accepted a bottle of formula from her grandmother and is sleeping peacefully, so we slide into my old bed and cuddle up close.
"Finally, I made it into Edward Cullen's bed," Bella smiles and pulls me closer.
"You are the only girl who can say that," I grin and lean down to kiss her.
"Lucky me. Lucky lucky me," she states and we drift off to sleep.
School takes up a lot of my time and attention but Bella understands, even if Twila doesn't. She accepts no excuses and I am forced to walk the floor with her while her mother sleeps on obliviously over the next few months. It would seen pregnancy causes Bella to sleep way more deeply than normal so I get quality time with the wakeful baby who will soon find herself usurped by the 'little stranger' whose name is still a subject of much debate. For some reason, Bella has become fixated on calling him Edison, claiming it's the obvious choice.
"Son of Eddie," she grins.
"You call me Eddie and you sleep alone," I warn her. That's part of the reason I hate the name. In no time everyone would shorten it to Eddie and I never allowed that for myself and don't wish to spend a lifetime begging for my son to be spared that ridiculous moniker.
"Charlie has no son, we should be respectful and name the baby after him," I argue. Anything but Edison.
"Nope, you promise me to name him what I want, do you hear? I love the name Edison. End of conversation."
"What do I get as a trade off?" I ask.
"You can name the next two children in the future. No input from me. No vetoes, no arguments. I really like Edison, and he was a great inventor, so it's a great name. I would be proud to be named after him."
"Fine," I concede and figure that no name fights over the next two children in the future is probably worth letting her have her way this time.
The natural childbirth Bella had planned and counted on proved to be impossible when baby turned out to be an immovable transfer lie. This position is tricky even with a c section but impossible vaginally so I wait, gowned up, as she is slightly sedated, given an epidural and the show begins. It's all over so quickly, it seems almost a let down. No pushing, no sweating, no hours of slow progress, just a few cuts and a red screaming baby hits the air.
"It's a boy," my father announces and hands my son to me.
I shake my head and apologize as the nurse takes him to clean and weigh.
"What were you saying sorry for?" she asks.
"His mother made me promise to name him after Edison," I reply. "I just hate the name."
"Thomas?" she says, surprised. "I have always liked it, you can call him Tom or Tommy."
"Oh, right, great idea," I answer and reach for the forms and write in my son's full names.
THOMAS EDISON CULLEN.
Bella is in her bed in her private room when I get to push the perspex bassinet to her bedside.
"Wait, Thomas? Who said anything about Thomas?"
"You did. You made me promise to name him after Thomas Edison, so I did. What's the problem?" I ask with faked confusion.
"Edward Cullen, I suspect I have just been outplayed, just you wait," she says with a sigh.
"He looks like a 'Tom', don't you think?" I ask hopefully.
"I can still call him Edison and ignore his first name," she threatens.
Esme comes to the rescue, bringing Twila in to meet her brother.
"This is Edison," Bella says and our daughter grins and smacks a hand toward the infant.
"She'll be three before she can say it. Twila, say 'Tom'," I encourage.
"Tom," she grins and I high five her. "See, even his sister prefers Tom."
"I can't wait until we have the next two, I am giving them such amazing nicknames you will cringe when you have to call them," she says. "Maybe Fifi Trixibelle and Ironman. Huh, how will you like that, Cullen?"
"I would be proud to walk around the playground calling to Fifi. Of course, a lot of poodles and cats love that name already, so it must be good."
My world feels complete already. Balanced, even, back on it's axis. And quite perfect.
We have our nephew just a few months older than Tom, we have our future nieces and nephews to look forward to, and our own other two babies.
Tom has Bella's brown hair but it's as impossible as my own, just spiking up in random directions. He has already caught his fingers in it once. Bella is convinced he already has the Cullen hair pull in progress.
His eyes are hazel but Bella is still counting on them turning green. Time will tell.
I overhear her telling Alice she plans on adding copper highlights to Tom's hair if they don't appear naturally and I growl at the two of them.
"He's a boy, not a Barbie doll. Leave him alone."
I am glad the Swan genes are so strong. Twila still has skin paler than any of us, and that will always mask her true parentage so I say good on you, Swan genes, keep dominating our children all their lives. I never want anyone to wonder. She is my daughter and nothing will ever change that. She feels like she is as much mine as Tom is, and I for one are completely happy and relieved, I was afraid I may feel more for him seeing his is 'my own' but obviously, she is too.
Life is good.
No, actually life is just perfect.