A/N- Stephanie Meyer owns all.
And the parades will ride again
I'll see my family and my friends
Because this will not be the end of the avenue
And yes the marching bands will roll
I'll find my city in my soul
Because there's nowhere else to go but
-The Avenue, Cowboy Mouth
Present day, 5 years later
There are certain things that you can bet money on happening here in New Orleans. Without fail, you can bank on Mardi Gras falling forty days before Easter, Jazz Fest taking place on the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May, having a good time on Bourbon Street, while you get shitty in the Crescent City, and the people around here having more faith in things than anyone else in the country.
As our luck would have it the Saints won their very first Super Bowl and in all my years on this planet, I've never seen more grown men cry than when we had won.
That brought me to why I was currently rummaging around in my closet, trying to find the perfect outfit for my big date tonight. Five years prior, a strapping young gentleman made a bet with me and tonight, payment is due.
"Wear the red top," Rosalie called from my bed. "You know the one that gives great cleavage."
I rolled my eyes and spotted the exact top she was talking about. I shrugged my shoulders and looked at the blouse in my hands. It did give good cleavage, not that my date hadn't seen them, on more than one occasion. I threw the top over my head and readjusted the girls so that they were at their maximum potential.
A year ago, I wouldn't have had to readjust and push and pull them to where they needed to be. Then again, gravity had taken effect on my body and my once perky tits had been traded in to provide food.
Stepping out of the closet, I twirled around for Rosalie to take it all in.
"Nice," she said smiling. "He's not going to know what hit him."
"Uh-huh, I've heard that before," I said with a smirk.
"Knock, knock!" A familiar voice echoed down the hall. I looked at Rosalie, who merrily shrugged her shoulders.
"Don't look at me. I didn't give him a key."
"Hot damn! Tizzy Izzy!" Jasper said, Alice hot on his heels. "You look good enough to eat."
"My brother will be beside himself when he sees you," Alice chimed in.
A wave of déjà vu crashed over me. I looked at all three faces smiling back at me, and quickly began to feel light headed.
"'Cher?" I heard my husband's voice from down the hall. "You ready?"
Edward, my husband for all of four years, was decked out in his best suit. When he rounded the corner and came face to face with me, his eyes lit up, causing the corners to crease.
"Wow," he breathed, "you look amazing."
"You don't clean up too bad yourself, Cullen," I teased.
"Rosalie, you're sure you don't mind watching the baby?" I asked for the umpteenth time.
"Bella, go. You and Edward have a nice evening out. We'll be fine," she assured me.
Edward held out his arm and I looped ours together. "Wait," I said when we passed the nursery. "Just let me peek in and kiss her goodbye."
Edward pushed the door open and lying inside her crib was our beautiful baby girl. Auburn curls adorned her ivory skin. A small smile played on her lips while she dreamed what ever it was that babies dreamed about.
"How did we get so lucky?" Edward asked with his arms wrapped around my waist.
"Faith I guess."
"Hmmm, I suppose that could work. You ready?" he asked.
I nodded and bent down slowly and quietly, as to not to wake her. "Sweet dreams, my angel. Mommy and Daddy love you."
Edward and I walked out of the room and to our family and friends who were downstairs preparing for an evening in, while we enjoyed one out, alone.
After reciting off the list of things for Rosalie to be aware of, regarding the baby, Edward and I walked down the driveway of our home on Saint Charles and toward our SUV.
Our hands were linked together as we swung them back and forth. "I still can't believe they won," Edward said.
"Why not? Don't you think everyone deserves to win?"
"I suppose, it's just surreal."
I pulled my husband to a stop and stared into his deep green eyes. We had come so far since that first date five years ago.
"Sometimes, baby, you just have to keep the faith."
Whether it is a natural disaster, an oil spill desecrating the food supply and animals all along the gulf, or the promise of a man capturing your heart, in the end, you just have to keep the faith.
A/N- So, this is it. This is going to be a long author note, so please humor me for a moment.
If the ending wasn't up to par for y'all, I'm truly sorry. In the beginning, this story was really important to me. As time went on, I started to get burned out. If you feel like I let that show in my writing, again, I'm very, very sorry. That was never my intention.
With that being said, I'm taking a break for a couple of months. I've decided to spend November participating in National Novel Writing Month and this break will give me the time needed to prepare for it. In the mean time, I am joining the other 80 something other authors for the Fandom for Preemies. It's a cause that's very near and dear to me. My stepsister is currently pregnant with twins and we find out this week if she will be having them in the next two weeks. If they do decide to join the world, she'll be 29 weeks pregnant. We are hoping and praying that they stay put a little while longer, but it's almost inevitable that they will arrive early. Below is the link for the page in which you can learn where and when to send in your donation. For as little as $5 you can have a collection of stories from some amazing authors. I'll be offering two one shots, one of which will never be seen anywhere but there. So if you want to get a sneak peak at what my next Edward/Bella multi chapter story will be, join the cause. A special thank you to littlemissb and amieforshort for allowing me to use their Fandom Gives Back one shots. You girls are truly amazing and I love y'all so very much. Here is the link:
http:/fandomforpreemies (dot) blogspot (dot) com/
Now, let me gush over a few people for a minute. Dinx, you offered amazing feedback for Keeping the Faith. You'll begin to know how much I appreciate all of your help on it. Angstaddict09, your emails throughout this whole venture have kept me laughing. You're an amazing friend and I'm so lucky to have had your help. Fngrcufs, our weekly chats with the rest of the Muselets are the highlight of my week. Thank you for letting me shit all over your inbox with chapters. You never complained, not once. I love you girls sofa king much. Completing this story is sad because now I won't get feedback emails from y'all each week.
Katydid2363 who I've been lucky enough to have a part of my life since the very beginning of The Sovereign Six. You are my beta rock and I'm pretty sure during NaNo I'm going to have a nervous breakdown without you looking over my work. I'm scared and excited at the same time. This is really going to be a true test.
Now, to all of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your insightful and wonderful reviews. Some of you followed me from The Sovereign Six, while others of you are new. The reviews were honestly so thoughtful and profound, and some of you even brought me to tears. SuperTrish1, I'm looking directly at you. This was such a tough subject matter and y'all embraced the story with your kind words. I wish I could thank each and every one of you but I'm pretty sure, at this point, you're ready for me to shut up. If you're even still reading.
After NaNo, I'll be back to posting again. Now, the story I'll begin posting, at the earliest in December, isn't one for everyone. I'm going to begin the Carlisle/Bella story and I'm really excited about it. If it interests you, put me on author alert so you'll know when I've begun it. In the meantime, I did submit an entry for the Love Lost contest and voting for it has begun. It's anonymous, but hidden amongst some pretty great stories, you'll find me. Here's the link for the stories, as well as where you can vote for your favorite at. http:/www (dot) fanfiction (dot) net/u/2458839/
In parting, I want to leave y'all with some stories that are pwning me right now. They are all wonderful ladies who should be shown some love! I'll miss you all more than I can say but I'm never really far. If you're on twitter, you can find me spouting off nonsense for the most part of the day. Hollister_1980 Thank y'all again for being the best readers an author could ever ask for. I hope to see you all when I return at the end of the year!
A Thousand Leaves by BellaSunshine http:/www (dot) fanfiction (dot) net/s/6276284/1/
Always Leads Back to You by Dinx http:/www (dot) fanfiction (dot) net/s/5934046/1/
Conjunction by fngrcufs http:/www (dot) fanfiction (dot) net/s/6187939/1/
Enchante by rpgirl27 http:/www (dot) fanfiction (dot) net/s/5676810/1/
Giofógach by ltlerthqak http:/www (dot) fanfiction (dot) net/s/6255401/1/
Incunabula Or: The Golden Legend by suitablyironicmoniker http:/www (dot) fanfiction (dot) net/s/5992078/1/
Resolutions by bebe86 http:/www (dot) fanfiction (dot) net/s/5771680/1/
The Little Fish by shellwrx http:/www (dot) fanfiction (dot) net/s/6267921/1/