A/N: I'm going with y'all not really liking the final chapter since I had one comment (a good comment, though). S'okay. I was able to get the idea out of my head so it wouldn't plague me any more and I can move on.
As always, SweetT129 keeps me on the right track. Any mistakes are my own.
Let me know what you think.
Epilogue – A Fresh Ending
The morning after her confrontation with James, Bella woke wrapped in the strong arms of her beloved. Without a doubt, she knew that she was safe, even now that James knew where she was.
Edward shifted to pull Bella back into his side. One of her favorite things about waking to a quiet house and a naked Edward, was morning wood. She put a smile on her lovers face before he even opened his eyes.
After spending the morning reconnecting and loving, Bella and Edward were ready to have their family together, and picked up their kids from their grandparents after church.
No more was spoken of James, or the commotion his presence caused the day before.
In fact, weeks went by before they thought of him again.
That day, Edward brought in the morning paper and sat at the table to drink his coffee. Bella leaned down and wrapped her arms around his neck so she could read over his shoulder. Edward hated when she did that, but loved the feel of her breasts against his back, so remained quiet.
The heading that caught their attention read:
"Wealthy Phoenix man killed in fatal crash"
The story indicated that one James Colson was found dead at the scene of a single-car crash. An autopsy revealed that his blood-alcohol level was nearly .30, with the legal limit being .08.
In his wallet was found the obituary for Marie Colson, his first wife.
The local police chief was interviewed:
"Well, he showed up at the church pot-luck, drunk, and decided that one of the ladies there was his wife, so I arrested him and let him sober up for the night.
When we found the obituary, we assumed he was at the church because that's where her funeral was held. We don't know much about Marie Colson, only that she was in our town for a very short time."
Then, there was a brief interview with the grieving widow:
"He told me he was going away on business. I should have realized that it was so close to the date when she disappeared. It haunted him, to not know how her final days were. I think... I think he was just trying to make peace with his past. I can only hope that he found what he was looking for."
The article ended with one line about the family James left behind:
"James Colson was survived by his wife, Victoria, and four daughters."
A sob tore from Bella's throat, and Edward turned to comfort his wife. In his ear, he heard her saying over and over: "It's over. It's over. He's gone. It's over."
To himself, Edward wondered if Sam had anything to do with the untimely demise of James Colson. He never mentioned this aloud, though, and instead promised his wife: "He will never hurt you again, Love."