A huge thank you to aurike, fallunder, lovably17, yingyanggirl, Lindsabelle, Jessie Alice and xxtwilightx for your reviews and to everyone that reviewed and read this story. Yes, this is the final chapter, I hope you enjoy it. I absolutely loved writing this.
Endless Dawn picks up a couple of weeks from the end of this and a lot of you that are reading this and Endless Dawn have asked if I am going past the Breaking Dawn ending and I thought I'd just let you know I am intending on writing a sequel to Endless Dawn so this will turn into a whole damn series lol.
I am also putting the first chapter of the Rosalie/Emmett background story that is linked to this up tonight that some of you asked for. It's called Shadows of Midnight.
"Esme is up to something," Rosalie announced as she flopped down on the couch between Emmett and Edward, opposite Jasper and Alice.
"And what makes you say this?" Alice smirked.
"She has been in Carlisle's study all morning," Rosalie explained. "She keeps coming out and grabbing magazines and stuff from their room but she goes straight back in. And I got a peek through the door just now and she has plans and diagrams and all sorts of things spread over the desk. I tell you, she is up to something."
"Maybe she is," Alice nodded. Rosalie narrowed her eyes for a moment as she looked at her sister and then she let out a gasp.
"You know what it is!" she laughed.
"Yeah I do," Alice giggled. "I saw it this morning."
"And I suppose you know what it is too?" Rosalie said as she glanced at Edward.
"Well, yeah," Edward laughed.
"Tell us!" Emmett demanded.
"It will be more fun if we don't," Alice warned Edward.
"I know," Edward nodded and sat back and crossed his arms to emphasise his silence.
"Fine don't tell us then," Rosalie pouted.
"We won't," Alice grinned.
"Oh!" Rosalie huffed in frustration.
"She is coming down to tell us now anyway," Edward smirked and looked over and winked at Alice.
"You two are soooo annoying," Rosalie sighed.
"You love us," Alice giggled.
"Yeah, maybe," Rosalie grumbled but she smiled, ruining the effect.
"Oh there you are," Esme smiled as she walked into the room, Carlisle right behind her. "I have an idea I want to share with you all."
"What is it?" Rosalie asked eagerly, causing Edward and Alice to laugh at her.
"Are you two teasing your sister again?" Esme frowned.
"Maybe a little," Edward shrugged.
"That isn't nice," Esme chided gently but she couldn't help the grin on her face.
"Your idea Esme," Rosalie reminded her, looking like she was about to burst if she didn't find out what was going on soon.
"Okay," Esme laughed. "Carlisle and I have been talking and we realised our family has been missing something every family should be doing."
"What's that?" Jasper asked.
"Christmas," Esme grinned. "We have never celebrated Christmas together. And this year we want to change that."
"You don't mean Christmas dinner do you?" Rosalie groaned, remembering the huge meals her mother had served out when she had been human.
"Well no, we might skip that part," Esme smirked. "But I think it would be lovely to put up decorations and exchange gifts."
"And maybe we could go on a family hunting trip," Carlisle added.
"It sounds like fun," Emmett nodded.
"Yeah it would be," Rosalie agreed.
"What is the point of buying Alice or myself gifts?" Edward asked. "She will see what anyone buys her and I will read it in your thoughts."
"It is the idea of it Edward," Carlisle sighed.
"It could still be fun Edward," Alice pouted.
"I guess it could be," Edward agreed.
"So will we do it?" Esme asked excitedly. "Will we celebrate Christmas?"
"Yes!" everyone responded and Esme nearly bounced with excitement as she hugged Carlisle.
The day before Christmas Esme got the entire family organised in decorating the house and with her flair and supervision within a couple of hours the place looked amazing. Once Emmett and Jasper had gone out into the forest and tore out a tree they set it in the living room and Alice and Esme began to add the decorations Esme had bought for it. When it was finished everyone got the wrapped presents they had stashed in their rooms and set them underneath the tree and then Carlisle added the lights and turned them on.
"They are so pretty," Alice squealed as she jumped up and down in excitement.
"They are, aren't they?" Esme smiled softly and the family settled down on the couches to sit and enjoy the lights.
"I can remember many years ago sitting in the parlour with my parents looking at the lights and drinking eggnog on Christmas Eve," Carlisle murmured. "Of course the lights were candles back then."
"I remember that," Edward nodded. "My mother used to put hundreds on the trees and the mantel. It would take her hours to light them on Christmas Eve."
"I preferred electric ones," Esme admitted. "But I would drape them all through the room of our home. It looked wonderful and it gave the whole holiday a magical touch somehow."
"Christmas was magical," Rosalie agreed. "There was always something special about the holiday. My parents didn't have a lot of money but we always had a fantastic day."
"Same here," Emmett nodded. "We'd exchange gifts and our mother would cook up a huge meal and then we would spend the afternoon goofing around in the back garden. My brothers and I would wrestle for hours."
"Why doesn't that surprise me," Rosalie laughed.
"I was normally the only child at our Christmas celebrations," Jasper remembered for the first time in years. "Now I think about it, my parents and grandparents tailored the holiday celebrations all around me. There were candles and a tree and music and lots of presents."
"You must have been a spoilt boy," Esme smiled.
"I think I was," Jasper laughed.
"Now I remember Christmas I cannot wait until tomorrow," Rosalie admitted excitedly.
"Me either," Esme smiled. The conversation halted instantly as Alice stood up and walked across the room quickly and started to walk up the stairs.
"Sweetheart?" Jasper frowned, sensing sadness coming from her. Alice just ignored him as she disappeared up the stairs and Jasper started to follow when Edward spoke.
"Oh no!" he whispered, his eyes locked on the stairs where Alice had disappeared. "We are so stupid."
"What is wrong?" Carlisle asked worriedly.
"We were that lost in our memories we didn't think of something," Edward sighed.
"What?" Rosalie demanded.
"Alice doesn't remember Christmas with her family," Edward murmured.
"Oh," Esme gasped and her worry and sadness flooded Jasper, making the worry he was feeling already so much more intense.
"I better go see if she is okay," Jasper whispered and jumped to his feet and rushed upstairs. When he reached their room he walked straight inside and he sighed when he saw Alice sitting on the bed, her legs crossed under her as she stared at the wall.
"I don't need you all feeling sorry for me," she snapped as soon as he walked into the room.
"Sweetheart, we don't," Jasper started.
"Don't lie to me!" Alice growled. "Poor pathetic little Alice who everyone feels sorry for can't even remember her family, let alone the Christmases she shared with them. I know that's what you are all thinking."
"Darling, no, never!" Jasper gasped and raced over to kneel on the bed in front of her.
"It is, I can see it!" Alice hissed angrily.
"I am sad for you," Jasper admitted. "But only because I feel your sadness and it cuts me deeply. I don't think you are pathetic. I would never think that."
"Why don't I remember Jazz?' Alice whispered and a sob escaped her lips. "Why can't I remember anything?"
"I don't know sweetheart," Jasper sighed, sensing her mood change from anger to sadness again and he quickly pulled her into his arms. She began to sob deeply and he tightened his arms around her as she completely crumbled against him. Her sobs were that loud that neither of them heard the bedroom door open and Jasper glanced up and was surprised to see their entire family entering the room.
"Alice, sweetheart?" Esme whispered, her voice etched in pain. "We are so sorry we were so insensitive."
"You weren't," Alice sighed as she pulled back from Jasper. "I'm sorry I made a scene."
"You have nothing to be sorry for," Esme assured her and walked over and sat down on the bed beside her daughter and gently put her arm around Alice's shoulders. "You may not have the memories we do and it may make you sad that you cannot remember but I promise you sweetheart, we will make this Christmas so special you will have some wonderful memories of your own. With our family, the only family that you need."
"Thank you," Alice whispered, obviously touched and she turned and hugged Esme tightly.
"That's my girl," Esme smiled softly. "Will you come back downstairs now? We'd really like to give you a special Christmas Eve."
"Yes," Alice nodded and Esme grinned and helped her to her feet and kept her arm around her as she led her back downstairs, the rest of the family following behind them.
For the rest of the night the family sat in the living room with the tree lights glowing and spent some quality time together. Edward eventually gravitated to the piano and he began to play Christmas tunes as Carlisle, Rosalie, Esme and Jasper taught Alice the words. After they had sung a few of the more traditional Christmas carols Emmett stepped in and taught Alice the words to a few variations of Christmas carols he had picked up during his human life. The words were often vulgar, mostly funny and the song themes hilarious and although Esme didn't really approve of some of the words she sat back and kept quiet when she saw how much Alice was enjoying Emmett's usual playful antics.
As the new morning began to dawn Carlisle insisted that the entire family go out to hunt together and the happy, cheerful group left the house together. Once they got into the forest they split off into smaller groups and headed in their different directions to hunt. When they were all finished they met back up in a small clearing not far from the house and once everyone but Esme had returned they all looked questioningly at Carlisle.
"Where is our mother?" Edward frowned playfully.
"Doing a mother's duty on Christmas," Carlisle grinned.
"What?" Rosalie asked.
"You'll see," Carlisle smirked and although Edward read his mind he didn't say a thing, noticing that Alice hadn't yet seen what Esme was up to. The family sat in the clearing for a while and then Esme appeared and joined them with a smile.
"Let's go home," she announced and the group all headed back to the house. When they walked inside the pile of presents under the tree had doubled and there were stockings with each of their names hanging on the fireplace and everyone turned to look at Esme.
"Is this what you were doing?' Rosalie grinned.
"No, it wasn't me," Esme smirked. "It must have been Santa."
"Santa?" Emmett laughed but his laughter died when he noticed Alice standing there with wide eyes staring at the tree.
"Sweetheart?" Jasper murmured as he put his arm around her shoulders.
"Esme, it's beautiful," Alice whispered, her voice shaking with emotion.
"Come on sweetie," Esme smiled and walked over and took her hand. "I believe Santa has been to visit you." Alice laughed, seeing full well that Esme was behind all this, but she let their mother drag her over to the tree and the others all sat down around them as they began to exchange gifts.
Christmas night Esme was sitting out on the back porch, looking out into the dark forest when she sensed a movement near the back door. She turned and smiled when Jasper stepped out and held her hand out to him. He walked over and took her hand and sat down gently on the seat next to her and then he lifted his eyes to hers.
"Esme," he started and then he stopped as his voice quivered and it was obvious that some strong emotions were raging inside of him.
"What is it son?" Esme murmured.
"I just wanted to say thank you," Jasper whispered. "What you gave Alice today, it was amazing. You gave her special, happy memories and she has never had that. Thank you, so much. You have no idea how much it moved her, how much it meant to me. You gave her pure happiness."
"I was pleased to do it," Esme smiled.
"I just wanted to thank you," Jasper added. "The material things we got were one thing and we do appreciate them but your gift of love to Alice was the most important, to both of us."
"You are both more than welcome," Esme assured him. Jasper smiled at her and leaned over and hugged her before getting to his feet and drifting back inside and Esme settled back in her chair again, touched at the sentiments Jasper had expressed.
When Jasper walked back in the bedroom Alice was sitting on the bed, surrounded by their gifts and tokens she had taken from the living room downstairs to remember the occasion but her eyes were blank.
"Sweetheart, what do you see?' Jasper gasped as he raced to her side.
"Bella," Alice murmured.
"Who?" Jasper frowned, quite sure they had never met anyone by that name.
"Bella," Alice said again.
"Who is Bella?" Jasper asked but she didn't answer him and he watched her worriedly until her eyes refocused.
"Who is Bella?" he repeated.
"I don't know," Alice murmured.
"Tell me what you saw," Jasper urged her.
"I saw a woman," Alice told him. "She was standing in the forest but I didn't recognise the place."
"Was she human or vampire?" Jasper gasped.
"I'm not sure," Alice sighed.
"What do you mean you're not sure?" Jasper frowned.
"She kept changing," Alice whispered. "One minute she was human but then her eyes would go red and she was one of us. Then she changed back and she was merely human again."
"That is strange," Jasper mused. "Is her name Bella?"
"I'm not sure about that either," Alice sighed. "I could hear this soft voice, it was whispering the name Bella over and over again but the woman didn't acknowledge it."
"Then what happened?" Jasper asked.
"She faded away and I was standing in the forest alone," Alice murmured. "Then I came out of the vision. I wonder what it means Jazz."
"I don't know," Jasper admitted honestly.
"Me either," Alice sighed. "Bella. I wonder who she is and what she has to do with us."
"Maybe it's nothing important," Jasper suggested, feeling her concern about the vision and wanting to put her at ease.
"Maybe," Alice nodded but deep down she couldn't agree. Although she couldn't see anything more about this Bella she had a strange feeling that the woman in her visions was about to somehow become a part of their lives and that their family would never be the same again.
"Maybe," she murmured again and turned and snuggled into Jasper, as usual finding comfort and security in his arms.