A/N: Well, we've reached the end, finally. If you are reading this, then I want to give you a huge thanks for sticking with me through this story and making it until the end. I appreciate each and every one of you. Also, I want to give another HUGE thanks to Jenny Cullen, aka Jenrar, for her beta skills, support, and suggestions. You have helped me more than you know.
If you want more to read, I still have a WIP, Into the Hands of My Fathers, which is the sequel to Deliver Me From Evil. I also have a collaboration fic going with my lovely ficwife, EternallyCullen, titled Eyes, Look Your Last. I'd be thrilled if you all would check them out if you haven't done so, yet. You can follow me on Facebook under LisaDawn Fanfiction and on Twitter under (at)LisaDawn75 to keep up with the stories I have going on. I would love to hear from you as to what you thought of the story and any other stories I have that you've read. Meeting and making new friends has been one of the best things I've found in this fandom.
And now, without further adieu…
Epilogue – 75 years later
Bella and Edward walked hand in hand back to their house in Millinocket, Maine; they had spent twilight hunting. As they walked back to the house, Bella thought back over their lives for the last three quarters of a century and how things had changed since her transformation. The Cullens had moved back to Alaska after Bella's change, and then stayed there for ten years. After that, Carlisle had to leave the hospital, as people were starting to wonder about his age. They had lived in several areas of the country, but had not been back to Forks. It was still too soon for them to return; plus, they were unsure as to what was occurring with the wolves. They hoped to be able to return in another century, when all remembrances of them had disappeared, along with local folklore.
Charlie had passed away around forty years prior, nearly thirty-five years after Bella's change. He had been sitting at the station, working, when he'd had a massive heart attack, causing his sudden death. There was not anything anyone could have done for him. Over the years, Bella had called him on the phone, and almost every time, he would mention how her voice sounded different. She would just blame it on the phone, the phone lines, the weather, or that she had a cold. She never saw her father again after that day in Forks, and that had eaten at her, until she had sunk into a deep depression after his death. She had regretted that she was never able to see her father again.
Of course, she had felt responsible—and guilty. After she had made excuses why she could not come home, Charlie had just given up on offering, and finally, the phone calls had been less and less. She could not blame him, but it did not make it hurt any less. It had not been his fault, but she had been forbidden by Volturi law to tell him what had actually happened to her. All she had been able to do was pray that he had known how much she loved him, and that her absence from the remainder of his life had not been his fault.
She had talked to Jake a few times, as well, and it turned out that he and Leah ended up falling in love, regardless of their previous hate for each other. Apparently, they had a very passionate relationship that resulted in their falling for each other. That had improved Leah's disposition greatly, and with the Cullens out of the area, the wolves had finally quit phasing and had returned to their normal growth and development. Jake and Leah had even ended up having two children after they got married. Leah had passed away a few years ago, and Jake's children were taking care of him. He and Bella had made their peace with each other, and now they could both finally understand where the other one was coming from.
Phil had also died around twenty years earlier. At first, Renee had insisted on staying by herself. Then, after about a decade, she decided she wanted to travel, so she took off to see the world. The Cullens had worked with their forger to set her up with all of the documents she needed to keep from drawing suspicion, so that she could travel all she wished or live alone. As they considered her family, they had insisted on supporting her needs, no matter how much she argued otherwise. The Cullens had explained thatshe could not draw Social Security checks on Phil for decades, as that would draw attention to her lifespan. That was what had finally broken her stubborn streak. She was now staying with the Cullens as part of the family. She had aged some, but not much. Carlisle estimated her physical age to be around fifty, whereas she was actually a hundred and fifteen years old. They were unsure exactly how long Renee would live, but he theorized that she might live to two hundred, but would look and feel approximately ninety years old in a regular human lifespan.
Bella never ceased to be amazed at all of the new gizmos and gadgets that came out through the years. Robotics were taking over, along with computers, and they could do almost anything—except extend a lifespan. Only a few things could do that: proper medical care, diet and exercise, and… Chimera.
And Chimera was now long gone… just a memory.
Bella had never regretted her decision to give her mother Chimera. Even though she had compromised everything she had believed in, it had been worth it for her to have her mother with her for such a long time.
And when her mother did pass on, she would handle it with courage, dignity, and grace, because she now understood that she could not keep her mother with her for eternity, no matter how much she wanted to. She would, though, ensure that she made the most of the time they had together.
As they walked into view of their house, she squeezed Edward's hand and looked up at him with a smile. They'd had some good years together. And they had many more to look forward to.