Shattered Perfection, Chapter 20, Epilogue
"Bella, you're going to be late to your own wedding," my mother was pounding on the door; I was hyperventilating, trying to get ready.
I was getting married, again. And this time, I was completely and without reserve ready. My breasts however, were not.
You see, I had planned to stop breastfeeding a month ago. But our daughter, Elisabeth, didn't want anything to do with that. She refused the bottle. Refused a cup, refused formula. She would only breast feed.
Thus my problem.
I was leaking. Alice had been in here a few minutes ago with her son, Tucker, and he had cried. Thus making me leak. On my wedding dress.
"Fuckin' A," I said, pushing the breast pad into my dress, covering my nipples and hoping that I didn't leak during the ceremony.
"Mom?" I heard through the door. It was Masen. He started calling me Mom after the accident. A lot had changed after the accident.
I proposed to Edward. Untraditional, I know. But the accident made me realize just how much I loved him. How much I could never live without him.
We petitioned the court, and won, custody of our son. He now lived with us, Edward and me, on our land in Albemarle County.
We'd moved. Built a big house with enough rooms that the kids didn't have to share, Joseph had finally decided that he liked Edward, and now they were like best buddies.
I quit my job. I just couldn't go back after the baby was born. I loved being home with the kids too much. Edward didn't mind, it was his idea after all.
"I'm coming," I said, heading to the door.
"Wow," Masen said as I opened the door for him. "You're hot, for a mom."
"Thanks. Masen. I love you too." I slipped my shoes one and took his arm.
"Let's do this," he handed me my bouquet and we headed out the door.
We walked to the threshold of the sanctuary and he kissed me on the cheek. The wedding march started to play and I saw everyone that mattered to Edward and I as we walked. Alice and Jasper, with their son Tucker. Rosalie and Emmett with their two boys. Our co-workers, our neighbors. His parents, my parents, our children.
Everyone was there to watch us on our big day. We finally arrived at the front of our small, country church. Masen turned to me again and gave me a kiss on my cheek.
"I love you," he whispered into my ear, before he went to sit down.
We went through the traditional introductions, and finally, at least for me, got to the most important part of the ceremony.
"True marriage is more than joining the bonds of marriage of two persons. In its right relation, it's the uniting of two souls already attuned to each other. When such a true bond already exists between man and woman, it is fitting that an outer acknowledgment be made. This acknowledgment is the prime object of this gathering and this ceremony. We are here to bear witness to the entry into the closer relationship of husband and wife of these beloved friends who are already one in spirit.
You are now taking into your care and keeping the happiness of the one person in all the world whom you love best. You are adding to your life not only the affection of each other, but also the companionship and blessing of a deep trust as well. You are agreeing to share strength, responsibilities, and to share love.
At the end of this ceremony, legally you will be husband and wife, but you still must decide each and every day that stretches before you, that you want to be married. Make such a decision and keep on making it, for the most important thing in life is to love and be loved.
May you always need one another, not so much to fill the emptiness as to help each other know your fullness. May you want one another, but not out of lack. May you embrace one another, but not encircle one another. May you succeed in all important ways with each other, and not fail in the little graces. Look for things to praise, often say 'I love you' and take no notice of small faults. May you have happiness, and may you find it in making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it in loving one another.
This ring by its shape is a symbol of the undying love that exists between you. The substance of which it is composed is a symbol of purity, which shall ever characterize your mind and hearts in all your relationships together."
Edward and I took turns putting rings on each other's fingers.
"You may now kiss the bride." I pressed my lips to Edward's lightly, knowing that later on tonight, we would be kissing much more.
"I know announce to you, for the first time, Edward and Bella Cullen and their children, Masen, Joseph, Abbigail, Anthony and Elisabeth." Masen stood up and led Anthony and Abbigail over to us, and Joseph leading Elisabeth. She had just learned how to walk. They led us down the aisle and we followed.
If you had told me three years ago that I would be divorced, and remarried to a man I thought I had lost forever, all while revealing my secret to the world, I would have told ya you were crazy. But the day Alice brought Edward into that house changed my life forever.
We fell in love.
We had a baby, Elisabeth Esme Cullen, born, rather dramatically, and weighing in at 4lbs. She had red hair like her daddy and blue eyes like her grandma Renee. And a temper like her brother. Maybe that's why they get along so well.
Edward adopted my children, Joseph, Abbigail and Anthony, and Masen came to live with us. Mike agreed wholeheartedly because it got him out of child support.
Joseph warmed up to Edward. He even called him dad now. They all called him dad now.
Esme and Carlisle, forgave me, over time, for keeping Masen from them and relocated to Virginia to be near their grandchildren. My mother also realized that the decision we made might not have been the best one, and that Mike truly was an asshole. My father still wasn't convinced that we should have custody of Masen. But Masen had made the decision on his own, and had spoken with such conviction, that the judge granted us custody. It was nice to not have the weight of that secret on my shoulders anymore. Nice to have my family together, and nice to have the love of my life back.
All in all, life was perfect again.
And the happily ever after that I thought I lost when Mike left me, was really a blessing in disguise, and the beginning of the rest of my life.
A/N: Thank you for joining me on this journey. I hope that everyone has enjoyed this story. Thank you to my beta, Lila (fuzzyltlwingedthing) and my pre-reader, Carol.
The wedding vows are from the wedding of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. He introduced me to my first love, grunge music. May he rest in peace.
I will be starting another story, a continuation of a one-shot that I wrote a while back called "A Strange in the Night". This was the winner of the one-shot poll. The link is on my profile. That will also be a short story, about 20 chapters, and will be updated every two weeks (I hope). It's a little dark and twisty, and some people will probably not like the ending, but I'll leave it up to you.
I hope that you will join me on that journey as well.
Thank you for your patience and for all the reviews and follows.