All my lovely readers! Here is the epilogue. Fast-forward another eleven years. There's a lot of info in this chapter.
I hope everyone has enjoyed reading this story as much as I've enjoyed writing it. Love you all. And please, if you have any ideas, questions, want to get a hold of me, I love talking with my readers. I welcome any message.
Thank you to each and every one of you for your support. Oh God, I'm crying. Stupid pregnancy hormones. Ok. I'll let you get to the Epilogue. I hope you enjoy it. It's in Edward's point of view.
For the last time, Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight. I own...this fanfic. :)
Right Vs. Good
"Gram'pa! Catch me!" Blake pumped the swing a couple of times to go even higher, then launched himself into the air. He screamed in delight and a slight twinge of fear. I pretended not to see him coming until the next second, then dove under him and caught him in a cage of my arms. I wrestled with him a few moments, then held him to the ground and blew raspberries on his tummy. Blake squealed and tried to get away. "Gram'pa! Stop!" he laughed.
I let him go and kneeled back on my feet, hands on knees. Blake took a moment to catch his breath, then charged me. He threw his arms around my neck and I fell back to the ground in mock defeat with a groan.
"Gotcha!" I laughed and ruffled his hair, then got up.
"C'mon, Blake. Gran will be here soon to pick us up. We need to get you ready to go."
He made the cutest face. "Do I hav'ta get in those stupid pants?"
I laughed again. "Boys always wore those kind of pants when I was your age."
"They rode horses to school, too," he muttered under his breath. I smiled to myself.
"Go on to your room and change into your nice slacks, Blake. And the light green shirt. Comb your hair, too!" I called as he ran into the house. He kicked his shoes off at the sliding door and disappeared upstairs. I strode over to the pink blanket on the ground. My granddaughter was sleeping on it, hands up by her face, legs still slightly bowed. My smile grew tenfold as I heard her tiny heart fluttering and her fast sleepy breaths. I loved my grandsons as much as any other man loved his. However, there was just something about this little girl that made me melt. She was only three months old, but she had already wormed her way into my heart irreplaceably.
"Come on, Gracie. Let's get you all prettied up for the party, little girl," I muttered to her as I scooped her into my arms without waking her up. I carried her to her room and changed into a dress Esme had gotten her especially for the party. A sleeveless dress with a pretty pink ribbon in the middle with flowers in front. The bottom was bordered with delicate pink flowers. White tights and black patent Mary Janes and a little pink flowery headband finished the ensemble and I managed not to wake her up. I put her in her carseat and carried her to Blake's room. Bella pulled up to the house at the same time I knocked on his door.
"Come on buddy. Gran's here."
"Just a sec!"
I went to the kitchen and poured Blake a sipper cup of apple juice for the car and put it in Grace's freshly-stocked diaper bag. Blake thundered down the stairs. He stood in front of me and scratched his leg. "It's itchy."
"I know. I packed you jeans for later. Let's get going." Blake tugged his juice out of the bag and I helped him get his shoes on—thankfully black tennis shoes—and headed to the car.
"How was he?" Bella asked once we were on the road.
"Good. He took his nap so he should last through the party."
Bella smiled and took my hand over the console of the car. "Thank you for watching them."
"My pleasure, Love. Did you get the tickets?" I asked.
"I did. Everything's in the trunk."
"Good. Good." I rested against the seat and closed my eyes happily while Blake chattered away about the party and Grace started snoring lightly.
Everything had changed since Bella and I had married. She had turned out to take naturally to vampirism. She hunted ferociously, she lost the humanness of her looks, taking on a hard body and golden eyes. Her hair changed back to its gorgeous chestnut brown, only more elegant and vibrant than her human years. She seemed to have visually lost about five years from her age, but still had to play Esme's older sister in most situations. It bothered her at first, but eventually my Bella accepted it. Grudgingly, yes, but she accepted it finally.
Nick declined being turned, when he fell in love with Natasha. They married, both at twenty-three years, and had Micah a year after, followed two years later by Blake, and lastly blessed three months ago with Grace. He was now twenty-seven, and he and Natasha owned a bookstore in Forks. We all gathered this weekend to celebrate Micah's seventh birthday. It was warm even for summertime, but overcast and muggy.
Everyone was most excited to see Kimber, who we hadn't seen in a couple of years after she had found a home in Denali with our family's old friends Eleazar and Carmen. She promised to be here for this. The selling point was the birth of Grace, though, and everyone knew it.
I felt rather than saw Bella smile. "No nomads this time, right?"
My own lips cricked up slightly. "Not to my knowledge. Ask Alice."
She chuckled. The party was going to be held in the field we played baseball in all those years ago. None of us had been there since, except Carlisle to show Nick and Tasha to approve for the party. Micah wanted to go camping for his birthday, so Carlisle and Esme had suggested this spot. It was tough to get to, but Tasha and Nick agreed it was perfect.
At the beginning of the hill, Bella parked with the other cars at the end of the path. The car wouldn't make it up, and Emmett had the Jeep for packing the humans up the huge hill. "I'll get Blake and the things if you get Grace."
Twist my arm, I thought.
I smiled and took her carseat from the base and held it tightly in my arms. Bella took a table out of the trunk and strapped it to her back sideways with a couple of bungee cords. She stuffed a large envelope in a pocket and slung Blake around her neck.
"Hang on tight, buddy," she said. She pecked me on the cheek and took off. I followed slightly slower, unnecessarily scared of harm coming to Grace. Up at the field Everyone had already assembled except for Esme and Carlisle, who were bringing Micah later, and Kimber. Damn girl was always late.
"Hey mom!" Nick called. He was setting up a table with Jasper. Blue and yellow decorations were in Rosalie and Tasha's hands, being strung with Alice's direction over a smaller table. Bella let Blake down and he ran to Emmett.
"Hi, Nick. Where do you want the table?"
"Ask Alice. I'm just the lackey."
Bella went to set up the food table and I took Grace out of her carseat. I tucked her in a blanket and cradled her in my arms as I went to watch Emmett and Blake play catch.
"Step into the throw, Blake. Like this," Emmett directed him.
Blake threw the ball back to Emmett with more success this time.
I came to Natasha when Grace started whimpering for food a few minutes later. Handing her over was almost physically painful. I went to Bella, talking with Alice and Jasper, and stood behind her with my arms wrapped around her waist.
"They should be here soon. Within five minutes." Alice's face had that triumphant, mischievous look on it that meant she was hiding something.
"Do you know what she's on about?" I asked Jasper.
"Even if I did you know I couldn't say," he responded with a smirk.
"Kimber?" Bella questioned.
She rolled her eyes in frustration and waved Alice off. She smiled and pranced off with Jasper to mingle.
"Love you," I whispered into Bella's ear. I ran my fingers over her shirt, loving the texture of the blue silk shirt around her waist. I loved these feminine fabrics she wore, so soft and inviting.
She sighed and leaned her head back on my chest. "Love you too."
I chuckled. "Where did you put your shoes?" This morning she had been up to my shoulder.
"Under the table. Stupid contraptions of death."
I rolled my eyes and smiled into her hair. She hated shoes, especially heels, even now. It couldn't be the discomfort or klutziness, now that she was changed, but she still despised them. Alice was constantly frustrated with Bella for it.
A smell to the west caught our attention.
"There she comes." Bella wrestled out of my grasp and took off for the scent. I followed a bit behind. Kimber appeared out of the trees with another familiar figure, fingers intertwined.
"Mom!" Kimber let go of her companion's hand and swept Bella in a long embrace.
"Tanya." I came to her and shook her hand. She scoffed and pulled me in for a hug. "Long time no see."
"You too. We weren't expecting you. Are the rest of your family coming?" I peeked around her on habit; of course I would have known they were coming beforehand.
"No. Just me." Her eyes cut to Kimber, talking to her mother at a speed to put Alice to shame. Tender thoughts came from Tanya.
Confusion made my brow wrinkle. "Not that I'm not glad you're here, but why are you? And with Kimber." I asked, dumbfounded. Kimber stopped mid-conversation and turned her head to me. She and Tanya met eyes briefly.
"What's this?" Bella asked, following Kimber's line of sight.
"Mom," she started, coming to stand next to Tanya again. "You remember Tanya?"
"Of course. Hi Tanya, nice to see you again."
"You, too Bella," she said with a smile, pulling Bella in for a hug also.
"So…what brings you here?" I asked Tanya. The only time a member of her family had come alone to visit ours was when Eleazar paid a visit to Carlisle.
Tanya smiled somewhat self-consciously. "Kimber."
I exchanged a confused look with Bella. It registered with her first when they joined hands again.
"Kimber! Why didn't you tell me? This is great! Congratulations." She was beaming at Kimber and Tanya, obviously extremely excited for them. I still didn't get it.
"Love, what's great? What's going on?"
She turned to me with a look that clearly told me I was being an idiot. I looked again at the two girls.
"Oh. Oh. Oh. Um…all right. Yes…congratulations."
"You have to excuse Mr. Victorian Age here. He doesn't quite understand the ways of our 21st century thinking." Bella's teasing made me bristle.
"I do understand. It just took me a minute. I've never known a lesbian couple of our kind."
Tanya giggled. "You're so cute when you're flustered!" Kimber and Bella laughed along with her and I glared at them and turned back to the party. It was time I checked on Grace anyway.
"Oh come on, Edward! We're just having a bit of fun!"
I waved them off and continued toward the party. I found Grace on a blanket on the ground next to Tasha, fast asleep. I could tell by Tasha's thoughts that I was close to striking a nerve, hogging Gracie like I had a tendency to do, so I backed off and found Alice.
I rapped her on the head with my knuckles. "That was very naughty of you, Alice. Keeping a secret like that."
"I didn't know you were going to make a fool of yourself. You need to make it up to Kimber, by the way. She thinks you don't approve," Alice whispered as the trio of women made their way into the clearing.
"I do approve. I'm happy for them. It was just a shock. How many other lesbian vampires have you come across?"
"None, admittedly. But they seem happy and that's all that matters. Promise me you'll talk to her. She's taking it kind of hard. And she asked Bella to block her and Tanya's thoughts from you," she warned.
Great. "All right. I promise I'll make it better." I gave Alice a pat on the head and draped an arm around her shoulders. We watched as Kimber snuck up behind Nick and pinned his arms down with one arm, then tickled him with her other hand. She scared the hell out of him and had him on the ground in three seconds, yelling his surrender.
"Hah! Got you, twerp!"
"Unfair advantage, you freak of nature."
Kimber let him go and stood, offering her hand to Nick. He refused it, getting up on his own, and the two embraced.
"Missed you," Nick said.
"Me too. Don't get all mushy on me though. What'll your wife think? Hey Tasha!" Kimber waved to Tasha, who gave a half-hearted wave back.
Tasha was a good woman, but jealous. The fact that Kimber and Nick weren't blood relatives made her uneasy, even though they thought of each other only as siblings. I gave kudos to Nick; he knew how his wife felt but refused to be different with his sister. It was something Tasha knew when they got married. Her jealousy had lessened, but never quite gone away. It had a tendency to flare whenever they touched.
I wondered if Tanya being in the picture now would make any difference.
"Nana faster!" Alice and I heard Micah coming up the hill with Esme and Carlisle. Everyone gathered around the birthday cake, a monstrous topsy-turvy design based on Mickey Mouse by Esme. Primary colors, sharp shapes, a leaning look. It was basically Micah in a cake.
They came into the clearing, Micah hanging onto Esme tight, a huge grin on his face. As she slowed, he waved to everyone. When she put him down he went straight to his sister and checked on her with the same obsessiveness I did. Then he ran to his cake.
"Omigod this is so cool! Nan you did so good can I eat it now? Please please please?"
Nick laughed. "Hang on Micah. Just wait a few minutes and you can blow out your candles."
Esme and Carlisle greeted Kimber and Tanya; they accepted the couple with more tact than I had. Damn I really had messed that up, hadn't I? I would have to talk with them as soon as I could.
Tasha set up the candles on the cake and we sang to Micah. Bella blocked me out when he made his wish.
"What was that for?" I whispered to her.
"If you know what his wish is, it won't come true."
I nuzzled my face into the crook of her neck. She was so sweet.
A campfire had been built, the tent for Nick and Tasha had been set up and the one for the boys was in progress. Tasha was bundling up Grace for the run back to the car and making sure there were enough bottles of pumped milk to last her the night and next morning.
"That should be enough, Edward. If not you can give her some formula. There should be some in the house," she said absentmindedly.
"Yes, there is. Don't worry, Tasha. She'll be fine. She's not the first baby I've had overnight," Bella laughed.
"I know. Ok. You got everything all right?" she asked again.
"Yes. Go enjoy the camping. We'll be back tomorrow around eleven."
Nick and Tasha asked us to watch Grace for the night. Esme and Carlisle decided to stay there the night. Emmett, Rose, Alice, and Jasper had left already. Kimber and Tanya were leaving with us; they had run from Alaska.
After the cake he opened presents. I have to say, I think ours won. Tickets to Disney Land, complete with the reservations at the castle hotel for a week. I think Micah about passed out when he opened the envelope.
"We'll see you tomorrow," Bella promised. She kissed Tasha and Nick on the cheek, took the diaper bag and set off. I gathered Grace's carseat in my arms and nodded to them before following behind Bella. The girls weren't far behind me.
Back at Nick's house, I put Grace in her crib to sleep. When I came downstairs Bella was out with Tanya on the porch, talking. Kimber was in the den, using the computer. I joined her in there and put a hand on her shoulder.
"What's up?" she asked without looking away from the computer. She worked as a game tester now; she had one of the games up on her screen, blasting some dragon-looking thing with a blue electric ray. "This game sucks. It's just a Warcraft knockoff. It's exactly the same with shitty graphics," she said into a microphone attached to her head. I heard the voice on the other end respond in the affirmative. The dragon died soon after. "That was a boss fight? Lame, that was too easy!"
"Can I talk to you, please, Kimber?"
She sighed. "Leo, I'm going afk for a few. Be right back." She hit a button on her screen and her character, a blue creature with huge ears, wisped into the shadows.
Huh. I would never understand video games.
Kimber spun around in the chair and looked at me with a raised eyebrow. "What's up?" she repeated. Her tone and crossed arms radiated hostility. I put my arms behind my back in a show of non-threat. She uncrossed her arms and rolled her eyes. "Look I got a lot of work to do. I don't have time for all this 'I promise I'm not a threat by body language' crap ok? Just tell me what's going on."
Kimber never got why body language between vampires was a big deal; she had never run into a very territorial one. The only ones of our kind she had come across were civilized—our family or the one in Denali. Jasper taught her what to do if she ever did run across a nomadic one of our kind, but she tended to have a very human way of expressing herself around family.
"I wanted to apologize for my behavior earlier. It's not that I don't approve of you and Tanya. It was just a shock. It was really the last thing I was expecting."
"What do you expect of me?" Her tone was defensive.
I sighed hard. "I'm going about this the wrong way. The only thing I expect of you is that you are happy with your choices—"
"And Tanya makes me happy," she interrupted.
"I'm sure she does. I'm not disputing that. I never was. If you're happy with her, then I'm one hundred percent supportive of you both." I sat on the couch next to the bookshelf across from Kimber. "The way I was raised, it was a horrible thing for two of the same sex to be together, I admit that. But you have to remember, I was there during the sexual revolution. Through gay rights movements, everything. I was in those people's heads the whole time and I know how it feels. In the eighties and nineties especially, I kept tabs on many thoughts of young gay people in my schools. You wouldn't believe what I heard. I think I stopped around twenty suicides.
"So you need to keep that in mind. If you and Tanya love each other, that's wonderful. I don't care who you're with as long as you're well-cared for and happy. It was just a shock earlier. And then Bella started making fun of me and you know how I get when my pride is damaged," I chuckled. That got a smile out of Kimber.
"Thanks, Edward." It means a lot.
I nodded. "Mostly it was unexpected from Tanya. She's not exactly quiet about her…conquests. She bragged to me on many occasions about the men she'd had and never once had a meaningful relationship. She never wanted one." I smiled. "I'm happy she found it with you."
"I love her. She's everything to me. She feels the same way about me."
"Kim, you coming back soon? I have a wedding to get ready for in two hours. I gotta wrap this up," Kimber's gaming companion called through the headphones that lay on the desk.
Kimber picked the headset up and spoke into the microphone. "Yeah, just a sec." She turned back to me. "I have to go. This guy's in Australia. He's on a completely different time clock. I'll be out there in a bit, ok?"
"Take your time." I stood from the couch and bent to place a kiss on Kimber's head. She swiveled back to the computer and I left the room. Tanya came in as I left. I gave her a smile and she thanked me.
I found Bella sitting on the couch, feet curled under her, Wuthering Heights in her hand. I smiled at her. "Don't you have that memorized by now?"
She smiled, not looking up from the book as I sat next to her and leaned into her side.
"The smell of the book adds to the story."
I tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "I just spoke with Kimber."
"I heard. Thank you. She was worried most about what you would think."
"Why didn't she tell us earlier?"
Bella closed the book and rested her head against mine.
"I just talked about that with Tanya. She loved Tanya from the beginning. Tanya…didn't want to accept the feelings she had for Kimber until recently. When they finally were together, Kimber wanted some privacy to revel in her—victory, if that's what you want to call it." She had a smile in her voice.
"Sounds familiar," I whispered.
Bella squirmed us so she was lying on her back on the couch, myself on top of her with my chin resting on her stomach. There was something about Bella's tummy that I loved. I don't know what it was but I loved to rest my head, my hands on it. Feel it.
I thought back through the years. Thirty-four years ago I met Bella. I remembered how I had hated her to begin with. This angel of destruction brought to bring me my own personal hell. I grew to love her. I protected her, held her, kissed her. How many times had I thought I was doing the right thing for her, when I was only digging a hole for myself? Too many times to count. Leaving her was the cataclysm of my obsession with keeping her safe, despite what was best for her. I thought about those ten years of hell. Shuddered to think of the things I did. I nearly tore our family apart for seven years before returning from Somalia, dirty, broken, and almost catatonic with grief. It took me three years to be able to be around humans again without going crazy, looking for Bella in every crowd.
And the first school we went to, back in the monotonous façade of normalcy, who was my teacher?
I never believed in fate before that day. I vowed I would make it up to her, to get her back whatever it took. I never wanted to harm a man as much as I wanted to hurt Josh. How many times had I fantasized about ripping his throat out with my bare hands? Possessiveness over my mate took over every function of my brain. It was only love, the true unselfish love, that kept me from doing it every time I saw him.
But I won her in the end. I won my Bella. And I kept her. And I married her, and I changed her. There was no part of her, heart, body, soul, that I did not get to keep forever.
"What are you thinking about?" Bella brought me out of my musings.
I smiled up at her. "Ancient history." I burrowed my face into her belly, consuming her scent. She ran her fingers through my hair.
"How much time until Grace wakes up to be fed?"
I shrugged. "Probably an hour and a half."
She wiggled her eyebrows at me. She darted her eyes out the window to the woods behind the house.
"Do we have enough time?" I smirked at the mischievous look on her face.
"We have all the time in the world."
I stood and took her hand and we ran out of the house into the woods.
Oh, I would never tire of making love to my Bella.
~*~ Right Vs. Good ~*~
~*~ The End ~*~
Thank you all! Look out for outtakes-I may do them to keep writer's block at bay while writing my next story!