AN: Here is the epilogue. :)
"The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis & the News (1985)
"Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton (1977 - I'm a cheater)
"Amanda" by Boston (1986)
"I've Had the Time of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes (1987)
The playlist contains 55 songs and it's so fun to listen to. I hope you've enjoyed it!
www. playlist. com/ playlist/ 21268302091
The Time of My Life
One year later
"We now pronounce you husband and wife," the minister announced.
Applause erupted in the tiny church as Emmett grabbed Rosalie and pulled her into his arms. The kiss was not appropriate for church (or public), but the guests just chuckled and shielded the eyes of the innocent children as the happy couple greeted the world as Mr. and Mrs. Emmett Swan.
Luckily for me, myinnocentchild was sleeping peacefully in my arms, completely oblivious to the graphic scene taking place at the altar.
The bridesmaids made their way back down the aisle, and my eyes locked with Bella's. She smiled softly as she walked to the back of the church. I knew she wouldn't be away for long. Neither of us could stand to be away from the baby for more than a few minutes.
Amanda Jade Cullen was the biggest and best surprise of our lives. The morning after our wedding had found Bella hugging the toilet as I called my father in a blind panic. He'd promised me that Bella wasn't dying and then gently encouraged me to buy a pregnancy test.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Bella didn't have the easiest of pregnancies. Her blood pressure had begun to spike during her seventh month, and after much discussion and many tears, she had decided to take a leave of absence from the wedding business. Alice had taken care of everything at work (including the planning of Emmett and Rose's second wedding) while I tried everything in my power to keep Bella relaxed during the last two months of her pregnancy. She became obsessed with yoga and journaling, and two months later, our beautiful baby girl was born. She has her mother's big brown eyes and brown hair, and she was named after the 80s song by Boston and not the 1974 song by Barry Manilow. (Incidentally, I like Manilow, but it's important to Bella that the distinction between the two is made.)
"She slept through that racket?" Charlie grinned as he sat down against the pew and reached for his granddaughter. His tie was already off and hanging limply around the collar of his suit.
"She can sleep through anything," I chuckled as I watched his arms wrap around our baby girl.
Charlie was the epitome of the doting grandparent – as were my parents who were already looking into buying a house in the city. They'd decided that they lived too far away from their children and grandchildren. Renee had visited, as well, and her relationship with Bella was slowly but surely being repaired.
We waited patiently while the wedding party posed for pictures, and an hour later, the crowd flowed toward the reception hall where Henry was already plugged into an amp. He had been invited to play guitar with Marcus's band today and was playing lead guitar during his parents' first dance. He'd been practicing Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" for the past two months. Of course, it wasn't as good as the original, but it was close enough to make his music teacher very proud. I offered him a supportive fist bump before making my way to the head table.
"Where is our child?" Bella grinned as I took my place at her side.
"With her grandfather, of course."
Bella giggled as she leaned close and tenderly kissed me on the cheek. "Have I told you how handsome you look tonight?"
"Yes, but feel free to tell me again."
With a mischievous glint in her eye, Bella leaned close to my ear.
"You are so sexy, and I want to do dirty things to you, Mr. Cullen."
I swallowed anxiously and tried to remember today's date.
"Has it been six weeks?" I asked hopefully.
Bella nodded excitedly, and it was all I could do not to drag her out of the church.
I probably shouldn't have done that, but I just couldn't help myself. He looked so good in his suit, and it had been so long…
"Someone wants her parents," Charlie whispered as he made his way over to us. Nestled in his arms was the light of our lives, and she looked very sleepy and very unhappy.
"Hi, baby girl," I murmured softly. Mandi yawned, and it was amazing how just that simple bodily function could completely melt my heart.
"Let's go home," Edward whispered in my ear, and I laughed quietly as Mandi snuggled against my chest and closed her eyes.
"We can't go home," I said with a grin. "I'm the matron of honor, and I have a speech to give. Besides, I don't want to miss Henry's song."
He pretended to pout, but he couldn't fool me. I knew he was excited about Henry's song, too.
When it was time for my speech, I gently placed our sleeping child back into Edward's arms before standing and smiling into the eyes of my brother and my friend. They had come so far in the last year, and I was so proud to stand by her side today as she re-pledged her life to my brother and to their son.
"If I've learned nothing else in the past year," I began, "I've learned that life is spectacular and spontaneous. I've learned that you can't really plan for anything because you can't predict what will happen tomorrow. I've also learned that you never really fall out of love with your first love, and that sometimes you get a second chance to spend the rest of your life with that one person that your heart just can't live without."
I smiled down at my husband who was watching me with warm, loving eyes. In the crowd, I found the faces of my parents, and they were beaming with pride.
"Emmett, I'm so happy for you. You're the best brother in the world. Rosalie, you are my sister and my friend, and I was proud to stand beside you today. In your eyes, my brother has found his heart's only option. Congratulations."
"Congratulations," the crowd murmured as they raised their glasses in salute.
Emmett pulled Rose onto the dance floor for their first dance, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house as Henry played for his parents.
After the traditional dances and the cutting of the cake, I was more than ready to make a getaway. Miraculously, Mandi had slept through the entire reception – despite being passed back and forth between the grandparents and Aunt Alice and Uncle Jasper throughout the evening.
"Go dance with your husband," Alice instructed me, and I turned to find my husband standing on the dance floor. A slow grin spread across his face as the lead singer of Marcus's band began to sing the first verse of "I've Had the Time of My Life."
I sighed dreamily as I took Edward's hand.
"Alright, I know you planned this one," I smiled up at him as he pulled me close to his chest.
"I might have planned this one," Edward admitted with a grin.
As we slow danced to the not-so-slow song, I couldn't help but think that life was crazy, chaotic, and wonderful. In the sanctuary of this room, I could see the most important facets of my life.
Weddings. Friends. Family.
To feel so much love was overwhelming, and I didn't realize I was crying until Edward gently brushed a tear away from my cheek.
"Are you happy?" he asked as he pressed his forehead to mine.
"The time of my life," I smiled happily through my tears.
"And I owe it all to you," Edward murmured tenderly.
So many people to thank.
First and foremost, thanks to Shaina, my beta, for being one of my best friends and keeping me sane. I love you, girl.
Thanks to Kathie and Krista for pre-reading. I appreciate your input so much.
To my readers – words cannot express how humbled I am by your support. Whether you read, recommended songs for the playlist, reviewed, rec'd this story on your blog, tweeted, hosted read alongs, made banners (thanks Heather), or made blinkies (thanks RoseArcadia)…please know that I am so touched, and that I thank you.
I have started a new story called "Pros and Cons." I hope you check it out. I am also donating one-shots to various causes, so be on the look out for those, as well.
Thank you for reading!