Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Twilight characters or the rights to "Awake My Soul" as performed by Mumford & Sons, and I will not be earning income from using these materials. I do, however, own the storyline and any original characters. Thank you.


Epilogue:
Free My Soul

Lend me your hand, and we'll conquer them all. Lend me your heart, and I'll just let you fall. Lend me your eyes; I can change what you see. But your soul you must keep totally free.

"Awake My Soul" – Mumford & Sons

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Three Years Later

Forever

The sun is brilliant and perfect, and she doesn't know how she would live without it. Its beams stretch through her hair, highlighting deep ebony strands with light chocolate, freckling her peach pale skin with bits of circular brown. The books in her arms are heavy, but the breeze flits across her face, bringing the sea with it, the salt scent of the shore and the whole of his touch, lighting on her with every step she takes.

Santa Monica is not Miami.

It is not her place of want, her self-discovery, but she is safe here. She is free here. And this is what matters most.

Rays of pale orange and yellow hang in the horizon, filtering through the windows as she slides the key home, steps inside. It's immediate, the sensation of his hands, falling over her face, weaving through her hair, and she longs for his touch, slipping through her, into her, tracing her every breath.

The fading sunset lights up the living room, the soft beiges and calm whites which take no color but have given all of their love to the accents in the room, to her calm demeanor and the touches of warm red.

Her books are stacked, four high on the countertop, lessons put aside for another hour. This hour, when the twilight comes and the clouds whisper on the wind, when the waves lap at the shore and pull at the pebbles, kissing the beach in a final goodnight before low tide … this is their hour.

The lock twists, the handle slips easily beneath her hand.

It's windy tonight, this ocean breeze, salted and pure, kind and alluring. It sweeps her hair across her face, as gentle as his fingers, and she misses him, the sharp pain in her chest a warm sliver in her heart. Her hands are cold on the wrought iron. She leans into the briny wind, the waves a calm peace.

"Be careful, love. Can't have you falling over board, can we?"

His voice is smooth and clear, his arms warm around her waist, pulling her from the brink, her harmonizing weight, her balancing point.

"You'd save me," she laughs, hiding her chilled limbs in his warmth. "You always have."

"No, Bella. You saved yourself. And me."

Her chin is in his hands, her hair fluttering against his cheek, winding around his neck, sleek strands aflame in sunlit beams. "I love you, Marie Dawn Masen." Red spills onto the high bones of her face, shy smiles mingling with the brushes of hope against her spine.

"I love you, Anthony David Masen."

Suddenly, she is twisted, pressed against him, aligned curve for curve, his arms catching her close, stealing her breath. Her hands stretch, flat against his chest, just left of his heart, scars of a life left behind. His lips brush against her nose, linger on the edge of her mouth.

"I will forever love you, Isabella Marie Cullen."

He is warm and fresh, mouth pressing, stealing away every hurt, erasing every scar, renewing her every thought, and she is learning.

There is freedom in love and in trust.

He is her hands, her eyes, her heart; they are fallen and tumbling over themselves like brilliant sun on warm summer grasses.

But her soul is her own.

She is free.