I don't own Twilight.

Song: "These Are The Days" by Van Morrison


Up Love's Creek

~Epilogue~

Anthony helped his wife out of the limo when they pulled into their driveway. It had been a lovely anniversary trip to Paris. But now that he was back home, his focus would have to be on the coming elections. There was much to do to gain the position he felt rightly belonged to him. He also wanted to speak with his son to make sure that Edward, now free from that dreadful girl, was on the right track to a future that would live up to the Cullen name. A future that would make Anthony proud.

However, when Anthony stepped inside his very large, very posh home, he could hear the sounds of giggling and music coming from the family room. Looking back to his wife that stood behind him with a confused look upon her face, Anthony ground his teeth in irritation. Edward knew how he felt about having yet another one of his little sluts over. Here we go again, Anthony thought, as he walked down the hallway, through the kitchen and into the family room.

Upon entering the room, Anthony felt his vision go red. A vein in his forehead began to pulse.

"What in God's name is going on here?" He bellowed out, his voice carrying off the marble floors, causing Isabella to fall off the sofa. Just as she had done a time before.

Edward, always the smart-ass, smiled up at his parents while leaning down to pick the girl up off the floor. Shirtless. His son was shirtless, and looking like he had the world at his feet.

"Hello parental unit. Welcome home! Bring me anything?"

Edward watched as his father's face went from red to purple in anger. Here we go, he thought as he stood helping Bella up. As she handed him his shirt, Edward prepared himself for what was to come. He had told himself it was for the best to get right to it when his mother and father came home.

He felt Bella move closer to him, taking her hand in his, he gave it a soft squeeze.

Things between Edward and Bella remained the same as they had all their lives. Which meant even though they were fiercely in love, they still fought all the time. In Bella's opinion, and Edward's too, things were perfectly imperfect. But now that they stood before the man who had hurt them both, they felt unsure and nervous.

"Care to explain to me what is going on?" Anthony asked.

"That's easy. Bella and I were just hanging out. You remember Bella, don't you, pops? My girlfriend." The words were spoken in a calm manner, but Edward's voice held a dark, angry undertone.

Anthony shook his head, refusing to believe this. "No. No way are you two still seeing one another."

"Actually, we are. And we're very happy together. There's been a few changes in my life. Maybe you'd like to hear them? For starters, Law school is out. Bella and I will be going to school together. I don't know exactly what I want to do- just that it involves music. And Bella." Edward put his arm around a blushing, nervous Bella. "She's apart of my life now. And if I have my way, will be for a very, very long time. I'm done trying to live by your standards, Anthony."

"Don't you disrespect me, Edward. I'm still your father." Anthony pointed a finger at his son.

"No. You lost that right when you betrayed me. You stopped being my dad when you tried to take away the one thing that I needed most in my life. The one thing that means more to me than anything else." Edward looked down at Isabella as she mouthed the words I love you.

"I will not have you throw away your future for nothing."

"That's just it- it's My future. Not yours. And the only way I would be throwing it away was if I allowed you to force me into a life, a career, I didn't want. Bella is apart of my life now. A huge part. Get used to it. Or don't get used to it. Either way, I don't give a rat's ass." Edward shrugged his shoulders.

"How dare you speak to me this way. This is your fault! You've poisoned my only son against me." Anthony raised his voice and turned his anger towards Bella.

"No, Mr. Cullen. You did that all by yourself when you put your needs and wants above Edward's happiness. As his father you should have put his needs first. But your blind hatred for anything you don't understand is the reason you're losing your son. Unlike you, I would never try and hurt Edward by taking him away from the people he loves. And I would never lie and manipulate him as you have."

Anthony turned to his son, eyes narrowed. "I will not allow you to disgrace this family by being involved with this.. this.." His hand waved towards Bella, his eyes roaming over her as if she were a pest.

"Careful, old man. One more word against her and we're through for good. And if anyone disgraced this family it was you by trying to frame Bella. Making it look like she was blackmailing you was about as low as you can get. How could you do that to me?"

At that, Anthony's face drained of all its color.

"Yeah, I know all about it." Edward sneered.

"What, blackmail? Anthony, what's he talking about?" Elizabeth, bless her heart, was looking from Edward, to Bella back to her husband. Clearly not having a clue what her worst half had been up to.

"You end things with her now." He said ignoring his wife's questions. "Right this minute, Edward, or so help me God, I will disown you."

"Anthony!" Elizabeth gasped, hand clutching at her pearls.

"I mean it. I won't pay for a single thing. School, car, iphone, credit cards all gone. Nothing. You will have nothing. You think you can make it on your own? Think she'll still want you when you're flipping burgers at some grease-hole? I can make it happen. Should be try and see?"

"You most certainly will not." Edward's mother's voice rang out across the room as she stepped between father and son.

"Stay out of this, Elizabeth." He waved a hand dismissively at her.

"I will not. Seems like my 'staying out of it' has only served you in your pursuit to push our son away from us."

"Damn it, Elizabeth, she is nothing but poor white trash! I won't have our good name ruined by some little whore who sees dollar signs whenever she looks at us! This ends now."

"Shut up, Anthony. Just shut the hell up!"

The room went very quiet.

Anthony stood there shocked. Completely dumbfounded by his wife's outburst. "Lizzie, have you lost your mind? You've never spoken to me in that tone before. I've never even heard you say a curse word before now."

"Well, perhaps I am way over due, damn it." Mrs. Cullen looked proud as she stood up a little taller, smoothing a hand over her already perfectly in-place hair. "My son will not be 'disowned' as you so viciously put it. Nor will he be flipping burgers just to barely make ends meet." She held up a hand when her husband looked as if he might butt in." In case you have forgotten, Tony, my family has more money than yours could ever dreamed of owning."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean? We're keeping score now?" Anthony crossed his arms over his silk tie.

"Meaning I brought in more money to this marriage. Meaning that I am sick and tired of playing the stupid little housewife that dotes on you, never having any say. Not this time. Not my son. Edward will always be well taken care of. If not by his stubborn ass of a father, then by his mother. No son of mine will ever do without. Not as long as I have the means to help." She stepped closer to her husband, shaking with anger, she was. "And honey, my means will last a helluva lot longer than yours. And for as long as this young lady has a place in my son's heart, she has a place in our lives. Deal with it." She raised one elegant eyebrow at her husband in challenge. Even Anthony wasn't that bullheaded. He folded up like a cheap suitcase.

Mrs. Cullen turned to the kids who stood there eyes wide, mouths open. "Now then. Isabella, would you like to join me in my rose garden for some tea?"

X

"I think that went well."

Laughing, Bella turned to look behind her. She and Edward were sitting at the edge of her dock a few hours after the whole debacle. Or, as Bella was calling it, 'The fall of Anthony'. Bella's back was to Edward's chest. She could feel his heat, his scent was all around her. She was blissfully happy.

"Cullen, are you high? That was the most drama-filled afternoon I've ever been a part of!"

She could feel his nose in her hair. The wind was blowing, the sun was setting, casting orange, pink and yellow rays to dance across the dark blue water as it lapped beneath them.

Summer was almost over.

"Okay, so maybe it was a little crazy. But I feel…"

Turning in his arms, Bella looked up into his stunningly handsome face. "You feel what?" She asked at his pause.

"Like a weight as been lifted. I did it. I stood up to him." Edward had this look of amazement on his face.

"Of course you did. You had any doubt?" She asked him softly.

Tucking a wild hair that had gotten loose from her hairclip behind her ear, he nodded.

"Yeah. All my life that man has ruled with an iron fist and a shield of guilt. I never thought I would be able to stand up to him in a way that wouldn't force me out on the streets."

"Your mom was pretty awesome, that's for damn sure." Bella smiled.

"Who knew my little mother had that in her."

They both sat in silence for a moment. Just enjoying the sounds of creek life. The air was sweet with the smell of a new coming season. The cattails swayed to and fro in the cooling breeze. The dock under them was still warm from the afternoon sunshine. Edward closed his eyes and pulled Bella a little closer to him.

He was so fucking thankful for her. He wouldn't have survived it if he had lost her over something so stupid.

"Now what?" Bella asked.

Placing a kiss to her temple, he said, "Now we rock out our last year of high school together, and then it's on to college. That is, if you still want to go with me?"

Bella smiled at the unsure tone to his voice. She touched his jaw, kissing his lips softly.

"Silly Cullen. Of course I still want to. I would go anywhere with you."

"I feel the same way." He whispered into her ear. "New England it is then."

They both let out a happy sigh. It was a fresh start for them. To live life on their own terms. To not be bogged down by unrealistic expectations, rumors, or memories of the past. But to create new memories, to meet their own expectations head on, to just be happy. Together.

"You do realize that Alice and Jasper are coming along, right?" He asked as he kissed her neck.

Bella giggled. Alice had told her that once besties, always besties. She felt so lucky to have not only gained true love, but a best friend and a sister like Alice.

"Alice is a force. She's going to drive us all crazy. But at least we can be crazy together." Edward said as he played with her hair.

Looking out at the water that had filled her childhood, the creek that had been there through all the tears, laughter and angst of her teens, she smiled. She fell in love on this creek. She found friendships that she just knew would last a lifetime. And even though she was leaving it behind, Bella knew that if at any time she needed to come back, to remember where she came from, she could. Love's Creek would always be here, winding its way through the lives, and loves of her hometown and its people.

"I wouldn't have it any other way."


A/N: A huge thank you to everyone who read, reviewed and pimped out this story. I was blown away by your kindness. Thank you so much for taking the time- it truly means the world to me! =)

This story will have a O/S of ExB later on sometime in the future. It will show how our Creek couple is doing years later as grown ups. Oh, I think you'll get a kick out of it ;) So put me on Author alert if you wish to do so. Thank you my loves!