Lies of the Soul
~Epilogue – Right Here~
"Edward and I are captains," Emmett announced.
"No way, what makes you guys captains?" Jacob protested.
"Because, I'm the law in these parts, so that means, what I say goes," Emmett said smugly.
"Since I'm feeling charitable, I'll let you pick first bro."
"Cool," I said and looked at my options standing in front of me. "I pick….Benny."
I stared at Bella with a smirk, as she scowled from my choice. I knew she was expecting me to pick her first, but it was payback from when she picked Jake over me as kids, and she knew it.
"I'm going to pick my beautiful wife Rose first. Because that's what good husbands do," Emmett said while shooting me a suggestive glare.
"Ok, for my second pick, I choose….Charlie." Bella huffed as Charlie came to my side and slapped a high five with Benny.
Emmett shook his head knowing Bella was going to give me hell later. "Come on Nahuel, come play on your old man's team," Emmett called to his son who was playing his hand held video game on the bench close by.
"Not now dad, I'm on the fifth level," Nahuel said. Rose and Emmett adopted Nahuel from Brazil eight years before, and even though they adored him, Emmett was always trying to get him interested in sports, but he just never was.
"Fine, Jazz, you're with me," Emmett said a little disappointed.
Bella crossed her arms in front of me and raised her eyebrows waiting for me to call her name, but I wasn't finished messing with her yet.
"Alice," I said with a huge grin.
"Oh, come on. You picked Alice over me?" Bella said frustrated.
"What? She's a great pitcher," I said defensively.
"I'm a great pitcher," she practically yelled back.
"Dude, you're going to end up in the dog house," Emmett whispered to me before making his pick. "Seth," he called. Seth and Leah became Bella and Emmett's step siblings, since Sue and Charlie got married, and we all got along really well.
And then I decided to piss Bella off even more. "Jake," I said with a smile. Jake and Bella looked at each other stunned, and then he reluctantly ran over to my team.
"That was a low blow Edward, even for you," Alice said from behind me, but Bella stayed quiet.
"Sue," Emmett called.
"Dad, pick Claire," Benny whispered to me.
"Claire," I called, even though I was really hoping Emmett would have picked her instead. Claire was actually a really great baseball player, probably even better than Benny, but I was still uncomfortable with the closeness of Benny and Claire's relationship. They were both twelve years old, and their relationship seemed to be moving past the 'best friends' phase and I was constantly freaking out about it.
"You know, I'm really offended that we're the last to be picked," Leah said to Bella. "We're better then all of them put together."
"They know that; why do you think they haven't picked us yet," Bella said back to her.
"They just don't like to be shown up."
"Bro, do you want me to pick Bella?" Emmett asked me quietly.
"Not if you want to live to see tomorrow," I replied casually.
"Leah," Emmett called.
There she was, standing alone, the last to be picked. Bella was always on a different level than everyone else and even after thirteen years; she never quite fit in with the rest of us. Not only was she better than everyone else at everything, but even the way she looked was different. Rose was beautiful the way a Barbie doll was, Leah was beautiful in the fierce athletic way, and Alice was beautiful in the bubbly fine featured delicate way. Bella's beauty was different, and I could never quite put it to adequate words. It wasn't obvious like the others, but none of them could ever compare. People were just entranced by her, and I had many who tried to take her from me over the years, but I was never worried. We were solid, and neither of us were ever even attracted to other people. We rarely fought about anything anymore, although picking her last for baseball might change that. As she glared at me angrily, I was suddenly really regretting my joke.
"Bella," I finally said, so she stomped her way over to our group and kissed Benny on the head, but refused to look at me.
Our team was at bat first, so Benny went up to hit. We all watched Benny hit the ball towards center field, but after he made it to second base, I tried to make my peace with my wife.
"Babe?" I said sheepishly.
She was watching the game and speaking casually with Charlie, and completely ignoring me.
"Bella, come on, it was just a joke," I said apologetically. I scooted closer to her on the bench and kissed her neck. I half expected her get up and walk away, but she didn't move, so I decided to push my luck and kiss her again. This time, she leaned her head to the opposite side to give me more access to her neck. I smiled and kissed her again and again, trailing my mouth up her neck until she finally turned toward me and let me kiss her on the lips.
She parted her lips and let my tongue enter her mouth to greet hers, and…
"Oh gross," Benny said disgusted after he made it to home plate.
"Why is it gross for me to kiss my wife?" I asked him slightly bitter because Bella pulled away from me. "You kiss your cousin, now that's gross."
"She's not my cousin, and I do not kiss her," Benny said embarrassed.
"But you want to, don't you? By the way, she's not allowed in your bedroom with the door shut anymore."
"That's not fair," he protested.
"Life's not fair," I said with a smirk, unwilling to let him change my mind.
"Mom?" he asked, looking for help.
She put her hands up. "Nope, I'm staying out of this one."
"Come on Claire, let's get out of here," Benny said bitterly.
"Hey, we're in the middle of a game, if you both leave we'll be down two players."
"I don't care, come on Claire."
Claire got up and followed Benny as he sulked off.
"Claire?" Jake said as she left without saying a word. "I swear Masen, your kid better not corrupt her."
I opened my mouth to argue with his threat, but then I thought better of it. Out of the two of them, Benny was definitely the one to cause more trouble. Claire just followed him around and did whatever he wanted; I shook my head at the thought.
"They're cousins, so they wouldn't do anything…stupid, right?" I asked mostly myself, but Jake answered my rhetorical question.
"But they're not cousins genetically….If that punk gets her pregnant, I'm going to…"
"They're twelve years old," Bella said annoyed by our concerns.
"Kids start doing things a lot younger these days," Charlie chimed in. Jake and I just glared at him, but Bella rolled her eyes. "If I were you, I'd be more worried about those two," he said, pointing at Nahuel and Carlie sitting on the bench.
"Oh dad," Bella said annoyed, then walked over to talk to Alice.
"They're only ten and they hate each other," I said, not understanding Charlie's warning.
"They may pretend to hate each other, but when they think no one else is looking, they're always gawking at the other."
"They're cousins!" I said frustrated at my father in-law.
In truth, none were actually biologically related, but what difference did that make? Claire was my kids' cousin because her mother Leah was Bella's step sister, and Nahuel was adopted by Emmett and Rose. Not to mention that they were all way too young to be thinking about that sort of thing.
Claire was very much a tomboy, just like her mother Leah was, and when Bella and I had our daughter Carlie, we were convinced that she would be too, but we were way off. Carlie was the prissiest girly girl that I had ever seen. She hated sports and insisted on always wearing dresses, refusing to get the slightest bit dirty. Bella had a harder time dealing with the girly stuff then I did. I actually loved seeing my baby girl in her dance recitals and cheer competitions.
"You did say that you were just as girly before your mom went all crazy on you," I'd tell Bella when she'd get a horrified expression from the frilly dresses Carlie would pick out.
"I know, I know," she'd agree. "Thank god for crazy mothers," she said under her breath.
Bella's mother was unexplainably released from the mental hospital in Florida, so Charlie decided to press charges. He hated Renee with a passion, and after what she did to his daughter, there was no way he'd ever be ok with her being free to hurt anyone else. She was charged with falsifying legal documents, and child neglect and endangerment. Upon her arrest, she was mentally evaluated and was sentenced to another mental facility.
As much as I hated the way Bella suffered at the hands of her mother, I was actually slightly grateful too. Looking back on our childhood, I realized that our relationship would have been different if she was allowed to be herself. Though I didn't have a doubt that we would have ended up together either way, we just wouldn't have been as close as children as we were when I thought she was a boy. I told her things that I never would have if I knew the truth, which is one of the reasons why I was angry when I initially found out. But in the long run, I knew it made us closer than we ever would have been otherwise.
What was based on a lie, I realized was just fate. Everything happened for a reason, and although I wished I could take some things back, I knew they were all just bumps in the road to get us where we are today.
When Renee was deemed mentally unfit to live on her own, Charlie dropped the charges so she could be put in a hospital that wasn't run by the prison system. He hated doing it, but he knew that despite everything, Bella and Alice loved their mother, so he did it for them.
I paid for Renee to be put in the Port Angeles Mental Health Hospital. It was expensive because it was one of the best facilities in the country, but it was worth it because Bella and Alice had their mother close by, and were able to visit her as often as they wanted.
Alice and Jasper had a daughter they named Dakota Jane, but decided they didn't want any other kids and were happy with just one. She was five and had more attitude then all the kids combined, but all the older kids completely doted on her. They still lived in Seattle, but came to visit often.
Besides Nahuel, Rose and Emmett had a three year old daughter named Bree, who they adopted from Russia. She was a very shy quiet little girl, who Carlie dressed up and used as her own living doll. All of our kids pretty much got along, with the exception of Carlie and Nahuel. I really hoped Charlie was wrong about them, because neither Emmett nor I would be ok with them dating one day.
"Ok Babe, your turn to bat," I told Bella. She kissed me quickly and then walked to the plate. I loved watching her play baseball, partly because her ass looked so good in the tight pants, but mainly because she was still so good at it.
Jasper was pitching, and he was pretty good, but he was no match for Bella.
"Homerun!" I shouted as her ball went souring over the back fence.
As she ran the bases smugly, I waited for her at home plate to kiss her when she returned there. Maybe she wasn't smug, maybe I was smug for her.
"Boo-ya! In your face Em!" I gloated.
"Next time I'm picking her for my team!" Emmett yelled back from outfield.
"No way, next time I'm captain," Bella said as we sat back down and watched the next hitter.
With Bella's grand slam, Emmett's team couldn't catch up and we won the game easily.
"We'll get you next time," Em said feebly knowing that unless Bella was on his team, they didn't really stand a chance.
We tried to get together for a big family game once a month, but we were all pretty busy and didn't always manage to pull it all together.
My company was flourishing and we were the top agency in the state, thanks to my wonderful Executive Manager Esme. Esme and Carlisle had become good friends of ours over the years due to our working relationship, and because they didn't have any kids of their own, they were like surrogate grandparents for Benny and Carlie.
I saw my father regularly, and though we'd never be as close as a father and son should be, we were cordial and much friendlier than I ever would have believed.
Life was amazing, and I couldn't ask for a more peaceful existence. I had the perfect family, and the most beautifully stunning wife who was also my best friend.
"Ben?" I asked him as we stared up at the night sky through the cracks in the tree house roof.
"Where do you think we'll be in twenty years?" I asked him.
"Why do you always ask such weird questions?"
"I just think about stuff all the time."
"Well, stop," he said frustrated.
"I can't. Just answer the question."
"Fine, what was it again?"
"Where do you think we'll be in twenty years?" I asked my best friend again.
He was quiet as he thought about it for a minute, and then he took a deep breath. "Right here."
Thank you so much for reading this story. It was something that I had floating around in my head for a long time and I thought it was way too strange to be shared with anyone. I took a chance and decided to post it, and I really hope you enjoyed reading it along with any of my other crazy stories. I've loved every single one of your reviews, even the ones that weren't so positive. They always encouraged me to think and reconsider things, and I believe I've grown as a writer because of them.
My review reply link is still broken, which is very disappointing because I'd love to write back to you. However, the PM reply seems to be working, so if you'd like to get in contact with me for any reason, I'll respond to any PM.
Thanks again, I really appreciate you taking a chance on my insanely twisted stories, and if you have a few seconds, I'd really appreciate one last review.