Can you believe it's been two years since I posted the first chapter of 15 Step? And now he we are at the epilogue for the sequel. Where did the time go?
As I mentioned, this is only short, so I'll save all my snotsobbing for down the bottom.
But first, a huge thank you to my lovely beta, Liz4, who held my hand through the writing process of both this and 15 Step. Then again, she's been there for every story I've written. She encouraged me when I lost my rhythm and gave me the advice I needed when I was ready to start yelling at my computer. I can't thank you enough for everything you've done for me. I love you :)
Disclaimer: You'd think everyone would know by now, but what the hell. I don't own it!
In the first few years after my change, I don't think I did anything but travel.
We went everywhere. Sometimes the rest of the family came with us, but for the most part it was just Edward and I.
We went to Greece, Italy, England, Rome, France, Brazil, Africa and anywhere else you can possibly think of. I made sure I marked off on a map of the world everywhere we'd visited. There aren't any countries left.
And of course, we went back to Australia. I even bought an old school Volkswagen Kombi van and drove from one side of the country to the other. As promised, Edward took me back to Australia Zoo to visit the elephants and imagine my surprise when Sabu came right up to me and wrapped her trunk around my torso. She remembered me.
An elephant never forgets, after all.
Despite the fun I had, I still had to deal with the troubles of newborn life, same as the others. I had the typical bloodlust, but because we lived so far away from civilization it was very rare that I came across a human. To this day I still haven't fed from one. I'm very proud of that.
While visiting some of our 'extended family' up in Alaska, we were able to determine why Edward could not read my thoughts. It turns out I had a gift. I was what the vampire community referred to as a shield; able to protect my mind and sometimes even my body from the gifts of others. Over the years, and with the help of several other vampire acquaintances that I had since met, I was able to lift my shield and allow Edward to read my thoughts.
He got a real kick out of it.
Every now and again, we swung by Forks but made to sure to be sneaky about it. No one was allowed to know we were there. I had slowly cut off all communication to Charlie and Renee. It had hurt, but it had to be done. I still kept a very close eye on them and was overjoyed to know that they were doing well. Charlie had since married Sue Clearwater; apparently they had grown close after Sue's husband Harry passed away from a heart attack. Renee and Phil were doing great, still the same as they were when I was human. I missed them, but they were well and happy. That was all that mattered.
As for Edward and I, we were doing just fine. We loved each other just as much, if not more, than when we first met. We owned a few houses around the world that we visited often, just to escape and focus on each other. He was everything I needed, and every day I wondered how it was possible for two people to be so unbelievably happy.
It was strange to think that all this started in a high school cafeteria. It could have been a chance meeting or it could have been fate. I didn't care.
"What are you thinking about?" Edward asked, propping himself up on one elbow as he gazed at me from his spot beside me on the bed. We were currently living in a little cottage in Canada. The family was back in New Hampshire after moving around a few times. We had all grown to love that house, and it was hard not to return to it every few years.
I looked up at my husband who still had the power to render me breathless with one look and who made my body sing with his touches. "You, me, us... everything," I answered, reaching up to trace his lips with my fingers.
He kissed my fingers and smiled. "And why are you thinking about that?"
"Because it's all perfect," I whispered and pulled him down for a kiss.
It was true. Our lives were perfect, as were the people in them and the things we kept with us.
And the best part?
We had the rest of eternity to enjoy it all.
And there we go :) I imagine this takes place about ten years later, by the way.
Now, where do I start? Writing this has been one of the craziest, most enjoyable experiences ever and I've loved every minute of it. 15 Step was my first attempt at a proper plotted out twific and to get such a great response and the chance to continue on with it has been absolutely amazing. The love and support I've received over the last two years has absolutely blown me away and I can't wait to write something new and do it all over again.
I'm going to miss these characters something fierce, but they got the ending they deserved, so it's all good.
Once again, thank you for everything. I love you to bits and hope to see you all again in the near future.
So, for the last time for Cara Mia, I'd love to hear your thoughts :)