Rating: M

Disclaimer: Stephanie Meyers owns everything Twilight.

A/N: It's hard for me to believe that we're finally at the end of this story. It's been an amazing journey for me and I hope for you as well. I've never written anything of significance before and I didn't realized how much I would love the entire process. I want to single-out my Beta T, Lovin Rob. She truly is an amazing person and a talented editor and writer. I enjoyed all of our planning sessions! Truly, I never – and I mean it, would have done this without your encouragement and support. So thank you T! I love you girl! Scratch one off of my bucket list … xC


Epilogue

Twenty-three years later …

Bella watched as the first ray of morning sunlight kissed the cheek of her beloved husband. His head lay back against the soft pillow, his eyes lightly shut. Edward's physical perfection always took her breath away; from his shiny bronze hair that was currently tussled, to his chiseled face, broad muscular shoulders and biceps that led to his toned abdomen that trailed the path down to his magnificent manhood. Bella reveled in the knowledge that she was his and he was hers … for always and forever. No amount of time would change the way in which they felt about one another.

Intoxicated from inhaling his sweet breath, Bella softly purred and stirred. Her fingers stroked his thick, silky hair sending shivers tingling down his spine. They were lying naked on top of their large bed. Edward's leg was possessively draped over her thigh and his hand was gently stroking her lower back before traveling to her delectable derriere; tenderly kneading and squeezing her flesh.

Edward pulled her against his groin and pressed his growing erection against her stomach suggestively. This is the way that Edward liked to start each and every new day; connected to his precious wife. He had always been attracted to Bella. When she was human there was little doubt that she had been a strikingly pretty girl. But with luscious full lips the color of deep red rose petals, unblemished pale skin and polished mahogany hair, she made for a stunningly beautiful immortal. Her petite figure molded seamlessly with his and no matter how much time passed by; Edward could never get enough of her. Bella was his proverbial chalice cup; she was continually in need of replenishment and he was more than willing to keep her filled and satisfied.

While Edward and Bella's perfect and flawless bodies required no sleep to rejuvenate, their overwhelming need and desire for each other led them to spend all of their nights in each other's arms enjoying unspeakable pleasures. They had long since surpassed the instructional material provided inside the black book with the gold lettering that Seagull and Monk had given to them as a gift on the night they wed. Over the years they had learned many new ways to prolong their pleasure and took great pride in pleasing one another for hours on end.

Emitting several moans from the back of his throat, Edward rolled his body on top of hers and planted butterfly kisses on her shoulder and along the edges of her collarbone. The tip of his tongue glided skillfully over to her supple breast before his mouth latched onto her nipple; sucking, pulling and teasing mercilessly as he enticed her. Bella cried out as ripples of tingled pleasure traveled all the way down to her sex, stoking and fanning her slow burning embers into flames yet again. Even after making love numerous times throughout the night, their passion was just as fierce and strong as it was when they had first laid down together at twilight.

"You truly are insatiable Mr. Cullen." Bella whimpered and salaciously ground her sex up against his hardness. Surrendering to his expertise, Bella threw her head back and buckled her hips seeking even greater friction.

Inhaling sharply Edward slowly ran his fingers past her elongated nipple, over her firm abdomen and down into her folds. Deliberately he began a heavenly rhythm as he stroked them back and forth repeatedly against her swelling clitoris. He slipped a finger inside of her moist walls and then another; twirling and rubbing her most sensitive spot until he felt her sweet juices pool around his fingertips. Her tension was palpable and coiling within. Bella let out a series of loud moans and cries as he continued his slow and relentless torture.

"I could say the same to you Mrs. Cullen." A sly smile spread across his luscious lips before he moved his mouth to assault her waiting nipple.

Suddenly in one swift motion, Edward removed both his mouth and his fingers and flipped her over onto her stomach. Bella whimpered at the loss of his touch and her imminent release. Climbing behind her he glided her forward and pushed her legs apart with his knees.

"Hold onto the bars." He ordered, his voice strained.

Bella did as she was told and stretched her arms forward grabbing hold of the lowest rung on the metal rack in front of her. Having gone through numerous headboards over the years, Edward had designed and installed into the cement, a steel-rod reinforced wall at the head of their equally strengthened bed, a menagerie of various sizes and strategically placed bars, restraints and toys spanning the length of the head as well as foot board. It wasn't uncommon for either of them to be affixed to it at any given moment.

Edward lifted her hips as she wiggled her bottom seductively in the air. Leaning down he playfully nipped at her posterior with his teeth. His hands caressed and his mouth kissed each spot with aching tenderness. Taking hold of his impressive hardness he aligned himself at her entrance. Ever so slowly he entered his most favorite place, feeling her walls expand and welcome him home. Edward stilled and savored the exquisiteness of being inside his beloved. Moving his hand underneath her, he resumed his ministrations to her clitoris.

"Ah!" Bella whimpered and pushed against him. "Please Edward. Don't stop. Why have you stopped? "

"Patience my love." He gathered her hair with his other hand and pushed it forward over her shoulder before kissing the back of her neck. "All good things come to those who wait." Edward murmured.

Patience is a very highly overrated virtue … Bella inwardly grumbled. She could feel him smiling against her skin. But from experience she knew that if he continued at this rate, they would be in bed making love for several more hours. While she normally wouldn't complain, they simply didn't have enough time this particular morning.

Frustrated with the slowness of his agonizing pace Bella let go of the bars and pushed her arms against the mattress for leverage. With lightening speed, Bella twisted and contorted her body so that Edward was pinned beneath her. Taking matters into her own hands, she lowered herself onto him. With her hands firmly grasping his shoulders, she rose before slamming down and began to ride him fiercely. Her long hair was wildly splayed over her face and touching his chest.

"Oh Bella!" Edward cried out breathless; her wanton action unleashing his carnal side.

His hands helped to lift and guide her hips up and down over him repeatedly. Lifting his head up his tongue flicked over her nipples with each downward movement she made. Bella yelped in response and began to pant loudly while continuing to ride him. Lost in the exquisite sensations and gazing intently into each other's eyes, they moved together as one. Increasing their pounding rhythm, they both felt the telltale signs as their bodies spiraled uncontrollably towards its climax.

"Come with me Bella!" Edward cried, his voice low and heady.

His soulful plea was Bella's undoing. Scrunching her eyes tightly, her body clenched and her walls shook taking him prisoner as they both spiraled into an intensely powerful and mind-blowing orgasm while calling out to each other. In the peace and tranquility of lovemaking's aftermath, they remained joined as their bodies relaxed.

"Good God! Are you two ever going to finish up in there?" A female voice exasperatedly yelled from the apartment next door tapping her fist against the adjoining wall causing the framed pictures hanging on the wall to shake and sway.

A loud boisterous male voice chimed in, "Come on you guys, enough is enough!" Both the female and male chuckled before making exaggerated in-the-throes-of-passion noises and groans.

"Oh Rosie baby, right there sweetkins …yes, come with me!" The sound of skin being slapped resonated followed by peels of laughter. "Who is your daddy?"

"You are Emmett … you are my God, my king and the master of my sweet pussy!" Rosalie purred.

Edward tapped his fingers lightly on the wall not wanting to put another hole through the plaster. What had he been thinking putting his headboard against this particular wall? He chided himself for not having had the foresight to put it on the opposite wall but then he wouldn't see the light shine on Bella's flawless body every morning.

"Emmett you only wish that you could satisfy your woman like I do mine!" He boasted.

"Don't encourage him!" Bella whispered, admonishing her husband. "You know what he's like" She rose from the bed and quickly dressed before tossing Edward's clothes over to him.

"Is that why she is always begging for you to do more?" Emmett chuckled; his wide smile spreading across his face. "By the way, I heard you little sister! We both did, didn't we Rosie?"

"Ah … please Edward. Don't stop. Why have you stopped? "

Rosalie said melodramatically.

The door to Edward and Bella's bedroom suddenly burst open. Emmett came charging at vampire speed and tackled Edward to the ground. Edward was expecting his brother's uninvited barrage into their bedroom and was ready for him. Emmett was quite an imposing figure; at least several inches taller and more heavily muscled in comparison to Edward. Under normal circumstances he would be the one to lay a wager on but Edward's mind-reading abilities always gave him the upper hand. It frustrated Emmett to no end that he had yet to triumph when wrestling with Edward or any other challenge that he propositioned be it physical or mental but he kept trying nonetheless. As Emmett attempted to wrap his large biceps around Edward's lithe waist to pin him down, Edward rolled to the right and grabbed hold behind Emmett's knee, twirling him up into the air. Emmett landed hard on top of the large bed; its frame bending under his weight. Immediately he rose to his feet.

"You broke my bed!" Edward exclaimed with an equal dose of both horror and ashtonishment; his brows scrunched together as he stared at it.

"It's no wonder you two go at it all night. Maybe if you put a little 'oomph' into it Edward, you might get the job done the first time." Emmett snidely remarked as he thrusted his hips several times into the air and pumped his fists.

Emmett gestured with his hands for Edward to make a move. When Edward didn't take the bait, Emmett lunged at him again; first to the right and then the left but Emmett was too slow for his older brother as he was always three steps ahead of him. Coming at him again, Edward smirked before jumping over his brother and spun on his heels quickly tackling and pinning Emmett's chest to the floor with his arms securely locked behind him.

Triumphant, Edward sat on top of Emmett's back. "Go ahead, say it!"

"You cheat!" Emmett spat. He struggled against Edward's hold.

"Not exactly the words I'm looking for dear brother." Edward replied and pulled Emmett's arms tighter together.

"All right you two please stop!" Bella said rolling her eyes at them. She had had enough of their boyish antics. "We really don't have time for your horseplay this morning. Please just say the words Emmett and leave so that Edward and I can get ready."

Looking over at Rosalie who stood nodding at him in the doorway, Emmett sighed. "Okay, you rule and I drool." Emmett reluctantly admitted before Edward released him. "That is until the next time when I knock you off of your ass!" Emmett punched Edward's shoulder hard before Rosalie took hold of Emmett's hand and dragged him out of the room closing the door behind them.

"Remember Bella, deep down inside all men are still little boys."

Her mother's words spoken to her so long ago, echoed through her head. Excitement along with an equal dose of apprehension coursed through Bella as she contemplated the monumental day ahead of her. It had been so very long since she had last seen her dear, sweet mother … since she had seen any of them.

"I really detest having to wear this!" Edward lamented as he held up the dark-brown colored wig in his hand. "And is the fake mustache really necessary?"

"You know that it is." Bella answered. "There will be many people there who would still recognize us otherwise and I really want to be able to mingle amongst them this time. I want to hear their voices and possibly learn of the happenings in their lives …" Her wistful voice trailed off.

Immediately Edward was at her side. He tossed the wig onto the bed and wrapped his arms around her pulling her closer to him. "I'm sorry dear, you're right. I shouldn't be complaining. Let's get dressed and join the others downstairs." Leaning forward, he kissed her forehead.

Less than half an hour later Bella held her husband's hand as they walked the flight of stairs down to the apartment in the same warehouse along the Chicago River that Carlisle had converted into living space. As his family had grown, Carlisle had the floor space above his flat redesigned into two smaller units to use whenever they happened to visit the windy city; one was for Edward and Bella and the other for Emmett and Rosalie. He also had the building exterior restored and its interior refurbished. There was plenty of room to expand should there be a need. But the area itself hadn't changed much over the years. The surrounding buildings were still mostly vacant. Murky waters still flowed beneath the pier that bordered the merchant shipping docks.

Bella was stylishly fashioned wearing a royal blue calf length skirt with pleats and a matching fitted square-shoulder jacket with a lacy white cotton blouse. A capped hat with tiny crystal beads, gloves and heels completed the ensemble. She wore her very last pair of genuine silk stockings, as the fabric was one of wartime's many home front casualties. Her pompadour styled platinum blonde wig was secured with a bow at the base of her neck.

Edward was strikingly handsome in his dark gray wide lapelled double-breasted suit with a patterned necktie and tapered trousers. His trademark bronze hair was hidden beneath the short dark brown wig. A thin mustache, goatee and sideburns were secured with spirit gum and caused his upper lip to uncomfortably twitch.

The four vampires in formal attire were spread out on the two couches in the middle of the expansive room. Each one simultaneously did a double take as the disguised couple strolled inside. Carlisle also wore a wig similar to Edward's except the hair color was auburn brown. Thick-rimmed glasses rested on the bridge of his nose. A grin spread across Carlisle's face as his mate, Esme released his hand and rushed forward to greet them.

"This is going to work!" Esme assuredly proclaimed. She smiled and embraced them both. "No one is going to recognize either of you or Carlisle for that matter."

Carlisle then rose and stood beside Esme resting one hand on her lower back and the other on Edward's shoulder. He shook his head and smirked. "Who are you and what have you done with my nephew and his beautiful wife?" He laughed.

Emmett jocundly teased. "You two look really weird. So do you, Carlisle."

Rosalie slapped his shoulder. "This is not the time for joking Emmett. Can't you see how nervous they both are?" It was a rare moment of empathy for her siblings. "It's not everyday that you attend your child's wedding. Especially if you're planning on crashing it."

The enormity of what they had hoped to do hit Bella and her emotions ran the gamut; fearful and uncertain one minute to exhilarated and jubilant the next. Esme, who had been like a mother to Bella, quickly took her by the hand to comfort her. Esme had a soothing, calming effect on the entire family. Her joining their small family was another example of fate and God working together.

While working in a hospital just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin after the trio had left Denali, Carlisle found Esme Platt Evenson. He recognized her from the last time he had passed through the region fifteen years prior when she was but a sweet young girl. She had made an impression on him then and he never forgot her. He had been the doctor to set her broken leg after she had fallen from a tree. But when their paths crossed a second time, she was a grown woman at death's door; a result of self-inflicted wounds. His long silent heart fluttered and as he gazed at her angelic face he felt an overwhelming desire to heal and give her comfort. Fervently he had prayed before lowering his lips to her throat that he was making the right decision … for them both. Esme had been the perfect match for Carlisle in every way and they were as happy together as Bella and Edward were. But even so it wasn't uncommon during the early 'honeymoon' days of their relationship for Carlisle to go to Edward seeking advice; their roles reversed.

Don't worry honey," Esme said warmly. "We'll all be there to support you both. Everything is going to be just fine. You have to believe that." She then reached out and took Edward's hand too.

Bella glanced down at the coffee table and smiled. A copy of her first novel, Starlight written under her pseudo-name, Anthony Charles lay on top.

"I finished reading your book last night Bella and I thoroughly enjoyed it." Esme commented noticing the direction of Bella's eyes and added with confidence. "It is going to be a best-seller."

"That is most unlikely." Rosalie chimed in. "Do you really believe that people would want to read a story about a human girl who falls in love with a vampire? And he isn't even the traditional scary, human-blood thirsty vampire!" She chuckled and shook her head. "Vegetarian' vampire … nice try Bella."

"I think you're wrong Rosalie. Love is the universal language and it's that much sweeter when it's forbidden." Esme explained. "The couple in the story … Henry and Adele … their love was timeless. They were destined to be together regardless of their circumstances. They reminded me of another couple that I know and love dearly."

"I'm so glad that you liked it Esme." Leaning over, Bella planted a kiss on her 'mother's' cheek. "You've been so supportive of my work."

It was eight years after Bella's transformation before 'Edward Cullen' and 'Isabella Platt', Esme's 'niece' graduated from Greenville High School in Maine. That had been a relatively propitious and tranquil period for the newly formed family, as their ties to each other grew stronger.

Edward had been adamant that he and Bella continue with their original plans for higher education. Carlisle had purchased a large farm just outside of Ithaca, New York so that he and Esme could remain close by while Edward and Bella attended Cornell University. Bella thrived while studying English literature; History and Political Science while Edward immersed himself in the Biological Sciences, Mathematics and Philosophy. After graduating at the very top of their classes with honors and having immeasurable time at her disposal, Bella tried her hand at writing. It had always been her dream. Her first attempt at putting pen to paper had been a series of short fictional stories that a few small magazines had agreed to publish. But very quickly she learned that it was indeed a 'man's world' and that if she wanted to be taken seriously at all she would need to grow a certain appendage, thus the pseudo-name. Writing had been one of the means by which Bella had used to soothe the aching hole in her heart.

A few years after graduating from Cornell Edward decided to pursue another of his dreams and attended medical school at Yale University while Bella continued to write short stories and formulate an idea that would soon become her first novel. During this time period he and Bella lived away from the family. It was also during those years apart that Carlisle had stumbled across a beautiful young woman who had been sexually assaulted and left for dead by the side of the road on a bone-chilling night in Rochester, New York. Feeling sorry for her and knowing of his mate's strong need to care for others; Carlisle quickly decided to give Rosalie Hale the gift of immortality.

But to Rosalie it had been a curse. More so than any of them including Edward, Rosalie struggled with the loss of her human life and leaned heavily on Esme for support. As a result the two women had forged a tight-knit bond. When Edward and Bella rejoined the family four years later Rosalie suffered a bad case of sibling rivalry and continually vied with Bella for Esme's attention. It was only after Rosalie found her mate; Emmett McCarty while the family was living in Tennessee two years after her transformation that her attitude towards her older sister had improved slightly. But much to Bella's dismay, Rosalie kept her at arms length ensuring that they would never be close. It hadn't helped matters that Bella was a mother; something that Rosalie had desperately wanted to be but never would.

"I think it's time that we head over to the church." Carlisle announced changing the subject as he glanced down at his watch. "We certainly don't want to arrive after the bride walks down the aisle."

Edward whispered in his wife's ear. "Are you ready for this dear?" Bella nodded and squeezed his hand.

The weather was cooperating in the six vampires favor. The skies were overcast with a thick gray covering. The odds of it raining at some point during the day were high. Carlisle had insisted that everyone ride with him and Esme in his brand new 1942 Oldsmobile that he had recently purchased. Carlisle, Esme and Rosalie sat in the front while Edward, Bella and Emmett were seated in the back. For a Saturday morning traffic was unusually heavy and they hit every red light, which slowed their progress considerably.

"Damn slow turtle." Edward muttered under his breath. He really hated traveling by car.

"Relax Edward, we'll be there soon." Carlisle reassured him.

While on their way to Trinity Presbyterian Church they drove past Edward's old neighborhood, the park with the small duck pond and Roosevelt High School. It felt strange for Edward to be back in his old stomping grounds and even more so to observe the many changes that had occurred to the area in his absence. With each street they passed Edward could sense Bella's tension rising. He ran his thumb soothingly over her fingers to try and calm her.

Turning on his left signal, Carlisle waited patiently for a break in the flow of traffic before making his way into the parking lot. While in mid-turn a vehicle suddenly came out of nowhere and cut him off. Only Carlisle's sharp reflexes had prevented a major collision. The aggressive driver sped past them racing to claim the last available parking space.

Seagull? Edward wondered, chuckling to himself. It couldn't be him, could it?

Emmett was riled by the actions of the reckless driver. Clenching his fist, he cried out for vengeance. "I really want to set that guy straight! I'd be doing humankind a huge favor!"

"No Emmett." Carlisle adamantly replied. "We have to try to remain inconspicuous and not draw any undue attention to ourselves." Of course that is easier said than done when our physical perfection causes us to stand out in any crowd.

"Perhaps we should split up once inside?" Edward suggested. Carlisle's right … we do stand out.

"Yes, that is a very good idea Edward." Carlisle admitted. "We'll break up into couples and spread out."

Being amongst all these humans might be too much for Emmett. Rosalie thought. It hadn't been very long since Emmett, in a moment of weakness had succumbed to human blood. He had claimed that the scent was overwhelming and that he was powerless to resist.

"Don't worry Rosalie. I'll pay close attention to Emmett." Edward answered her unspoken concerns.

Emmett smacked Edward's shoulder. "I don't want you inside of my head!"

"If you can't control yourself, maybe you should stay inside the car." Edward snapped.

"You're not going to let me live that one down, are you brother?" Emmett lowered his head in shame.

Abstaining is still a daily struggle for me as well. If the blood that Emmett had succumbed to was anything close to what Bella's had been like, Edward fully understood and sympathized.

"Please stop your bickering!" Esme turned around and gave both of her boys a stern look. "Don't ruin this for Bella." Admonished for their behavior, Emmett and Edward fell silent.

Carlisle parked his Oldsmobile on the grass of an adjoining field and everyone quickly exited. Walking at a brisk pace for humans but a slow one for vampires, they climbed the steps and entered the building. Edward stopped and grabbed hold of Bella's hand as their family continued on ahead into the main sanctuary. There were still several people who were inside the vestibule. Edward handed Bella a church program as he picked up the sound of a familiar voice close by.

"I cannot believe that you almost caused another car accident!" A middle-aged brunette woman whispered, scolding the shorter, balding man standing beside her. "You are the District Attorney Sam! You can't afford a scandal in the newspapers. How do you expect to win the mayoral race come November if you continue to do careless things?"

"Don't get your panties in a bind Sarah." Sam brushed off his wife's warning. "If I don't win the election, it will be because you haven't been able to reign in our disrespectful and disobedient teenagers!"

Sam glanced over to his sixteen-year-old son who strongly resembled him and found him slouching, wearing the unmistakable face of apathy and boredom. He tapped his son on the shoulder.

"Straighten up Edward! It wouldn't kill you to act normal for an hour, now would it?"

Seagull named his son after me? Edward felt a closeness to his old and dear friend as he watched him turn his attention to his fourteen-year-old daughter and frown. Her pretty face was caked with an abundance of make-up and she was preoccupied with discreetly rolling up the top of her skirt so that it rose to an inappropriate level high above her knee. He shook his head in disapproval and mouthed to his wife, "You handle her."

As Edward tried to navigate Bella past the quarreling couple, Seagull inadvertently stepped back and bumped into him.

"I'm so sorry." His old friend, Seagull said as his eyes met Edwards.

"No harm, no foul." Edward replied continuing forward.

"Do I know you?" Seagull's hand reached out and held Edward's arm and scrunched his face trying to place him. There is something about him …

"No, I don't believe so." Edward quickly answered averting his face. "My wife and I are only in town for the wedding."

"Which side are you here for? The bride or the groom?" Seagull off-handedly asked but added before Edward could answer, "I'm the Godmother."

Sarah sighed deeply, rolling her eyes at her husband and stormed off with their children into the main area of the church. Edward tried not to smirk knowing this was reference to the fact that Seagull had served as Bella's maid of honor at their wedding. He is still the same!

Bella tugged at Edward's sleeve and he followed the direction of her sight. He immediately recognized the man who was moving swiftly towards them. Even though his face had aged; distinct lines had formed around the edges of his eyes and forehead, his dark hair dusted with the beginning of gray and his hairline slightly receded, there was little doubt as to who it was.

"You can socialize later Sam. Everyone needs to take their seats now. The bridal party has arrived and we'll be starting shortly." The man stretched his arms so as to steer Edward, Bella and Seagull towards the open double-doors.

"Just because you are the head honcho around here Monk, doesn't mean that you can boss me around." Seagull indignantly remarked while maneuvering out of Monk's grasp.

"How many times do I have to tell you Sam that you can't call me that here?" Monk wailed. "Here I am Pastor Monaghan."

"You are the Pastor?" Bella was unable to mask the surprise from her voice.

"Why yes I am Ma'am." Monk let out a sigh. "Please forgive my lack of manners. I am Pastor Frank Monaghan and this lovely lady over here …" He was gesturing to the svelte, pretty blonde woman who had just entered the building to come join him. "This lovely lady is my wife, Lauren."

Bella couldn't help but notice how Lauren's face lit up when she looked at her husband. She loves him. "I'm so pleased to meet you both." Bella replied extending her gloved hand to both Monk and Lauren. "This is my husband Henry and I'm Adele." She smiled at her choice of names.

"Oh, like in that book. What a coincide." Lauren said with a smile.

Bella laughed while Edward simply nodded, as he was far too stunned to speak. Monk is a Pastor and married James' sister! I definitely have to hear how that came to be.

The large interior of the church hadn't changed very much since the last time either Bella or Edward had been inside except that now it had been magically transformed to resemble a spectacular floral garden. The pulpit as well as the entire perimeter of the expansive room was awash in the sweet fragrance of white freesia and orange blossoms, white and pink roses and lilacs. White garland and lace with silk bow ribbons were clustered together with white Amaryllis flowers affixed to the entrance of each row. Organ music was playing softly in the background. The church was nearly full. They found the last two available seats on the aisle at the very last pew on the groom's side.

Lacing Edward's hand with hers Bella smiled remembering where she and Edward had first exchanged their wedding vows. It hadn't mattered where it took place. I would have married my love any time or anywhere. The vows are easily spoken when they come from the heart. Edward had more than made up for the shortcomings of their first nuptials when they married the second time on a warm, sandy beach on a private island in Rio de Janeiro that Carlisle had purchased for his new bride. Isle Esme … hmm … that is where I officially became Mrs. Edward Cullen.

Bella leaned over and whispered into her husband's ear. "Thank you for making sure I didn't miss this. I love you Mr. Cullen."

Edward stole a quick kiss. "There was never a chance that I would allow us to miss this. I love you more Mrs. Cullen."

The room quieted and heads turned to watch two elderly ladies being escorted up the aisle by two of the groomsmen. With longing Bella watched as her mother and Aunt Clara passed her by. The sisters wore similar turquoise tea-length organza dresses with their gray hair woven into buns that sat high atop their heads. I love you both so much! A robust middle-aged woman escorted by another groomsmen followed. After all of the ladies were seated, the groomsmen joined the best man and groom on the front left side of the pulpit. Each of the men sported black waistcoats with striped trousers, long striped ties, white wing-collar single cuffed shirts and black Oxford shoes. Tucked into the front breast pocket of their waistcoat was a light pink silk handkerchief. Wearing a broad smile Monk stood beside the groom with his hand resting on his shoulder.

"Oh Edward, he is incredibly handsome isn't he?" Bella exclaimed. Her eyes devoured and studied the groom closely. "He doesn't even appear to be nervous at all."

"That is because he is marrying the woman he adores." Bringing Bella's hand to his mouth, Edward kissed it tenderly.

With the organ playing Handel's 'Air' three bridesmaids and the maid of honor slowly made their way up the aisle. Each wore a matching light pink tea length gown with crystal beading, scooped neckline, capped sleeves and a handkerchief hem. Long white gloves that held a delicate bouquet of pink roses with baby's breath and ivory heels completed their ensemble. Reaching their destination at the front they formed a line to the left side of the Pastor.

The volume of the organ music intensified as it played 'Wagner's Wedding March'. The congregation rose to their feet, as the bride emerged clutching onto the arm of a middle-aged gentleman with one hand and a streaming bouquet of white roses in the other. She was breathtakingly beautiful in her off the shoulder lace, white satin gown with re-embroidered lace, crystal beading and sequins with a trailing chapel train. Her radiant smile could be detected underneath her tulle veil.

Bella quickly recognized Elizabeth's delicate diamond tiara, the same tiara she had worn to the Christmas Ball so long ago. Something borrowed … It elegantly adorned the bride's dark mahogany hair that was elaborately swept up off of her shoulders.

Bella hadn't realized that she had been sighing until Edward whispered, "Are you okay dear?" He knew this was going to be difficult for her. They were so close but still needed to keep their distance. The pressure of her fingers tightening around his hand reassured him that she was fine.

From across the room he caught sight of Esme and Carlisle watching the two of them with genuine concern. Scanning the pews Edward found Rosalie and Emmett seated directly behind Bella's mother and Aunt Clara. Rosalie appeared wistful, content even. By comparison Emmett seemed uncomfortable but not nearly so much as those who were seated near his large intimidating presence. Edward took a moment to listen to his brother's thoughts before he was satisfied. He then concentrated on the two elderly ladies in front of Emmett.

How I wish Charlie had lived to see this day … and my precious daughter, wherever you are …" Edward overheard Renee's ardent wish. Reaching inside her purse for her handkerchief, she wiped away her tears.

Clara reached over for her sister's hand knowing the reason for her sadness. "Bella and Charlie will always be with us Renee … and my Arthur too." Her own tears unexpectedly welled up and she fumbled to find her own handkerchief.

Seated beside Bella's aunt was a very attractive woman who couldn't have been more than thirty years old. She was poised, meticulously dressed and holding an infant in her arms. Her two smaller children were squirming and trying to push each other off of the bench. The woman gave them a reprimanding glance and they immediately stilled.

"Isabella." Their mother said softly. "Doesn't the bride look like a princess from one of your fairy tale books?"

"Oh yes momma!" Isabella squealed with delight. "Cinderella! Will the prince put a glass slipper on her foot?"

Her older brother frowned and rolled his eyes. "No silly! He's going to put a ring on her finger."

Clara leaned over and quietly spoke to Isabella. "Come over here with your nana."

"Thank you mom." Tillie whispered. "They've been missing their father terribly."

Isabella stood in front of her grandmother. "Hopefully this war will soon be over soon and Douglas and George can come back home to us." Clara said as she embraced her granddaughter.

So Tillie is a wife and mother … Edward reminisced remembering a time when she had planned on marrying him.

The organ music ceased as the bride finally reached her destination. Monk bowed his head and recited the opening prayer.

And Monk is a man of the cloth! Who would have thought? When I think back to all of the crazy times we shared … he is the last person I'd expect to join the ministry.

Monk began his touching sermon on the sanctity of marriage. Clearing his throat, he then spoke in a strong voice. "Marriage between a husband and wife is a metaphor for the relationship between Christ and the Church …" He continued speaking for another ten minutes or so.

Wrap it up Monk …he'd give Pastor Evans a run for his money.

In his summary Monk recited a familiar bible scripture, "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never ends."

Monk nodded to the young woman who sat on the opposite side of Renee in the front pew. She gracefully rose and made her way over to the small podium situated to the right of the pulpit. Her long shiny bronze hair was secured with two jeweled clips that matched her calf-length pale green satin dress. Glancing downwards at the weathered envelope in her hand, she took a deep, steadying breath and removed a thin sheet of paper and raised her head high. To say that the young woman was beautiful would be an understatement. Her unblemished skin had a peaches and cream hue. Her emerald green eyes were set into a heart-shaped face with a perfect little nose and full strawberry lips.

"Hello everyone … family and friends." Her smile cast a warm glow. "When I was asked to say a few words on this most joyous of occasions, at first I did not know what I would say. For those of you who know me, that in and of itself would be a first." Controlled laughter rippled through the large room. "Recently I was given something by a very dear friend of the family that she found while going through some old papers in her attic. For me personally it has special meaning. That is because it was written by my mother …" She took another deep breath. "It was written shortly after she and my father had eloped. I'd like to believe that by sharing it with you all here today, that somehow they are with us in spirit." Looking amongst the crowd, she found the person she was seeking. "Thank you Christine."

The young woman turned and faced the bridal couple. "This is for you Robert, my dear baby brother who always likes to remind me and anyone else who will listen that I am six minutes older than he is."

Bella froze and briefly closed her eyes, as Edward looked at her with bewilderment. He draped his arm around his wife's shoulders and drew her closer to him. "Do you know what it is?"

Bella nodded. "Yes." She whispered in a small voice. If she were capable of shedding tears, they would be flowing freely. Instead she clung to her husband.

In a strong, steady voice, Elena began to read out loud:

Harvest of the Seedling by Isabella Swan Masen

There once was a young girl who lived a relatively happy although somewhat sheltered life. She was the only and much cherished daughter of two very special people who showered her with love. The young girl adored both of her parents and strived to always honor and please them in whatever she did. Even though her little family never wanted for the material necessities of life they were by no means rich. Their wealth lay in the seeds that her mother and father had sowed within the young girl from an early age. The harvest they one day hoped to reap was that of a young woman who exuded empathy, conscience, self-control, respect, kindness, tolerance, fairness and love.

One day the girl's mother fell very ill. With great sadness it was decided that the young girl would have to travel far from her home and live amongst relatives while her mother was sent to a special place to regain her health. It was the first time that the young girl had ventured forth into the world alone. She was afraid at first but she brought with her all that she had learned from her parents. It so happened that while she was away from her home she met a boy; a very handsome and endearing boy who had been implanted with the same seeds as she had been. It wasn't long before the girl and boy fell very deeply in love. But their fathers disapproved of the match and schemed to keep them apart. This only caused them to cling tighter as neither could fathom a life without the other. The boy proposed that they run off and marry so they could spend all of their days together until the very last one would claim them. Their love for each other was greater than anything either had ever experienced.

The young girl was now faced with an agonizing dilemma. It wasn't fair that she had to choose but choose she must. Should she remain the dutiful daughter or follow her heart wherever it led? Standing at the crossroad she drew strength from each of the seeds that had been planted so long ago; rooted and fully grown within her before stepping forward and choosing her path … the one that was right for her and would allow her to one day implant these very seeds of wisdom and life into her own children. She chose the path of love.

When Elena finished she noticed many ladies were reaching for their handkerchiefs. Most of those in attendance were familiar with hers and Robert's sad history. A lengthy silence grew, as she remained standing at the podium, her eyes downcast and struggling to regain her earlier composed demeanor. She was floundering. Raising her head she found her brother standing beside her with his arms wide open. Elena stepped into his embrace and they hugged each other tightly.

"Thank you Lena." Robert whispered. He had been touched by her thoughtfulness. "I love you sis." He kissed her cheek.

"I love you too Robbie and I am very happy for you and Kristen." Elena stepped onto her tiptoes and returned his kiss.

With enormous pride Bella watched as her and Edward's children shared a special moment. She noted with satisfaction that their son was every bit as handsome as his father. They both shared the same tall, lean muscular frame and perfect chiseled facial features. The only discernible difference between them was that Robert had his mother's thick chestnut brown hair and chocolate-colored eyes. Bella smiled. It pleased her immensely that Elena and Robert had such a close relationship. With no mother or father, they had no other choice … Bella thoughts drifted back to the first hours after her transformation and to the discussion that she had with Carlisle and Edward.

~btbb~

"How did your first hunt go Bella?" Carlisle asked. He was sprawled out on the plush armchair and ottoman gazing out at the incredible view of the mountainside through the large triple glass doors inside the great room.

Edward could hardly contain his enthusiasm. "She was fantastic Carlisle! She did far better than I did on my first hunt." With Bella's back pressed against his front and his arms securely wrapped around her waist, Edward planted a kiss behind her ear. "First she took down a large elk and then an angry grizzly bear who had the misfortune of getting in her way." He gushed and kissed her yet again.

Bella wondered if she was still capable of blushing. "Edward is being kind." She looked at the torn hem on her blood-splattered dress. "Please tell me that this will get easier." Her blood-red eyes bore into his, pleading for reassurance.

"You'll be an expert in no time at all." Carlisle affirmed. But from her expression, he was fairly certain that she wasn't only referring to hunting. "You must have many questions Bella. Won't you both sit down?"

Edward held Bella's small hand in his after they sat down on the matching plush couch that was perpendicular to Carlisle's armchair.

I can already see the positive changes in you now that you are reunited with your mate Edward. I am so happy for you.

"Tell me about my baby Carlisle. Is Elena healthy?" Closing her eyes, she inhaled and braced herself for his answer. "I still don't fully understand why Edward and I can't raise her? We're her parents."

"How much has Edward told you?" He shot Edward a questioning glance. Edward shook his head.

"He's been rather vague." Bella answered and felt her husband tense.

"Your daughter is small but remarkably strong and healthy. Elena is going to be just fine." Carlisle answered. He grimaced before continuing. "It's your son that has me the most concerned. He was being closely monitored when I left."

Bella wasn't certain that she heard him correctly. "What son?" Her eyes darted up to Edward. "We had twins? A daughter and … a son? I don't remember anything after the nurse tore Elena away from me except the intense, excruciating pain."

"He was quite a surprise that's for sure." Carlisle smiled at the memory of discovering there was a second baby. "We had to rush you to the operating room where I performed an emergency caesarian section. Your son is perfect but smaller and weaker than his sister but he is quite the fighter. I'm optimistic that he'll make it."

"I didn't get to see or hold him." Her voice faltered. She remained quiet for a while as a deep sadness enveloped her. "I'm really not going to be a mother to my children, am I?"

Carlisle slowly shook his head. "It would be best for them if they were raised by their own kind in a normal environment." It pained him to tell her this but it simply wasn't a possibility and she needed to accept it.

Edward squeezed her hand and put his arm around her shoulder. "I am so very sorry … for both of us." Bella buried her head in his chest and clung to him for support.

~btbb~

Walking away from parenthood was by far the hardest thing that Bella had ever done; more so than letting go of her humanity. But it was a sacrifice that both she and Edward had willingly made to ensure the safety and normal upbringing of their children. That didn't mean that they hadn't kept track of their children's many milestones and accomplishments as time passed by. Early on Carlisle had hired a private investigative firm to keep them fully appraised as to the happenings in the twin's lives. Around the time of each birthday they would make a special pilgrimage to observe Elena and Robert from afar; sometimes while they played in the park, walking to school with their friends or more daringly as they peacefully slept. They had agreed not to step in and interfere with their lives unless it became absolutely necessary.

That agreement was sorely tested when five years after Bella's disappearance from the Port Angeles hospital, Charlie unexpectedly died as a result of a massive heart attack. It was one of the few times that she and Edward had quarreled. Her dad had never given up in the search for his daughter and it caused Bella much guilt and remorse. She firmly believed that he died as a result of his pain and sorrow in not having found any trace of her. In the end Edward convinced her to wait and see how it all played out. It wasn't long before her grief-stricken mother packed up their belongings and moved herself and the children to Chicago; straight into the Masen mansion. Soon afterwards Aunt Clara, Uncle Arthur, George and Tillie joined them in living in the spacious home. The reports and photographs that followed reassured Bella that Edward had been right not to intervene.

Although Bella knew that Edward grieved in his own way for the loss of being a father to his son and daughter, it wasn't the same for him as it was for her. He hadn't felt life itself growing inside of him or had it placed in his arms as she had. By the time Bella had given birth Edward had finally come to terms with the loss of his human life and its many far-reaching implications. Over the ensuing years she had made a valiant effort to hide her feelings from her husband, as she knew he felt responsibility for having caused them, but every so often she would let her guard down and he would catch a glimpse of her melancholy. Their connection to each other was so strong that it wasn't necessary that he actually read her mind to know how she was feeling. At those difficult times he would simply enfold her in his arms and comfort her with tender words and soft touches. Edward was her safe harbor and pillar of strength.

Robert and Kristen exchanged simple, traditional vows before Monk pronounced them to be 'man and wife'. Throats cleared as Robert lingered a little longer than was appropriate when kissing his bride. A rousing round of applause followed as the bridal party recessed into the sanctuary and a receiving line began to form. Edward and Bella were among the very last guests to give their congratulations to the jubilant couple.

With a permanent smile plastered over his handsome face, Robert extended his hand for Edward to shake. Robert barely noticed the coolness of Edward's firm grasp.

"I don't believe we've had the pleasure of meeting?" Robert asked looking directly at Edward. Without the facial hair this man could pass as my brother.

"No I don't believe we have." Edward replied answering Robert's inquiry. Yes son, the resemblance is uncanny. "Congratulations Robert. I hope that you and your lovely bride have a long and happy life together."

Robert's attention turned towards Bella who had been staring at him strangely, making him slightly uncomfortable. He was used to women openly gawking at him but usually not while they were obviously with another man.

This was the moment that Bella had long dreamed of and without any hesitation; she stood up on her toes and quickly wrapped her arms around Robert's neck before kissing and stroking his warm, smooth cheek with her gloved hand.

"Congratulations Robert." She whispered and closed her eye tightly savoring the magnitude of this moment. Finally!

Robert lightly patted her back as she continued to cling to him. His eyes shot up questioningly to Edward. Shrugging apologetically, Edward smiled and gave explanation.

"She gets very emotional at weddings." Edward tapped Bella's shoulder.

Reluctantly Bella stepped back but continued to look into his chocolate eyes, her eyes. "That was very sweet of Elena to read what your mother had written a very long time ago. It was very touching."

"We never knew either of our parents." Robert said, his smile fading. "It upsets our grandmother to speak about them, especially our mother so we've only heard bits and pieces from those who knew them … those are the only words I've ever known to come directly from my mother …" Robert stopped and looked away. "I'm sorry. It's been such an emotional day."

Elena, sensing her brother's discomfort all the way from across the room, made a beeline over to him. "Are you alright, Robert?" She was very protective of her 'little' brother.

It seems that my daughter has inherited her grandmother's and my special gift. This realization caused Edward to feel an even closer connection to her.

"Yes I am. I was just telling …" He turned to Edward and Bella. "I'm sorry I still don't know your names?"

Bella chimed in. "Henry and Adele Myers."

Robert then continued. "I was just telling Henry and Adele about how moved I was by your reading during the service."

"It was very beautiful dear." Bella said and took Elena's hand in hers before pulling her forward and wrapping her arms around her. "Your mother and father would be very proud of you both."

When Bella finally let her go, Elena gazed directly into Bella's eyes and then at Edward's. An overwhelming feeling of deja vous came over her. It was almost as if she recognized them. That's silly! I've never seen these people before.

The moment was broken when Robert's new wife, Kristen who had been talking to their other guests, turned around and greeted Edward. Leaning down he gave her a perfunctory kiss.

"I wish you two every happiness." He caught a flicker of sadness cross over her face before she quickly recovered.

"Is something wrong?" Edward inquired. Using his sixth sense he listened in on her thoughts.

"No, of course not. This is the happiest day of my entire life." Kristen responded and gave him a weak, unconvincing smile. We only have a week to be together before my beloved husband has to report for duty and he's shipped off to Europe.

"Everything will be fine, I promise. Robert will return to you when this war is over." Edward answered her unspoken thoughts. I should have realized that Robert would be a soldier. I appears that I will get my boyhood wish after all.

"I hope that you're right Henry." She sighed and took hold of her husband's hand.

The bridal party re-entered the church so photographs could be taken while their guests stood waiting outside to throw rice at them when they reemerged. The clouds were beginning to lighten and thin. Perhaps it wasn't going to rain after all. Edward scanned the crowd and located Carlisle and Esme who were having an engaging conversation with an elderly couple. He found Rosalie and Emmett standing off to the side by themselves.

The pastor's wife tapped Bella on the shoulder. "Hello again. That was such a beautiful wedding. Don't you think so? I am such a romantic!" Lauren admitted. "It makes me think of my own courtship and wedding with my Frank."

"Yes, it was the most beautiful wedding I've ever been to." Bella responded. How did she and Frank become a couple? "I too enjoy a good romantic story. Please tell me yours."

"It is a rather long one but I'll give you the condensed version." Lauren said. "I had a very traumatic upbringing. My father had abused me from the time I was a small child." She paused to gauge Bella's reaction.

"That is unconscionable that a parent could do that to their child." Bella touched Lauren's hand in sympathy.

"Yes it is." She then continued. "I finally had the courage to deal with it after a brave young woman confronted my father … here at this very church. My brother had also been deeply scarred by our father's actions. Unfortunately, James never sought help. He kept his anger bottled up inside of him. I think that is why he has spent most of his adult life in prison …"

"Oh I am so sorry. Is he still in prison?" Bella inquired; curiosity getting the better of her.

"Up until about ten years ago and then he mysteriously escaped and disappeared. I haven't heard from him in at least twenty years." Sadness washed over her and she sighed deeply. "I'm sorry to have sidetracked from my story. Anyhow I was counseled by the Pastor at the time … Pastor Evans and there was a support group that met every week. It was there that I met Frank. He was having difficulty grieving over the loss of his two close friends … Robert and Elena's parents. We talked and that was that … we fell in love."

"A combination of God and fate at work." Bella remarked. Lauren seemed pleased by her comment.

"Why yes it was. As a direct result of Pastor Evan's counseling and support, Frank heard the call to serve God and minister to others." She smiled warmly. "I too felt compelled to help care for other women like myself. With my husband's and the entire congregation's encouragement, I founded Swan House. It is a very special place where abused women can find solace and seek help."

Bella was very touched by Lauren's story. "That is very admirable."

An older woman made her way through the crowd and approached Lauren. Bella recognized her immediately.

"Why hello Mrs. Thornton!" Lauren greeted her warmly. "Where is your husband? I didn't think you two ever separated!"

"Caleb is around here someplace." The older woman looked all around until she spotted him making his way towards them. She then greeted Bella. "Hello, I'm Christine Thornton and this is my dear husband, Caleb."

Edward, who had been standing next to his wife quietly, looked closely at the middle-aged man; his father's associate. "Hello I'm Henry and this is my wife Adele." Edward said extending his hand to Caleb.

"It's very nice to meet you." Caleb replied before addressing his wife. "Would you believe that the office has tracked me down and called me here? Everything ran so much smoother when you were the office manager, dear. It seems that there is some sort of crisis. I'm sorry dear but I'll have to leave for a little while but I want you to stay and I'll be back just as soon as I can." He gave his wife a quick kiss and departed.

"I'll be very happy when Caleb turns the reins over to Elena in a few years." Christine remarked as she watched her husband rush off.

"Where does your husband work if you don't mind me asking?" Edward asked even though he knew. He needed to know how his daughter fit into all of this.

"He is a Vice-President at Chicago's largest financial brokerage company, Masen and McGuire. Although he really should be the President. He practically runs that business all by himself! " Christine wailed and frowned. "Ian McGuire is worthless! I don't envy Elena having to deal with him when Caleb retires but she is a very strong, bright and capable young woman. She'll do just fine."

"What about her brother, Robert?" Edward asked. He was genuinely surprised that it was his daughter who would be joining the firm and not his son.

Christine laughed heartily. "Robert does not have a head for business." She then smiled. "Robert is an impressive thespian. Have you seen him in any of the plays he has been in? All of the young women swoon over him; the older ones too. You do know that his new wife is an actress as well, didn't you? I fully expect that he and Kristen will either take Broadway or Hollywood by storm once he returns from the war."

"I knew that he had been in several plays during college but I thought that he had studied Business and Economics?" Bella said joining the conversation.

"He did for awhile but it quickly became apparent that it was Elena who had the knack for business. That let Robert off of the hook from having to join the family business so he decided to pursue his true passion instead."

Christine paused before adding. "His dear mother, Isabella had some talent too. I'm so glad I found that envelope she had given me. I had forgotten all about it. She would have made a wonderful writer if only …" Her voice trailed off and she sighed deeply. "With my dear husband's support I've started my own publishing house. By chance have you ever heard of 'The Little Brown Company'?"

"Why yes I have." Bella knowingly answered. "Aren't they the publisher of that wonderful new novel, Starlight by Anthony Charles?"

"You've heard of it?" Christine beamed. "I just knew that novel would do well! I'm going to have to get word to the author to start a sequel."

The noise level and excitement grew as the crowd moved forward towards the large wooden doors as the bridesmaids and groomsmen exited the building, each taking their position on a step before forming an archway with their raised arms. The bride and groom swiftly passed through the archway trying unsuccessfully to avoid the pelting of rice along the way.

Tillie's son Arthur broke free from his mother's grasp and ran, weaving through the crowd with a fistful of rice ready to throw at the newlyweds but he slipped and tripped on the rice that was already on the ground. His knees and hands took the brunt of his fall. With tears streaming down his young face, he stood frozen and crying. Bright red blood covered his hands and his knees where his pants had ripped.

That little boy's blood smells delicious … so sweet. Hmm … Venom was pooling inside of Emmett's mouth.

Edward immediately took hold of Bella's hand and led her away from the commotion and in the direction of Rosalie and Emmett. Carlisle and Esme quickly joined them.

"What's wrong Edward?" She implored glancing back longingly at her grown children.

"I'm so very sorry Bella. I know that you wanted to stay awhile." He answered her questioning gaze. "But Emmett is having difficulty controlling himself and its best that we leave now … before the bloodlust begins."

~BtBB~

In the dead of night with its headlights turned off a1938 Ford pick-up turned off of the one-lane highway just south of Tijuana and onto the thin dirt strip that was used as a road. It sped down the pothole infested five-mile stretch at dangerously high speeds, swerving first to the left and then sharply to the right as if it were skiing in a slalom race. The driver and his passenger were laughing hysterically whenever the truck nearly turned over. It was fortunate that no other vehicles shared the road with them, as they most assuredly would have been forced off. When the sign for the run-down 'Dulce Suenos Motel' came into view, the driver made a quick turn into its entrance before speeding all the way down to the very last detached one-room cottage and parked off to its side.

"That was so much fun baby! Let's do it again!" Squealed the passenger, an attractive woman with long, flaming red hair. "But this time I'm doing the driving." She threw her arms around the driver's neck and licked the side of his face with her tongue before plunging it inside his mouth.

"Of course doll but not until you take care of your old man first. After all we're on our honeymoon." The driver sarcastically said while reaching for her hand and putting it suggestively on his crotch.

"I always do, don't I? But how about we take a shower first? It's been so long since I felt clean and I'd really like to put on some nice, fresh clothes." Shoving her hand into his pants pocket she pulled out the motel key and dangled it out in front of him. "Doesn't that sound real nice baby?"

Fondling her breast with his left hand he hissed through clenched teeth, "Hmm … nice."

Faster than a speeding bullet he snatched the keys from her hands and jumped out of the truck. Looking lean and muscular, he was no more than thirty. His shoulder-length wavy blonde hair was pulled back into a ponytail. Opening the passenger door, he scooped her into his arms and she threw back her head and laughed with glee as he twirled her around.

He glanced briefly at the large bundle tied securely underneath the tarp on the flat bed of the pick-up. "We'll take care of that later but first things first Mrs… um …"

The woman reached inside of his jacket and pulled out a black leather wallet. Peering down at the Illinois driver's license she giggled as she read it. "Kirwan … Mrs. Ronald Kirwan."

"Right." He muttered and unlocked the cottage door by effortlessly twisting and breaking the doorknob. Unceremoniously he dropped his companion in the middle of the double bed and plopped down beside her. Slithering his leg on top of her thighs, he provocatively ground his erection against her hip. "It's too bad that Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Kirwan won't have need of this fine bed anymore."

Her hand reached over and stroked the bulge in his pants. "You're making me thirsty again." She tugged at her blouse and he released his hold on her. Once free she sprang to her feet, slowly stripping each article of clothing off of her voluptuous body. He openly and appreciatively gawked at her nakedness.

"Come to papa doll." He said in a low, dark voice tapping the mattress beside him.

"Oh no you don't! Shower first, play later." She teased and darted into the bathroom locking the door behind her. It was a pointless thing to do, as she knew that no lock would ever keep him out if he truly wanted in but she was in a playful mood and if they trashed the room, it would just add to her enjoyment.

Before he could join her, his eye caught sight of a newspaper lying on top of a pair of suitcases in the corner of the room. Curiosity overtook him when he saw 'The Chicago Tribune' scrolled boldly across the top of the front page. Listening to the sound of running water and singing coming from the other room, he grabbed the newspaper and plopped down in the armchair next to the floor lamp. It had been so very long since he had thought of his family or his hometown. He proceeded to read each and every page with amusement but paused and lingered when he came to the wedding and birth announcements section.

Hannah Eve Ribauld and Ronald Todd Kirwan were married on May 9, 1942 … blah, blah, blah. They don't look much better in this photograph than they do now … He chuckled to himself and continued reading.

Scratching his head, he suddenly seemed puzzled. Kristen Jane Stevens and Robert Thomas Masen were married on May 9, 1942. Kristen is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan … blah, blah … Robert is the son of the late Mr. & Mrs. Edward Anthony Masen Jr. After reading the entire article he studied the photograph closely. Masen and his whore had a son? How can that possibly be? The wheels began to spin inside his head.

Several minutes later the bathroom door opened and the young woman strolled out wearing nothing but a towel that wrapped around her wet hair. "I was waiting for you James. Why didn't you come and join me?" She pouted and huffed. "You're no fun!"

A wicked grin spread across James' face. "I'm going to make you drink those words doll. Are you ready for a new game Victoria?"

To be continued ...


A/N: Well, that's it … for now. I hope that you enjoyed BtBB. I know some of you are groaning and probably none too pleased with me for leaving you hanging but don't fret too much. BtBB will have a sequel … probably starting sometime in November … maybe just in time for Breaking Dawn II? I can hardly wait!

Did anyone catch my reference to Swan House; a safe house for women and children who have been exposed to violence, frommy Beta T, Lovin Rob's story,'Take Me Home' This is a completed story and it's oh so good! Summary: "Bella is a sex addict who has a dark history involving abuse. Will a one night stand with a kind hearted and somewhat shy Edward change her perceptions of the world? And more importantly can he show her that love is tangible?" FF story ID# 7101420.

Here's another wonderful story by Lovin Rob that is wrapping up soon. It's called, 'The Role of a Lifetime.' Summary: "Edward had never heard of sexual role plays before Bella mentioned trying one together. Will an experiment in desire turn into an exploration of love and acceptance? Come follow Edward and Bella as they play the role of a lifetime." FF story ID# 7465177.

I promise you that I won't be twiddling my thumbs before I start the sequel. I had actually been working on another story before this one and I've decided to pursue it. This is a lighter, more irreverent story without too much angst. I've tried to blend my sarcastic wit and sense of humor into it to keep you all smiling. I am not anticipating that this story will be as long as BtBB. I hope to post the first chapter next Friday and I invite you all to come join me.

My new story is called 'Slim to None'. Summary: "What happens when you believe that you can no longer trust the one that you love? Edward and Bella are a young married couple who have hit some major potholes along the way to marital bliss. Events and circumstances threaten to tear them apart. Come join their off-beat counseling sessions as they try to work through their issues. Can their marriage be saved? What are the odds?"

A little shameless teaser from the 1st chapter ...

My eyes are fixed on the modern abstract painting hanging prominently behind our therapist, Jessica Stanley's desk. There are two rectangular shapes pushing up against each other, each vying to position itself against the other. It seems a rather fitting portrayal considering what actually goes on in this office. Or perhaps it's supposed to represent some bizarre, twisted and kinky sexual encounter ... hmm. I'm disturbed that my traitorous mind and body always seems to drift back to sex whenever I'm in his presence but it's been awhile since that itch has been scratched and that was never an area where we had any issues. I unconsciously cross my legs feeling somewhat aroused. As I continue to think about the meaning of the painting, I vaguely hear the monotonous drone of Jessica's annoying voice bringing me back to our counseling session.