A/N I don't own the characters, S.M. does and no beta for this ch either!
Epilogue (Chapter 37)
A lot had happened since we quietly returned to Forks.
Bella had moved in with us.
My parents let us share my room as we had already been living together for months, and would again, when we left for college.
My dad had obtained our GED certificates and our mark transcripts. He had also gotten our scholarships re-instated and we began our post secondary education at Dartmouth a few weeks later.
Bella took English and Literary Arts.
I studied Law.
Having been a victim in my past I wanted to help anyone else that needed someone to stand up for them.
Although my case against Tanya hadn't made National News, it was known amongst law enforcement officials. I think that is why Bella received a letter one day from her mother. We were all shocked to see Renee Swan's name and return address on the envelope.
Bella's hands had shaken as she opened the first correspondence she had received from her mother since long before we'd had to flee from Forks.
Renee Swan explained how sorry she was for leaving Bella behind all those years ago. She talked about some of the stuff Phil had done to her to cause her to flee herself. The only part of the story Phil seemed to have had correct however, was that Renee had had an affair with his Deputy Charlie Swan many years ago.
Phil's verbal and physical abuse had pushed Renee to seek help from the young Deputy and they had fallen in love. Renee had been afraid to leave Phil and continued to live in Forks as his wife while secretly finding comfort in Charlie's arms.
The biggest revelation was Renee's declaration she firmly believed that Charlie was Bella's father and not Phil. Although she was regularly intimate with Charlie, Phil had forced her to have sex with him once during the time she conceived Bella.
After Bella was born, Phil's jealousy grew.
He became suspicious of Renee. He was jealous of the love and attention being lavished on the new baby in the house.
Renee had threatened to leave many times, but Phil would threaten her life and then threaten Bella's, always causing her to relent. The cycle continued for many years until Renee had snapped and left in the middle of the night never to return. Apparently, at this point, Phil was on to Charlie and had threatened his life also. So Renee had run away with Charlie Swan. Finally.
Renee claimed she wanted to make amends with Bella. Renee begged Bella to contact her. Renee disclosed, that she had never told Charlie that Bella was his daughter until she heard of Phil's incarceration.
Charlie being a good man, was devastated by all the years he had lost with Bella and that she had been left with a man as volatile as Phil. Furious, he had left Renee for a short time, but eventually returned to her because he really did love her. He was now very anxious to get to know Bella.
It was a lot for Bella to think about. I mean, they did leave her behind. Saved themselves. At least Renee had. But Charlie had let her...
Bella didn't contact Renee for a long time but I could tell it was really bothering her. She had things to say to her mother. She felt Renee should know what her leaving had unleashed in the Dwyer household. So Bella wrote her mother a letter and explained the abuse she was left to endure on her own.
To her credit Renee and Charlie came to Dartmouth to beg Bella's forgiveness. It took a while, but now they are finally communicating again through emails only.
It was a huge relief to us that Bella wasn't actually related to Phil. She had hated the fact they shared DNA. Bella had even agreed to a DNA test, which proved conclusively that Phil was NOT her father.
After that, Renee and Charlie had flown to Dartmouth once more to visit us. It was awkward. Charlie bent over backward to get to know Bella, but Bella's contempt for her mother had also kept her at arms length from Charlie.
I hoped that after some more time passed, their relationship would improve.
Phil was still in jail. Three of the 4 cases against him stood up in court and he was convicted. He was also investigated within the police department and was convicted of police corruption on several counts. He was currently being housed in a segregated psych ward of his prison facility, after having been targeted for being a cop - and a sex predator by inmates when he was in the general population.
He had been found beaten to within an inch of his life and brutally violated one morning in the prison showers. It seemed, getting a taste of his own medicine, had caused Phil's brain to snap and he was in a near catatonic state. Good riddance, I say.
The sheer magnitude of charges that had rained down on Tanya was mind boggling! Although I rarely thought of that day at Red's, knowing that Tanya Walton would never see the outside of a prison cell unless she lived to be over 100 was comforting.
We continued to keep in touch with Emmett & Rose through emails, skype and telephone calls.
Stefan had married his girlfriend and was still in Las Vegas. He had been moved to a Special Victims unit and was flying up the ranks in his profession.
Bella and I had gotten married, in my parent's back yard, our first summer break from school. The whole gang had flown in from Vegas for the event. It was an intimate affair that only our closest friends from Forks attended with our family and Vegas friends.
We had returned to school, for our second year, a married couple.
5 yrs later...
Bella was now working for a well known publishing house as an editor. She was close to obtaining a promotion to Managing Editor of her division.
I worked in the District Attorney's office as the Assistant District Attorney. I was the youngest Assistant District Attorney that had ever held this position in Seattle.
My parents were extremely proud of this accomplishment.
And yes, I had to fully disclose my past at Red's to obtain this position. It was a miracle that I was still hired despite my past. Luckily, my hard work, dedication and honest work ethics had set me apart from the rest of the applicants.
I was happy to be helping people who needed it and putting away the bad guys. I hadn't lost a case so far and worked my ass off to ensure it didn't happen.
My parents moved to Seattle the year after we did and my dad got a job at Seattle Children's Hospital.
Margie and Mac retired and also moved to Seattle shortly after we did. Margie was miserable after we left. Bella had become her surrogate daughter and she missed her terribly. Mac had no real ties in Vegas and had readily suggested the move to ensure his wife's happiness.
Bella was thrilled when they moved. She had even taken to calling Margie 'Mom' much to Margie's delight.
Emmett and Rose, tired of Las Vegas, moved to Seattle for a change of pace about a year ago. Em had sold his bar above market value and was extremely happy that he would be able to begin a new bar here.
I was so happy with my life. My family was close and now our friends were close also.
Bella loved me and I loved her. What more could we ask for?
10 yrs later...
I was 34 yrs old and now Seattle's District Attorney. Bella now managed 3 divisions within her Publishing house. Professionally life was great.
At home our life was organized chaos.
We now had 3 kids and another on the way.
Edward jr., was 6, Chloe was 4 and Clair was 2.
Eddie was the spitting image of me. He even acted like me. He was a total Mama's boy much to Bella's delight.
Chloe had my hair colour and my green eyes, but all her features and mannerisms were Bella's.
My little Clair looked just like Bella. Brown hair and eyes - the works. Like a tiny little Bella clone. Clair was a daddy's girl through and through. Whenever I was at home, she was by my side or snuggled up on my lap.
As much as I loved my job, I simply adored being a father. Neither Bella nor myself had ever pictured ourselves having 4 kids when we got married.
But when Bella became pregnant with Eddie after a round of antibiotics rendered her birth control useless, we became very excited about the impending new addition to our lives.
I can't think of anything I loved more than watching Bella's belly swell with my child. It was the greatest feeling in the world. Eddie was so cute that a year later we both thought that we made such pretty babies it would be a shame not to create another masterpiece.
Yep, one boy, two girls and another little boy on the way, due in just 3 short months! We had picked out the name Teagen for our second son and the whole family couldn't wait to meet him.
Sadly he would be our last, as I had already gotten a vasectomy when we learned that Bella was again pregnant.
Mom and Margie were fantastic babysitters. Always available at a moments notice.
Em and Rose now had 2 girls, Eddie and Chloe's ages and they were great friends.
Jasper had married his high school sweetheart, Alice and they had 2 sons, aged 10 and 8.
My Chloe followed 8 yr old Justin around like a love sick puppy, which was a source of great amusement to everyone but me.
Our life together was wonderful. I had everything I had ever wanted. Everything I ever dreamed of. Our lives were rich and full.
I don't know how I ever got this lucky but I thanked God every day for meeting that little brown haired girl on the playground all those years agol!
. . . SACRIFICE . . .
The sacrifice of love we give,
Takes less and yet gives more;
An everlasting hand of love,
The heart an open door.
The willingness to give of self,
To lay down your own life;
To touch another person's heart,
In loving sacrifice.
A chance that God has given you,
To reach another soul;
Forever changed by kindness,
A life your love made whole.
For life is but a circle,
Each life part of the chain;
Each link is joined by sacrifice,
That causes man to change.
To turn and reach a hand of love,
To touch another's life;
Will cause the circle to be whole,
In loving sacrifice.
Allison Chambers Coxsey
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