A/N: Twilight is Meyer's. No copyright infringement intended.
I can't believe this is the final post for Cinders. It seems unreal. Bittersweet.
I want to thank everyone who took the time to read and review. It means a lot to me that you were willing to spend so much time in my little Twilight-themed bubble. And a special thank you to those who have stuck with these characters and this story – with me – ever since the beginning. I am grateful to have had your support, and I hope you enjoyed the journey.
To those who have asked: I will not be writing another FF. I may add to Scene It, or, if Bella decides to share another scene in the future, I may add a chapter to Cinders, but beyond that, I am leaving the FF world and returning to my original works.
Before I go, though, I thought you may be interested to know what happens to everyone outside the realm of Cinders, so as a little thank-you for your support, I compiled a short list of each main character/couple and where they end up. I'm definitely going to miss them – I already do – but I am happy with their story and their lives. I hope you are, too.
Thank you all.
Bree becomes a gossip columnist. She often writes about Tanya and Kate, who both marry rich but generally are not happy.
The royals start a corporation that deals with the exchange of information between international entities. Felix and Demetri are heads of security. Aro is the CEO, while Jane is his second-in-command. The remaining royals are spread throughout the corporation's many branches and fields. Due to corruption within the enterprise, the business often is under investigation, but the lawsuits always fall through, as the truly alarming aspects of the corporation remain carefully concealed and well guarded.
James and Laurent rotate in and out of jail. Victoria dates James when it is convenient for her. Despite being his "associate" in many of his schemes, she never gets caught by the law, as she is extremely skilled at evasion, but she never can settle and be comfortable and pampered like she wants to be. She regularly is on the move to avoid being caught, and she leaves a long trail of victims behind.
Lauren eventually marries a man she can control, so she is as happy as she can be given what she has. She does not have children. Jessica and Mike stay together and have one child (a girl), and they are content without interference from Lauren.
Angela becomes a biochemist. Ben becomes a doctor. They have one child (a boy) and are peacefully happy together. They go to every one of Bella's art exhibits in Washington, and they support all of Edward's movies and albums. They have dinner with Bella and Edward each time the Cullens are in town.
Tia and Benjamin have a daughter when Riley is eight. Benjamin is Edward's co-coach for the boys' little league team until the kids are too old to play. Riley remains friends with Masen and Alex into adulthood, and Bella and Edward remain friends with Tia and Benjamin as well.
Billy Black does not remarry. He devotes himself to his family and his tribe, and he looks forward to monthly fishing expeditions with Charlie (and often Sue) and to deliveries of sugar-free cookies from Bella.
Renee and Phil remain in Florida. Renee takes a position as a substitute teacher and continues to travel with Phil as much as she is able. She constantly tries new and often dangerous hobbies, and Phil calmly and patiently keeps her safe. He keeps Renee grounded, much to Bella's relief, and the Dwyers are content together.
Carlisle and Esme stay in their "mansion" because it is the right size to house all the kids and grandkids when they visit. Esme maintains her job as an interior decorator and only moonlights as a ninja one more time. Her stealth attack on the car of a persistent nurse who pursues a newly-married Carlisle is enough to teach everyone to back away from Dr. Cullen. After Carlisle retires from the hospital, he occasionally helps train new doctors and nurses, and he also makes house calls to some of his older patients. Dr. and Mrs. Cullen are very happy together… and Carlisle does most of the cooking.
Charlie and Sue are extremely happy. Charlie claims it's because "the woman knows her trout." Sue regularly works directly with Carlisle until she retires from nursing. Charlie is relieved to retire from the police department without having to interrogate any other family members about punching people in the face. He adores all his family, but he and Lizzie always have a special bond; Lizzie often will call him on a whim, and they usually talk at least once a week.
Emmett becomes the general manager of the Mariners, which makes Charlie and Billy his two new best friends. Rosalie continues to work at Ness and Jake's garage, fluctuating between part- and full-time, depending on Emmett's schedule and the schedules of their five boys. Rosalie likes to complain about being surrounded by men, but she loves her sons and her husband, and Emmett adores her.
Jacob and Renesmee remain attached to their hometown and their garage in Port Angeles. Jake and Bella talk regularly, often once a week. Jake and Ness's daughter Cassie remains friends with Carlie, and the girls look forward to seeing each other a few times a year as they grow up. Jake and Ness are, as Bella had realized from the very beginning, perfectly matched, and they work together easily and love each other wholly.
Jasper teaches history at NYU until he retires. Alice becomes a driving force in the fashion world, and she constantly provides new gowns for Bella and new tuxes for Edward. She also regularly purchases – and even designs – lingerie for Bella. The Hales and the Cullens frequently make the short drive to visit each other, and they strongly support each other's careers. Bella and Edward constantly are amused by Alice and Jasper's perfect balance of spastic energy and tranquility, but they're also impressed by their devotion – and by what Bella calls "their own brand of cute." Alice and Jasper do not have any children; Alice likes to say that Bella and Edward's kids are enough for her.
Mrs. Varner remains very close to the Cullens, particularly to Bella, whom she always thinks of as a daughter. She often attends little league games and school functions, and she regularly has dinner with the family. She continues to take art lessons from Bella and constantly teases her favorite couple about their intense connection – and the way they are so helplessly drawn to one another.
Lizzie attends college in Seattle. She inherits – and adores – Bella's truck, which Jake, Ness, and Rose maintain for her. She is sad to leave her family, particularly her momma, whom she so closely resembles all her life – she always is a momma's girl – but she is excited to be close to her Grandpa Charlie. She also is excited to be close to another Washington man; she and Evan, Rose and Emmett's eldest son, grow from the puppy love Esme observed when Lizzie was 10 into a full romance despite the distance and infrequent visits throughout the years. During Lizzie's second year of college, she accepts Evan's marriage proposal. Soon after, Bella takes Lizzie to dinner at the Italian restaurant in Port Angeles and tells her about her own wedding, then shows her the dress shop where she had selected her wedding gown. When Evan is 20 and Lizzie is 21, they exchange wedding vows in Carlisle and Esme's back yard in the exact same place as Edward and Bella's ceremony, with Lizzie wearing her momma's dress. Evan becomes an architect and Lizzie becomes a best-selling author. They remain in the Seattle area – within range of Carlisle and Sue, which is convenient for Lizzie and her clumsiness (and a relief to her parents) – where they raise their son and daughter (who inherits Lizzie's stuffed lamb) and live almost as happily as Edward and Bella.
Masen always is like his grandmother Renee, energetic and curious and constantly causing chaos. He signs on as the first baseman for the Mariners under general manager Emmett McCarty, which makes Charlie almost explode with excitement. Masen doesn't have his father's personality, so he's an infielder and not a pitcher, but he does inherit his father's athleticism. It makes Edward extremely proud to see his son on the field in a professional uniform. During an off-season break one year, Masen comes home to visit and, while hanging out with Alex, who also is home visiting, he climbs the tree in the front yard for old time's sake. Alex is right when he warns Masen that he'll probably fall just like the first time, and Masen breaks his arm again. But this time in the emergency room, Masen meets a blonde, brown-eyed nurse named Danielle, with whom he falls in love. She is patient and logical and able to deal with his craziness, and when Masen is 32, he marries her. Bella and Edward are amused (and secretly relieved) that he will have a nurse to take care of him. Masen loves his hometown, and so does Danielle, so when he retires from the Mariners, they live in New Hampshire, where he coaches the minor league team, the Fisher Cats. He and Danielle have two sons who are every bit as energetic as their father, so the family is a little hectic – but very happy.
Alex is exactly like his father. He begins composing piano pieces at a very young age, and he attends Dartmouth to study music. After graduation, he moves to Edward's hometown of Chicago. In the midst of his concerts and compositions, he meets a dark-haired, dark-eyed elementary school teacher named Mackenzie who is very similar in temperament to Bella. And, being so much like Edward, he falls for her. When he is 25, they marry. They remain in the Chicago area, where they have one child, a daughter. Alex occasionally collaborates with Edward on movie scores or albums, and sometimes they travel together for concert tours. During the summer, Mackenzie and their daughter often will stay with Bella while Alex and Edward are traveling. Alex and Mackenzie's relationship is peaceful and easy and very similar to Edward and Bella's.
Carlie always is a daddy's girl and turns out to be rather athletic, playing softball in high school. She attends Dartmouth and majors in art like Bella. She is more interested in painting than sketching, but she is nearly as talented as her momma. And like her sister, Carlie finds long-distance love during her family visits to Washington. She falls for Jake and Ness's son Nick, who takes after his father in looks and ends up being six-foot-six, only one inch shorter than Jake. Nick goes to college in New Hampshire to be close to Carlie, and when he is 20 and she is 19, they marry. Nick becomes a mechanic like his parents and opens a garage near Dartmouth. Carlie becomes an artist like her momma, though always more of a painter than Bella, and she teaches full-time at Dartmouth as well as taking on a more involved role at Bella's studio. Carlie and Nick have five children, three boys and two girls, and though their lives are busy and crazy, they couldn't be happier.
Edward continues to compose his own albums and occasionally accepts offers to write movie scores (for films with storylines approved by Bella). He always writes for/about his family, with everything sparked by Bella – even the scores that aren't supposed to have anything to do with her are inspired by her. He relates the stories to her and thinks of her as he composes. He never tells her, but he thinks she knows that she's there in every note of every piece.
Bella maintains her art career as well as her studio while continuing to teach part-time at Dartmouth. She receives an offer to turn her studio into a school, but she declines. She wants to keep her studio private and intimate, interacting with her pupils one-on-one. One of her favorite students, Samantha, follows in her footsteps to graduate from Dartmouth's art program at the top of her class and attributes her success to Bella's support when she needed her most; she remains close to Bella and fills in at the studio when Bella is out of town or otherwise engaged. Eventually Carlie offers a few classes at the studio, but both she and Samantha know that the studio always will be Bella's.
Bella and Edward remain in their dream home, and they make yearly trips to Washington and Florida to visit their family. They continue to grow closer and love more with each passing day, setting an example that their children admire and hope to follow. And for the most part, they do.
After all, they are Cullens.