There are no words to say, nothing I can write that would even come close to a good enough apology to my readers. Life has been chaotic - good, but chaotic. And while I have not updated in a year, I have not forgotten this story. When I started the last chapter, I had no clear idea on how to tie everything up. If you could see how many times I sat down trying to end this last chapter but always trashing it because it never seemed good enough.
But now, a year later - I am finally finished. I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has enjoyed this wonderful ride with me. It was so much fun to dive into this Edward and Bella and I am so happy to give you guys the last chapter. It's a long one - over 30 pages in my word document. But I felt it was well deserved to my readers who have stayed faithful.
Thank you again for those who have been with me for the past few years. Your reviews and messages are not going unnoticed and I accept them humbly.
Now it is time for me to hit that "complete" button and for you to enjoy the last chapter. Thank you for everything, my does.
One year later...
Gravel crunched under the tires of my car as I turned my wheel to the right, the opening of trees revealing a winding driveway that led all the way down to a familiar log house - one that caused my fingers to grip the steering wheel tighter and my breathing to stop. I could feel the material beneath my palms begin to crack and I began the mantra in my head -
Over and over again, taking deep breaths through my nose and out my mouth. Though the air had no effect on my lungs - it seemed to calm the nerves that fought their way through. Who has ever heard of a Vampire with anxiety? I nearly laughed at myself - my grip lessening around the wheel as my eyes caught the glimmer of the crystal wind chimes just above the front door, it swinging aimlessly side-to-side as it played a haunting melody. I sat still for a few minutes - my body perfectly still as my golden eyes didn't move from the chimes even when my phone started buzzing in my bag to the right of me. I knew who was calling and I had every intention of turning it off - Alice would continue to call until I answered but apart of me hoped she would understand that today - of all days - I needed to be alone.
I finally found the courage to wrap my hand around the door knob, clicking it open as I slowly stood up from my car, my eyes never leaving the chimes until I caught the glimmer of the ocean just behind the house - the scent of fresh rain and pine needles wafting around me caused a few memories to play in my head. I could see my eight year old self jumping in the mud puddles just in front of the porch, wearing a tiny yellow rain jacket as I giggled at the pure joy of just being outside. I smiled inwardly, thinking of the memory as I grabbed my bag and closed the car door behind me. I turned to look down the driveway, seeing a vision of my ten year old self running down, backpack nearly falling off my shoulders as I had a wide grin on my face, a new painting from art class in my hands and ready to show it off.
"Alec! Alec!" I giggled, nearly making it to the front of the house. "I've got something to show you!" The name made my stomach drop and if I could cry - tears would be pricking at the corner of my eyes.
"What do you have Ma Biche?" That warm tone voice asked as I saw the memory of him stepping out to the front porch, lifting me in his arms as I wrapped my arms around his neck, his hand taking to painting to inspect it. "Very beautiful, Bella."
I had to look away, the memory of his smile causing more pain than I cared to remember. I couldn't blame my younger self on how naive I was - how oblivious I was to the world I was living in. In all truth of the matter, it wasn't my fault. When I was human, thanks to Esme, I did't remember a thing of my troubled life before Alec - spare a few triggers. But once I was fully turned - once I woke from my ven state - I remembered it all, like an unread book. I remembered how I felt, the things I feared. I remembered the red eyes staring at me, almost waiting for a taste. Esme's power wore off so much that even a part of me remembers my mother and her swollen green eyes as she cried, hugging me one last time before letting me go in the hands of the Volturi. The past year I had dealt with several demons - imaginary and physically - but one thing I could say I successfully did was forgive my mother. It wasn't hard, the memories I did have of her were so small and vague that it wasn't hard to forgive a young mother in poverty with no other options. She had truly felt that a life with the Volturi was a better life she was living - I could not blame her for the technicalities she did not know. Carlisle had told me that Aro consistently praised the quality of life he would bring the children - the parents didn't know any better. I began to hear shuffling in the house, the stairs I remember so fondly creaking from old age as someone rounded the foyer, unlocking the deadbolt and slowly opening just enough for my eyes to catch the blue.
"Hello, can I help you with something?" The young man, mid-twenties, asked as he walked out in nothing but jeans and a white t-shirt. He seemed curious as to why I was standing in his drive way, his eyes looking up and down my body before reaching eye level again. I could hear his heart pumping faster, his knuckles tightening as he cleared his throat. Something else I had become used to - the reaction I gave to men and women alike. It was daunting at first, my human nature to shy away from attention was completely melted away when I turned. They couldn't help it - they were drawn to me. But that was the twist - they were drawn to me because they were my prey. It was a hunting mechanism, designed flawlessly so I didn't even really have to try, they would come to me and I need only ask.
"Hi. I'm Isabella Swan," I began, stepping up and reaching my hand out. "I am your landlord." He slowly reached his hand out, still confused and mesmerized by me. His warm hand fell into my cold one and like a switch, he realized he was staring.
"Oh?...Oh!" He gripped my hand harder and began to shake it, pulling away to only throw his fingers in his hair, looking back to the door. "I'm sorry... I had no idea you were coming."
"Not your fault. This was an unannounced visit." I smiled as his heart began to thump anymore, his body weight moving from side to side as his hands went down and shove inside of his pockets. I saw the beads of sweat start dripping down his forehead and it wasn't hard to know why he had suddenly became so nervous - the smell of burning incense and marijuana was very distinct. I had a pothead for a tenant. "Don't worry, I'm not here to raid through your things." I laughed.
"Oh. Okay." He laughed nervously, "Can I get you something to drink?"
"Glass of water, please. It's Eric, isn't it?" I asked, knowing full aware of who he was. Eric Yorkie, born April 5th 1991 to Anne and John Yorkie. He graduated from a small town in Texas and graduated with a Bachelors for Marketing at University of Maine. Currently in-between jobs, girlfriends and cars. I made sure to check every thing I could on his background, all the way up to his blood type.
"Yes, m'am." He said, opening the door for me. "If I knew I was having company, I would have cleaned up a little more." He said, running into the kitchen to throw away an old pizza box. I took a deep breath, stepping past the threshold of the door and inside. The scent of it was different, the way it was decorated was different - everything was... Different. I tried to rationalize it with myself that I knew leasing out the house I grew up in with Alec was going to bring some big changes. The reality of it was stinging more than anticipated. "I thought you were living somewhere in Europe."
"I've been traveling a lot," I said, nodding my head as thanks while I reached for the glass of water he brought back to me. "No one really knew I was coming back, it was a spur of the moment thing." I told him, taking a sip of the water I did not need and noticed that his eyes scanned down to my chest, looking at the little cleavage that was there. I cleared my throat and his eyes were back on me, his cheeks pooling with red. "I like what you've done with the place," I lied through my teeth, glaring at the pea-soup green couch that adorned the living room, tattered in the corners.
"A lot of the stuff is from my old house on campus. It's rough out here for a grad. Got to recycle." He said with a shrug, noticing a sock hanging over one of the lamps, quickly reaching out to grab it and tuck it into his pocket as he cursed under his breath. I laughed, moving past him and into the kitchen as I admired the granite table tops and mahogany cabinets - my eyes closed to a memory of me standing on a stool next to Alec who flipped a pancake in the air, catching it back on his spatula with ease as I giggled next to him, tugging on his sweater to let me try.
I opened my eyes and saw him behind the younger version of myself, holding my tiny arms as he helped me flip a tiny pancake in the air, catching it perfectly. I squealed with excitement as Alec looked at me with such a loving gaze - one that was irreplaceable. I covered my mouth, resisting the urge to start choking up as I quickly turned to see Eric studying me.
"I'm sorry, this house just brings back so many memories." I smiled weakly, looking out the back french doors, seeing the white gazebo that was built just last year. "I used to live here. With my father." I told him, "That's why I am here."
"Is that his memorial out there?" He asked and I nodded with a grim smile. "It's beautiful."
"Thank you. He loved this house. It just seemed fitting to build something here for him." I stepped towards the door, the sun beginning to set just out past the ocean, the water twinkling with sparkles as seagulls cawed in the air. "I just wanted to take a few minutes and..."
"No, no. Take all the time you need. Really." He said with a nod as I smiled at him, opening the back door and walking to the backyard, past the garden that had been abandoned for a year. I stopped just in front of the gazebo, my hand reaching out to touch the white wood as my fingers dug into it, my chest tightening from a sadness and a pain that I had known all to well in the past twelve months. I had to remind myself to let go of the wood before I snapped it, my first foot put in front of me as I stepped up onto the gazebo, seeing the first forget-me-not flowers in their pots. I reached out and grazed a tiny blue flower with my finger tip, the wind beginning to howl as the sun set deeper beyond the ocean.
I remember it so clearly - so vividly. I remember waking up from my Ven state in Washington with Carlisle, Esme, Rose, Emmett, Alice and Jasper. I was confused, irrational and a new fully turned Vampire. I remember them holding me down as I realized what happened, that Alec was killed by the Volturi. I remember the anger I felt, the pain that coursed through my frozen veins as I screamed in agony, wishing I could take all of it back just to have Alec here again. He was the only thing I had ever truly known. He was in all intent and purposes my father and he was gone from my life in the blink of an eye. They had collected his ashes and gave them to me in a crystal vase and after I controlled my thirst from blood, I headed out to Deer Isle and built this gazebo and sprinkled his ashes out into the ocean. It turned out that he had left me this house in his will and I couldn't find myself to sell it, but I couldn't find the courage to stay in it. So instead of letting it sit, I decided to rent it out. I sat down on the step staring out to the ocean as the wind pushed back my hair, crying invisible tears as my hand gripped the pinwheel necklace that sat on top of my chest.
The waves crashed onto the shore just below and the birds began to disappear as the sunset turned into darkness, leaving me with nothing but the moon and the stars. I didn't know how long I sat out there for, maybe hours - all I could think of was Alec, the last time I saw him.
"Ma Biche! Get out!" He screamed, his last words echoing in my head over and over again. I felt another sob rack through my chest, my fingers prying at my hair as I tried to collect myself. I heard shuffling in the house and no doubt was Eric looking out the window, wondering why I had been sitting out here for so long in the cold. But the cold did not bother me, only the aching in my chest that I wished every night would go away. My phone buzzed in my purse over and over again as I continued to ignore it, wanting to be alone in my pity. It would stop every so often but only start up again after a few seconds. Annoyed with the sound, I reached into my bag to see not the normal name I had assumed was calling me. I pressed the green button on the phone, setting it to my ear.
"You are a hard girl to get ahold of." The voice said as I rolled my eyes. While it was from Jasper's number, Alice's voice was as clear as day. "Don't hang up, Bella!" She shouted just before I hit the red button.
"Alice, I love you," I began, "But I told you about today. Today of all days - I just want to be -"
"Alone. I know. But something has happened and you need to know. It couldn't wait." Alice said as I heard shuffling in the background. "I saw him, Bella."
My body went incredibly still as her words began to process through my brain. A few seconds passed, I heard Alice say something but it didn't even register. She saw him? He let her see him? The scar on my neck began to pulse every so slightly, a small flame of heat radiating from the crescent shape as I reached up and touched it. And that was all that I needed to know that her gift of visions had clearly saw him - and he let her.
"Where is he?" I asked, standing from the gazebo as I grabbed my bag and headed for my car. Eric saw me moving and quickly stood from where he had been in the house, racing down the stairs to meet me in the front.
"I'm not familiar with the place but it's a white house on the beach, a pier in the background." Alice said.
"I know where that is," I said.
"Bella, it literally could be anywhere." She told me with an exasperated sigh.
"But it's not. There is a reason he let you see him," I began, "He wants to be found now." I unlocked my car, throwing my bag in just before the front door opened wide. "I'm going to him."
"Ms. Swan?" Eric called out just as I hung up the phone.
"Thank you, Eric. For letting me stay. I'm sorry to intrude, I do have to go now." I said, getting into my car.
"Wait." He threw his hand out, grabbing the door. "A couple of months ago, I received this from a delivery man. It's made out to you." Eric held out a letter and I noticed my name and my Deer Isle address with no returning address.
"Thank you," I took the letter and carefully set it into my bag as I said goodbye and turned my key, driving off into the night.
The plane ride had been excruciating long but some how in the mess of my emotions, I was able to stay in control with hundreds of humans crowded around me in a small space and my mark beginning to burn so extremely - I was thankful I was in my rental car, winding down the roads as rain pelted from the sky. I had thought of this moment for months - the moment that I see him, what my first words would be - how I would react, how he would react. And of all places, he chose this. It was significant. I had no doubt why he chose this - because it was the start of us. It was where everything came to place and simultaneously fell apart. The rain began to calm and the moon began to peak from the storm clouds just as I passed the sign.
Aloha and Welcome to Hilo
It was hard to forget the last time I saw Edward - it repeated several times in my head through out the day. I was human, frail and weak - but most of all I was his prey. It was a idiotic idea on my part, but the thought of him dying in front of me from starvation was unfathomable. I ran out of options and reacted, biting my skin open and waking the monster deep inside of him. It took over every fiber of his being, disregarding his emotions and blackening his morales. There was no Edward, there was only the hunger. He was killing me, breaking my bones and drinking every last drop of blood inside of me. Carlisle said it was a miracle that I survived even into the ven state of my transformation. He said that I lost so much blood that it had to be at the exact moment I was going to die, Edward inserted his venom. It was a scientific miracle, Carlisle told me. But to Edward - it was an excruciating painful decision he had to make. He hated the idea of me being what he was - he held it off for so long. But to make the impossible choice of changing me or losing me forever - I couldn't fathom what he must have been going through. Which is why I did not blame him. Not one ounce of me blamed him for what had happened. Looking back, it was my decision to taunt him with my blood. It was my fault. I knew exactly what I was doing - I just didn't know the ultimate sacrifice I was giving up in doing do.
After Alec's death, the Cullen's fled back to Washington with me in tow. When I woke from my Ven state of my transformation and processed Alec's death, my next priority was Edward. But Carlisle broke the news to me that he had been gone for several weeks, in search for Aro who was now in hiding, very aware that Edward was out to get him. Edward would only check in a few days at a time and it was always to get an update on my transformation.
"He is ridden with guilt, Bella. It was eating at him alive." Carlisle told me as we stood out on the balcony. "He hasn't called since you've woken - which I admit is strange."
"He knows." I said, looking to Carlisle as I placed my hand over my mark. I remember waking up, the sense of an overwhelming saddened feeling washing over me. It was indescribable - it was Edward's guilt. And I could feel it through my mark - but the moment I let out a small vibration to him, the sense of relief satisfied my nerves and a brief declaration of love beat deep inside of my chest.
"Ahh - yes. The mating mark. Amazing isn't it?" Carlisle wondered as I felt it burning against my cold hand. He reached out and absentmindedly stroked the one on his wrist, undoubtably from Esme. "I should have known he already knew."
"It's not like how you guys described it." I said to him with a choked voice. "They told me when I was turned the mark would burn with a wanton desire. But all I can feel is his pain. All I can feel is his sadness."
"The mark works in mysterious ways, Bella. Usually when the pair are newly mated with the mark, the desire of the body is the first instinct. But you two have been through so much. And he is working through an extreme amount of guilt. Feeling as if he didn't protect you, almost killing you and then Alec..." Carlisle trailed off.
"I don't blame him for any of it," I cried, looking to Carlisle who stared at me with a empathetic gaze. He reached out and tucked a strand of hair behind my ear as his golden eyes shined with a comfort that made me feel some what at ease.
"Put that emotion you are feeling towards the mark. Let him know that you do not hold any resentment towards him. But you need to give him time. He needs to work this out in his own pace. What he went through is a like a deep, dark tunnel. He just needs a little light to show him the way, hmm?" He asked as he touched my chin with a comforting smile and a kiss on my forehead, walking away and into the house.
I spent weeks after that, pushing my feelings into the mark. His guilt and sadness weakened but only a little. It's almost as if he wasn't convinced, still hung up on the fact that it was his fault. Apart of me then began to be angry with him, that he wouldn't answer my calls or messages but most of all, would not answer my feelings with the mark. Almost as if he was giving up on us, on me. I had to remind myself of what Carlisle said - Edward was in a state of mind that only he himself could pull himself from. I could show him light, I could show him forgiveness - but he needed to forgive himself. I remembered the last time I saw him, surprisingly enough - it was not the night when Alec died.
After a few weeks of not feeling Edward putting anything towards our marks, I realized that what he truly needed was to be alone. While my feelings were hurt, it gave me the chance to focus my attention elsewhere. While finding Edward was of the utmost important - the vengeful side of me wanted and needed to find the man who caused all of the pain - Aro. He had gotten away that night and I made it a priority to find him. I spent weeks around Italy, tracking what I could, speaking to who would be brave enough to give me any information. I had found out that Aro still had a sizable group of men protecting him. His castle was destroyed but he had other homes to reside in and one wasn't far from his mansion in Volterra. I made a clear and conscience effort that he needed to be gone - for good. My adopted family was not pleased with my idea Emmett, Esme and Jasper all disagreeing with me to go at it alone. Alice and Rosalie believed that I needed to do it for myself and Carlisle of course was Switzerland. Alice was able to help me with her visions, but they were too vague and at times I felt I was chasing a shadow. She still hadn't completely mastered her skill, but it was enough to get me on the plane when she let me know he wasn't far from the mansion in Volterra.
The thunder echoed through the trees and out to the fields as the dark storm clouds hung low amongst the sky. The wind whipped with a powerful force, the lightening only brightening above for mere milliseconds. I ran as fast as my legs would carry me, leaping from trees and across streams, my chest tightening with pain and anger as I neared closer to my destination. I was running on pure rage, sorrow and agony. The hate that was so rooted inside of me was growing with a passing second that I knew the only thing that would sedate me was the feeling of revenge. I stopped just shy of the edge of the woods, the storm growing stronger as tree branches began ripping through the sky, the rain pelting down around the broken castle.
I moved to the west side of the building, climbing through a broken window. The Volturi Castle was completely abandoned. Art frames hung broken on the walls, the vases that decorated the hallways shattered and doors torn from their hinges. I walked through the concrete castle, stopping just shy of a metal door, pressing my hand against the cold surface and opening it up to an auditorium. There were no chairs, the long red drapes that used to hang elegantly from the walls tattered on the floor. There was no mistaking the large stage at the opposite side of the room, the floorboards ripped up as light fixtures were broken on the ground. I had seen that stage many times in my life, all when I was human, being auctioned off to blood thirsty vampires who wanted nothing more but to consume me.
I couldn't help but feel a twinge of fear - no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get rid of some human traits, especially ones that were so deeply rooted in me. I could remember the fear I felt every time I stood on that stage. Once as a child and once as an adult. The memories would live with me forever, there was no avoiding it. Facing my fear, I stepped on the stage, minding the broken boards as I turned to the empty audience, the room looking less darker then it had been before.
I moved on, strolling in and out of rooms and inspecting items that were left behind. There was nothing to help me with my case of finding Aro and fulling the need to quench my revenge. For all I knew, Alice's vision may have already come true - he could have been here and already left. As I traveled deep into the castle, I made sure to avoid the wooden door that led down to stairs and into the cellars. There were things I could handle - and there were others I needed to avoid at all costs. While the fear was no longer a threat, it was the memories that were painful. I moved past that wooden door and to another, one that was off its hinges and broken into pieces. I was at the top of the grand staircase, looking down to the ballroom where I had last left this castle.
The walls were broken from the fighting between Vampire's and Wolves, the rain coming in and creating a trench that leaked deep into the middle of the room. Across the room a metal pole was impaled deep into a wall - I had remember Victoria's death so vividly - the woman who caused my life to spiral into a chaotic mess. She had caused so much pain, agony and restlessness. There wasn't a moment that went by that made me doubt showing her no mercy. I knew she deserved every ounce of pain I inflicted on her that night. I walked down the stairs, my boots soaked from the water that pooled on the ground. I looked to chains that rusted under the water. I reached down to touch them, remembering they were once on Edward for months, keeping him from food, from sun, from life, from me.
No far away was the ground untouched by water, but bathed with dry blood. I closed my eyes and touched the hard stone, remembering the last time I had been there. My bones in my legs had been crushed, a gaping flesh wound on my arm and Edward's teeth at my neck were draining me of blood faster than I could process a thought except for one - I had come to terms with my death that night. It felt written in the stars for me, that I had no hope, no way back, no options. Of course, the physical pain matched what I had felt emotionally inside.
I looked up to the corner of the room - the very last time I saw Alec before he... I stood up quickly, covering my mouth to hold in a sob. I fell to my knees, grabbing ahold of the wall in the corner as there was no sign of him at all. His bones that had dusted were long gone with the wind and I quickly reached up and held onto the pinwheel necklace. I tried to remember the good - before all of this. Before Hilo, before Forks - When it was just him and I in Deer Isle. I tried to hold onto those memories as I felt the weight of the world crashing on me. I missed him so much - his guidance, his direction, his love and his protection.
I was so overwhelmed in my remorse that I had almost missed the sounds of what I could only describe as crashing boulders. I immediately stood from my spot, stepping further into the middle of the room and looked out to the forest still drowning under the rain storm. The crash happened again and too distinctive to be thunder - the second time around it came with men screaming and without a another thought - I ran. Leaping from tree to tree, my pace only slowed when my mark began to burn. My hand covered it, rubbing soothingly as I got closer to the sound, the heat of fire beginning to make my skin crawl as I reached the middle of the forest, flames blazing eight stories high as I noticed bodies incinerating within the smolder.
A grunt made sound behind the fire and I stepped around it to see a body slumped against a tree. The man with hair black as night struggled to keep himself upright, missing both of his legs and one arm. The sight of him - of his red eyes - they caused an anger inside of me that was as blazing as the sun and as strong as a hundred vampires. I could see nothing but memories flash before my eyes, my childhood - taken away into slavery, auctioned off, my memories wiped, moved around hundreds of times, my partner abused and starved - my father killed for no other reason except that this man could not accept the fact that the people around me would not stand for me being a slave.
"Isabella," He chuckled as if the irony of meeting me was entertaining. "Being full turned becomes you, my dear." He stopped laughed, covering his groans of pain as he tried to position himself higher against the tree stump. "I thought he would be the one to end me, but it seems he has left me to you." I immediately looked up to the forest - a mile or so away a pair of red eyes caused me the flinch as my mark burned under my frozen skin. A part of me wanted to go, wanted to run to him and disappear together. I hadn't seen him in months - and my mark craved him. This was the closest we had been since that night at the castle.
But another part of me, the bigger part of me, knew I would not come across the opportunity again so easily. And it seems that Aro was given to me as a gift from the red eyed man in the forest. I could not deny what I needed to do next - all I hoped is he would wait for me after.
"Maybe we could come to some compromise, Isabella?" He asked me as I immediately glared at him, my body moving ever so slowly as he tried his hardest to get away. "All of my men are dead," He gestured to the fire. "My Empire has been destroyed and I am too weak to fight you. I am nothing. I am worthless. But I still have money - I have donors... We can..."
"Do you really think your money will save you?" I asked, cutting him off. "Your money is worthless to me."
"Perhaps so... I'm sure we can find other ways to do business. I can see it in your eyes that you have been feeding on humans... All the donors I have in my possession, I will give to you... To do with what you will..." He was right. I had been feeding on humans - but only ones who deserved the death for punishment. Rapists, Murderers... I'd never harm an innocent. It was not in my nature. I got close enough to instill fear in Aro that I could see so plainly in his eyes - he was frozen and unmoving awaiting for my attack.
"You killed Alec."
"That was one of my men... Felix... And he has paid the price, Edward has killed him." He said, gesturing again to the fire. "I called no such order."
"You didn't care who died that night. As long as your order was still intact. As long as the masses still abided to your rules. Edward, Carlisle, Alec... They all could have died, you had no mercy. So why should I show you any?" I asked him as he eyes widened, trying to find something to reason with.
"Isabella... Please... Be reasonable... It is nothing but politics, it wasn't personal."
"It was to me." I snarled. "I'm not going to sit here and tell you how much pain you caused me, I will not give you the satisfaction. Tell me where your donors are and I will show you mercy as long as you promise to not bother me, Edward or the Cullens ever again." I said as his eyes lit with elation as he began nodding his head quickly, with his only hand he reached out to mine, grabbing it and kissing it repeatedly. I heard a low growl not far off and it eased me to know he was still out there watching over me.
"Bless you, child! Your mercy will not go unforgiven... The donors are in a cellar in Isola D' Elba just underneath the clock tower. Just about two hundred of them... They are the only ones I have left." He said as I nodded, "Now, help me up dear child..." He began, reaching out for me as I stepped back. He looked up, nearly shocked. "I told you where the donors are... Will you fulfill your mercy?" He asked, looking upon my face as if he had already knew the answer.
This was the man who had caused the turmoil in my life ever since I was a tiny girl - his hatefulness, his spiteful pride and his malignant destruction has caused ever ounce of pain I had ever felt - it was all because of him. And it will always be because of him unless I end it right here, right now. Aro looked upon me, beginning to speak a prayer in Italian as if to atone to his wrong doings in the past that might save him for the next life. Before he could finish, I felt a snarl leave my lips, my mouth to his neck as I tore it in half, his head leaving his torso and falling onto the ground as there was no sound but the cracking fire. I sat there for a moment, feeling a wave of ease fall over me, my mind racing at a million miles per second as I absorbed what I had just done. I stood, grabbing the body and head and threw it into the fire just in enough time to turn around to realize I was still not alone.
I ran out to the area I had last seen the red eyes, my mark no longer burning as the rain pelted down harder, soaking into my clothes and onto my skin. I stood alone in the middle of the forest, finding myself leaving in the opposite direction of where the fire blazed and the body of my enemy burned.
The static of the radio brought me back to my thoughts and in just enough time as I turned down my old road. I remembered shortly after my encounter with Aro, I flew right to Isola D' Elba and found the cellar under the clock tower. Men, women and children all flinched at the sunlight when I walked them out and to a home shelter, where we bathed, clothed and fed all of them. I spent a lot of time reconnecting them back with their families and the ones without families, depending on how old they were, were given enough money to start a new life - courtesy of Carlisle. The children were placed in homes that I checked prior to leaving them there. They built new relationships and all of them were adopted within weeks of being placed in the home.
The happiness I felt helping those donors made the pain in my own life tolerable. Alec would be proud - and that was all that mattered.
I pulled into the driveway of my old home and I opened the door from my car, the sounds and smells of the ocean so much clear and prominent as the blue sky turned with the setting sun. The house in front of me brought back so many memories, some unpleasant and others bitter sweet - both were a warm welcome that brought me back to a past that I thought I would never return to. I shut my car door and walked to the front, unsurprised to find the door unlocked. The coolness of the knob under my palm sent a vivid memory back to me, one of chaos and destruction as a rogue vampire named Riley was sent to kill me by Victoria who was scorned from Edward's unrequited love. I had almost lost my life that night, if it weren't for a guardian such as Sam, the wolf shape shifter, who protected me from the constant dangers that always seemed to find me.
And so started the beginning of the end of my human life.
But, surprising enough - I had opened the front door to no destruction at all. The furniture had been restored, the walls repaired, the floor cleaned and there was no trace of a battle between two Monsters right in this living room. I set my coat down on the arm of the chair, moving through the rooms as I walked by memories of the past. I remember sitting in the living room, watching TV with Peter, helping Sam cook in the kitchen and playing chess with Paul in the den. I walked down the hallway and opened the door to my old bedroom and it was as if I had never even left. The bed was unmade from the last time I stood from it, my laptop where Alice and I sent emails back and fourth, sitting on the floor and collecting dust. Some of my old clothing hung from the dresser, a polaroid picture of Peter, his girlfriend Emily and myself taped to the mirror. I looked at my human form, the blush in my cheeks and the brown in my eyes once gone as I caught my reflection.
I turned around and headed out of my bedroom, crossing the hall to another door I had visited quite frequently the last few weeks in Hilo. Edward's bedroom had looked as if it had just been recently cleaned, the bed perfectly made as the floor was cleared. I noticed there were new books on the shelves near his desk and it became very clear that someone was inhabiting this room. I looked to the bathroom, remembering when Edward set me on the counter, tending to my wound Victoria gave me and then a few months later, during the after math of the battle in the living room.
I could remember his voice when he told me he needed to leave and had to hide me from danger. I remember crying hot angry tears as I couldn't understand - couldn't even fathom being away from him. Those six months we were apart while I was in Wyoming was a cake walk compared to this year without him. I looked to his bed, remembering when he held me that night and every night before, kissing my forehead and telling me he loved me. I went to the bed, sitting at the edge of it as my fingers ran through the soft silk remembering the times before everything seemed to go so dark. There were days that I wish I could do it all over again, go back and live through the memories where everything felt so easy. I brought myself back from the memories, looking at the room and the silence in the house was nearly deafening - I began to wonder if I had been wrong about coming here as it seemed as there was no one in this house but me.
I stood from the bed, looking back in just enough time to see my mind form two figures curled into each other - a brunette and doe-eyed girl looking into the eyes of a beautiful copper haired man, his arm around her tightly, gentle enough not to hurt her but strong to enough to pull her to his chest, pecking the top of her head.
"You mean so much to me. Do you know that?" He whispered to her, watching as tears began to pool in her big brown eyes, but the smile was undeniable of someone in loved. "Being here... With you. I've never been happier." He kissed her checks when she blushed, clutching onto him tighter as if he were to slip away. "You are happy with me? As well?"
"I can't put it into words..." She didn't miss a beat and the two kissed as if some hidden language confirmed their feelings for each other as she drifted to a sweet slumber, unknowing of the challenges that would soon face her. But that was not something she needed to worry about - her next few weeks would be spent waking up to a man who she loved so much - what was there to worry about?
I walked out through the kitchen and to the back door as I opened it to the white sand beach, the waves crashing harder and harder with every push and pull. The gulls chirped as they rode the winds over the ocean, the sun forced the sky to turn warm and I walked down to the sand and onto the board walk, the wood creaking under my boots as I reached the very end, feeling the salt water spray on my skin with each passing wave. I watched as the Ocean ebbed and flowed as boats passed by, heading into the harbor before the nightfall.
I could feel my face contorting into a frown as the sea water spraying onto my cheeks acted as tears, my hand coming up to cover my mouth as I stifled a sob. I was coming to terms with the very fact that I had been wrong about Alice's vision. That this was not Edward's way of letting me know he was ready to see me - and that very realization caused a gaping hole inside of me that I could't ignore.
I felt so alone. Now more than ever.
I had wondered if I had just died in that cell so many years ago when I was just a child how everyones life would have turned out. Alec would be alive, living his life with a wife possibly, traveling the world and not worrying about a little girl to take care of. And Edward - he wouldn't have been consumed with protecting me and wouldn't have found himself harboring guilt to the very point he needed to be away from the people who loved him the most. How much easier would it have been for everyone around me? If I were just... Gone? The idea of running away seemed all too easy but I had nothing but the time in the world. I gripped the pinwheel necklace between my pointer finger and thumb and hoped for some guidance as the stars shined brightly above me.
I had spent the next couple of days in Hilo mainly outside of the house and in town, returning to my old and favorite spots that Peter introduced me to. I even went by my old job, Newtons Bait Shop and said hello to Mrs. Newton who couldn't help but comment to how different I looked and even mentioned how pretty my gold eye contacts were. I walked around the beaches, spending the majority of the time to myself and occasionally checked back into the house as hope continued to linger that he would show up. When I needed to hunt, I went as far and deep into the woods and up the mountains as I possibly could. The animal life was scarce at best and I fed as much as I could on mountain goats and mongooses but I knew I couldn't live on it forever. Eventually, I'd need to leave and go back to Washington where there were stags and big cats of plenty. And of course my adopted family, The Cullens, awaited for me patiently - except for Alice.
"When will you be home?" She said in a whiny tone as I walked down the streets of downtown Hilo, passing by people who occasionally turned to look at me - another piece of my new life I had to get used to.
"My plane leaves tomorrow night. I should be back by the following morning." I told her, looking up at the round and yellow moon. "Have you seen anything else, Alice?"
"He's blocking me out now." She said to me sadly and I could picture her frown. I felt two feelings at the same time - one of overwhelming anger and I couldn't help but feel like crushing something between my hands. The other feeling was one I was way to familiar with - disappointment. It coursed through every nerve in my body and I wanted to break down and cry, but as always, I continued down the street as if nothing at phased me at all. "It's so strange that he let me in for only a moment, just to cast me out again."
"A lapse in judgement, I suppose." I told her, keeping my tone calm.
"Are you okay, Bella?" Damn, Alice. Not even I could fool her.
"I will be." I said to her, passing a store in just enough time to hear someone call out my name. I turned around, seeing a blue eyed, sandy blonde man standing only a few feet away from me, the familiar lopsided grin causing the ache in my chest to subside - for now. "Peter? Alice, let me call you back." I ended the call and slid my phone in my back pocket. We both went in for a hug at the same time, holding on tightly as our laughter filled the street.
"What are you doing here?!" We said at the same time, a fit of giggles leaving us both.
"I can't believe it!" He said as we pulled away, eyeing me up and down. "Bella... Are you...?" He trailed off, his eyes looking around us as he dared not speak the word.
"Yeah. Last year." I told him with a nod as he looked at me dubiously. "It's a... long story."
"Was it Edward?" He asked, the name causing the gaping hole to protrude even more. I nodded my head slowly, watching as his smile turned genuine once again, leaving the topic. "Just as long as you promise not to use me as a toothpick..."
"No promises," I smirked just as a caught an overwhelming scent of grass and teakwood.
"I won't let anything happen to you," The form came out behind the store and Emily wrapped her arms around Peter's middle as he looked down at her with a smirk, kissing the side of her head. "Hi Bella." Emily was just as beautiful as I last saw her, her long black hair tucked behind her ears as her slender yet built tan body rested against Peter. I had seen her out of her human form, in her shape shifter form. She was there in Italy to help fight against the Volturi with Sam and Jacob. I had yet to thank her for that - risking her life when she got nothing out of it.
"Hey, Emily. How are you?" I asked, not oblivious to the fact that I heard not only one heartbeat within her, but two. She couldn't have been far along, maybe a few weeks - but she was absolutely glowing.
"I'm doing well, Bella, how are you?" She asked and I shrugged with a nod.
"I'm well. How is Jacob?" I asked. The last time I had seen him was also in Italy, right before the fight. I remember waking up from my transformation and asking Carlisle about the pack - everyone had survived. Wounded - but survived.
"He's good. He just got engaged to his Highschool Sweetheart. They rekindled after we got back." She said and I smiled genuinely, happy that he had found love after the war. "I'd love to stay and chat, but I am wiped out." She said, touching her stomach before kissing Peter on the lips, leaving the two of us behind as she headed back to their home, only a few miles away.
"She's been really tired lately," He said with a shrug and I smirked inwardly, hiding the fact that I knew the secret that laid within her womb. Peter and I walked together, out to the beach where we talked for hours - a lot reminiscing about our times here in Hilo. I ended up sitting in the sand as he built a fire as we both sat down, laughing at our inside jokes, our memories of this place and what happened after everything went down at the house.
"Shit, Bella. I had no idea." He said, running his fingers through his hair as I finished my story, all the way up to Alec dying. "I just figured Edward moved you just to be a selfish prick." He laughed as I smiled, shrugging my shoulders. "If I knew what you had gone through... I would have found you."
"I know. But there was no way of you knowing. I wanted to keep my misery to myself. No need to get my friends down, is there? I'm doing fine. Better than fine." I asked him with a forced smile. He looked at me, his blue eyes burning as deep as they always did.
"You know what's incredible? You are a Vampire... You have super speed, strength, agility... You could crush me in half if you wanted to and stick a straw in me and drink me dry... But I can still see right through you. You are such an open book, Swan." He teased, hitting my shoulder as I laughed, shaking my head.
"You'd think I'd get better at that." I said, my hand absentmindedly going to my mark on my neck as I felt it pulse.
"Yeah, well - I'm glad I got to see you. I wish you called before hand, we would have had more time together." He said, wrapping his arm around my shoulder.
"I'm sorry. But in my defense, I didn't even know you still lived here." I told him.
"You think I'd ever leave Hawaii? I'm a surfer. It would hurt too much to leave." He said, bringing his hand over his heart as he smiled. "Plus too many memories here to leave."
"That's why I am leaving tomorrow." I told him with a scoff. "I can only take so much." I told him honestly, picking at the sand underneath my legs. It was so easy being honest with Peter - he was right, I was an open book. No matter how hard I tried, I wouldn't be able to fake anything with him.
"You know, I never knew what you saw in him." He began as I turned to look at him staring out into the ocean. "I mean, I get it - from a physical side. But I always thought you were too good to fall for someone like him."
"You don't know him like I do, Peter." I began.
"I know. I know. At first I thought you were crazy - I mean from him to go from girls like Victoria to you... I figured he was using you as bait or something. Trying to tender you up. But then I saw a change in him. The way he spoke, looked and even walked. He moved, you moved. Like magnets." He stopped, looking over to me. "It reminded me of how my mother and father were. How Emily and I are. And I was mad at first that you were so into him, but I get it now. You two are soulmates. He will come back, Bella."
I looked at him for a moment, processing his words as I turned to the Ocean, every fiber of my being wishing he was right. We sat there for another hour or so until Peter got a text from Emily saying she was sick to her stomach and he mentioned how frequently this was happening with her. I suppressed the want to say something about the baby and just hugged him goodbye, holding on for what seemed like hours. He told me he loved me and was always here when he needed me and his words made me feel at such ease in the chaotic life I was living.
We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways as I headed back to the house, walking down the rocky roads as the night shrouded around me, holding me like a close friend. As I began closer to the house, my mark began pulsating once again. I hissed, placing my hand over it as I rubbed it soothingly, but the sensation was only growing with each step I took towards the house. It had become overwhelming, the mark burning with a feeling of closeness that I had not felt since that night in Italy tracking Aro a few months ago. I looked up to see the lights of the home a few miles away, my pace picking up as the mark burned with an intensity that made my legs faster. I ran up to the drive way, through the front door and stopped just beyond the kitchen, looking out the windows of the french door to see a figure out on the Pier.
I opened the back door, the scent of sandal wood filling my senses as I hit the beach, seeing the figure still looking out the the ocean, copper hair glowing from the moonlight as his hands were deep in his pockets, his white shirt blowing in the wind just as I stood up on the opposite side of the pier. My mark was screaming, joyous, elated and impatient at the very fact that her partner was so close. And I could feel his excitement, his nerves and his love all rolled in one. I wanted to say something - but I was rendered speechless of what my eyes saw before me. It had been so long.
And when he turned, when his golden eyes matched mine - I felt the air leave my lungs as the emptiness inside of my filled with emotions that I had thought were long gone. But they were back, back the moment we connected eyesight. The mark was powerful, it was trying to pull us like magnets and just as I rubbed my neck, he rubbed his chest, just over his heart where I left my mark. I stepped closer, but only slightly to not alarm him. But he was as poised and unnerved as ever, staring at me with such an intensity that I could not ignore, that my mark could not ignore. My body craved him, my animal instinct wanting him like I had never wanted him before - but my conscience outweighs my primal nature and smiled to myself as I could see his resolve breaking piece by piece with me. There was still apart of me that was angry - apart of me that knew I couldn't fall into my old habits and forget everything that has happened - I needed answers.
"I didn't think you were going to come." I said the first words, ripping through the thickness of the silence.
"I've been gone long enough," He said, his voice ripping through me. I hadn't heard him in so long... "I needed to see you, Isabella." He began, stepping forward as I instinctively stepped back. While I felt an overwhelming sense of love, my fear kept him in arms length - would he leave me again? He stopped, nodding his head in understanding. "I've thought about this moment a lot... What I would say, what I would do... I'm so sorry, Bella. For everything."
I stood in silence, wanting to say something but thought better of it - I knew he had a lot to say to me. He pulled his hands out of his pocket as he ran his fingers through his copper hair that glinted from the moon as he looked at me with an outlandish look. "You don't know the guilt I have been harboring... I need to explain, even if after all of this you choose to be without me," My golden eyes peaked up to him, "Being away from you," He began, only five feet away. The sandalwood was intensified as he closed in on me, his golden eyes burning deep into mine as I fought the urge to reach out and grab him. "Was one of the biggest torments I ever had to go through. I don't expect you to understand why I left. It's easy for you to say that I could have came back, that we could have worked it out... But I was battling demons that were eating me alive, Bella. I felt suffocated." He turned around, back to the ocean as he shook his head. I stepped forward, watching as he stared out to the sea, his body going rigid as he felt me moving closer.
"I could have helped you," I said truthfully, feeling the words on my heart. Edward closed his eyes as if he was pained by my words, only opening them as his body turned to me, his look filled with desolate. "If you had stayed... I could have-"
"I did stay. At first. I tried." He began, looking back out to the Ocean. "I was there when we flew you back to Forks. Two weeks I stayed, not sure if you were going to wake up. When I saw how worried Carlisle was, my resolve broke... I had to leave... After what I did to you... After I got Alec... All I could see was your pain, all I could feel was your bones breaking under my hands and all I could taste was your blood and I could not stop. Carlisle wasn't sure if you were going to wake up at all, that my venom might not have been enough to sustain the amount of blood I had taken from you. You don't know what that feels like... To wake up from a raging monster to see the person you would lay your life down for almost dead. I had to go, Isabella. I had no choice."
He his back was to me, his arms flexing and gripping the the side of the pier as the wood began to crack under pressure. Almost as if anxiety was setting inside of him. I could hear his attempts to stop sobs from breaking through, the memories hard for him to replay. And I realized that while my confusion was warranted, there was a better way to express myself. Edward had gone through something that not even I could relate to and yet I was belittling him for a choice that I probably would have chosen as well.
"Edward," I stepped forward, stopping just as he turned to look at me - the sign of the sadness in his eyes causing my heart to break.
"Look at the way I have treated you," He began, "I loved you from the moment I saw you as a little girl, yet when we reconnected I was harsh... Cold, even. I slept with other women to deal with the pain I was feeling - and what did I accomplish? I thought I was doing right by you, trying to keep you at arms length when you were human but even being in the same room as you was destroying you." His head began to shake as I was frozen in my spot, not knowing what to say. "You were damned from the moment I laid eyes on you."
"I'm so sorry, Isabella. I'm sorry for the pain I caused you. I'm sorry for making you think I didn't care... For moving you around... For not being safer than I needed to... For Alec..." His name caused me to look down, holding in a cry as I clutched my hands together. "You deserved better than me."
"That's not true." I quipped, watching as he smiled at me sadly. I walked down to the pier, our marks were pulsing with emotions, excited that we were so close together. We stayed still for seconds, taking in each others scents as I looked up to him from my chestnut curls. "We have been through a lot. There is no doubt. I can't imagine the guilt that resides inside of you, but I need you to help me learn. Because I love you and I always have. And I can see the regret in your eyes. But there is nothing to be sorry about. You entered in my life for a reason and if I think any differently, then what was it all for? It was for you. For us."
"No." I stopped him sternly. "You can't sit here and tell me how I should think and feel. You say you're sorry, so let me forgive you." He reached down, brushing a curl away from my cheek just as his hand touched my skin softly, causing a chill down my spine and my mark pulsed with an excitement that was bursting at the seams.
"You are so beautiful, Isabella." He sighed in contentment, his hands splaying across my back. "And so forgiving. I don't deserve you."
"It's not about how much you deserve me and how much I deserve you. That doesn't matter. I love you. And I have waited for you for months to come back so I could tell you so." I said to him, reaching up to grab his hand."There is no reason to be sorry, Edward. I get it now." He pulled my hand to his lips, kissing my open palm as I couldn't help but smile at the feel of his kiss - it had been so long. I had missed every moment of him, every sound, smell, kiss and touch.
"I missed you." He told me, his golden eyes blazing. Without a second thought, I reached up and grabbed him, pulling him into a tight hug. He cleared his throat, loosening my grip just before wrapping his arms around my waist.
"I missed you so much," I said honestly, digging my face into his chest.
"There are no words to describe the ache I felt being apart from you," He told me, my head lifting to look at him. He grabbed my hand, placing it over his heart, "But I know you felt it too."
"I love you. I never stopped. And I never will." I said, reaching up to press my lips against his. He held onto my tightly, opening his mouth to me as my arms went around her neck, my body molding into his as our marks pulsed where our hearts would not. And it was all that needed to be said until love and instinct came over us. It had been a long time since our mating mark had been complete and I soon found myself lying down on his old bed, clothes peeled off and thrown across the room as our naked bodies found each other, touching, kissing, nipping and worshiping all over. The marks grew into a fiery frenzy and our passionate kisses turned quick and heated, his hands running up and down my naked form causing me to turn inside out just as he pulled me onto his lap, his hand resting on my neck as his head went into the opposite side, his teeth digging into the mark as he entered me with such a force that caused a tremor through my body.
We rocked as one, never tiring and never growing weak. We moved around the bed, my teeth soon sinking into his chest as he growled his approval, his body covering mine as he hitched my leg over his hips, burying himself deeply within me until we both shook with the climax that sent us soaring through the sky, releasing as one as our grip on each other never lessened.
When the morning sun came up - it lit up the floor as we rolled around in the sheets, holding on and never letting go as he stayed buried inside of me for what felt like days. We completed our mating ritual, the bond between us stronger and unbreakable. We left only a few times to hunt and regain our strength but we found ourselves constantly stopping, constantly at each others body - constantly locking our lips in fiery kisses that never seemed to stop. My mark had settled for the first time in a year, finally content with being so close to it's mate and knowing we will never stray far from each other again.
"Your eyes..." I began, wrapped up in our sheets as I looked into the deep Amber that reflected my own.
"I went vegan right after I was back in Italy." He said, gripping onto my side and pulling me closer to place a kiss on my forehead. "Nothing will ever be as satisfying as you." I smiled against his chest, my fingers running up and down his bare side as I tilted my chin up to look at him.
"I thought you were going to show yourself to me that night in Volterra." I said, feeling him tense as I spoke back to the night Aro was killed.
"I wasn't ready." He said simply.
"You couldn't leave me, though." I said curiously.
"I wasn't expecting you, Bella." He said, reaching over and running his fingertips under my bare breast. "I was already after Aro, I was going to kill him myself - but when I heard you... I was shocked and I went out on a limb. I knew you were there for him and I felt as part of your grieving process, you needed to be the one to do it."
"You didn't doubt me." I said.
"I never doubt you, Bella. I always expect the unexpected with you." He thickly said, reaching down to kiss my mark. "You were always a curious human."
"I felt better when he was dead." I said, watching as Edward looked up to me. "It was as if a part of me was sated."
"We all have vengeful sides, Bella. What's important is how we act on it." He whispered, leaving a trail of kisses from my neck to my check. I looked down at him, stroking the side of his face. "No one judges you for what you did."
"I know." I told him, placing a kiss to the bridge of his nose. "I always think back to Alec, what he would think of me, of what I did."
"He would be proud of you. He was always proud of you." Edward said as he ran his fingers through my hair. "He loved you." I nodded my head, taking a deep breath as I gripped the pinwheel necklace. "I remember when he would call me the first few years he had you... He would tell me all of these things like the first time you truly opened up to him... Or when you learned to ride a bike or jump rope for the first time. These were all very minuscule things, but they were important to you. So they were important to him." I hid my sobs by covering my face into his chest, holding him impossibly close. "You two were family. And I'm so sorry he's gone."
"It wasn't your fault," I looked up to him with a hard gaze, watching as he looked away. "I know you blame yourself for him, but I don't want you to. I don't. And Alec wouldn't either."
Edward smiled down at me, running a finger through my hair as he reached down to kiss me, bringing me closer as the sheet that wrapped around us slipped off and onto the floor. He gripped me by my hips, pulling me on top of him as we made love once more, deep into the night and until the next morning. After a few weeks passed, we found the will to move outside of our bedroom and head back to Forks to meet with our family who missed us deeply.
Alice saw us coming home before we even spoke to her, divulging the information to the rest of the clan who was ecstatic for our return - together. Edward and I decided after a few weeks in Forks we would travel back to Cebu and rebuild our home on the sandy shores. We also decided to meet Emmett and Rosalie in Africa to spend our time to donate food, clothes and teach English to the children. After that, the world was ours - we had all of the time to ourselves.
"Maybe we could go back to Ireland," I said to him with a smile as he nodded, setting the last of our bags in the trunk. He came up to me, wrapping his arm around my waist as he pulled me close to him, our marks vibrating with an unforgettable pulse that was near undeniable. "We have to go, Edward. Our plane leaves in an hour." I told him sternly as he gave me an impish grin.
"I'll go check the house one last time," He said kissing me on the forehead as he left to inspect the house for any forgotten bags. I smiled and turned around in just enough time to catch a glimpse of something hanging out of my bag on the passenger seat of my car. I opened it up and looked through my bag to find the letter that my tenant Eric Yorkie gave me just as I was leaving Deer Isle. I slipped a nail under the envelope, ripping it open to reveal a hand written letter. The writing caught me off guard, the first words causing a lump in my throat as I choked back a sob.
The date is October 1st and you are currently lying on the table next to me, transforming into a Vampire. Not enough to fully change you, but enough to give you the strength to fight for the person you love the most. If you are reading this, then I am long gone from this world. Alice knows of my fate. She has seen it in a vision and she has warned me that I must stay away from Aro and his men, but please do not be angry at her for her silence - I made her promise not to tell you. And while the warning was grateful, I fear that if I do not fight with you, I cannot protect you. And your life is far more valuable than mine. I made an oath to keep you safe since you were five years old and I remain faithful to that promise.
You came barreling into my life with no warning. I felt an obligation to Edward to help, but I didn't realize that the obligation was far more outweighed by the lessons I learned from you. You have taught me how to be patient, kind and to love with no barriers. I am humbly grateful of our time together, the time I was able to see you grow into a beautiful and brave young woman. And while I always wished one day that I could have taken you out of this life, I realized that you belonged in this world just as much as I do. I cannot expect you to not mourn me, but I ask of you to find meaning in your life to move on, that when you think of me it will not bring tears but only a happy smile. You have bestowed a great gift to me, one I am forever indebted to. I want you to know that my love for you is greater than any power on this Earth and nothing will ever change that.
And when the sky is painted with red, know that I am with you.
Always and Forever,
I brought the letter close to me, holding it to my chest as I closed my eyes. He had known he was going to be killed yet he still went to protect me - to keep me safe. Alec. My father. His words were like stones on my heart, weighing me down with the meaning of them as I tried to not cry at the loss, but smile at the time I spent with him. I folded the letter up and slipped it into my back pocket as I clutched the pinwheel necklace between my pointer finger and thumb. During this time, Edward had returned and we left our home in Hilo.
In the past few years I have always curiously wondered where I would end up. Some days, I thought of happy endings. Others, I could see nothing but darkness. But in the turmoil of it all, the eye of the storm - there was always a light. And I knew now, that I was destined for a greatness that I knew I would achieve. When I looked to Edward, I saw hope, forgiveness and love. He was my anchor. My life was a picture built of different fragments that colored beautifully together and I would continue to add to it - from my life as a donor, to a vampire - I wouldn't have changed a thing.
And even in the darkest hours of my life, when I am uncertain and unsure - I find solace in my loved ones and look up to the red sky.