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Chapter Forty One: Epilogue
After the tragedy, it was Marcus who miraculously led Aro through the business end of the families' affairs. With their depleted ranks, it was agreed that we would police the Western Hemisphere for the Volturi, enforcing the laws as we saw fit. A task for which Jasper was infinitely better suited and embraced much more whole heartedly than going to high school. He and Alice approached their new responsibilities as my Generals with eagerness and we had every confidence in their abilities to oversee the Volturi guard members who had voluntarily chosen to remain under their command. Much to my glee and approval, they all agreed to at least attempt a vegetarian life style while serving Jasper and Alice in this capacity.
Needless to say, Bella and I never made it down to Peru. We decided to remain at the Lodge in seclusion for the decade that followed. We settled easily in contentment within our secluded mountain retreat. Eleazar and Carmen stayed with us often and much more consistently than Emmett and Rose, who established a home in South Africa. Jasper and Alice spent more time on the road than any of us, and though they came to see us as often as they could, it was plain they were happy maintaining the peace across the continents.
Though Jasper and Alice were in constant telecommunication with myself, Aro and the Italian Guard, we rarely heard from my Uncles directly. I counted that as a good thing. I'm certain that my life, as well as my sons' and Eleazar's depended on our estranged relationship. Jasper recounted a few close calls with Aro for us during one of their all too brief visits, but was confident that Alice's gift provided them a strong defense.
There was great concern at first, that the loss of the twins on top of the division of power would compromise the Italian guard in Europe. But little Alice came through again, convincing some very talented immortals whom they'd freed during a particularly vicious southern battle, to join the Italians. For which, Aro was eternally in her debt... or so I'd been informed.
Despite the beauty and serenity of our surroundings, the day arrived when Bella could no longer ignore my anxiety and forced my hand. "What is it Carlisle?"
I knew I couldn't hide, I hugged her closer to my body relishing the feeling of her skin against my own, "I'm anxious to return to medicine, at least in some capacity. What would you say about moving, sweetheart?"
She simply smiled and produced a paper form she'd filled out to hand to me. I looked it over and was astonished to realize this was her completed application for the University of Illinois at Chicago's College of Medicine. "It's about time," she said grinning back at me. "I think I'm ready to try my hand at being a student once more... if you'll help me?"
I'm certain a smile broke out on my face from ear to ear I was so thrilled, I laughed out loud lifting her and twirling her in the air! She of course, knew I could easily get a teaching position there. Naturally having some very wealthy ancestors who'd been extremely generous to the medical school's founding fathers along the years wouldn't hurt either of us... We were going home!
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