A/N: Well…..we have reached the end. So happy that you all have enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it. I won't keep you, you've waited long enough. Without further ado, here is the epilogue to Shadows.
*One year later*
"A little to the left".
"Ooooh, no you moved it to much, move it just a bit to the right".
"How is that honey"?
"In the middle, there Jake! Yes that's it…right there. Don't move".
I stepped back to admire my handy work and gave a grunt of approval. Bella smiled up at me and wrapped her arms around my waist, her eyes set on the painting I just hung up on the wall.
"See? Doesn't that make this wall look a hundred times better"? She asked. I shrugged.
"I still say a nice sixty five inch TV would have been just as good, better even".
Bella laughed and poke me in my side. "As if we really need another one, we already have that huge monstrosity in the living room and I compromised on the one in the bedroom, but I'm not budging in my decision not to get another one Jacob". She paused and looked at me through her lashes. "No matter how sexy you look in those shorts".
I smirked and looked down at myself. We had been moving all day, getting a head start from early this morning. I threw on a pair of khaki shorts and decided to skip a shirt all together. I used this to my advantage.
I reached out and wrapped an arm around Bella's waist and brought her against me, my nose against her neck. She was sweaty from all the moving but she still smelled like strawberries and vanilla.
"And those fucking yoga pants are driving me crazy". I whispered in her ear, feeling her shiver and watching the goose bumps pop up on her skin.
Bella giggled, trailing a finger over the muscles in my stomach.
"These pants are comfortable; I thought they would be good with all the moving we had to do today".
I smiled and tugged gently on her ponytail, causing her head to tilt back.
"Yeah? And do you want to know what I think"? I asked her, not really bothering to wait for a response. "I think you like teasing me".
Bella gave me a smirk, that smirk she always gave me when she was being particular devilish. It was one of my favorites.
She bit her bottom lip and my eyes immediately zeroed in on the action.
"Well Jake, your half right". Bells whispered, her hands coming up to rest on my shoulders.
I smiled, tugging on her ponytail again, bringing her head back even farther. I leaned in, my lips just barely touching hers.
"So you are teasing me".
She grinned and shook her head. "No, not at all baby. I'm just trying to give you something to look at".
My smile was huge before I took her lips with my own. Bells melted into me, almost like her legs were knocked out from underneath her. I was quick and before the startled cry could make its way up her throat, I had her in my arms, hoisted against me. Her own came up to wrap around my neck and I had her trapped against our dining room wall.
"We'll never get finished Jake, if we keep this up". Bella moaned breathlessly, my lips trailing a hot path down her slender neck.
"Fuck it". I growled, earning myself a cute little giggle.
Bells pushed against my chest and jumped down, just as our door was slammed open.
"I hope you too are decent, I really don't need anything scarring my vision". Paul's loud ass voice boomed.
I growled and Bella laughed, kissing me quickly on the tip of my nose before she started moving away. I grabbed her arm and pulled her back into, my lips once again taking her own. She moaned into my mouth and I pulled away before she could enjoy it.
"This isn't over sweetheart". I whispered.
Bella gave me that smirk I loved so much and pushed me in my chest again.
"Looking forward to it". She said, making her way into our living room.
Naomi and Paul stood in our disheveled living, both with different expressions on their faces. Naomi's was shy and a little embarrassed, Paul's of course was his usual smug, want to punch him in his face kind of look.
"I told him that we could wait until you guys get more settled in but he says you two really needed the help". Naomi said quietly, her cheeks a cute shade of red.
I walked over to her, wrapped an arm around her shoulders and brought her into me, placing a kiss to the top of her head.
"Never knew Paul to be such a helpful individual". I said sarcastically, Naomi giggling as she hugged me back.
Paul placed a hand to his heart. "I'm hurt Black, I really am. It pains my heart that you think of me that way". He said, that annoying ass smile still plastered to his face as he gave Bella a hug as well.
"You'll get over it Lahote".
Paul laughed, ruffling Bella's hair before he reached out for Naomi again. She left my arms and moved into his embrace. Not surprisingly, it was very easy to let her leave my side.
Most people still didn't understand, shit I still had a hard time wrapping my head around it some days myself, but my imprint with Naomi never affected my relationship with Bella. I loved Naomi, there was no doubt in my mind about that, but all I felt towards her was the feelings of a very overly protective older brother.
Maybe it was because my feelings for Bella were always just that strong. Or maybe it's because I knew Naomi was in good hands. No matter how much Paul worked every nerve in my entire body, I knew he truly loved her. The delicate silver diamond ring on her left ring finger proved as much.
I was happy for my brother and happy for my imprint. I could only hope to follow in their footsteps. We had already proven that whatever our ancestors thought was concrete were wrong. And I planned to continue to go against the grain, with every step I took In the direction I wanted my life to go.
We all spent the rest of the afternoon getting our new home in some kind of order. I was content on just living out of boxes for first couple months, but Bella being the neat freak that she was, wasn't having it and we organized so much that I was really starting to get good at it and it scared me.
Naomi and Bella stayed in the kitchen to whip up a quick dinner for us while me and Paul handled the trash detail.
"So have you thought about it"? He asked me once we safely out of hearing range.
I shrugged, dumping tons of cardboard boxes onto the sidewalk. "Of course I've thought about it, it's all I do think about, doesn't make it anymore easier to do".
Paul dumped more boxes next to mine, wiping off his shorts.
"You're still acting like a pussy". He said and laughed when I punched him in the chest.
"I'm serious though Black, if I could man up and go after what I truly want then you can too". He said, all playfulness gone from his voice.
I thought about that for a minute and realized he was right. Of course I would never tell him that, but Paul was absolutely right. It was time I stopped beating around the bush and handle business.
It was late when we had the house to ourselves again and I helped Bells put all of our new dishes into the kitchen cabinets. She was really a little bit apprehensive about this move and if I was honest with myself I was too. Moving in together was a big thing, it was a sign of commitment, and sign that you wanted to move in the right direction with the person who wanted to spend the rest of your life with. In the end though, it just made sense. We enjoyed being in each other's company and I really believe both our parents were tired of seeing us each and every damn day.
So I gave the house I had built for me and Naomi to Paul and Naomi and me and Bells went half on a new home not too far away from Charlie. I was close enough to my Dad and the rez and Bella was close to home. It was a perfect match.
Bella squealed out of nowhere and I rushed out the kitchen quickly.
"Bells, what's wrong"? I asked, coming around the corner to find her in our living, bouncing on her toes.
"It's so great Jake". She squealed, turning towards me with a huge smile on her face. "This picture just makes the room light up".
I could have sworn we already hung a picture up somewhere else. I came to stand behind her, my arms resting loosely around her waist, my chin against the top of her head. She had hung up one of the pictures that mom had in the hallway of my dad's house.
"When did you get this"? I asked, my voice catching
Bella turned around in my arms, her own wrapping around my middle.
"Billy gave it to me right before we moved. He said you would have never taken it out the house but he thought it would be good if you had a little bit of your mom in your new home…our new home".
She kissed my chin and all I could do was hug her too me. Plus I didn't want her seeing me tear up. The fact that she had even thought about something like this just made me love her that much more.
I cleared my throat. "How about you take a break and I'll go make you one of my milkshakes that you like"?
Bella smiled. "The vanilla one with the whipped cream and cherry on top"?
I laughed. "That's the one. I know it's your favorite".
Bella giggled. "I can't wait. She said, kissing me quickly before she went to settle herself on the couch.
I made my way back to the kitchen and went to work, knowing that when she finished, this would be a milkshake she would always remember.
I walked back to where Bells was sitting and gave her the tall, cool glass.
She smacked her lips and immediately took a sip. Her eyes closed and she let out a small moan.
"Oh I have died and gone to milkshake heavy. You should really think about going into a business or something Jake, because these are flipping great".
I laughed loudly and leaned over and kissed her on the head. "Glad you enjoy them so much sweetheart. If you need me I'll be in the kitchen, cleaning up".
Bella just gave me a nod as all her attention was on her milkshake. I just shook my head and headed back in the kitchen and cleaned up my mess, my heart pounding in my chest the whole time. Any minute now.
I heard Bella sucking the last of the shake with the straw and if I knew her as well as I thought I did, she would tip the glass upside down to get the last of what her straw didn't.
Any second now.
I heard a gasp and her heartbeat quickened. I heard the glass being placed on the table and footsteps coming my way.
"Jake"? Bella's voice was quiet as she called out to me. I turned around from the sink slowly and met those chocolate eyes I loved so much.
"Yes"? I answered my voice horse.
Bella paused, her eyes moving down to stare at what she was holding in her hand.
"What's this"? She asked quietly. I took a step towards her.
"What does it look like honey"?
Bella looked up at me, her eyes beginning to glaze with unshed tears.
"It's a ring". She stated her voice raising a few octaves on its own. I smiled.
"How about that". I said, causing her to laugh a little.
"What does this mean Jake"? Bella asked, her eyes searching mine, looking for what I didn't know.
I closed the distance between us and took the delicate ring out of her hand. I wiped it clean with a towel from the table and turned back towards her. Bella's breathing had picked up and I took her hand in mine.
"You know its funny how you brought up my mom a few minutes ago, this ring was hers too". I said gently. "She had given it to me when I was twelve, just a few months before she passed away, told me to give it the girl I fell in love with, the woman I would want to spend my life with, build a home with, have a family with".
"Jake I…" Bella started but I silenced her, placing my finger on her lips. Her hand was still held in my other one and I pulled it gently and she fell into me. I held her close.
"Isabella Marie Swan, you of all people should know, when I make a promise, I plan on keeping it. I promised my mom that the girl I loved with everything that I had would get to wear her ring and I've kept that promise.
I paused, fingering my mom's ring. "I love you Bella, always have and always will, not even imprinting could stop what I feel for you. You are the woman I want to spend my life with, the woman I want to build a home and a family with, the woman I want to grow old with. I couldn't live my life without sweetheart and I don't plan to".
I took her hand and began to slip the ring on her finger. "Will you marry me Bella"?
She had tears streaming down her face and I only barely registered the ones falling down my mine as well. I had meant every word that I said. She was my world. She was my everything.
Bella took in a shaky breath.
"What took you so long"? She asked and I choked out a laugh.
"I guess I was waiting for the right time".
Bella smiled and moved closer to me, slipping her finger through the ring. It fit perfectly.
"Jake, you're my best friend and I love you so much. I would love to grow old with you and have tons of babies. Yes, I want to be your wife".
I smiled and with both hands brought her face to mine and kissed her with everything I had. Bella responded just as passionately, her arms coming up to wrap tightly around my neck. We were wrapped tightly around each other for a few more minutes before we pulled apart, our grins identical.
"We're getting married". Bella said softly, the smile never leaving her face. I couldn't help it either, my grin was huge too.
"We're getting married". I said again and Bella laughed before her lips were on mine again.
A/N: That's it folks. Sorry you had to wait so long for this but I finally got it out. I hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as I did. Stay on the lookout, I have a new story brewing and it should be up soon. Please feel free to message me any time with anything, story ideas, anything. You guys have been great! Thanks again. Until next time…..MN