I know it's been like a year since I last added and I'm very sorry but I've been busy and I've had a bit of writer's block but now I bring to you the last chapter of the story. I hope you all enjoy it! Thanks for reading and being patient.
10 Years Later
I don't like him. I already don't like him. His haircut is stupid, his shirt is stupid and he's got a tattoo.
"Dad… this is Nahuel."
"No sir, 'Nah-well'… It's really nice to meet you."
"Mmhmmm. Come on in."
This was a bad idea… Bella letting Nessie bring a date to the wedding. Now I'm going to have to look at him on the third happiest day of my life. I bet my socks he gets into the liquor. Bella came out of the kitchen tucking her cell in her pocket. Age has only made her more beautiful… as for me, I've gotten wiser. At least I'd like to think so. I'm wise enough at least, to know that a second chance with a woman as great as her doesn't come around but once a blue moon. Lucky for me I took the chance and we dated for four years, and we've been engaged for three. I'm just happy to get another shot.
"Nahuel… how are you?"
"I'm fine Ms. Swan."
"Cullen." I said.
"Not yet I'm not… you just better hope I don't get cold feet."
"Well…may your feet be toasty and covered in Velcro."
"and may you conduct yourself with some order this time around you nutcase" said Bella, knocking on my head lightly.
Lunch with Nahuel was awkward, plain and simple. Bella's apparently met the guy before but I haven't. I still don't like him, not even now that I know he's going to the same college Nessie is going to this fall with a full ride. I don't care because he's dating my daughter. Though, I suppose she could always do much, much worse.
They left for a date and it was just me and Bella… Alone at last.
I looked in the mirror pushing up my brows and making faces that would scare small children. The wedding is only four days away and I'm not feeling like such a blushing bride anymore. I'm thinking of having a little work done but needles aren't my thing. While I stood there manipulating my face like it was dough Edwards arms wrapped around me.
"Are you trying to take off your mask?"
"No but don't you think you should put yours on?" I asked with a chuckle.
He kissed my neck and the laughter subsided. His hands embraced my hips and he nuzzled my cheek with his nose. The sex has gotten better with time.
When Edward and I started dating again it was like I was getting a completely new person. Of course, by then he'd dated someone else and I finally felt like I was ready to date again after Garrett. We'd changed and so we had to get to know each other again. It was fun, it was painful and it brought us closer. It wasn't as intense as the first time. Of course, our love is solid but everything isn't so solemn. After all these years I think we've finally figured out a way to make love fun for us.
I turned around to face him. There was a small smile spread across his face. I ran my finger across his lips and he kissed it before taking my hand in his and placing it to his mouth. He made a trail of kisses from the palm of my hand to my shoulder, neck and then my cheek and lips again.
I told myself that I wasn't going to have sex a few weeks before the wedding. Sort of like… keeping things new and fresh for the honeymoon, but now I can see that won't happen. It's been a week since we last made love and to tell the truth, I've been counting the minutes.
He slid down my jeans and we tossed them to the side then he dropped his pants and kicked them off. We made it to the bed, crashing into it like whales flopping into the ocean. His hands moved all over me, taking off more articles of clothing while his lips explored my skin bringing pleasant sensations to every inch they met.
Edward entered me smoothly. Our bodies fell in rhythm, moving each other close to the awesome finish line. It was in the horizon and with every pleasurable thrust, every kiss and lick of the lips and every moan and grunt we got closer until finally I sighed out in pleasure, crossing that line and claiming my prize of euphoria. Edward followed my lead and came shortly after. We lay on the bed sweaty and waiting for the drowsiness of orgasm to dissipate so that the burst of energy would kick in.
After a few minutes I got up, cleaned myself up and got redressed. I put my hair in a bun and put on some perfume and lipstick. I'm meeting Rose and Alice for drinks.
Edward lay in the bed looking at me with puppy dog eyes.
"Can I interest you in a second round?"
"Save it for the honeymoon! Besides, I have to meet the girls."
"The girls… they can wait."
"Yes… but they won't. So uh, keep it in your pants, why don't ya?"
"I'm not wearing any."
"So… I'll see you later. Should I bring something home for dinner?"
"Um… no… I'll cook. Nessie should be home by then so she can help me."
"Edward are you sure about this?"
"Yeah. I'll make spaghetti or something like that. Maybe I'll grill out."
"Only if you're sure."
"Hey Bella, I love you."
"I love you too."
I made my way to the spot where I usually meet Rosalie and Alice. They were sitting at our usual table eating desserts. It's amazing how over ten years some things stay the same.
"Well, look who's decided to be late as usual" said Alice.
"Sorry! Edward and I had to talk about some stuff."
"Yeah, talking with the lips between your legs." Said Rosalie.
"We'll let you slide this last time" said Alice.
"How are my niece and nephew?"
"When I left they were fighting. Jasper was trying to break them up."
"Rose, how's my god son?"
"Doing well, he was fighting at school."
"Did he win?" asked Alice.
"What's with you and Emmett wondering if he won? That's not the point! He was still fighting."
"What? We just wanna know." Said Alice.
"He says he did and he wasn't bruised up so I believe him."
"Kids." I said.
"Speaking of which… how'd it go with Edward meeting Nessie's beau?"
"Better than expected. He's trying to find reasons to hate him but there aren't any."
"Well at least they'll be going to the same college. She might not get into all that wild, drunken frat- party sex" said Alice.
"Alice! I don't want to think about that!"
"What? You know it was the best kind. I could never remember what happened but I always woke up with sprinkles in my bra, maple syrup in my panties and Jasper covered in baby powder. That's how we started dating… after having drunken sex so many times we decided to just go for it."
"Way to go Alice!" said Rose.
Drinks went well. It's always good to talk to my girls. After the conversations about sex, marriage and motherhood ceased the talk about the wedding came up.
"So… ready for the big day? Third time's a charm." Said Rosalie.
"Yes I'm ready… Hopefully this time nobody cheats and nobody gets stabbed and thrown down the stairs by psychopathic fatal attractions."
"It'll be fine this time around. Edward's learned his lesson… I feel it. Plus dad's going to have a talk with him tomorrow when he flies in."
"So… what have you bought for the honeymoon?" asked Rosalie.
"Rose! That's private! I can't tell you that!"
"Well... when we have your bachelorette party tomorrow night I know what I'm giving you. Here… I'll tell you. It's this little red crotch-less number with nipple holes."
"It'll go perfect with the handcuffs and leather paddle I bought her!"
"How do you two suspect I'll get through the airport with all that?"
"Well… that's Emmett's gift to you guys actually… He's letting you two use his dad's private jet!"
"I think I might finally be happy again… At least I hope so. I've been thinking about Garrett a lot, you know, the closer the wedding day gets."
"I think about him every day. How he never got to see his nephew. He would have been a great uncle."
"He would have been a great dad." I said.
"You guys please don't cry" said Alice. "Because if you do, then I'll cry!"
"We're not going to cry. Just remembering him fondly. He helped complete my healing process and he loved me and Nessie… he was sweet. I'll never forget that."
In all honesty that's been the most difficult part of my journey. It hasn't been forgiving Edward or getting to know him again, it's been trying to cope with Garrett's death. I won't say that sometimes I don't still get sad, because I do, but I can say that I've learned to appreciate his time with me rather than think about the time we lost.
"Dad I think we were supposed to put oil or something in the pot."
"So the noodles won't stick to the bottom like now. They're burning up!"
"There's nothing wrong with scorched noodles. This is a perfectly good pot of spaghetti."
"I'm calling mom to have her bring something home."
"Yeah… that's probably a good idea."
So cooking didn't turn out as great as I'd hoped and neither has my plan to have a serious discussion with Nessie about Nahuel.
"Mom's bringing home Italian."
"Phew…that was a close one."
"So dad… what do you think of Nahuel? Really?"
"Well…he's um…I can't find anything bad about him just from his background check but in a few weeks I think the private investigator will have some interesting news for me."
"So you like him, then?"
"Nessie it doesn't matter if I like him. I think he's a suitable young man for you. He seems to be going places."
"While we're discussing Nahuel… I think we should have a talk."
"No… not uh-oh. You're not in trouble I just want to give you some advice Father to daughter. Alright?"
"Make him treat you right. Don't put up with any shit. If he ever hits you don't hesitate to call the police just because you love him. If he says mean things to you don't hesitate to dump him and if he ever breaks your heart call me and I'll pay a hit man to have him bumped off."
"Dad… we're not getting married or anything, we're just dating."
"I know but you'll be leaving soon and your mother and I won't be able to police your relationships. You're going to be on your own and you're going to get hurt but maybe this will help you decide what to do. This applies to Nahuel or whoever else comes along. Just…take care kiddo."
"Dad stop being weird and mushy! Come on now…"
Getting old is funny. One day you're young and you have everything ahead of you. The next thing you know you're pushing fifty and there's a shit ton of everything behind you. Life just goes on and on and you never even realize that you're using it up until you take your last breath. I think about all the time I wasted chasing shallow happiness. How much pain it cost me and how much precious time I ate up. Yes… my regrets are many but I got a second chance. Not every fuck up is so lucky.
The keys jingled in the door and Bella's voice rang throughout the house.
"I had a feeling I'd end up bringing takeout home for dinner" she said.
"Hey… Nessie and I were making spaghetti but we ran out of ingredients."
"Sure you did."
We sat down and ate at the table as a family. In a couple months this will change… it'll be only me and Bella. It won't be a tragedy but an adjustment considering the fact that it's been nearly two decades since we had an empty nest.
I slipped on my third wedding gown. Hopefully this one is the last I'll ever wear. I'm now a seasoned woman so I've put cupcake dresses away. This time I opted for a simple, champagne colored high low dress with a sweetheart neckline. My hair is in a bun with diamonds around it and my makeup is light.
"Auntie Bella you look pretty."
"Thank you Esme. So do you. Got your flowers ready?"
"Your brother didn't lose the rings did he?"
"Are you kidding? He's been looking forward to this for months! He guarded them with his life."
"And EJ is greeting properly?"
"Yeah… no jokes or anything but only because Emmett is threatening him from the front of the church."
"Well then Esme, it seems things are right on track."
"You know…my mama's gonna be mad you did your makeup and got dressed and she wasn't here to see it."
"Oh she'll be fine."
Esme did bring up an important point. Alice would be pissed that I did my makeup while she rushed out to get me something blue. Rosalie wasn't here to see it either because she was meeting Harold with me and Edward's luggage. It's strange that Harold still works for Mr. McCarthy but I guess if he likes his job then it's not all that strange. Angela is bossing people around… we planned the wedding together and she's agreed to handle it today and train a new planner in the process.
"Mom! You look hot! Alice is going to be so mad you got ready without her."
"She's gotten to get me ready two other times. I just don't want a fuss this time. Easy peasy."
"Well… dad is out there waiting. He's sweating a lot and trying to keep Jasper awake because he's still drunk from the bachelor party."
"Well…some things never change."
"Well…you look gorgeous but I can't believe you'd betray your own sister this way."
"Alice… I just wanted to have it done with. You can make me up for our anniversary party."
"I'll hold you to that. Are you ready… again?"
"Yeah… there's still time to take the limo and make a break for it" said Rosalie.
"No… I'm ready. I'm happy. I want to do this. I just wish my dad was here to give me away."
"Well my dad's giving you away, if that helps" said Alice.
"I know. Carlisle is an awesome father in law."
We made chit chat until the planner in training came and told us it was time to go out. One by one the bridesmaids walked down the aisle in their flowing yellow dresses. People looked and whispered and smiled and flashed cameras. After that Esme walked down the aisle placing sunflower petals on the runner with every step. She gave a big snaggle toothed grinned for the cameras as she walked down the aisle with Jaspers's cool collection and Alice's glamour. Then Nessie walked and she was escorted by Nahuel. Then it was my turn. The last joyful seconds of Canon D played while Carlisle and I walked closer to the front where Edward was standing, his eyes locked with mine and clouded with tears. He better not cry because if he does then I will too.
I made it to the front as the last violin squealed out the last note of the song. Everybody sat down.
"Who gives this woman to marry this man?"
"We do" said Nessie, Alice, Rose, Carlisle, Angela and Ms. Hale.
"That's a mighty big crowd… looks like you kids are getting married today."
The minister talked about love and sacrifice and forgiveness and pain. Those are definitely things all up our alley and then after that it was time for us to say our vows.
"Edward… standing here all those years ago I never thought I'd be standing here again. But life is crazy and cruel and wonderful and here we are starting over from scratch like when we were kids. On today I want to let you know that no matter how sad or angry or depressed I get I'll still love you and no matter how fat, wrinkly or gray headed I get I know you'll still love me."
"Bella, life is limited. You get so much time and then you're done. One of my biggest regrets was wasting the time I had with you. Today I'm so happy you've chosen to give me a second chance and that you'd still be willing to be mine until death. I can truly say that I love and appreciate you more than any man can love and appreciate a woman. I promise to cherish you and to devote myself to you. No matter how closed in I get, how pessimistic I can be or how crazy I can be… just know that I love and I know you'll love me even with my beer belly, my chainsaw snoring and my need to 'do it myself'."
"Well… by the powers vested in me I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride…again!"
Edward wrapped his arms around me and we kissed, losing ourselves in the moment. We'd forgotten that our family and friends were there watching.
"Come on! Save some for the honeymoon! You're gonna need it!" shouted Emmett.
The kiss broke and the first thing I saw was Rosalie smacking Emmett in the back of the head. This day is perfect.
There was the kiss and the cake and the food and booze and dancing… now the time to leave for the honeymoon was upon us. Alice, Rosalie and Nessie helped me get changed. I got out of the gown and into a simple cream colored, sleeveless dress with a tiny black belt and black pumps. That was Alice's doing. If it'd been up to me I'd be wearing jeans.
"Well… thank you all for helping me. Thanks for listening to me….thanks."
"Oh Bella… don't mention it. We're sisters, it's my job."
"Yup… we're sisters too and it's my duty as well" said Rosalie. "You just don't know how wonderful life has been with you in it. If not for you… I'd still be telling people I'd murdered Emmett."
"Yeah and if not for you Jasper and I would probably be divorced alcoholics."
"Bella be happy this time. We love you and we can't wait until you get back."
"Thanks ladies. As for you Nessie…I'll be gone for a week. I love you honey. Take care of yourself and don't stay out too late with Nahuel…mind your Uncle Jasper's rules….
"What about my rules?" asked Alice.
"You don't have any" I said. "Just be well Nessie… daddy and I love you."
"I love you too mom. I love you both. I'm happy we're a normal family again."
I hugged my child. This person who once only reached my waist. This person was now taller than me. She was a woman with her father's bronze tresses, me and my father's brown eyes, my slender build and her father's easy overreaction. It's amazing the way a moment like this can make you realize just how much life you've lived.
I bid my family and the rest of the wedding party goodbye. Edward grabbed my hand and kissed it and we slipped into the back of the limo. The ride to the plane with quiet but not tense. We just sat there, wrapped in each other listening to the wind blow by the car as we started our life together again.
I know I took a long time to post this and I'm truly sorry! I hope you all have enjoyed it! Thanks for reading!