A/N: Nope, your eyes do not deceive you. This is a legitimate update.

Twenty hours later, we were seated on the leather couch in Forks. It was the longest, most stressful twenty hours in my entire existence, and I know it was very painful for Edward. But, he made it. It seemed that he was a full on mind reader, even more powerful than Aro, seeing as he could read at a distance. This seemed to keep him from attacking the humans in the airport. His sense of empathy was remarkable. Speaking of Aro, he, along with the other to kings, were having a heated discussion across the room from my family. Though we were not at all the target of their frustrations, I still strategically placed myself between them and Edward at all times. My shield never lifted, not for a moment.

We dealt with the wolves as soon as we got to Forks. The other members of the guard had arrived from Seattle, and were circling my house. I put up my mental shield around my family quickly. Jasper managed to make the emotions of the wolves more docile, and Edward read their minds, so it was all over rather quickly. The combined forces of Jasper, Edward and I were even more effective than most of the Volturi guard.

Of course, Aro would probably be back for them someday, and he would eventually come for us as well, I assumed.

After pestering Edward, Alice, Jasper and I to join the Volturi at least twenty times, the Volturi left. Alas, they insisted we come to Italy later this year, so we could all "catch up." To us, it just meant so they could again assess our abilities and assure themselves that we were not too great a threat.

"Bella?" Edward whispered, at vampire speed. It was crazy to think that he was now a vampire like myself. I loved it though.

"Yes?" I replied, curious to hear what he had to say.

"When everything settles down again, not that I completely understand it, even if I am a vampire now, will you marry me?" Edward asked, his expression dead serious, but warm.

My hand flew to my mouth, and though I didn't need to breathe, I gasped. This beautiful boy, the one who changed his entire being just for me, wanted to marry me? Though he had already condemned himself to eternity and whatever came after, if anything, as a vampire, I was still stunned. Edward had always been so shy, so unsure of himself. I loved Edward Masen with everything in me, obviously I would marry him.

" Of course," I replied, and kissed him deeply. This was happiness. Around me, my family beamed, almost as joyful as Edward and I. My happy days had finally come, and I would be forever grateful for them. The clutching darkness, the empty void, was still something I could easily remember. I would cherish and protect Edward for eternity, and whatever came after. And I knew he would do the same for me.

"Thirsty?" I asked, motioning toward the door.

" Ouch," Edward replied, cupping his throat. Remembering the horrible burning I faced as a new born, I raced out of the house, knowing he would follow. I didn't want my love to be in pain, even for an extra moment.

"So, I guess it's time for your first real hunt," I said as we stopped, miles within the trees, "this may get a little messy." I smirked.