The Traveler Epilogue
With his eyes opened, I was able to see clearly the worry and heartache that lay within him. I could tell things were weighing heavily on his mind and it was my job to put him at ease. Edward was a strong man, which was clearly displayed with the line of work he had participated in. But it was also very obvious that the events which had taken place traumatized him to a degree.
So I did everything I could to make him forget about that day.
He deserved it.
Especially, after all he'd been through.
"It's fine, babe. Everyone is okay," I whispered sweetly.
His hand hesitantly reached out for me, gripping my wrist, almost as if to tell me not to leave. My heart melted and I brushed back a lock of hair from his forehead before leaning over and gently pressing my lips to his.
"I love you," I whispered against his lips, "and they couldn't drag me away from you for anything."
He gave me a half smile and looked more or less relieved. It made me feel better, because while I said everything was fine, I was just glad he was retiring. I wasn't sure I could take much more of the worry. But I didn't let him in on my internal struggle. I was brave for him, since he needed it. He had been brave for me, and I was returning the sentiment.
That day Edward did a lot more than just open his eyes and smile, though. He was able to sit up, with help of course, and we even talked for a while. I felt like my world was whole again. He was going to be okay. Or at least I hoped.
The officials came in and told us they were getting everything in order for his retirement. He was going to need a new identity. And anyone closely associated with him would as well. I wasn't really sure how I felt about that, but I accepted it and knew in time it would be all right.
It was a slow recovery. Edward had taken three bullets, two of which had shattered his right tibia, so it was not a surprise that it would take time to have life return to any degree of normalcy.
After Edward left the warehouse, he still had to endure reconstructive surgery on his leg. The doctors had to put the bone back together with a steel rod. And even after that, it had to be in a cast for quite some time. For a while, I think, we both wondered if he would ever walk again.
But time went by quickly, and as the months passed Edward got stronger and stronger. He was even able to become less reliant on his crutches or hobbling. And right before my eyes he almost began to walk normal again, which was amazing. Seeing his transformation was incredible. All while this was happening though, my belly was getting bigger and bigger. So I was actually the one not walking too fluently.
But it was totally worth it. Edward got better, and we watched our child grow together.
I guess you could say we were both lucky.
Even with all the stress from the situation, the baby was fine. Growing at a healthy rate.
Edward was now successfully retired and his life was still intact, that was the important thing. And I was very happy for that blessing.
Stress was minimizing with every day that passed and it was like a weight had been lifted off of our shoulders.
And around the middle of March, Edward surprised me by talking about getting married. We would have our new identities and he wanted to make us official.
I was more or less opposed to a traditional wedding while I was the size of an elephant, though Edward argued that point through and through.
"I want you to be my wife, I want to be tied to the woman I love," he told me sincerely, one cool spring morning. "And I want to do it before our child is born."
I grinned and agreed, because it was time to move on, and the idea of being cemented to him forever sounded wonderful. "I love you Edward, let's do it."
So on March sixteenth in front of a judge, we were pronounced married. And we were both beaming with love.
I stared admiringly down at my hand; my ring sparkled in the sunlight. I was happy with life and even though I was awake at two-thirty in the morning, feeling rather hungry, and huge, I was sure that life didn't get much better than that.
I rubbed my hand longingly over my large stomach, wondering when exactly he or she was going to make their appearance. We'd chosen not to find out what we were having. Something we both decided we wanted to be surprised about.
It was usually late at night or early in the morning, when I had a little time to myself that I could connect with our child.
My gut instinct was that it was going to a boy. I couldn't put my finger on the feeling, but it was like they were telling me.
Edward, however, was sold that it was going to be a little girl.
We did agree on one thing, though, that we didn't care either way, as long as it was happy and healthy.
Retirement was treating Edward well. But all of that—the baby, his job ending and our new identities—meant we really needed a change of scenery. Life was blissful in California, but we both knew where our hearts were. And I couldn't take seeing him look so lonely boarding a plane to see his kids every two weeks. And the concern that would flood his voice about the baby nearly killed me.
So we decided to buy a place out East and move. It was for the best for everyone involved and it meant we all would be close to one another.
Besides, Maria said that Emmett wanted exclusive rights to me. Apparently, that was the reason I hadn't been getting any offers. He was scaring them off left and right. So I was going to need to be closer to him for the doozy of a plot he had swirling around in his head.
After all, Emmett lived just over the border of Connecticut in New York and Maggie, the kids and Kevin seemed very happy in the small town.
It didn't take us long to find just the right house. Our realtor was really helpful and worked with us to find exactly what we needed.
With a smile of contentment at having found a great house, I was ready. We were ready. Edward was beyond happy about the new house and the move. I think that just the fact we were going to be closer to his children, was making him happy.
Thankfully the move went smoothly for the most part.
Though, I did stress, I tried to keep it minimal. I knew that Edward was still in danger of having some form of PTSD and I still had a child to worry about.
Katie, my parents and us all moving at the same time and with our new identities seemed like a lot to handle, but when it was all said and done, it really was for the best. It gave everyone a huge peace of mind.
Katie turned out to be a great help during the house decoration mode. She was also getting her own apartment, something she insisted on. But at least she would be close, along with the rest of the family.
I was nesting, and having everything perfect was a necessity for me. And Edward was a trooper through it all.
"Where would you like this, sweetheart?" he asked, holding up a sizable gold leaf lamp. I watched him carefully as he crossed the expanse of our mostly bare living room. No hobble or limp in sight, but I was still going to keep an eye out while we were moving and carrying things around. There was no need to set back his progress now.
"How about in the corner, over there, by the side of the couch," I suggested.
He smiled brightly. "That sounds good. Em and Rose should be over soon to help me move the rest of this heavy stuff," he told me, moving to put the lamp where I wanted it.
"You know, I'm not helpless," I commented. I knew he was only doing it for my benefit so we could get unpacked quickly and I would feel better about everything.
Don't get me wrong, I was happy our friends were stopping by. But it all felt foreign to me since I had become accustomed to the hush, hush of the secret life.
Em and Rose were finally allowed to make contact without having to worry. To the outside world I might now be Mrs. Jennifer Kline, but in my heart I would always be Mrs. Cullen, or Bella Swan.
Edward's new name was Todd, which I really wasn't big on, but it was easy to remember when your life was on the line. Though we never had a wedding, it was easier to just be married in the eyes of the law. I knew, one day, down the road, that we would have our dream wedding, but for now, I was happy with what we had.
One hand on my bulging stomach told me the dull moments were going to be few and far between soon enough.
There was a loud knock at the door, pulling me from my thoughts. "Come on guys, I brought beer," I heard Emmett shout from the other side.
I giggled as Edward's grin spread across his face. It was wonderful, finally being able to be close with them now. Feeling the warmth of good friends and family wrap around us.
And just down the road about fifteen minutes lived Mr. and Mrs. Fredericks—Dad wasn't too happy with his name of Daniel, but he was dealing and so happy to finally be in the loop on everything. It was much easier that way. And the government hooked him up with an excellent job.
Edward pulled his brother into a hug and greeted Rose the same way; she was practically a member of the family now anyway. Or would be soon, according to what Emmett had been talking about lately.
"Bella Bean," Em greeted loudly, barreling toward me.
"Ugh," I coughed out as he picked me up and twirled me around.
"It's good to see you, too." He squeezed me a little tighter.
"Em, be careful with her, she's carrying precious cargo, you know?" Edward admonished from the other side of the room.
Emmett put me down carefully and patted my head. "You'd never know," he said with a snicker, putting both his hands on my huge belly; earning him a cuff on the arm.
"Hey, that's my writing arm, you better be careful if you wanna stay employed." I was the pristine resemblance of an adult and stuck my tongue out at him.
Edward laughed and came up behind me to hug me and his unborn child.
Finally, I was able to say that the Traveler was grounded. He was much more than a passing fling. He was a father, a lovely man, but most importantly, a wonderful, happy husband.
Thank you to everyone that helped with this story! I really appreciate it and mean that. MC, I hope this lived up to everything you hoped it would and more. You've helped me grow, not only as an author, but also as a writer.
MC, I hope this lived up to everything you hoped it would and more. You've helped me grow, not only as an author, but also as a writer.
And thank you to everyone that has read a reviewed! :) This is the end of the road for the Traveler. He's hanging up his passport and laying back to enjoy the time he has with his family.
Will there be a futuretake sometime? Well I don't know, but if Travelerward speaks to me again, I will be more than happy to write him.