Epilogue, revised

I do not own Twilight


Leaning on the deck post with my arms crossed over my chest, I watched my husband and our eighteen-month-old daughter chasing each other around the backyard. They played a combination of tag and hide-n-seek. Edward ducked in and out from behind the trunk of the willow tree, appearing and disappearing as Alexandra did her best to keep up on her little legs. She was more torso than she was limbs, so she was lean, but we knew she was going to be tall as well.

One year ago today Edward and I stood in his parents' backyard and made promises to each other that we vowed never to break. In attendance was only his family and our closest friends. At first we wanted to elope, just disappear for a weekend and get the thing done. But I knew how disappointed Esme and Alice would be.

I gave myself away, walking down the aisle with only Alexandra in my arms. I wore a very simple, white dress and flats. Edward wore his best suit. Emmett stood next to him in dress pants and a button down shirt. We wanted nothing over the top. The only thing I let Alice put together was the small party after the ceremony. It kept everything easy in our hectic lives.

That night I presented Edward with my finished novel. After Alexandra was born inspiration struck and I kept running with it until I finished. I hadn't sent it out to any publishers, or even shown it to the agency I worked for. I wanted Edward's opinion first.

I changed the names of everyone in our family, including Alexandra at first. But after reading it start to finish in a day, Edward insisted her name was too beautiful to change. So I kept Alexandra, but I changed the middle name. We mailed it out to local publishing houses in Seattle first. I didn't even have to wait six months for a response. My own agency picked it up and offered me a staggering advance. Edward and I used it to put a down payment on a small house down the street from Rosalie and Emmett.

I was offered a deal with my former job for my book. I worked with the company designer on the cover for three weeks before I was satisfied. We had a photographer come out to the house and take a photo of everyone in Edward's family with their hands out forming a circle. We even managed to include little baby hands. That photo was taken and a week later I was presented with a completed design where everyone's hands were still in a circle, but a red ribbon had been added so that it threaded around tying all the hands together and formed a heart in the middle.

Ties That Bind skyrocketed to the 'Top Ten' list within six weeks of its publication. Two weeks after that it hit number one and stayed there for four months solid. My former employer was already planning on a one-year anniversary edition with photos and brief interviews from the family. I had never expected an offer like that, and jumped at it enthusiastically. I had no idea how popular my life story was until Edward, Alexandra and I went on a short book tour through Washington. I would have loved to go on a countrywide tour and spend weeks promoting my book, but with an almost one-year-old it would have been too much of a struggle.

In lieu of a honeymoon, Edward and I took Alexandra with us down to California for five days to spend together as a family. We took dozens of pictures everywhere we went, some of which I wanted included in the special edition of my book.

I was already planning a short sequel. I wanted to write about Alexandra's first year of life. All of the joy and, sometimes fear, having a child brought to a person. I wanted to explore in my writing the true depth of the love I felt for my husband and daughter. But there was also some tragedy woven in like the dark backside of a bright rug.

Almost a year after Alexandra was born I started having near debilitating pain in my abdomen. My PCOS had escalated and I had cysts in my uterus as well as on my ovaries. Only a few weeks earlier Edward and I discussed the possibility of having another child. I wanted to try, just for the sake of trying. But when my medical condition grew severe and I started passing more blood during my cycle than was normal…we knew another baby was impossible. My doctor assured me that if I did get pregnant I would more than likely miscarry before the end of my first trimester.

I was given the option of medication to dull the pain every month, or a hysterectomy.

I chose surgery.

There was no way I was going to live with that kind of pain every month, and some pain in between. I would never be able to be the mother I wanted to be for Alexandra. My daughter was too important to me. I had fought for her from day one, and I was going to keep on fighting for her, and for Edward, and what we had together.

Because I was not in as much pain from my ovaries as I was from the cysts in my uterus, Dr. Green did not remove them. Also, I was not keen on hormone therapy at the age of 27. I continued on with my pain medication for the slighter pain I had from ovarian cysts. I was in the hospital for just over a week, Dr. Green wanting to keep an eye on me just a bit longer. I can not even begin to describe the fan mail that came in, in those few days.

I had started a blog for my book that I kept up regularly, and had been posting for my many, many readers the sad news of my health. I got dozens of questions asking if Edward and I had wanted another baby before this happened. I answered them honestly, crying most of the time.

Edward was there everyday for me. The first day after the surgery was the hardest. It struck me just how final this was. How empty I felt. We would not be having any more children. I had wanted so desperately to give him a son, with his eyes. A little boy I could watch stand next to his father in the bathroom and pretend to shave. I had so many fantasies about that, and now they were never going to happen.

It took me months following the surgery to come to peace with it. But I finally did, and only recently have we started discussing the option of adoption. I wanted a sibling for Alexandra, a little brother. She had her older cousin, Jason, who was now a big brother. Alexandra wanted to be a big sister, I could tell. Every time we went to visit Emmett and Rose, Alexandra always wanted to help take care of little Aston.

I smiled and laughed to myself as I continued to watch Edward and Alexandra play their little game. She was at the age where she still believed he did actually disappear when he ducked behind the tree. She gasped and cried out in joy as Edward reappeared and started chasing after her. She was fast for such a little girl.

"Mommy!" She cried as she ran towards me with her arms open wide. "Hold me,"

"Hold you?" I questioned, getting down to gather her up.

Edward came up behind her and poked Alexandra gently in her side. She giggled out loud.

"Ok, I think it's mommy's turn now. Daddy's beat." He lay down on the deck and pretended to be asleep. I put Alexandra down and she started smacking Edward on his stomach.


"Ow!" Edward pretended to cry out in mock pain, which only made Alexandra laugh and hit him harder. "Mommy, help."

I put my hands up. "You're all alone on this one, babe."

"Some help you are." Edward grunted as he got to his knees and lifted Alexandra up into his arms. She cried out in surprise, but she wasn't scared.

"How about we go inside and make some dinner?" I asked, reaching up and tapping Alexandra's nose with the tip of my finger.

She nodded with a bright smile. "Yeah,"

After we put Alexandra down for the night with her sippy cup of milk, Edward and I retreated to our bedroom to celebrate one year of being married. We stayed up until the early hours of the morning worshipping each other until we were both completely sated.

I lay awake watching him watch me. The sky outside was starting to lighten, but the sun had yet to peak over the horizon. "When was the last time we stayed up all night?" He asked, a dumb smile on his face.

"Two nights ago, when Alexandra wouldn't go to sleep."

"I meant doing what we've been doing all night?"

"Hm…" I pretended to think about that for a moment. "That would be never."

"I think married life suits us well."

I laughed and leaned over his chest so I could kiss him. "I think family life suits us well."

Edward reached up and ran a hand through my hair pushing it back over my shoulder. "It does." He pushed his lips against mine, soft and insistent. "Happy anniversary," he whispered as he rolled me onto my back, pushing between my legs once more.

"Happy anniversary," I whispered back, tilting my hips up to meet his.

I sighed happily as our bodies effortlessly joined.