Author's Note: IMPORTANT! READ THIS! If you don't read this, you'll regret it at the end of this chapter because you'll be so shocked. This chapter is the last chapter of Loyalty. I know it's short notice, but I was writing this chapter, until I realized that I couldn't take this story to chapter fifty like I wanted to. Remember, I always like ending my stories on an even number, but this time I couldn't do it. I tried writing it up to fifty, then realized that my heart wasn't in it, which was why it was so boring. So I deleted those last chapters and decided to end the story with forty-seven. And don't expect any epilogues either.
I'm really sorry for not telling you beforehand, and I'm sure you're all disappointed to see another story go bye-bye. I thought that Dance would be the first to go, but oh well. Enjoy the last chapter, just the same.
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.
Edward looked much happier. Way happier than he'd been with Tanya. Way happier than when he spent time with me as brother and sister.
We entered the house, holding hands. The entire family was waiting, as I had expected.
"Yay!" Alice said, clapping her hands and grinning widely. "Finally!"
"Congrats," Emmett said. "Be good to each other now, will you?" He sighed dramatically. "I think I've had enough drama to last me an eternity."
Rosalie frowned slightly as she looked at Edward, and I knew she was warning him to be good mentally. Then, her eyes flickered to me, and her expression softened. She smiled, giving me a silent message: Be happy.
Carlisle, Esme, Carmen, and Eleazar looked delighted too, as they wished us happiness. Jasper, too, smiled his mysterious smile at me before winking.
The only person who looked unhappy was Cameron.
"What's wrong?" I asked him. I let go of Edward and drifted to my brother's side, who was pouting. I touched his arm lightly. "Aren't you happy for me?"
"Sure I'm happy," Cameron said. His face fell. "But that means you'll be spending more time with him than me. I've been pushed to second place."
"You're wrong there," Emmett said, mockingly severe. "It looks like big brother needs to teach you a few pointers. Edward may be first. But Bella's big brothers take second and third place. You're last, buddy. Know your place."
"Last," Alice stressed, grinning wickedly. "That means after us girls too, Cameron."
Cameron's eyes narrowed. "You don't want to be hit by my flying objects, Alice." Right on cue, a cushion, a picture frame, and the remote control rose into the air and hovered.
Alice laughed. "Right."
I linked my arm through his and chuckled lightly. "You're always first, Cam. Promise."
"What am I, then?" Edward interjected, scowling at Cameron for stealing me away.
"You're nothing," Cameron shot at him, then stuck out his tongue playfully.
"Cameron," I said, laughing. "For someone who's older than both Edward and me, you're awfully childish."
"Find your own mate," Edward muttered.
Cameron scoffed. "I don't have a mate. I'm going to steal away yours instead, so suck it up!"
On that note, he dragged me to the piano and sat me down. Sitting down right next to me, his behavior completely changed into an immature young boy who adored his older sister.
"Go on!" he urged, grinning. "Play for me!"
I laughed as I saw Edward's grimace before relenting. "A few more decades," I murmured. "And you'll understand, Cam."
"Whatever," he sang. He threw an arm around my shoulder and looked pointedly at Edward. "You be good to my sis, or I'll make you regret it."
Twenty Years Later
I paused in front of Cameron's door, wondering if he was getting ready for school. We were leaving in five minutes, and yet, he hadn't shown himself since three this morning. Usually, he was the first one in the car, cheerful and bouncy as always.
"Don't," Edward said, suddenly appearing behind me. "He'll just get clingy to you again." He shot a dark look at Cameron's door.
"Is he alright?"
"He's fine," Edward said stiffly. "He's just been a little busy the past few hours, doing a movie marathon."
I raised my eyebrow. "Movie marathon?"
"Your movies," he clarified, his strong arms snaking around my narrow waist. He kissed the side of my throat lightly. "Are you sure you don't want to stay home today? Cameron is planning on going to school; he'll be out of the house for once. I'd like some quality time with you."
I smiled. "I'd like to. But not today. Today, there's something I want to witness, and I wouldn't miss it for the world."
"Alice has been hiding something from me for days now," Edward mused. "Is it about that?"
"I wish you wouldn't care so much about him."
I rolled my eyes. "Why can't you two get along? It's been twenty years. Grow up."
"No," Edward whispered. "I'm still seventeen."
I sighed and brushed his arms away. "I should tell him to get ready."
"No!" Edward stopped me by grabbing my arm. "I'll tell him."
I suppressed a smile. Edward was awfully protective of me when Cameron was around. He considered him to be a rival, a threatening presence to our relationship. He just didn't seem to understand that Cameron was only obsessed with me in a brotherly way.
"Alright," I allowed, and started downstairs.
"Where are your boys?" Esme teased when I arrived downstairs, alone.
"Still upstairs. They'll be down in a minute." I paused, then grabbed Edward's car keys. "I think I'll drive today."
Suddenly, Alice, who had been having one of those private moments with Jasper, giggled, causing everyone to look at her.
"What is it, Alice?" Jasper asked.
She just shook her head, sighing. "So childish," she mumbled.
I was confused, until there came a loud thud upstairs and a shout.
"What's going on?" Esme wondered, her eyes wide.
"Grow up, will you?" Cameron taunted as he appeared at the top of the stairs. He was talking to Edward, who joined him.
Edward looked annoyed. "I'm the one who should be saying that, Cameron."
"Boys!" Esme chided. "Not arguing again, are we?"
"Of course," Rosalie mumbled to herself, though she looked amused again. She loved it when Cameron and Edward argued over me. I think she felt better when Cameron regarded me highly, just because of Edward's mistake of choosing the wrong girl years before. She approved of Cameron, probably more than anyone else did.
Cameron scoffed. "What's wrong with watching a movie?"
"You've been watching the same movie for the past three hours," Edward countered in his usual, muted, velvety voice. "I don't appreciate you watching my wife's half-nude body over and over again."
My eyes widened. "Cameron!"
Cameron rolled his eyes. "You do it too. Every day. You see it live." He smirked when Edward frowned.
"Cameron," I said again, warningly.
Cameron looked down at me, smiled angelically before appearing by my side quickly. "You know I would never do that, Bella. I respect your privacy. No, I just like seeing that other girl who was by your side in that scene."
"Amanda?" Emmett wondered.
Cameron nodded. "She's pretty hot." Then, he snorted. "Was pretty hot. She's probably an old grandma now, if not dead. All wrinkled up and probably plastic surgery."
Alice's tinkling laugh rang throughout the room. "Probably."
"What happened?" Jasper asked Edward, who had joined as downstairs as well.
Edward gave a small sigh. "Nothing. He'll just twist everything I say anyway." He shot Cameron a dark look.
I sighed too as I glanced at Cameron reproachfully. "Why can't you two get along?"
Cameron looked innocent. "What did I do?"
"Did you break something?" Esme asked severely.
"Edward knocked over an armchair," Cameron said, quick to reply.
Edward looked incredulous. "Are you really going to frame that on me?"
Cameron looked smug. "I just did."
I burst out laughing. "Don't worry, Edward. All your worries stop today."
I could tell that he didn't believe me. Edward raised his eyebrows at me, looking skeptical. I waved his keys at him, letting him know that I'm driving. Of course, Cameron noticed it too.
"Are you driving?" he asked, perking up. "Great. I call shotgun!" He disappeared out the front door, no doubt dashing to the car to claim his seat.
Edward exhaled sharply. "I hope you're right. I'm tired of sharing you with him."
Alice and I exchanged meaningful looks.
"Is she the new kid?" Emmett wondered as he sneaked a peek from our usual lunch table. "She's kind of cute."
"Which is obviously why every boy in the room is staring at her," Rosalie said in a bored tone.
"Who are they?" the new girl asked her new friend. She was looking at us.
Her friend glanced over, then giggled. "The Cullens. Gorgeous, aren't they?"
The new girl looked intrigued. "Are they family?"
"They are," her friend confirmed. "You know Dr. Carlisle Cullen, right?"
"They're his adopted children. All of them. But it's weird. Some of them are together. Like, together, together."
"As in a couple?" The girl looked surprised. "Aren't they supposed to be siblings?"
Her friend shrugged. "I don't know too much. They keep to themselves."
"Talking about the Cullens?" A good-looking boy chimed into their conversation. "You're Amy Gardner, aren't you?" He grinned. "I'm Eugene Collins. Nice to meet you."
"Same," Amy said, nodding.
The friend rolled her eyes. "Go back to your texting, Eugene. Sheesh. I thought you broke up with your boyfriend, like, three weeks ago. Are you taking him back?"
Amy blinked, looking confused. "Boyfriend?"
"Shut up, Valerie," Eugene said, pouting. "You're always so mean to me."
Valerie leaned toward Amy and murmured, "Eugene is gay."
Amy looked surprised, clearly taken aback. "Really?" She didn't seem to be making any judgements at all. I liked her already.
Eugene smiled. "Unexpected? That's okay." He shrugged. "I'm used to it."
Amy smiled too. She really was cute. Not beautiful. Cute. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to do that. It's just…you're really good-looking, so I assumed you're one of the popular boys here."
"He is," Valerie grumbled. "He just likes being here to annoy me. Go away, Eugene."
Eugene made a face at her before smiling pleasantly at Amy. "So…want me to give you an extensive presentation about the Cullens? You look interested."
Amy laughed, sounding embarrassed. "They're just really…different."
Valerie lost interest. She had already heard this a million times. She turned to her other friends and began chatting about what she was planning to do this weekend.
Eugene nodded at us as he began his speech. "The big one is Emmett Cullen. The blonde next to him is Rosalie Hale. They're together, so I would steer clear. Blondie can give nasty looks, you know."
"How do you know?"
"I caught her glaring at this frenemy of mine, Britney," Eugene said, completely serious. "Britney had a thing for Emmett. Not now, though. Brit's completely smitten with Johnny over there." He gestured to another table, where the popular jocks and cheerleaders sat, talking and laughing loudly.
Amy stifled a laughter. "Go on."
"The blonde guy is Jasper Hale. Rosalie's twin. And I know what you're going to ask," he added when Amy opened her mouth, looking confused. "That you thought they were all Cullens. The Hales are real siblings, and they're niece and nephew of Mrs. Cullen. She and Dr. Cullen took them in when they were really young because their parents died."
Amy nodded silently. "That was really nice of them."
Eugene nodded, agreeing wholeheartedly. "Anyway, Jasper's with the short pixie, Alice Cullen."
Alice stared off into space, not paying attention to the situation. Or maybe she was listening and just didn't look it. My other siblings looked uninterested, as they had heard this repertoire a million times. Edward was watching me concentrate on the two humans' conversation, curious about why I was suddenly so interested in this new girl.
Cameron was watching me too, adoringly. He stole my apple, turned it over in his hands, and then made a face at it, poking at a bruise.
"Who's the guy with the bronze-colored hair?" Amy asked curiously.
"Ooh, bad choice, Amy," Eugene said, grimacing. "He's completely smitten with Bella."
"The girl who's sitting in front of him. Gorgeous, isn't she? They're together. If the other two couples are disgustingly intimate with each other, Edward and Bella are completely amorous. Everything they do feels just right. It's not disgusting or revolting or anything."
I fought back a smile.
"If they're together, then why is the other guy staring at Bella like he's in love with her?" Amy pointed out, frowning.
Eugene started laughing. "That's what everyone else thought too. That's Cameron. He's a playful guy, and he's obsessed with his sister. That's all."
He shrugged. "He's very close to Bella. And Bella pays a lot of attention to him, almost as much as she pays attention to Edward. Needless to say, Edward isn't very happy with his brother for that."
"He's got that right," Edward murmured.
Amy was staring at Cameron. Very intently.
Deciding that I should give her a slight warning, I turned my head to meet her eyes.
She blinked as she met my usually cold and indifferent eyes. She looked scared.
"Aw, don't let Bella scare you," Eugene said in a low voice. "She's always like that. She's always cold. But she's not that bad. She's actually pretty nice, you know." He grinned and waved at me cheerfully.
"I thought the Cullens kept to themselves."
"They do. Bella's my Spanish partner. She's excellent. She tutored me for about twenty minutes before our huge final last semester, and I aced that babe." Eugene smiled triumphantly. "I totally owe her, but she brushes it off like it's nothing." He frowned. "She's completely fluent. I don't get why she's only in Spanish 5-6."
I hid a smile as I looked away to meet Edward's eyes. I tilted my head slightly, amused at his curious expression.
"Bella, pay attention to me," Cameron demanded. "Honestly, what do you see in this butthead?"
Edward looked offended. "Butthead?"
"You denied her presence once," Cameron said. "You could do it again. And I would totally take her in."
I smiled slightly. "I doubt it. Why don't you take a look at the new girl, Cam? She's very cute-looking."
Cameron frowned. "Not interested."
He looked at me strangely before his eyes flickered to Amy. He blinked as he took her in, surprised. Amy dropped her gaze, embarrassed.
"Your future," I whispered.
Edward's face brightened, and my siblings fought back pleased smiles as they watched Cameron's world shift so that everything centered on the future that I saw for him.
And I watched too. Thinking about how lucky I'd had the fierce loyalty in me.
The loyalty that had brought me to embrace my own destiny with Edward, helped me to complete my family by bringing Cameron into our circle, and bringing myself happiness by staying beside the ones I loved.
AN: Thank you all for being so supportive toward me when it seemed as though I was losing interest in this story. Your encouragement and continued faith in me was the reason why I could finish yet another story. Thank you so much. Although I'm sorry we didn't achieve one thousand reviews before I finished this story, I'm pleased with what I have already. Unless…you want to help me achieve that dream by reviewing like crazy with this chapter? Again, thanks so much!