Disclaimer: The characters of Twilight are owned by the wonderful Stephenie Meyer. The original characters, content and ideas of this story are mine.
To my awesome beta, princess07890; you're the best!
Chapter 80- Epilogue
Finally, Our Happily Ever After
"Dad, I got it! Always hold the door open for her when entering or exiting a building, open and close her car door, and when walking down the street, keep her on the inside; see, I've got it!" Said our now 17 year old eldest son, Junior, as he looked up at me proudly.
"That's good, Junior, but you forgot a couple of things. When you guys go out to eat, always pull her chair out for her and always pay for the meal, even if she offers." I said, giving a stern, but pleased look.
"Oh God, this is so lame; why can't she pull out her own seat?" Asked Max, our now 15 year old son.
"Because, that's just not how you treat a lady, young man." My beautiful wife, Bella said, walking into the kitchen carrying grocery bags with our 9 year old son, Brandon, and our 7 year old daughter, Morgan, in tow, also carrying bags.
"She's not a lady; she's 16." Max said, rolling his eyes.
"Which makes her a young lady and if you don't change the way you think, you'll never get a decent date." Bella said, kissing the top of his head.
"I know how to treat a girl!" He tried defending himself..
"Sure you do." Bella said, giving him a wink.
"Alright, boys, we'll discuss this later; go get the rest of the groceries out the van." I ordered, them, while walking over to kiss my wife.
"Yes, and since Brandon and Morgan helped me shop, Max and Junior, you two can put the groceries away.
Tonight was Junior's senior prom, and our whole family, as well as all of our friends, would be here to see him off. Though he would never admit it, I knew he was nervous, because, his date, Giselle, had been his crush since his sophomore year and it took him until three months ago to finally ask her out. Seth would be driving them in my company's stretch Mercedes Benz limo for the duration of the night until they were ready to come home. I felt more comfortable having my armed driver chauffeuring them around and we had assured Giselle's parents that she would be home at a decent hour.
"Yes baby." I said, picking up my daughter Morgan onto my lap.
"Will I get to go on prom one day, too?"
Now, this was a very reasonable question my daughter had asked me, but, in all her 7 year innocence, she did not realize is that, with one simple question, she had almost brought me to my knees. What she did not know is that NO father wants to picture his daughter on a date, especially prom where he can't be there to watch and protect her.
"Uh, well, baby, you're so young and…"
Bella, sensing my uncomfortable demeanor, swooped in to save me.
"Honey, what daddy is trying to say is he really hasn't had time to think about that because it will be a while before you will go to prom, but, I'm sure you'll be beautiful when that day comes."
I gave my daughter the best smile I could muster at that moment and she went skipping out of the kitchen, content with her mom's answer.
"Geez, the last time I saw the color drain out of your face like that, you were watching me give birth to Junior." Bella said, laughing at my expense.
We spent the rest of the day cleaning the house and preparing for our guests to arrive. Alice and Esme came over to help Bella decorate and finish up all the cooking while I took Junior for a haircut, to pick up a corsage and flowers for his date, and pick up his tux. Our family and friends slowly filtered in and Esme stepped in and took over as hostess so Bella and I could ride in the limo with Junior to go pick up his date and take pictures with her family, before making our way back home.
After what seems like hours of preparing and picture taking, finally, my son was finally off to his senior prom with a pocket full of money, a smile on his face, and the girl of his dreams on his arm. My mind flashed back to his birth, the day I brought him home, the day he first called me da-da, and his first steps. I remembered his first day of school, teaching him to ride a bike, and how to dribble a basketball. I thought back to a time when he used to run from girls and play with racecars and dump trucks. I recalled his first school dance and the nerve wrecking process of teaching him to drive and taking him to get his driver's license. As we watched Seth hold the limo door open for Junior and Giselle, I wrapped my arm around my wife's waist and kissed her temple as I watched the tears roll down her face.
"I just can't believe he is all grown up now; he doesn't need me anymore." She said, wiping tears from her cheeks.
"Oh baby, that's not true; he will always need you." I said, pulling her into my side.
"Hey guys, now it's time for the real party to start; we will start with the family tradition of a round of charades and after that mom and dad are taking the grandkids, including Rose and Emmett's. By then the Jell-O shots will be ready!" Alice said, winking her eye at me.
We spent the next two hours playing charades. After my parents and all the kids left, I sat with my wife, sister, and the best friends any guy could ask for; we talked, reminisced, laughed, and just enjoyed all that life had brought us. I looked at my wife as she very animatedly told a story about our children. After all these years, I was still awe struck at the fact that she was mine. We had weathered the storm, or should I say the tsunami that life had thrown at us and no matter what, one thing was a constant for us; our love for one another never wavered.
"Hey, did you tell them about the trip?" My beautiful wife asked, bringing me back to reality.
"Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. Hey guys, Bella and I are taking a trip to Venice and wanted to know if you guys want to join us?"
"Hell yes!" Rose said, making everyone laugh.
"We've never taken a trip together; this should be lots of fun." Jasper said, pulling Alice onto his lap.
"Yes, fun indeed; Jacob, you and Tanya will be joining us, right?" I said, smirking at my brother-in-law.
"Yeah, sure, sure; I wouldn't miss the chance to spend some alone time loving on my beautiful wife every chance I got while in Venice." He said, pulling her close and kissing the skin on her neck, causing her to giggle. I loved my brother-in-law, but she was still my baby sister and hearing about any kind of intimacy between them, especially him "loving on her", as he so eloquently put it, still made me slightly uncomfortable.
"Oh Lord, please kill the visual! TMI, Jacob, TMI!" I said, pinching the bridge of my nose, while everyone else laughed.
"Good, then it's set; everyone email me your schedules tomorrow and I will email back some dates that will work for all of us. This is going to be so much fun!" Bella said, squealing and rubbing her hands together.
I woke up the next morning, and realized that I may have had one, or five, too many Jell-O shots! Damn Alice! I looked over and saw that Bella was still sleeping. I couldn't help but smile. Her perfect lips were slightly parted and her long brown tresses were splayed across her pillow as she softly breathed in and out. I propped myself up on one elbow, turning my body towards her and just stared at the beauty in front of me, and as I reached out and tucked a piece of her hair behind her ear, her mesmerizing eyes fluttered open.
"I love you!" I said, bending down, placing a soft kiss on her forehead, causing her to smile and blush. Knowing I still had that effect on her after almost 20 years of being together brought another smile to my face.
"Good morning." She said, yawning and stretching.
I pulled her close to me and buried my face in the crook of her neck, inhaling her scent, which still drove me crazy after all these years.
"Listen, you hear that?" Bella said, with a serious look on her face, causing me to sit up.
"Hear what, honey?" I said, listening for the any type of noise in our house.
"That; listen closely, babe."
I sat quietl, straining my ears trying to hear whatever my wife was hearing, but I couldn't hear anything. Turning back to her, I frowned.
"Bella, all I hear is silence."
"Exactly!" she said smiling. "Edward, when was the last time you remember our house being this silent?" She said, waggling her eyebrows at me and giving me a seductive look. Instantly my manhood stood at attention. Yeah, my Bella still had that effect on me, also; one word, one look, one touch, or one kiss, was all it took and I longed to feel her wrapped around me.
I grabbed the back of her head, kissing her softly at first and then deepening the kiss as my need grew. My other hand found her waist, and I pulled her as close as I could, while covering her mouth with mine. I loved how soft her skin felt under my fingers, how warm her body felt against mine, how perfectly we melded into each other; I just loved us and all that we are together. Taking advantage of our rare time alone in our home, my stunning wife startled me with her next move, and in one fluid motion, she disappeared under the sheet, pulling my underwear down along the way. When I felt her lips wrap around me, I fell back onto my pillow and my eyes rolled to the back of my head. I then used the little strength I had to throw back the sheet so I could look at this incredible woman who was all mine. I threw my head back again and my hips involuntarily bucked as my wife worked her magic with her mouth, taking all of me in, causing every nerve in my body to come alive.
It didn't take long for that familiar coil in my stomach to start and I knew my release would soon follow. Desperate to be inside of her, I pulled her up and flipped us over so that I was now hovering over her. I greedily kissed her lips and her neck and worked my way down, taking one of her nipples into my mouth and swirling my tongue, loving the taste of her skin. She moaned and writhed under me in pleasure, and with one quick thrust, I slammed into her, burying myself deep in her heat, causing her to cry out my name.
"Edward, yes, yes, Edward!"
"Tell me, Bella, tell me!"
"I love you Edward, only…oh God…only you Edward!"
Upon hearing her whisper those sweet words in my ear, I came undone and my Bella followed me shortly thereafter. I moaned out in pure pleasure as I felt her tighten around me over and over again, before finally relaxing back into the mattress.
"I love you Bella! After all these years, I'm still crazy in love with you!"
As the words left my mouth, I realized how true they were. After all the struggles, arguments, challenges, disappointments, and every test life could throw our way, I was still unconditionally in love with this amazing woman. That wasn't even the best part; no, the best part was that this incredible woman loved me, too! She had given me the home and family my heart always desired and she never put anything before us. Her loving heart, gentle touch, and constant selfless nature has kept me grounded over the years and has been a constant reminder to me of what's really important in life. I used to believe that that the degrees on my office wall, the letters after my name, my name on my firm's door, and the size of my bank account were the things that made me successful. How could I ever think that? Those things don't make you "successful"!
Those things can't tell you "everything is going to be ok", when you need a little reassuring. They can't give you hugs and tender kisses after you've had a bad day. They can't take a stroll through the park with you on a perfect spring afternoon where the sounds of nature around you are all that needs to be heard. Just being in the presence of the one who holds your heart is enough. Those things can't hold your hand and witness (through you) God bringing forth another life into this world for you to care for, protect, and love. They can't wrap you up in arms full of warmth and watch the sunrise, making your heart sore at the thought that you've been granted another day on this side of the ground. They can't laugh while you tickle their stomachs before tucking them in for the night; or make your heart swell like when they catch that baseball like a pro. They can't make you smile when you finally see all the money and time pay off at that beautiful ballet recital. And, they can't keep you falling in love day after day, over and over, deeper and deeper, simply by just existing.
"Hey, what's got you so deep in thought, Mr. Cullen?" My beautiful wife asks, bringing my attention back to her.
"You, our kids… this life. I can't imagine a life without any of you; I can't even remember my life before you, before them. I mean, I remember… of course… I remember, but I wasn't happy. I thought I was, but it was nothing compared to what I feel now."
"Well, you never have to imagine life without any of us; you're stuck with me and the whole gang we've created!" Bella said while laughing. It's music to my ears; it always has been. She is the perfect melody to all my lyrics. As I stare into her eyes, I realize that, all those years ago, I found my reason to live, my purpose in life; my true success!
"I'm just curious, Edward. What would you have done if I would not have fallen for you so quickly? Would you have continued to write me, visit me? I mean, just how long would you have tried to pursue me?"
I had asked myself this same question a million times over the years. What would I have done if she rejected me at first or wasn't as receptive to having me as a friend? Until this very moment, I honestly did not have an answer, but holding her in my arms and looking into her beautiful eyes, the answer finally hit me. No matter how long it may have taken, or how much resistance she may have shown, I would have never given up on trying. Someway, somehow, I would have pulled the moon from the sky to win her heart! So, I looked at her, smiled, and told her the best way I knew how.
"How long, you ask? Till you loved me!"
To all my readers who stuck by me through this journey, I thank you from the bottom of my heart! You guys are just incredible beyond words! I hope this story lived up to all of your expectations and you will continue to follow me on future stories. Please leave me your thoughts in a review because I love to read them! I apologize for the long delay of this epilogue, but RL stepped in for a while and I had to take a break from writing. Last, but certainly not least, to my beta, princess07890, aka Becky; you are just amazing and I am so grateful for all of the input and help. Thank you and I look forward to our next story together!