Good evening! Here we are at the very end. I want to thank all of you who hung around through the good and the bad. It had its ups and downs, but it was the story I wanted to write, and I'm glad you liked it.
I know many of you wished it had continued for more chapters, but I doubt you'd have appreciated a chapter which described a night of eating frozen pizza, fighting over the remote, and falling into bed wherein they both immediately fall asleep. As a writer, I can only put characters through so much, and well, I put these characters through a hell of a lot.
SMeyer owns. I don't infringe.
Twitter was the most annoying thing Edward had ever experienced in his life. He wasn't one who wanted to join the Twitterverse, but Alice Brandon was and had insisted all of her friends and family join as well, so when her tweets came through, he was completely annoyed.
He knew his brother had tried to gently inform her everyone wasn't excited when she declared that fro-yo was the best thing she'd ever discovered, and the after-Christmas sale at Victoria's Secret was selling panties at a discount for anyone who was interested. There wasn't anyone who cared that if one was inclined to dig to the bottom of the bins, the best panties could be found.
As Edward walked down the hallway to the teacher's lounge the tweet he received from Alice left him uneasy.
" Brand A: Bella Swan is just plain mean."
He was quite puzzled by the proclamation, so he called Bella. When she answered, he heard a sniff before she greeted him. "Hello, Edward."
"Babe, what's wrong?" he asked nervously.
"I did something you're not going to be happy about, but Edward, they want you."
Her response was quite puzzling, so he decided to push her. "Bella, what's that mean?"
"Come home after school and we'll talk." When the phone went dead, he was completely lost. He determined it couldn't wait, so he skipped his free period at the end of the day and hurried to his car, driving back to the apartment they shared.
When he opened the door, he heard the CD he'd made for Bella years prior playing over the speakers. He also smelled something incredible, so he didn't stall at the door of their little apartment. He dropped his coat on the bench along with his laptop case. He slipped off his boots, and went in search of the woman he loved.
"Baby?" he called over the music. He found her in the living room with files spread out on the table and couch, though her eyes were closed as she listened to his CD.
"In here," she responded. Obviously she hadn't noticed him standing there watching her.
He saw her dry her eyes, and seeing her cry had always brought forth a pain in his heart. He walked into the room and sat down on the couch next to her, pulling her closer and kissing her forehead.
"Tell me what's wrong." If it was in his control to fix it, he would without a minute's thought. She was his whole world.
"I talked to Angela a few weeks ago. She's working for a music magazine. I told her about some of the music you've written, and she asked if I would burn a CD, so I did. I sent it to her, and she's got contacts in the industry. She sent it to someone, and she called me today asking how to get in touch with you because they love your music, Edward. I'm sorry I didn't tell you about it, but a guy from a movie company wants to meet with you. Angela told me they're interested in your music for a movie." He looked at the tears streaming down her face at the news, and he kissed them away.
"Why did Alice tweet that you were mean?"
"Because she walked into the room when Angela and I were on the phone, and I told Alice it was none of her business what we were discussing. She got mad. You know how she is."
"Babe, I appreciate you sending it, but you know I have no desire to do anything more than to teach music at Grandview Public School," he stated calmly.
She looked him squarely in the eyes and smiled. "Edward, you and I both know that you are one of the most talented musicians on the planet. Look, it's not like Julliard, okay? It's you with the music that makes you happy. Talk to them. Tell me honestly…what do you have to lose?" She had a very good argument, and as he listened to her, he felt the spark.
His creative spark had dimmed over the years. He loved his job teaching music at a grade school, but with Bella's words, it was reignited, and he kissed her passionately because she was his other half, and as much as he was trying to reconcile himself with the fact he was settled into a good life with the woman he loved, he couldn't deny there was something inside him that was unfulfilled.
Bella worked at for DCFS in Seattle, and he was teaching music to kids who seemed to appreciate it. He didn't see any need for anything else, but there was still the yearning. He couldn't deny it, and the fact that Bella knew it was all he needed to make the call.
"We like it. We like it for a rom-com we've got in process. It needs music, and we like you for this. We need you to consider a few revisions, and we need to have you work with a lyricist, but we like it," Jared Stone stated as Edward sat in a bar at a Marriot hotel in Los Angeles.
He thought about what he was about to do, and there was one point he wasn't about to waver on. "Fine, but there's one song you can't have. It's the first one. That one is Bella's, and I won't give that one up," he stated firmly as he sipped his beer taking in the man across from him.
He saw the man sip his drink slowly and consider the stalemate the two men were in. "But that song sets the tone for the entire soundtrack. Without that song, the rest of the music doesn't' work," Jared stated firmly.
"I wrote that song for a girl I met many years ago. I didn't know it at the time, but she's the girl I'm going to marry and have a family with, and that song is hers. If she gives the okay, I'll allow it, but if my Bella says no, then no deal," Edward stated confidently.
In that moment as he sat there with a man twenty years his senior, he chuckled to himself. It had occurred to him many times over the years that all of his life he'd been with the other half of his soul. Bella was his muse…his other half…his soul mate. It had been rough in the beginning, but once things settled, it was easy to see.
He had no idea when he met her that she was the one woman who would give him a purpose in his life, but he was sure she knew it. She knew, much better than he, what he needed, and at every step of the way, she'd been there. She supported him, as he'd tried to support her.
The love they shared…that wasn't a grade school crush or a college hook-up. It was the kind of love his parents had. It was the sticking kind. It was the kind of love he wrote songs about, and it was all he needed. Bella was truly all he needed.
"Where's the toad?" Emmett asked as he grabbed a beer from the refrigerator. Bella laughed at him because he was still her Emmett…always protective and always obnoxious.
"He'll be home in a bit. Go eat. The appetizers are hot, and we all know how you are with food, Em," Bella called as she turned off the oven in the kitchen of the house Edward had bought when he'd signed over his music to Sony.
They'd moved to California, and she was still working as a social worker, just as she'd always wanted to do. Edward, however, had found his life moving in a different direction. He wasn't teaching any longer. He was the songwriter he was always meant to be, and they were happy.
Movies took longer to make than either of them ever considered, but the movie had finally come out with Edward's score playing in the background. Words had been added to a few of the songs, and she'd heard them over and over, but she loved each and every one of them.
The fact he'd been nominated for "Best Original Score" had surprised both of them, but he refused to attend the ceremony. He'd told her couldn't stand sitting in the audience if he lost, so they were having a little party at their home with his brothers and their wives in attendance.
She heard the front door of their little bungalow open, as she'd trained her ear, and she hurried to greet him because she knew how nervous he was about the whole thing. "Hey, handsome," she greeted as she grazed a kiss over his lips.
"I'm sorry I'm late, but I picked up wine like you asked. Has it started?" he asked. She could hear the apprehension in his voice.
Thinking back over the years she'd spent loving Edward Cullen brought tears to her eyes because he'd just always been there. It seemed like they'd always loved each other, and for that she was grateful. Just having him in her life through the good and bad was all she needed.
"Honey, they're still doing the red carpet bullshit. How was the studio work today?" she asked.
"This time it's not as easy. I've got a lot on my mind, and I've never written a score for an action movie before, but Jared thinks it's great, so far. How was work?" Edward asked as he pulled two beers from the fridge.
"I met the cutest little girl today. Her father is a mean bastard, but I was able to get her into a safe place, so it was a good day for me," Bella offered, feeling the touch of his lips on her forehead.
"So you found her a good family?"
"I did. I truly think she'll be fine. Are you nervous about this? You know it doesn't matter. Isn't the catch phrase something like 'It's an honor to be nominated'?" she teased as she grabbed the belt loops of his jeans and pulled him closer.
When she felt his lips on hers, she felt remarkably better. His kiss always made her feel better.
"If I don't win this thing, you won't think less of me, will you?" he asked as he pulled away and looked at her.
She laughed. "Edward Anthony Cullen, are you kidding me? I've known you for so many years, and I've never…I should nut punch you for that or should I get Emmett to do it? You know I love you, and I'm your biggest…" she began her argument which he silenced with his mouth on hers in a flash. They both pulled away laughing.
They settled in with their friends to watch the show, and they all shared what was going on in their lives until the "Best Original Score" category came up. The movie had won a few awards, and as the actors stood on the stage in all of their glory, Emmett joked, "Dude you should have sent Ma to accept the award. I can just hear it now… 'On behalf of my baby boy who wouldn't take to the breast, I accept this award. I always had faith in him because…'"
When Jasper picked up the gauntlet, Edward didn't appreciate it. "Because he was always so sensitive and I knew he had this inside him."
"You two suck," Edward stated to his brothers as they listened to the nominees. The presenter was an actor from the movie, and Edward buried his face in Bella's neck as the winner was announced.
"The Actor goes to…Edward Cullen for 'The Right One.' He heard the applause over the television set and then the pat statement. "Edward couldn't be here tonight, but I accept this on his behalf." He turned to Bella and kissed her passionately because if not for her, it would have never happened.
After the talk with his parents, Charlie, Mary, and Brandon…Bella and Alice's little brother… his agent and publicist, things calmed down.
"So, you didn't go because you're a pussy, but you've gotta have a speech, so let's hear it," Emmett ordered.
Edward rose from the couch where he'd been holding Bella and stood up with a beer in hand. "Okay, you want a speech. Here it is."
"I'd like to thank the Academy, Grant Reynolds, and Jared Stone for the opportunity to record this soundtrack."
"Many years ago I opened my parents' front door to see a Girl Scout standing there with a wagon full of cookies and bloody knees. She was a salesperson because even as she stood there in pain, she continued her little sales pitch. That salesperson is the reason I'm standing here today. She took a CD of songs I'd sent her a long time ago that meant something to her and handed them off to someone who liked them. Without that little Girl Scout, I'd probably have ended up a lawyer."
"So to Scout, I say this…I never knew when you showed up on our doorstep that day that you'd be the love of my life. I knew you were special, but my twelve-year-old heart couldn't understand it. I get it now, so I've got but one thing to ask you. Isabella Bella Bells Bell Swan, I've loved you for years. Will you marry me?" With that request, he sunk to his knees and reached into the pocket of his jeans, pulling out a ring. It wasn't huge, but it was exactly what Bella would have chosen.
No one in the room was surprised when she walked over to him, sunk down on her knees in front of him and whispered, "Yes, Edward Anthony 'I don't like nicknames' Cullen, I'll marry you. I've waited a lifetime for you, and I can't wait another second."
After they kissed and he placed the ring on her finger, kissing it gently, the room erupted with family hugs and kisses. Statements of "I knew it" surprised no one. It was absolutely perfect, and it had occurred perfectly.
Edward Anthony Cullen married Isabella Marie Swan on August 13. It was a cloudy day, but the smiles on their faces were brighter than any sunshine would have been. They had their families and their friends in attendance in his parents' back yard in Forks. It was another perfect day he'd never forget.
The happy couple had just moved into a cozy house in a nice neighborhood. They'd painted and cleaned and made plans about updates they'd undertake over their life together, but they were happy to have a home of their own with a yard where they could play with any children who would come along. There were no plans in the immediate future to start a family, but they'd had the discussion and knew it was in their cards.
Bella was at the grocery store, and Edward was outside repairing a loose shutter when a little girl with a child-sized shopping cart in front of her strolled up his front walk. She was dressed in familiar green with a long braid down her back and a boy a foot taller standing behind her.
"Excuse me, Sir," the little girl announced to get his attention. He chuckled to himself as he put the screwdriver in his tool box and walked over to the front stairs of his and Bella's front porch.
"Cookie time?" he asked. She smiled brightly, and he saw she was missing her two front teeth.
"I'm with Troop 896, and we're selling Girl Scout Cookies to fund our annual Camperee," she informed.
Edward sat down on the front steps and allowed her to inform him of the cookies she had for sale, though based on his little Girl Scout, he knew the menu well. When she finished, she cocked her head and smiled.
"Who's your body guard, Girl Scout?" he asked, seeing the boy behind her looking bored.
"Oh, that's my best friend, Chuck," she introduced.
"Pepper, just sell the cookies. I've got soccer in an hour, and you talk too much," the boy chastised.
Edward smirked. "Pepper?"
"Oh, my name is Patricia, but my parents call me Trisha. Chuck here, calls me Pepper because his mom calls me Patty…you know, like from Charlie Brown?" He saw the girl look over her shoulder at the boy with a glowing smile, and the boy even smiled back at her for a moment.
Edward couldn't help but laugh because the little girl reminded him of his dear wife when he'd met her all those years ago. Fortunately, the sidewalk of his and Bella's home was level and the girl hadn't fallen. "Chuck, how long have you known, uh, Trisha?" Edward asked. He didn't use the boy's nickname for the girl, remembering how personal those things could be.
"Since she was six. She lives next door and my ma kinda made me come with her. She babysits Pepper after school, and since it was sunny today, I said I'd go along. So? Cookies?" the boy asked impatiently.
Edward laughed again, seeing more of himself in the boy than he'd have believed possible. "I'll take a box of Thin Mints, a box of Tag-a-longs, and a box of Samoas," Edward ordered.
"Oh, Samoas are my favorites," the little girl informed as she gathered the order. When she presented the three boxes to Edward, he pulled out a ten dollar bill from his pocket and handed it to her.
"And, I owe you…one dollar," she announced as she handed the money to Chuck and held out her little hand for change. The boy produced a dollar from an envelope he held in his hand, smiling at the girl.
She handed it to Edward with a smile. "Thank you, sir, for supporting your local troop." With that, the girl turned the cart, getting it hung up on a crack in the sidewalk. He saw the boy laugh a little and pick it up, setting it on the sidewalk for the girl with a tender smile on his face. The look of protectiveness and affection was evident, even to Edward.
He stood and just before the two hurried down the sidewalk, he called to the boy, "Hey, Chuck, let me give you a little advice."
He saw the boy say something to the girl. She nodded, and then she began reshuffling the boxes in her cart. Chuck walked back up the sidewalk with an inquisitive look on his face and waited.
"Someday, you might look back on this and wish you'd have been a little more patient. I know I did. Don't take her for granted because you just never know how life turns out. I met my wife when she was a Girl Scout, and I look back on those days and smile. She just might be the best thing that ever happens to you, so don't break your promises to her. It'll all work out for the best, Scout's Honor."
The kid looked at him with a furrowed brow, and then looked back to where the girl was waiting patiently. "Whatever," the boy called as he hurried down the sidewalk. Edward saw him look at the girl and smile a little, tugging her braid.
He laughed to himself as he picked up the three boxes of cookies to carry them inside just as Bella pulled into the driveway. He saw her hop out of her SUV and look down the street with a smile. He was pretty sure she was remembering the same thing he was, and he couldn't help but drop the cookies and hurry to where she stood, watching the pair amble down the street.
"I got your favorites…Thin Mints. I love you so much, Scout," he whispered before he whisked his wife into his arms and kissed her deeply. Maybe that baby wouldn't be too far in the future…
So, there you go! I truly appreciated reading your reviews, and I am grateful to all of you.
I hope I hear from you…even you lurkers out there!
Thank you so very much for reading.
For the last time…xoxo