***A/N: So so sorry for the delay in this post. Sometimes I have a hard time writing the endings for my stories, especially ones that deal with unrealistic things such as vampires and ghosts. It's not so much a writer's block, but with these types of stories I often wonder if I've gone too far and stretched it even beyond believable fantasy (I may have still done that with this one). I tried writing it and rewriting it, but the extra fantastic elements seemed necessary for completing this particular story. Anyway, here is another super cheesy ending. I hope you can suspend reality just a bit to enjoy it :)

Chapter 44

Getting settled into our new life in Seattle was surprisingly simple. There was no awkward transitional period, and both Edward and Bree fit so well in my apartment that I almost forgot what it was like not to have them there. We were a family, there was no question about it; all that was left was to make it legal.

At first, Edward wasn't too keen on the idea of a wedding, but it only took a moment to convince him.

"You're right," he told me. "We should have a ceremony to celebrate."

I had a feeling he was just agreeing to please me, but I was still glad. I was sure that once everything was said and done, we'd both be happy we did it.

Alice jumped right in and went into full planning mode. I had to rein her in several times, there was no way I would agree to live swans waddling around, but for the most part she honored our wish to keep it simple.

"So you have your flower girl, your maid of honor is yours truly, and the chicks at your store will be your bridesmaids. Edward has Jasper and three of his buddies from work standing up for him, all we have left is to pick someone to walk you down the aisle," Alice said as we were going over all the wedding details.

"Actually, I'd kind of rather not have all those bridesmaids," I admitted. "The girls that work for me aren't really my friends; besides, I want the wedding to just be about me and Edward. We're not doing it to put on a show."

She sighed. "Okay, I guess I can understand that. No bridesmaids and groomsmen; so what's left? We have Bree as the flower girl, no ring bearer, Jasper will be Edward's best man and I'm your maid of honor…wait, when you said no bridesmaids…"

"I would love for you to still be my maid of honor," I assured her.

She squealed excitedly, and then she tried to focus back on the task at hand. "We still need someone to walk you down the aisle. Too bad Renee's marriage ended so abruptly. Phil could have done it."

"I wouldn't want Phil…To be honest, I don't want anyone walking me. That's my dad's place, and since he can't be there, I'd prefer to just walk alone."

She nodded in understanding. "Well, good. It sounds like we have everything planned out then. Three more weeks, and you'll be an official Cullen!" she said excitedly.

"Can't wait," I said sincerely.

The next two weeks quickly passed, and everything was being finalized for the wedding but I realized something very important was missing; well, I suppose it was more like someone was missing…a few someone's to be exact. Reluctantly, I picked up the phone and called the one person who could fix the situation.


At first he had his walls up so high that getting through to him seemed impossible, but as I continued to explain everything, and by everything I meant everything, Carlisle began to soften. When he finally really understood that we never had a sibling relationship, he was able to let that idea go. There was absolutely nothing wrong about our love, and I was grateful Edward's family would have a chance to see it.

And just like his father, Edward was stubborn and it took a little convincing to get him to forgive and forget, but at the end of the day, I honestly believed he was thankful to have his family back in his life.

The day of the wedding arrived, and I think Bree and Alice were more excited than I was. As much as I had dreamed about that day for as long as I could remember, I was suddenly getting cold feet; not about getting married, it was simply doubts about the wedding itself. I loved my dress, but the idea of walking down an aisle in high heel shoes with no one there to keep me from falling was more than a little nerve-racking.

"Just breathe Bella, I'm sure you'll do great," Alice tried assuring me.

"I just have this horrific picture in my head of me tripping over my dress and falling flat on my face in front of everyone," I told her. "With my luck I'll end up breaking my arm and I'll be spending my wedding day in the ER."

"I think you are very graceful Bella," Bree said adorably. "Remember when we were playing in the park? You didn't stumble once."

I smiled at her. "Thanks sweetie. I only wish I was as confident as you are."

The music started and Bree took off throwing rose petals down the aisle of the ocean front venue, and then Alice gave me one more quick pep talk before she disappeared out of the tent we were waiting in, leaving me there alone to squirm in my anxieties.

"Just breathe," I told myself, but my legs were shaking so much that I figured falling down was inevitable.

But then suddenly, I wasn't alone anymore…

"You got this, Bells," my dad's warm voice said from behind me.

I turned slowly and immediately broke down in tears.

"Oh now, don't start that. You'll mess up your makeup," he chided me lovingly.

"You came. You're here," I cried.

"Of course I'm here. I wouldn't miss it for all of heaven," he said with a grin.

He wrapped his arms around me, and I was shocked by how real it felt.

"How can I feel you?" I asked while trying to get a hold of myself.

He smiled again, and then shrugged. "You're future husband out there may have given me some pointers."

"Huh?" I asked confused.

"I don't know how he did it, but somehow he got to me and here we are. You know, there are quite a few spirits hanging around you."

I giggled. "Yeah, I seemed to have picked up a few along the way."

"I'm so proud of you, baby; you've grown into an amazing woman."

"Thanks dad."

"Hey, no more tears. Let's get this show on the road."

He placed his hand under my arm, and magically I felt sturdy. There would be no more wobbly legs and no more fears or anxiety. I walked out of that tent with confidence, and didn't worry about stumbling again even once. My dad was there with me, and even though I was the only one who saw him, his presence was definitely very real.

Having my father walking me down the aisle was something I never even dreamed of hoping for, but when I locked eyes with Edward standing there waiting for me, all I could think about was him. He was beautiful, it was simply a fact, and I couldn't believe I was the lucky girl who got to actually be with him forever.

When I finally made it down that horrendously long aisle, Edward shot off a smile that could light up the entire universe, but then he said something that shocked the hell out of me.

"Thanks for being here Mr. Swan."

I think my mouth actually hung open.

"I don't have to tell you to take care of my little girl, because I already know you will," my dad replied.

"There's nothing I wouldn't do for her," Edward assured him.

Charlie chuckled. "I guess you've proven that by giving heaven a rain check."

Edward subtly shook his head. "Heaven isn't heaven without her."

And of course that statement brought me back to tears. How could anyone hear something like that and not cry?

My dad kissed me on the cheek, told me he loved me, and then he disappeared; though, I knew he was still there; he was there all along.

Edward and I exchanged vows, but instead of saying 'Till death do us part' or 'As long as we both shall live', we simply chose to promise to be true to each other for 'Always'.

Life wasn't perfect, and like everyone else we had our ups and downs, but the strength of our love always persevered, just like we vowed it would.

We spent the next sixty years watching our family grow and thrive, and when our time on the world ended, we went together. I think we earned that right.

We had lived an amazing life, and we both knew, the end was only the beginning…

***A/N: Yep, super cheesy ending, just like I promised. LOL. Actually, I have to give some credit to "The Notebook" for inspiring the whole 'dying together' thing. I always wanted to write that into one of my stories ;)

"Always and Beyond" is still going, but I hope to complete that version soon as well. Thanks so much for sticking with my crazy brain, I really appreciate the support.