This was my contribution for the Fandom for LLS. I hope you enjoy it :)

Because of You- Theirs is a love that will last a lifetime and beyond.

Twilight Fanfiction

Love/Angst

Edward and Bella

Rated M

These characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement intended.

Because of You

By Lost In Fanfiction

It's just us. Me and you.

I stroke your hair as I talk, your eyes flutter behind your pale eyelids. The movement encourages me to continue.

I remember the day we met like it was yesterday. Rose was always such a drama queen. When she talked about her Science teacher, Mr. Masen, being so hot, but a tough-ass, I took it with a grain of salt. I went to speak with you about her grade in place of my parents. When I laid my eyes on you, I was a goner. Everything she said about your hotness was not exaggerated nearly enough. You hadn't even looked in my direction, but my eyes couldn't leave you. I watched you for what seemed like hours, but was probably a minute. However long it was, it wasn't long enough. It's never been long enough. No matter how much, my time with you has never been enough.

I watched you from the doorway of your classroom. The way you moved so fluidly through the room. Your movements looked like a well-choreographed seductive dance to me. In actuality, you were preparing your class for the science experiment the students were going to do the following day. I was awestruck, at a complete loss of words at your beauty.

Then you turned towards me and a huge smile broke out on your face, like you'd been waiting for me. I moved towards you without conscious thought to what I was doing. I stood in front of you, like a mute, just admiring you up close. Your strong jaw, with a hint of scruff, your perfectly kissable pink lips, your slightly crooked nose, the slight gray at your temples, the small crinkles in the corner of your eyes when you smiled and, lastly, your soulful green eyes. So full of wonder and mischief, as you watched me appraise you so blatantly.

When I finally found my voice, I squeaked out some kind of introduction and family connection to your student, my sister Rosalie. But honestly, I don't remember what I said to you. You should have looked at me like some foolish child with a crush on an older boy, but you never did. Our whole lives, you've never made me feel young, lesser than. You've always treated me as your equal, and for that I'm grateful.

From that day forward, I thought of no other boy or man again. Not in that way. I knew you were it for me. I waited as patiently as I could for you to no longer be my sister's teacher. It was the longest seven months of my life.

I laugh, remembering the incessant questions I would ask Rose about you.

I went out of my way to be the concerned older sister. I offered to go to parent's night, instead of my parents. I even went as far as hiding her lunch from her so I could bring it to her at school. I thought you saw right through me, that I was totally transparent in hiding my feelings for you. If you did know, you never led on. You always maintained complete professionalism as the responsible high school teacher you were.

There were times I thought I was going to burst, like that last time we found ourselves alone in your classroom in early June, just days before Rosalie graduated. I was at the end of my rope, my sanity. My desire for you clouding every move I made, but you literally kept me at arms length. When you grabbed my shoulders as I came to stand too closely in front of you, I tried to move closer, but you held me away. You were firm, yet gentle with me. If it weren't for the look in your eyes that begged me for patience, if it weren't for the longing mirrored in your face, I would have felt rejected. Instead I felt cherished, cared for. That you cared enough to do things properly, ethically.

I reluctantly waited, but you didn't make me wait long. It was at the end of the graduation ceremony, while everyone was milling around talking and taking photos. I heard you before I saw you. You re-introduced yourself to our parents. The sound of your voice did something to my insides. But you didn't stop there. You asked my dad's permission to take me out on a date. I was an adult, I didn't even live at home with my parents, but you asked anyway.

The whole scene unfolded in front of me. My dad asking what your intentions were with a girl so many years younger than yourself and you answering that you felt drawn to me like you had never experienced before, but that you had waited until you no longer had a professional tie to our family. You were honest about wanting to see if we had something to pursue. My dad paused before he answered, practically giving me a heart attack, because I didn't need my father's permission, but obviously it mean something to you.

When he called you a stand up, professional man for waiting until it was appropriate to do something about your feelings, to be honest I was shocked. A police captain giving permission for a forty-five-year-old man to date his twenty-three-year-old daughter, highly unlikely. But I think he saw something in you that day, something real, true. I think even to a protective father, it was undeniable.

That's not to say that we didn't face challenges because of our age difference, because we did. Your teenage children being the biggest challenge; the biggest, the most difficult and the most important challenge. I knew their acceptance was crucial, and without it we wouldn't make it. It took months, nearly a year, before we had their blessing. I think getting Jake past his crush on me helped things along. We couldn't move forward together while your sixteen-year-old son was, um, fantasizing about your girlfriend. If it wasn't so creepy, I might have been flattered. In the back of my mind, I was his potential stepmother. In the end, I think they, too, couldn't deny what we had together, what we were together.

Our wedding was a fairytale. You swept me off my feet in every way. It was more than I ever dreamed it would be. Our life was more than I could have ever wanted or even thought possible. But you know this. You've told me everyday how much you love me and how much I mean to you. How I changed your life that day I stood in the doorway of your classroom. How your heart began to beat. How colors were brighter, and music had more meaning. How I made you a better man, everyday. I feel the same way, and I made sure you knew this, too.

In our twenty years together, we never went to bed angry. We had some sleepless nights. We would talk until the sun came up if it meant we got past our anger, our hurt, our misunderstanding. And we always did. Thank God we could agree to disagree or we might still be awake now.

Our life wasn't easy, but it was meaningful, powerful, worthwhile. You taught me to love fiercely from watching how you parented your children. You taught me to be passionate from the burning passion in our love. You taught me loyalty by how loyal you were to me, our family, our friends. You were an unwavering rock in our lives. All of us can attest to that. You were always there when people needed you.

I needed you, I needed us. When the reality hit that we were never going to have our own children, I could have lost it, checked out, but you didn't let me. You showed me every day what we did have. You didn't let me dwell on what we didn't have, yet you never made me feel bad for grieving what we lost. We thought about adopting and surrogacy. Together, we decided that our lives were full enough. We had love to give, but instead we focused on being charitable. At first it was a welcomed distraction, but it became so much more. It became another passion we shared. One that our families have gotten passionate about as well. Once again, that's your doing.

I know you know they were here earlier. I know you heard them tell you how much you mean to them.

Alice talked about when she was little and how she thought you were her prince, how she never really grew out of thinking that way.

Jake told you how you've always been the man he looked up to. How, if he could be just like you, he would always be a happy man.

They are your legacy, Edward. They are a direct reflection of the kind of man you are. They are amazing, just like their father.

The tears flowed. We've all tried not to let this happen, but it's impossible. As much as you've told us over the last year that you are at peace. The way you showed us through your example how someone can lose all dignity physically, but still have dignity within that shines through the pain and the medication and the limitations that comes with dying a slow, painful death.

Our tears are not for you, they are for us. We are losing someone that is central to our family, our lives. I know you will always be here. Everywhere I turn, you're there. In every corner of our house, in every thought I have, you are there. But I can't help but know it won't be the same as having you here with us physically. I won't be able to touch you, talk to you, feel you, love you.

The only consolation in all of this is that you will no longer be in pain. You have dealt with this like a hero. No one knows the pain you endure every day but me, and I'm sure you've even hid the depth of it from me.

No matter how bad a day you were having, you never lost that light in your eyes. The light I saw that first day in your classroom. Your essence has always shone through. Through the pain, the invasive medical tests, the medication that made you feel not yourself, the loss of being in control of your own body. You were there, are there. Even now, in your last slumber here on earth. If you were to open your eyes and look into mine, I would see you. You've made sure of that.

I lie down on the bed next to you.

Close has never been close enough for us, has it, Edward? We've never gotten enough of each other. The last time we spoke, I know I told you I would be okay, but I lied.

The tears fall onto your shirt as I bury my face in your shoulder.

My life will not be the same without you. It will never be as good, as loving, as complete as it has been with you here with me. I'll try, I promise I will. I'll try to move on, but I know there is no one even remotely like you in this world. You were put on this earth for me. You have completed me, complimented me, since the day we met.

The last time we talked, you reminded me that I am the age now that you were when we met. "Bella," you said. "My life began at forty-five." I didn't argue with you. But I just met you at a younger age. I've lived my best life ... with you.

Your breath falters, causing mine to do the same. I look at your face. The grimace evident in your features. I know I'm being selfish wanting you here. Your body is done here on this earth. It's so unfair, that someone's mind out lives their body, but cancer is not fair. Cancer is a cruel bitch.

I put my hand on your chest, your breathing is shallow and your heart is beating rapidly. I know what I have to do. It's the hardest thing I've done in my life.

Edward, sweetheart. You need to go. You've done all you can do here. You've been the best teacher, the best son, the best friend, the best father and the best husband anyone has ever had. I don't want you to go, but you have to. Kate is waiting for you. She wants her daddy. We've had you long enough. It's okay, you can go. I want you to go. Be free, be free of this body that is holding you back. I will always love you. Always. Go knowing that no one has loved you as much as I've loved you. And I'll be okay. I will miss you every day, but I'll be okay.

Your breath falters again, the time between breaths lengthening. I can feel your heart struggling to continue what it's done for so many years.

Be free, Edward, my love. I will always love you. But you are free to go.

You take your last breath in my arms. I will never see those beautiful green eyes look at me again with such love, it hurt to look back sometimes. I will never feel your strong arms around me or hear your voice say my name. But I have memories of all of those things and more. I have days, weeks, years of your constant love and support. Of your friendship, your encouragement, your unwavering devotion to me, to us, to all of us.

I will be okay. You've filled me with so much love that I can live on that love until my last day here on this earth. Until the day I get to be with you again. But always know, my best life was lived with you, because of you. I love you, Edward. I will always love you.

A/N

This was written for my dad, who died from cancer at a far too young age, and for everyone else who has lost someone to this horrible disease.

Thanks for reading :)