CHAPTER TEN -- the last chapter -- NOW POSTEDThe waiting is finally over ... The days leading up to and following Bella’s 19th birthday – the year she never turned 19. And yes, this is a sequel to “August 13th.”
ATTENTION READERS: DO NOT STEAL MY STORIES. Someone has stolen some of my stories from this website -- including this one! -- and posted them as their own on fanfiction.net. It is plaigarism, it is stealing and it is illegal. Read, enjoy -- but don't steal. Post-Eclipse This is a sequel to "August 13th" -- you don't have to have read that story to understand this one, though I highly recommend it! ;) To do so, check it out here: http://www.twilightarchives.com/viewstory.php?sid=986
2. Chapter 2
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1661 Review this Chapter
“It’s just the weight of the world …”
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Charlie cried the day we left. He wasn’t usually so emotional, but I think part of him knew he’d never see me again. Like a sixth sense, he seemed to know deep down that this was it. His daughter had chosen a new life and in doing so, agreed to sacrifice her old one. I noticed the tears when he hugged me the first time, kissing my hair and squeezing my shoulders a little too tightly.
“I can’t believe you’re married and going off to college,” he said, sounding almost awestruck. “It still seems like just yesterday you were playing with Barbies.”
Behind me, I heard Edward mutter, “Barbies?” but I ignored him. This moment was for me and Charlie.
“I’ll call you when we’re settled,” I promised. “I love you, Dad.”
But these words only stirred another outburst. Charlie threw his arms around me again, still squeezing too tightly, and kissed my hair and my forehead over and over again. “Oh, Bella, I’m gonna miss having you around here.”
“I’ll miss you too, Dad.”
“I’m so glad you came to Forks … I’m so glad we got to have these last two years together, Bells.” He was gushing and because this was a big goodbye, I let him. He held me out at arm’s length, looking me up and down as if memorizing every last detail of my features. “I’m so proud of you,” he said. “I hope you know that. I’m so very, very proud … and I’ll always love you, Bella. No matter what, I love you.”
“No matter what,” I repeated. “I love you Charlie.”
He hugged and kissed me once more and I returned the gestures, before letting Edward pull me to the car. I climbed into the passenger seat on my own, turning to look at Charlie one last time. I smiled at him, blew a kiss and waved. Through the window, I watched him waving back fervently until we turned the corner and he disappeared behind us. Edward glanced over at me, one hand resting casually on the steering wheel as he drove. He smiled, and rested his other hand on my thigh and pressed down harder on the gas pedal – taking the two of us away to our future together.
It would have taken a normal person a few days to reach Alaska by road – but with Edward at the wheel, we were there by nightfall. The rest of the Cullens were already there when he pulled the silver Volvo up outside the house that belonged to Tanya and her family. Secretly, I was still nervous to meet her – remembering Rosalie’s story about how Tanya had taken a fancy to Edward so many years ago. I wasn’t worried about him … rather, I was worried about what she would think of me. Edward had laughed when I’d told him these fears, so I did not bring it up again – but as we sat for a moment inside the car – waiting to get out – he glanced over at me and I could tell instantly that he still knew I was nervous.
He squeezed my hand and kissed my cheek. “Don’t worry about it,” he said. “You are perfect in every way.”
I rolled my eyes, but turned my face to kiss his mouth. I was so wrapped up in our kiss that I did not hear the high-pitched keeling until it was too late. I shouted in surprise as the car door behind me was wrenched open and two, tiny cold arms pulled me into an awkward embrace. “Bella!” Alice squealed. “You’re finally here!”
Behind me, I heard Edward’s car door slam and in less than a second, his hands were pulling me free of Alice’s vise. “Nice to see you, too,” he said sarcastically.
“What took you so long?” she demanded, her lips drawn into a pout and her fists balled against her hips.
Edward shook his head and started walking with me towards the large, slate gray house. “We were taking our time,” he called back to her. “You know, alone time for the newlyweds.”
Edward tightened his hold around me as we walked up the front steps at a very human pace. Just before we reached the door, he pressed his lips to my ear. “You’ll be fine,” he reassured me.
“Just don’t … let me go.”
“I won’t. I promise.” Then he pressed his lips to my skin again and pushed open the door. We were instantly bathed in warm light.
The room we stepped into was an expansive entry hall with a large, glittering chandelier hanging from the vaulted ceiling. On one side of the room, a winding staircase with a hand-carved banister led to the upper floors and curved doorways led off to the rest of the main floor. The floors were a cherry hardwood with thick, brown rugs thrown over the top. The walls were painted a sort of muted, military blue and every few feet, a crystal sconce flanked exquisite pieces of artwork – mostly landscapes of the surrounding area. Against the far wall, was a wood-burning fireplace with a stone façade, a pile of logs already ablaze. In all, it felt surprisingly warm and cozy for a house full of vampires.
“Well if it isn’t Edward Cullen,” called a voice from above us. I looked at the top of the staircase, where a statuesque vampire smiled down at us. She was just as painfully pretty as the Cullens; her beauty rivaled even Rosalie’s – her skin perfectly flush and every feature perfectly placed, with waves of coppery strawberry blonde hair cascading down her back. She moved down the steps gracefully and quickly – though still slow for a vampire. “And you must be Bella,” she said. I suspected she had adjusted her speed for my sake. She stepped towards us and took one of my hands in both of hers. “I am so very pleased to meet you,” she continued. “I’m Tanya.”
“Oh,” I said, catching myself. Her very presence had seemed distracting. “It’s nice to meet you, too,” I said, struggling to find my voice. “I’ve heard a lot about your family.”
She laughed then, a musical ringing sound. “And I’ve heard a lot about you. It’s nice to finally meet the young lady who stole our Edward’s heart.”
I smiled back at her, still nervous about what she thought of me; what she wasn’t saying. My eyes flickered up to Edward’s face, but his expression was completely unruffled. If possible, he actually looked content. Sensing my unease, he looked down at me and met my eyes. He smiled, crooked as always, and kissed my forehead. “It’s okay,” he said.
Tanya laughed again, then pulled me away from Edward. She wrapped one cool arm around my shoulder and began leading me into the other room “Let me show you the house,” she said, “and then you can tell me everything about yourself. Edward always edits.”
“Er …” I was hesitant to go any further, and Tanya seemed to sense my hesitance.
She paused and pulled her arm away from me. “I promise, I won’t bite you … I understand that will be Edward’s job very soon.”
“No, it’s not that,” I said. I felt like I was fumbling for words. Edward sensed my unease and was instantly at my side. I felt myself relax once physical contact had been reestablished. “I’m not … afraid of you,” I said to Tanya. “I’m just … er, nervous.”
“About what?” she said, laughing again. It was melodic – a light, airy sound – like strings on a harp or the trill of a flute.
“Um, well, let’s see,” I said, as every infinitesimal issue that had been working my nerves for the last several days flooded my mind and then issued from my mouth in a torrent. “I’ve only just graduated high school, I’m only 18 and I’m married, I’ve given up my entire life – albeit for a much better one – I’m about to become a vampire, my best friend will never speak to me again once that happens because he’s a werewolf, my father thinks I’m going to college and I’m not sure what I’m going to do when I run out of excuses not to visit, and, oh yeah, there’s this amazingly beautiful vampire who once wanted my husband and I’m pretty sure she must think I’m incredibly plain and boring and she’s probably wondering what in the world Edward sees in me when he could have someone like her.” I sighed heavily, catching my breath after my tirade. I remembered a line from a movie about “word vomit.” I bit my lip, nervous once again about what Tanya would think now.
But she just laughed again – lighter than before – and kissed my cheek; it felt like a snowflake touching my skin. “Oh, Bella, darling … how very exhausting,” she said. “But let me ease your mind of at least one thing … that other vampire? She thinks you are lovely and can see very plainly why Edward chose you over anyone else.”
I didn’t realize it, but I had been holding my breath – and I let it out loudly after hearing these words. An hysterical chuckle escaped my lips – more of a yelp than anything else – and I felt myself relax against Edward’s side. His arms tightened around me, making sure I would not fall down. “Thank you,” I said finally. “And I’m sorry.”
“Sorry?” Tanya said. “For what?”
“For being so incredibly silly.”
She smiled and Edward laughed beside me. “Oh Bella,” he said. “That’s just one of the many things I love about you …”
“Come on,” Tanya said. “I’ll show you your room … let’s get the two of you settled in.”
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