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Happily Forever After

Summary:
All fairy tales have happy endings, but that doesn't mean the journey is an easy one. When things don't turn out as Isabella Swan expects, will she give up before she discovers true love?


Notes:


1. Prologue: A Not So Conventional Fairytale

Rating 3.7/5   Word Count 1810   Review this Chapter

I never believed in fate or destiny. Well, that’s not exactly true. I never cared enough to believe in it or even think about it for that matter. Of course, times were very different, and as a woman in the 1700’s fate or destiny meant very little. We grew up and if we were lucky, we would be married to a kind man that we may grow to love. We would raise a family, grow old, and eventually die. It’s easy to see why I was so complacent with fate. It didn’t matter to me. I do, however, believe in irony. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a bit of irony? See, I find great irony in the fact that I never believed in fate or destiny, yet fate has decided it believed in me – even if it did take a while to work itself out. It wasn’t until two centuries after my death I realized the real irony of my circumstances, and by that time, it was pointless to resist. The damage was already done.

What was so ironic, you ask? As a human, I fell in love with a vampire, and as a vampire I fell in love with a human. Not the sort of thing that happens every day. In fact, I seem to be the exception of every rule, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves now, aren’t we?

I’m sure you’re overwrought with curiosity by now, right? If not, that’s quite alright. I’ll readily admit that most of my life has been dull and uneventful – I’m not so unique in that aspect. However, it does have a happy ending – well, as much as it can end, but I’m getting ahead of myself once again. Well, let’s start, shall we?

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Isabella Swan. Wait, you say this doesn’t sound like a fairy tale? Well, I’ll admit that it’s a bit unconventional, considering the majority of the players are mythical creatures better suited for horror stories, but the sentiment is the same. Now, if I may continue…

Isabella Swan was not like other girls her age. Other girls – in fact every other girl she knew – would take great pleasure in attending as many balls as humanly possible. Isabella, on the other hand, would prefer reading to dancing. She thought balls were for finding husbands, and that was yet another area that Isabella differed from every other seventeen year old girl. She cared nothing about obtaining that elusive jewel that was known as the perfect man. Isabella – or Bella as she was apt to be called – loved romance as much as the next girl, but she knew what others did not. Happy endings only happened in books. To believe otherwise would be foolish, and Bella was no fool.

Unfortunately for Bella, she had little control over her life, so while she does not enjoy attending balls – if asked on the wrong day, she might even tell you she’d rather be fed to rabid dogs than go – she attended them frequently. Perhaps she would enjoy them more if her dancing was not a hazard to English society as a whole. If Bella were being honest, she would have admitted that balls – minus the hazardous dancing, of course – were relatively painless. It’s the pomp and circumstance that preceded the ball that she absolutely loathed. She was not really privy to knowledge about ancient torture methods but she expected them to be much similar to what she was forced to go through every time she was dressed for a ball. By the time she arrived at said ball, she had been poked, prodded, pinched, and practically stitched into a corset two sizes smaller than she was.

The night this tale began was no different than any other night, or any other ball for that matter. She was sitting with her cousins listening to them chatter on about this man and that man. She didn’t speak because to speak would require a full breath and she did not have that. She had already been forced to dance with two vile men, and when she saw the third man began to walk towards her, she panicked.

Her cousin, Lizzie, saw the panic in her eyes and giggled. She leaned in to Bella and murmured in her ear. “My poor Isabella, run along and I’ll distract him for you.”

Bella smiled and left the table as quickly as she could without fear of fainting. She did not understand her popularity at these events. She was not half as beautiful as the other girls here, with her plain brown hair and brown eyes. Nevertheless, her cousin distracting a persistent man was par for the course, and she knew she would never survive these events if not for her Lizzie.

She managed to duck into the crowd and miss her next would-be dance partner when she saw him. He was standing in the corner alone, and Bella was sure her eyes were playing tricks on her because that man could not possibly be real. Man really did not seem to be a fitting word for him. He was tall and blonde and positively beautiful. He looked more like an angel than a man, and it was not too difficult for Bella to imagine him as one. He had an ethereal quality to him, but the thing Bella noticed right away is the sadness etched on his face and in his eyes. Before she had time to think of the consequences, she found her feet moving towards him. She wanted to do something – anything – to remove the sadness she found there.

She heard someone calling her name in the background and in the split second it took her to turn around, the blonde haired man was gone, leaving nothing behind, but his memory and a sweet scent.

She went back to where her cousins were convened and noticed how they watched her approach with great interest. She sat down with what she can only assume was the silliest grin they have ever seen plastered on her face. She discovered then that she believed in love at first sight – of course, this would not happen for another two-hundred years, but she doesn’t know that yet. Her cousins exchanged a look and erupted into a fit of giggles.

“Our Izzie is in love!” they squealed in unison.

“I hate being called Izzie,” she muttered, but much to her dismay, she couldn’t find it in her to deny the second charge.

Over the next fortnight, Bella could think of nothing else but the blonde-haired man. She was desperate – absolutely desperate – to discover the identity of the mysterious man who managed to haunt her every moment – waking or not. She went willingly to every ball, dinner, and event that was held in hopes of seeing him again.

But all of her ball attendances were in vain. In the end, she discovered his name through her cunning use of subterfuge – a pathetic combination of tears and pleading to her dear uncle who could refuse her nothing. His name was Carlisle Cullen.

Months passed by and Bella had yet to meet or see. Carlisle Cullen again – other than in her dreams, of course. Sensing her distress, her uncle organized an outing into town to raise Bella’s spirits. Bella decided to humor her uncle and go along with the trip, although she knew nothing short of seeing him again will cheer her up. Given the circumstances, she was still happy for the distraction the trip would hold.

She was walking with her cousins while they discussed the ball they would be attending two nights from then when she saw him. Their eyes locked for a moment, and then he was gone again. She automatically slowed her pace. She knew she was going to follow him; she just had to do it at the right moment. Her cousins were so entranced in their conversation; they didn’t even notice that she was no longer next to them. When she was satisfied they were far enough ahead, she darted in the direction she thought he went.

In life, there are defining moments that forever change the course of your life. For Bella Swan, that was her defining moment. It was the moment that would result in her death, but also would ensure that she was around to meet her soul-mate.

It didn’t take long for her to realize she was lost. There was no sign of Carlisle and she started to believe – as she wandered aimlessly – that she may not have seen him at all. Just when she decided she should turn around, she caught another glimpse of blonde hair. Tired of wandering the streets, she called out for him to stop.

Bella gasped as he turned around; a red-eyed demon in front of her was definitely not Carlisle. She tried to tell her legs to run, but she was paralyzed with fear and before she could even scream, she felt a pair of razor-sharp teeth pierce her skin. She heard a snarl behind her and just as suddenly as the teeth were placed in her neck; they were gone. She collapsed to the ground as the fire began burning through her veins. She wasn’t sure how long she stayed on the ground, but eventually, a pair of cold arms picked her up and cradled her to his chest. One of Bella’s eyes fluttered open, and she saw him. The blonde-haired man had saved her. Perhaps he really was an angel, or so she thought at the time.

He was running faster than Bella imagined possible. If she hadn’t been in so much pain, she probably would have been terrified, incredibly terrified. He was murmuring words to her, but she couldn’t concentrate on them. She was being held prisoner by the pain. She was vaguely aware of him laying her down on a bed of sorts and telling her it would all be over in a few days, but the fire pulled her under before she could respond to ask what exactly it was that would be over.

She thought the pain would never end. She begged, pleaded, lamented, cried, but nothing seemed to work. Why had this happened to her? She had been a good daughter, niece, cousin. She certainly did not deserve this pain, yet it continued on, unabated until at last it left her cold and surprisingly numb.

And so they lived happily ever after.

Oh? You don’t believe me? Perceptive, aren’t you? Well, you’re right. This was really only the beginning. You want to hear the rest of the story, do you? Well, I suppose I could be persuaded to tell you the rest.