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What would have happened had the Volturi decided to grant Edward his wish and kill him? Would Bella have been able to get to him in time? Would the Volturi show mercy on them still? Bella races to save Edward's life, though one thing has changed...Edward will be killed.


11. Chapter 11: Forever

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We met his family--our family--in the middle of the forest. "We have a problem," Alice said, almost immediately upon seeing us.

What else was new? Wasn't that, like, the family motto ever since I came into their lives?

"What are we going to do?" Edward asked, frantically, answering their unspoken thoughts.

"There's nothing we can do, Edward." Alice said, almost angrily, "We can run, but we cannot hide from the Volturi. I can't believe you. What the hell were you thinking?"

"Alice, now is not the time," Carlisle reprimanded, in a kind manner, as I looked to Edward.

"What's going on?" I asked him, but it was Carlisle who answered my question. "Edward...acted very irresponsibly...in order to save you. While you were in Italy, Edward promised the Volturi he would join them in exchange for your life to be spared."

"Edward!" I reprimanded, "How could you?" I felt sick--oh, my God...what were we going to do? I thought they had just let us go; I didn't know Edward had done that. Oh, God.

"The same way you could risk your life to come and save me." He retorted, without a trace of remorse. "Bella, don't turn this around on me; we both know you would've done the exact same thing to save me had you been given that option."

I didn't answer him. He was right. I shook my head, "No...Edward, they're gonna come after you. They're gonna come here!"

"If they do--"

"No!" I interrupted him, "I will not let you do this."

"Carlisle, is there anyway I can get out of it?" Edward said, ignoring me.

Carlisle's face was solemn as he answered, "No. Once you get involved with the Volturi...it's binding. You either join them or they'll kill you."

"Like hell!" I said, through clenched teeth, "There's got to be a way."

"Easy there, Captain Kirk." Emmett said, with a smirk.

I looked at him, angrily--how could he be joking at a time like this?

"Look, I don't see what all the fuss is about. So, we've got some more asses to kick, I'm game."

"Don't you dare." Rosalie said, angrily, to him, "Emmett, what is the matter with you? Do you not understand; these are not ordinary vampires we are dealing with here--this is the Volturi. They could kill you before you even had the chance to fight. Now is hardly the time for your jokes, okay? Please, stop."

"Oh, come on, Rose--"

"No!" She nearly yelled, flinching away from his touch, "Emmett, things are bad enough as they are without you making matters worse."

He didn't answer, clearly understanding not to mess with her right now. Smart man.

"Thanks, Rose." Edward said, softly, and she merely nodded in response.

"Carlisle, what do we do?" Esme asked, looking absolutely terrified.

"First, we calm down..." he looked to Jasper, who began easing our fears and worries.

After a moment, I realized that maybe I could help. "Edward, do you think that maybe i could fend them off? Take us off their radar?"

"No." He said, firmly, leaving no room whatsoever for argument.

"Come on, it worked before."

"I said no." He said, turning on me, "You have no idea what could happen. If it doesn't work, it could backfire and draw them to us."

"It's worth the risk." I argued.

"Did you just hear me?" He asked, angrily.

"Yes, but it's only option, Edward--"

"No! No buts. We'll find another way. I refuse to put you on the line--absolutely not. If needs be, I will join them to protect you. I will not let them touch you."

"And, I won't let them touch you!" I said, advancing angrily towards him. "I would rather die a thousand deaths than to stand by and let you just hand yourself over to them like that!" I yelled.

"Now, you listen to me--" he said, angrily, making to advance towards me when Emmett grabbed his arm, holding him back.

"Okay, Edward, let's play nice now. Remember, we like Bella."

Edward wrenched his arm free and glared at Emmett, now turning on him.

"Edward, stop it." Carlisle ordered. "Now. Please."

Edward stopped, but didn't look at anybody. His eyes were fixated on the ground as he glared at it.

"Edward, please listen to her. She's making some sense." Carlisle pleaded, placing a hand on his shoulder.

"You can't ask me to do this, Carlisle." Edward didn't look at him as he answered.

"And, you can't ask her to let you go, either. She cannot lose you again, you know that."

"But, Carlisle, if it comes down to it, if there are no other options, we will not fight."

"I agree." Carlisle said, softly, "Fighting will not solve our problems."

"Right, so if they do come...I will join them. I will not let the people I love die for my sake."

"No, Edward, please--" Esme said, as Alice took a step towards him.

"Wait, Edward." She was staring off into space, having a premonition, most likely. "It will work. Let her do it."

"Let her do what exactly?" Emmett asked.

"Use her power to block us from the Volturi. So that...no matter what, they won't be able to detect us. We'll be safe."

"It's out of the question." Edward clenched his teeth again.

"No...it's not." Carlisle said, even more firmly. "Edward, this might be our only chance. No one here is willing to lose you again. Let's just let her try. Worst case scenario: it doesn't work. Come now. You have to think about what's best for all of us."

Edward didn't respond with anything except a childish twitch of his head, turning it away in anger and irritation, mumbling a string of incoherent profanities, damning them all to hell for letting me do this.

I ignored him, simply repeating what I did before. It took a little longer and I needed a lot of help from Jasper to control my emotions and not let them interfere with my task.

The winds began whipping, blowing all around us, with enough force to even make me sway a little. I closed my eyes tightly and concentrated every fiber of my being on this very moment, desperate to win. Our lives could depend on this--Edward's life depended on this.

That gave me a sudden strength and I could feel my power taking over me, filling me in ways I never knew. It was almost as if the Volturi's power itself was building within me. "Oh, God..." I choked out.

"No! Bella!" Edward called, "Damn it, Emmett, let me go now!"

The winds died down and everything returned to normal. It was done. I had done it.

"Bella?" I opened my eyes to see Edward supporting me and everyone else staring at me in concern.

"God...that was...amazing. It's done. Even the world's most powerful tracker couldn't find us. We no longer exist as far as they are concerned."

"It seems as if they've forgotten us completely," Alice said, astonished. "Almost as if you...erased their memories of us."

"Oh, my God." Esme said, "Bella, are you all right, dear?"

"Uh-huh," I choked out, my voice sounding weird, "Yep. Great. Didn't know I had it in me."

"And, all this time...we all had you pegged as a helpless little creature that could never kick any ass for herself." Emmett said, sounding almost disappointed that that theory didn't pan out.

Edward punched his shoulder, making him grunt. "Sorry."

"So...is it...all done then?" Jasper asked, "Everything?"

Edward answered for Alice, "Yes. It's all over. Everything." He reiterated, looking deep into my eyes with a slight smile. "You did it, love. You saved us."

I smiled weakly. "I'm...sorry I doubted you." He said.

I shook my head, "No...it's okay. To be honest, I had my doubts, too."

He smiled and Carlisle placed a hand on the small of my back, ensuring I was steadied, as he said, "Shall we be going then?"

"Actually," I looked to Carlisle, "You go ahead. I would like to speak with Edward, if you don't mind."

"Of course, sweetheart, of course." He gestured for everyone to follow him before kissing my forehead and saying, "I'm so glad you are a part of our family, Bella."

"Me, too." I said, with a smile, "I missed you all...so much."

"Hey, who'd you miss the most?" Emmett asked, leaning forward eagerly.

"Edward." I said, in an obvious-tone.

"Gotcha." he said, feigning insult.

Carlisle then led everyone away and Edward turned to face me, with a slight smile. "So?"

I looked to Emmett who was still standing behind him, just watching us with a huge smile. "I need to talk to Edward."

"Go ahead." Emmett said, waving his hands in a gesture for me to do so.

"Privately." I said, crossly.

"Damn it!" He muttered, irritably, smacking his leg in protest.

"Can't I just--"

"Go, Emmett." Edward instructed. Emmett mimicked Edward, before running off after everyone else.

"Is everything okay?" Edward asked, sounding almost nervous.

I nodded, "No, it's better than okay."

"What's the matter?" He asked, furrowing his eyebrows in an adorable way, making me chuckle softly and place my hand on his chest.

"Nothing." I shook my head, "Nothing's wrong. I just--kind of owe you an apology."

"Okay, now I'm completely lost." He said, leaning casually against a tree.

I took a step closer to him and placed my hand on his cheek. "I have come to realize that...you were right. About the whole...marriage concept." I shuddered involuntarily at the word.

"What about it?" He asked, a small smile twitching at the corners of his lips. It was mesmerizing to watch.

"Look, I...never was the type of girl that spent her childhood dreaming of...my knight in shining armor coming for mad and, and, and...sweeping me off my feet and riding off into the sunset on horseback or finding my Prince Charming, getting married, and living happily ever after--or whatever the hell it was I was supposed to dreaming about."

That made him smile and shake his head slightly. "I just...wasn't. Most little girls were taught that marriage was a beautiful ceremony where you declare your love for one another and vow to be together forever. But, my parents..." I shook my head, "Forever was, like, three minutes and then it was like: 'oh, well, that was fun. Next.' I didn't want to end up like that. So...I just...swore off marriage completely. To me, it was merely...the 'M' word--the Unspeakable Wrath--the horror of all--"

He interrupted me with a kiss and I lost my train of thought completely, returning the kiss eagerly. He ended it all too soon, though, holding my face in his hands as I recovered.

"Bella..." he said, snapping me out of the daze I was in.

"Huh?" I managed to gasp.

"Love, you have nothing to worry about. We have nothing to worry about. We are not Charlie and Renee. I understand that you have been burned by them and you don't really know what to do with the whole concept of the 'M'-word--" he quoted me, uncertainly, "--but, one thing that you have to understand is that we have no chance whatsoever to fail. None. Failure will never again be an option for us. Bella, Charlie and Renee promised forever, but they couldn't even define the word. To them, forever was just: 'I'll love you until I don't anymore'. To us...that day...will never come. I will always and forever love you. I have lived...for so long, Bella."

His voice cracked slightly as he spoke, "Longer than I would've liked. I have lived with you and I've lived without you, and I understand with perfect clarity exactly what forever is. And, what forever with you is...and I also know that my very existence lives in you."

I simply stared at him, unable to respond, having no words to tell him just how much his words meant to me.

He breathed a small chuckle and shook his head, slightly, "God, I hate this."

"Hate what?" I choked out.

"This...no matter what I do or say, nothing will ever make you see just how much I love and need you. It's not--the 'M'-word that makes it forever for me, Bella, it never was. My love is forever because it just is. It is something that even I will never fully comprehend. What I do know...is that...if we could just stay together, we could conquer the world...if we could say that forever is more than just a word. And, I have no doubt in my mind that we already have. Marriage or no marriage--excuse my French--" he smirked, making me roll my eyes.

"We...are...forever...We are the very epitome of the word forever. Can't you see that?" He sounded so desperate that I couldn't help but smile.

Why as he trying so hard to convince me of what I already knew? I took his hands and kissed them before saying, "I know...I know. And, that's why...pathetic and desperate as it may seem--breaking traditions and all--I have to ask:"

I felt like the biggest idiot as I got to one knee and said, looking to him and hating myself for how retarded this must seem to him--considering he lived in times when the men proposed to the women, not the other way around--"Edward Cullen..."

I went on to repeat the exact same words he had told me in his proposal. "I love you. And, I never want to be without you again. I have to spend my eternity with you. Will you marry me?"

Okay, laugh. Now. Now! I waited but he never laughed. Instead, he joined me, getting to his knees now and smiled, "I thought you'd never ask, love."

I returned the smile and kissed him softly before hugging him, holding him close.

He kissed my shoulder and chuckled softly, "Thank you...thank you, thank you." When he finally released me, he said, "Oh, and I never was one for tradition. You're not desperate, love; I think you're amazing."

I laughed and then he kissed me again--this time more intensely. It became so intense that he actually collapsed back into the tree and pulled me with him, deepening the kiss even more.

We were both breathing heavy in ecstasy, both struggling to catch our breath, but neither caring about oxygen at the moment.

It was a good long while--or a great long while--before he released me and I moaned in protest. "No!"

He smiled, "Sorry...we have to leave...They're getting too far ahead of us."

"Fine," I said, bitterly, "...but, you owe me."

He stood up and helped me up. "I promise."

"I'll hold you to that," I said, with a smirk.

"You can hold me to whatever you want to, love." He said, with a smile, making me smile in return.

"Might take you up on that." I said, placing my hands on his chest, sliding them down to his stomach, and pushing him against the tree, leaning in so that my lips were mere inches from his.

"Is that a promise or a threat?" He managed to whisper, struggling to concentrate, as was I considering his breath had just blown in my face.

I smiled slightly and pulled back, taking his hand and entwining our fingers.

"You're right." He said, "I think you really are the evil one."

"Why's that?" I asked.

"No one should be allowed to be as tempting as you are."

I rolled my eyes, "Oh, stop that! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that you are a hell of a lot more enticing than I could ever be. Immortal or not, nothing could help make me look even half as good as you."

"I love you," he said, with a smile.

"Love you, too." I said, kissing him softly, both of us avoiding the inevitable argument that this subject brought up for us.

Then, I ran off after our family, with my destiny and soulmate directly by my side, as he would be for now...for always...and forever, forever. Forever.