Thank you, again, for sticking with us and for leaving a review, if you did. We appreciate you sharing our love of Twilight. Unfortunately, this is not ours. We just like to play with the characters created by Stephenie Meyer.
This is the last, final chapter! Here’s a sneaky peak into their futures and how they got there. Thank you, again, for reading. Many hugs from HeartForTwilight and Tufano79!
Ten Years Later
“Bella, are you ready?” Edward called up to his wife. “We need to get to the symphony center.”
“I’m coming,” Bella replied, darting down the stairs. She was dressed in a beautiful, deep plum dress that accentuated her curvy figure. Curves that had become more pronounced after pregnancy and that made her so beautiful, perfect. “I couldn’t find my other shoe. I’m sorry!”
“It’s all good, love,” Edward said, holding out his hand to Bella. “I wouldn’t be so anxious to leave, but I overheard that there’s an accident on the highway. We have to take the long way to the Benaroya Symphony Center. The kids are already in the car.”
“I could have met you there. My meeting at the hospital took too long and I had something appropriate to wear to the concert in my office,” she explained, getting into the Range Rover they’d purchased when they discovered Bella was pregnant about a year after they got married. Their nine-year-old fraternal twins were strapped into their booster seats, looking like miniature adults in their concert attire. Sophia wore a floor-length black dress with a simple bow at the back of her gown. Benjamin, or Benny, had on a tuxedo.
After Edward proposed, they decided that they didn’t want a huge to-do for a wedding. Despite the fact that Edward and Bella were recognized in Seattle society as being the children of the mayor and prominent member of the Seattle Fire Department, neither of them were extremely public people. So, a small and intimate wedding was planned. Their vows were exchanged at the church both of their parents attended, with the reception being held in Carlisle and Esme’s backyard, late in the spring. The wedding may have been small, but it was exquisitely perfect and a lot of fun. It was even more poignant as it was the year anniversary of Bella saying that she loved Edward.
Rose and Alice were Bella’s co-maids of honor. Edward had his brothers as his best men. The day was perfect, if not bittersweet. Bella never imagined getting married in the first place. But, getting married without her identical twin sister in attendance? It pulled at her heart. While her hair was pinned, curled and twisted up, Bella had an emotional breakdown. Renee knew why her daughter was crying and she held her daughter as she sobbed because of the absence of her sister. No words of comfort were shared. This raw pain was something that couldn’t be willed away with empty platitudes. So, Renee gave her daughter love and support until she eventually calmed down.
After Bella’s emotional breakdown, she was soothed and knew that Angela wouldn’t want her to focus on what was missing, but on the happiness of the day. So, she didn’t. The day was perfect. Their vows were simple, but filled with love. Their all-encompassing love was a palpable entity at their wedding. Edward and Bella shared one soul and it was evident as they exchanged their vows.
Photos were taken and the party at the Cullen mansion was elegant, with music filling the tents and laughter floating through the air. The following day, they had a breakfast buffet with a few people who were from out of town and that night, Edward and Bella flew off to their honeymoon in Fiji. For ten days, they enjoyed the tropical sun, sandy beaches and the distinct lack of clothes.
“Where’d you go, Bella?” Edward asked as he navigated the roads to Benaroya Center.
“Lustyville,” she snorted quietly. “Just remembering our honeymoon.”
“Hmmm, I remembered loving every inch of your body, Mrs. Cullen,” he cooed. “I think we may have to arrange our children to spend some time with their grandparents so we can recreate some of my favorite memories from our honeymoon.”
“I think that can be arranged,” Bella smirked, leaning over and kissing her husband’s lips while they were at stoplight. “Tonight, though, we need to focus our attention on our children. I was born with zero musical ability. I enjoy music, but I have no talent. My sister was the prodigy. Now, our children are prodigies, as well.” She shot a look at her children, who were listening to their iPods. They were, undoubtedly, listening to the piece of music they were performing tonight, getting some last-minute rehearsal time before the performance.
Benjamin Charles and Sophia Angela Cullen were born nine years ago. Twins obviously ran in the family, but when the doctor showed Edward and Bella the ultrasound image of two babies, they both sobbed with happiness. Their children were already so loved, even if the pregnancy was a bit of a surprise.
Bella and Edward decided to let nature take its course. She’d stopped taking birth control after he proposed and they didn’t use condoms. Since Bella had been on contraceptives for so long, her OB/GYN said it would take time before they could become pregnant. It did take time, but not as much time as they anticipated. On Bella’s thirty-fourth birthday, she’d taken a pregnancy test because she’d been nauseated by the smell of coffee and was craving anchovies. She was over the moon when she saw the positive pregnancy test, calling her husband with the news.
The pregnancy was surprisingly easy until Bella got to the third trimester. She was too big to do anything and every part of her body ached, not to mention she was beyond exhausted. She was tiny and her babies were already pretty big, even as twins. Her doctor had to induce labor early. The two babies came into the world screaming.
After discussing it, Edward and Bella decided that they were happy with Benny and Sophie, not wanting any more children. When the twins turned six months old, Edward got a vasectomy.
When the twins were still relatively young, they began playing on the piano Charlie and Renee gave to Edward and Bella as a wedding gift. Edward came home after a long shift at the fire station. He heard classical music. His wife loved to play that on the sound system when she worked from home. He walked into the living room, seeing his son’s fingers dancing along the keys. Sophie was on the floor, swaying contentedly. Bella was in there, her eyes wide and her jaw scraping the floor. “When did this happen?” he asked, sitting down next to his wife.
“I was working on my dictations and I heard music. I thought it was my Spotify playlist, but it was Benny. He’s three,” Bella whispered. “Sophie also played, but not as well. We’ve got a couple of music prodigies. They obviously got that from my sister.”
Bella called her parents and got the name of the best private music teachers. Sophie was placed into violin lessons while Benny picked up the piano. As they got older, their knowledge of musical instruments grew. Benny continued to play the piano, but also picked up the oboe and loved to sing. Sophie performed on the violin, viola and harp. Both of them also expressed interest in learning the guitar and bass. Benny said he wanted to learn how to play the drums, as well. Edward and Bella paid for the best private teachers and encouraged their children’s love of music.
The drums, however, would have to wait, much to Benny’s chagrin.
The concert they were attending was the first performance of the Seattle Youth Symphony of the season. Sophie was performing the same solo that Bella’s sister performed all those years before she’d died, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E-minor, Opus 64. Benny was performing on the piano, accompanying his twin sister, along with the rest of the youth symphony.
“Does everyone have their tickets?” Edward asked.
“I dropped off tickets to your parents, along with mine. Everyone else has their tickets at will call,” Bella explained. “Emmett and Rosalie were doing their own thing and it was like herding cats to get them their tickets. Jasper was on a business trip and Alice has really stepped up since my mom decided to partially retire.”
“Alice is about to give birth any moment,” Edward laughed.
“Another reason why she’s stepped up. She wanted to get all of the projects she had started to a good spot before she went on maternity leave,” Bella smirked. “The fact that she’s nearly nine months pregnant and still has so much energy? Baffles me completely! I just wanted to sleep.”
“But, you couldn’t,” Edward quipped.
“Yeah, because I had two children using my bladder as a stage to practice their tap dancing,” Bella deadpanned. “Especially when I wanted to sleep. Speaking of the baby, I boxed up Sophie’s baby clothes. We can give them to Alice and Jasper.”
“I’ll drop them off tomorrow, love,” Edward smiled, reaching over and taking his wife’s hand.
Over the past decade, their friends and family wandered along a meandering road, leading them to the same destination – being together.
Alice and Jasper tried to maintain a relationship, but for a time, it became more of a “friends-with-benefits” type situation. Alice was still very young and wanted to spread her wings. Jasper, on the other hand, was ready to settle down. He just wanted to keep Alice in his life, no matter how. They broke up shortly after Bella and Edward’s wedding. Alice took a job in California, working with an interior designer to the stars. Renee hated to lose her best employee, but she wasn’t about to deny Alice the opportunity to expand her knowledge.
A couple of years after she’d left, Alice returned to Seattle. She’d learned a lot, but she needed to be close to her friends, her family. She went back to work with Renee, but there was sadness in her eyes. While she was out with Rose and Bella, trying to reconnect with her best friends, she broke down and said she felt a lump on her breast. Alice came back to have Bella or someone from Bella’s practice help her. Due to her close friendship with Alice, Bella refused to be her doctor but used her influence to get her into another doctor. Alice did ask Bella to give her a physical exam, just to verify that there was something there. Bella did feel something small, but it could have been anything.
A few days later, Alice was sitting in an examination room, waiting to hear from Victoria, who had taken Alice’s case. She was anxious and upset. What if she had cancer? She was only in her early thirties. It was too young to die.
Victoria explained that there was something on her scans. She wanted to perform a needle biopsy and if need be, remove whatever was on her breast, if the biopsy showed something out of the ordinary. Alice scheduled the biopsy and drove away from Sloan-Kettering. Without thinking, she drove to Jasper’s townhouse, parking outside. They’d stayed in contact and would meet up for an occasional hook up while she was in California. He’d come down for ‘business’ and she’d feel him for weeks later. But, they were free to date whoever they wanted.
Not that she did … Alice had a few one-night stands, but didn’t really connect with anyone. Not like how she connected with Jasper. She also didn’t ask about him, or who he was dating. She didn’t want to know. In the back of her mind, she was afraid to hear that he’d moved on from her.
But, standing on his doorstep, she needed him. Ringing his doorbell, she worried her lip and wrung her hands until he opened the door. When she saw him, she burst into tears.
Jasper couldn’t believe his eyes when he opened his door, and there stood Alice. He had been thinking about her, wondering if she was doing okay. His thoughts drifted to all the amazing times they spent together, but also about Alice’s reluctance to commit to a relationship. She owned his heart, and he couldn’t see himself with anyone else, ever.
His heart stopped when he saw the tears running down her face. “Alice, love, what is the matter?”
“Jasper, may I come in?” Alice whimpered, her voice broken, shattered.
“Of course,” he answered, standing back to allow her to walk in. As she passed him, her arm brushed against his, sending the ever-present tingling charge whenever they touched.
Once the door was closed, she fell into his arms. She needed his strength, his support. He captured her, lifting her up and carrying her to the couch. He held her close as she sobbed brokenly. “Talk to me, darlin’. What is it? What’s going on?”
She gripped his shirt and tried to rein in her emotions. She took a few deep breaths. Wiping her cheeks, she looked at Jasper. He was so handsome. So perfect. His eyes were swirling with concern and even, after all this time, with love. Why would he want to be with her? Why? Her future was so uncertain. She could have a potentially fatal illness that would undoubtedly change her appearance. She could lose her breasts. “I should go,” she choked out.
“No, darlin’. You came here, crying on my doorstep. What is it, Alice? Talk to me, please?”
She gulped down bile and looked down at her hands. She couldn’t look at him. She didn’t want to see his pity. “I just came from Sloan-Kettering,” she whispered. “I found a lump on my breast. I had it checked out in California, but I wanted Bella to see me. Obviously, because she’s family, she can’t be my doctor. However, she did check to see if what I felt was something of concern. She used her connections and got me an appointment with Victoria. She examined me and gave me a mammogram and an ultrasound.”
“What did Victoria say?” Jasper asked, holding her closer and pressing his lips to her temple.
“I need to have a needle biopsy,” she cried. “I could have cancer.” She crossed her arms over her chest, scowling at her lap. “I could have breast cancer. What makes me a woman …”
“Alice, love, having breasts doesn’t make you a woman,” Jasper said, brushing her hair back. “One of my coworkers has bigger boobs than you and he’s a guy.”
Alice giggled, looking up at him. “That’s good to know. But … I like my boobs.”
“I like your boobs, too,” Jasper snickered, cupping her cheek. “When’s your appointment for this needle biopsy?”
“Day after tomorrow,” she replied.
“I’ll come with you, darlin’,” he smiled, pressing his forehead to hers. “You’re not alone.”
“I love you, Jasper. I’m sorry for being a pain in the ass,” she sniffled, idly running her fingers through his blonde curls. “I shouldn’t have walked away. At the first sign of trouble, I came to you. I need you.”
“I’ll be here for you, darlin’,” he breathed. “I love you, too.”
Alice’s cancer scare made her realize that she couldn’t live without Jasper. He was with her every step of the way. The morning of her needle biopsy, he showed up and stayed with her for as long as he could. He held her when the biopsy indicated that the lump she felt was a cyst. It needed to be removed, but she did not have cancer.
Alice discovered a new lease on life. She didn’t want to wait for anything. She proposed to Jasper, throwing out her fear of commitment out the window. They flew to Las Vegas, eloping at the Little White Wedding Chapel. While they wanted to begin their lives together, they were not in any rush to have children. Hence, Alice being hugely pregnant with a baby girl almost seven years after they got married. Their baby girl would probably be their only child, but she would be loved and undoubtedly spoiled by her grandparents and her aunts and uncles.
Rose and Emmett’s relationship was more straight-forward. They just took their time before getting married. They dated for five years before they tied the knot. However, they jumped into having children right away. As soon as Rose became pregnant, she resigned from the fire department and decided to be a stay-at-home mother. Their first born, a son named after his godfather, Anthony, came into the world screaming. He was four years old, almost five and was the spitting image of his father, but with Rose’s blonde hair. Their second child, another boy named David, was much quieter and very much a momma’s boy. He was two and loved spending time with his mother, his aunts, grandmothers, and older cousin, Sophie.
All in all, their lives were happy and filled with love.
Edward pulled into the parking lot of Benaroya Symphony Center. He tugged on his neck, hating the tuxedo he was wearing.
“Stop fussing, Edward,” Bella chided. “You’ve been wearing suits for how long and you still tug at the collar of your shirt.”
“What crack was I smoking when I decided to step away from the fire department?” he grumbled. “At least, I could wear polo shirts while I was chief. Those are far more comfortable!”
“The polo shirts were nice, but seeing you in a suit? Holy hell, I want to climb you like a tree,” Bella purred.
“Maybe you can do that later tonight, Mrs. Cullen,” he smirked, kissing her soft lips. “It’s been too long since I’ve been inside you.”
“We made love this morning, Mr. Mayor,” she laughed, smacking his stomach.
“Too long,” he retorted, giving her a crooked grin, filled with the promise of many dirty things.
Edward ran for mayor, at the suggestion of his wife, his parents and the fire department union when his father decided to retire. However, the most influential voice convincing him to run was Charlie. He saw how much Edward’s leadership grew the arson investigation team for the Seattle Fire Department, making it the nation’s leader with new scientific advances and an unprecedented solve rate. Edward spoke at numerous conferences, but his natural and calm leadership was the biggest reason for the encouragement to have Edward run for public office.
It was an unexpected decision, but Carlisle Cullen didn’t want to lead the helm of the city of Seattle. He wanted to spend time with his grandchildren and his wife. When Edward threw his hat in the ring, he did so without any hopes of winning. He was the underdog, despite his connection to his father.
When he’d won by a landslide, Edward was shocked. Similar to when he took over the arson investigation team, his quiet, unassuming leadership was welcomed and followed in the mayor’s office. He was able to meet with everyone and smooth over some jagged, harsh edges. He listened to his advisors before making decisions. He was decisive and powerful when he needed to be, but for the most part he was calm and progressive, being a voice for all the constituents of the city of Seattle. It was a delicate balance, leading the city and trying to be a devoted husband and father. There were times where the balance was off-kilter, but for the most part, everyone was happy.
Arriving at Benaroya Symphony Center, Edward got out of the car and turned to help Benny from the backseat, while Bella helped Sophie. Opening the back door, he looked at his son and he immediately could tell something was wrong. “Sweetheart, why don’t you go ahead with Sophie, while Benny and I have a little talk.”
Bella bent down and looked at her son to make sure he was okay. He looked physically okay, but his face showed something wasn’t right. She pressed a soft kiss to his forehead. “Whatever it is, Benny, it’ll be okay,” Bella whispered to Benny. Turning to her daughter, holding out her hand, she said, “Sophie, let’s go see if Aunt Rose is here so you can show her your dress.”
“Okay,” Sophie said, but looked over to her brother and took his hand. “See you inside, Benny.”
Benny nodded his head, but didn’t reply to his sister. His mind was racing with all the things that could go wrong tonight while he was playing.
Once Bella and Sophie were gone, Edward squatted down so he was eye level with Benny. “Alright, buddy, it’s just us guys. So, what’s wrong?”
“I’m afraid,” Benny whispered, as he stared ahead, not wanting his father to see the tears which were forming in his eyes.
“Of what?” Edward asked, patting Benny’s leg.
“What if I goof up while I am on stage?” Benny questioned.
“We all goof up at times. I do. Your Mom does, but don’t tell her I said that,” Edward smirked, winking at his son.
Benny’s head whipped around. “You goof up? You’re the mayor. You are on television. All the time. You are, like, a movie star or something,” Benny gushed.
“I’ve messed up so many times, but it’s okay if we do,” Edward replied soothingly. “Benny, do you like playing music?”
He nodded enthusiastically. “Yes,” Benny replied, thinking about how much he loved making music, how much he loved performing. The music played in his mind and when he sat down at the black and white keys, the notes flowed out of him. His momma said his Aunt Angela could do the same thing. He would have loved to have met her, but she was in heaven, right now, watching over him.
“That’s all that matters. Now, let’s get inside so you can show everyone just how much you love performing music. Just remember, your whole family will be there cheering you on,” Edward encouraged and held out his hand.
Benny let out a breath he had been holding and took his daddy’s hand. “Okay.”
Getting out of the car, Edward and Benny headed across the parking lot. They were greeted several times by people as they passed. Reaching the door to the concert hall, Edward felt his hand being tugged by Benny. “What is it, kiddo?”
“Thank you for being the best dad,” Benny said. “I love you!”
“I am so proud to be your dad. I love you, Benny,” Edward proclaimed, giving Benny a warm smile. He bent down and hugged his son, who gave him a sloppy kiss. Once inside, they met up with Bella and Sophie who were waiting for them just inside the door.
“Benny, we need to get backstage. We have to warm up,” Sophie declared, her voice full of excitement as she reached out her hand to him. Benny took her hand and they walked away from their parents, heading backstage. In Sophie’s other hand, she held the violin case that once belonged to Angela – the same violin she used when she performed this same piece of music.
Things really had come full circle.
Edward and Bella stood, watching them until they were out of sight. “I can’t believe how big they have gotten,” Bella murmured, as a tear fell down her cheek.
Wrapping his arm around Bella, Edward pulled her close, kissing her on the temple. “I know, but I think we’ve done a great job so far. You’re a great mother and God, I’m so blessed to have you as my wife.”
“I love you,” she whispered as she snuggled into his embrace. They stood for a few minutes just drinking in each other’s warmth before walking into the concert hall to find their seats. The usher checked their tickets and took them down the aisle to their row, where they found their family already seated. Crossing in front of Jasper and Alice, they took their seats in the middle of the row.
“How are Benny and Sophie? Are they nervous?” Esme asked.
“A little, though I think they will be fine once they get on stage,” Bella replied.
Esme and Carlisle enjoyed their retirement immensely. When they weren’t taking care of their grandchildren, they loved to travel. They treated their retirement as an extended honeymoon and a new lease on life. Esme was blessed with good health, but went in every year to make sure she remained in remission. After each ‘all clear’, they’d throw a dart to determine where they’d go. Last year, they went on safari in South Africa. This year was yet to be determined, but they were leaning toward going to Italy.
Renee and Charlie occasionally joined them, but hadn’t been able to since Renee still put in time at her interior designing firm. Charlie used his spare time to go fishing with Carlisle and his grandchildren. He was also grandfather to Rose and Emmett’s kids since Rose’s family was not close with her.
Bella and Edward said hello to everyone. Anthony, Emmett and Rose’s oldest son, asked if they could go out for burgers after the concert. He clearly wasn’t thrilled to be at the symphony center, but was willing to be bribed. Emmett blushed, picking up Anthony and hissed at him to be quiet. Thankfully, they were seated at the end of the row and could leave if Anthony got antsy.
Ten minutes later, the lights began to dim and conversations hushed immediately. The Seattle Youth Symphony walked out onto the stage. Sophie stood up at the edge of the stage. She nodded to the oboe player, her twin brother, who played a single note.
Bella grasped Edward’s arm. “She looks so much like my sister,” she whispered. “So confident and self-assured.”
Sophie raised her violin, matching the pitch that Benny played. The violinists joined in with Sophie and the orchestra tuned. After a few moments, Sophie sat down and adjusted her music on the stand. She blinked up, smiling at her brother, a few rows behind his sister. He responded in kind. His crooked grin was the same as his father’s.
The conductor glided onto the stage. She was in a black dress that flowed from her body and allowed for movement to conduct the orchestra. She bowed deeply to the audience before stepping onto the small podium in front of the Seattle Youth Symphony, a mix of kids who were eight years old, going all the way up to eighteen. Sophie was the youngest concert mistress at nine years old, displacing a high school junior. That musician decided to quit, upset that a ‘little kid’ had stolen her job, but Sophie was that much better than her.
Turning on the podium, the conductor smiled at the audience. “I’m not normally one to speak during a performance. Usually, I let the music speak for itself. However, I couldn’t not say this. Fifteen years ago, a dear friend of mine played this same solo. Angela Swan was one of the most talented musicians I’d ever known. I was blessed to know her and witness her performance. Today, it comes full circle. Sophia Angela Cullen is Angela’s niece. She stands in front of you today, using her aunt’s violin and will perform for us,” the conductor explained. “Please enjoy Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E-minor, Opus 64.”
Sophie blushed furiously, but stood up when the conductor raised her arms. The full orchestra began playing and Sophie closed her eyes, playing the sweet but soulful first notes of the concerto.
Renee, who was sitting next to Bella, squeezed her daughter’s hand. Tears were streaming down both of their faces as they were flung back to that night when Angela stood on this exact same stage, performing this beautiful, romantic song.
Sophie was lost in the music, performing beautifully and making the row that held her family into sobbing messes. She made the difficult piece sound almost too easy with her expert performance.
Anthony was confused, but his father explained the importance of what was happening and he smiled proudly at his cousin.
“I cannot believe that … our babies,” Bella whispered to her husband.
“I know, love,” Edward whispered back, kissing Bella’s temple. “The conductor said it perfectly. Everything’s come full circle.”
“That is the best way to describe it. We were destined to be together, Edward,” she breathed, kissing Edward’s mouth. “I love you.”
“I love you so much,” he responded, kissing her deeply. Charlie cleared his throat and Edward blushed, giving his father-in-law a sheepish look. He turned back to the stage and allowed the music to wash over him. He had everything he ever dreamed of and more. His beautiful wife was sitting next to him, her fingers threaded with his as she idly spun his wedding band. On the stage, his children performed and shared their love of music.
Surrounded by Edward’s friends and family, this was the fire of his soul. Of all their souls. Being connected like this made the flame even stronger, with the love of his wife, his children, his family and friends … burning brightly, fueled by love.
Forever and always.