The Twilight Saga

It has been 20 years since Edward left. Bella never stopped loving him.
This story is now complete. Hope you enjoy it.

After All These Years

Setting: 20 years after Edward leaves in New Moon.

Chapter 1

Unlike some people, I loved washing dishes. It was the time that I allowed my mind to wander freely; the time where I replayed the day in my head; the time when I allowed memories to wash over me. Maybe it was the warm water. Maybe it was the feeling of washing everything away. Maybe it was that the window over the sink faced the forest and brought Edward back to my mind each day.

I didn’t push Edward from my mind anymore. The first year after he left, I couldn’t even think of him without clutching myself in physical pain. I couldn’t bear to say his name…couldn’t bear to hear it. But that had changed over the years. I welcomed the memories now. For me, there would never be another love. I knew I had found my one true love as a young woman. I knew Edward was the only piece that could complete me. Twenty years later, I still loved him.

Tonight, Edward was so clear in my mind. Jacob and his family had surprised me with a birthday cake. It was the first birthday since Charlie had died and they didn’t want me to be alone. I preferred to skip over birthday celebrations. Like most women, the thought of getting older was offensive, but for me birthdays also signified the end. The end of Edward and me-----the memory of my eighteenth birthday party at the Cullen’s was one of my blackest memories.

Jake and I remained best friends all these years. He imprinted on Anna when he was nineteen and they were married shortly after. Life had changed for Jacob after the Cullens left Forks. He no longer shape shifted. There was no need. Once in a great while, he would tell me that he smelled a sweet smell in the air, warning me to be careful. I think he thought it would scare me. It never did. I only hoped that meant that an old friend was passing by, or more importantly, Edward was near.

As I washed and dried the last plate, I replayed Jacob’s last words to me tonight. “Lock up good tonight, Bells. I smell a strong sweetness in the air.” He had no idea how I wished that were true.

I hung the dishtowel to dry and went out on the back stoop, staring at the forest. It was dark, but it didn’t scare me. Before turning in for the night I spoke out loud, “Good night, Edward. I love you.”

Chapter 2

I still kept the bedroom at the top of the stairs. I had repainted and gotten new furniture along the years. But in all those years, I never replaced the mattress. It was there that we talked for hours; there that he held me, and that we kissed. It was worn now, and honestly my back would most definitely benefit from a new mattress. I just couldn’t part with it.

I got ready for bed and turned on the bedside lamp. I opened my window a crack, like I had every night since he left. Then I took out my journal. I always wrote in it on nights that I felt particularly preoccupied with memories. I learned years ago that writing my thoughts down would often ward off the nightmares I had so often. Somehow I wasn’t sure it would help tonight. My journal, like anything else about my life, was not a typical journal. I actually wrote letters to Edward. I had filled over a dozen blank books with letters to him. Maybe someday, when I was gone, he would read them and understand the depth of my love for him. He would know that I figured out why he really left and that I eventually forgave him. Tonight was a night I knew I needed to write to him. And so I began…

My Dearest Edward,
I’ve missed you so much today. It’s my birthday. I turned thirty-eight today. That means it is almost 20 years to the day since you’ve been gone. I never would have believed that I would be without you after all these years. On days like today, I still feel the hole in my chest. I know it was your love for me that allowed you to leave. But, I wonder, do you still think of me? I love you, much now as ever before.

I stopped there because tears were making it difficult to write. I cried myself softly to sleep.

Shortly afterwards, the nightmare began. It was always the same when it came. Wandering in the forest. Calling out his name. Crying. Never finding him. Feeling so alone. And then…waking up in a cold sweat, sobbing for what I would never have again.
I tried to calm myself, counting my breaths, in and out.

Then I heard his voice, “Bella.”

I sat upright and looked around the room. It was empty, of course. But, I didn’t feel alone in the room. Oh, God. Tonight was particularly bad. I was having delusions again. It was years since I had heard the delusions this clearly. I tried to concentrate harder. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in…

I felt a cool breeze in the room and instinctively pulled the blanket higher to my chin.

“Edward?” I whispered into the dark room.

Table of Contents
Clickable Links

Chapters 1 & 2- on header of each page
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14

Chapter 15 -This is not clickable....look for it near p. 34

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21

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Replies to This Discussion

oooooooooooooooooh awesome!!
Please continue with your story, it is one of my favorite stories so far:)
I love this story I would have been crying if I wasn't at work lol
When will there be more???
wow katie wat a surprise to see ur name on this
Haha yeah, this is the only other fan fiction I read :)
Super cute in sad kind of way
I usually don't the the stories where Edwards been gone for 5,10,20 years, but yours is amazing!!!!! Please post soon!!!!
please let me know when you update your story
Thanks, Karen-That makes me feel great!
It's a long one---Enjoy!!
Chapter 12

Edward lifted the cup to his mouth, taking a small sip of the mystical brew. “Not as vile as I feared,” he commented, before finishing the entire cup at once.

He smiled at me then, putting the cup back on the nightstand, “Done. Now we let nature... or magic, takes its course.”

He stood to undress, leaving on only a pair of silvery boxers. I had seen Edward without a shirt before, but never only clad in underwear. My heart pounded wildly in my chest and a feeling of warmth coursed its way straight through to my toes. I swallowed and took a deep breath to tried to compose myself as he settled himself back into bed, watching me.

Alice had left a blue satin camisole with matching pajama pants on the foot of the bed. I wasn’t sure if I should change in front of Edward or excuse myself and change in his bathroom. Oh hell, I thought…I undressed quickly, avoiding eye contact with Edward. When I finally had the pajamas on, I climbed up on the bed next to him. His eyes were dark and smoldering. “You look beautiful.” He said, caressing my arms. I wrapped the coverlet around me and snuggled up against his winter-cold skin.

“Are you scared?” I asked him.

“Not about the change, only your reaction to it,” he answered.

“Don’t be scared…I love you,” I said, kissing him.

Our kiss was interrupted by a yawn. Edward laughed, “I’m sorry, Bella. That’s a first for me.”

I could see he was getting very relaxed, so I lay my head on a pillow and softly caressed his chest and arms. “Mmmm. That feels so good. “ he said groggily. His eyes started to flutter and his breathing slowed. He mumbled, “I love you.” And then he was out. The clock said 12:02.

“I love you, too,” I whispered, kissing him lightly on the forehead. I gently stroked his hair, thinking about how lucky I was to have him love me. It was so easy to love him. I was amazed at how completely the hurt of the past two decades slipped away, so easily forgotten…as if it never even happened at all.

My mind wandered to random thoughts, and then suddenly I remembered that I was supposed to open the bookstore at 10:00 am. I slapped my forehead gently. How could I have forgotten? I quietly and carefully slid out of the bed, grabbing my cell phone. Slipping out into the hall, I dialed Angela’s number.

“Hello?” Angela answered sleepily. I had obviously woken her.

“Ang, I’m sorry to wake you. It’s me.”

“Bella, is everything alright?”she asked.

“Yes, everything is fine. But I need a favor from you. Could you run the store tomorrow? I know it’s short notice, but it’d really help me out.”

“Yeah, um… hmm, yeah that should be fine. Are you sure you’re ok?” she questioned.

“Better than OK, Ang. Edward is back.” I glowed.

Angela was suddenly wide awake. “Edward as in Edward Cullen, Edward?”

“Yep,” I giggled.

“Oh my God, Bella!”

“I know.” I laughed. “Listen, Ang, I have so much to tell you but it’s late. I’ll catch you up on everything tomorrow. OK?”

In true Angela form she didn’t push for information. “OK. Oh, and Bella, good luck.”

“Thanks, Ang. Good night.”

I turned off my phone and tiptoed back into the room. Edward was breathing deeply, the moonlight casting a silver glow on his pale skin. No change yet. I brushed my teeth and hurried back to the bed, trying not to make any noise. He looked so peaceful, so serene.
I lay next to him silently, staring at him in the dark for hours. Memories of the past and hopes for the future floated through my mind. I don’t know when, but I finally fell into an exhausted, dreamless sleep.

When I woke, the room was very still but very bright. Edward was still asleep, spooned against my back; his right arm snuggled around my waist. I glanced at the clock, 1:00. He had been asleep for thirteen hours. I wished I could turn to see his face, but I was afraid the movement would wake him. I definitely wanted him to sleep a little longer. I concentrated on relaxing, matching my breathing to his, and eventually I fell back asleep, too.

My bladder woke me for good at 4:00. I couldn’t believe I had slept so long. I rolled over quietly to look at Edward. He was on his back now, his right arm covering his face. I crept out of bed and padded quietly into his bathroom. I was ecstatic that he was sleeping so long, 17 hours. That put him at 34 years of age. If he woke now, I could handle being just a few years older than him, I guessed.

Like a child trying to peek at her gifts on Christmas morning, I snuck silently back into the bedroom. I had been so focused on what Edward’s face would look like after the change, I hadn’t given any thought to his body. And now, he laid there in all his glory. He was a sight to behold. He had a broad, sculpted chest leading to defined abs and a narrow waist. His arms were wide and muscular. Edward’s body had always looked amazing to me…lean and strong. But now he was absolutely ripped…definitely not the body of a seventeen year old. Wait until Emmett saw him!

He started to stir and I went back to the bed. I wanted to watch him wake up. He removed his arm from his face, opened his jet black eyes and glanced at me. Quicker than was humanly possible, he was up out of bed and on his feet.

“Good morning,” I said. “How do you feel?”

His breathing was suddenly heavy and ragged, his eyes dark and angry. “Get out!” he hissed.

I was frozen to my place. “Edw..” I began.

But before I could finish his name, he roared, “Leave, Bella. Now!”

The door swung open. Before I knew what was happening, Alice had lifted me over her shoulder and ran out of the room, down the stairs and right out of the house into her car. My whole body was shaking when she set me down in the passenger seat. I didn’t think I had ever seen Edward so angry or so agitated, until a memory of my first meeting with him in the high school biology lab flashed through my mind. That day, Edward had told me later, he had come very close to killing me. I shuddered.

Alice didn’t speak until we were on the main road. “I’m sorry Bella. Edward was in a lot of pain. His reaction to your scent was much stronger than I had envisioned. I had to get you out of there before he did something he regretted.”

I nodded in understanding. “It’s not his fault,” I said. “I know that. He would never mean to hurt me. It’s my fault, really. Esme tried to warn me.”

“He will be very upset with himself…about his behavior I mean,” she said quietly.

She drove me home and insisted upon staying with me. “Alice,” I said, “You don’t have to stay with me. I don’t need a babysitter. I’m fine, really. Honestly, wouldn’t you rather go hunting with the others?” I looked at the purple circles under her black eyes.
“You look thirsty,” I continued.

Her dark eyes considered that option for a moment. “Are you sure you’ll be ok?” she asked uncertainly.

“Of course. Actually, I have some phone calls I need to make anyway.” I said.

After a little more encouragement, I convinced Alice to go. She hesitatingly left me to the quietness of my house. The answering machine was blinking to show I had messages waiting to be picked up. I pressed the button and the messages started to play.

The first was Angela. “Hi, Bella. Just wanted to let you know that everything at the shop is going fine. I’m dying to hear your news. Call me.”

The second was Jacob. “Hey, Bells. It’s me. Just checkin’ up on you. Give me a call.”

The third was Jacob. “Bella, hey it’s Jake. Tried your cell, but you have it shut off. Where are you?”

The fourth was Jacob. “Damn it, Bella. Where the hell are you? Will you let me know if you’re ok, please?”

The fifth, which had only come in minutes before I arrived, was also from Jake. “I’m coming to your house. If your not there I’m heading up to the crypt….. I’m too damn old for this, Bella!”

Almost as soon as the message ended, I heard pounding on the door. I opened it knowing who it would be, forgetting I was still in pajamas. Jake took one look at me and rolled his eyes. “Please tell me you’re alone.”

“Jake, I’m alone.” I teased with overdone seriousness.

“Knock it off, Bella. Do you have any idea how worried I’ve been about you?”

“You didn’t need to worry,” I said.

He rolled his eyes again and crashed down on my sofa. “Oh hey, why would I worry, just because my best friend is locking lips with a bloodsucker? Just because he could kill you?” he mocked.

I stared at him without speaking. “I’m sorry, Bella. I just get a little crazy when…”

I cut him off, finishing his sentence, “…I’m with Edward. Jake, you need to make peace with this. He’s back in my life now and I intend on keeping him there.”

Jacob groaned, shaking his head, “I’ll never understand it. Never did before…never will.”

“I’m not asking you to understand, Jake. Just be happy that I’m happy.” I bent down and kissed him softly of the forehead.

He tossed me the bag he had in his hand. “I figured you might be hungry. He always used to forget that you eat food,” he said matter of factly.

I snorted a little laugh. I was starving…I ate the burrito right where I stood in the living room. “Thanks, Jake, and thank Anna, too. She makes the best Mexican food.”

He watched me eat for a minute before he stood up to leave. I hugged him goodbye. “Thanks for caring about me so much, Jake,” I said.

He nodded. “Night, Bells. I love you.”

“Love you,” I said, blowing him a kiss from the doorway.

I watched him drive away. I don’t know what I ever did to deserve a friend like Jacob but I intended to keep him in my life, too.
I want to be Anna now than to be Bella!

Anna Black!


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