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

awesome chapter can't wait for your next post
Love your story!! I actually cried in the beggining, when she talks abt the letters and journals!! Can you please please update me when you have posted your next chapter?? This is the second story that has made me cry!!
loved it cant wait for more.
Hope you write more soon, i really enjoy this story alot! im re reading it again
WOW, I just read the whole story and I have to say It is amazing. Very true to Stephenie!!! You are so talented. Your story had me with tears in my eyes the whole time I read it!!! Please friend me so I keep up with your story. Just amazing......................................
Iv just read it and i absolutely love it:)
Its great to have Edward back;)
cant wait 4 more
Hope you are not on here right now because you are working on the next COUPLE of chapters, not because "real life" has gotten too chaotic again!!

Love ya girlie!!

Wendy (and Nerissa!)
this is great will u update me when u post

I have to admit...I actually feel a little stressed posting this chapter. I loved writing it, but I hope it meets your expectations as to what Edward looks like now. Also, I would like to hear your thoughts about the setting for the wedding...the meadow (my favorite-although logistics will be difficult, Bella's house, the Cullen's house, or small town church? What do you think?

Chapter 14

Seeing Edward in the sunlight all those years ago had been shocking. But I’m not even sure THAT compared to the shock I felt seeing his newly transformed face. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him.

“So, what do you think?” Edward asked, sitting on the saggy mattress of my twin bed.

I touched his cold, marble skin, using my fingers to read the newness of his face as if I were a blind person. He was just so spectacularly beautiful that I had to touch him to make sure he was real. “Better than I ever could have imagined. You’re beautiful…like some god that fell from the heavens.”

He rolled his eyes. “Honestly, Bella. The way you regard me…”

I tried to decipher what exactly had changed. I mean the “new” Edward had the same face, yet it was different. Of course he was a little taller and his voice had deepened. His face was broader and he had a laugh line or two, but other than that, I couldn’t figure out what exactly made him look older, he just did. He was no longer a boy. Everything about him screamed man. He was bigger, broader, sexier…My heart skipped a beat as I looked over his body.

“I can’t seem to stop touching you,” I said, laughing.

“I’m not complaining,” Edward said, taking me in his arms.

I kissed him deeply, pushing him down on the bed, which suddenly seemed noticeably smaller. I straddled his hips and bent down to open the buttons of his shirt. He watched me intently, as I slowly rubbed my hands over his chest and down to his waistband. I lingered there for a moment, running my finger along the edge of his pants. As I moved to unbutton his jeans, he grasped my hand firmly.

“No, Bella,” he said disapprovingly.

I groaned in frustration, dropping my head to his chest.

“It’s not that I don’t want you, Bella,” he began, “You know that. It’s difficult for me too.”

Exasperated, I didn’t answer him for a while until I blurted, “Edward, I want to go to apply for the marriage license tomorrow.”

He laughed. “Can’t wait any longer, Love?” Then before I could answer, he flipped me over and covered me in ticklish little kisses, making me laugh so hard I couldn’t even breathe.

Edward held me throughout the night as I slept in my tiny bed. He had obviously been waiting for me to wake up, for as soon as my eyes opened he said, “The County Auditor's Office opens at 8:30. We need to go there to apply for our marriage license.”

“What time is it?” I asked, stretching.

“Seven. That will give you time to shower and get ready. Do you want to eat here or in Port Angeles?”

I laughed, “Now who’s the one who can’t wait?”

“Well, I had a lot of time to think while you slept.” He caressed my face, continuing, “There’s nothing stopping us from getting married right away, so way wait?”

“I feel the same way,” I said hopping out of bed.

We were on the road by 7:45. With the way Edward drove, we’d be there in time for the office to open. I munched on a granola bar thinking about how quickly Alice could possibly manage to get a wedding together. I wondered if Alice already knew when the wedding would take place. Celebrations were her specialty. For all I knew she had already started all of the planning without me, Alice style.

My thoughts were interrupted by the ring of Edward’s cell phone. He pulled the tiny silver phone out of his pocket and flipped it open.

“Hi, Alice. Yes, we’re on the way there right now. Of course.”

He handed me the phone. “For you,” he smiled.

“Good morning, Bella!” Alice sang in my ear.

“Hi, Alice. I was just thinking about you. Are you turning into a mind reader now?” I smiled at Edward.

“No, silly. But I did know you were on your way into town, and there’s something you need to take care of while you are there. You need to visit an antique shop there called Everything Vintage. Edward knows where it is. There is a gown there that you need to see. It’s the only wedding gown in the shop and it’s going to fit you perfectly. You’ll love it.” She was bubbling over with enthusiasm.

“And you know this…”

“Bel-la!” she giggled. “You don’t need to buy shoes, I already took care of that.”

“Will I be able to walk in them?” I worried.

She giggled without answering my question.

“Alice…Can you see the date we’re getting married?” I asked.

“Of course, ever since you made up your mind. I do think you should let Edward in on it though. I’ve tried to keep the date out of my mind until you’ve told him…wouldn’t want to ruin your surprise. Edward is going to be thrilled it’s so soon. Anyway, I’ve got to run…lots of details to take care of.”


“Don’t worry so much, Bella. I really do know what you want. It will be perfect. Trust me.” Then she disconnected. I had forgotten how much I missed Alice…how much fun she could be…and apparently just how much she could see into the future.

We parked in the small lot and walked into the Municipal Building holding hands, finding the County Auditor’s office quickly. A little bell sat on the counter bearing the sign, “Ring if You Need Assistance.” I touched the bell lightly, and a petite, elderly woman shuffled to the counter. Edward asked her for the marriage license application and she smiled at us warmly.

“You make a beautiful couple, “she said, handing us the paper.

Edward squeezed my hand. “Thank you,” we replied at the same time.

The one page application was short. It asked for our names, place of birth, and birthdate. I raised an anxious eyebrow towards Edward when I looked over at his answers. He glanced up at me and smiled. “The new birth certificate is already in my pocket. Don’t worry so much.”

The Cullens had always covered their tracks, so to say. They had a fully stocked kitchen even though they never ate. Every bedroom except for Edward’s old room contained a beautiful bed, even though no sleep ever took place in those rooms. And paperwork, well I wasn’t sure who took care of that, but everything verified that they were who and what they were supposed to be…diplomas, licenses, adoption certificates. Everything upheld the fairy tale life they lived. Edward pulled out the official looking document and handed it to me.

“Edward, this says that you are 37. You didn’t sleep that long,” I whispered into his ear.

“I know, Love. But the last time I was here, I was a few months younger than you. Remember? Since you just turned 38, that would put me at 37. Understand?” He kissed the top of my head.

“You used your real birthday… June 20th? I thought you usually considered September your birthday since that’s when Carlisle changed you, ” I continued.

He laughed, holding the birth certificate in his hand, “I guess I thought some things on this should actually be true.”

Just then, the tiny clerk came back to check on us. “Are you lovebirds finished?”

I handed her the paper. “Yes, I think that should be all you need.”

She read over our application, “This is the first marriage for both of you?” She seemed genuinely surprised.

“We’ve loved each other for a very long time.” Edward answered staring into my eyes.

“I can see you are very much in love. You will have a long, happy life together!” Then she told us to have a seat, pointing to a bank of old black vinyl chairs.

I looked around the room as we waited. Everything about the room was old and worn from the water-stained yellowed sections of the drop ceiling and the brown fake wood paneling, down to the dull green-flecked terrazzo tiles that made up the floor.

“What are you thinking about, Love?” Edward asked.

“Nothing really. Just thinking about how old everything is in here. It’s kind of sad…depressing. It’s definitely seen better days.”

He smiled, taking my hand. “Bella…I’m the oldest thing here, and I’m not sad or depressed. And… I definitely think the best of my days are yet to come now that I have you back again.” His lips brushed against my fingers, then he turned my hand and placed a kiss in the center my palm. His topaz eyes bore into mine. “I’m the luckiest man alive.”

I was transfixed in his gaze, my heart pumping wildly. “You’re doing it again…” He tipped his head to one side as if to question what I meant. “…dazzling me.”

He laughed, kissing my hand again. “I don’t know if I can think of a word that describes what you do to me. When I look at you all I know is that the world is in perfect alignment. Everything seems more beautiful when I am with you. I feel perfectly blissful, utterly and completely content.” He sighed, taking my face in his hands. “I love you. You are my world, Bella.”

I hadn’t realized that the little old clerk had called out our names until Edward turned to look at her.

“I’m sorry to interrupt you, but I thought you’d like to know that your application has been approved. You have up to 60 days to get married, but you need to wait at least three. Today is Wednesday so that would make Saturday the first day that your license will be valid,” she said.

Edward stood to collect the paperwork, thanking her for her time and efforts. I didn’t think my legs could hold me yet. He had overwhelmed me with emotion…again. Edward sensed I would need help, and reached out to grasp my hand.

“Dazzled,” he beamed. “I like that word.”

It was pouring when we exited the building, so we ran to the car. It hadn’t stopped us from getting drenched, though. Our hair was dripping wet and our clothes were soaked through. I shivered slightly. Edward started the car and cranked the heat to high. He pulled a blanket from the back seat and handed it to me.

“Edward…I want to get married on Saturday. What do you think?”

“I think whatever Bella wants, Bella gets,” he said, kissing my wet nose.

“Hmm,” I said, kissing him. “Bella wants Edward.” I tried to make my expression look sultry.

He raised his sculpted brow and swallowed loudly. “Saturday it is, then.”

***Also, if you are so inclined, check out the FanFiction Awards. You can vote your favorite fanfiction authors, stories, etc.
have no fear, you did a great job describing the new and improved Edward!!

As for where I think they should get married I like either the Cullen house or the meadow. Both are very romantic locales.
i love what your doing here!
plzzz, keep me up to date!!!!!!!!!!!!
keep it up!
Great chapter, please post more soon!!!


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