Mason nodded a thanks to the florist as he picked up his bunch of dark red roses and continued heavily on his walk. As he walked the busy afternoon streets of LA, he kept replaying and replaying the events that had taken place that night. He doubted he would ever forget it; it was seared into his memory, like a burn. He stopped in the middle of the sidewalk for a second, taking a deep breath in and then out. He needed to control his emotions. He needed to visit her.
Mason walked alongside the iron railings of the cemetery, his head down. Although he knew he was essentially a creature of death, he was still disturbed by the atmosphere and sheer presence a place like a graveyard gave off. At the main gate, he paused, looking in at the rows of graves, his flowers being held limply in one hand. Again, that night re-enacted itself to him in his mind. He couldn't help shuddering.
Still, he thought to himself fairly as he gazed at the cemetery. It could have been worse. Belle could have ended up in there. He sighed, turned and continued to walk to the hospital.
He could hear the four of them as he stepped out of the lift on to the floor of private wards. Lucien's voice in particular rang through the sterilised plain corridor. Mason smiled to himself. If they weren't careful, they were going to get thrown out.
'Seriously, I passed a laundry closet on the way up here, and I'm sure I saw stains on some of those bed sheets,' one high pitched voice was saying. 'This place is unsanitary!'
'Lucien, if you think that, why don't you get a job here?' another voice sighed. 'You'd put a hundred cleaners out of business if you do that.'
'The reason I'm not getting a job here, is because it's already a full time job clearing up after you, Gary!' Lucien shot back. Mason heard a pair of girls start to laugh. He grinned as he stepped into the room.
Belle's face lit up as she saw him. Carefully, she levered herself up into more of a sitting position, wincing. Mason frowned.
'Careful,' he warned. Belle laughed again.
'I'm fine,' she told him.
Mimi rolled her eyes as Gary curled his arm round her waist. 'She insists on saying that!' Lucien informed Mason. 'We've told her not to, but she doesn't listen to us!'
Ignoring Lucien's hysterics, Mason approached the bed and presented Belle with the flowers he had bought. 'For you,' he said unnecessarily. Belle's smile broadened.
'I suppose these will go with the other ten bunches of flowers you've got me this week,' she teased, but still, she laid them carefully on her bedside table. 'So,' she said, looking up at Mason, 'what happened?'
'Well, the doctors said that Gilbert had a heart attack,' Mason told them all. 'He's currently in the mortuary, waiting for burial, and his family have been notified.' Gary looked up, stunned.
'Gilbert had a family?' he asked incredulously. Mason nodded thoughtfully.
'Apparently,' he said. 'I suppose it turns out that he wasn't just Geeky Gilbert, he was, at one time, a normal person with people who loved him.' The five of them took this in for a moment. Then Mimi decided to break the silence by gently extracting herself from Gary and going over to inspect the pile of presents on Belle's bedside table.
'Wow, you got chocolates from Eric!' Mimi cried excitedly to Belle. Belle nodded.
'I know,' Belle said happily. Then she remembered. 'Lucien, did you thank Eric for me?' she asked sharply.
'Oh, I'm sure Lucien thanked Eric very thoroughly,' Gary leered. Lucien pouted angrily.
'We're just friends!' he snapped at Gary. 'How many more times?' As the two of them bickered and Mimi watched, Mason drew closer to Belle.
'You know, it's not just the flowers I got you,' he said softly. Belle looked at him inquiringly. As a reply to her unspoken question, Mason pressed his lips against hers. Belle kissed back deeply, enjoying the thrill of the feeling of his mouth against hers. She hooked her hand around his head, pulling him closer. From out of the corner of her eye, she saw Lucien and Gary high-five each other. She laughed slightly as she broke away from Mason. She looked at the people grouped around her bed, at Mimi, Lucien, Gary and Mason. She knew this was where she belonged. Here, with her friends, with her love, with Twilight.
A/N: As if I'd ever kill off Belle! The least this story deserves is a happy ending. Well, that's it. Finished. I'm feeling slightly emotional really. I spent about a year on this. Well, I'm afraid I'm not doing a sequel, those few who have asked for it, however much fun it would be to do a 'spin off' with Davina. This was always going to be it.
Well, I have some, well, a lot of people to thank for this. For everybody who has ever reviewed, put me on story alert, etcetera, thank you so much. LetLifeNotPassYouBy, thanks for listening to my idea for the story, reviewing and I think, coming up with the name Gilbert. False Masquerade, thanks for reviewing and showing constant enthusiasm, such a great friend! Cajun-cuteness and chococcino for reviewing every chapter, I honestly love reading the reviews you put! Other regular reviewers, Naomi Chick, That One Dork Stacy, Vampire Chica and everybody else I've forgotten, thanks so much, you're the reason why I keep going. And finally, a massive thanks to ishani acuinatum ashley, who always gives me great advice and also motivation for the story. Just the perfect reviewer. So, thanks to you all, and watch out for any other stories I put up. You might like them!