Author: seamonkologist PM
Invited to attend the wedding of an ex-boyfriend, Bella drags good friend Edward along as her date. What will happen while they're there? One-shot.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,412 - Reviews: 18 - Favs: 38 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 07-04-09 - Published: 05-11-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5054586
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Not my typical story, but since I'm having such writer's block on the others, I thought I'd do a little one-shot. DEFINITELY ONLY a one-shot. I promise. Enjoy!
Smeyer owns all.
Edward and Jasper look up from their game of chess to see Bella staring at an envelope.
"What is it?" Jasper asks.
Shaking her head slowly, Bella says, "Jake. He's getting married. And he wants me at his wedding." She angrily holds up the envelope, an invitation. "Look at this. Bella Swan and guest. And guest? He thinks I'm going to show up alone. That I couldn't possibly have found someone after him." She tosses the invitation down on the coffee table and paces around the room, angry little outbursts slipping from her every few seconds.
"You don't have to go, Bella." Edward and Jasper are both watching her, knowing that she's going to go, if only to prove a point. But Edward feels the need to state the obvious anyway.
She whirls around, glaring at him momentarily. "Not go? And what? Let him think that I'm too broken up over it three years later? I'm going. And one of you are going with me."
They exchange looks. Bella was getting her way, one way or another.
They both knew that this was the opportunity that Edward needed. Having been in love with Bella for the better part of two years, he's yet to find an appropriate time to let her know. And Jasper knew that without the proper prodding, it wasn't going to happen.
"When is it?" Jasper asks.
Stopping her pacing, Bella glances down at the offensive envelope. "In three weeks. The 23rd."
Nodding a little, Jasper shrugs. "I think that's the weekend Alice was taking me to meet her parents. We'll be gone the whole weekend. Edward, you can go with Bella to the wedding, right?"
Edward narrows his eyes at Jasper. He knows exactly what he's doing. "Um, I don't know if that's such a good idea."
Bella comes over and drops to her knees in front of him. Her anger is gone and her look is nothing but pleading. She needs to show up on the arm of a hot guy, to let Jacob know that him leaving her didn't hurt as badly as it truly did. In all honesty, she really was over it, but it seemed almost like an insult to invite her to a wedding she had once wanted for her and the soon-to-be married Jake.
"Please Edward? Please? I can't go alone. I just can't. I need you to do this for me." Her big brown eyes stare up at him, and his resolve wavers. Spending time together in a romantic setting was bound to lead to him making a fool of himself...but how can he say no to her?
With a heavy sigh and a close of his eyes, Edward nods. "Alright. I'll go with you."
Bella jumps from the floor almost into his lap, hugging him fiercely. "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" A nearly viscious kiss to his forehead and she says, "I promise, we'll have a good time. Thank you so much."
Unable to stop the stupid grin from spreading, Edward laughs a little and hugs her. "A good time, even if it kills us, right?"
Returning the grin, Bella says, "Right."
Bella was in the sexiest, classiest dress Alice could come up with. It hugged her in all the right places, showed just enough skin, made her look like a million bucks, and she was on the arm of one of her very best friends. As she watched the wedding guests smiling, laughing, exchanging hugs and handshakes before going inside, she was suddenly unsure of why she's even come to this thing.
It had been three years since Jacob had left her, telling her that he just wasn't ready for what she wanted - at the time, she wasn't even sure of what that was. Sure, she'd thought about a life together; moving in, maybe getting married, having little tanned, clumsy babies tottering around all sounded like something for the future for them. After all, they'd been together for 5 years. But then he just up and decided it was too much, too fast. She'd never even mentioned any of this to him.
Moving away had been her idea of a therapeutic life-cleansing (okay, it had been her mother's idea). In a new city, surrounded by new people, Bella had quickly fallen in with a group of people her age.
Edward and Jasper, roommates, lived on her floor. After helping her pick up a couple bags of groceries she'd managed to drop while trying to unlock the door, they hit it off over a similar love of Ben and Jerry's Phish Food.
Jasper's girlfriend, Alice lived a few blocks away. She was a tiny little spitfire that no one, absolutely no one could say no to. So when she'd decided to take Bella on a girl's day out with her friend Rosalie, Bella went along.
Rosalie was intimidating, to say the least. Bella had thought for weeks that the girl just didn't like her. Finally, on yet another forced outing with Alice and Rose, Bella finally just told her off, telling her that if she didn't like her, to hell with her, because Alice was her friend and she'd have to suck it up because Bella wasn't going anywhere. The margarita's Alice had been pouring down their throats that night turned out to be the best thing for the girls' relationship. Rose smirked, said it was about time Bella got a backbone, and they'd been fast friends ever since.
With Rose, came Emmett. Loud, boisterous, giant, goofy. He was all guffaws and dimples. Everyone loves Emmett. Simple as that.
They'd all managed, at one point or another, to find out what had happened with Jake, and were all very supportive of her moving on. So she did. She had new friends, a new job, a new apartment, a new life...and a new love.
How it happened, she wasn't sure. They were friends. They talked, laughed, listened to music, watched movies, read to each other. Somewhere along the way, Bella realized that she'd fallen for him, and fallen hard.
And now, here she was, using him to prove to her ex she was over him. She couldn't do this, not to Edward.
"Edward, let's leave."
For three weeks, he fretted. For three weeks, he threatened to kill Jasper for pushing him into this. For three weeks, Jasper told him to suck it up and tell her how he felt.
Now Edward was dressed in a simple, yet elegant suit, with an exquisitely well-dressed, incredibly sexy Bella on his arm, standing beside his Volvo, watching wedding guests pour into the church.
And he felt like he was going to vomit from nerves.
And when she said she wanted to leave, oh how he wanted to take her away from there. But she'd regret it. He knew she would. For three weeks, Bella had done little aside from talking about this wedding. She wanted to prove to everyone that Jacob did not break her. And tonight, she would.
"We're here, let's just go inside." Edward made to step forward, but she tugged him back.
"We can't. I can't go in there. We can't do this. It isn't right." Bella was almost panicking. Edward had no idea she loved him, but she wouldn't let herself cheapen her own feelings for him like this. "Let's just go home. We'll get dinner and watch a movie."
He stared at her. Why was she acting like this? "Bella, we drove over five hours to get here. We're not just turning around and going home."
"But Edward," she starts, but is interrupted.
"Bella? Is that you?"
She turns and is engulfed in a pair of strong arms.
"Seth!" She returns the hug eagerly. Seth, one of Jake's friends, had been almost like a little brother to her. She'd hated leaving him behind, but had to for her fresh start. "God, you've gotten huge!" Around her height when she left, he now towered over her. He looked like a man, not the boy she remembered.
"Are you sure you haven't gotten smaller?" he asks, a grin on his face. He hugs her again. "It's so good to see you. I've missed you. Jake wasn't sure you'd come."
She sighs. "I wasn't sure I was going to come either." A throat clearing alerts her to Edward standing off to the side. "Oh, I'm sorry. Seth, this is Edward. Edward, Seth. He's basically my little brother." Glancing up at him, she corrects herself. "Okay, well, younger brother. He was much shorter last time I saw him."
Edward was angry at this hulking man-boy with his arms around his Bella. Instead of punching him in the nose like he wants to, he offers Seth his hand. "Nice to meet you."
"Nice to meet you, too," Seth says, squeezing his hand a little too tightly. Turning back to Bella and ignoring Edward completely, Seth says, "We should get inside. The ceremony starts soon."
"We'll be in in a minute," Bella says and Seth heads off. She turns back to Edward. "I guess we have to go now, we've been spotted."
He takes her hands in his, giving them a reassuring squeeze. "It'll be okay, Bella. I promise. You've got me. And you're over him. Let's go show him what he's missing, right?" He nods his head suggestively at her body and wiggles his eyebrows. She giggles, blushes, and playfully slaps his arm.
"Fine. Let's go." They start toward the church and several more people call her name. She leans up towards Edward's ear and whispers, "If you leave my side for even a minute, I'll kill you in your sleep. Jasper will help me."
He laughs and wraps his arm around her shoulders. "I'm not going anywhere."
What seems like hours later, sickening amounts of lovey-dovey words and proclamations of love, a couple "I do's" and some clapping and cheering, the wedding is over and everyone is heading to the reception hall.
Edward and Bella follow the crowd, but she once again hesitates. Jake had seen her in the church and had given her an enthusiastic wave, mouthing that he was glad she came. She knew she should go congratulate the newly weds. But her feet were somehow not listening to her brain when it told them to walk.
They were standing outside, side by side, and Edward was waiting patiently for Bella to decide what to do. If she wanted to leave, he'd take her home now. They'd done the wedding. He wouldn't force the reception on her.
But after several more minutes of nothing but standing there silently, he squeezes her hand. "Bella? We don't have to go in if you don't want to."
She sighs. "You know, I'm not upset at all. I'm actually happy for him. He looked so happy up there." She looks over at Edward, who is watching her carefully. "Really, I am. I don't know why I can't seem to go in. I need to see him and tell him congratulations. I didn't force you to come all this way to stand in a parking lot."
"We'll go in, say hi, and leave. How about that?"
She shakes her head. "No, we'll stay for awhile. Maybe I'll even dance with you."
He raises his eyebrows. "I'm sorry, what was that, Bella? Did you actually just offer to dance with me? No threatening, no coersion, no tricking you out onto the dance floor?"
Laughing, she turns to him, wrapping her arms around his waist. He immediately puts his around her, too, and she can't help but feel a little giddy. It's where she's wanted to be for so long. "I know. It must be a shock. Don't expect it after this either. And only a slow song. I'm not making a fool out of myself at my ex's wedding." Reluctantly, she pulls back from him. "Okay. Inside. Let's go."
They walk into the reception hall hand in hand and immediately, the groom is waving at Bella.
"Bells! Bella!" he booms across the crowd, most of whom turn to look at them. Bella blushes and waves back, pulling Edward along to where Jake and his wife are sitting.
"Jake! Wow," Bella says, a smile plastered to her face. They exchange a hug. She turns to his wife and offers her hand. "I'm Bella. Congratulations."
"Carla. Thank you. So glad you could make it. Jake has told me a lot about you." She beams as she smiles at her husband.
"Really? Good things, I hope." Bella squeezes Edward's hand, pulling him closer to her. "This is Edward."
"Congratulations. It was a wonderful ceremony." Though in all honesty, Edward had spent nearly the whole time focusing on Bella to make sure she was okay with sitting through that, listening to their declarations of love. She'd seemed fine.
"Are you two dating?" Jake asks him.
Edward looks down at Bella with a smile and she smiles back, answering, "Yes. We've been together for a couple years now." She squeals internally when Edward wraps his arm around her waist and pulls her closer, kissing the top of her head.
"I'm a lucky guy. Looks like you are, too," Edward says with a warm smile to Carla. "Well, it was great meeting you both. Congratulations again."
"Thank you!" Carla wraps her arms around Jake's neck and pulls him in for a kiss.
Bella just smiles and nods to Jake. "Take care."
"You, too, Bells."
Edward leads her away from the happy couple and over to the bar. He orders them both a vodka tonic and they stand together, sipping their drinks, watching the crowd.
"You okay?" Edward asks. She's been silent since they walked away from Jacob. He hopes she isn't hurting.
"I'm fine. Just seeing everyone so happy and in love, you know, kind of makes me feel a little lonely." She hangs her head. If only he knew how she felt. Part of her wants to tell him, but she's not sure she should. How would he take it?
He takes her glass from her and puts it with his back on the bar. A slow instrumental song is starting and he tugs her toward the dance floor. "Come on. You promised me a dance."
Rolling her eyes, she sighs dramatically. "Fine, let's dance."
They walk out on the dance floor and he wraps his arms around her waist, drawing her close to him. They both sigh in contentment as she bring her hands up around his neck. The slow sway of the song pulls them into a rhythm and before she realizes it, she's got her head on his chest and his chin rests lightly on top of her head.
The feelings are so strong for both of them, surrounded by all the love and happiness of others. Edward wants to tell her that she's not alone, that's he's there for her always. But he simply can't. She's been such a good friend to him, he'd never risk losing her like that.
Neither of them lift their heads as Bella says, "I need to tell you something. And I need you to stay quiet until I'm done. If it's something I shouldn't have said, we'll just pretend it never happened, okay?" It's got to be done. Bella knows that this is her chance to tell him.
"You can tell me anything."
Taking a deep breath, Bella starts. "When Jake left me, I felt so broken. I felt like I'd never be okay again. So when I moved, and met you and all our other friends, I felt like maybe I had a chance. That I wouldn't always be so sad. And you guys helped me get better. Spending time with all of you really helped me see that it wasn't my fault things didn't work out with him."
Edward tenses up as she starts talking about Jacob. He was afraid seeing him might bring up her old feelings.
"It's been three years and I'm perfectly okay with him moving on because...well, I have too." She sighs as they continue to dance slowly. "I don't know when it happened. I wasn't even sure of it at first. I was really confused about how I felt, but then I realized that it was love. And it wasn't like it was with Jake. It was...more. When I finally figured it out, I cried and cried. But it was because I was happy."
Edward looks down, but Bella's eyes are squeezed shut and her face is pressed into his chest. She can't possibly be saying what he's hoping she's saying. He could never be so lucky.
"And for so long now it seems like I've been holding onto these feelings because I was afraid of what it would mean to say anything. Would it ruin everything? Would it make things better?" She swallows hard and looks up at him then. "Would you even care?"
"Bella," Edward croaks out at the tears in her eyes. She silences him with a finger to his lips.
"Not yet. I have to do this." She moves the finger from his lips, but cups the side of his face in her hand. "Edward...I am more in love with you than I have words to express. Every day is almost torture to be near you without being with you. But I'd do it for the rest of my life if friendship is all I'll ever have with you. You don't have to say anything. We can pretend nothing has changed. I'll be okay with that. I just needed you to know. And if you don't feel--"
He cuts her off by leaning down and pressing his lips to hers. The kiss is gentle, but frantic, as he tries to show her everything he feels. She sobs lightly into the kiss and pulls him closer. As the need to breathe comes, they break apart, but he peppers small kisses over her lips, cheeks, nose, forehead.
"Thank you for having the courage to do what I was too afraid to," he whispers against her. "I love you, too, Bella. I have for two years. I've wanted to tell you so badly, but I was always too afraid." He kisses her again, softly, slowly, leisurely. When they pull apart this time, he smiles at her.
"Oh, Edward. Please tell me you'll be mine, that you'll be here with me."
"I'm here Bella. Right here is where I want to be. And I'm staying here for as long as you want me."
He smiles, kissing her lips softly one more time. "Forever, then."