|The Wedding Party
Author: spanglemaker9 PM
The perfect person appears at the worst possible moment, and one unforgettable encounter changes everything. AHRated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 33 - Words: 192,619 - Reviews: 9,154 - Favs: 5,709 - Follows: 3,524 - Updated: 11-03-10 - Published: 04-01-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5861484
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A million thanks to WriteOnTime for beta'ing.
Stephenie Meyer owns any Twilight characters that may appear in this story. The remainder is my original work. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without my express written authorization.
Bella- November, 2005
Bella's mind was full of lists and plans and beautiful words.
But one word overrode all the other more poetic ones: Latte. She knew she'd make no headway on any of the lists and plans unless she addressed that one more prosaic word first, so she changed course as she made her way across the University of Washington campus, heading towards her favorite coffee cart to get her fix.
There were a couple of students on line ahead of her when she got there, so she bounced on the balls of her feet while she waited, both to stave off the damp cold of late fall in Seattle and to focus her mind as she tried to order her thoughts. There were papers due and short stories to write for the competitive creative writing program she belonged to, but the thoughts that predominated in her mind were all about New Moon, the little upstart literary magazine she'd founded the year before.
Bella had many friends in the creative writing program frustrated with the lack of opportunities to get their work published. So she did some research, wrote a grant proposal, and started a magazine in an unused utility closet in the English department. She had recruited help. Alice, of course, was her other half at the magazine, just as she'd been since they were kids. And Angela, another friend from high school, also pitched in when her class schedule in the Public Policy department allowed it. But New Moon was Bella's baby, she personally read every submission, actively sought out new authors far beyond the confines of UW, and pushed hard to get the magazine distributed all over the Pacific Northwest. New Moon and the writing it showcased were her passions and the center of her life.
A lanky frat boy in a backwards baseball cap was surreptitiously watching Bella as she bounced and fidgeted in line. She was bundled up in her navy pea coat in the damp late November Seattle chill, but her long brown hair was loose and curling down her back, and her cheeks were flushed with the cold and her enthusiasm. Although her expression was distant and her eyes unfocused, they were bright and the frat boy couldn't help but notice and appreciate the view. But Bella was oblivious to the attention, as always, too distracted by all she had to do and all she wanted to accomplish.
When it was finally her turn she leapt forward, slamming both hands on the edge of the cart in her enthusiasm and caffeine-fueled desperation.
The middle-aged man working the cart smiled at her, "The usual, Bella?"
"Yes!" she moaned dramatically. "I need a latte in the worst way, Fred. A huge one!"
Fred chuckled as he scooped an extra dollop of milk foam onto Bella's latte, just the way she liked it. "You eat this morning?"
Bella scrunched up her nose and shook her head as she tossed her bills on the cart and stowed her wallet. "No time, I'll grab something later."
Fred shook his head and slid a bagel across the counter next to the latte. Bella opened her mouth to protest, since she hadn't paid for it, but Fred held up a hand to silence her. "I don't wanna hear it. You can pay me by eating it."
She smiled and took a bite. Her whole body tingled in response to the taste and she figured she was much hungrier than she'd realized. "Thanks, Fred. I needed that," she muttered around the mouthful of bagel. "See you tomorrow!"
She waved at Fred over her shoulder as she strode briskly away. The frat boy behind her paused for a minute, swiveling his head to watch her go, until Fred cleared his throat loudly and fixed him with a disapproving glare.
Bella walked as fast as she could towards the English department, trying to make up for the time lost stopping for the latte. By the time she bounded into the "offices" of New Moon, her cheeks were flushed and her dark eyes were sparkling as she chewed down the last of her bagel. Alice looked up and thought, not for the first time, that her best friend was remarkably pretty in cold weather, even when she was chewing with her mouth open. She blushed easily and the cold brought it out, but it contrasted perfectly with her pale smooth skin and dark eyes. Her clothes were always a little too LL Bean for Alice's tastes, but when Alice could get control of that, nobody could hold a candle to Bella. The best part was that she was completely unaware of it. She blew through her life completely distracted by her writing and her little magazine with no clue about the impression she gave off, all enthusiasm and boundless energy and unaffected beauty.
Alice turned her eyes back to her computer screen and her attention back to the phone conversation she was still engaged in.
"I don't care what he's got ahead of us, we have a deadline. So he'd better get the artwork done and over here by four today or we'll all be screwed!" Alice paused to listen to the assistant in the graphic design department stammer some more excuses before she cut in as if she hadn't heard. "Yes, yes, that's all freaking fantastic, but I need my graphics, so here's how it's going to work. You're going to bump us up in queue and when I check my email at four, they'll be there, won't they?" As always, Alice's persistence and tone of voice worked its magic, and within minutes, the poor beleaguered assistant was promising on time delivery when half an hour ago he'd declared it impossible.
"What was that about? Why the rush on the artwork? Deadline is tomorrow." Bella asked as she squeezed past the filing cabinet that hemmed her desk in on one side and shucked off her coat before falling into her chair. Alice and Bella's desks faced each other and were so small that they could reach across them sitting down and shake hands.
Alice dropped the receiver back on the hook and sighed, her air one of unconcerned detachment, waving her hand dismissively. "Yeah, well, the printing office called and told us we were bumped by some rush job for the president's office."
"What?" Bella snapped, her hand already reaching for the phone in a panic.
"Cool your jets! I'm on it!"
"What are we going to do?" Bella was already making new lists in her head, re-prioritizing the day as she spoke.
"I called my buddy, Phil, at the printing plant, and I begged," Alice said brightly. "He found us a window. He can squeeze our job in, but it's got to be then."
"You're amazing, Ally," Bella said on an exhale. "When is it?"
"He'll run us from four a.m. to five."
"Four this morning? Christ!"
"I know, I know, we lose twelve hours on deadline, but it was the best I could do."
Bella closed her eyes and pictured her happy place as she did her best to stay calm. "It's okay. We can do this."
"Sure we can," Alice sang. "We can do anything. Because we are brilliant, and beautiful, and we rule the world!" Bella was chanting along in unison before Alice got as far as "beautiful". Alice had been saying it since they were girls.
Alice laughed, and reached up to straighten the broad bright floral scarf she had around her head holding back the front of her hair before reaching back to artfully muss the messy black layers in back. Bella eyed her outfit for the day. She was wearing a bright, psychedelic-print A-line mini-dress and enormous yellow hoop earrings, and her eyes were dramatically outlined in black, like Cleopatra. Bella thought she looked like a gothed-out version of Goldie Hawn on Laugh-In.
"What's with the dress?" Bella asked.
"Isn't it amazing? It's Pucci! I found it at the Salvation Army over on Water Street for fifteen dollars! They always get the best stuff in there, and they haven't got a clue how great it is." Alice fingered the dress that looked more like a Halloween costume fondly, and Bella smiled indulgently.
"Oh! Before I forget, Charlie called looking for you," Alice said quickly.
Bella scowled into the interior of her backpack. "Why didn't he call my cell?"
Alice waved a dismissive hand, "You know what a Luddite he is. Anyway, I like it when he calls here because then I get the chance to flirt with him!"
"Eeeww, Alice, stop! That's my dad!"
"I can't help it! He gets all cute and flustered just like you are right now! I bet he blushes just like you, too. Oh, come on! You know I'm just kidding. Charlie is like my dad!"
Bella said nothing; she just smiled at the mental image of Alice getting her dad all flustered, and for a second she was sorry she wasn't here to see it.
"Did he say what he wanted?" she asked, still digging in her bag.
"Nope, just asked you to call him later. Send him a kiss from me!"
"Shut up, Ally!"
Alice collapsed into laughter at her own joke as Bella started pulling files out of her bag and adding them to the piles on her desk. "Oh, Ally, did you get that short story I emailed you last night?"
"I got it, but I didn't get a chance to read it yet. Anything good?"
Bella clamped a hand over her heart and closed her eyes, the way she always did when she read good writing. Alice loved watching the reaction, how she seemed absolutely transported by the words. "God, Ally, it was amazing. So, so good. We have to find room for it."
"But this issue is full. We did the layout already!"
"I don't care, we'll shuffle stuff, we'll find room. It just has to go in, it's…it's just brilliant! So beautiful and moving and…." Bella's face lit up, and her voice pitched up the way it did when she got really excited about a submission, which happened quite a lot.
"Alright, alright, I'm sold. Let's get to it and figure out where it's going to go."
Bella reached to the front of her desk and her hand ran into a bouquet of yellow chrysanthemums wrapped in paper. "What are these?"
"They call them 'flowers'," Alice said slowly, widening her big grey eyes and smirking at her own joke.
Bella gave her a bored look and threw a paperclip at her. Alice laughed before smiling slyly.
"Jay brought them by for you," Alice said with feigned disinterest.
"Jay? That guy from the student newspaper? He came by again?"
"Yup," she said, turning to her laptop. "You really did a number on that guy, B."
"Don't be ridiculous. He interviewed me about New Moon, that's all."
Alice shook her head at her friend's complete obliviousness when it came to the opposite sex. Alice could tell the instant that Jay had laid eyes on Bella that he was interested in her, and now he'd brought her flowers twice in one week and Bella still thought it was nothing.
"Yeah, well, I don't think he intends for that to be all," Alice said. "What are you going to tell him?"
"I don't know, I hadn't really thought about it."
"Do you want to go out with him?" Alice asked, making Bella pause and look up.
"I don't have time," she said dismissively.
"You can find the time if you want to. So, do you want to?"
"I don't know. He seems…nice?"
"Nice?" Alice cocked an eyebrow at her.
"He's cute," Bella said, her tone growing slightly defensive, which made her wonder why she was defending a guy she wasn't sure she was remotely interested in.
"He's cute," Alice nodded in agreement, but not very enthusiastically. "But..."
"I know. But," Bella agreed. "I'm not sure he does it for me."
Alice sighed, "I'll point out, B, that since you launched New Moon, nobody has done it for you. Or to you."
"I've been busy. So, you think I should go out with him, then?"
Alice shrugged, "He's cute enough. And the flowers are nice. You don't need to marry the guy, but maybe it wouldn't hurt to let him buy you dinner. You could use a little…um, recreation." Alice secretly thought that he was nowhere near good enough for Bella, whom she believed to be a nearly flawless human being. But Jay seemed harmless, and if the guy could convince her to leave the office for just one night and relax, then he'd serve his purpose.
"I'll think about it," Bella muttered before she turned back to her laptop.
"Think about what?" Angela asked from the doorway, eyeing the room and trying to figure out where she could squeeze in.
"That guy Jay from the newspaper is wooing her," Alice smirked at Angela.
"Ooh, there's wooing going on!" Angela said, her eyes widening as she flapped her hands around her face in excitement.
"There's no wooing happening!" Bella protested half-heartedly. "He brought me flowers. That's all."
"Flowers?" Angela said earnestly, dropping into a chair to the side of Alice's desk and leaning forward on her elbows. "That's the second time this week!"
"I know! That's what I said!" Alice chirped, scooting her chair closer to Angela's. Angela adjusted her glasses as she settled in to dish with Alice.
"Guys, just drop it," Bella said, opening up the brilliant short-story submission from last night. The opening line caught her attention again, and she almost forgot to finish her thought. "He's brought me flowers a couple of times, which I'll admit is nice, but I'm really busy. I have no idea if I even want to go out with him. I don't know what I think about him."
"Well, you better decide fast, because here he comes," Alice hissed. Alice had less space for her chair, being pinned up against the wall like she was, but unlike Bella, who was blocked in by a filing cabinet, she could see the office door, which sometimes came in handy.
Jay poked his head in, looking at Alice expectantly, since she'd been there earlier when he'd dropped the flowers off. Alice looked back at him appraisingly. He had sandy blonde chin-length hair that he kept tucked messily behind his ears. It was rather unfortunate hair, but Alice was giving him a pass on it since it was college and everybody had questionable hair. He was short, which was an ironic criticism coming from Alice, who barely cleared five feet. Again, she was willing to overlook it since he was still taller than Bella. He had nice high cheekbones and decent blue eyes. The eyes were on the smallish, squinty side, but he had a warm smile and an open expression on his face that offset the squinty eyes. He was nothing special, but if he could get Bella out of the office for once, she'd approve of him in the short term.
Alice smiled back at him and tipped her head to indicate Bella back in the corner. Jay craned his head around, looking over Angela's head, and finally spotted Bella nearly blockaded by her desk. His flowers were still lying where he'd left them. He wondered what that meant, that she hadn't put them in water or unwrapped them or anything.
"Hey, Bella!" he called from the doorway. "I just wanted to make sure you got the flowers I left for you."
Bella blushed and glanced away. "Um, yeah, I did. Thanks."
Jay nervously shifted from foot to foot. Bella kind of intimidated him. Really, who starts their own magazine in college? She was clearly smart and driven and incredibly passionate about everything she did. He was worried that the second he opened his mouth she'd find him hopelessly stupid and dull, even though in most other aspects of his life, Jay never worried about his intelligence. But Bella's beauty, along with the creative energy that nearly danced off of her, made him doubt himself, which was a new, uncomfortable sensation.
Jay took a deep breath and soldiered on. "Are you busy? Can you grab a coffee?" There. It was out there. He'd asked her.
"Oh, wow…um…today is actually really bad for me. We just had our deadline bumped up and we're going to be here all night." Bella could tell he was nervous about asking her out for coffee, and about the flowers, and she felt genuinely bad that she had to shoot him down. But today really was impossible with the deadline moving up.
"Oh," he said, his face clearly showing his disappointment. "That really sucks. But hey, why don't I bring you some dinner? You have to eat, right?"
"Yeah, I suppose so. That would be really nice, actually. Thanks."
He beamed at Bella and she softened towards him just a little bit more. Offering to bring them dinner really was nice of him. "Fantastic," he said. "I have a class that gets out at 6:30. I'll call you and find out what you guys want."
"Um…that means I'll need your cell number."
"Oh, right! Give me your cell, I'll put it in."
Jay leaned into the room over Angela's head and handed Bella his phone. He didn't have to move out of the doorway to reach her. Bella programmed her number into Jay's phone. She was fully aware of the larger implications of this. Now that he had her number, he'd call her and ask her out for sure. As Bella typed in her number, she decided that she'd say yes. He'd earned it by offering to bring them dinner tonight, if for nothing else. Jay stayed for just a minute longer, chatting a little, but working for the newspaper had given him a healthy respect for tight deadlines and he cleared out fairly quickly.
Angela and Alice managed to restrain themselves until Jay was just out of earshot before they fell apart into giggles, recounting every detail of the encounter breathlessly to each other and comparing opinions about various aspects of it.
"So you're going out with him, then?" Angela asked when they finally took a break.
"Yeah, I guess so," Bella shrugged, already fully engrossed again by the new short story. "I mean, it doesn't have to be anything serious, right?"
Angela watched her face grow intense and focused as she re-read the story and knew that Bella was lost to them for the time being, so she turned back to Alice to deconstruct the Jay situation further.
As for Bella, the new short story drew her in completely, and she didn't think about Jay again until he called that night to ask them about dinner.
Bella- Present Day
"Bella? Hey, B, come on, Eleazar just got here and we need to go say hello," Jay tugged on my elbow, his voice desperate.
I shook my head slightly to clear it of all those distracting old memories from college and the days of New Moon. That all felt like another lifetime, and sometimes it felt like it might have happened to someone else entirely. Although remembering Jay from back then, so sweet and hopeful, made me smile a little. I'd almost forgotten what he was like back when we first met. These days sullen and withdrawn seemed like his default mood.
I sighed a little and turned to look at him, "Sorry, what?"
Jay stared back in disbelief that I could be thinking about anything else at such an important moment. "Eleazar's here. You know, Eleazar. My boss. We need to go say hello," his tone shifted and he leaned in close, catching my eyes with his, his face earnest. "And Bella, can you talk to him? Please? I really need to impress him. I need you to help me out with this."
"Help you out how?"
"Just talk me up to him. Make me look good. Come on, B, you can do it."
I opened my mouth to protest, to say that I had nothing to say that anyone would find interesting, but he wasn't listening anymore. He was scanning the room eagerly for Eleazar. Eleazar, the Spanish, way-too-suave, newly-installed head of the International Desk, had joined the staff six months ago. Jay had never really liked him, but forced himself to pay court to him anyway.
Jay was desperately worried about his job; I knew that. It was the only thing keeping me from getting annoyed with him tonight. Jay had landed this job on the International Desk at the Seattle Inquirer right out of college. It was a junior position; it paid almost nothing, but there was prestige in it, and if he hung on and did well, with his talent it might have been the start of a highly successful reporting career. But the Inquirer, like so many other newspapers, was cutting back on its in-house reporting staff, relying more and more on wire feeds. There had already been two rounds of layoffs, and everybody was holding their breath to see where the axe would fall next.
In my mind, Jay's job was all but done for. The paper couldn't afford to keep him, and Eleazar wasn't particularly fond of him. But Jay just couldn't accept that. He simply refused to face reality on this issue. He was sure if he could somehow connect with Eleazar, ingratiate himself in just the right quarter, or simply through sheer will, he could save his job.
After all, he'd gotten a long way by making himself invaluable to the right people. That, and fierce hard work, and single-minded determination coupled with his undeniable talent as a journalist, had allowed him to build something out of his career in spite of his other deficiences. He could be a bit of a loner and prone to moodiness; I knew that. But if you could get past that, he was a genuinely good person, and always well-meaning. I didn't think any of his good qualities would be enough to save him this time, though.
I was tired and not in the mood to charm anyone for him tonight. I'd worked all day. Granted, my lousy, dead-end job hardly required much brain power from me, but somehow, the mindless monotony still managed to wear me out. I didn't want to be at this party; I didn't want to socialize with his work associates, who were mostly strangers to me; I didn't want to spend the evening hanging on Jay's arm, pretending to be interested in all the newsroom intrigues.
I did my best, though. I made idle party conversation with Eleazar as he stared down my dress at my cleavage, and touched my hand in conversation too many times for comfort. I smiled with as much warmth as I could muster as Jay tried to be witty and intelligent. Jay constantly cast his frantic eyes at me, silently begging me to be brighter, funnier, more charming. I felt crushed by the pressure, smothered by his need, his desperation. It took everything I had in me to keep my own head above water in the wilderness of my life; I couldn't deal with the responsibility of Jay, too.
I escaped to get another drink and ended up hiding from everyone for a bit, leaning into a corner and letting my mind wander to my happy place. These days my happy place was just an old memory from my teenage years. Just some completely ordinary Saturday afternoon sitting on the porch of my old house back in Forks. I had been cleaning the fish Dad caught that morning. I'd always hated that job, but Dad loved to brag all through dinner about how much better food tasted when you caught yourself, so I made the effort when he hauled his catch home. Charlie had been working on my truck again, doing what he could to keep the big red beast running. Every now and then, he'd glance up from the engine and make one of his dryly funny comments, or he'd just smile at me. It had been so sunny that day. I remember feeling it warm the tops of my bare feet as they rested on the wooden porch steps. Such a dull, ordinary Saturday. Utterly forgettable. Except for some reason, I never did forget it, and in the coming years, when days like that became impossible because Charlie was long gone, I pulled that tiny memory out and wore it smooth like a stone whenever I needed to feel safe and carefree again.
It wasn't working tonight, though. Try as I might, I just couldn't transport myself back to that earlier, simpler time when someone looked at me with such uncomplicated love.
Jay eventually found me and I took my place at his side again, but by nine PM, I was done for. If I had to tolerate Eleazar touching my arm with too much familiarity one more time, I was going to scream. So I pleaded a headache and begged Jay to take me home.
"But B, don't you get how important this is?" he whispered in my ear.
"Jay, it's just a Christmas party. How well you hold your eggnog is not going to make a difference in the next round of layoffs."
He scowled at me, "Bella, I was hoping that you'd be a little more supportive of me. This is my career we're talking about. Isn't that important to you?"
I sighed and rubbed my forehead, my fictional headache now suddenly absolutely real. "I'm sorry Jay. It is important to me. You know that."
"So help me out, here. You know how much I need you. They're all coming after me. I need you on my side now. And if I don't have you, I don't have anybody. Right?" He nudged me gently, "You and me against the world, remember?"
I remembered. How could I ever forget?
I was being selfish, I knew it. Jay needed me to be there for him now. So I swallowed down my distaste and let Jay lead me back into the party, prepared to do all I could to help him out. After all, I owed him that much.
Edward- Present day
"Come on, Edward. Just come out for a couple of drinks."
I groaned and dragged both hands through my hair, tugging gently. The pull on my scalp made me feel slightly more alert. "Jesus, Alec, I've been on duty for thirty hours. I just want to go fall into bed and sleep until I have to come back."
"Edward, you live at this fucking hospital. Now I demand that you come out with me and have just one drink."
I sighed, knowing there was no way Alec was backing down. "I don't have any clothes here," I mumbled half-heartedly, waving a hand at my scrubs.
"Fuck it. I'm going in scrubs, too. The chicks dig it. Scrubs are like a fucking magnet."
I snorted dismissively. "A magnet for chicks shopping for single doctors. Just what I need."
Alec shook his head sadly. "Some of us will take all the help we can get, man. Jesus, with your looks, plus the doctor thing, you could be cleaning up."
"I don't want some chick who's interested just because I'm a doctor."
"Quit being so damned picky. You're allowed to have a little fun, you know."
Alec gave a crude thrust of his hips to indicate exactly what kind of fun he meant, and I flinched in distaste. "I'm not some monk, Alec. I'm just not all that interested in the random hookups. It was fine when we were in med school, but I'm twenty-eight now. It just seems a little, I don't know...juvenile."
"So go get yourself a girlfriend then, if you're in the market for more."
"Yeah, but I live at this hospital, as you so helpfully pointed out. Where am I supposed to meet a girlfriend?"
"Well, you start at the bar. Now, let's go."
Alec was shrugging into his coat and pulling on his gloves. I sighed in defeat, grabbing my coat out of my locker and following him out of the staff lounge.
Mulligan's Bar was crowded and noisy, everything I didn't want when I'd been awake this long. I'd slugged back a beer within a few minutes, and was now moodily casting glances around the bar while Alec regaled me with tales of the surgical residents trying to steal patients out from underneath each other. There were half a dozen women scattered around us, barely taking their eyes off our table. The attention made Alec stand up a little straighter and talk a little louder, but it didn't do anything for me. It was the same overly made up faces, the same strategically revealing clothes, the same bright, false smiles I'd been looking at in this bar for three years now. The bar was just two blocks from the hospital, and women in the market to hook up with doctors hung out here every night. During my residency it came in handy, a convenient hunting ground. But now…none of it really interested me anymore.
"Alec, I'm going for another beer," I said, when he paused for air. "Do you want anything?"
"No, I'm good. Hey, check it out," he tipped his head towards the bar, towards a lanky blonde girl who was ostensibly chatting with her friend, but she'd angled her body towards me and was checking me out not-very-subtly. She was pretty enough. Her body was nice. I imagined her naked and underneath me, and felt a flutter of interest. I might have been bored sick of the bar scene, but I was still a guy and she wasn't repulsive.
I slid off my stool and ambled over to the bar, purposefully choosing an open spot right next to her. She gave me a sly little smile as I leaned in to get the bartender's attention and I gave her a tight smile and a tiny tilt of my chin in greeting. Her smile broadened instantly.
"Hey," she said softly.
"Hey," I replied, turning to face her.
Her name was Kristy, or Kirstie, or something. She worked at a publishing house. Or maybe it was a magazine, I wasn't too clear on it. She didn't really want to talk about herself anyway, she wanted to talk about me. Or rather, she wanted to ask me questions about myself. They seemed innocuous enough. Where did I go to school? Oh, Dartmouth! That was Ivy League! What about med school? Columbia! She exclaimed over that forever. Where was I going when I was done with my residency? When I told her Lenox Hill had asked me to stay on, I thought she might faint dead away.
Kristy, or Kirstie, was certainly making it clear she was available and interested. She leaned in close to me and used any chance she could to touch me. But all the questions were killing my interest fast. I was on the verge of asking her if she'd like to cut to the chase and just request a credit check when I noticed Alec getting shot down by her friend and retreating to our table. Fuck it, I was cutting my losses and bailing on this bullshit.
I stood abruptly and made a quick excuse. Kristy/ Kirstie looked horror-stricken that I was leaving, so I averted my eyes as I told her it was nice meeting her and then I beat a hasty retreat.
"What the fuck, man?" Alec cried as I approached the table. "She was totally into you! Where are you going?"
"Home. I'm beat, Alec, and I'm really not in the mood to chat with some chick who thinks combing through my financial prospectus is a great alternative to foreplay."
Alec sighed heavily. "Yeah, her friend sent me packing. I think I might cash it in, too. There's always Friday night, I suppose."
"Not for me. I'm going out of town this weekend," I said, sliding into my coat.
"Oh, that's right. A wedding, right?"
I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, my roommate from college. At least it's in Chicago. Maybe I can look up some old friends."
Alec waggled his eyebrows at me suggestively. "Weddings are awesome places for getting laid, man."
"Not for me, not this one. I'm there for one thing only, and that's handing over the ring."
Alec clapped me on the shoulder as I zipped my coat. "Never turn your nose up at cute, single bridesmaids, my friend."
I shook my head and laughed but I didn't say anything as I followed him out into the cold, desperate to just fall into my bed and sleep; grateful, at least for this one night, to be doing it completely alone.
The rest of the story will stay in first person POV, both Bella and Edward's. Thanks for reading! Tell me what you think!