The story continues two weeks after their official announcement to their families, with their FOURTH OF JULY celebrations. Enjoy reading!
I slowly opened my eyes to the sunshine which came in my room, signalling another sunny day.
Sunny days are worst! I groaned internally.
There was a time when I used to wait for days like these, but that was before he entered in my life. Now, the story is whole different. I dread these sunny days as they meant that today Edward would have to stay inside the house, or probably he will be out for hunting, and I'll have to spend a whole day without him, just like yesterday. He had gone for a hunting trip with Carlisle and Jasper two days ago as it was sunny for two days. And he was supposed to come by today noon.
Also, I have Alice to bear! I groaned again.
Ever since the announcement of our wedding, she had became a nightmare. She was always queasy about small things, always bugging me with: what shall I select for flowers?; what shall I decide for the menu?; which champagne will be the best suitable for the occasion?; which cake should we have?; how many cake layers should we have? And so many more.
But I guess I knew what was waiting for me when I appointed her as my wedding planner.
But what I didn't know was that my own mom, Renée, would be so enthusiastic in planning my wedding. I was of the opinion that Renée would be against me in marrying so small, but no, it was the exact opposite of that. She was more supportive than Charlie was.
Over the time of two weeks since Alice had started the planning of the wedding – all the parties that I was going to have, the places, the guest lists, every detail that wasn't actually important according to Alice was made. Esme and Renée had become quite good friends. They both talk over phone for hours. Esme take her suggestions, Renée helps then by letting a few secrets of my childhood out...
As much as it was adorable, it was horrible.
Not long than two days ago, Renée had asked me the love story of Esme and Carlisle. I had to divert her attention, talk to Edward about it during the night, and then only it was possible for me to narrate the whole to Renée. It was a headache.
The only good thing now were the nights that I and Edward got together in my room, as thanks to Alice, we never got time to sit alone and enjoy each others company during the days.
Well, for it's worth, everything was perfect for now.
Our parents were mingling together well – Carlisle and Charlie too had created a good bond over the time. Rosalie and I had started to resolve our differences, and we were good acquaintances now. Jasper was good, minus the headaches he got as everyone around him carried so many different emotions, it often became hard for him to concentrate on one thing.
Emmett and Alice were jubilant about the wedding – Emmett had also decided that he wanted to be an assistant planner of the wedding as he don't want to lose the only chance of becoming part of his baby brother's wedding. He was, at first, very upset when he learned that Edward had asked Carlisle instead of him to be his best man, but later he gave up on that and cheerfully agreed to help Alice.
Even Angela was angry with me for not asking her to be my bridesmaid... That conversation was one of the most difficult one I had.
The day I had came from Chicago, I had told Edward that I wanted Angela to be my first human friend to know about our wedding and he totally agreed with me. When we were sitting at my home after Charlie was gone, he offered me his phone. "Seriously? Now?" I had to ask him, not believing he wanted me to call them now.
"Why not? They would not like if we do any more late. Also, why to delay? The way Alice is making everything sound, the wedding is just a few weeks away." He shrugged indifferently.
"Oh, how I hate both of you!" I growled.
He laughed and offered me his phone once again.
I finally accepted it and dialled her number. She picked up her cell on the third ring. "Angela Weber here."
"Hey, Ang..." I didn't know what to say. I squeezed Edward's hand again.
"Bella? Are you fine? You sound a little too nervous." She was good now to pick up that I was stressed.
"Yeah." I looked up at Edward, and it only made my words slur more. "Listen, I wanted to meet you today. I have some special news to share." Special such as I want to make a big mistake of marrying at the small age. I wished Renée had told me that.
"Okay." She seemed so unsure, I wondered how I might have sounded to her. "How about lunch?"
"Fine. I'll pick you up by one."
"Hey, can you ask Ben to be with you?"
"You're scaring me now, Bella!"
"Fine. I'll do."
"Thanks. See you at one. Bye." And I hung up the phone, sighing in relief. "It went good." I told him with a nod, hoping he agrees with me.
"You're overstressing without any reason."
"You'll see when they react just the way Renée should have." I corrected him.
"Fine, but other things aside, do I really have to come to with you? You have invited them over lunch, asked me to come along with you –"
"There is no way you are escaping this, mister."
"– so that means I'll have to eat that human food." He made a disgusting face at the name of human food.
It got hard for me to control my laughter, and then I couldn't control, letting it escape in small giggles. "That's what happens when you marry a human."
"Thanks for warning me, Ms. Swan."
"Anytime, Mr. Cullen." I giggled again. This time he joined me too.
When it was near to one, time for us to pick up Angela, I started to jump on my place – too nervous to keep still. He kept on repeating that it will be fine but I was too nervous about how she will react to listen to him.
At last, according to him when he was left with no other option, he lifted me in his arms and carried me to his car.
"I can walk by myself." I opposed.
"Oh, I know." He said with his signature crooked smile. "But the way you are jumping, I'll have to carry you anyway." He shrugged again.
I wanted to oppose but instead I leaned my head on his shoulder. "What do you think? How will they react?"
"They'll be happy for us."
"You are no Alice."
"At least I know I'll be that if they were the one telling us the news."
"So," he kissed my temple. "just relax. Everything will be fine."
"Thanks." I muttered, like I could help it.
We picked up them from Ben's shop by dot one. They excitedly yet confusedly – as Edward was also with me – asked me what was the big thing I wanted to talk about but I didn't want to reveal that – not yet.
We decided to eat by the small cafe near Port Angeles – I had already warned them about Edward's crazy driving and they had laughed about it. While Ben and Edward talked about their boyish stuff like sports, I and Angela sat back and talked about the universities.
"Dartmouth." I finally told her when the topic of which university you are going to? came up. "I got selected there along with Edward. I mean, isn't it great." I couldn't help but squeak just like a normal teenage girl.
"I know. I too cannot believe. We two will be going to our respective universities with our boyfriends. I mean, this is just great. Our parents agreed, what else do we want."
"Chief Swan didn't agree?"
"He finally did."
"What do you mean by finally did? Did he put a condition?"
"Sort of." I hedged, not knowing how to say it. "He didn't want I and Edward to go there together. He was of the opinion I should be in one university and he should be in another – one which is way far off than mine."
"I got the acceptance letter and then Edward and his parents talked to him." But before I could say anything more my blush started to fill the pale colour of my cheeks.
"Come on Bella, tell me!"
My left hand, which I had till now purposefully kept hidden in the pocket of my jeans, twitched, the rings again felt like have swollen, ready to be shown to the world.
"Let's eat something first, then I'll tell you." It was a direct message to Edward to take up to our destination fast.
And he did. We reached the cafe in no more than ten minutes where we ordered our lunch. While we waited for lunch, I took a deep breath, took all my courage, held Edward's hand tightly in mine – I could feel that he too was nervous about how would they react – and relaxed our twined hands above the table.
"So I was saying that we both got accepted in Dartmouth and Charlie finally accepted it, but for that Edward did one thing. A big stupid thing." I couldn't help but roll my eyes.
They both kept looking at us and wait for the big news.
But they didn't have to wait more.
I took a deep breath and finally put my left hand on the table for display.
They both were numb, speechless for a quiet good time. Our waitress came and placed our order on the table but still they both couldn't grab it that I was now officially engaged.
Was it that hard to accept?
Suddenly Angela put her hands over her mouth and squeaked loudly.
"When did it happen?" Ben was the one to ask. Angela was yet to recover from her numb stance of shock.
"The night after graduation party." Edward answered calmly.
"Seriously! You have to be kidding me, man! This is what you had decided for her as her graduation gift?"
"Apparently, it seems. And it went well, too." He added with a wink. To which they both laughed.
Suddenly we all jumped as Angela snapped her anger out on us by slapping her hand on the table, shaking our stupor.
"You freaks, I knew you both were serious, but I didn't expect this of you Edward! At least you could have told me. I could have been the eye witness of the whole setting. Shoot! Now I don't know if I should be angry on you guys or happy that you are getting married."
"We're sorry, Ang."
"Oh, my god! This is so huge! I feel like I am going to cry. I mean, don't take me wrong, but in my head I am already planning what all dresses I would be wearing for your parties, and for your wedding, and most importantly, who is going to be your maid of honour? Is it Alice? Can it be me? Please? I'll do good, I promise. Please?"
I had never seen Angela speaking in a rush. I had no idea she would be so excited over the name of my marriage. But I hated to step over her heart.
"I'm sorry Ang. We're having no big ceremony, just a small one. So I was thinking of no bridesmaids – and I am already regretting it a little bit, thanks to Alice – but I would love it if you will accompany me to every party Alice throws me, and I just warn you, there are going be numerous ones."
She squeaked again. "I can't believe you are getting married, Bella."
"I know, Ang." It sounded nothing like me – even to me – when I squeaked along with her.
"Hey, by the way, when is the special date?"
"August thirteen." I squeaked again.
"But, you both are just eighteen. I mean, don't take me wrong, but don't you think you should give yourselves some more time."
"I'm ready." I jumped in before she could go any more further. I looked at him. He smiled at me and held my hand firmly in his.
"But we aren't ready, you idiot girl! You have Alice to prepare dresses for both of you and your families, but what about us? I mean, we just have two months to prepare the perfect dress. I have to look perfect on your wedding. What if any of Edward's second cousin comes and asks me out." She added jokingly looking first at me, then at Ben and then laughed and kissed his cheek taking her time.
"Angela?" Ben almost growled.
She laughed lightly. "I am just kidding, Ben." She gave him a small peck on his lips. "Besides, it won't hurt me to have some options."
"Then maybe I'll have to make you mine as soon as possible."
A colour of dread filled her cheeks as Ben spoke the words. Her smile wavered, but just like me she didn't want to hurt him and laughed lightly, taking the whole subject lightly.
After lunch, where we all laughed and ate – even Edward ate it with a happy face – I and Angela excused ourselves for the restroom.
"So, tell me, how is this all like now?" She asked me once we both were alone in the rest room.
"Don't you sound like Jessica?"
"I know... So, is that why you both went for your small getaway two days ago?"
"Hmm?" Who told her? Alice wasn't known for ditching us...
"Don't act so weird. Charlie met me three days ago and told me that you were going for some three days shopping expedition with the Cullen women, but the next day I met Alice in Port Angeles and she told me about you and Edward enjoying some alone time, you know, so I put two and two together and figured it out." I was silent for a few moments. "You know that your blush always gives you away, right."
"Yes." I finally gave in. "We were in Chicago, but Charlie can't know about it. First he'll kill him then me."
"I swear. Now, tell me more."
"It was nothing. It's his hometown, and I wanted to plan something special for him. So I and Alice together planned it. It was his birthday surprise."
"You are getting good." She approved as we washed our hands.
"Okay, so now you tell me, you never, not even for once, asked me if I was marrying him because I was pregnant. Why?" I had thought that it was going to be their first question. I had even prepared a short and sweet answer for everyone who would ask us that question: No, I'm not. Though I could expect nothing more from you.
"'Why?' Are you?"
"Absolutely not!" I cried.
"That's because I know you, and also I know him, a little. And mostly because your father is the chief of police. And if you were pregnant for real, then either he would be dead or you both would've been married by now."
I thought about the whole thing and laughed. "That's true."
"What's worrying you?" She asked me directly, knowing me too well.
I sighed. "It's just like you said! We are just eighteen. People are going to judge us. That was why I wanted you to be my first friend to know."
"Am I really your first friend to know about this?" I nodded and corrected saying 'You and Ben.' "I'm so flattered, Bella."
"But I'm worried."
"You shouldn't be."
"What if Ben proposed you now?"
"I would say yes."
"Really, Angela?! I saw your face back there. You were in shock."
"That was because it was the first time the topic of marriage or proposal ever came up, and that too he said he will do it as soon as possible."
"I love Ben. Just like you love Edward. And if he proposes me now, I would hesitate, yes, but that won't stop me from marrying him just because I fear what people would think about me."
That was why I admired her. She didn't worry or cared about what people might think of her. She had always been discreet in that. Even when it came to decide between her other friends or stating with me, she never worried what others might think of him.
"And I have finally said yes to him."
"What do you mean finally?"
"He had been giving me hints that he will do some sort of things like this, and I rejected him everytime. And now that I have said him yes, I am so terrified of telling everyone. And now that Charlie too gave the free reign, word is going to spread like fire in Forks. And then we have invitations due by the third Tuesday. Then his extended family. Oh, the wedding preparations are also on notch... Alice... Renée and Esme and getting along... Carlisle and Charlie are getting along... Rosalie talks with me now... What is happening..."
Really? What was happening? It all felt unreal. Too surreal to accept it. A fantasy, I concluded. It was really happening.
I still remembered the first night I slept in his arms. I had asked him if marriage was possible for us and he had said no. But today we are there...
I was hyperventilating. I knew I was. But I couldn't help it. The wedding – the word which was already like a curse to me – nerves hit me like a hammer, even when they were six weeks away.
Just like they hit me in the present when Alice showed me all the flower theme she and Esme had shortlisted for me to finally pick one. There were white roses, tulips, daffodils, hydrangeas, lilies, and many more.
Just like this time how Alice handled my tantrums and mood swings, that day, Angela handled them pretty well. She made me see that it was really happening and that I was being a little over the top.
It had always been a headache for me to select one thing, over that to select a thing under the direction of Alice and Esme was a torture.
We were at the Cullen mansion, where I was just waiting for Edward to arrive from his hunting trip with Jasper and Carlisle. Emmett had decided to stay behind as Alice had asked him to run a few errands for her.
Charlie was at the station and was going for a two day fishing expedition for the weekend with his friends in LaPush starting from tomorrow. He didn't want to go at first, thinking he want to spend as much time with me as possible, but then thought that as Jacob is also joining him, he might cheer him up. For all he knew, he was still recovering from his major internal injuries.
Another reason why I declined his offer of joining him to the LaPush fishing trip.
Ever since the announcement of mine and Edward's wedding, I have become sort of banned in their territories, and Jake too have reduced talking with me. We talk over the phone – to be precise just once when Charlie asked me to call Billy and Jake picked up. That was one hell of an awkward conversation.
"So..." Alice snapped her fingers in impatience, "which ones do you like? Do you like this for your mother" she pointed at the white coloured ankle length gown or "this one." a white coloured backless gown. Renée had sent an email about options for the bachelorette party which was four weeks after.
"Isn't it too early?"
"And about six hours difference away too." She mocked. "She is excited. That's it. Be supportive."
"The ankle length one."
"I had already sent her the email about that two minutes ago."
"Then why did you need me?"
"Because you are the bride! And I need you to make these decisions."
"Fine!" It is impossible to win against her.
But my mind was two weeks ago, in the meadow.
When I had lost my calm, Angela had helped me gain it back. But it was Edward who helped me retain it back by taking me to our meadow for the night after Charlie went to sleep. We had taken the blankets, beverages, light eatables, just like a small picnic setting.
Only I didn't know if I could enjoy myself.
The wind blowing while he ran with me on his back wasn't enough to take my mind off of it.
Once we were seated on the blankets he had arranged in the middle of the moonlit meadow, which was glowing with erotic colourful flowers, he took my face in his marble cold hands, making me look in his eyes, slightly tracing my cheekbones to make me calm, to make me feel loved and warm.
He was patient for me, guessing I will speak my worries when I want to, but still the fact that something was worrying me and he had no idea what was killing him.
It may have been a few minutes or a few seconds before I shivered as a result of the chilly winds. He released me and draped his jacket on my shoulders.
Still, no words were spoken between us.
I played with his fingers while I spoke. "Don't you ever fear that it is all very dreamy and by just a small snap, it all may end?"
Out of nowhere, he started laughing hysterically. Loud giggles filled the silence we were in. "I was afraid you were regretting the decision of marriage and this is what was scaring you? That it doesn't feel real?"
"No! That's the problem." I sighed and took his hand in mind, looking at it while I traced the lines on his palms. "Everything is perfect now. And... I know it sounds very annoying and hysterical, but I am not accustomed to perfect."
"What do you mean?"
"You only see. There is no one between us now, our parents are mingling very well – I didn't expect that, hell I didn't expect that I'll get Renée's blessings, but see how far we've got. Then there is Angela. She was so excited. She didn't guess I was pregnant. That's it. Everything is just going perfectly."
"And that is scaring you because?"
"Because everytime anything goes perfect for me, it just ruins for me anyhow."
I inhaled slowly and then exhaled loudly. He knew it. He knew that it was just a secondary reason. Not the main. "You are good."
"Practice makes perfect." He smiled but u couldn't. There was just too much on my mind. "Tell me. This is not what is scaring you, than what is?"
"I don't want to spoil your mood."
"If you don't say then you will definitely spoil it." I shook my head, still casting my eyes down. "Fine. Tell me when you are ready." He offered softly. I nodded. I could do that.
He pulled me to him so that I was leaning into him. He played with my hair, silence hanging between us. "You are not going to give up, aren't you?" I guessed.
"You are getting good." I smiled without wanting to. "There. Keep smiling. Even if you spoil my mood, you'll make my day." He kissed my head.
"How do you know what to say?"
"I have had decades of practice, love."
"True. So, what do you want to do now?"
"It's your call – whatever you decide."
So we ended up talking about nothing in particular. When I asked him about Carlisle's and Esme's story, he told me about them and we lost track of time. After about an hour or two, after I ate some snacks, he offered some dancing lessons. I declined the offer but when he insisted, saying we have to do it anyway after sometime, I gave up and twirled with him in the dancing.
It was while dancing with him when I finally took the courage and told him the real reason why I freaked out.
I leaned on to him and he wrapped his arms tightly around me.
"Remember how I told about I wanted Angela to be the first one to know about our marriage?" I felt him nod. I sighed as I knew he was very confused and he won't like my explanation either. "It was because she was the one I always turned to whenever I wanted normal human time, no mystical nonsense. But today when I told her, I realised it might be the last time for me to do so."
It felt stupid, even to me, to cry over this small thing when I had even big things to think about, like my upcoming change or impending doom the marriage was, but at the same time, it felt like slowly I am going to lose every person I love.
"After I change, I may still find a way to stay in contact with Charlie, but with Angela there is no such way. And she asked me to always stay in touch. That's when I started to impact the actual weight of my decision."
"Till now I was taking it lightly: I will get to stay with you; I'll change myself; Find myself a way to stay in contact with Charlie, not Renée as she has weak heart, but I never realised that I have many friends who matter to me too. And I'll have no way to keep a contact with them. And it terrified me."
I took a deep breath and recalled my every moment with them. The time when Jessica gossiped with me, or Mike flirted. When Angela started to date Ben and the way she always helped me understand small things. How Tyler almost crushed me and then asked me for a dance as a consolation. I didn't dare think about Jake.
"Jessica, Mike, Eric, Angela, Ben: They all were with me in my hard times too." I didn't dare look up. "And even then I left them, like I am going to leave now. And it terrified me. First Jake, then Angela. And I know I'm going to break Charlie's and Renée's hearts too in the way."
I hid my face in his shirt as tears started to blur my eyes.
I had promised myself no more tears to upset him over me giving away my humanity, but I couldn't help myself. My eyes spilled the tears on their own account.
"I am so sorry. So sorry!" He murmured again and again as he ran his hands over my tresses.
"You don't have to be. It isn't your choice."
"But it is clearly upsetting you!" He retorted back in a whisper, his voice full of remorse "I wish there was any way left for me to keep all this heart break away from you." He added in a small calm voice.
"I wish too, but it doesn't matter."
"It matters to me." I smiled again and looked at him. Though he had a little sadness in his eyes, his smile was still able to take my breath away.
I wiped a few tears off of my eyes. "I too wish there was a way I could keep all of them in my life even after my change."
"You still want to change? Even after you yourself said you will have so many people to leave behind?" Why was he still surprised listening it?
"Yes. I will. And that too after I will marry you. First I'll make you mine, then you'll have to turn me into yours in every way that counts. There's no going back. So, suck it up Mr. Cullen. You are in it for your existence."
The sadness in his eyes flew away and exult took his place. It was clear he was already on his cloud nine hearing this. "I am taking your word for it, Ms. Swan."
Before I could come up with anything stupid, he sealed our mouths with a kiss and together we lost in our moment.
That night when I talked to him, I felt better. Just like it did today, after I talked to him over the phone. He was still on his hunting, and I was getting bored so Emmett took pity on me and called him.
When I told him about Alice bugging me with all the harassing and controlling and being bossy like she always does, he had laughed loudly. "That's what happens when you appoint someone like her as your wedding planner." He mocked me, enjoying it.
"You could have stopped me."
I could imagine him smiling crookedly. "Yes, I could, but I can't, because it is your wedding."
"Alice had ordered me to do everything your way. If you say it's day, then it's day."
"No! She didn't!" It is going to be his big day too. She can't just neglect Edward's wishes to do what she likes. It's not about her.
"Yeah. She did that, and I agree with her on this. You know what, let's talk about it when we meet. I don't think we can talk about it without reaching an impasse."
"Trust me." I decided better of it. It was anyone a moot point if he wasn't willing to talk about it now. "So, tell me, what more is going on."
"Nothing." I told him about how I missed him and what all he was missing. The selection of stupid things and dresses and what not. He was quite happy to miss out those. "And now she is expecting me to choose the menu, taste the dishes, select the cake, even when we still have about six weeks left for it."
"What did Esme say?"
"She was supporting Alice, saying that we can't take last minute decisions in all this stuff, and as this is their first wedding with humans involved in it, they don't want to take any chances. But you'll never guess! Rosalie was by my side in this. She said that it was ridiculous to think about selecting them now when we could do it after two weeks."
"I told you, didn't I. You just need to give Rose a little time."
"What do you have in mind for the weekend?"
"So, how about we go to Seattle for the weekend? We can go to the concert you wanted to take me to, remember."
"Ah. Your graduation gift."
"Yes. Also we can, you know, go for some shopping, tasting, selection. Whatever you prefer."
I mulled over the offer for a moment. I wanted to go, have some nice free time with Edward. And Charlie was not here so there was no lying part. Alice can cover me up for that.
I looked over at Alice. She made a face but then finally said a yes after Esme gave me permission. I told Edward the same and he seemed excited about the upcoming trip. Emmett didn't let me go without his snide comments and jokes.
But the one person not happy was my wedding planner.
"I just hate last minute wedding changes." She had been ranting about this since the last hour, since I asked her if I could get another weekend away with Edward. "I mean I knew you both were looking for some alone time, but that doesn't mean that you can make a spontaneous plan."
"How come you didn't see that coming?"
"Because it was spontaneous, and also because I have too many things running in my mind. I was thinking that tomorrow we could go for your accessories shopping, but no! You have to cancel everything.
"I'm sorry, Alice. But I just need some alone time with him so that I don't snap at you for something."
"I can understand, Bella. It's just that, I want everything to be perfect. It is your day, and I want to make it special. But how can we do it if you keep on looking for escape routes. I mean, we haven't selected a theme yet for god's sake."
It wasn't a big deal as mush as she was exaggerating. She has to stop down and relax. Maybe I could ask Jasper to take her for a break...
"About that. I was wondering if you could stop referring to that as 'my day'. It's his day too. He is waiting for this day since the time before I was born."
"But it has to be your best human experience."
"And his too, Alice." I riposted in a whisper, hoping she give up.
Edward was right. We couldn't talk about it without reaching an impasse. Even with his sister. I made her sit on the bed and sat in front of her, inhaling deeply.
"For me, Alice, marrying him is just a small gesture to show that I am his, but he is from a very different time, a different era, where marriage was so much more than that. He does not tell but even he may have some crazy ideas about how his wedding day would have been if he were a human, back in his time. If we were marrying then..."
That's it. He had been acting all aloof about the wedding preparations because he thought that for me it meant nothing, just a small ceremony, that was why he agreed on it has to be my day. But it don't. It has to be his day. Our day.
I was just thinking about it when Alice suddenly jumped and squeaked in delight and started acting all crazy. She was still in her visions when Rosalie and Esme came in, worrying what startled her.
"What happen?" They both asked me.
"She is either happy that she found a perfect theme or angry that I ruined her shopping plans."
"English, Bella." Rosalie muttered, still watching Alice who was distant in her sight.
"We both thought that the theme of the wedding should be Edward himself." Both Esme and Rosalie looked at me with quizzical expressions, and all I could think was 'Why was not Alice not helping me here explaining this thing. How I hate her!' "I know it sounds cliché, but everything about me revolves around him. He wanted it to be a perfect day for me, so I thought it could be made more perfect if he himself is the theme of the whole setting."
Alice jumped in. "Flowers, music, clothes, ambience, everything will be set according to the early twentieth century. In fact, I remember him telling me his father's wedding dress is still in a good situation."
"In Chicago." I clarified.
"Maybe we can use it's design somewhere, remediate it a little. Oh, there's so much to do! That means your dress too need a few more modifications, Bella. We can talk to Carlisle. When will the best man be helpful! You go and do whatever you want to. Edward won't be back before seven." And she marched out of the room while she called someone on the phone.
All were busy now, thanks to the courtesy of Alice. She had made Emmett very busy in the name of preparations of all the stupid parties she was planning, Rosalie was given the work of planning all my parties and other stuff related to that – she didn't want to do much but she also wanted to be a part of Edward's wedding. It was so much confusing for her too. And Esme was busy with the bonfire preparations for the night. She was planning for a family time in the evening – which now also included I and Charlie.
I recalled the events of previous fourth of July which I had celebrated with Edward.
We were in Seattle that day, as he said he still owed me a trip to Seattle and I wanted to go for some book shopping and some shopping too. I had just got the green signal of travelling then from Carlisle that I was too excited to go over there. After shopping in the city, we had laid down on the hood of his car and watch the fireworks decorate the sky with its sparkle. It had been a memorable day for me.
Now that I was alone, I asked Esme if she wanted my help in setting something for the fourth of July bonfire which they were planning. Esme said a polite no. So I decided to go home and prepare food for Charlie for his trip.
I prepared hotdogs and sandwiches for them, enough for two days, and also packed him some juice and other stuff which he may need. Today he was late from work, and that I knew was going to happen. He had informed me beforehand that he will have more work today as he will not go tomorrow.
It was still almost half hour until he came home, and there was nothing to do, so I took the pictures I was working on. I wanted to give a small gift to Charlie before I marry to Edward, so I was preparing a small collage of our pictures together since my birth. It was a little sovereign from me to him – for always supporting me and always being on my side.
He was home as expected by half past six.
"Hey." He greeted as he put his gun down.
"Hey dad, how was work? You seem exhausted." I noted. He had deep lines formed on his forehead and he seemed to be cracking his knuckles now and then. But then too, he seemed to be a good mood today.
"Don't ask. It was not even twilight before people started to burst their fire-crackers. It was too exhausting." I laughed at this. He too joined me after a while and then went for his shower. Till that I placed the dinner on the table.
He told me about his weird encounters he had and we both laughed together. "What were you doing?" He asked as we were eating the dinner.
"Nothing. Just prepared some food for you for your trip."
"When are you leaving?"
"We'll be leaving early morning before dawn. And for now we'll be leaving by seven thirty."
"Where are we going?"
"Oh, I must've forgotten to tell you. We are invited to LaPush for the fourth of July celebrations. There will be bonfire, snacks, fire-sticks, crackers."
"Oh!" But little did he know that he was invited, not I. Everybody in LaPush, except for Seth, hated me too much to see me there. "But I won't be able to make it there."
"But why?" He seemed dejected. Was he still planning on making something work between Jacob and I. And if yes, then he was going to be so disappointed to know that Jacob probably didn't want to see my face.
"Dad, you forgot? The Cullens' are also having a bonfire and they are expecting me there by the same time. They even invited you." He looked at me for a second and then nodded to himself. "If you want to, you can go to LaPush. I'll tell them. It isn't a big deal." I shrugged it off.
"Well, for them it may be. And now that you are going to be a part of their family as well, I think I should be there, too."
"As you think. It's fine anyway."
"Fine then. I'll inform Billy. He'll understand."
"I know he will." I murmured, too low for him to hear. He will understand better than Charlie was hoping, but that didn't mean he would be still happy about it. And especially with Jake over there to learn that was like pepper on the wound. I tried my best to keep a small smile on the face and tears out of my eyes, my eyes casted down on my dish to not make Charlie uncomfortable.
"So, what are you planning about the two days, considering that you will be alone."
"I was going to talk to you about that." I jumped in, kicking myself a second later for jumping in myself and not letting Alice deal with it. "Edward wanted to go for a concert in Seattle tomorrow evening. Alice and their siblings are also coming."
I just hope they cover for me when needed.
"Okay. But don't be late."
Here comes the hard part.
"They were thinking about staying in Seattle itself for the night." I prompted slowly, making sure to not make him mad.
I was wrong. He was mad in an instant.
"Isabella?!" There was the tone in his voice which he reserved for such times only. It always made me feel scared of him.
"I'll be careful, I promise." No effect. "Also, everyone will be there. And it's not like I and Edward would be doing anything." I tried to reason with him.
"Please, dad. Pretty please!" I was almost begging him to cope up. "Alice will anyway take ne over there Sunday again to run some of her errands. It's a better option to stay in Seattle."
He looked at me for a second and then closed his eyes, inhaling loudly. "Did Esme gave her permission?" I nodded. "Hmm. Okay... Fine! I'll let you go. But, promise me you'll be careful." I said an 'I promise'. "And also remind him that he don't even dare do anything with you."
"He already knows he's dealing with the daughter of Chief of Forks, dad. You needn't worry about that." I joked, hoping sarcasm would have it a little lighter to bear.
"He better know it." He muttered, his voice filled with loath.
"Be good, dad."
"Fine." He stood up as he was done with his dinner and called Billy. I sighed with relief that the hard part was done.
I couldn't hear major part of the conversation, but from what I heard, I knew I was right. I was not invited in LaPush any more.
"Fine. I'll stop by." Charlie murmured softly and put the phone down and turned towards me. "They all are waiting for me, saying dinner is waiting and that Sue had made us s'mores and I'll be a fool to miss that."
"You should go."
"But I'll be back at their bonfire before eight. Esme isn't expecting me to be too early, right."
"Perfect then. I'll see you there."
"When will you leave?"
"Edward is coming to pick me by seven."
He nodded curtly, not happy about it, and took his car keys, keeping himself moving from Forks to LaPush.
I exhaled loudly, exultant about Charlie ready to let me go.
I did all the chores that were left and as it was still ten minutes to seven, I called Renée to wish her a happy fourth and told her about my plans for the weekend with the Cullens'. She didn't have to know that only one Cullen was involved in it. But she was much worse than Charlie in supporting me as well as giving me a big talk.
"Be careful honey." She'd said when I told her about my plans, "And make sure you take every precaution." My face was almost as red as flames when she said this.
"Mom!" I chided in a voice which I hoped sounded assuring that I wasn't planning anything.
"What?" She said innocently. "I'm just saying. And you ought to take care of you, sweetie." She sang teasingly.
"We aren't doing anything, mom. And we won't be doing anything even then. So you can chill."
"I know that you are responsible and you don't need to explain it to me."
"Ugh! I hate you mom."
"Love you too, Bella."
"Love you more. Bye." The call went off.
I leaned my head against the wall to let my blush settle, but it didn't help. All I could think of was her words. She said I was responsible, but was I?
I was the one who jeopardized Edward's wishes everytime, and when he gave me the reign, I chose his soul. But now it was getting more and more difficult for me to remember why I chose that in the first place.
Ever since he had told me that he wants to practice the passion slowly – but not the act itself – so that he is enough prepared to know what he is expecting on the day, I had told him yes for practice. But what I didn't know was that it will leave me wanting more and more.
We had been practicing for a week now, and so far it was good. He would not end the kisses fast; I was able to hold my breath for a longer time; he didn't stop me if I ran my hands over his hair. But everytime he ended the kiss, I longed for more. I longed to have a night with him where he never stops. But it was a long way to go.
I closed my eyes more tightly.
I felt a hard yet soft and smooth chilly hands wrap from behind my back, his chilly breath and fingers on my neck as he moved my tresses one side and pampered kisses all over there.
"Seems like the hunting wasn't a good one." I teased.
"It was good, but nothing tastes as good as you." He murmured in my ear and kissed my earlobe. My hand moved upwards, all the way to his hair, on its own accord as I melted in his freezing bosom. "Mmm... You taste much better than mountain lions."
"Mmm..." I moaned and turned around in his arms to kiss him fully. Before he could say anything, I raised on my tip-toes and gave him a big kiss on my mouth. He lifted me in his arms so that he don't have to bend, holding me tightly to him.
He kissed me beside the wall for a minute before he lifted me up a little more properly and took me over to the dining table. I sat there, my limbs secured around him – hands at his neck and legs on his waist – as we kissed.
His kisses were now more fierce, more demanding than they were in Chicago. It was good. His hands started to crawl up my waist, through my shoulders and stabled at my jaw, lifting my face a little more for his better leverage.
When I finally wanted to catch my breath, his lips slipped to my neck and throat, bringing me more closer to him.
Slowly, like he always does, he slowed down the kisses which later were just a few pecks here and there.
He chuckled in my ear. "To what do I get such a welcome? I should leave you more often then." I smacked his arm. He kissed it and kept it in his cheek, waiting for my reply.
"Nothing. I thought about welcoming you a little more thoroughly." A small peck on his lips followed by on his neck.
He chuckled. "I very much loved it. Thank you."
"If you want I can also tell you how else I had thought it." I offered, kissing his Adam's apple.
I felt him gulp with difficulty. "I think I might live." He whispered slowly, yet huskily in my ear and kissed my earlobe.
"So what did you do?"
"Nothing. Just waited." I leaned back then to pry away from his arms, trying to look stern. "Which brings me to, where were you all along? You promised me to be back by today noon."
"Sorry, love, but it just happened. Jasper wanted to stay for a longer time. I'm sorry."
I forgave him easily. I didn't want to hold a stupid grudge against him for something so silly.
"Don't worry. I'll make it up to you."
I raised my brows up in mischief and wrapped my arms again around his neck. "What do you have in mind?"
He smiled and kissed my nose. "Everyone is waiting for us. We should go."
"Sounds good." I affirmed. "But first I need to change."
"Okay. I'll be waiting downstairs."
I looked at him wholly when he mentioned this. He had his hair tangled, half with running while half due to my handwork, his shirt was all creased up and his pants were almost covered in mud from down. It was clear that he hadn't gone home yet.
"What did you do this trip?" I mocked waving at his attire.
"Nothing. Just a few consequences of not having Emmett with us over there." He read my confused expression. "Jasper and Emmett like to wrestle. But as Emmett was not with us, I had to fill in for him." I laughed listening him remembering how both of them had fought in the practice sessions about two weeks ago.
He kissed me between the brows before I hopped down to get ready.
I had already taken out clothes. A black top along with denims. Alice will flip out seeing I didn't wear the clothes she had decided, but I thought better of it and decided I could handle her for one evening.
Once ready, we took off for his home in his Volvo.
More chapters on the way. Stay tuned!