I don't now, nor will I ever own anything related to Twilight. But Fanfiction is fun so here we all are.
I will never, ever drink again, Bella thought as she stared out the window, the scenery of the western Irish landscape flying past her. She and her sister Rose had been on the road for about two hours headed to a wedding for their cousin, Ben, after flying into Dublin in the early hours of the morning.
Though native to Washington in the States, Ben wanted to marry his love in her childhood town of Limerick, Ireland. Normally, Bella would've loved to get out of the country and into the lush green hills. She relished fresh air and foliage and had always wanted to visit the magical Isle. Unfortunately, the night before Ben's wedding, Bella was the maid of Honor in another wedding for her high school best friend, Kate. More unfortunate still, Bella had gotten shit-housed drunk off of cheap wine, dry champagne and an honest to goodness goblet of cinnamon whiskey.
Ideally, they would have traveled and arrived yesterday allowing for a day of rest before the wedding, but of course Kate had to choose the day before her favorite cousin's wedding and of course Kate had no other possible options for a maid of honor. So, Bella had no choice but to race across the world to do both, even if she would resemble a gremlin in doing so.
There was much vomit on the red eye flight, and though Bella loved her cousin she could not muster an ounce of excitement for the day ahead.
Behind her, sat Rose's chipper yet somewhat off-putting date. Caius had been working at the same firm as Rose for about six months and while always showering her beautiful blonde sister with compliments and attention, he had yet to make the move beyond flirtation. Bella suspected he must be shy or inexperienced, but he was a damned fool to let Rosalie Hale slip through his fingers. Rose could have the world in the palm of her hand, if she decided to take it. The moment Rose realized what she deserved, Caius would miss his window forever.
Bella and Rose were a visual yin and yang. Where Rose's long blonde hair fell in a smooth curtain down her back, Bella's riotous brown curls had an unruly mind of its own. Rose had stunning azure blue eyes and Bella's were muddy brown. Bella couldn't help but be a little envious of the curvature of her sister's figure, either. While both fit and clearly feminine, Rose got her mother's to die for curves while Bella took after her own biological mother Renee, who while beautiful, was a little more of a peach than an hourglass.
Bella's father married Rose's mother when they were both six years old, Bella's mother having died in childbirth and Rose's father being a deadbeat. Their respective remaining parents found each other in the cereal aisle of a supermarket of all places and fell quickly in love. They liked to joke that they should've served Lucky Charms at their reception.
Bella and Rose had grown up to be as close as any biological sisters could be, they did nearly everything together. Lately though, Bella was starting to feel a little left behind. Rose, outside of whatever weird dating dance she was doing with Caius, had an active social life and had no shortage of suitors, though no one had interested her enough yet, she had been hinting more and more often that whomever it may be with, she was looking to settle down and become a mother, the way she'd always dreamed about.
Bella, on the other hand, couldn't even get a date to a wedding. To TWO weddings, she mentally corrected, sourly. Bella was pretty, she knew but she often over thought and seemed to say the wrong thing to men. She couldn't be seductive if her life depended on it. Luckily, lack of sex won't kill you. She'd googled it.
She was truly tired. Two weddings in two days on two continents was a lot. I just need to get to this hotel, get through this wedding, get some sleep and then I can be an insufferable tourist and hit as many castles as possible in a week.
Before much longer Rose turned off the highway and began down the winding road towards Limerick. Slowly, more country houses began to give way to a small town, as they navigated their way to the inn a number of the guest's would be staying in.
Bella's eyes lit up when, upon crossing a bridge over a shimmering river, she could see a castle nestled into the side of the riverbanks.
"What time are we supposed to head back towards Dublin tomorrow?" Bella asked her sister. They were doing several excursions all around the small but beautiful country throughout the next week, but Dublin was going to be their base. "I'd really like to check out that castle before we go."
"Well, Ben said the whole wedding party is going to the pub Angela's uncle owns after the wedding, I'm not sure how early we'll all be up after that!" Rose joked, eyeing Bella's face turning green.
"Oh no," said Bella, "I'm going to bed after this. Do you hear me? B-E-D, bed. I'm still sweating alcohol from last night."
"You don't have to drink, although you will, because I know you. But live a little, Bells! You're always at work and when are we all going to be in the same place again? You know Angela grew up here, and Ben said her friends are great." countered Rose.
Bella frowned. She did want to get to know her cousins almost wife better, and they'd be leaving for their honeymoon first thing in the morning. But partying seemed so odious when the memory of throwing up in the airplane lavatory was so fresh in her mind from the night before.
"Promise we won't be out too late. I'd really like to see that castle before we go." Bella replied.
"Just try and have a little fun, lady." Rose chided. "We can ask about the castle, but it doesn't look like much, I'm sure there's a reason Angela didn't include it on her list of things we had to see while we're in the country."
It's true, Bella had seen much larger and more grand castles during her research for the trip, but this was the first castle she'd ever seen with her own two eyes and it was practically calling to her.
Finally, after another right that felt like a left because European road directions had yet to become comfortable to her, the trio found themselves on a beautiful cobblestone road where just ahead to the right, an Inn sat, decorated with ribbons, bells and wild flowers gently bobbing in the breeze.
Bella smiled to herself, imagining the kind of sweet, close knit community Angela must've grown up in. Down the road further, she could see more doors and ledges decorated with ribbons and bells, the whole street gently chiming, seemingly celebrating their arrival on this happy day.
Bella's hangover took a backseat and some genuine excitement began to creep into her bones. She was in Ireland with her sister for such a happy occasion. They parallel parked on a narrow side street and as they got out of the car, Bella took in a deep breath and felt invigorated. She'd traveled a little in her life, to South America on a few church excursions and to various places in the U.S, but no place had ever felt like she was breathing in magic like this moment.
While Caius shot around back to grab their bags, Bella stayed next to the car and stretched up, trying to touch the sky with her fingertips. The car ride hadn't been too long, but the freedom was sweet all the same. She turned her face to the midmorning sun and felt the soft, April breeze wrap around her. Just that quickly, Bella decided she was in love with Ireland.
She smiled when she saw Caius trying to juggle all of the bags and went over to relieve him of his gallant effort.
"Rose and I don't exactly pack light," she chuckled to him as he voiced his thanks. "And I've got about sixty pounds of concealer in these bad boys to cover up last night's fun from under my eyes."
"You should try cucumber and aloe!" Caius suggested cheerfully, "it'll really soothe any under eye inflammation."
"I…yeah, thanks," Bella replied, "I didn't pack any cucumber in the snack bag but, I'll keep that in mind."
Soon they made their way inside the tight lobby of the Inn. Most of the wedding guests would be staying here, as it was owned by Angela's great aunt Elena. The rest of the guest's wouldn't be far, lodging at two more Inns nearby. Most of Angela's immediate family didn't live in Limerick anymore, but she wanted to be married where she grew up, surrounded by her old neighbors and extended family. Bella could see the appeal. She squeezed into the lobby with Rose and Caius and got in an awkward, clustered line behind a group of tall men who were checking in before them. Bella could hear a jovial, deeply accented man helping the gentleman and she couldn't help but smile at the sound of it.
Bella wondered the men in front of them were also American, and if they were here for the wedding as well. She nearly tapped the shoulder of the man closest to her to ask him, when his head turned sharply towards her, with a stern look in his cold green eyes. She had no idea what she could have done to offend him just by breathing in the same room as him, but she decided that she would definitely not be asking if they were here for the wedding. She also decided that she didn't care where he came from with a for-no-good-reason scowl like that and cast her eyes downward to inspect the faded red carpet.
The girls continued to wait for their turn at the counter while Caius looked around the few feet of open space in the back corner of the lobby, taking in the decor. His mouth quickly turned into a frown at the dusty knickknacks and pictures that lined the walls.
"I don't suppose there will be a Vegan dinner tonight, will it, Ro?" he asked Rosalie, his eyes taking in a picture of a portly man grinning over a large plate of meat and potatoes holding a stein high in the air. "I didn't think to ask until now. Do Irish people know what Veganism is?" he continued.
Rosalie looked down at her feet before plastering a smile on her face and turning to respond to her date.
"I honestly don't know, but we can be sure to ask when we get to the reception." Rosalie's tone was patient, but Bella couldn't help but want to giggle at her sisters' fingers gripping her suitcase handle so tight her knuckles had gone white. "And yes, I assume as a fully developed, internet equipped and overall pretty healthy country, Irish people are aware of all the various diets the world has to offer."
"Oh, it's not a diet, Ro, it's a lifestyle," Caius began, but was cut off when the men in front of them cleared off towards the staircase on the right side of the room and the happy voice greeted them for their check in.
"Welcome to the Cullen Inn!" boomed a voice fit for a football stadium. "My name is Emmett, and it is my pleasure to welcome you to our fine establishment!"
Both Bella and Rose were taken aback by the energy of the man before them, while he had been happy and animated with the men before them, he was downright giddy now.
Emmett had soft dark curls that bounced as he nodded and blue eyes that shone with each smile he gave, which were many. Rose appeared to have turned to stone and had yet to take the final few steps up to the counter, so Bella took the initiative to head up and get them checked in.
"Hello," began Bella. "My name is Isabella Swan and this is my sister Rosalie Hale. We have two rooms booked for the night?"
"Ah, yes! Bella and Rosalie, I've been expecting you." Replied Emmett, not looking down at his reservation book, nor the ancient chunky computer screen to his right.
"Well, that's how reservations work." said Rose dryly, breaking her silence.
"Benny mentioned you guys would be coming in around this time, that's why I'm here working the counter." supplied Emmett, "I'm not normally here, but I couldn't pass up the chance to meet the famous cousins he's gone on about. I hear you guys are a right bit of fun and wanted to personally invite you all to the after party at Esme's tonight."
"Oh, we already heard about that, and we'll probably stop by, thank you for." Bella began but was cut off by her sister.
"Hi, as cool as it is that you were skulking around waiting for us, we'd really like to just get to our rooms, you know, that we're paying for. It's been a long flight and we'd like to get cleaned up before tonight." Rosalie snapped.
Bella's eyes widened, and she slowly turned her face towards her sister, expecting to see some green vomit and a rotating head, as she'd clearly become possessed in the last five minutes.
"Er, yes, sorry, I was just looking forward to meeting you ladies," said Emmett, slightly repentant, but with a smirk still touching his lips. "Rooms 22 and 23, on the second floor." he slid them both a key, an honest to goodness physical key, antique, thick and slightly rusted with age, that Rose simply stared at.
"What century are we in?" she asked.
"Don't worry, ma'am, most of the city is just as advanced as any other part of the country. We do have key cards and elevators in Ireland, but my Gran is big on keeping things authentic here. This Inn has been in our family for longer than your country has been founded, though it's served a few other purposes than hospitality in its day." Emmett said, still smiling widely at Rosalie, whose scowl only deepened.
Bella internally chuckled, as he had just given her the same speech about Ireland not being a backwards medieval country that she had given to Caius, though he was much more kind about it.
Caius, as if hearing his name in her thoughts, popped his head around the two girls and asked Rose for her bag so he could start heading to their room. Emmett's sweet smile finally dropped at that, and Bella suddenly felt a little bad for the handsome, happy man. He clearly had eyes for her beautiful, momentarily deranged sister.
The trio trudged up the stairs and found their doors before slipping inside. Rose would come over after a shower, so they could get ready together, but in the meantime Bella wanted to relax. She walked over to the modest, double bed and flung her whole body onto the soft blue bed covers.
The room smelled the same as the lobby had, old but strangely sweet. She felt like she could feel the buzz of the history in the room, as though she could be going back in time, if it weren't for the occasional sound of a passing car or the phone ringing of a passerby.
Bella rested for a few moments more before walking into the bathroom and assessing the damage. She expected to see a girl who looked as tired as she felt, but her eyes looked surprisingly bright. Being in this country was doing a lot for her already, she decided. Her hair was another story. She had intended to straighten her hair when she arrived, but between the travel and the humidity of the country, she realized the riotous curls would be staying, there just wouldn't be time to tame it. She stared at the mess mournfully, resolving to have Rosalie twist it into something pretty and began to freshen her face instead.
No sooner had Bella begun to dry her freshly washed face than did Rosalie begin to knock on the door to be let in.
"Who does he think he is?" Rose asked as soon as the door was opened, and while Bella assumed she was talking to her, she had no idea what Rose was going on about.
"What did Caius do?" asked Bella.
"Caius? Caius didn't do anything, that grinning oaf downstairs, who does he think he is just waiting around to meet us, that's so unbelievably forward and rude and unprofessional." Rose railed on.
"Oh, I don't know," She replied to her irate golden-haired sister, "I think he seemed really nice. You should be nicer to him tonight."
"Oh, I won't be speaking to him tonight." replied Rose, who had instinctually made Bella sit on the edge of the clawfoot tub and began to braid her hair into a soft and intricate low bun.
"I thought we agreed to have fun?" she asked her sister.
"Between ignoring that behemoth man and trying not to murder Caius for asking if the wedding cake is gluten free, I'm going to be having a blast." her sister glowered.
The girls finished preparing for the ceremony, Rose in a long purple satin dress that tied wrapped around her neck, its rich violet shade contrasting sharply against her pale skin and sun kissed hair. Bella frowned at her flowing emerald green gown which, at the time she bought it reminded her of the lush landscape of their destination, but now only served to remind her of the handsome, angry eyes of the man from downstairs.
Handsome? Since when do I think he's handsome? she thought to herself. Windblown bronze hair and grumpy green eyes are not handsome. Sure, there was a jaw line that could cut glass, but clearly someone pissed in his morning coffee, so why would I ever think of such an unnecessarily unpleasant person as handsome?
Bella was shaken from her internal monologue when Rose motioned for her to follow her out the door to meet Caius in front of the inn, so they could walk down to the church where the ceremony would be taking place.
As the trio began their trek down the winding cobblestone, the group of men from the lobby came up behind them, their loud decidedly non-American accents standing out against the relative quiet of the surrounding street.
The men were in a much greater hurry than the three of them so they all stepped off the sidewalk into the street to pass around them. While they passed, Bella noted in addition to each having a beer in his hand that they were all dressed in suits, her guess that they were also attending the wedding confirmed.
Holding her breath for reasons she certainly wouldn't be delving into, she was waiting for angry eyes to pass by her. When she didn't see him, she released that breath in a gust of air. Maybe he went ahead? she thought to herself, only to be bumped into from behind the devil himself as he rushed passed to catch up with his group. He offered a soft "sorry" with only the slightest turn of his head as he continued past to his pals.
That's it, she thought as she righted herself from Rose's grip, who had thankfully not stumbled with her like dressed up dominos. I hate that man.