Full Summary

Bella never expected her cousin at her wedding, and she certainly hadn't expected the Volturi Kings (plus guard). Quite frankly, Marlowe and the Kings hadn't expected to be there either. Imagine the King's surprise when they find their long-awaited mate in the human's cousin. As they do their best to gain the favor of this woman, learning much about their forgotten humanityalong the way, Bella returns from her honeymoon pregnant. Marlowe must protect her cousin while the Kings must assess the potential risk to their kind. Will their budding mateship survive the uncertainty and strain?

Prologue

"Alice... What're you doing in my mailbox?"

Bella stood at the end of her driveway, watching her tiny soon-to-be sister-in-law rummage through the small stack of mail that had obviously come from her mailbox.

"Looking for something," Alice said simply. "Ah! Here it is!" With the desired envelope in hand, she shoved the rest back into the mailbox and closed the lid.

"Here's...what?" Bella asked, her brow raised in question.

The strange little vampire skipped towards her, waving a white envelope through the air. "An RSVP."

"For the wedding?" Bella made to snatch it from her hand but she was easily sidestepped.

Giggling, Alice asked her, "What else, silly?"

Bella huffed. "Then shouldn't I be the one opening it?" She followed Alice up the driveway to the front door. "It is my wedding after all."

Alice simply waved her off. "You put me in charge, remember?"

"Regretfully," Bella muttered under her breath.

"What was that?" Alice asked, her tone deceptively innocent.

Bella grimaced. "Nothing!"

"That's what I thought." Alice nodded as she shoved open the door and danced over the threshold. "Anywho!" She sang. "Open this." Alice held out the envelope she'd stolen from the mailbox to Bella who'd barely just stepped into the house.

"Okay, okay!" She snatched it from the psychic's hand. "Pushy." Alice just smiled.

With a roll of the eyes, Bella stepped around Alice into the living room and dropped onto the couch. She grumbled a few insults under her breath as she turned the envelope over a few times in her hands. It was addressed to herself, not herself and Edward, and the return address was without a name. Bella didn't recognize the return address either. Who did she know that used a P.O. box?

Curious and a little nervous, Bella tore open the envelope and tugged out the RSVP card. The name on the card had her eyes nearly bugging out of her head.

"M-Marlowe is coming?!" She could hardly believe it… Bella hadn't seen Marlowe in years; not since the second to last summer she'd spent with Charlie as a kid.

Alice appeared on the armrest beside her and peered over her shoulder. "Who's Marlowe?"

"My cousin," Bella told her distractedly, unable to take her eyes off her cousin's elegant scrawl. Mar always did have such beautiful penmanship… "I didn't think she'd come."

"Are you happy that she accepted?"

Bella sat back, dropping her hands into her lap as she continued to stare at the card. "Of course I am. It's just...a surprise is all." It occurred to her then that-. She looked up at Alice. "But not to you."

Alice shrugged. "I needed to confirm it."

"Why?" Bella asked after a moment, suspicious.

"You'll see," she answered with a saucy grin. Alice then hopped to her feet, cell phone suddenly in hand. "I have to make a call."

When she began to make her way to the door, Bella sprung up to follow. "What?! Alice! What's going on?!" But the vampire just waved goodbye over her shoulder.

"I'll see you later, Bella!" She called as she disappeared out the door.

Bella stood in the entryway with her jaw most assuredly on the floor. What on earth had that been about?! Alice was always a bit...vague and not very forthcoming with information in regards to her visions, but this was strange, even for her. Perhaps she should call Edward. Maybe he could glean something from her thoughts when she got home…

Plan of action decided upon, Bella strode into the kitchen and took the landline off the receiver, her cousin's RSVP still in hand.