I own nothing - all hail Stephenie Meyer!
I lay there with my eyes closed, refusing to wake up and end the dream that the last twenty-four hours must surely have been. Could all of that really have happened? Could the princess in that fairy-tale wedding truly have been me? Then I felt the cold band circling my left ring finger, and was assured that it had.
Alice had kidnapped me far too quickly after sunup for several hours of what she called "making Bella beautiful." I called it torture. Legs and eyebrows waxed, pedicure, and manicure all performed by the spa Mrs. Newton referred us to. Then came another two hours of trussing, fussing, and primping by Alice and Rosalie themselves as they laced me into (of all things!) a corset, rolled and pinned my hair, and painted my face. It felt like prom all over again, times four. They both grinned the entire time. Once my appearance met with their approval, Esme arrived and the three of them somehow wrestled my complicated underwear and I into my dress.
Ah, my dress! On this one point, I was really happy that Alice had outdone herself. Vintage lace, a modest train (of Alice's own design, no less), and fingertip veil completed the antique looking work of art. It somehow looked like it came straight from an Edwardian portrait yet right off a Parisian runway at the same time. I really don't know how that girl manages these things, but I am so glad she does.
Then came the pictures. Lots, and lots, and lots of pictures. I shudder to think how many rolls of film that poor photographer spent just trying to get a decent shot of me. Then there were pictures with the rest of the bridal party, minus Edward. Portraits were done of all the girls together, then family ones of Charlie, Renee and I as well as me with all the Cullens - except Edward. Alice was bound and determined that he would not see me until I walked down the aisle. Dang her! It was so frustrating all day having to duck around the house with everyone else in on her little conspiracy. First the guys would hold him hostage while portraits were done with me, then I was whisked away and locked in Alice's room while they took the same shots with him. Pictures of us together would only be done after the ceremony.
Before I knew it the day was gone and guests were arriving. Alice had kept her promise and the wedding was to be a small, intimate gathering of family and close friends. The Cullen's spacious living room was more than adequate for the occasion, and the ceremony took place on the landing at the foot of the stairs. The whole house was bedecked in white roses, freesia, lilies, and garlands of greenery. White candles stood everywhere. The house's antique charm suited the simplicity and elegance of the decorations perfectly and the effect was, quite simply, magical.
Renee bit back a tear, gave me a quick hug, and vanished to take her seat. Esme hugged me and descended the stairs after Renee, and Rosalie smiled and followed her. Alice fussed a bit more with my hair, tweaked my train, and barked at the boys to keep Edward's attention down there. Then the music started. All of a sudden, I was standing at the top of the stairs on Charlie's arm watching Alice float gracefully down ahead of me to Pachelbel's Canon in D. Charlie quietly asked, "You ready?" I nodded, and we started down. Somehow Charlie got me down the stairs without me landing on my face. Every eye in the house was on me, but only one pair mattered: Edward's. He stood there on the landing, my angel in black, looking more like a supermodel than ever. How on earth could this miracle be meant for me? His face radiated pure love, his eyes burning with emotion. I was suddenly grateful for all of Alice's trouble that day in keeping us apart until this moment. I wouldn't trade his expression just now for anything in the world.
Emmett beamed at me from the landing's center just behind Edward, standing ready to read our vows. Carlisle stood to his right in the position of best man, and Alice stood just left of the gap Charlie delivered me into beside my groom. Edward took my hands, and I remember Emmett clearing his throat to begin the ceremony in his deep resonating voice, but the rest of the service was a blur. I know we recited our vows, exchanged rings, kissed, and were declared "man and wife." I know we had a beautiful reception full of toasts, dances, and happy tears. I know all of these things happened, but my next clear memory is of far later that evening when Edward said quietly into my ear, "It's time for us to go." I suddenly realized that all the guests were gone. Charlie and Renee were heading out the door now. Alice, Esme and Rosalie were doing the token tidying up that would precede the rest of the Cullen family's quick departure on a "hunting trip" for our privacy.
Once the house was empty save us two, Edward lifted me into his arms and carried me up to his room – our room. Though completely exhausted, I was suddenly wide awake and very, very aware of what would happen next. Ever the romantic, he lit candles, put on some soft music, and shed his tuxedo jacket and tie before coming over to help with my dress. He unfastened the myriad of buttons down my back with gentle fingers and unending patience, though somewhere around number twenty-four I began to giggle. His shy smile became a silly grin, and soon we were both laughing about Alice's "perfect" dress. The buttons conquered and all nervousness now laughed away, the dress fell to the floor and revealed the corset and garter set that Rosalie had insisted upon. His eyes lit again with burning emotion, but it was different than what I'd seen before. This was something more….not just love, but pure, burning desire. Passion. He lifted me gently onto the bed and stroked my face, saying simply, "My beautiful wife."
Movement behind me broke my reverie and let me know that he knew I was awake. His cool lips pressed just behind my ear as he softly greeted me, "Good morning, Mrs. Cullen."
I smiled and rolled to face him. "I could get used to hearing that."