Pre wedding, directly prior to vows Chapter 1
Bella's POV:As the once bright sun once again succumbed to the clouds that ruled in Forks, I stared anxiously out Alice's window. There was no turning back, today was the day and thanks to Alice, there was no escaping it. As usual she went overboard, from the invitations and decorations to the music. For weeks I tried to reign Alice in but there was just no stopping her. None of this was last minute for Alice as she had this planned for who knows how long. The flowers that were to adorn the Cullen's home had been specially grown in Italy, the candles hand made at a Shaker village in Kentucky and the cake had been designed by Alice, shipped in from London that morning. Esme was able to at least temper her in enough to keep the wedding's location at their home.
It was just too much, although Renee didn't think so. When I had thought about telling Renee the only response I could imagine was sheer and utter disgust. I was sure that she would either pass out or quite possibly put me in shackles to stop the process. Amazingly enough she was thrilled, which made Alice all the more excited! Renee had cried, then laughed, then she cried some more. I thought for sure she would be my ally in the plot to over throw Edward and Alice's plan, but Edward made sure that was not going to happen.
A strategically placed phone call from Edward a couple of days ahead of time did the trick. Edward explained to her that I was just too scared to call her about my acceptance letter to Dartmouth. I was supposedly scared because I knew that Renee would sell her soul to pay my way to Dartmouth and I didn't want her to do that. He blathered on to her how important my education was to him and his family. In the end the romance novel side of Renee won out and she was putty in his hands. So when I announced to her that I was going to marry him she couldn't have been more thrilled, of course Dartmouth and Edward's tuition money were requirements for her blessing. It took me two days to force the real story out of Edward but he finally caved.
I did however find my ally, Charlie, but after finding this ally I wished that he had been more like Renee. He was devastated. I don't think I can recall a time when I had seen Charlie truly cry, well other than when his friend Harry Clearwater had died a year ago. But to cry over me, this was something wholly different. We fought for three days strait, the third day was more like a match to see who would even speak first. I never wanted to cause him such grief. It wasn't so much that he hated Edward anymore, I was just too young, Dartmouth or not. During the arguments there were times when I could have sworn that he was more worried about Edward than me. Once he had even yelled "Well, what the hell's Edward going to do when you leave him, walk out the door on him? You're both just too young!" I figured that it had dredged up all of the old feelings of love and hate that Charlie still felt toward Renee. To this day I don't think he has ever gotten over her or maybe it was just that he had never gotten over the way she left.
Just when I thought that I would have to have Carlisle or someone like Billy Black walk me down the isle Edward's family stepped in. Carlisle and Esme conspicuously ran into Charlie at their house. Something about a large group of bears running around on their property if I recall correctly. Of course the discussion and searching for the bears quickly turned into the discussion of Edward and I. Jasper was not innocent in the plot either. He stood quietly and closely by Charlie, so after an hour of this Charlie left discussing what color tuxedo he would be wearing. Of course after he was clear of the Cullen's home all of that anxiety returned but I figured that he was just too much of a man of his word to go back on it.
"Just get down the isle," I repeated over and over in my head. I knew if I could just get down that isle that the rest of it would be simple. Well, maybe not simple but my mind was set, as was the date for my renovations. After marring him he could not say no, he would not go back on his word. I had played the scene over and over again in my head. What would it feel like, well outside of the scorching , burning pain afterward, but how would it feel when he did it? I didn't want to get my hopes up but I in my mind I imagined it to be the epitome of sensual. When James bit me it was the epitome of fear and anguish, I had never felt such fear before. So I wanted to imagine that as much as I feared James, I loved Edward in the equal.
Just as I was toiling with my day dreams Alice popped her head in the door. Her beautiful Sweetie eyes were filled with excitement as she pranced over to the window to sit next to me "Oh, Bella," her emotions pouring over "You look," she paused rearranging her smile to a grimace "Well," she paused again "You look so sad."
The last thing that I wanted to do was upset Alice, she had worked so hard. So I mustered up the best smile I could "I was just watching the sun start to set," I smiled uneasy. "It is just about Edward's favorite time of day, twilight." A smile easing across my face, this smile I didn't have to force. Although the sun was partially hidden by the clouds I could still see the scraggling streams of light sneaking out from behind them. "Now that's my Bella." She chimed and quickly grabbed the can of aerosol hairspray off her vanity, releasing the compound onto my array of spiral curls. "Angela will be here any minute," she added. "She is going to look so amazing when I am done with her." As usual I had been Alice's dress up doll, I was getting used to it to be quite honest. But poor Angela, she was pretty down to Earth, much like me. She would have to endure the next hour with as much patience as a patron saint. Alice was more than thrilled that she was going to be my maid of honor but after much deliberation and blank stares from Alice she concluded that Angela was feeling left out. I wasn't sure if Alice was just trying to make the wedding more like a wedding or if Angela's feelings were truly hurt. Gauging by Angela's reaction to my request, which was jumping around like a wild rabbit and squealing a bit, I knew Alice was right.
Just as Alice was about to layer more blush on my pale cheeks Esme saved me. "Alice," she called from the bottom of the steps. Her voice was almost inaudible to me, but Alice jumped quickly and in a quite sing-song voice she replied "Coming." Upon opening the door she let out just a slight squeal, turning to face me again "It's Angela," and she danced fluently out of sight. In my mind I thanked Angela for the alone time but groaned out loud for Angela's sake.
I could hear the ticking of the clock which sat staring at me from across the room. It was as if the clock were a time bomb in my head, a time bomb that was set to go off in less than an hour. At this point I really wished it was a time bomb, it would go off and all of this would be postponed. That however, would also postpone other more pressing plans. As time passed the clock's ticking seemed more melodic letting me once again slip off into my day dreams. I could see his perfectly sculpted face with the crooked smile that took my breath away. We were alone in his room staring deep into each others eyes. The sweet smell of his skin seemed to envelop me. I inhaled deeply at the thought of Edward's smell; just as I exhaled the door to Alice's room flew open. Jerking my head around out of my thoughts, I looked to the door and there stood Angela. She ran into the room and hid behind me.
"What's wrong?" I demanded as I jumped from the rocking chair I had been sitting in. My face was that of shock and horror. Had Jasper lost control and quite possibly thought of Angela as a mid evening snack. "Are you ok?" I questioned. "Make her stop," she pleaded with me. "Make, who, what? What are you talking about?" I shuttered to think.
"Alice," she replied with a little laugh. "That's not funny Angela, you scared me! I thought something serious happened," I exclaimed. "Around here you never know what could happen," I murmured under my breath. As if my nerves were not already frazzled enough.
Angela looked up to me with pleading eyes "I'm sorry, Alice said she thought it would conjure a laugh out of you."
I managed to snicker out a small laugh so that I wouldn't clue Angela in on the fact that I really didn't want to get married today. "I am just really nervous." This wasn't a lie, I was nervous. "If I had to pick a day to compare it to . . ." I trailed off. Well there just wasn't one, at least not one I could tell her. "This is by far worse than the first day at a new school." I finally managed to find an analogy that she may understand. "Ew," she muttered "That bad?"
"And then some," I replied.
"Well, then me coming up here to tell you it's time is not going to help much is it?" she smiled a weary smile and lifted one eyebrow.
"Time?" I questioned. Where did time go? I whirled around to look at the sky and then to the clock across the room. Bitterly I thought of how that little round clock with its menacing hands had betrayed me. My eyes began to fill with moisture but Angela did not make a sound, only holding out her hand and wrapping mine inside it.
"He loves you Bella," She finally spoke as we neared the doorway. "By the way, I know you shouldn't see each other before hand, but I don't think a description hurts does it?"
A smile crept across my lips as they parted ever so slightly; I quietly shook my head and whispered "No."
"He is so amazing Bella, I think he looks even more beautiful than usual."
Is that possible I thought quietly to myself, could he look more beautiful than usual? Just seeing him when I wake up on a usual day could take my breath away; for him to be even more beautiful, could I bear that? In my plainness, how could I compare to even MORE beautiful than usual. I couldn't think of that now, I had to relax. The palms of my hands were starting to sweat. I wringed my hand inside of Angela's wondering if she would notice. It was all going to be okay. I just had to keep my mind focused on the afterward, toward the future. Oh, and that Jasper was going to be right there in the same room, right beside Edward. He would take the edge off.
Angela and I walked down the hallway to meet with Alice, Rosalie and Esme. As soon as I turned into Carlisle's room I thought that Esme was going to burst into tears. If that were possible, I am sure she would have. Esme looked as if she could not have been more pleased with Edward's human choice. She sauntered toward me, wrapping me in her cold embrace. Without thinking she included Angela in this embrace. Angela jumped at the touch of Esme's cold, marble arms wrapping around her. She had a very strange look on her face. Esme quickly pulled back. From the look on her face she realized that she had put herself in such close proximity with Angela. Her expression was a mix of embarrassment and fear. Quickly, I moved to Esme's side with a huge smile on my face, trying to erase the tension, wrapping my arm around her back "So are we all ready to see me get hitched?" I managed to laugh out and the tension melted as everyone began to laugh as well.
Alice had made very sure not to alert Angela to her cold, marble skin during dress up time by using a set of latex gloves when she was applying her make-up. Now after all that extra effort, Esme, with one out of place hug had questions brewing in Angela's mind. Alice quickly handed Angela her flowers and searched her eyes for any uneasiness. Coyly Alice looked up at me and smiled and gave an inconspicuous nod. My heart seemed to fall back into its normal, well almost normal rhythm. Then came the knock. I will likely remember that knock for the rest of my life. It was as if my life were knocking at the door, waiting to start. The handle turned and there was Charlie. Esme's eyes met with mine and then turned to Charlie "I think we should go girls, let's wait in the hall." As my future family and my friend walked through the doorway Angela turned back to say "He loves you too Bella," and then disappeared leaving me alone with Charlie.
"Wow, some house they've got here huh Bells?" in more of a question than a statement. "Yeah, to say the least," I replied. "Well, now I guess this is the part where I tell you that I hope you make each other happy and all that blah, blah stuff?" Charlie muttered. Looking around the room it seemed as if he were trying to avoid me all together. I knew how bad Charlie was at this stuff so I thought I would let him off the hook. I took two quick steps toward him and wrapped my arms around his waist. Strangely, my eyes once again filled with moisture. I knew that this would be one of the last times that I would still be Charlie's Bella. I would soon only be Edward's Bella. I wondered at that moment if I would ever see Charlie again. The tears spilled over as he returned the embrace. "I love you Bells, from the moment you were born, I loved you. You were my day and my night," he said getting very sentimental. "When your Mom, well, when you came back..." he stopped.
I looked up at him, this man who held me so dearly to his heart "I know Dad."
He smiled a happy grin that filled his entire face, his eyes filling up with those traitor tears that we both so hated "Does he make you happy?" He questioned.
"Yes," I whispered as I leaned my head on his chest.
"Then let's go get this over with before Renee has a panic attack down there. She is hyperventilating as we speak," he laughed as he wiped his eyes. And it was time……
As Charlie led me to the stairs I could feel my muscles becoming more rigid. I closed my eyes as he wrapped his long arm around mine. This was it, when I opened my eyes I would see Edward and his stunning beauty before my eyes. I could barely stand the suspense. We were there, at the top. I forced my eyes to open and take in the magnificence that was Alice's work. She had held me hostage in her room the entire day. I quickly scanned the room for Edward. Were my eyes deceiving me, where is he I thought to myself? Why was he not standing next to Jasper? Then the faint sound of my song, my lullaby began to play. My eyes flew quickly toward the sound only to find the most magnificent creature gazing back at me as he played my song. All the questions melted away, all of the fear and tension were gone. Only he existed, only his love only his still heart. I could barely swallow, my breath caught in my chest and my heart pounded furiously. Charlie began to walk forward but I couldn't move. He looked toward me, deep in my eyes. I know he could see it, it was unmistakable. He could then see how much I loved Edward. I could see how much I loved Edward. I wanted to barrel down the steps and throw myself into his arms and profess my love for him. I wanted to be his wife, the thought shocked me as much as his beauty did. If it were not for Charlie I think I would have skipped several steps just to get to him, of course I was happy Charlie was there otherwise I would have tripped, I'm sure. Then I realized what Alice had recreated in the wide open space of the front of their home, the meadow. It was just like our meadow, but with other people. The emotion was overwhelming, beautiful flowers, the trees, the grass she didn't miss a thing. Even the lighting reminded me of that day, well minus Edward glittering. But he was glittering, he was shining from behind his piano. His eyes did not leave me as he played. He had wanted this so badly but he wanted me to be happy too, I was.
As Charlie and I reached the bottom step I had to remind myself to breathe and my body obeyed, taking in a deep and exalting breath. He flashed his beautiful smile my way and my heart seemed to splutter. I could not help but to let my lips part into an embarrassing ear splitting smile. I could tell this pleased him. Esme rose out of her seat at the front of the room and sat on the piano bench beside Edward. As the song hit a slow point Esme's hands began to play the melodic tune and Edward stepped aside. I watched as he rose from the piano in all his glory. He took a few human strides and reached his spot beside Jasper. Jasper looked over to him and then back up to me in awe. With his gift I am sure he could feel the love between us which made me beam even more.