Weddings were evil, evil things. I had just pressed myself into a skintight piece of garment that, supposedly, was a bridesmaid's dress. This whole maid of honor thing so wasn't worth this. Hell, even Angela had let out a little laugh when she had seen me.
It was really, really tight with a puffy skirt. It was a pretty navy blue color, but I still felt like a ridiculous birthday cake. I didn't understand why Alice and Rosalie's dresses looked so much better than mine.
"Don't worry, Bella," Rosalie had assured me while we waited for the ceremony to begin. "You have the ass for it." And then she smacked said ass.
I looked at her in shock, but couldn't help the chuckle that built inside of me. "Thanks," I muttered, shaking my head but still smiling.
We were standing at the entrance to the church, shaking hands and welcoming the guests. My stomach was fluttering and I wished I could just take out all the pins that were holding my curls in place. I was starting to get a massive headache. I glanced at Rose for what must have been the millionth time, but she shook her head slightly. Edward hadn't arrived yet. I didn't know what I would do when I saw him. Cry? Hit him? Shake his hand and welcome him to the ceremony?
I mostly just wanted to kiss him.
Another twenty minutes must have passed before a loud and burly laugh reached my oversensitive ears. "Babe, you look like a marshmallow!"
I let out a snort of laughter. Emmett was here. I could see Rose growl and give his arm a violent smack. Emmett laughed but I could see him rubbing his arm when Rose looked away. I suddenly froze. Emmett was here. My eyes caught a shimmer of bronze behind him and my heart stopped. There he was, craning his neck and looking around. He was slightly taller than the others around him, save Emmett and Jasper, so I could see his face clearly. He kept swallowing and his eyes flickered around at a frantic pace. How had I survived through two whole weeks without seeing his face? Jasper stood next to him and suddenly seemed to see me. His face broke out into a wide grin and he came over.
"Hey, Bella," he said and gave me a quick hug.
"Hi," I said, trying to look around him at Edward. His neck looked a little flushed and he was looking away.
"Wow," Jasper said, "you look…"
"Like someone wants me to suffer?" I supplied. Jasper laughed.
"Well, I guess we should take our seats," he said, still smiling. I nodded and give him directions to sit on the left side of the church. He nodded and walked down the aisle, and Edward followed him without even a glance my way. Emmett had noticed me, though, and came over to embrace me violently enough for my feet to leave the ground.
"Bells!" he boomed. "You look like a pastry chef's wet dream!"
I laughed and coughed. He got the hint and put me down. I swayed, but he secured me with a hand on my arm. "I'll see you after the ceremony," he said, winked at me and began pushing his way down the aisle to sit next to Edward.
I could see Emmett leaning into Edward and telling him something. Edward smiled ruefully and turned around. My eyes caught his for an eternal second, before my cheeks flushed and I looked away. My heart was thumping violently against my ribcage, and I put a hand against it, trying to get my heartbeat to slow. How did he do this to me with just a look?
A hand landed on my shoulder and rubbed it gently. I looked up to see Rosalie smiling at me. "You okay?"
I nodded and took a deep breath. "I get it," she said and winked at me. "The bastard is looking good enough to eat." She bristled at Edward for a second, as if she thought it was a personal affront that he wasn't suddenly a hunchback, or at least had gotten a very bad haircut.
"I know," I sighed. "Stupid man."
Rose smiled at me and put an arm around my shoulders.
The ceremony was beautiful, and I was happy to say that I made my way down the aisle on Ben's best man's arm without any accidents or broken bones. During the whole ceremony, my focus was on one thing: do not look at Edward. The few times I failed, he was staring at me. My neck was warm in a constant blush at feeling his eyes on me again; I didn't think I ever would. My head swam and my palms were slick with nervous sweat. When Angela and Ben kissed, declaring their eternal love for each other, I caught Edward's eye. He was once again staring at me, his eyes smoldering. Rosalie was right; he looked almost too handsome in his black suit and thin black tie.
When the ceremony was over, we all drove over to the ballroom Angela's father had booked for the occasion. White roses were strewn over the tables, with creamy white garments hanging from the ceiling. The shining wooden floors looked positively life threatening to me, and I vowed to not even try to walk without hanging onto someone. Right now, the person closest to me was Ben's best man, Tyler Crowley. He was another old acquaintance from high school and he was nice enough.
"Tyler," I whispered and nudged him discreetly. He leaned down so I could reach his ear. "I'll just hang onto your arm if that's alright."
He chuckled but nodded and offered me his right arm. I took it thankfully and let him lead me to the head table. I followed Edward almost religiously; watching him walking in next to Emmett, who was talking and gesturing without stop. Edward laughed at something Emmett said, and my stomach lurched. How I missed him. Every fiber in my whole body just called out to him, begging me to walk over and kiss him deeply. I fought the urge with all I had, just barely succeeding. It was overwhelming.
I sat down next to a beaming Angela, who never took her eyes off Ben. Tyler smiled at me and went over to sit by Ben's side. Next to me was Alice, and Rosalie was on the other side of her. They both looked at me, probably trying to calculate how close I was to a breakdown. I gave them a small nod to assure them of my mental stability, though I wasn't sure about it myself.
Satisfied with my gesture, Alice stood up and clicked her fork against her empty wine glass. The polite conversation that had been flooding through the hall quickly died out and Alice cleared her throat.
"Hello everyone!" she said excitedly, almost jumping up and down. I could hear Emmett let out a booming laugh, which made everyone else chuckle for a moment. Then the silence continued. "I'd like to welcome you all to the wedding of two of the most amazing people in the world. It has been my pleasure planning it for the last four months, and I wish you all the happiness in the world." She blew Angela and Ben a kiss, making them giggle and kissing quickly. "Well, not that I've got that off my chest, let's eat!"
Everybody cheered as numerous waiters filed through the doors behind our table, placing huge trays on every table. Spirits were high as course after course was brought out. Too soon, it was time for my speech. Tyler had given a very humorous speech about Ben's younger and slightly wilder days and I had a feeling that everyone was hoping I'd be just as entertaining. I took a very deep breath and stood up.
"Hello everyone," I said and was relieved to hear that my voice wasn't shaking. "We're here tonight to celebrate that these two love each other." I gestured to Angela and Ben, who leaned into each other and beamed at me. "That's pretty obvious, right?" I winked, and thankfully there was laughter. "Everyone deserves to find someone, just as Angela has found Ben, but life isn't always fair. That's why this is such a cause for celebration. Angela and Ben are promising to love each other forever, no matter how hard it might get." I dared a glance at Edward. He was staring at me, his jaw clenched. I couldn't read his eyes. "And it might get very hard sometimes. Luckily, Ben already knows about Angela's addiction to cleaning." Laughter again. "Well, I wish you a long and sickeningly happy life together. I love you both. To Angela and Ben!" I raised my glass and all the guests did the same. Before I sat down, I added, "Oh, and Ben, always remember to put down the toilet seat. I read somewhere that not doing that is the biggest cause for divorce."
Everybody cheered and laughed, and I let out a breath in relief. Alice leaned into me, grinning broadly. "That was great, Bella!"
Angela squeezed my arm and pulled me into a tight hug. "Thank you, that was perfect." She turned to Ben. "And it might've sounded like she joked about the toilet seat, but I hope you know better."
Ben grinned, "Yes, dear." And then he kissed her soundly.
I smiled at them, but a part of me clenched in jealousy. Not knowing what to do with myself, I got up to go to the ladies' room. I could at least check my make up.
When I got out of the hall and into the beautiful corridor that led to the entrance, I noticed someone leaning against the wall next to the bathroom doors. Edward. I took a sharp breath in shock. I didn't want to do this. He noticed the sound and looked over at me. When he recognized me, he stiffened and stood up straight, facing me.
"Hi," he said in a low voice. He didn't smile.
"Hi," I imitated him. We looked at each other for a moment. In that moment, I was reliving every second I had ever spent with him. Long nights in his arms, that night in front of the fire with cocoa, kissing him at the Literati. When I realized he wasn't about to say anything else, I sighed. Brushing past him, I made my way into the ladies' room and just had time to lock myself into a stall before breaking down into tears.
When I had finally gotten my make up in order and had returned to the ballroom, the dancing had begun. I could spot Alice steering Jasper across the floor, while Rose was moving against Emmett. I shook my head slowly; was there anywhere they didn't feel the need to constantly rub up against each other? I couldn't really blame them, though. They were in love.
I plopped down onto my chair at the high table and took a sip of my wine. Trying to look around discreetly, I found that I couldn't see Edward anywhere. I frowned, disappointed. Then I felt a hand on my shoulder. I swung around, eagerly expecting to find Edward, but instead found Tyler.
"Whoa, hey," he said, startled by my sudden movement.
"Hi," I tried not to sigh.
"I wondered if you would like to dance with me?" he asked. I looked at him. He even seemed a little nervous.
"Sure, okay. But if you need to amputate any toes after this, I am not to be held responsible."
"Right," he laughed. "Duly noted."
He held out his hand and I took it, allowing him to lead me out onto the slippery floor. His hand landed on my waist and mine gripped his shoulder. We started to move with the song that was playing. He was dancing while I was mostly trying to stay on my feet. Damn high heels.
"If you don't relax you're gonna have an aneurysm," Tyler chuckled.
"You're concentrating so hard on your feet, I'm scared you'll burst something," he winked at me.
I blushed a little. "I'm not very good at dancing. Or walking."
"Well, we can't have everything," he said.
I smiled at him and nodded. I was actually beginning to enjoy myself. Tyler was a good dancer and I hadn't fallen down even once. That was when I felt his hand suddenly resting slightly lower on my back. I groaned internally. We would have to have a conversation. I looked at him with an eyebrow raised, but he just grinned and shrugged.
Damn men. Why couldn't you just have a good time without it being sexual? It seemed to be genetically impossible. If you didn't see them as asexual brothers, like I did Emmett and Jasper.
When I was pondering how to get Tyler's hand off my ass without falling and breaking something, he suddenly stopped dancing. I looked up in confusion and saw Edward standing there with his hand on Tyler's shoulder.
"May I cut in?" he asked coldly, though it didn't even sound like a question. I saw Tyler wishing he could just shrink away.
"Sure," he croaked. I understood his fear; Edward's eyes were terrifying when he was angry.
And then I was where I had dreamt of being; in his arms. A slower song was playing now and he gently swayed us in time to it. My thoughts were scattered, feeling his body against mine again made me dizzy.
"Thanks," I finally croaked.
"Saving me from getting groped by Ben's best man," I said seriously.
He chuckled darkly. "My pleasure, believe me."
His hands loosened around me and I widened my eyes in panic. He looked at me. "Well, I guess you don't need my assistance anymore."
"Wait," I said, feeling embarrassed, but it was worth it if it would give me some more time in his arms. He stared at me without expression. "He might come back," I said in a low voice, feeling stupid.
I could see his jaw working as he nodded and swept me into his arms again. I felt triumphant, resting my cheek against his neck. "I don't know if I should say this," I mumbled, the blush creeping across my cheeks, "but I missed you."
He stiffened slightly. "Really?"
I looked up at him and nodded fervently. "Terribly."
His eyes were suddenly very intense. "And what about Jacob Black?"
"How did - ?"
"I got an angry call from Rosalie," he said, smiling slightly. "This Monday. She told me about you and Jacob, and how the kiss –"
I slapped a hand across my forehead. "The kiss! You saw the kiss! That's what happened, of course." I was mostly talking to myself now.
"I did," he nodded, looking slightly sad. "Rosalie told me it was involuntary, though. Was she telling me the truth?"
I smacked his shoulder without thinking. "Of course she was! Oh, you're so stupid! You made me cry over you for two weeks for something I didn't even do?"
He looked shocked. "You cried over me?"
I felt like crying right then and there, he was making me so frustrated. "Edward," I said, fighting the urge to stomp my foot. "Listen to me. When I told you that I loved you, I wasn't lying or exaggerating."
His eyes were shining and I put my hand against his cheek. "Can you please stop being an idiot now?" I asked him, trying to keep a straight face.
"I guess I'll try," he shrugged. Then he grinned and pulled me tighter against him, breathing into my hair. "Oh God, how I've missed you. You smell spectacular."
"Gee, thanks," I giggled, but my heart was soaring.
Alice caught my eye from over Edward's shoulder. She was waving frantically, looking like she might explode. Jasper laughed at her but gave me a subtle wink. I smiled at them and refocused on Edward.
"Bella…" he breathed before leaning down.
I caught his lips with mine, almost groaning at the feeling of him again. There was nothing like this feeling; I couldn't understand why we'd ever stopped kissing each other. My hands wound in his hair and tugged him even closer while his hands pulled my waist tighter against him. Normally, I would be embarrassed by this extremely public display of affection, but this was an exception. I had my Edward back.
We broke apart for air and I laughed breathlessly, resting my forehead against his. We stared at each other. "Edward," I said, trying not to giggle. "Will you please be my boyfriend again?"
He chuckled. "Yes, Bella. I would like that very much."
I smiled at our immature reunion, and pressed my face against his neck again.
This time I wouldn't let anything come in our way.
A/N: Whee, a fast update! And I just got 400 reviews! Thank you all so much.
I don't really know if this is the end, to be honest. There will probably be an epilogue at least. What do you guys think? More plot, an epilogue or is this the end?
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