Falling Away

--

The wind desperately tried to ruffle my hair as I looked out over the wide length of grass. I quickly pushed down my urge to rip all the pins out of my carefully designed bun and let my hair fly free, but I knew one particularly annoying little vampire would have me murdered if I did anything of the sort. Breathing deeply, I thought of how I couldn't believe this day was here. Two months ago, it had seemed impossible. I smiled as I remembered my parents' reactions to the happy news.

--

"Edward, I can't do this," I said in a pained voice as we arrived on Charlie's porch, turning around swiftly just to smash into his marble chest. I could feel him laugh silently.

"Of course you can."

I looked up at him nervously. "Is he in a good mood?"

Edward seemed to look through the door to the house. "He's alright. He caught a lot of fish today."

"Oh, joy," I mumbled. "More fish."

Edward chuckled and let a cold finger softly trace my cheekbone and make me shiver involuntarily. "It won't be so bad," he said in a low voice.

I snorted. "You won't say that when he's shot you and you'll have to explain why you didn't die."

"Silly Bella," he laughed and caressed my hair for a swift moment.

We just stood there embracing each other for a couple of minutes, while I tried to gather what little courage I could muster up. Then I sighed, freed myself of his arms and opened the door.

"Bella?"

I rolled my eyes; who else would it be? "Yeah, Dad. Edward's here, too."

"Great," I could hear him mutter. I frowned. This would be really bad.

I looked over at Edward and he gave me an encouraging nod and a wink. My heart skipped a beat and he smiled.

"Dad, could you come over here for a minute? There's something I – we need to tell you."

Charlie's head snapped up from the couch and he glared from me to Edward. I could hear Edward's low chuckle behind me, and thought I could imagine what Charlie was thinking right now. He got up wearily and joined us at the kitchen table. His eyes stayed on Edward, and I knew that had Charlie been a vampire, he would've been growling menacingly at Edward. I took a deep breath.

"Edward has asked me something," I said, wondering why I had phrased it like that. "Something important," I added quickly. Charlie frowned even deeper, his eyes still trying to burn holes into Edward's pale skin.

Edward squeezed my side comfortingly. "As you surely know by now, I love your daughter very much." Charlie looked at him suspiciously, but Edward just continued on. "Charlie, I have asked Bella to marry me."

I could see Charlie freezing up, his eyes wide.

"And I said yes," I added quietly to Edward's confession.

Charlie's eyes finally left Edward and landed on me. Then he rubbed them tiredly. "Okay," he said wearily. "That really sucks."

Edward chuckled a little, and I grinned in spite of myself. "Thanks for the support, Dad."

"Give me a break, Bella," Charlie said calmly. "My eighteen-year-old daughter just walked in and told me she's getting married. Forgive me if I don't sing and dance right away."

I put a hand on his shoulder. "There's no need for that."

He sighed and looked at me. I could see that his eyes were a bit wet, and I sincerely hoped he wouldn't let any tears fall. I didn't know how I would be able to bear it if they did.

"And there's nothing I can do to stop this?" he asked, without a single note of hope in his voice.

"Sorry," I said, patting his arm consolingly.

"Okay then," he said, sounding like he was trying to encourage himself into facing a horrible fate. "A wedding it is."

Edward smiled, kissed my forehead and turned to Charlie. "Thank you so much. I know how happy Bella is that you approve of this."

"Approve is a strong word," Charlie muttered, but Edward chose to ignore him. "And, by the way, I'm not telling Renée."

I froze in horror. Wedding-hating, overreacting Renée. I looked up at Edward in fear, and he almost laughed at the sight of my horror. Then he gave me a stern look and I gave in at once.

"Fine," I sighed. "Stupid, stubborn, gorgeous man," I muttered to myself as I made my way to the phone, knowing that only Edward would hear. Surely enough, I heard his low chuckle.

The seconds it took to dial Renée's number were probably the most terrifying in my life, and I had no idea what I would tell her when she answered.

"Hello there, Renée speaking," came her airy voice after two rings.

"Mom," I said quickly. "There's something I need to tell you."

"Hi honey! Sure, go ahead and hit me," she said, and I could hear that she was doing something else in the background. Was she trying to cook? Poor Phil.

"I'm getting married," I blurted out before I lost my nerve.

"What was that, honey? I didn't hear you. I'm trying to make a –"

"Mom," I said seriously. "I'm marrying Edward."

The phone became silent, and stayed that way so long I thought she had hung up. "Mom?"

"Well, congratulations," she said weakly, and I could hear that she was crying.

"I'm sorry, Mom, I didn't want to make you cry! I'm sorry if this makes you so unhappy, but you have to know that I really love Edward with all my heart, and I know we're going to be together forever, and –"

"Bella, I'm not unhappy," Renée wailed. "My baby is getting married!"

This time, I was numb struck. As Renée kept on babbling in my ear about her happiness and my future with Edward, I looked over at my groom-to-be. Charlie was talking his ear off, probably giving him some dire warnings, but his eyes were on me. They were a very warm toffee brown today, and they glowed when they met mine. I suddenly realized that I was marrying this beautiful creature. He was going to be mine forever.

I cried with Renée for a while after that.

--

"Bella? What are you doing here?"

I whipped around, and promptly fell off the rock I'd been perched on. Gasping, I felt a pair of marble arms securing me and placing me on my feet. I looked up into the most beautiful eyes I'd ever seen. Not able to strangle the impulse, I promptly leaned forward and pressed my lips against his.

He took a second to response, but I almost gasped into his mouth when he did. His angelic mouth moved against mine, sending hot waves of excitement through my body. When I curled my fingers in his glorious hair, he groaned and was gone. I looked at him in my daze, noting his heavy breathing. He looked so good in his old-fashioned black tuxedo.

"Oh no," I suddenly gasped. "Alice is going to kill me!"

"Why?" he asked, still trying to control his breathing.

"Edward!" I hissed. "The groom is not supposed to see the bride before the wedding. It's bad luck."

"But you're not even wearing your dress yet," he said confusedly, waving a hand at me.

I looked down. "Oh, do you think that gives us a free card?" I asked hopefully.

He held out his hand for me to take. "Let's hope so," he said, his smile slowly fading. "You are beautiful, Bella."

I placed my hand on his freezing cheek. "You're the one who's beautiful."

He chuckled and pushed his nose against mine gently. "I can't wait until we're married."

Kissing the tip of his nose, I grinned. "Believe it or not, but I can't wait either."

His grin just widened and before I knew it, we were kissing again. A minute of absolute bliss later, I could hear a loud cough behind me. Breaking free from Edward, I turned around with a firm blush coloring my cheeks.

"I'm so sorry to interrupt, dears," Esme said, smiling widely at us. "But we really need to prepare Bella for the ceremony. Also, Alice will be furious if she knew you two saw each other at all today."

I looked down at the ground in shame, but Edward just chuckled and pulled me even closer to him. "In a minute, I promise," he nodded to the woman who was his mother in every way possible.

She nodded, winked at me and turned around to enter the house. I whipped around to face Edward.

"You must've heard her standing there!" I hissed, making a gesture to slap his chest, but realizing that a broken wrist wouldn't be very good on my wedding day.

Edward just looked at me innocently. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Sure you don't," I muttered, crossing my arms.

His head snapped up to look at the house. "We have to get inside," he grinned. "Alice just had a vision."

I gasped. "We're busted?"

"Very much so, I'm afraid."

"Ah well," I shrugged and kissed him quickly. "Have a lovely wedding. I'm off to face the wrath of a very stylish vampire."

He laughed. "Tell her that I will not have a hair on my bride's head tousled.

"Please," I snorted. "Do you not see how much hairspray is in my hair right now? I'll have this hairstyle for weeks."

"Give me ten seconds later tonight and I'll fix it for you."

"It's a date."

Another kiss, and then it's off to a wedding.

--

I could practically feel Charlie's arm shake as mine encircled it. I glanced up at him and saw unshed tears in his eyes. His bottom lip was trembling helplessly, and I recognized it as one of my one personal traits. My heart clenched.

"Dad," I whispered consolingly.

He snapped around to look at me. "Hmm? Oh, I'm alright, Bells. Just give me a minute."

Alice was on my left, fussing with the skirt of my elegant crème colored vintage wedding dress, Rosalie stood behind her and smiled at me in a very unsure way. I nodded and gave her a smile and she gave me one right back. 'Good luck,' she mouthed as the music changed and my lullaby started to play. I gasped.

"What's wrong?" Charlie asked me worriedly as Rosalie turned around, rounded the corner and began her trek to the front of the wedding party.

"Nothing," I said breathlessly. "Edward wrote me this song," I added.

Charlie's jaw tightened. Alice plopped up next to me and gave me a light hug. "This is it, sweetie. I'll see you up there."

I nodded and she too rounded the corner and disappeared from view. Charlie and I were up.

"C'mere," Charlie suddenly muttered when we were supposed to begin to walk, and I was suddenly enveloped in a warm and slightly awkward embrace.

I patted him consolingly on the back and smiled in spite of myself. Poor Charlie, this marriage would give him a heart attack if this kept up.

"Let's go," I said and took a deep breath.

Charlie nodded, steered me around the corner, and I was suddenly met with one of the most beautiful sights I'd ever seen.

The Cullens had transformed their beautiful backyard into what could only be described as a tasteful wonderland. White silk bands formed a sort of intricate web almost as a ceiling and long candles were placed everywhere. The green grass and almost red sky contrasted wonderfully with all the white. When I had taken all this in, I looked straight ahead. My breath was knocked out of me in an instant.

"Edward," I whispered.

He was, of course, wearing the same tuxedo as before, but the look in his eyes was dramatically different. There was no way to describe how thoroughly I could feel the love he had for me emanating all around me. Tears sprang into my eyes and started to flow freely. I looked at Jasper, who smirked at me, and knew that he had a hand in the amount of tears I was releasing. Beside Edward, Emmett was standing, trying to look serious in his all black suit. Rosalie and Alice stood on the other side of him, both beaming at me. I looked down at my dress and Alice gave me a subtle thumbs up. My eyes automatically fell back onto Edward, and I wondered at my luck. What had I ever done to deserve this man?

"Friends," Emmett said when Charlie and I had reached the front. Charlie shook Edward's hand, hugged me quickly and left to sit next to a blubbering Renée in the front row. Esme was handing her a steady flow of tissues while Carlisle smiled proudly upon me and Edward. Edward took my hands and stroked his thumbs over my skin, never breaking eye contact.

"We are gathered here today to celebrate a most joyous union," Emmett continued. I was actually pretty impressed and surprised at his seriousness. "Believe it or not, Bella has agreed to put up with my dear brother Edward for the rest of her life."

The crowd laughed a little, and both Edward and I smiled. I was so glad we had Emmett as minister, no other would have made the wedding into a fun service which was full of love all the same.

"This is neither the time nor place to ask questions like why, so I will accept her wishes and bind them together for life. Edward, what is your reason for wanting to marry this lovely woman?"

Edward smiled at Emmett, with a slight warning in his eyes, and then turned to me.

"Bella," he said seriously. "When I stand here with you I feel, of course, love and happiness. But the strongest feeling is gratitude. I can't believe you picked me. You picked me as your mate for life and I have done nothing but love you since then. I will devote my entire life to making you happy and try to make you not regret your decision. I love you with all my heart."

"Wow," Emmett said, pretending to wipe away a tear. I laughed through my enormous amounts of tears. The love I felt for Edward right now was reaching unbelievable heights. "Bella, your vows, please?"

"Edward," I said nervously. I really wanted him to believe me. "You already know how much I love you. I'm giving you my life and my future and I know that you give me the same in return. I don't know what I can say to you more than to ask you to always remember that I love you. I love you because of who you are, because you save me and because you love me. I can't wait to be your wife."

I knew he needed to hear my reassurances, and I could see in his face that he wanted nothing more than to kiss me.

"Well," said Emmett, clapping his hands once. "I have nothing more to say except; I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss Bella, Edward."

Edward grinned and leaned forwards to capture my lips. I smiled against his and let my hands land in his hair, pulling him tightly against me. The crowd applauded and cheered us on. I could hear Angela's catcall and Jessica's giggles from somewhere. Then, before I knew it, we were posing for pictures.

Edward had his arm around my waist and squeezed it every so often, my blush seemed permanently in place and no one could get Renée to stop crying.

The wedding party went by in a blur. Everyone I loved stood up to give a speech and I had never been happier in my life than when Charlie stood up and declared that he wished us all luck and that Edward was a good man. I cried and hugged him as soon as he'd stopped talking while he patted my back awkwardly and blushed deeply.

It was over all too soon, and I suddenly realized what was about to come. I was sitting at the head table talking to Alice and Rosalie when Alice's eyes suddenly glazed over. After a minute, she came 

back and grinned. "Come on, Rose, let's go find our men." She grabbed Rosalie by the wrist and dragged her off, and then she turned around to give me a wink.

A moment later, Edward sat down in her vacated spot. "Hello Mrs. Cullen," he said in a husky voice, his eyes sparkling.

I chuckled and an amazing feeling soared through me at the name. "Mr. Cullen," I nodded.

"Have I told you how absolutely mouthwatering you look tonight?" He kissed my hand, staring into my eyes.

"Oh, I'd say only about a million times." I rolled my eyes.

"Only a million? That's shameful of me."

I laughed as he swept me up into his arms and carried me from the candlelit garden into the house and up the stairs, where we would begin our future together.

--

Author's note: I know, I know. I should be working on Pulling Heaven Down (PS: A new chapter will be up shortly), but I really wanted my version of the wedding out there before Breaking Dawn hits the shelves. I really hope you like this.

(Sorry about eventual grammatical errors, I really need a beta.)