Chapter 50: The Decision
News of our engagement graced the cover of every newspaper, magazine, and tabloid. We were the "IT" couple, and everyone was itching for an interview. Yet, Bella and I had decided not to speak to the press again until Parliament reached a decision.
Rosalie and Emmett had left back home two days after our official announcement. Both of them had jobs waiting for them in Washington, and would be unable to stay for the vote. I knew that Bella wished that they could've stayed.
"Today is the day," Bella commented as we stayed in bed the morning of the vote. My father had the staff looking at every book he could find to see if there was a way around the vote.
"You know nothing that can possibly happen today will change a single thing." I reminded her running my fingers through her soft hair before kissing her lightly.
"I just wish there was a way I could ensure you your position." She added, as I hugged her into me.
"The only position that I care about is that of your husband." I replied as she snuggled closer to me. We were going to enjoy these last few moments before we were expected to appear before Parliament.
"How are things going to work today?" She inquired curiously.
"Well, Alice, my mother, and you will be allowed to view the debate from a sectioned off balcony, but are not allowed to participate. My father will address Parliament first and then I will petition them to allow me to marry you." I explained holding her close to me.
"Then what happens?" She questioned as I sighed.
"Two members of Parliament are allowed to speak. One in favor and one not in favor. Robert Cheney will speak on our behalf and I believe Aro will be speaking against us." I continued.
"What are our chances?" She asked sitting up and looking at me, her eyes were full of concern.
"I don't know, love." I replied honestly wishing I had a better answer for her.
"But your father will still be King even if they vote against us, right?" She stated biting her lip nervously.
"They can't take away his crown, Bella. The issue will come when he passes away or is no longer physically or mentally capable of running the country." I replied taking a deep breath.
"I love you, Edward." She whispered into my neck.
"I love you too," He answered giving me a kiss and a hug.
I had kissed Edward goodbye before being ushered with Esme and Alice into a balcony that over looked the entire Parliament floor. I was extremely nervous over what was going to happen. And, I really wished that I could have some say in what was going to happen.
Parliament was a huge room covered with tall columns and dark mahogany desks that formed a half circle around a podium and two thrones, one slightly higher than the other. It was an impressive building. I just wished I could have been visiting under different circumstances.
We all stood up as Carlisle and Edward entered the room after the announcements were made. Edward took his seat on the lower of the two thrones as Carlisle stood behind the podium.
"Members of Parliament, I thank you all for being here for this special session. This session has great importance to me personally, to my family, and to our entire country as a whole." He spoke making eye contact with different members. His voice held great authority, and you couldn't help but respect him.
"I will have Prince Edward address you at this time." He finished motioning for Edward to take over.
"Members of Parliament," Edward began in a formal tone. Like his father he held great authority when he spoke. "As you have all heard by now, I have chosen a woman which I would like to make my wife. Isabella Swan is a great woman with a big heart, and will one day make a great Queen. I urge you all to accept her the way I have."
Edward stepped away from the podium before taking his seat by his father. It was now up to Ben's father and Aro.
Robert Cheney was the first to get up and take Edward's place behind the podium on the microphone. He was such a nice gentleman, and I really hoped he had what it took to convince those members that had yet to make up their mind. There was some that were against us, and nothing would ever change that.
"I'm here today for many reasons. I am close friend of the Royal Family, have met Isabella Swan personally, and have a son who works closely with Prince Edward on a regular basis." He started. "Isabella Swan is not your average girl, and I'm sure we can all agree on that. It takes a truly remarkable woman to catch the eye of our Prince."
"Isabella, or Bella as she prefers, is a quiet girl with big aspirations. She is well educated and graduated with top honors. She has a degree in History with a concentration in International Relations."
"She has captured our Prince Edward's heart, and I have heard nothing but praises from my son. I have no doubt that those two are made for each other. They are the perfect match, and will one day be a great King and Queen." He finished looking up at where I was sitting and smiling.
I genuinely felt that he had done his absolute best. I couldn't have asked for a better speech on our behalf.
"Is our country ready for major changes? Are we ready for an American Queen?" Aro asked as he took over the podium. "I'm sure that Isabella is a wonderful young woman, and would make any man extremely happy. But, the woman who ends up with our Prince Edward will also one day rule our country. My question is whether she is ready or not?"
"She is very well educated as Mr. Cheney pointed out, but she has no experience in the political world of our country. How can she run a country she doesn't fully understand?"
I cringed at his words as I felt Esme and Alice each take one of my hands in support. It didn't come as a complete surprise. I knew he was going attack my lack of knowledge, but it still hurt to hear.
He stepped back before returning to his seat. His speech had been much shorter than I had anticipated. Everything had gone by much faster than I had thought. It was now up to the votes.
Carlisle stood up, a brief look of concern passed his face before it was schooled back to normal. "Both sides of the issues have been heard." He said looking around the room. "The choice is left in your hands. Due to the importance of the issue there will be a recorded vote instead of voice voting. Please deposit your vote in the provided ballot box. The results will be announced by our Press Secretary following an hour break."
I watched as every Member of Parliament stood up to cast their vote. Once each vote was collected Carlisle and I were the first allowed to leave, and I immediately raced up the stairs to the small room that bordered the balcony were Bella was watching.
As soon as I walked in I was assaulted by Bella's tight hug. "I'm scared." She admitted as I kissed her forehead.
My father was trying to make calls to find out if any loophole had been found. Laws were full of loopholes, and I knew there had to be one.
"We'll find out soon enough." I whispered as Bella hugged me.
"I want everything to work out." She mumbled as Alice approached us patting her back.
"It will," She assured us and I really hoped she was right.
We had lunch brought up for all of us, but I couldn't blame Bella for not eating. I wasn't able take more than just a few bites of my own food. We would find out at the same time as everyone else, and the results would be broadcast throughout the world.
"Bella, I will marry you no matter what happens." I reminded her once we were left alone. My mother and Alice had gone to their seats while my father was waiting outside for me. They all understood that we needed a few minutes to ourselves.
"I know," She whispered pressing her lips to mine. "I love you."
"As do I, my love." I replied kissing her lips before watching her cross the room and joining my mother and sister on the balcony.
"I'm proud of you, Son." Carlisle said as we were escorted by our guards down to our place.
"For?" I inquired.
"For standing up for your love. It takes a lot of courage to do what you're doing. I have taught you well." He finished patting my back before we were announced and had to enter the floor.
After we took our seat, Angela was announced and she took her spot on the podium to make the announcement. "Out of 100 Parliamentary Votes, 49 votes are in favor of Prince Edward's marriage to Isabella Swan while 51 are against the marriage."
I felt my heart break at her announcement. We had lost by such a slim margin, and I would be forced to give up the throne. My eyes fell on Aro who sat by Marcus and Caius all who seemed extremely pleased with the outcome.
I looked up at the balcony watching Bella as she stood up resisting the comforting words of Alice and Esme. She simply stood up and walked out. I had no idea where she was headed, and my father had to place his hand on mine to stop me from running out of the session to get her.
I heard mumbling all around me, and I was at a total loss. I had no intention of leaving Bella that would not happen. She was the most important aspect of my life. I loved Volterra, and I had hoped to one day be a great King. But, without Bella I would not be a great King, it was not possible.
The door on the far left opened and I saw Bella walk in and purposely stride over to the podium. I could tell she was nervous, but she still carried an air of great confidence. She had a purpose.
"If I can have a moment of your time," She spoke directly into the microphone as everyone immediately stopped talking their eyes locking on Bella.
"Thank you," She answered with a polite smile. "As many of you know I'm Isabella Swan, Prince Edward's fiancée. I understand that many of you are cautious of having me one day be your Queen. I wasn't born in Volterra, and I have very little knowledge over how all of this works. But what I lack in knowledge I make up for in determination."
I couldn't believe what Bella was doing. I didn't even know if it would possibly make a difference. But, I was extremely proud of the love of my life.
I knew one thing for sure. I would not allow Edward to lose his chance to be King. Volterra needed him, and I had no doubt over his ability to rule. It took every ounce of bravery in my body to stand up in front of Parliament, but I was determined to change their mind. I had to, because I loved Edward.
"I promise to learn everything I can about your government, customs, and way of life. I love Edward in more ways than I can possibly explain. He is my soul mate, and I know he will make a great King one day."
"My love for him is so strong, that I left him. I traveled back to Washington just so that he would have the chance to be the King all of Volterra deserves. But, Edward made me realize that neither one of us are complete without the other. I can't promise to be perfect, no one will ever be. But I do promise to do the best I can to be there for Edward and to be there for Volterra. Please reconsider your stance. Is Volterra really going to throw away the chance to be led by such a great King?"
I took a deep breath smiling politely before stepping away from the podium and towards the door. I had done all I could. I could only hope that there was some way to push for a revote.
"I motion for a voice revote!" An older member of Parliament called.
"I second that motion!" Another called.
Ben's father stood up taking his place behind the podium. "All in favor of Prince Edward's marriage to Isabella Swan say Aye!"
"Aye!" A multitude of voices yelled as I heard Alice squeal and Edward jump up and taking me in his arms.
"Does that mean you can keep the throne?" I asked as he nodded pressing my lips to his.
"It sure does, my love. Thank you!" He whispered as he kissed me passionately in front of all the members of Parliament.
I, Isabella Marie Swan was going to marry Prince Edward and one day become the Queen of Volterra. Who said fairytales don't come true?
A/N: Wow! This has been quite the journey and I'm sadden by the fact that it has come to an end. There will be no epilogue and no sequel. The story seems complete to me as it is.
However, just because my story is finished doesn't mean I'm going anywhere. I am currently working on two stories which I will begin to post beginning next week. Readjusted is a Edward/Bella story will post every Monday. While, Taking Chances a Bella/Carlisle story will post ever Wednesday. I hope you will all join me for those two journeys. I promise there will be drama, romance, and lemons.
On a side note Round 1 of the voting for the Three Smutketeer's Contest has begun. My Harry Potter/Twilight Crossover one-shot is currently in the poll. Please follow the link on my profile and vote for me. I would really, really appreciate it.
Plus, remember to put me on Author Alert to get the alert when my new stories are posted!