Heart and Soul Epilogue
A/N: Thanks go to Gleena for reviewing and for contributing a few lines of delightful dialogue between the ladies. Thanks also go to Justine Lark for reviewing this as well:)
Three years later
April 12, 2008
"Bella, if you don't stop fidgeting, I'm going to poke you in the eye with this mascara brush," Alice said in a menacingly sweet voice. The insistent little pixie had holed them up in a suite in Seattle's nicest hotel in order to get ready for the wedding that afternoon in the ballroom downstairs. Bella, Edward, Alice, Jasper, Rosalie and Emmett had all moved to Seattle after graduating from high school to attend the University of Washington.
Edward had initially wanted to apply to Dartmouth, pre-med, but the astronomical cost of Ivy League tuition and (more to the point) Bella's geographic location had convinced him that UW was his preferred choice. Emmett and Jasper were both attending UW majoring in engineering and psychology respectively. The two had shared an apartment until Alice, Edward and Bella had finished high school.
Alice and Jasper married a few weeks after graduation, and Edward moved into Emmett's apartment after Jasper moved out. Bella was majoring in literature and had wanted to experience college life; she had shared a dorm with Angela Weber for the two years they had been at UW. Rosalie had pledged to a sorority and had been living in the sorority house on the UW campus
"I told you I didn't need so much make-up. Edward likes me just fine without it," Bella grumbled in response.
"Bella, this is an important day, you want to look your best," Rosalie insisted. "Besides, with a dress like this, you simply have to be made up." With that, Rosalie pulled the flowing dress from the garment bag and helped Bella into it before doing the same with Alice. Bella turned to inspect herself in the mirror while Rose zipped Alice into her dress. Alice, as a fashion major, had designed all the clothes for the wedding party; she already had some designs catch the eye of some investors interested in starting a new line of clothes.
"Ok, Rose, let's get you in your dress!" Alice squealed as she bounced on her feet. Alice rushed to the hook on the back of the hotel room door and pulled out the largest garment bag yet.
"It's my dress; I'm getting married…oh…my…" Rosalie started fanning her face with both hands, trying to stave off the tears that were threatening. Rosalie and Emmett had been engaged for two and a half years; he had surprised her with a ring just after Alice and Jasper had married in an elegant ceremony in the garden of Carlisle and Esme's house. They had been planning this day non-stop ever since.
"Rosalie! You love Emmett, and this has been in the works forever! Think of Europe! You're going there on your honeymoon, and you're going to love it! " Alice said firmly, smiling at Rosalie. A soft knock sounded on the door.
"Girls? I've got the flowers, and they are gorgeous," Esme said as she entered. She took a look at Rosalie's eyes and rushed to hug her niece.
"It's ok, Rosalie," Esme murmured. "It's your wedding day, and you love Emmett. You'll be happy."
"But Alice wasn't crying when she and Jasper got married…that was almost two whole years ago, and she's a year younger than me! I should be ready for this! What if Emmett realizes tomorrow that he doesn't want a grease monkey for a wife after all?" Rosalie whimpered.
"Well, then we'd hunt him down like the bear he thinks he is, and we'd make a bear rug out of him," Bella insisted. "Besides, Edward told me last night that Emmett's every thought while they were out involved you in some form, Rose. Edward actually said that he's grateful that you're not going to start your honeymoon in this hotel tonight, considering how far his range extends with Emmett these days," Bella finished, red-faced. Rose nodded wide-eyed before shuddering at the thought of Edward hearing her and Emmett's wedding night. Alice and Esme laughed.
"When did you see Edward last night?" Alice asked suspiciously.
"Oh, uh, I mean…he told me…this morning," Bella fumbled, turning ever-more red. Alice searched Bella's face with a look that Bella knew all too well. Quickly Bella tucked her left hand behind her back, trying to hide the jewelry that now rested on her finger there.
"What are you hiding your left hand for, Miss Swan? Or should I say Mrs. Soon-to-be-Cullen?" Alice asked with an all-knowing glare as she raised an eyebrow.
Bella just stood blushing furiously, head down, arm hidden behind her, when Alice took it upon herself to pull Bella's hand out for everyone to inspect.
"Oh, he used his grandmother's wedding ring to propose!" said Esme with a sigh. "It's one of the few things he has of his family; it had been in his parent's safe deposit box at the time of the fire. How did he propose?"
"Where were you? When did he pop the question?" begged Alice.
"Well," stammered Bella. "I—"
"Why do you have a wedding band as well? Was it already soldered on?" Alice asked suspiciously.
"Spit out the gory details, Isabella Marie Swan!" demanded Rosalie, momentarily distracted from her own worries.
"Masen Cullen actually," Bella said sheepishly. "I dropped Swan, and took both his names, so we're both Masen Cullen, no hyphen, but we're just using Cullen," she rambled.
"WHAT?!" Esme, Alice and Rosalie all exclaimed.
"Well, you see, Edward asked me to marry him…" Bella began.
"We understand that; but when did Edward ever propose?!" Rosalie screeched.
"Uh, well…when-Alice-and-Jasper-got-married," Bella said in a rush.
"You mean to tell me that you and Edward have been secretly engaged for nearly TWO YEARS?! How did I not know?!" Alice squealed.
"NO! I mean, not exactly…I told him no, at first," Bella explained. "But only because I didn't want to be a teenaged statistic!" Bella hurried to explain when Esme, Alice, and Rose all gaped at her in shock.
"Well, when you know, you know…why wait because of age?" Alice asked.
"You told him no? Who knew you had such guts?" Rosalie said unrepentantly.
"Well, Renee and Charlie would have flipped if I got married straight out of high school. I told Edward that I wanted to be at least twenty," Bella explained.
"So how does that amount to a secret elopement and keeping all your family in the dark?" Alice pouted.
"I didn't want a big wedding, and Edward was fine with that. The day I turned twenty, Edward asked Charlie for his blessing. Charlie stormed around and pouted for a couple of days, but when he called Renee to complain about it, she told him to get over it and give his blessing already. My dad offered to pay us the cost of the wedding and reception if we just eloped, or we could have the big ceremony. It was our choice, and, well, with the rising costs of tuition... Med school isn't cheap!" Bella defended herself and Edward. "So, I guess we were engaged for about seven months…we just got married April tenth," Bella said with a smile.
Esme was teary-eyed, but her smile showed her true feelings. Alice was looking somewhat mollified, though Bella cringed at the thought of what sort of party Alice was planning behind that accepting expression.
"How did you guys share a room last night? Wasn't Edward supposed to be sharing with Emmett?" Alice asked shrewdly. Bella blushed again.
"Actually, we have Rose to thank for that," she explained. At Rose's confused look, Bella continued, "Rose wanted her own room, and Alice was with Jasper, and Esme was with Carlisle, so, that gave me my own room too. Edward just came to my, well, our room after Emmett passed out for the night.
Rosalie just looked dumbfounded.
"Why did you get married two days before my wedding? Why couldn't you have eloped months ago?" Rosalie asked, near tears once more. Before Bella could respond, a soft knock interrupted them.
"Bella? Can I come in?" Edward asked through the door. Bella instantly jumped up and ran to open the door.
"He'd better not have Emmett with him! He can't see me yet!" Rosalie exclaimed.
"Relax, Rose, Emmett is down the hall with his head between his knees…" Edward was smirking as Bella opened the door and pulled him into the room. Alice charged at Edward and jumped on him, regardless of the fact that she was wearing a floor-length, crimson bridesmaid's dress. She tackled him in a tangle of satin, lace, and heels.
"How…could…you…elope…with…out…telling…me..!" Alice accentuated every word with a smack to Edward's chest.
"Alice! Get off my husband! I've only had him for two days!" Bella turned red again when everyone turned and gaped at her. The moment was broken, however when Edward started laughing a deep, resonating laugh. It wasn't long before his adoptive mother and sisters joined him, and then Bella was laughing herself.
"Oh, Bella…the look…on your…face!" Alice forced out between bursts of laughter. Rosalie quieted and her face settled into a pout. Esme pulled her into a hug and rubbed her back.
"Oh, Rose," Esme murmured.
"I couldn't help but overhear your conversation," Edward began, his face sheepish.
"Only you could get away with saying that from three doors down the hall," Alice chuckled.
"Regardless, we didn't get married two days ago to upstage your wedding Rosalie," Edward insisted.
"Why didn't you get married seven months ago? Why now, right when I'm getting married?" Rosalie huffed.
"April 10, 2005, Rose, don't you remember what happened three years ago?" Edward said exasperated. Bella was smiling a glorious smile. She was sure that she would burst with her love for her husband.
"Awwwwww," Alice and Esme cooed together. Edward smiled at them before reaching over and capturing Bella's hand in his.
"April 2005; that's when you went to Phoe… oh!" Rose exclaimed.
"That was the day he brought me home," Bella said softly as she gazed into Edward's eyes.
Edward couldn't keep his eyes off of Bella as Emmett and Rosalie said their vows. She stood beside Alice during the ceremony, fidgeting in her formal wear as the Officiant expounded on the joys of marriage. Edward could only smile as he remembered how he and Bella had discovered one of the joys of marriage together. He hadn't realized how deep into his memories he had drifted until he was jerked out of them by Alice.
'Edward; they'll need the rings soon! If you don't stop drooling over Bella and get your head straight, Rosalie is going to make sure that you never have reason smile like that again!' his sister shouted mentally.
He hoped that his face wasn't red, but he was grateful that Alice had had the foresight to discreetly nudge him mentally. He gave her a slight incline of his head and straightened a bit more to acknowledge her. Perhaps he would have to find a way to thank her for ensuring that he didn't look like a fool when the ceremony called for the rings. Sure enough, just as Edward reached into his inner jacket pocket, Emmett turned to him and held out his hand expectantly.
'You had better not have lost them, Edward, cause Rosie will skin you if you did,' Emmett thought. Edward merely raised his eyebrow and produced the two rings from his pocket, tied together with a ribbon that matched the crimson of the bridesmaid's dresses. Once he handed them off though, he looked over and caught Bella's eye. His wife's smug look told him that Alice must have told her about his mental wanderings during the ceremony. The blazing look on Bella's face gave him hope that they wouldn't stay at the reception all night.
He was so entranced by his beautiful wife that he was uncharacteristically startled by the applause that broke out as Emmett wrapped Rosalie in his arms and kissed her soundly. Suddenly the recessional was playing and he moved to meet Bella at the head of the aisle as they followed Emmett and Rosalie from the altar.
"If you keep staring at me like that, we won't make it to dessert," Bella murmured from the corner of her mouth.
"I can't help it, that dress is positively sinful. What was Alice thinking? The bridesmaid isn't supposed to outshine the bride…" he said with a kiss to the back of her hand which he clasped within his own.
"Only you would be so blind so as to be distracted by me when Rosalie is dressed the way she is," Bella teased him. "Anyone notice our new jewelry? Or is Rosalie as distracting as I imagined?"
"Not a soul has wondered any further than figuring that we've become engaged. Your wedding band is thin enough to be unnoticeable from a distance, and no one has thought to look too closely at my own hand. Oh…that woman over there has…" Edward grinned at the woman's realization that he was officially 'off the market'. "It's nice to be claimed," he explained at Bella's questioning glance.
"Congratulations are in order, I presume?" Carlisle said softly as he and Esme came after dinner to greet Bella and Edward. Bella's face flushed red, and she looked down at her feet before meeting her father-in-law's eyes and nodding with a smile. They chatted for a few minutes about their simple ceremony and how they were glad they had avoided all the attention that was currently being lavished upon Emmett and Rosalie.
"Carlisle, is this your other son? Edward?" a strange man interrupted.
"Yes. Edward, Bella, this is Aro Volturi. He's an old acquaintance from my Doctors without Borders days," Carlisle introduced them.
'So curious…the boy must have some intuition…I wonder…' Aro thought. Edward shook his hand, somewhat unnerved, but the man merely dismissed himself without much further thought.
"Strange," Edward murmured.
"Don't think of it, I'm sure he's just eccentric," Bella reassured him. Edward turned to Bella and gave her a stunning smile.
"Come on, Mrs. Cullen. You owe me our first dance as husband and wife," Edward whispered in her ear. His smile widened further when he could feel the shiver course through her body.
"Do I get to stand on your feet?" she asked.
"Of course; don't you always?" Edward replied. Bella gave him a light swat in the arm; it was a habit she had picked up shortly after their trip to Phoenix. Bella was mortified the first few times she had done it; she had never been a violent person, and she couldn't understand why she was suddenly hitting Edward. He had responded with his usual response for Tanya when she would slug him; he hip-checked Bella. He had laughed at her shocked look and told her that it was something that he and Tanya had done all the time. Now, he and Bella continued the tradition.
After they had danced a few songs, and Alice was announcing the tossing of the garter and the bouquet, Edward leaned over to Bella's ear and whispered, "Those sound like activities for single people…I can think of some things that I'd rather do than watch Emmett fish under Rose's dress, or witness a group of women wrestle for a bunch of wilted flowers."
"I couldn't agree more, Edward; I couldn't agree more," Bella whispered back. She stood from the table, still grasping his hand, and pulled him behind her.
"You're mine, and I'm yours, heart and soul; now and forever, Edward," Bella said when they reached their room.
"I couldn't agree more, Bella; I couldn't agree more," he said before crashing his lips to hers and showing her just how much he loved her.
A/N: Here it is: the end! I have loved writing this story so much. I wouldn't have been nearly as good without my hubby's awesome beta skills, as well as frequent reviews and suggested edits/input from Justine Lark and Gleena. Thanks ladies. Everyone else, go read their wonderful stories, and don't forget to leave them a review!