I hated to admit it, but Alice had excelled herself. She'd transformed our house into the most perfect wedding venue, the scent of flowers drifted through every room in the house, much to the disgust of Emmett who had spent the past few hours complaining about the smell and his tuxedo. I wasted no time in reminding him the number of times him and Rosalie had forced me to don a tux for another one of their weddings. Reluctantly he had to let me win that fight. Thinking back to all the other weddings I couldn't believe that it was finally my turn, I had spent so long alone that I had long ago resigned myself to the fact that this was the life I would lead, the third wheel to all the other couples. And then into my life came Bella. Beautiful, clumsy, unavoidable Bella. Suddenly I found another part of me that I didn't know existed, it was as if all this time before I had been missing a part of myself that I did not know was broken until she came along and suddenly I was whole again. For decades I had been in the minds of my family and experienced through their emotions, but nothing prepared me for the onslaught of emotions of loving Bella, how I wouldn't feel myself unless she was there, how my mind would worry relentlessly whenever we were apart, how her safety mattered more than anyone else. I'd experienced life without her, and I knew I could not live without her, even if that meant her becoming one of us. If that was the path of an eternity with Bella, I was selfish enough to take it.
Esme. She came up behind me, placing her arm around me.
You look so handsome in your suit.
I smiled at her, my way of saying thanks. Pride radiated from her, and I'm sure if she was able to cry she would have done so already.
For so long I wondered if you would ever find this. It used to pain me to think of you alone for all that time, whilst the rest of us were so happy. But as soon as Bella came along I knew you'd found it.
I placed my head on top of Esme's head pulling her into an embrace. She may not have been my mother in the conventional, biological sense. But in every other way she was my mum, I'd seen the pain in her eyes for me over the many years before Bella. The hope that had been in them when Carlisle had changed Rosalie, maybe this will be it she had hoped, and then the bitter disappointment when it came to nothing. Esme had been waiting for this nearly as long as me.
I'm so proud of you Edward, I know it hasn't been easy for you.
James, the Volturi, Victoria all flashed through her mind.
But you're here, with all of that behind you ,and you have all of eternity to show her how much you love her.
I pressed a kiss to Esme's head.
"Thank you" I whispered. "For never giving up, for hoping what I didn't even know existed".
She looked up at me, her smile even wider.
"I had faith in you, you of all people deserve this Edward, and never forget that"she said.
"Do I really deserve this?" I asked, all my old hesitations floating to the surface. "Look at what I am, what I've done!"
"What you've done is a part of you are, and you out of all of us exhibit self control second only to Carlisle. Whatever you did is in the past, and I know you never hurt anyone innocent" replied Esme.
"Doesn't make me any less of a monster" I said.
"It makes you, you" pointed out Esme. " The fact you even feel guilt shows what kind of a person you are, so many of our kind walk around, killing innocent humans without a second thought. If there was even a shred of that within you, there is no way you could be as close to Bella you are".
"She thinks I'm some kind of God Esme" I continued. "She puts me on this pedestal and I have no idea why".
"Maybe because you are a good person" said Esme, her smile that had briefly faded, returning. She turned me round so that I was facing a mirror. "Look at yourself and listen to me. You Edward Cullen, deserve this, after everything you have done for this family, it's your time for happiness, and whatever misguided ideas you have about yourself, put them to one side and concentrate on today, after all, you only have one wedding day".
She winked at me before breaking into laughter so infectious I couldn't help but join in.
"And I can tell you now, there will be no-one prouder than me in that room today when you marry Bella" said Esme reaching from behind me to straighten my bow tie. "My first son getting married!"
"Thanks Esme" I said as she finished with my bowtie.
"Thank you" she said correcting me. "For bringing me the happiness I never thought I'd ever experience again.
For a second we were both inside our mind, with the memories of her son, each of us had seen them thousands of times before but the poignancy today was more so.
"I love you Mum" I said, kissing her again, this time on her forehead.
"I love you too son" she replied wrapping her arms round me as a tight as a vice.
It was time, and I'm sure if my heart was able to beat it would have been flying out of my chest. Time normally doesn't mean a lot when you have eternity, but today even I noticed it was dragging. I tapped my feet impatiently on the floor, eliciting laughs from Emmett
man, it's not like she's gonna leave you here......although if she
does can I have the Ferrari?
I shot Emmett a scowl that immediately stopped his laughter.
Below the belt?
I nodded, accepting his apology.
Chriiiiiiiiiiist, she looks stunning.
Had I missed Bella's arrival, I turned around, worried I had missed her grand entrance, following Emmett's gaze until I caught sight of Rosalie sitting down to the piano. Not wanting to be distracted anymore I tried to get myself out of Emmett's head and concentrate on what lay ahead. The music started and it comforted me somewhat as it normally did, Alice made her arrival, I owed her at least a dance later for all her preparation for today. It was Bella's turn now. She looked more stunning than I had ever seen her, my body was like a statue, stuck to the ground I was stood on, unable to mind, all I could see was her. I tried to commit this image to my memory, through my immortal eyes I could see every detail of her beauty emphasised by the dress, the veil and every other wedding feature. But it was her face that stood out, knowing how much persuasion it had taken on my behalf to get her to agree to this I had expected to see some anticipation or hesitiation, maybe we had finally reached something that Bella could not handle, and like any reasonable being she wanted to flee. But no, there was nothing on her face that hinted at any form of regret, there was pure joy and anticipation, aswell as love. Love was written on every feature on her face, from her blushing cheeks, to her chocolate brown eyes which were searing into my own orbs. Looking into her eyes I could see nothing but love and adoration staring back at me, for me. Esme was right, maybe just maybe, somewhere, sometime I had done something good enough to deserve this. I broke my eyes away from Bella for just a second, my head searching all the faces in the crowd until I found Esmes. Whilst every other face in the audience was looking at Bella, Esme's was on mine. I tuned into her thoughts, overriding every other though I had at that moment.
Go on Prince Charming, get your happy ending
And as Charlie placed Bella's hand into mine and her warm hand engulfed mine, I knew my fairytale was complete