AN: For everyone who read TDIG and wasn't 100% satisfied with the ending, I give you the TDIG Epilogue, Golden. Honestly I'd always planned on doing this, but just recently I was able to really pull my head back into the world and write it. There'll be three chapters, each focusing on a different couple.
Also, if there are any current or budding writers out there, my sweetie, TheEdwardEmmett, and I are hosting a contest! It's called the Make it Count Contest, and it's basically a challenge to see who can write the best, most complete story in 1,000 words or less. See my fanfiction profile for more details and there's also a thread on the Writing Challenges section on the Twilighted forum. Deadline for submission is March 20, so you've got some time!
As usual, thank you to my awesome wonderful beta CallistoLexx and also songs will be up on my ff profile!
"Stop moving," Alice said sternly, "and definitely stop freaking out, 'cause Tanya can't do your hair if you don't stay still."
I scowled at Alice's reflection in the mirror as she hovered behind the stylist. I knew well enough to know that when someone was doing your hair for your wedding, it was perhaps wiser to do what they told you to. Typically, I wasn't a big fan of doing what other people said, but in this scenario, I could definitely see the benefit in staying still—especially considering that Alice was this close to a particularly hot curling iron. So I stopped squirming in the chair.
"Alice, stop bitching. She's fine," Bella responded in a bored voice, as she flipped casually through a magazine.
I risked Alice's wrath to turn my head towards my other best friend. "You're next, you know," I said direly.
"Oh, I have awhile yet," Bella replied breezily. "You're the bride so Alice is going to make Tanya do your hair at least ten times before both she and you are finally satisfied."
I shot a glare in Bella's direction, but knew she was right. I was a perfectionist on a normal day. On my wedding day? It was a surprise that I hadn't totally lost my mind yet. The only real explanation was probably that being with Emmett for a year now had mellowed me out a little. Or a lot.
The truth was, I'd never imagined I could be as happy or as relaxed as I was now. Maybe that had something to do with the fact that I'd resigned myself long ago to living without a real love. But when I'd seen him again, my heart had throbbed painfully back to life with all the joy and sadness of someone who'd never fully fallen out of love. And I knew I hadn't. Emmett hadn't been a passing fancy in high school, and he certainly wasn't seven years later.
Seven years later, I was jarred so much by his sudden presence in my life that I knew he was the love of my life. Clearly, he'd felt much the same as we'd been barely been dating six months before he'd popped the question.
We'd been lying down in bed, hot and sweaty after a particularly enthusiastic and athletic bout of sex and I was drifting in and out, caught up in extreme post-coital bliss. Of course when he'd pulled the light blue box out of the side table, I'd woken up real quick.
"Rosalie," was all that he'd been able to get out before I'd tackled him, throwing my arms around his neck and letting the hot tears leak out the corners of my eyes and onto his bare skin.
He'd laughed, a rumble deep in his chest, and rubbed his hand up and down my spine, soothing me like only he could. "I'll take it that's a yes then?"
I'd only been able to nod helplessly into his shoulder, the tears coming down hard, interspersed with uncontrollable giggles. Never had I ever pictured myself as this happy. Of course, I'd never pictured myself with Emmett Cullen either.
So when Alice asked me to try to be still, on this day of all days, I knew I should try but that it was ultimately impossible. I was like a child on Christmas Eve, incredibly eager for Santa to come down the chimney and deliver my presents. Except I wouldn't be getting anything material, except for a platinum band to join the diamond solitaire on my ring finger—I'd be getting something so much better.
Tonight I'd be the proud owner of a husband I adored and one who would undoubtedly worship, cherish and love me for the rest of my life. I smiled a bit helplessly and Alice made gagging sounds from behind my head.
Glancing up at my reflection, I glared at Tanya and pointedly asked Alice, "Please tell me that I'm not going to go to the altar looking like Shirley Temple?"
Tanya frantically removed the curling iron immediately, and murmured ten different kinds of apologies. I reminded myself that when she finally took a potty break that I had to insist to Alice that she stop hovering over the poor girl—no doubt Tanya was a wreck having to work her magic under the watchful eye of one of the mavens of Portland fashion.
"No more curls," Alice said decisively, and, despite her lack of height and Tanya's towering vertical prowess, managed to maneuver her hands into my hair, gently manipulating the curls until they looked less like sausage ringlets and a lot more like a tousled, sexy style. Thank god for Alice.
I nodded at the reflection in the mirror. "That's perfect," I told Alice and her hands stilled in my hair.
"But. . .but. . .I thought we were going to have you wear it up?"
I turned slightly to the right and then to the left. Smiling, I shook my head at her and she groaned.
"But Rosalie! Down? For a wedding?"
Before I could open my mouth to say that I was the bride and if I wanted to wear my hair down, I'd sure as hell do just that, Bella spoke up from her perch on the chair across the room.
"She is the bride, Alice," Bella said wryly, sharing a quick smile with my reflection.
Alice sighed with exaggeration and waved her hand at Tanya, who seemed to be awaiting her instructions to pack up.
No doubt Alice was thinking that when it was finally her day, she was going to run us ragged. As if Bella and I didn't already know that Alice was going to be a bridezilla extraordinaire. From almost the minute that Alice had come home, gray eyes gleaming with excited and happy tears, a diamond solitaire reflecting light on her ring finger, Bella and I had made private jokes about how bad she was going to be.
I thought that in comparison, I was rather an easy bride to please. Anyway, this wedding was rather simple and small—I just hadn't wanted a big circus. All I wanted was to marry Emmett and get on with the rest of our lives. More than once Alice had observed that this wedding seemed to be more Bella's taste than mine, and though I'd laughed at her petulant whining, I hadn't been able to really disagree.
I told myself that it was an example of how I was growing up since Emmett and I had found each other again. The material things were nice, of course, but they couldn't possibly compare to the immaterial. It was as if all those years separating us had only taught me so well that happiness was ultimately fleeting and was meant to be cherished while it hung around.
So I wasn't going to stick it to fate and gloat in front of God and the world that I'd found my man. All I wanted was Emmett—that was enough for me.
"Well," Alice spoke up again, her tone of voice defeated, "I suppose it'll go well with your dress." She'd been eternally disappointed that I hadn't picked some fairy princess confection of tulle and ruffled satin, and had instead settled on a fairly simple, elegant off-white empire-wasted gown trimmed with gold embroidery.
I hadn't bothered to even try to explain to Alice that all the big price tags and fancy designer names and fifteen petticoats were unnecessary when you looked at yourself in the mirror and you simply glowed with perfect happiness.
"Speaking of dresses, have you found one you like yet?" Bella piped up again from her corner, still trying to keep the peace. She was our little master diplomat and I'd learned to love that about her, especially during the epic battle over my wedding planning.
Alice sighed dramatically. "No, of course not. Nothing's quite right, you know?"
Bella nodded understandingly, but we exchanged another look in the mirror while Alice fussed with a drooping curl. There'd been dozens of dresses that had been "right," but Alice had steadfastly turned each one down, decisively. After weeks and weeks spent in every bridal salon in Portland, both Bella and I were beginning to think there must be some underlying reason that Alice was refusing to pick a dress.
Of the three of us, Bella was the only one of us who didn't have a ring on a special finger. I'd mentioned it offhandedly, teasingly, one day and later, Alice had pulled me aside and read me the riot act. Apparently Bella was feeling not only left out, but keenly felt the lack of a proposal. Alice had tried to reassure her that Edward would, of course, propose, but with every day that went by without the all-important declaration, I could see the hurt grow in Bella's eyes. She never said a word, but we all knew. I'd pumped Emmett relentlessly and I knew Alice had nearly broken Jasper, but neither of us had been able to find out a single bit of information.
And of course, going through one wedding while concurrently planning another probably didn't help Bella feel any better, I thought ruefully.
"Have you talked to Esme about the date yet?" I asked this question, but not before another look flashed between Bella and I. A week ago, we'd had a serious discussion about Alice and why she spent hours and hours every day doing abstract wedding planning, but at the same time, she refused to pin down any details. There was no dress and no date. Those were the two undeniable pieces of a wedding—you couldn't have one without a date or a dress. We'd agreed that we'd slowly try to get into her psyche and figure out why she'd been so steadfastly playing at planning a wedding, but hadn't actually buckled down to plan a damn thing.
"Uh, no. Not yet." This time Alice didn't even offer an excuse and her tone of voice told me the last thing she wanted to talk about today was the fact that she was basically refusing to plan a wedding.
"Alice. Tell me what's going on. Now." I didn't ask, I just demanded. Alice was one of my oldest friends and, in essence, my sister.
Bella rose from her chair and leaned against the dresser, supporting my inquiry.
"There's nothing going on," Alice insisted, but I sensed her wavering.
"Alice, we know you're not actually planning anything. You haven't picked a date or a venue or even a dress. Considering how much you love clothes, I find that you've rejected probably twenty perfectly beautiful dresses rather distressing," Bella added, clearly also sensing that Alice was about to break.
Alice collapsed into the nearest chair, her head in her hands. "Something terrible's happened," she moaned through her fingers.
Leaning over towards her, Bella rubbed her back encouragingly. "You need to tell us, Alice. We're your best friends."
"I'm . . . I'm . . . I'm pregnant," Alice finally wailed, her sobs coming fast and furious.
I know my jaw dropped in absolute shock and I could see my own expression of astonishment mirrored on Bella's face. Of everything that we'd theorized and speculated, pregnancy hadn't been anywhere close to the list.
"Does Jasper know?" Bella asked quietly, clearly recovering a lot more quickly than I was. I was still freaking speechless from Alice's bomb.
Alice shook her head and let out another full complement of miserable sobs. "I'm not showing yet, but it's only a matter of time. I'm going to be a pregnant bride," she hiccupped.
Bella couldn't possibly understand how long Alice had dreamed about the perfect wedding. I'd grown up with her, and had witnessed planning that went back to her early childhood. To have to sacrifice this lifelong dream was clearly a difficult thing for Alice, but I lectured myself to maintain a positive attitude. After all, Alice was going to be a mother. Good lord, I was going to be an aunt.
"Oh but Alice, this is wonderful news," I exuded. "You're going to have a baby!"
She looked up at me and I saw that her makeup had run, but that her eyes were shining. "I know!" she said, excitement breaking into her voice. "But how am I going to tell Jasper?"
"You really should have told him before this," Bella lectured, but she couldn't help but smile too.
Alice tried to look contrite. "I know, I know. But how on earth do you break that kind of news? I really have tried, but the moment never seems right."
I could only imagine Alice's difficulty in finding the right moment to tell her fiancé that not only would he be getting a wife, but a baby as well. I tried to picture myself telling Emmett I was pregnant, but the idea was so incongruous that the image just wouldn't come—and like Alice, I wanted to be a mother.
"Um, well. You clearly can't waste any more time," I decided. "You need to tell him today."
"Today?" Alice squeaked. "But it's your wedding."
I shook my head decisively. "That doesn't matter. It's my wedding, not yours. You'll tell him at the reception."
"Oh no," Alice moaned, sinking into the chair, head back in her hands.
"You'll tell Jasper, or I'll tell him," I told her. "And I can pretty much guarantee he'd much rather hear this news from you than me."
My mother chose that particular moment to walk into the room.
"Rosalie, are you almost ready to go?"
I looked in the mirror at my makeup-free face and shook my head. "And Bella still needs her hair done," I added.
"Okay, well we need to leave soon, so hurry up."
Bella and I both groaned as Alice popped up, looking totally reenergized. As she wiped off the residual black smudges from underneath her eyes, she started directing traffic. I leaned back in the chair and thought to myself that I couldn't wait until all the pomp and circumstance was over and I was actually married to Emmett.
I felt like I'd been waiting forever to make Rosalie my wife. Except that it wasn't forever. Nope, it was only as long as it took her to get her hot ass down the aisle.
Unfortunately, the church Rosalie (or probably Alice) had picked had the longest fucking aisle in the entire world.
I shifted my weight nervously, and waited for the doors at the back of the church to open so that we could freaking get on with this whole show. Okay, and if I was being honest with myself, which I tried to do on special occasions like this, I just couldn't wait to see Rosie in a wedding dress. That was like the ultimate wet dream: your woman in white lace and satin, ready and wanting to be yours forever.
Jasper, who was acting as my best man, must have noticed that nerves were beginning to get the better of me, and leaned over to mumble in my ear. "Hey man, it'll be over soon, I promise. And then you can have another slug from the flask I brought."
I shook my head. "I'm fine. I don't want it to be over—more like I can't wait for it to start."
Jasper chuckled. "Of course. You're the most willing-to-be-shackled man I've ever met."
"Of course," I huffed. "This is Rosie we're talking about. What man wouldn't want to be married to her?"
Edward leaned over, joining in the hushed conversation. "Dude, keep it down. I think everyone can hear how fucking ecstatic you are to be married."
Rolling my eyes, I considered how best to answer my asshole brother, Edward. How could I possibly listen to a man who'd delayed proposing to the love of his life simply because he wanted to take her on an amazing vacation to Italy to do it?
I opened my mouth to say something of the kind when the excessively loud trumpeter in the brass quartet behind me announced the beginning of the ceremony.
Holding my breath as the music started, I watched the door as they opened. I could see a glimpse of white behind Alice and Bella, because let's face it, my girl seemed taller than the two of them put together, but frustratingly, I could only make out a bit of blond. I would have to wait more as Alice and Bella meandered as slow as humanly possible up the freaking aisle, which I'd already noted was nearly the length of a full-size runway.
Finally, finally, the music changed from whatever fluffy classical crap that Alice had selected to the wedding march.
And then I saw her.
She was beautiful of course, but I couldn't even think any further than that—words just couldn't seem to explain how unbelievably lovely she was; in fact, she glowed.
I'd thought before that the aisle down the center of the church was ridiculously long, but Rose reached me, a smile nearly splitting her face in half, way before I was ready. I wanted more time to watch her as she walked toward me—an hour wouldn't have been enough.
But I was more than ready for her to finally be mine. I took her hand and we faced the minister and finally the moment it felt like I'd been waiting an eternity for began.