Disclaimer – I do not own Twilight or any of the characters therein. The featured song 'I Have And I Always Will' is the property of Dave Barnes. Enjoy.

'I Have And I Always Will'

It was only as an awed hush descended upon the gathering of guests that Edward first realised she had arrived. Her delicious scent was now so familiar to him that experiencing it had become almost akin to taking on oxygen. Yet as she proceeded to cross the threshold of the almost unrecognisable room, Edward was struck suddenly by the proximity of her. A familiar burning ignited within his throat and Edward swallowed hard in order to dispel it. Suddenly he was overwhelmed by a million thoughts that for once belonged entirely to his own mind.

Edward turned slowly on his heel and watched with an unwavering smile as Bella Swan moved fluidly towards him. Her face had drained of any colour; a fact that no amount of Alice's carefully applied make-up could hide. Bella's brown eyes locked on Edward's face for the briefest of moments, engorging as they drank in his beauty. Then, a luscious rose pink blush spread across Bella's cheeks and she averted her gaze to the floor with the ghost of a smile playing across her lips.

Darling, we're both scared,

But where love is, fear won't tread...

Edward surveyed the rows of seating that stretched back into the far recesses of the room. He recognised every individual face in the crowd, and was grateful beyond all measure for the expressions of united joy they shared. Esme sat demurely in the front row, her white gloved hand clutching Carlisle's tight in her lap. She beamed at Edward and her full radiance shone through with the expression of her maternal love for him. Even Jessica Stanley, seated a few rows behind the Cullen family, nodded approvingly as she turned to watch Bella glide down the makeshift aisle. Soon, every pair of eyes in the room were trained upon Bella as she made her entrance, blushing uncomfortably under such intense scrutiny.

All of these friends here agree,

We're right where we should be...

Edward's gaze drifted to Bella's ivory swathed figure. The dress was perfect in every sense of the word, being just the right combination of both their personalities that it did not look out of place on Bella's petite frame. The bodice nipped in at the waist, accentuating Bella's hourglass figure, and further complementing the full silk skirt that swept the floor. Although Bella wore her hair loose and without the constraints of a veil, her wedding ensemble was reminiscent of the times that Edward himself had been born from. It had just the right amount of charm and elegance to still be considered beautiful by modern standards.

Underneath all your white,

My lady, my love, my bride...

Now faced so clearly with a vision of his future Edward found his mind wandering helplessly back over the years. Every memory worth savouring contained Bella, and even those that stabbed painfully at his heart were worth keeping if she were in them. He allowed himself momentarily to recall the long months of their first and only parting. Everything Edward had ever done had been for her, no matter how misguided his choices now seemed. He shuddered involuntarily, thinking back to how his absence and the thought of his supposedly revoked love had affected Bella.

In your darkest hour,

Will I love you still?

I have and I always will.

She had arrived in his life and almost overnight brought one hundred years of loneliness to an end. He could no longer contemplate living without her, and rejoiced at the thought that he no longer would have to.

Edward had been consumed by a very different kind of lust upon their first meeting. Bella's blood had called to him and taunted him mercilessly until he had almost been lured to the brink of murder. But Edward was well practiced in renouncing his personal demons and had eventually embraced the challenge of getting to know the enchanting newcomer without allowing his hunger to overpower his reason. His reward and his curse was that he had found something so much more precious in Bella than he had ever dared to imagine. Esme had called their meeting fate, guidance from a higher power that had recognised the need for their two souls to coexist.

I guess it's because I just do,

Following heaven's clues...

Edward believed that he would never know what a monster such as himself had done to deserve the sanctuary and salvation of Bella's love. But he was thankful that this seemed to be the natural order of things, for now at least.

This is a big mystery

How I found, you found me...

Bella continued her approach, flanked on either side by her parents who seemed equally touched by the event they were witnessing. Bella's hand fluttered self consciously to smooth the skirt of her dress, her fingers fluttering nervously over the white material until Charlie reached out and captured his daughter's hand in his own if only to steady her.

Underneath all your white,

My lady, my love, my bride...

As Charlie and Bella's intertwined hands moved in unison down to their sides, Edward glimpsed the crescent shaped scar that was etched into the back of Bella's hand. He remembered with sickening clarity the events of that summer and how the tracker's cruel game had almost stolen Bella from him. The memory of her body lying battered and broken on the floorboards of the dance studio was one that often haunted Edward when the sun dipped below the horizon. Her blood had never smelled so tempting and yet so sickening to Edward as it had that night, pooled around her still body and flowing at an alarming rate.

In your darkest hour,

Will I love you still?

I have and I always will.

Edward shook his head in order to dispel the grim memory and instead affixed a dazzling smile upon his face. Bella's long journey had finally drawn to an end and she was before him, Charlie presenting her hand for Edward to receive. Edward kissed the soft, warm skin before drawing Bella to his side offering her an encouraging wink. She consented to smile if only a little and Edward was struck by the magnitude of the gesture she was making on his behalf. Bella had been raised by her mother to view marriage and those that partook in it with amused scorn. Her inbred cynicism had remained with her throughout her teenage years and Edward had once thought it unlikely that she would ever change her mind. That had been his reason for offering her this condition before he would seal their relationship and complete her transformation himself. Although aware of just how much Bella was sacrificing by forsaking her humanity for him, Edward could not help but rejoice at her decision. Somehow, she would become so much less breakable in his eyes, and the idea of her eternal security was a comforting one.

Bella considered that becoming a vampire would bring them closer together in ways that she could only dream about whilst she remained human. By allowing Edward to drink from her, she felt that she would almost be assuming some small part of him. Neither felt over faced by the thought that this day they were affirming their love forever in the very literal sense of the word.

And you are changing now,

You're part of me somehow,

And I will never be alone...

Charlie and Renee drifted to their seats, the latter sobbing quietly into a handkerchief that Esme obligingly provided. Edward gazed into Bella's eyes as the minister began his sermon, never blinking but continuing to stare at her chocolate brown irises, every fleck of which was already committed to his memory.

Edward had watched from the sidelines over the years as his family had grown closer. They had taught him beyond all doubt that the ability to love could never be impaired by what they were. As the minister continued and the guests tittered in polite acknowledgement of some religious quip, Edward observed each of the couples he had spent the majority of his life alongside.

Alice and Jasper stood side by side against the wall, connected only by their little fingers which were linked discreetly. They knew each other inside out and were so comfortable in their affections that they scarcely felt the need for tactile displays. Edward admired them for their knowledge of each other's minds; something which he hoped would come in time for him and Bella.

Rosalie stood a few metres away from Alice, with one arm draped lazily over Emmet's shoulder whilst his hand rested on the curve of her waist and the side of his head against hers. Over the years the Cullens had attended many wedding ceremonies for Rosalie and Emmet's benefit, and it seemed that as the centuries passed their passion for one another only grew. Although sometimes embarrassed by their overt public displays, Edward hoped that he would someday find the same true of his own relationship.

Then, Esme and Carlisle who were both so perfectly turned out that they would not seem out of place on a Parisian runway. They sat together, still hand in hand, wearing identical smiles of approval and love as they watched their son and his bride. Their love for one another was as it was for each of their adopted 'children'; patient, caring and tender, displayed frequently but respectful none the less. More than anything, Edward hoped that he and Bella would be capable of mirroring this in their new life together.

In your darkest hours

Well I love you still

I have and I always will...

Edward returned his attentions to Bella, who was peering up at him with an expression of agonised curiosity spread across her features. To him, she was the most radiant creature in the world, whether she happened to be walking down the aisle towards him on their wedding day or towelling her hair dry on her bed whilst wearing an old pair of sweats. Edward smiled and kissed Bella's forehead so quickly that no one but she would be aware of the gesture. She grinned in response, finding herself lost in Edward's golden eyes as the words of the minister washed over her in a warm shower. Edward knew that he was prepared for whatever was to come after this day; the one day that he had been waiting for before he had even found Bella. Eternity would surely bring with it a host of trials and dramas for the couple to overcome, but as long as they were side by side as they belonged, there was nothing they could not endure.

As Bella's voice suddenly rang out through the room, nervous and a little higher than usual, Edward realised that it would soon be his turn to speak. He knew just exactly the words he would say when the time came.

I have and I always will...