The stone walls were oppressing as I walked past them, slowly. Jane walked behind me, as if to ensure that I did not try to make a run for it or do anything stupid. What she didn't know was that I had no intentions of trying to get out of this wedding. I had already seen my fate and I knew that there was nothing else to be done with it. As I walked I listened to the sound that the ends of the gauzy dress made dragging over the cold stone floor. In truth I felt like a ghost walking through those dark stone corridors in the white dress.
The cathedral inside the castle that I was led into was easily the largest and most imposing room that I had ever been inside in my life. The huge stained glass depicting various saints allowed soft moonlight to filter into the church and fell upon the space in front of the huge crucifix at the front were I was to stand and take my vows. The silver moonlight glittered in an unexpected way there, as if offering a solace to the otherwise dark and unforgiving cathedral. Even with vampire sight, it was difficult to see anyone in the darkness of the stone room. I felt Jane finally take leave of me and stand to the side and a little back. I stood where I was for several moments. A figure handed me a large spray of daises and lavender, which, given the circumstances should have been very strange. I took them with a smile, breathing ragged and unnecessary breaths to try and calm my nerves.
Easily, there were five hundred vampires in the cathedral, standing to both sides of the long center aisle. The groom a shadowy figure at the front too dark to make out, standing just outside the pool of silvery moonlight. I took one small step forward at Jane's stern push from her place beside where I stood, but then I stopped.
Suddenly I couldn't get the image of Edward's vows to me out of my mind…of that last morning when everything looked so differently…the yellow curtains turning the sunlight even more golden in our small room where he promised forever to love me. Did he know then how long forever would be? Could he have ever imagined the trails awaiting us to stand in the way of that promise? And still, through everything…all the doubt, the death, the betrayals, the time that stood perpetually in the way…he never strayed from that promise. Decades of him walking through a fire and he never flinched.
I could see him in front of me on that day of those vows as I moved my feet forward down the aisle slowly. Firmly, I kept his face in my mind, his gentle touch at my cheek, his velvet voice whispering softly in my ears. Even as I walked over the cold stones and looked forward into the silver moonlight, I kept these things with me, knowing that nothing could truly ever separate us.
I did not understand Latin, nor anything else that the vampire in front of the large cross said, but I knew the vows Edward and I had shared those years ago and, despite everything, I was not afraid. The pale hand that reached out to mine in the darkness touched me with surprising gentleness. I looked up the stained glass window that allowed the moonlight to filter though. The words, though in Latin, were something I recognized. Something I remembered from a very long time ago. Something my grandparents quoted to me once as a child after my mother had become afraid of my abilities. It was printed in cross-stitch in a frame hanging over the piano where I spent so much time. In English, it translated to ten words.
Hatred my cause dissension, but love will cover all wrongs.
Other things in Latin were repeated, so quietly from both sides that no vampire standing more than a few feet away could have heard. The figure in front of me slipped on a very old and familiar ring onto my finger. I watched, feeling both extreme anxiety and the deepest clam somehow all at once. What happened next changed everything and also changed nothing. Still gently holding my outstretched hand, the figure next to me in the dark stepped into the silvery moonlight and, very gently, leaned forward to kiss me.
Sounds erupted from all over the cathedral behind us as well as the sound of fire exploding, but I didn't breakaway or turn to look. Some moments in time are meant to only be shared with one person and this was one moment that would have made me satisfied had it been my last. His kiss was soft, warm, and ever so gentle that, for that moment, I wasn't in Volterra. I wasn't surrounded by a civil war erupting within the Volturi. I was a young girl again and I was kissing my visitor and white knight at the alter of the little chruch in Ashton on our wedding day that we never made it to. I was surrounded with love. I was kissing my husband.
The kiss was something like a photograph...something that took only a short moment, but somehow managed to last forever. Edward finally and much too soon, for I could have gone on frozen that way forever, pulled away just slightly and caressed the side of my cheek. He leaned in closer so that I might be able to hear him over all the commotion of the Volturi and the Volutri gaurd killing each other and whispered softly in my ear "I love you, my wife."
With that, I took Edward's hand as he offered it to me again and, smiling happily, we ran out and and away from the church, back down the aisle, through the corridors, and out the first door we could find leading to the outside of the city. As we ran out, I saw from the corner of my eye Aro being pulled apart by Marcus and a few others and the remander of Jane's body being burnt in a large fire with her brother watching nearby. I put it all out of my mind though, the only thing that I wanted to think about now was running away with Edward. There were no cars or anything parked outside, but I didn't mind running. It was exhilerating to run, hand in hand with Edward, through the Itailan countryside in the moonlight. The moon was full and the sky clear and starry. The open landscape made it easy to run. After a while, we slowed to a walk beside a wine vineyard, knowing that no one would be following us and Edward began to explain.
"After you told Marcus about what Aro did to his wife, I plotted with Marcus for this. He has been gathering Volutri members to his side for months and, I would say, has a very good chance of taking over as a lone ruler. I offered my skills to him as a mind reader to help him get followers in exchange for you. He never intended on making you marry him."
I smiled, already having figured out most of this. "I knew you would come back for me."
Edward smiled shyly. "I have a place planned to take you. A place I meant for us to go for our honeymoon the first time. Come." He lead me over to a road not too far away and a car parked there that had Edward written all over it.
Opening the passenger side door for me, Edward smiled and I thanked him. He drove us for a few hours to a beach and I got out of the car, watching how the moonlight seemed to dance on the surface of the ocean as the waves came in peacefully. I smiled, thinking about how serene and beautiful the place was. The radio on Edward's car was still playing some sweet, slow Italian song. Though I could not understand the words, I got the worst itch to dance listening to it and watching the pale moon with the water. Edward simply stood where he was a little further from the water with an expression I couldn't quite read. His smile seemed happy but his eyes looked melancoly...it was an odd combination and I wondered if he too were reminicing back to my human days and the beginning of our relationship.
I danced in the surf of the ocean, the cool water feeling good to my feet and the bottom of my dress getting wet. I didn't care how ridiculous I looked. I just couldn't help it. The night was too wonderful and everything too beautiful for anything to be held back. I felt more myself than I think I ever had as I danced and twirled and laughed, drunken with the feeling of freedom and adventure and love.
Edward finally came over with me to the edge of the beach and I wound my arms around his shoulders, begging him to dance with me. With a quiet affectionate smile he did and my wild, carefree dancing changed into something slower and more personal. As he placed his hand at my hips and lower back to dance I felt a nervous shiver run through me. His touch left me wanting more and I pulled him closer, eventually placing my head on his chest and simply letting him lead me. He held his hand out, twirling and pulling me back into him and I couldn't imagine any being ever feeling so much alive right now as this.
I felt his hand leave my hip and I instantly began to miss the contact when he placed it under my chin to get me to look up into his eyes. Pushing up as high as I could on the tips of my toes, I met him for a kiss. At first I thought that it was going to be short, but it soon turned into something much longer and consuming. He was so gentle as he prodded into my mouth with his tongue, exploring as I did the same. Without really noticing until I was already in his arms, I realized that he had picked me up from the sand and had begun to cradle my body to his chest. Even as he began to walk we continued our kiss until I felt him opening a door to something and noticed that we were entering a small villa that sat to the side of where we had been dancing on the beach.
He carried me bridal style through the small villa to the only bedroom and placed me down carefully on the bed, kneeling down in front of me on the floor. As I looked around the room I had the strange urge to cry again, though I was no loger able. The room was small with dark wooden floors and a large open window that looked out to the ocean, but that was not what got me. On the wall, dresser, and nightstands in the room were all of the pictures of us together and me as a human and a few of us standing together after I had returned with Jasper as a vampire...thirty two in total. On the bed beside me there was also something else, a small gold plated music box. I gasped as I picked it up and twisted the crank. As I opened it that old tune of ours began to play and a tiny porcelin ballerina twirled in front of a mirror inside the boxed lined with emerald green velvet. Instead of being empty, however, like it was the last time I had opened it, it was very full of all sorts of expensive, glittering jewerly that looked as if it were more fit for a princess than anyone like myself. I looked up at Edward, speechless. There simply were no words for that moment in time.
"I hope you don't mind that I worked on it a little over the years. There's something for every year that I waited...I would go to pick it out on the anniversary of our private wedding." He said with a solemn but hopeful voice. I looked down at the open jewerly box again and the little ballerina that still had a few blood stains that Edward must not have been able to get out before placing it carefully onto the nightstand table beside me while it still played our sweet melody.
Leaning up, I touched Edward's face softly with my hand. "I love you, my visitor." I just barely whispered, as he leaned his forehead against mine. Smiling, I managed to say a little louder, "You will kiss me. I've seen it."
He chuckled a little and then kissed me sweetly yet more firmly than I was used to from him, leaning me ever further back unto the bed until I was laying down on my back in the white wedding dress.
"Oh, my beautiful wife," he smiled with a twinkle in his eyes "I intend to."
Wow, I can't believe that I have finally come to the end of this story! I didn't even know that this would be the last chapter until I was writing it. This story has definitely lead me more than I had lead it! Please let me know what you think, as I am, of course, a little sad to be at the end. For anyone who wants to know, as Alice wasn't really paying much attention at the time, the Volturi had a civil war that erupted when Aro and Cauis figured out just who was standing at the alter with Alice and many on both sides of the battle died, though the ultimate winner of it is unknown (funny that I don't even know, but I don't because I stayed with Alice and Edward in the story and, as I said, they were occupied, lol). The latin verse on the stained glass window, for anyone who doesn't know, is a quote from the Bible- Proverbs 10:12. I thought it an appropriate thing to sum up their relationship, especially since we all know how Edward is religious.