Alright, I need to run by some universe guidelines for ya'll. I suppose you could say this is set after Eclipse, except for one small change. Bella never agreed to wait for their wedding night to get intimate with Edward and he's still as uptight about the issue as he was before. Jacob is still missing too. I hope you all really enjoy this story; it's going to be a personal challenge for me to try and write a bit more subtly than I'm used to. Also, I was suffering withdrawal symptoms from not enough Bella/Jasper which is what this story will eventuate to. I don't own Twilight, poppits. I hope you all weren't stupid enough to think I did.
This story is Bella's POV
"Alice, that's going to leave a mark!"
"Well, maybe if you'd stop squirming I wouldn't accidentally stick you."
I snorted. Even if she couldn't predict my fidgety, squirming movements I knew all too well her lithe little fingers could easily avoid my skin should they wish. She was sticking me with pins on purpose.
"Sorry," I sighed, though I really wasn't.
"Most women would be excited about getting fitted for their wedding dress, much less an original by Alice Cullen, wedding planner extraordinaire."
I couldn't help but laugh. For all her eccentricities Alice truly was the best sister I could have asked for. These past few weeks she had diligently been making her way down the list of things to do before my wedding and I couldn't have been more grateful. Alice had let me lie around and enjoy my time with Edward without having me so much as lift a finger yet I still found every excuse to complain about how stressful this whole wedding was.
"Quit tensing, Bella! If you don't want your boobs to look lopsided then hold still while I fix your sleeves!"
Alice had pulled up a small stool that she was now standing on so she could reach my shoulders. I couldn't help but shiver when her cool fingers grazed my skin through the lace. Her laugh tinkled in my ear and that alone allowed me to relax, even if for just a second.
My eyes roamed over her surrounding room.
I had been in here so many times before but never once stopped to take all the clutter in. Yes, if I was being honest I would say it was cluttered. I couldn't even tell what colour the walls were thanks to the copious amounts of posters adorning every available section of space. There were blueprints of the house and garden, sketches of dresses, magazine cut-outs of shoes, cakes and table settings. There was even a large pinup board with an array of fabric squares stuck into place with a large title printed on blue card pinned at the top which read, "Possible Seat Cover Fabric."
You'd never have guessed that a man also shared this room.
"Ok, Bella, we're all done for today."
I held my hands straight up in the air and bent forward so Alice could slide the garment off my body.
"Please, my dear sister, do not put on any weight. This fabric is not forgiving."
I laughed as I put my clothes back on, nearly tripping over my pant leg.
I left Alice to work on my dress and went to find Edward. I bounded down the stairs two at a time, my heart singing at the thought of him.
I found my fiancé in front of the television with his brothers. Emmett and Jasper were cross-legged on the floor, game controllers in hand with Edward lounging out on the love seat.
"Boxing?" It came out like a question, though I could clearly see the ring and the fighters on the enormous LCD.
"It's Emmett's latest obsession and Jasper couldn't resist the challenge."
He disappeared off the couch and I suddenly felt his cool breath from behind me. I leaned back into him, melting at his touch. I sighed as he leant down to kiss my ear, my neck and cheek.
"Hey, lovebirds! Take the mush somewhere else, huh? There is a brutal exchange of virtual testosterone going on here!"
"I don't think so, Emmett," Jasper laughed as he threw down his controller.
"What? Where are you going? No, we have to finish this!"
Jasper chuckled as he stood up, ignoring Emmett's whines, "I'm going to see my wife. No offence Bella, but I don't think I've spoken a word to Alice in two days because of her obsession over your wedding."
I giggled as Jasper left the room, headed for the stairs. I plopped myself down next to Emmett on the floor and picked up the discarded controller.
"At a girl," Emmett said, flashing me his cheesy grin.
After a few rounds of Emmett totally demolishing me in the virtual ring, the atmosphere of the room changed abruptly.
Edward, who had retaken his position on the couch, stiffened as Emmett reached over to the remote and turned the volume up to an almost speaker-busting level. I waited for someone to mention something, but no one did. Their faces just tightened and all three of us felt uncomfortable, though apparently it was only me who didn't know why. Minutes passed like this and the videogame just wasn't fun anymore. Emmett was trying to shout jeers at me over the speakers, but his usual carefree smile was now tight and forced.
I knew not to say anything.
So I sat there uncomfortably until Edward finally suggested we go out for a while.
"Sounds good," I smiled, feeling relieved that we would get out of the house and the unsettling cloud that was hanging over us.
"I'll catch you guys later, then," Emmett said, as he turned the Xbox off. Emmett's quick, meaningful look at Edward didn't escape my attention as we walked out the door.
We got in the Volvo and drove down the driveway, Edward's posture noticeably relaxing as we got further away from the house.
"Don't think I'm going to forget about what happened back there."
Edward turned to look at me sheepishly, "So you noticed, huh?"
"How could I have not noticed? I've never felt more awkward."
Edward's face screwed up a bit and I knew he felt conflicted.
"You know you can tell me anything, Edward."
"I know that. I just don't know whether it's my place to tell you at all."
Edward's face continued to look torn as we drove out of Forks and sped into Port Angeles.
We pulled up into the car park of a cute little coffee shop and made our way inside. We were given the dinner menus by the hostess as it was starting to grow dark.
"I'll be back soon to get your order, would you like any drinks?" the woman battered her eyelashes at Edward and I felt my jaw tense up.
"Bella?" Edward cocked an eyebrow at me.
"Oh, um, just a chai latte thanks."
"Sure thing, Hun," the lady swished her hips as she walked away to the kitchen.
"A chai latte? Since when do you drink chai?"
"I'm not allowed to try new things?"
Edward chuckled, and then his face fell back into that screwed up, confused look.
The minutes passed in silence as my drink came over.
"Now what can I get you to eat, Hun?"
I wished she'd stop calling me that, "Just a chicken salad, thanks."
"Sure thing. What about you, darl?" she said as she rounded on Edward.
"Nothing for me, thank you."
"Well, ok then."
She whisked the menus away as she swaggered off. Ugh, who swaggers anyway?
Edward sighed into his hands, and I reached across the table to pull them away from his face, "Just tell me, Edward."
He gave me one last worried look before he gave up, "Alice and Jasper were fighting again."
"Again?" Since when did Alice and Jasper fight at all?
"Yes, they've been doing a bit of it lately."
"What are they fighting over?"
Edward took in a deep breath, "Our wedding."
I have to say, that stung. Why would they be fighting over our wedding? What could the supposedly happiest day of my life have done to make them fight?
"It's just, well you heard it yourself," Edward continued, "Jasper said he hadn't even spoken to Alice in two days because she's fussing over the wedding so much. It's putting a serious strain on their relationship."
I didn't even know what to say, so I just sipped on my chai latte. It was delicious and sweet, especially in comparison to the bitterness I was feeling at the moment.
"It's not your fault, love. It's not our fault. Jasper just… doesn't know what to do. He's been feeling all of your stress and worry. Usually when he feels overwhelmed by people's emotions he talks to Alice but then Alice is stressed and worried too."
"Well, what about today? I was feeling fine and Jasper looked happy enough when he went up to talk to Alice."
"Well, yes. But it's not all Jasper. Jasper just wanted to be with Alice and she kind of snapped at him. Something about sitting on seating a seating plan. They're just having a bit of a rough patch, love. They'll be fine."
I still wasn't convinced.
"Edward, I'm not hungry anymore. Could we please leave?"
He eyed me with concern, "Of course, Bella."
He put money down on the table and we left the coffee shop.
Driving back from the restaurant, we didn't speak much. I didn't know whether to feel guilty or sad or angry or whether I should even be concerned. All I knew was that my wedding was helping to destroy a relationship.
It wasn't until we pulled up into my driveway that we finally spoke.
"Bella, don't worry about it. They'll be fine, I promise. Look, I'll be back in a few hours when Charlie's gone to bed, ok?"
He kissed my forehead gently, "I love you."
I told him I loved him too as I hoped out of the car. He waited until I was safely inside the house before he drove down the drive way and up the street. For once I felt relieved to not have Edward here, just so I could think.
"Hey, kiddo how was your day?"
"Yeah, dad, it was alright. I'm going up to my room, ok?"
"Sure thing, Bells."
As Charlie sat in his recliner, watching some college game, I remembered when I'd first come here. The few hours before I'd met Edward Cullen and my life had changed forever.
Yes, I was sad back then and my life had absolutely no meaning. I also didn't break up couples who I cared for deeply. Why was my very existence such a burden to everyone? Couldn't I just sail by in life, or death, without interfering?
I trudged up the stairs and straight into the bathroom. I undressed and turned the heat on high. I felt the piercing needles of water burn into my skin and in that strange way, it felt good. I washed my hair and body, hoping to alleviate the day's stress. I let the steam cloud my brain and I almost relaxed, until my mind started to wander.
The wedding was causing such a hassle to everyone; even me. I was beginning to think I should just call it off all together, so we could be happy again. Why couldn't my big day be a joyous occasion for everyone? Then everything would be different… But would it? I stopped to consider that even before I found out about Jasper and Alice today, the wedding was about to bust one of my brain cells from stress, even though I did barely anything in regards to planning it. Was I just using this Jasper/Alice thing to convince myself that I wasn't having second thoughts about the wedding?
My breathing got faster and my heart beat wildly. Was I really having second thoughts about marrying Edward? I was never really into the idea in the first place and it wasn't until Edward's coaxing that I finally agreed. I was getting cold feet.
If the hot water hadn't started to run out I probably would have stood there forever, lost in my own shock.
I quickly shut off the water and got out of the shower. I made my way to my room, changed in my pyjamas and collapsed onto the bed, sinking into the mattress. I didn't know what to do with my doubts, so I did what I do best; shoved my feelings in a little bottle, stuffing a cork in the top. I put on some music trying to drown out my thoughts as I waited for Edward to come back. I wanted him to cuddle me and for me to get lost in his scent, so he could remind me why I was marrying him.
After what felt like hours, I looked at the clock and realised that it had been hours. It was almost 10 o'clock. I opened up Wuthering Heights and lost myself in the story, trying to ignore the nagging feeling in my chest that something wasn't right.
After 200 pages I felt drowsy. My eyelids hung heavy and reading the words started to become difficult. I reached over to my lamp and turned off my light.
Edward never arrived that night.