Toasty Warm

Sequel to Prenuptual Posturing, in the Unforeseen Events Series. Rated M for later chapters. All belongs to Stephenie Meyer. B and E wed. Romance, humour, hurt and comfort. The Cullens and Hales, The Denalis, Charlie, The Dwyers, The Clearwaters, Jacob, Sam, Ang and Ben, the Forks High acquaintances.

Everything Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer and Summit. BD, Chapter 3 is quoted and/or paraphrased.

The traditional Christian wedding ceremony was created using: /christianweddingelements/a/weddingoutlinedothtm

I Corinthians 13, NKJ Bible is used.

Music belongs to its respective owners. Listen to it on YouTube. Nothing belongs to me, and no profit is being made from this work.

Playlist:

'Seek Ye First (In the setting of Pachelbel's Canon)' by K. Lafferty, arr. By Gail Smith (Prelude)

'River Flows In You', Yiruma (Processional)

'It's Your Day', Yiruma (Signing of the Register)

'Comme au Premier Jour', Andre Gagnon (Recessional)

Visit me on my webpage, which is linked to my profile. Drawings of the Cullens in their wedding clothes are being posted. Ya know ya want to see the dress. And I had to design one, because there's nothing vintage on the Net resembling anything Stephenie made canon. I have OCD, if you haven't noticed.

Dear Friend,

You are cordially invited to the wedding of Isabella Marie Swan and Edward Anthony Masen-Cullen. All are welcome. Please review to sign the Guest Book.

She was coming to me. Coming into view. My Bella. My everything. There was nothing in the world but her. Nothing, nobody between her and me. She was coming to me. Just a second more, and I would see her...

Oh, God! God! Oh, God, thank You. Bella is so beautiful in her gown. Bella is made for me, only me. Let me lay myself down as a gift for her. God!

Come to me my Bella, my heart. Come to me, and let this soul sing again for the rest of his days. Have I been transfigured? I don't remember ever being so warm.

Love burst out of this cold body, and warmed every part of me. It radiated to Bella, and I felt it bounce back to me and make an infinity circle of fire between us. Our eyes locked together joyfully, and I feasted on her visage, triumphant.

(Prenuptual Posturing, Chapter 23)

Chapter 1: I Take Thee, Isabella

Edward's pov

The assembled guests stood as Bella closed the short distance between us. My bride stood before me, hidden under her veil, splendid. Fire and light.

Charlie cleared his throat in amusement. Kid doesn't even see me trying to shake hands with him. He'll value my girl. She's all he sees.

Oh, yeah. I was supposed to shake hands. Huh. Vampires don't forget. Bella was dazzling me. She was some distraction! I shook Charlie's hand. Distractedly. My girl, now.

Her heart beat steadily, strong and true. Bella was not the least bit nervous. She leaned toward me and whispered under her breath, "Edward, love, I am so thrilled to be marrying you today." My sappy heart melted. Figuratively. All the vampires said 'aw' under their breath. I tried not to fall apart at the seams. Renee was sobbing already. Oh, wait, so was Esme. The females were going to get me started for sure. Rosalie gathered her bouquet from the top of the piano and went to stand beside Angela.

"Is anyone, here present, aware of any just cause that these two may not be wed?" our minister asked severely. I felt myself freeze, but there was silence. Not a peep. Not even a negative thought from Sue or Billy. Thank God. I forced myself to relax and Bella copied me. Renee sobbed hugely. I barely noticed.

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God, in the presence of these witnesses, and in memory of Elizabeth Masen, Edward Masen Senior and Marie Swan, to join together Isabella Marie Swan and Edward Anthony Masen-Cullen in holy matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God. It is, therefore, not to be entered into unadvisedly, but reverently, discreetly, and in the fear of God. Into this holy estate these two persons come now to be joined.

"Let us reverently remember that God has established and sanctified marriage, for the welfare and happiness of mankind.

"Our Savior has instructed that a man shall forsake his father and mother and cleave to his wife. By His apostles, He has instructed those who enter into this relation to cherish a mutual esteem and love, to bear with each other's infirmities and weaknesses; to comfort each other in sickness, trouble, and sorrow; in honesty and industry to provide for each other and for their household in temporal things; to pray for and encourage each other in the things which pertain to God; and to live together as heirs of the grace of life."

Carlisle stood straighter in his place next to me, beaming down at Esme in the front row. They were remembering their own vows. In fact, every married couple in the room was doing so.

"Heavenly Father, Isabella and Edward are now about to vow their unending loyalty to each other. We ask you to accept the shared treasure of their life together, which they now create and offer to You. Grant them everything they need, that they may increase in their knowledge of You throughout their life together. In the name of Jesus. Amen."

"The congregation may now be seated." There was a flurry of sound as everyone sat. Bella handed her bouquet to Alice. I stared at my love, and she smiled up at me. So serene. So certain. My angel.

"Doubly blessed is the couple which comes to the marriage altar with the approval and blessings of their families and friends. Who gives this woman?" asked Mr. Weber.

"Her mother and I do," answered Charlie, a little gruffly. Charlie kissed Bella's cheek. Then, he took my hand and joined it with Bella's. Bliss. Her scent, mingled with those of perfumes, flowers, satin and lace, wafted up between us. To my surprise, Charlie reached up, took hold of my ears, and kissed me on the forehead. Imagine that! Why wasn't I blushing? Oh. Bella was doing it for me.

Charlie moved to sit in the front row with Renee and Phil. I tucked Bella's hand into the crook of my arm and we faced Mr. Weber. Angela smiled fondly. My favourite verse. Her father took up his Bible and read First Corinthians 13:

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

"When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

"I charge you both, as you stand here in this high moment of your lives, to remember that love and loyalty alone will stand as the foundations of a happy and enduring home. Keep the vows you make this day, and your life together will be full of joy and peace, and the home which you make shall abide through every unknown future. This commitment shall be symbolized by the giving of rings." Carlisle handed me Bella's ring, and Alice handed Bella mine. We passed them to Mr. Weber and he put them in the open Bible.

"In this new life together, I counsel you to recall ever anew the thrill of your early love. Cherish always the visions and hopes you have this day, and let them not be tarnished by common events or routine habit. Believe in your ideals for this marriage, and diligently pursue them, and they shall indeed become realities.


"I charge you both to make your love for each other a growing part of your lives, feeding it from the very best resources of your living. Give of yourself to the other, deeply and freely and generously, placing the welfare of the other before your own."

Bella and I turned to face each other. She placed both hands in mine. The moment I had been waiting for, for over 80 years, was upon us.

"Edward Anthony, will you have Isabella Marie to be your wife, to live together as friend and mate? Will you love her as a person, respect her as an equal, sharing joy as well as sorrow, triumph as well as defeat, and keep her beside you as long as you both shall live?"

"I, Edward Anthony, take you, Isabella Marie, to be my wedded wife. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish as long as we both shall live. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness," I declared strongly.

"Isabella Marie, will you have Edward Anthony to be your husband, to live together as friend and mate? Will you love him as a person, respect him as an equal, sharing joy as well as sorrow, triumph as well as defeat, and keep him beside you as long as you both shall live?"

"I, Isabella Marie, take you, Edward Anthony, to be my wedded husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness." A fat tear leaked out of each of Bella's eyes behind the thin veil. I resisted the temptation to kiss them away.

Mr Weber held up our wedding bands. "Father God, bless these rings which Isabella and Edward have set apart to be visible signs of the inward and spiritual bond which unites their hearts. As they give and receive these rings, may they testify to the world of the covenant made between them here."

Mr. Weber handed me Bella's ring. I sucked in a breath and tried not to cry. "Dearest Isabella, receive and wear this ring as a symbol of my trust, my respect and my love for you." I gently put my ring on her finger. It got stuck part way. Bella's lips turned up. She crooked her finger so the ring could not fall, and surreptitiously put it the rest of the way on.

Bella accepted my ring from Mr. Weber. "Darling Edward, receive and wear this ring as a symbol of my trust, my respect and my love for you," she said huskily. Bella slid my ring smoothly onto my cold finger, where it would stay for the rest of eternity.

We spoke together, "This circle will now seal the vows of our marriage and will symbolize the purity and endlessness of our love." Rosalie lost it and sniffled into her bouquet. That sent Emmett over the edge too.

I put my wife's hand proudly on my arm and walked her around to the side of the altar. I moved to stand opposite her so that we could light the Unity Candle.

"The two outside candles have been lighted to represent both your lives in this moment. They are two distinct lights, each capable of going their separate ways. As you join now in marriage, there is a merging of these two lights into one light. This is what the Lord meant when He said, 'On this account a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall be one flesh.' From now on your thoughts shall be for each other rather than your individual selves. Your plans shall be mutual, your joys and sorrows shall be shared alike. As you each take a candle and together light the center one, you will extinguish your own candles, thus letting the center candle represent the union of your lives into one flesh. As this one light cannot be divided, neither shall your lives be divided, but they shall be a united testimony in a Christian home. May the radiance of this one light be a testimony of your unity in the Lord Jesus Christ." Bella and I lit the Unity Candle and blew out our own sparks. Eleazar clapped. A few people giggled at him.

Rosalie sat back down at the piano and started to play softly. Emmett brought the Register to the altar for us to sign. First I signed it, 'Edward Anthony' under Given Names, and 'Masen-Cullen' under Last. I handed Bella the pen. She signed 'Isabella Marie' under Given Names, 'Swan' under Nee, and 'Masen-Cullen' under New Last. Wasn't that a beautiful surname to record for posterity? I admired the Marriage Certificate. Alice and Carlisle signed as witnesses. Then, we went back to our places.

"For as much as Isabella and Edward have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and these witnesses, and thereto have pledged their faithfulness each to the other, and have pledged the same by the giving and receiving each of a ring, by the authority invested in me as a minister of the gospel according to the laws of the State of Washington, I pronounce that they are husband and wife together, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Those that God has joined together, let no man put asunder."

Mr Weber held out his hands to the congregation and to us. "The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you, and give you peace."

Oh, boy! The best bit was coming. I fidgeted, grinning at Bella. She fidgeted back, grinning at me. Mr Weber toyed with us, holding back from giving me the go-ahead. I raised my eyebrows and he chuckled.

"Edward, you may kiss the Bride." Yay! I tenderly lifted Bella's veil and bent down. Bella attacked me. Honest. I tried to keep it a chaste kiss, but she wouldn't let go. Oh, well. Her tongue slid into my mouth and I kissed her soundly. Ecstasy. But the crowd was getting antsy and throats were being cleared and wolf-whistles and 'woo's' were sounding. Alice was laughing her little pixie laugh and Emmett was laughing wickedly. Way to go, stud! Even Jasper was chortling shyly. And Esme was clapping as she sobbed, just like Renee. Boy, good thing Alice had strategically positioned boxes of tissues. Most of the humans were soggy.

I took Bella's face gently between my hands and pushed her back, chuckling, and kissed her wet eyes. I whispered in her ear as I brushed my lips along her jaw, "Later, Mrs. Cullen". My wife's heart was thumping erratically and she was red as a beet all over. And she started it! Her eyes danced.

Bella leaned in to murmur in my ear, "I will hold you to that promise, Mr. Cullen." She brushed her mouth across my jugular. Grr.

"Finished? " Mr Weber laughed. Bella and I joined in. I shook my head. I wasn't nearly finished. Everyone snickered.

"May I now introduce Edward and Bella Masen-Cullen?"

Cheers erupted. And then there was the reaction of the guests.

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