A/N: Here is my outtake that I contributed for Fics4Nashville. I live in Tennessee, so this was very close to my heart. Thanks to all of you for your donations, and thanks to mssnarkerella for her beta skills.
"Such Great Heights" Outtake
"Where are you taking me?" I growled as Rosalie drove her BMW convertible along the freeway. Trees were passing in a blinding blur, and I was deathly afraid to take a peek at the speedometer.
"It's tradition," Alice squealed excitedly from the backseat. "He isn't supposed to see you…"
I rolled my eyes in the darkness of the car. The rehearsal and the subsequent dinner had gone off without a hitch. It was amazing how well our families got along, and Riley had been the life of the party. He had shifted positions between both sets of grandparents all night long. My son was so lucky to have so many people who loved him.
"It isn't the day of the wedding yet," I complained loudly as we pulled into the Cullen estate. "I want to sleep in my own bed!"
"Absolutely not," Rosalie shook her head as she turned off the ignition. "Edward won't abide by the rules. His dick is like magnetic north to your…"
I glared in her direction. "Rose!"
She shrugged. "Tell me I'm wrong, Swan. Tell me I'm wrong, and I'll take you right back to your house. Tell me that my brother can stay away from you until the wedding ceremony tomorrow."
This was the danger of having a best friend who was going to be your sister-in-law in less than twenty-four hours. She knew all of my secrets. And she knew I couldn't promise that Edward would stay away for the rest of the night. I couldn't promise that I would stay away from him.
I huffed and crossed my arms across my chest. Alice giggled from the backseat as all three of us climbed out of the car and made our way into the house.
I suppressed a yawn as I scanned the bedroom one last time. My dress was hanging in Edward's childhood closet. My shoes (ballet flats – thank you, mom!) were placed on the floor. Everything was ready, and I climbed into bed with visions of my wedding day lulling me into a sweet sleep.
I had just dozed off when I felt Edward's arms wrap around me. I gasped with surprise and excitement.
"I'm not technically breaking the rules," he whispered against my ear. "It's just 11:45."
Suddenly wide awake, I giggled and turned over to face him. "What are you doing here? Where's Riley?"
Edward smoothed my hair away from my face as he cupped my cheek. "Riley is sound asleep back at the house. Your Dad is still wide awake, however. We had a really nice talk. He also threatened my life if I didn't get out of here before midnight."
"I bet," I giggled as I snuggled closer. His arms tightened around me and we sighed in unison.
"I just couldn't stay away," Edward whispered faintly. I smiled against his chest. "Besides, we didn't exchange our vows."
"I know," I murmured softly. "Did you bring yours?"
Edward nodded. "Do you have yours?"
"Yes," I said. "They're in my bag."
Excitedly, Edward leapt out of bed and grabbed my bag as I sat up against the headboard. I laughed as he tossed me the bag as he began tugging a piece of paper out of his jeans.
With eager smiles, we exchanged our handwritten vows.
We'd debated about the vows for the ceremony, and there was so much I wanted to say, but some things should be private. Besides, I knew how romantic Edward could be, and I was positive that the mommy hormones – combined with the emotions of our wedding day – would leave me a sniffling mess.
So instead, we'd opted for the traditional vows for the ceremony.
These vows – our own handwritten vows – were just for us.
"I miss you already," I whispered as I climbed into Edward's lap. He pulled me close as we wrapped our arms around each other.
"Just think," he whispered against my ear. "This time tomorrow…"
"I know," I murmured happily as I placed a kiss against his neck. "This time tomorrow, I'll be your wife."
His arms tightened around me as he nuzzled my hair. "I'm going to make you so happy, Bella. I'll give you anything…everything…"
"You already have," I whispered softly against his ear. "You've given me a son, you've given me a new baby, and you've given me you. What else could I possibly want in this life?"
"Will you cry?" Edward asked as he glanced down at the vows in my hand.
"Probably," I admitted with a shrug. "Will you?"
We smiled at each other before Edward leaned close, kissing me softly.
"It's 11:58," I whispered, my eyes catching a glimpse of the clock on the bedside table.
Edward sighed sadly as he pressed his forehead against mine. "I love you."
"I love you," I smiled softly as he nuzzled my nose with his. Reluctantly, I climbed off his lap and settled against the pillows. Edward climbed off the bed and pulled the covers around me.
"Text me after you read them?" Edward asked. "I don't think texting is against the rules..."
"It isn't," I promised him. "The rules just say you can't see me. Nothing says we can't talk."
He smirked as he leaned down and kissed my forehead. "I love you."
"I love you," I replied happily, and I watched in surprised fascination as my future husband climbed out of his window. I threw the covers back and hastily made my way to the window. Edward climbed along the trellis before dropping to the ground below.
Something tells me he had lots of practice climbing in and out of that window as a teenager.
I climbed back into bed and sat against the headboard, pulling the blanket around me. I turned on the bedside lamp and carefully opened his letter.
I have hundreds of crumbled pieces of paper tossed around this room. I have stopped and started and stopped again…desperately trying to find the words to explain how much you mean to me. I've decided there are just no words, and I'm going to have to just say what's on my heart.
You came into my life when I was at rock bottom. My son was traumatized, and I was just going through the motions, one horrific day at a time. Nanny after nanny walked through our doors, and just as quickly, they ran back out. When my sister mentioned you, I'm sure you can imagine that I wasn't at all optimistic, and the absolute furthest thing from my mind was finding someone to love. I just wanted to take care of my kid and be the father he deserved.
Do you know how many times a day I thank my sister for bringing you into our lives?
I tried so hard to ignore the way I felt about you. I knew I was crossing our carefully set boundaries and limits, but I'd see you interact with Riley, and my heart would ache because I knew that you were exactly what he needed, and exactly what I wanted. You are so beautiful, but that fact was so unimportant. What was important was the way you made me feel. You brought me hope. You brought me peace. You showed me how to be a father. You taught my son that it was okay to make a mess and be a little boy. Something as simple as seeing you playing in the floor with him…or reading him his bedtime story….or watching as he curled into your side as he fell asleep…Bella, I can't tell you how precious those memories are to me. My son is so lucky to have you as his mother.
I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with you, and I can't wait to hold our baby in my arms. I hope he or she looks just like you. I promise to be a good husband. I promise to be a good father. I promise to love you until the day I die.
I love you,
From my car, I watched my childhood window. After a while, the glow from the bedside lamp dimmed.
Moments later, my phone vibrated with a text.
You made me cry. I love you.
I couldn't keep from smiling. I knew she'd cry, and I wished I could kiss her tears away. I barely resisted the urge to climb back up the trellis. But Rose would have my balls, and Bella's father was waiting back at the house.
But I had to read my letter. I couldn't wait another second. So, in the glow of the dashboard light, I opened the envelope.
I have so much to say to you, and I really didn't want to say these things in front of everyone we knew. Not because I'm ashamed, or embarrassed, but because I think some things should be sacred.
The fact that you love me, despite my flaws, means more to me than you could ever know. You accepted me without judgment, without question, and I have never felt more loved and adored than I feel when you look at me. With every touch of your hand, I feel worshipped and loved, and sometimes it's so overwhelming that I feel like I can't breathe. But it's the sweetest feeling, and I have no doubt that the love we share will only intensify over the years. I can't imagine loving you more than I do tonight, but it's like you said when we found out that I was pregnant…I find myself falling in love with you a little more each day.
Thank you for giving me Riley. He is the most special boy in the whole world, and I love him so much. He's beautiful and smart, and I know that's because of you. I am writing him a letter, too…I'll give it to him before we go on our honeymoon. I want him to know how much I adore him, and how proud I am to be his mother.
Thank you for our baby that's growing inside of me. I know we've done everything a little backwards, but I truly feel that everything that's ever happened in my life has led me to you. I needed my heart broken so that I could recognize a good man when I finally found him. And I have. And I love you.
You, Riley, and our baby are my life now. I can't wait to see you in your suit. I can't wait to walk down the aisle and into your arms. I can't wait to be your wife.
I wiped away a tear as I carefully folded the precious letter and placed it in my pocket. I then grabbed my phone and sent a quick text.
You made me cry, too.
I knew you wouldn't make it until you got home. :)
You were right. Whose turn is it?
It can be yours. What do you want?
I want to be your husband.
I want to be your wife. So tomorrow, it's both our turns.
Yes, baby. Tomorrow, we'll both get what we want.
I can't wait. It's a date.
No, my love. It's a promise.