Sorry it has taken me so long to get my stories updated. All of my current stories, with the exception of Interview, will be updated again in the next week to ten days.
"She wants to talk to you, Mama," Masen said, handing me the phone.
I let out a breath and took the phone, walking back towards the bedroom with it. I imagined that this wouldn't be an altogether friendly conversation.
"Hi Rose," I said sheepishly.
"Isabella Marie Swan," she hissed. "Is Masen telling the truth?"
"Yes," I said slowly, sounding even more sheepish than before.
"And why am I just finding out about it now?" she asked angrily.
"I'm sorry," I said honestly. "It's just..."
"Just what?" she asked, still using her angry tone.
"He just asked me yesterday, and we didn't want to wait," I said.
"How would telling us make you wait?" she asked.
"Rose," I said, not even sure how to explain.
"You didn't think we'd be happy for you?" she asked. "You know we would have. We've all missed you so much, and Edward... He was so different when you were gone. He barely smiled and he was all emo. Now that you're here with us again, and you're both happy, you didn't want to share that with us?"
I could tell she was hurt and that had never been my intention.
"Rose, it wasn't about excluding you guys. We were just doing it for us. I couldn't handle it if it was turned into a spectacle..."
"And we'd make a spectacle?" she asked, sounding hurt or offended
"Not you precisely," I said, thinking of the one person who would make it a spectacle given a chance.
"Alice?" she asked.
"Alice," I agreed. "Look, I know she'd mean well, but I can't do that. I don't want to walk down an aisle... I just... I always thought..."
"That Charlie would be there to give you away," she finished for me. "I get that, Bella. We'd all just like to be there for you guys. I think we could even reign Alice in with the limited notice."
Edward walked into the room and smiled sheepishly at me again, before grabbing his pants and boxers and heading for the bathroom. I asked Rose to hold on for a second, covered the mouthpiece and grabbed Edward's arm.
"Help me," I whispered to him. "What do I do?"
"Invite them?" he said, shrugging his shoulders. "It's up to you."
"Really?" I asked.
"It would be nice to see them there," he said. "I want to tell the world that you are my wife and we can start with them."
"What about your parents?" I asked.
"We'll have pictures," he answered.
"Rose," I said, getting her attention again.
"Yeah," she answered.
"What are you doing this afternoon?" I asked her.
She let out a very Alice-like squeal in response, causing me to pull the phone from my ear. Edward heard and shook his head laughing.
"You'll be good for Rose," he said softly. "She's obviously been spending too much time with Alice."
"I heard that Cullen," Rose threatened, loudly through the phone. "I'm just happy to see the last of your emo ass."
I rolled my eyes, thinking of how normal this conversation actually was.
"So when are you going to call Alice?" I asked Rose.
"No dice, Babycakes," she said, her voice taking on a little evil tone. "That's all you."
After begging Rose to take pity on me and call her for me, she threatened that if she hadn't heard from Alice in the next ten minutes I would be sorry, then hung up. I waited all of ten seconds before dialing Alice's number.
"Hello?" Charlie's little voice answered the phone.
"Hi Charlie," I said to him.
"Auntie Bella," Charlie cheered. "Does Masen get to play with us today?"
"I'm not sure about that, Charlie," I said to the boy. Just saying his name made me smile. "Is your mom there?"
"Yeah," he said. "She's trying to make some muffins. Last time she tried, I dropped it and it bounced. It was funny."
I laughed. Alice was good at many, many things... Cooking and baking were definitely not included in those things. I started to feel some of the nerves that I had in making this call dissipate. Maybe Alice wouldn't freak out...
"Can I talk to her please?" I asked the boy.
"Okay," he said happily. "MOOOMMM, it's Auntie Bella."
The name Auntie made me happy and I smiled thinking about how happy I was to have my friends and their families back in my life.
"Bellaboo," Alice cheered as she answered the phone. "I was just making muffins from the recipe Emily gave me."
"I heard your last muffins bounced," I said, postponing the real reason for my call.
"I don't know what I did wrong," she said. "The boys were... Wait. Why are you calling me right now?"
"Can't a girl call her friend?" I asked.
"Something's up," Alice said, and I could feel perspiration forming on my lip. Every bit of the stress I had in telling my over-excitable friend about my impending nuptials was back full force, and they brought friends. I was certain that I was going to throw up, and it had nothing to do with morning sickness.
"What are you, Jasper, and the boys up to this afternoon?" I asked.
"Jazz is at work, and the guys and I are just hanging out. Why?" she asked, her voice laced with suspicion.
"I wanted to know if you wanted to get together in about an hour or so and do something," I said, realizing I was getting to the crux of the matter quickly. My heart started to beat wildly.
"What are we doing?" she asked.
"I'," I said quickly, sure she'd never understand what I had said.
"IN AN HOUR?" she squeaked, understanding perfectly what I had mumbled out. Then, the Alice that I knew and loved came out. "What about flowers, a dress, the license, when did he ask you? What am I going to wear? Do you have wedding bands? I hope Jasper doesn't have a meeting. Did you call Rose? What about pictures? Where is this happening? Do you have a cake? Is there a reception? Masen must be thrilled. I'm so happy for you!"
"Uhhhh," I muttered not even getting half of what she said.
"Oh, Bella..." she said, suddenly bursting into tears. "I never thought I'd see this day. I had truly given up hope."
"Why are you crying Alice?" I asked, my own tears starting as I heard hers. "You never cry."
"I'm just so happy for you," she sobbed.
I was a mess of tears myself but I had pregnancy hormones to blame for that. Pregnancy hormones?
"ALICE!" I exclaimed.
"What?" she asked.
"Do you have something to share?" I asked her.
"No," she said quickly. A little too quickly, even for Alice.
"Mary Alice Brandon Whitlock!" I exclaimed. "You're pregnant!"
"What? No... How?... But..." she sputtered.
"When are you due?" I asked her.
"Shhhhhh!" she said. "How did you...?"
"I just did," I said, smugly.
"It's new," Alice said. "Like maybe on our trip. I haven't even been to the doctor yet."
Now it was my turn to squeal. "I'm so happy for you."
"Shh," she said. "Now you're marrying Edward in an hour and I'm just finding out now?"
"We were sorta gonna sneak off and do it just the three of us," I admitted.
"I knew it!" she said, surprisingly not sounding upset at all. "Why'd you change your mind?"
"Masen spilled the beans to Rose," I admitted. Might as well go with the whole truth.
"I'm going to buy that boy a big present for that," she said, giggling.
"So can you guys make it?" I asked. "I don't have much time and need to finish getting ready."
We went over time and place, and Alice promised to be there with Jasper and the boys. I was excited that both she and Rose were pregnant too, yet still not ready to share our news with her. I liked it that Edward and I had that just for us. I finally managed to get Alice off the phone and went to join Edward in the bathroom.
"Hello, my beautiful bride," he said smirking at me as he tried in vain to control his mop of hair. "You're still breathing. I take it Alice wasn't too upset."
"Nice of you to take off and feed me to the wolves," I commented.
"Sorry," he said, grinning sheepishly.
"Just for that you have to be the one to tell everybody we're pregnant," I said.
"Alice doesn't know already?" he asked, seeming actually shocked. Alice always seemed to know everything.
"I think she is preoccupied with her own condition right now," I said to him. He looked at me, all confused. I rolled my eyes and continued. "Alice is pregnant, too. Like a vacation baby or somewhere close."
"God help us!" he said, snickering. "So she doesn't know about...?" he asked, pulling me so my back was against his chest and placing both his hand on my still flat abdomen.
"Nope," I said to him. "Just us."
"Good," he said. "I like that."
"Me too," I said. "Now you need to go and entertain your son so I can finish getting ready."
"You need any help?" he asked, grinning at me in the mirror, his hands moving under my shirt suggestively.
"Any more of your help and we'll be late to our own wedding," I said to him.
"Fine," he sighed, kissing my neck. "I'll finish getting ready in the bedroom then I'll play Lego with Mase."
"Sounds good," I said.
I stepped out of the shirt and into the white strapless bra and lacy boy shorts that had been discarded quickly earlier. I put on a little eyeliner, mascara, and some lip gloss, then I brushed my hair again so it fell in soft waves to the middle of my back. I pulled up some small strands from close to my face and clipped them there with a simple silver barrette. I looked at Edward's note again and whispered, "Today, tomorrow and always." With 40 minutes to go before the wedding, I opened the dress bag and pulled out my wedding dress. It was made of a soft, light weigh cotton, and I unzipped the back and stepped into it. It was strapless fitting around my chest perfectly with an embroidered sash built in at the waist. As I zipped it up, feeling the soft fabric hug me tightly across my upper body, I placed my hand on my abdomen, knowing that the dress wouldn't fit by the end of summer. I smoothed out the front, letting the soft fabric flow around my thighs to just above my knees. I admired myself in the mirror, thinking that it was pretty much perfect. It was no grand ball gown, covered in more bling than a person could hope to count, like Alice had always dreamed, but it was simple and elegant, and perfect for me.
Marrying Edward... My high school dream, my college assumption, the dream I wouldn't allow myself in our time apart. I would never have imagined this a year ago, or even a month ago. I had never even thought of having more children. Not that I didn't enjoy Masen, that was never the issue. I just knew that I could never love anyone the way I loved Edward, and having another child that didn't have a father wasn't for me. As I laid my hand on my belly, I realized how long ago that seemed. My time as Angela Weber seemed almost like a bad dream.
"Wow, Mom!" I heard from the door.
"Hey, Mase," I said to my son.
"You look beautiful, Mom," Masen said, sounding awed.
"Thanks, Mase," I said to him.
"Whatcha doing back here?" I asked him.
"I missed you," he said. "Dad told me you were going to be wearing a dress and I didn't believe him."
"Why not?" I asked him.
"Cuz you always wear pants," he said.
"Well it's cold in Prince Rupert a lot and since I get dirty working around the lodge..." I explained, trying to justify my lack of dresses to my still six-year-old son.
"I know," he said. "I just wanted to see it."
"Tell Daddy that I'm almost ready. I just need to get my shoes..." I was interrupted by a knock on the apartment door.
"Uh oh," I said to Masen.
"Who do you think it is?" he asked, whispering.
"EDWARDO!" Emmett's booming voice sounded through the apartment. "It's about time you made an honest woman out of our Bellsy."
"Uncle Em," Masen squealed running out of the room. I made a quick b-line for the closet to get the simple white kitten heeled sandals I chose for today.
"I know you are in there, Bella," Alice said coming in. I turned and looked at her, armed to the teeth with bags and her trusty case of cosmetics. Rose was standing behind her, both her arms full too.
"Oh," Alice said, her eyes watering. "You look..."
"I know," I said. "It isn't very bridal..."
"It's perfect," Rose said.
"It is," Alice agreed, tears springing to her eyes. "You look beautiful."
"Thank you?" I said, looking at my two friends.
"I was sure you were going to try to get married in jeans or something," Alice sobbed. "You look great."
"Alice!" Rose said. "It's not surprising, she always did."
"We came to hep you out, but I guess you don't need it," Alice said hiccuping.
"No," I agreed. "But I am so happy you are here with us."
"Me too," Rose said coming over and hugging me.
"Me three," Alice said, staying where she was. "I'd hug you too but I don't want to ruin your dress with my tears."
"What's a few tears between friends?" I asked, reaching the hand that wasn't currently wrapped around Rose towards Alice. She didn't hesitate and came and wrapped her arm around me. After a few moments, we were all sniffling and I smiled at the thought that we were all pregnant together, though I was the only one who knew that.
"She's getting married, and I'm pregnant. What's your excuse for the waterworks, Alice?" Rose asked, pulling back.
Alice looked at me, I guess wondering if it was okay to spill the beans on my wedding day. I nodded at her.
"Me too," Alice said.
"You're pregnant?" Rose all but yelled.
"Bellsy is pregnant?" Emmett yelled barreling down the hall.
"She is?" Jasper asked coming in behind him.
"Yeah," Edward said following behind them. Guess the cat is out of the bag on that one.
"What?" Alice and Rose yelped, turning to look at me.
Edward looked at me, completely helpless for a minute realizing he had just let the cat out of the bag.
"If Rose wasn't talking about Bella, who was she...? OHHHHH!" Jasper said looking at his wife.
"Jazz didn't even know?" I asked Alice.
"I hadn't... I just took the test this morning," Alice said, not taking her eyes off Jasper.
"Really?" Jasper asked her, not taking his eyes off her.
She simply nodded. I looked away, and my eyes met Edward's. His eyes were glued to me and I realized he was seeing me in my wedding dress for the first time. I crossed the floor to see him.
"Hey," I whispered softly to him.
"You look stunning, Bella," he said to me.
"Thanks," I said, feeling myself blushing. He leaned down and pressed his forehead to mine.
"Sorry for spilling the beans," he said, looking at me rather sheepishly.
"As soon as he asked it was game over," I said.
"True," he said, placing a chaste kiss on my lips.
"Okay, Lovebirds," Emmett crowed. "I think it's time we go and get Edwardo and Bellsy hitched." Rosalie's resounding slap to the back of his head had the rest of us giggling.
"Do you have to be such an oaf all the time?" she whined.
"Sorry, Babe," he said, giving her the dimpled grin that she always fell for.
"We need five minutes alone with Bella before we go," Alice announced, picking up her bag.
The boys were shuffled out to check on the kids and the girls turned to me and smiled.
"You didn't tell us," Alice accused poking out her bottom lip.
"We would have," I said, biting my lip. "It's new too... obviously."
"We're all knocked up together," Rose said matter-of-factly. "The way it should have been from the start."
Alice and I nodded and smiled at her.
"So we talked and decided that even though you are getting married in a very small setting you still need to follow appropriate customs," Alice said.
"So we got you a few things that every bride needs," Rose finished.
"Something old," Alice said, reaching into the bag.
"This hair clip is actually Esme's. It was something her mother wore on her wedding day. I borrowed it to use for a photo shoot before we left and never got a chance to return it. I'm sure she'd love for you to wear it today," Rose finished.
"Awww," I said, starting to tear up. Rose removed the clip from my hair and slid Esme's antique golden clip in instead.
"Something new," Alice said, dabbing at her tears. "You obviously have that covered with your dress and shoes, so we don't need to worry."
"Something borrowed," Rose said, her eyes filling with tears. "It is supposed to be from a happily married woman..." She removed a bracelet from her wrist that her mother had always worn.
"Your mother's..." I sniffled.
"Yeah," she said. "It was a gift from my dad on their wedding day. They had overcome so much to get where they were... it just seems right that you wear it today."
"I'll take good care of it," I said, my own tears starting to fall.
"Something blue," Alice said, pulling a blue garter belt out of the bag. I laughed as I took it from her and slipped it onto my own leg.
"And a silver sixpence for your shoe," Rose said. "Remember we had such a hard time finding one for Alice..."
I nodded. Alice had insisted on ALL the traditions and Rose and I had scoured Seattle for the sixpence.
"When we found it, the shopkeeper had two, so I bought the other one, knowing that you and Edward would be getting married at some point. I didn't think it would be seven years later but... I'm so glad it's here and that I can finally pull this from my sock drawer for you."
"Rosie," I sobbed, hugging her. Alice joined in and we all sniffled for a few moments.
"We'll have to tape it to your shoe since you are wearing sandals," Alice said, dabbing at her tears, causing both Rosalie and I to laugh.
"Well, let's go get you married," Rose said, wiping her own tears away. We quickly loaded into three cars and made our way to city hall. Edward kissed my cheek before dashing off to pick up the marriage license while Rose and Emmett talked to the photographer and Alice and I talked to the JP who was doing the ceremony. It hit me suddenly that there was something truly missing from all this, and I needed to make it right.
"I have something I need to do," I said to Rose. "Tell Edward I'll be right back."
I dashed into the bathroom and took my cell phone out of my purse.
"Esme..." I said.
Five minutes later I was back, my cell phone lodged into my dress.
"Are you okay, Beautiful?" Edward asked, standing outside the door.
"I'm perfect," I said to him. We walked hand in hand back to the rest of the group and the JP.
"Shall we begin?" he asked. Edward and I nodded at him.
"Wait," Alice said, grabbing a small bunch of red roses that she had been carrying. "It isn't a true bouquet but it was the best I could do on short notice."
"Thank you, Alice," I said. She pulled out a camcorder next and handed it to Jasper. "You work this thing better than I do."
"Now that your videographer is in place..." the JP said.
The ceremony was quick, with the JP telling us about marriage and committing to each other. Before he got to the vows, he asked us if we had anything we wanted to say to each other. Edward said he did.
"Bella, I knew the day that I met you that I wanted to be standing here next to you one day. I let my own foolishness cost me so much time, but I promise you that I will be there for you from this moment on. I love you with all that I am and all that I will ever be. You are my everything," he said, tears in his green eyes.
"Bella?" the JP asked.
"Edward, I was never a little girl that dreamed of growing up and getting married. Fairy tales and happily ever afters were never my thing, but you changed that. I never expected to find the love of my life at seventeen years old, but I did, and through all of our trials and tribulations that never changed. I promise to love you today, tomorrow, and forever," I said to him, tears streaming down by cheeks. Edward brought his hands up to my cheeks and cradled my face in his hands gently before gently brushing my tears away with the pad of his thumbs.
"I understand you two have a son," he said.
"We do," Edward confirmed. "Masen is right here."
"Come here, young man," he said to Masen. Poor Masen looked really worried, but he stepped up as Edward and I both held our hands out to him so he could stand between us.
"Hello, Sir," Masen said, as he clutched both of our hands.
"What's your name?" the JP asked.
"Masen Charles Weber Cullen," Masen said proudly.
"Do you know why we are here today?" he asked.
"Yeah, my dad is going to make an honest woman out of my mom," Masen said proudly.
Edward and I both whipped our heads around to glare at Emmett, who was laughing hysterically.
"Emmett!" Edward growled. WHACK! Rose's hand connected with the back of Emmett's head.
"What?" he asked. "It's true."
WHACK! Rose smacked him again.
"Sorry," he said, rubbing his head.
"Do you know what that means, Masen?" the JP continued on. You could see him fighting back laughter.
"It means that my dad and mom are getting married," Masen said.
"And you're happy that they are getting married?" the JP asked.
"Yes, Sir," Masen answered.
"You are a very polite young man," he said.
"Thank you, Sir," Masen said. "My mama says that manners are very important."
"They certainly are," the man laughed. "Do you know what getting married means?"
Masen was quiet for a moment before speaking up, "It means happy. We can be a real family and I can have a brother or a sister like the rest of the guys. And, my mama will be happy all the way to her eyes because my daddy is in our family now too."
"Is that all?" he asked, smiling at Masen.
"Yup, I think so," Masen said seriously.
"You have raised a very smart boy," he said to us, before turning to Masen. "Thank you for answering my questions. You can go stand with your friends again."
"You're welcome," Masen said, offering his hand to the JP to shake again. "Thank you for being the marrying guy. You're pretty nice and not scary like I thought you'd be."
The JP chuckled and Masen hopped over to stand next to Charlie and Izzy. Edward grabbed my hand again and smiled at me.
The vows followed. We chose to stay with the traditional vows, promising to love, honor and cherish each other. Then it was time for the rings.
Edward took them both from his pocket, while I handed my flowers to a very teary Alice. He handed me the ring we had bought for him and I took it in my hand and placed it on his finger as instructed.
"With this ring, I thee wed," I said, tears trickling down my cheeks. Edward wiped my tears away with the pad of his thumbs and proceeded to place my ring on my finger and repeated the same words.
I couldn't take my eyes off Edward's. The JP said a few more words, and for the life of me I couldn't tell you what they were. The next words that entered my consciousness were, "You may now kiss your bride."
Edward leaned down to place a kiss on my lips. It was soft and sweet. I reached up to wrap my arms around his neck momentarily, which was greeted with a hoot from Emmett.
"Get a room!"
"Ouch, Rose! That hurt!"
We broke from our kiss with a laugh. Leave it to Emmett.
"Let me be the first to introduce you to Edward and Bella Cullen," the JP said, concluding the ceremony.
"It's about time!" came Esme's voice from my dress.
"What?" Edward said, looking at me.
I sheepishly pulled my cell phone out and handed it to him.
"Mom?" Edward said.
"Congratulations, Son!" Carlisle's voice said over the speaker phone.
"Congratulations Guys!" Emily, Seth, and Leah chimed in.
"I am so happy for you," Esme said, tears evident in her voice.
"We did it, Gramma," Masen yelled. "We got married."
We were congratulated, hugged, kissed. Then, at Alice's insistence, we found a nice restaurant nearby to celebrate. Then it was time to hit the road. Alice and Rose had offered to watch Masen so we could have a proper honeymoon, but we refused. We weren't just Edward and Bella, though we both hoped to have plenty of 'grown up' fun, but we were finally a family, something Masen had wanted so badly.
We loaded into the car and hit the road for Forks. Between the excitement and the food, Masen was asleep within minutes of pulling away from the curb.
"We did it," Edward said, smiling.
"We did," I said.
"I love you Mrs. Cullen," he said.
"As I love you," I told him.
Masen woke up when we got on the ferry and told everybody that we passed that we just got married. Seeing his excitement made everything we felt even better and Edward and I snuggled together enjoying his excitement, and the congratulations from all the strangers. Once we got to the other side, we drove straight to Port Angeles.
PA had certainly changed since I had last been there as a teenager. We decided to stop at a restaurant, then a grocery store, so we didn't need to do it in Forks. Masen still told everyone about our wedding, and I was more glad then ever that we didn't take Rose or Alice up on their offer to keep him for this trip. We headed out of PA at 4:00pm for the hour long journey to Forks. We chatted a little, telling Masen about the places we passed and sharing memories of our time together.
"Nothing much has changed," I said to Edward, as we passed the turn off to LaPush, shortly before crossing the Sol Duc, the last bridge before we got to the Welcome to Forks sign.
"It really hasn't," he said, squeezing my hand.
We went to the park first before heading into town. It was a nice evening, but thankfully the park was empty allowing Masen and Edward to climb around like monkeys. I even got in on the action, taking a turn on the swings while Edward pushed me. It was almost dusk when we left to head to the cemetery.
Charlie was buried under a large spruce tree. The spot actually reminded me of his favorite fishing spot along the Callewah River.
"Why does the stone have a badge on it, Mommy?" Masen asked.
"Because Grandpa was a police officer," I answered.
"The why does it have a big fish on it too?" he asked.
"Because that was his favorite thing to do," I said.
"Do you think Grandpa would have liked me?" he asked.
"Grandpa would have loved you," I said to him. "You would have been his little fishing buddy."
"Did he have a police car?" he asked.
"He did," I said, smiling as I thought of his cruiser.
"Did he let you play with the lights and siren?" he asked.
"When I was a little girl," I answered, thinking about it. "He even let me wear his police hat."
"WOW!" Masen said.
After the questions petered out, Masen asked if he could go sit on the little bench about twelve feet away. Edward pulled me into his arms and held me as I let the tears fall. I never realized how much I had blamed myself for Charlie's death. Knowing now that I couldn't have done anything to prevent it, allowed me to grieve without the added guilt, and today, on my wedding day, I grieved for the man who should have been there to walk me down the aisle.
"I miss you, Daddy," I said, leaning over to run my fingers over his name. When I stood again, Edward kissed me cheek and said his own words to my father. "I know I haven't always done right by her... by them, but I promise from here on out, to do everything in my power to keep them both safe."
I kissed Edward softly and said goodbye to my father before turning to call Masen.
"Masen," I called looking over at the bench. It was empty. Edward noticed at the same time.
"Masen!" I called louder. There was still no answer and no sight of him. Edward started calling him in a panic as well. Edward let me go and ran to the place where Masen was sitting, as I moved to look to the other side of the tree. He was nowhere. I looked up at Edward and the hopeless look in his eyes made me panic.
"MASEN!" I screamed, tears streaming down my face.