A/N: Long time no see, eh? Well, I finally wrote it. It took some time, but finally Bella and Edward started talking. I hope you enjoy it. Much love as always.
Thanks to my beta Emily Bowden for getting this make to me so quickly!
DISCLAIMER: Stephenie Meyer owns all rights and property of Twilight.
What was I doing? How the hell did I even get here? In the back of my mind, I realized that it was Alice who dragged me into this store. The only reason I even agreed to coming in was because she promised that I would only have to try on one dress, but my frustration wasn't about the outright lie she told me.
The last couple of months after Edward proposed had been nothing but a blur to me, and even though it was nearing dangerously close to our wedding date, I'd been persistently dragging my feet the whole time.
It was so stupid, too. I mean, I had the man I wanted to be with for the rest of my life and I couldn't even pick out a god damned wedding dress? The flowers were the easiest part of the whole ordeal, and that was partly because Edward was such a flower buff. It was surprising to me to see him go crazy in the floral store, smelling this, and explaining that. Half the time I sat there smiling and nodding at him, having no idea what the difference was between a Tulip and Crocus was, and believe me, there's a difference…I asked.
Maybe it wasn't even about getting married. I think it had to do with the fact that I was expected to stand in front half a dozen people wearing the dress—which, I wasn't opposed to...it just was the overwhelming awareness that people would be focused solely on the bride.
"Oh, wait. I have the perfect dress," Alice said excitedly before fluttering off.
Staring at my reflection, I saw that I didn't look half bad. The dress that Alice picked out was an off the rack strapless Vera Wang, and I swear I think she just wanted to see me in designer, because there was no way in hell I was going to pay seventy-five hundred dollars on a dress.
Low end or not!
"Found it," Alice sang as she came rushing back into the dressing room, holding up a cream colored dress.
I grimaced. "I don't like that color, Alice. It's old looking,"
"I know how you feel about antiques, Bells, but this one was just screaming your name!" she exclaimed, holding up the lacy frock for me.
"Ugh," I groaned irritated. "It's funny how one dress turns into twenty. You do realize that we have to meet Edward and Jasper in…" I paused glancing down at my watch. "Ten freaking minutes!"
"Yes, I am well aware. I texted Jazz and told him that we might be a little late," Alice sighed as she went to unzip my dress.
"You did what?" I shouted. "Nope, this is not happening."
"What?" Alice asked confused.
I swatted her hands away from me as I stepped down from the platform. This little thing of ours was supposed to be short and quick, but it seemed as though she wanted to spend half of our day in this store. Well, there was no way I was willing to do that. Call me crazy, but I missed Edward something fierce and I wasn't about to wait any longer…especially for something I didn't give a shit about doing in the first god damned place.
"Be careful with that dress, Bella," Alice warned.
At this point, I was trying to claw my way out of the contraption and it wasn't until Alice made a big old fuss did I realize that if I damage this dress, I would have to buy it.
"Shit," I swore.
She laughed as she took a step towards me. She spun me around and with her steady fingers; she proceeded to remove the dress. "I don't understand why you have this passionate aversion to fashion. I see the way your man dresses; it's not like he would mind."
"It's not the fashion that I dislike; it's the price tag that's attached to it. You seem to think that Edward and I have all this money to spend," I stated, rolling my eyes.
"You guys don't?" she asked skeptically, raising her brow.
I chuckled. "No, we don't. Need I remind you that not all of us are a trust fund babies like you, Alice."
She smiled at me, shaking her head. She knew I had her there and didn't offer up any sort of rebuttal from me. It was true, though; my best friend was freaking loaded and could buy designer clothes, but her blue collar friend, with a not even a measly penny to her name, could only afford the smaller things in life.
"There," Alice announced, slapping me on the ass. "Get dressed; you're keeping the boys waiting."
After rushing to the restaurant, we finally got there in the nick of time, panting up a storm, and looking like hell. The only thing that made me forget the lack of oxygen in my lungs was the sight of Edward across the room. He looked so dashing in his grey v-neck sweater and black slacks. He still had the tousled hair that I loved, looking like he just got out of bed. It was amazing to me after almost a year together he continued to take my breath away—and I was out of air as it was.
It didn't take Edward long to spot us as we made it across the busy dining area. Both of our guys had reserved us a table on the terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. The fresh air was blowing through the open doors and I couldn't believe that we were actually here.
When Alice told me that she had bought four tickets to Italy, I almost fucking fainted. The idea that I was going to be going to such a beautiful country and one of the most romantic places in the world was unbelievable, but not only that, I was going to have the love of my life by my side. It was just like a dream come true, and I think I worshiped Alice for a week after that.
"There they are," Alice squealed, grasping me by the arm and practically dragging me toward the table.
Man, she's strong for such a little thing.
Thank goodness her grip was short lived, because the moment she got close enough to Jasper, she released me as she ran full speed towards him and jumped into his arms. He caught her, wrapping his arms around her, placing kisses all over her face and neck.
Glancing away from their tender moment, I looked over at Edward and saw that he was watching me with a curious expression. I could see the longing in his green eyes and he was probably wondering why I hadn't mauled him yet.
"Hey, baby," I greeted, biting down on my bottom lip, almost nervously.
The butterflies were still an average day occurrence with him, and I hoped that the need I had for him would always be this strong.
He held out his hand for me with a slight smirk on his lip. "Come here."
Without hesitation, I placed my hand in his, feeling the warmth of his skin as he wrapped his long fingers around my hand, and squeezed tightly. He pulled me to him in one swift motion and before I knew what even happened, I was surrounded by him.
He smelled divine. It was a mixture of his aftershave and the salty sea air. It was the scent I'd been growing accustomed to for the last few days since we been here, and I'd been wishing I could bottle it up.
"I missed you, baby," Edward cooed as he held my face between his hands, placing a soft, but chaste kiss on my lips. "Did you ladies have fun?"
"No," I pouted. "Alice got all bridezilla on me."
He laughed, placing another kiss on my eager lips. "Did she now?"
"Um, it's not funny, Edward," I protested, pulling away from him slightly. "It was a horrible experience. She tried to dress me in cream. Cream? I am not an eighty-nine year old woman!"
"Oh, she loved it!" Alice interjected. "You should have seen this own gown I had on her. She looked so beautiful. I mean, I wanted to get it for her, but she wouldn't let me!"
That little traitor, I thought as I shot a hateful glare in her direction.
Now she was just making shit up. What was she trying to do? I mean, not once did she mention getting that dress—but not only that, all I remembered was her making me try on twenty different dresses. So, who knew what the hell she was raving about?
"Really?" Edward asked curiously. "Why wouldn't you buy it, baby? You know our wedding is in a month and that is the one thing you have left to get."
I sighed, resting my head against his chest. "I don't know why. I guess I haven't found that perfect dress."
He reached down and lifted my chin with his finger so I was looking at him. His eyes studied my face as his brow furrowed with concern. I loved it when he would look at me this way—all introspective, like he was trying to read my mind. He wanted to know what I was thinking so badly, and I usually had no qualms with telling him, either.
"What's wrong?" he asked sweetly.
A gush of wind hit us at the exact moment, forming a wall of my hair between us as it whipped wildly. It seemed as though the Gods were on my side and that perhaps the subject would be dropped, but I should've known better than that. Edward was on a mission to discover why I hadn't gotten that final detailed accomplished and I didn't know what to tell him.
The truth of the matter was that I didn't know. For the last six months I'd been pondering that same question, and all I could really come up with was that I was scared.
It was such an insane thought because I had no doubt that I wanted to be with him for the rest of my life. It could've been about my aversion to being the center of attention, but no one was making me have a big wedding…Well, Alice maybe was, but even then our wedding wasn't that big. It was in a little church in Seattle with about fifty people on the guest list. The whole event was reasonably priced, but it was still going to be a beautiful ceremony.
God, I frustrated myself. I was stalling for no reason and all I was doing was making Edward think that I didn't want to marry him—that was the furthest thing from the truth.
"Bella baby," Edward said, brushing the hair from my face and placing his forehead on mine. "I love you so much and I just want to marry you. I don't care how we do it…I mean, shit if you told me that you wanted to get married today, we would get married to—"
"Yes," I interrupted.
"What?" he asked confused, pulling away from me slightly.
"That's what I want," I said confidently. "I want to get married here."
He eyed me doubtfully. "Are you serious?"
By this time, Jasper and Alice had caught on to our not so super secret conversation. She was bouncing on the balls of her feet and Jasper was looking like he saw a horrible head on collision.
"It feels right, doesn't it?" I asked. "I know a lot of people are going to be upset for us eloping like this, but I don't care. I want to do it here. I mean, I want it so bad that I am willing to wear that God awful dress that Alice has been going on about."
"Hey," Alice whined as she placed her hands on her hips, glaring at me.
Edward gazed at me, trying to gage my sincerity. "You're serious."
I chuckled, smoothing out the creases in his forehead. "As a heart attack."
"Let's do it," he beamed as he enveloped his arms around me into a fierce embrace.
"Yay!" I heard Alice's muffled squeals.
It felt right to get married to Edward here. It might have been because we were in Italy and the romance it exuded, but my mind was already made up. It was going to happen today and I was going to be his wife.
Mrs. Edward Anthony Masen.
I couldn't wait.
Well, the hard part about just deciding to get married in Italy is not as easy as it is deciding to get married in Vegas. So as much as I wanted to be legally wedded to Edward, it just wasn't going to happen. However, that didn't deter me because I still wanted to be able to have a ceremony. We decided that our best option was to have a quickie ritual where we say our vows and then get married legally like we planned in the states.
It took the pressure off us because honestly, we both knew that our family would be so pissed with us. I mean, Edward and I were the only children in our family, and if we denied our parents the privilege of seeing us wed as man and wife, there would be hell to pay.
When we decided to get married, Alice went into maximum overdrive as she got on the phone and started looking for locations. There was this tiny villa in Rapallo that was nestled on the beach. They had a few openings for rooms left due to some cancellations and even had a minister who was willing to marry us. It seemed as though he vacationed there every year and had overheard the concierge talking with Alice on the phone. The funny part was after he agreed to perform the ceremony for us; he felt the need to remind Alice, repeatedly, that our union would only be honored by God and not by the eyes of the law. Of course, Alice's Italian was iffy and I couldn't be sure if that was what he really said.
Things moved at a rapid pace after that, and the next thing I knew, I was buying the Vera Wang dress that I had tried on hours earlier. It was the first one I went to when we went back to the shop, and now that I was focused, it was the only one I wanted.
The price tag was no longer an issue with me and I was more than willing to max out my credit cards to get it. The only problem was that Alice was insisting on paying for it, and we nearly argued for ten minutes about it. Finally we came to a compromise, she agreed to let me pay for the dress and she would foot the bill for the rest of the wedding.
It was like she was determined to spend all of her money before she turned thirty.
"We got five minutes, Bells," Alice announced as she came out of the bathroom.
I'd been standing in my wedding dress for about fifteen minutes. The design of it was so romantic and fragile, and I was afraid that sitting down would wrinkle it. Alice told me on more than one occasion that Vera Wang dresses were meant to withstand sitting down and weren't cheaply made—which was fucking obvious, but I was being careful. I wanted Edward to have his breath taken away by the sight of me…just like he did to me.
Pay back is a bitch, I smirked deviously.
"Bella," Alice gasped. "You look so beautiful."
The dress was a strapless with gown with a soft wispy quality to it. The clerk at the shop told me that it was the best seller because of the Chantilly laces on the gown, making it have an antique looking quality, and the mermaid design. The bodice with was a pleated and layered to cover up the illusion that it was see-through and the soft tissue flange skirt was what sold me. It was the dress that I always wanted, but never knew I did.
My make-up was very minimal and my hair was down with a tousled look. It was all just short notice, but even so, it was shaping out to be the wedding of my dreams.
"The dress is amazing," I sighed, looking at her through the mirror.
The soft pink dress that she was wearing was strapless and flowing and made her look like a princess...or a rose. Yes, she looked like a delicate flower to me. Her jet black hair was growing out from that pixie cut she had for so long, and had finally reached the lower part of her neck. She left her hair down like mine to keep a relaxed feel, even though our dresses were extremely fancy.
"You look amazing," I said in awe.
"No, you look amazing. I mean, it's unreal how stunning you look. Edward is going to die!" she stated exuberantly.
"Well, let's get down that aisle and find out."
The sun was getting closer and closer to the water's edge and in thirty minutes it would be set. The sky would be thousands of different hues of purples and reds, and it would be a sight to behold. The wonder that would come from the ending of the day would make anyone feel so small and insignificant in this world. It was a time when a man, like me, would consider himself lucky to be alive…
Well, that was nothing compared to seeing the woman I've loved, even before I met her, walking down the aisle wearing a dress that left me gasping for air. She was an angel walking towards me. Her dark chestnut hair flowed over her petite shoulders in waves. The dress she was wearing made her like a goddess. It was a bright white and popped against her sun-kissed skin. Shit, even the calming presence of Jasper did nothing to sooth my nerves. It was hard to contain the emotion I had welling up inside of me, and I knew I should look away from her, but I couldn't.
When Bella told me that she wanted to be married here and today, I assumed that she was messing with me. It been months of planning a wedding that she didn't seemed to excited about, and I was starting to worry that I pushed her too soon.
She had just lost her job and I was recovering from a bullet wound…I mean, it understandable and after the shit we'd been through. I was surprised that we didn't take a step back from each other to get some prospective or perhaps a grasp on things. People have been known to take a break after some trauma, but in all honesty, it only brought us closer. The desire we had for each other was too strong to ignore.
It was constant, persistent, and never fading.
"Breathe," Jasper whispered into my ear.
"Okay," I replied as I took a large intake of air. It never occurred to me that I'd actually stopped breathing.
Bella was approaching me, and the rush of air that I was taking in massive quantities was starting to make me light headed. The softness and steadiness in her brown eyes was the only thing that I was holding on to. It was my lifeline, my saving grace, and the only reason why I hadn't passed out yet.
God, she's so beautiful.
The anxiety I expected to feel was non-existent. In fact, when I saw Edward's eyes widen as I started to descend down the aisle, the fear and uncertainty washed away. It was like my whole future was laid out before me and I saw how our lives would end up. There would be love, joy, arguments; makeup sex…lots of makeup sex…kids, more fights, grandkids, and old age. There was nothing to be scared of, and even though I was facing the unfamiliar territory, I was facing it with him…
The man with the bronze-colored hair, the chiseled jaw, and piercing emerald eyes was waiting for me in a black tux. He was the same man who captured my heart nine months ago in a classroom filled with kids. He was the one who stuck by me no matter how much I ran from him or the danger I had put us both in.
He loved me enough to stay...
Even now as I walked towards the sun as it set over the Mediterranean that expanded behind him, I could see the love and devotion in his eyes. He made me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world and when I placed my hand in his, I knew I was the most beautiful girl in his world.
He smiled with such exultation as I stepped up to the platform. "You look beautiful, Bella."
"You don't look so bad yourself, Mr. Masen," I said playfully, trying to keep my feelings contained.
He chuckled as he squeezed my hand and I could see that he was fighting hard like me to keep the tears at bay. The last thing I wanted to do was cry, but as I stared at him as the minister said our vows in thick Italian accent, I didn't know if I had it in me. The love that I had for this man was making my heart pound against my chest. The only thing I was really aware of, other than Edward, was the distinct aching in my chest that was swelling with every passing minute.
"Parlare il tuo cuore," the minsister said, gesturing towards Edward.
Edward nodded at him as he pulled my hand up to my hand and kissed it. "Isabella Swan, I am here today to promise you that I will always love you. You have been my world since the first day you walked into my classroom, flipping it off its axis. The more time I spend with you, the more I realized how truly lucky I am that you allowed me the privilege to be your husband. I love you more than I could possibly say..." he paused, looking away from me as he clear his throat. He looked back at me and I could see the glossiness of his eyes. He chuckled. "Shit."
"Baby," I cooed as I reached out for him and placed my hand on his cheek.
"I'm good," he said, nodding and looking back over at the minister. "Sto bene. Questo è tutto."
The minster smiled and turned to me. "Parlare il tuo cuore, signora."
I stared blankly at him until Alice helped me out and told me that he was asking for my vows.
"Right…okay," I muttered. "The moment I saw you, I knew that I was in trouble, because the pull I had towards you wasn't anything I'd ever experienced before. All my life I felt like something was missing and that I was always incomplete somehow, and until I met you, I never thought I would be. You came into my life when it was at its darkest and lit it up like a meteor. I promise with all my heart that I will always be there to love you, cherish you, and take care of you as long as I am in this world…" I laughed as I felt the traitorous tears roll down my face. "I didn't want to cry."
Edward chuckled, shaking his head as he wiped the tears from my cheek. "Me either."
The minister watched as for a minute before Edward gave him a stiff nod, and just like that the Italian from his mouth flowed effortlessly and I wondered if he was marrying us.
"Puoi baciare la sposa," the minister said as he closed his book and pushed Edward towards me.
It wasn't until Edward pulled me into a strong, fierce kiss that I actually realized what had transpired. The kiss was what was made this whole thing official. My husband, my life, was finally sealing our love with his lips, and as corny as that may have sounded, the thought gave me peace.
Edward broke the kiss, leaning his forehead against mine, and with a heart breaking smile, he sighed. "I love you, my wife."
"I love you, my husband," I said as I kissed him again, wrapping my arms around his neck and pulling him tightly against me.
The feel of his lips on mine was always like the first time. It never got old with me and I was never tired of kissing him. It was like a bubble surrounded us in its protective cocoon and the outside world was nothing but a blur. I don't know how long our guests stood there watching us kiss and I didn't know if we would ever stop kissing. The one thing I did know for sure was that this beautiful, talented, sweet, intelligent, and caring man was all mine. The rings weren't exchanged and we didn't have a piece of paper to make it official, but in God's eyes and in ours, we were Husband and wife.
Italian translations: Parlare il tuo cuore—Speak your heart. Parlare il tuo cuore, signora—Speak your heart, Madam. Sto è tutto—I'm fine. That's all. Puoi baciare la sposa—You may kiss the bride.