Summary: AH- Bella Swan is engaged to the man of her dreams- the only nightmare is his mother-in-law, Liz, who has an opinion on everything concerning her wedding. She'll do anything for Edward, but can she survive her own wedding?
Title: Momster of the Bride
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
For the Wrong Kind of Monster... In-Law Contest
A/N- Special thank you to LisaCA707, my beta, who saves my butt every time!
I woke up with a permanent smile on my face, feeling the foreign sensation of the engagement ring on my finger. I ran my thumb over it to make sure it was still real. It was. It hadn't been a dream- Edward Masen and I had laid on an air mattress on the sleeper porch of Charlie's house while Charlie slept three feet away on one of the few hot days in the Pacific Northwest and he proposed to me after I admitted I found a diamond ring in his things after our long drive up here from Portland. I understood now why he insisted on coming with me to visit Charlie in Forks for the weekend.
Meeting Edward had been pure luck. I was an editor for a business and travel book company in Portland, going out to dinner with one of my best friends in the world, who was getting married. I had fallen down the front steps to my building and my friend Alice had rushed me to the hospital. The doctor who had examined my foot and pronounced it severely sprained was a little too good-looking to be real with a nice smirk-like half-smile. I thought a male model had been dressing up in scrubs and a physician's lab coat, but I was wrong.
He gave me my discharge papers with a personally written note- Take two aspirin and call me in the morning. Edward. And he left his cell number despite HPPIA regulations.
After a few days of giggling and shrieking like a thirteen-year-old with my three best friends, I called him, and we went on a date. It was dinner, the theatre, and drinks. And even though it was a first date, when he walked me to the door, I realized I didn't want it to end, so I kissed him, although it was a rule with me that I never kissed on the first date. It was the first of a series of the best kisses of my life. And I knew I couldn't let this date end. I knew it was slutty, but I grabbed his tie and led him into my apartment. I didn't fuck on the first date, either- ever. We had the best sex of our lives, we agreed in the morning. He did call me the next day, and we talked for two hours. It's easy to say Edward broke all my rules.
It was only two months before we realized we were in love.
That first date had been almost eighteen months ago. It had been a short courtship before we moved in together- less than a year. I had never been happier that I ever was with Edward. He didn't stop courting me either, when we moved in together. He still took me on date nights and was always proactive in solving every problem I had. I very quickly met his parents, Liz and Edward Anthony "Tony" Masen Senior- only a month after we met. He met my father and came to visit my mother's grave with me in Phoenix. Charlie had come to Chicago to meet his parents, too—after he personally asked him. I woke up when he came home from the hospital just to greet him to make love to him. We'd lay together in the bed, wrapped up in each other, limbs tangled and sweaty from the exertion. He'd eat my worst cooking experiments at dinner when I was attempting to be domestic, including the pineapple chicken curry that was horrible. I even admitted it myself. We went to the theatre to keep ourselves "worldly" after we laughed at Blue Collar Comedy Tour and felt guilty for the thought that we were a little redneck. The best vacation I ever went on was one with him to Aruba and then he took me to Mexico only a month ago. He introduced me to ginger lagers and ales on the island and he held my shopping bags when we went to the street vendors and flea markets without complaint, feeding my shopping addiction.
All in all, we were in love. It happened fast.
And now, I was his fiancée.
I couldn't wait to start planning our wedding. Charlie wasn't well-off, but I knew he'd want to give me a good one. Anything would be good for me as long as I got to exchange rings with Edward.
Edward was pretending to sleep, despite having his eyes closed. "Sweetheart, are you up?" I whispered, trying not to wake a slightly snoring Charlie sleeping on the air mattress a few feet away.
He ignored me.
I saw a smirk cross his lips. I poked him in the ribs and a peal of laughter crossed his lips. "I'm up," he said.
"Let's start breakfast."
We started the coffee and I mixed the pancake batter.
"Good morning," Charlie groaned, entering the room. "How did you sleep?"
"Great," I said, pouring the batter onto the griddle. I couldn't help but admire my diamond in the light.
Charlie looked at my hand. "Bells?"
"Yeah?" I asked.
"You didn't waist a lot time, did you?" Charlie said, sounding almost accusatory towards Edward. Edward blushed.
"It's true. I proposed to her right after you gave me permission."
"I found the ring," I admitted. "He kinda had to."
"Let's see," Charlie said, frowning. He examined my hand while Edward took over flipping flapjacks. It was a huge princess cut diamond. I had no idea how big it was, but I knew it was giant and my friends would squee over it. "If it's fake, I'm calling off the wedding myself."
"The wedding!" I cried. "I can't wait!"
"Bells, I've got some money saved," Charlie said. "Five thousand dollars. I think we can have a nice wedding here in town. Reverend Weber can do the ceremony and we can have the reception at the Quileute hall-"
Edward's phone rang at that moment. "Bells, can you get the flapjacks?"
"Sure," I said, taking the spatula.
"Would you wear your mother's wedding dress?" Charlie asked me.
It wasn't about saving money. My mother's wedding dress was tucked away in the attic in a dry-cleaner's bag. It was the happiest day of her life. It was one way I could share my own happiest day of my life with my mother, even though she wasn't with me anymore. I'd have my mother's old best friend from when she lived here, Esme Cullen, stand in as mother of the bride, she had already told me she would if the day came. And Angela's son Will would be the ring bearer. The flower girl would be difficult to find, but an even more difficult choice would be choosing a Maid of Honor between Angela, Rose and Alice.
"Yes, Daddy, I'd love to," I said.
"Bella," Edward said. "She wants to go on speakerphone."
He hit a button. "Bella, is that you?" Liz Masen called out.
"Yeah, I can hear you," I said.
"Tony and I are so excited!" she cried. "Edward sent us a text message that you said yes! Congratulations, honey! We have to plan the Chicago engagement party and you just have to have your wedding out here! We have our membership at the country club- it's just to die for-"
I liked Liz. She got excited sometimes, but she was sweet.
"Liz, a country club wedding may not be in the budget," I offered.
"The budget?" she asked, shaken out of her excitement. She laughed, almost hysterically. "I totally forgot. What is your father putting up for the budget?"
I blushed, knowing she wouldn't be too kind if I told her my dream of getting married on the Rez; she was talking about country clubs and wedding cakes that would take up the entire budget Charlie set out. And Charlie was proud of what he saved for my wedding and wasn't going to take a cent from the Masens. "Enough," I said.
"Well, when Karla Delaney got married, they had the most beautiful six-tiered wedding cake with edible sugar Calla Lilies and these little candied beads- I'm going to have to ask her what bakery they went with! It was the best cake too, even though there were lilies on it!" She laughed as if it were an inside joke about flowers, but I wasn't in on it. She obviously knew they were inappropriate. "I mean, what lack of taste, lilies are for funerals, everybody forgets! It had raspberry filling between the layers, and it was a vanilla cake, but it wasn't dry and pasty, but it was moist and flavorful, I think almond-flavored… "
I let her talk. I saw Edward pinching the bridge of his nose and sighing as Charlie sulked.
"It's okay," I mouthed over Liz's jabber.
"Bella, are you still there?" Liz asked.
"Oh yeah, sure," I said.
"You're going to wear Monique Lhuillier, aren't you?"
"Monique who?" I repeated.
"For your wedding dress," she said. "You have to wear designer!"
I saw Charlie's expression crumble.
"You know what, Liz?" I asked, interrupting her. "We haven't gotten that far. We're just making pancakes to celebrate. We haven't even set the date yet."
"Give yourself at least ten months to plan it," she said. "And plan it around the season!"
I sighed. "Liz," I said. "Edward's burning the pancakes because he's flipping them wrong. I'm gonna go, okay? Have a great day, I'll call you!" With that, I hung up the phone and breathed a sigh of relief, taking out the battery so she couldn't call us again.
"I am NOT ruining the pancakes!"
Edward, Charlie and I talked about things. We wanted to plan the wedding for six months from now. I really liked the idea of having it here in Forks and the reception on the Reservation in La Push. Billy Black was a good friend to Charlie and it just seemed right- I spent most of my childhood making mudpies with Jacob Black in their backyard, I even forced Jake to eat one once. He got sick and Charlie made me apologize. I felt guilty, so I gave him a kiss to say I was sorry- which I'll always remember as my first kiss, although it was just a peck on the cheek. He had been my childhood best friend in Washington after the divorce. When I got to high school and came to live with Charlie after Renée died, I met Angela, Alice and Rosalie. Most of my friends had accepted Edward and they had been hoping we'd get engaged. Jake was a little suspicious of him, still, but the big little brother in him insisted he oversee all my relationships.
After breakfast, while Edward was taking a shower, I wrote out a list of things; what was most important- the food, the drinks, the reception entertainment, the cake- y'know, the best parts of a wedding. I wanted to make sure that our friends and family had a blast- that's really what people remembered the most about a wedding and not what the bride & the bridesmaids were wearing. At least, the people who loved you the most didn't care. The idea of a bride being beautiful is that she just is because it's the happiest day of her life, not because of the dress she wears. I made lists of ways to cut down on the costs.
"Bells?" Charlie knocked on the door. "Hi. Um... I got something for you. Can I come in?"
He entered the room, holding that old polyester dress, yellowed with age. It was tea-length with fake pearls and a v-neck back. Tears pricked my eyes.
"Is this Mom's wedding dress?" I asked.
He nodded. "It's time for you to have it."
"I love it!" I cried. "Can I try it on?"
"Do you need me to keep guard? Y'know, the groom isn't supposed to see the bride in her dress until the wedding. Look, it even has her veil."
He held up a veil that had browned a bit with age. The ensemble hadn't been preserved well, but it was a Vegas wedding and they hadn't worked out. But still, it was my mother's. There was a piece of me that would always miss her and would be sad that she couldn't share this day with me.
"Yes," I said. "I'll try it on."
He waited outside my door while I changed out of my pajamas and carefully put the dress on. It would need to be dry-cleaned and it was dusty and had an old mothball smell, but it was perfect. "Dad? Can you help me zip this up?"
Charlie came into the room and helped me with the zipper. "You know, you look just like your mother right now," he said. "I don't think I'm ready to give you away just yet."
"I'll always be your daughter, no matter who I marry," I said, picking up the veil, placing it on my head. I could tell it would need some minor alterations to fit me just right, but I didn't care.
It was the most beautiful wedding dress in the world. And it was mine to marry Edward in.
At that moment, my phone rang. I saw it was Liz.
"Liz," I said, picking up the phone.
"Bella! How could you eat pancakes! You have to fit into a wedding dress!"
After a great fish fry, after I'd asked Angela to be one of my bridesmaids, after shooting off fireworks, Edward and I went home to Portland, holding hands over the gearshift the whole way.
Alice and Rosalie were waiting when we arrived at our house. "Let's see the ring!" Alice squealed, not even saying hello.
"What's this I hear about you already having your dress?" Rosalie asked, her eyebrow arching.
"Don't worry, either of you- I already want you to be my bridesmaids," I said.
"What about the dress?" Rose asked.
"It's in the car," I said. "I'll go get it."
"Don't mind me," Edward said. "I'm just the groom."
Alice stuck her tongue out at him.
In our bedroom, I opened the garment bag Charlie had put the dress into for me. "Here it is," I said.
Alice and Rose's expressions fell upon gazing on my dress. "It's... it's..." Rose uttered.
"Retro?" Alice offered hopefully.
"It was my mother's," I said.
Both their expressions soften. "Oh, Bella it's the best dress ever!" Alice said, her eyes filling with tears.
The next afternoon as I was getting home from work, I saw a car in the driveway. Oh no...
"Bella!" Liz came running out of my garage.
She looked a lot like her son; rust-colored hair that had silvered a little at the temples and the same green eyes.
"Liz!" I cried, trying to sound excited to see her. She dove into my arms. "So good to see you! What a surprise!"
"Oh Bella, I know this wedding planning thing is going to be hard on you, seeing as your mother has passed away," she said. "I'm here to help you."
My jaw dropped. "That's... that's so... thoughtful," I said. I had helped all three of my best friends plan their weddings, and had been maid of honor in Angela's. This wasn't rocket science.
"Have you chosen your colors, yet?" she asked. "A theme? They have to make you look good, remember that- you're a 'fall,' aren't you? Because you look really good in colors like pumpkin and maroon. Because the most important part of a wedding- you! Did you pick a date?"
"Yes," I said. "Come on, let's come in from the rain."
In the kitchen, a pot of tea had already been made. I went to get out a package of Milano cookies, but Liz snatched them away from me. "Bella, this is the most important day of your life- every eye is going to be on you, including your backside when you're facing the priest! You have to pay attention to your calories!"
"Are you calling me fat?" I asked.
"No!" she shrieked. "No, not at all! I just want you to remember what's going to happen! You don't want an extra pound on you, do you?"
Well... maybe she had a point.
"I'm just so excited. This is the only wedding I'm ever going to be a mother in, and I just want it to be spectacular!" she said, glowing, getting out Splenda for me. "You were brought to me, Bella. It's fate's way of making up for the loss of your mother and for my not being able to have a daughter of my own!"
I almost stopped her right there when Edward walked in the door. "Bella?"
"Edward! Guess who flew in?" I called back.
"Surprise!" Liz cried. "I'm going to help Bella start planning your wedding!"
I didn't want to lose my temper at a moment like this, so I counted down from ten in my head.
"Hi, Mom!" Edward cried, taking her into a hug. "This is unexpected!"
"We've got so much to do!" Liz cried. "Did you have to make this a December wedding?"
"Yeah, Mom, we did," Edward said.
"Then we need a dress that's going to reflect the season," she said, getting out a wedding magazine from her bag. She flipped through. I looked at Edward to stop her.
"Humor her," he mouthed. "Please?"
"Bella, what do you think of this Monique Lhuillier?" she asked. "Given your shape and height, I really don't think a ballgown would look good on you. I'm thinking maybe a Mermaid cut or an A line..." she held up the magazine.
"Um, Liz, this is a really beautiful dress, but..." I began. Edward's face fell. "But I'm thinking something off-white."
Her face lit up again. "Oh!" she cried. "Of course! Because you and Edward live together! Yes, let's avoid the bride shouldn't be wearing white jokes, right? I'm going to call her office in San Francisco and see if we can get an appointment soon- really soon! It takes forever to order wedding dresses and even longer to alter them! We've got to get on the ball if we're going to have a December wedding! Now, let's pick out your colors!"
Edward raised his eyebrows to tell me to keep up.
"I was actually thinking black and white," I said.
She slowly pronounced the word as if she was vomiting. "Blllaaccck?" she asked. "Black? Black is for funerals! Not weddings!"
"I was thinking my bridesmaids could wear their favorite little black dresses so they all looked their best."
"Oh Bella!" she chuckled. "There are different shades of black! And what if their dresses don't match in formal style? Oh, I get it, you're joking!"
"Well, I always like Bella in midnight blue," Edward interjected before I could lose my temper. "And she smells like freesia, sometimes, too. What about lilac?"
"Navy Blue! You don't see too many weddings with Navy Blue!" Liz cried. "And it's not black! That's great!"
"What about Lilac?" I asked.
"No, that's a spring color," Liz said. "But Midnight Ink, that's a great idea! That can be so elegant!"
As I brushed my teeth in the bathroom that night, Edward came up beside me at his sink and started brushing his teeth. "I can't take it," I said. "She's trying to run my wedding."
"She's not trying to ruin anything."
"No, I didn't say 'ruin,' I said 'run.'" I was ready to tell Edward to grow a pair as he spit out his toothpaste.
"Love, listen," he said, rinsing his toothbrush under the tap. "She really, really wanted another little girl before the doctors said she couldn't have another baby. She had two miscarriages and a stillborn. And she never had a real wedding of her own. She got married in jeans and a t-shirt by a Justice of the Peace. She loves you because I love you, that's the only reason why she's doing this. That's why I'm asking you to humor her and go to the wedding dress designer in San Francisco. You don't have to commit to anything."
"I'm taking Alice and Rose," I said.
"I'm sure she'll be fine with them," he said. "She's just excited about the wedding. She's doing all this for the both of us."
We ended up landing in San Fran where Liz was waiting at baggage claim. Rose had a convention with her job, so she couldn't come.
"We're going to find the best dress, and if we don't, we'll have Monique make your dress," Liz said. "I can ask her personally if we go to New York."
I looked at Alice with pleading eyes.
The shop was trendy and modern, wedding dresses on racks staring back.
"Welcome to Monique Lhuillier," the sales girl said. "My name is Mary."
"Hi, Liz Masen," Liz said. "This is the bride, Bella Swan. We have an appointment."
"Of course!" Mary said. "This way, Miss Swan. We've picked out some dresses in your size already..." In the back they offered me several dresses in my size that were...wait for it... wait for it... A-line and mermaid-shaped.
"Oh, this one!" Liz cried, grabbing the strapless A-line with a bolero. "It's beautiful! Bella, I just want to see you in this one! I think this is it! It's always the first one you try on!"
I thought of how difficult she had had it and I offered her my best smile. "Yeah, it is."
As Alice cruised the bridesmaid dress section, Mary helped me in to the dress.
It was a beautiful dress, and very flattering on me, but how did I break it to Liz that I already had a dress?
"Let's see! Let's see!" Liz cheered. I came out from the dressing room and Mary helped me up onto the stand in front of a mirror, carrying the train. "Now this," Liz said. "I knew it. See? Bella, you look like a princess!"
"Now see, this one has delicate beading that you can hardly see, but it adds some subtle sparkle and glamour to the dress," Mary said, indicating my middle.
"Everyone," I said, holding up my hands. "I already have a dress."
Liz looked shocked and Mary's face was perfectly still.
"It's old, it was worn in a Vegas Wedding in the 1980s, it smells like mothballs, and it's made of polyester, but it was my mother's. And it's priceless. That dress has to be on my body in order for me to marry your son, Liz. It's the only way she'll be able to be with me on my wedding day. I'm sorry."
There was a long, awkward silence. "Bella, that is the most touching reason I've ever heard to wear your mother's wedding dress," Mary said. "I completely understand. We will not sell you a wedding dress here at Monique Lhuillier's."
"Bella," Liz said carefully. "Are you sure? I mean, these are beautiful, designer originals. Don't you want to at least try them on?"
"Everybody! Look!" Alice cried, ripping the curtain back. She came out in a shell-colored bridesmaid dress- long-sleeved, covered her up to her collarbone and down to her ankles, very modest. "Is this not the best bridesmaid dress ever?" She struck a pose- she did look great. "And we'll get it made in your colors!"
"It's beautiful, Alice," Liz said. "Let's see?"
She whirled around, and it was so low-cut at the back that her crack was almost showing. I laughed.
"I love it," I said.
"No," Liz said. "No, the back of that dress- there's no way anybody wants to look at that on the three of you."
"It's daring, it's Alice," I admitted.
She glowered. "It's... I'm not going to say it."
"Come on, Bella, I'll help you get dressed," Mary said.
She assisted me with getting the dress off and I put my clothes back on while listening to Liz and Alice argue about the dress.
"It's just... it's just trashy!" Liz cried. "This is supposed to be a wedding with classy and traditional styles so her pictures will last a lifetime, but I don't want it memorable for the three of you in dresses that show your cracks when you turn around during the ceremony!"
We instead shopped for bridesmaid dresses, and I thought about Angela's financial situation. "Bella, maybe you should ask Edward's cousin Tanya to be in the wedding if Angela can't afford a dress," Liz tutted, gazing at dresses.
"No," I said. "We're going to have Angela in the wedding if I have to buy her dress myself."
"So, Bella," Liz said as Tony came in from the porch with a plate full of hotdogs and hamburgers hot off the grill. They had flown in for the weekend from Chicago. "Your mother's wedding dress... Can I see it after dinner?"
"Sure," I said, shrugging, setting out the plates and silverware as she got the condiments.
"Well, whatever Bella wants is fine," Edward said.
"That's an important lesson, Edward," Tony said. "Good thing you learned it early."
They toasted beer bottles and I grinned. I went to crack another beer, but Liz made an uncomfortable face. Sighing, I reached for a diet coke instead.
"What bakery is making your cake, Bella?" Liz asked.
"Can we just can it with wedding talk for one meal, Mom?" Edward asked.
She shrugged. "Of course."
After about ten minutes, Liz brought up the wedding invitations. Edward sighed, but let her talk about it. "Didn't we decide your color would be midnight blue and um… I think a silver-blue would be just such a beautiful complimentary color. I think we should make it a midnight blue card stock with a matte finish and silver-blue script," she said before taking a bite of potato salad. "That would be so elegant! And we can even put a dress code on it, too!"
"A dress code?" I repeated.
"Yes, they do it in Mexico all the time! That lesbian stylist friend of yours- what's her name, Lauren? She has all those tattoos on her legs and feet, and I just can't see her coming to a formal wedding with those showing, can you?"
Lauren had been a complete pain in my ass in high school, but once she came out of the closet and got off cocaine and oxycontin, she was the most chill person I knew. She had started tattooing her lower body, which I thought was pretty. "I don't care what she wears."
"All of our friends are going to see her!" Liz cried.
"And she's proud of her body art," I argued, getting up, taking a few dishes towards the sink.
"Bella, you're not hiding any tattoos there are you?" Tony joked.
"Yeah, your name right here on her ass," Edward said, pinching my butt cheek. "Because it's mine, too. And the name 'Mom' is on the other." He pinched my other cheek, making me guffaw.
I loved that Edward attempted to calm things down. That's why I loved him so much. "And I have a piercing, but I'm not going to tell you where!"
Liz looked green with horror.
"She's kidding, Mom," Edward said. "Bella doesn't have any tattoos or piercings, I would know."
I took Liz upstairs to our bedroom to show her the dress. "Okay, it's not much, but it's mine."
I unzipped the garment bag and showed it to her. Her brow furrowed, she ran her hand over it. "Bella, this dress is moth eaten!" she cried, turning it inside out, showing me the lining that was holy from moths eating it. "You can't wear this!"
"No, it's not! Not on the outside! I can wear it! Let me show you!"
"It's moth-eaten under the arm."
"Well, nobody's going to look under my arms, are they?"
"You are going to be on display. They will look at everything."
"Just let me show you what it looks like?"
I undressed and gingerly slid into the dress. I asked Liz to help me zip it up.
"Bella, honey," she said. "This just doesn't fit right. Would you let me take this to a seamstress? Maybe she can replace the lining and the moth-eaten part under your arm?"
Well, I didn't know any good seamstresses except Angela, and it had been years since we took Home Ec and she saved my butt in the sewing portion. Liz seemed to have a lot more knowledge than me on weddings and replacing the lining sounded like a good idea.
"We'd need to take it in at the waist, and your bust... I think we can do something here. Don't worry, I will take care of it completely, you can count on me!"
"All right," I said as she unzipped it for me.
"Bella, I'm here for you," she said. "I know this is that moment that you need a mom, and fate's dealt you a cruel blow. And I'm not going to be one of those evil, cruel mother-in-laws that tortures you. I'm here to help you, I promise. We're going to make this the society event of the season!"
Every step I took, Liz wanted to plan everything. Her intentions were sweet, but I was too much of a chicken to say anything to her. Whenever I brought up the budget, she laughed and said, "Budget, schmudget!" and told me not to worry.
She and Tony came out to Portland to drive up to Forks to see the Quileute Hall that I wanted to have my reception in. The weather had cooled off, so Edward and I planned on staying at Charlie's while taking Edward's parents to the local B&B.
The entire drive up, Liz wanted to know wedding details; what song would we use for our first dance, what song would be play during the daughter/father dance, who could possibly cater a wedding out here, who was really making our cake.
The car ride was tedious, to put it mildly.
"How's the dress coming along?" I asked.
Liz smiled and shook her head. "I took it to New York since the Chicago seamstress couldn't do anything- don't worry, I've got one of the best seamstresses in the world on it. By the way, thanks for getting me your measurements, sweetheart. That's going to help a lot."
She told me about this lumenaria idea to line the walkway to the reception with paper sacks filled with sand and candles.
"Nine chances out of ten, it's going to be raining on my wedding day," I said. "You're forgetting this is the Pacific Northwest and the Washington Peninsula."
"I wish you'd reconsider having your wedding in Chicago. It's a little cold, but we could do the lumenarias and have it in a giant church with a reception at our country club-"
"Mom," Edward warned. "We want to have the wedding out here. This is where our friends are, and Bella's family's here, so it just makes sense to have it in these parts."
"We've got to make plans at the lodge for the wedding party," I added. "If everybody from Chicago and Portland are coming up here, we need to let the hotel know."
When we pulled into Forks, Liz looked like she was thinking too hard. She probably thought Forks was a quaint little logging down with singing lumberjacks and log cabins. Forks was a tiny little town on the edge of collapse and she looked surprised that this was what I had grown up around, now that I was living in Portland and had a successful career of my own.
We stopped at Charlie's first.
"Liz, Tony, good to see ya!" Charlie cried, stepping down from the porch. He hugged both of them. "Welcome to my humble abode!"
"It's good to see you, Charlie!" Liz said. "I'm so excited to see this reception hall that Bella and Edward have picked out."
"The Reservation is definitely a home away from home," Charlie said. "Why don't you come in and have a beer and pizza! I cleaned!"
Inside, we had pizza and some beer. We showed Liz and Tony where we had slept that night that Edward proposed to me. "This is so quaint!" Liz cried. "A sleeper porch! I thought this went away in the South back in the 1940s before air conditioning!"
We checked Liz and Tony into the B&B, which was actually really nice, and then went to the reservation to meet Angela and Jacob at their house.
"Aunt Beeee!" Will cried, banging at the screen door, jumping up and down.
"My Will!" I cried, picking up Will and planting a giant kiss on him. He giggled and ducked his head into my neck.
"Bells!" Jacob cried, coming out the front door. He hugged and kissed me.
"Liz, Tony, this is Jacob Black, one of my best friend since... since forever. He married one of my best friends from high school, Angela Weber. They're going to sponsor our rental of the hall for the reception since they're tribe members, and Angela's dad is going to do our ceremony," I said.
"Nice to meet you," Liz said, stepping into their temporarily rented double-wide trailer that was actually pretty cool for a rental property. "Isn't this nice! Indian reservations aren't so bad, now, are they? Where are the tee pees?"
Angela was making fry bread for all of Jacob's friends and we introduced the Masens to it. We ate some while Will showed me all this toy cars.
"Edward and I want to ask you- will you be my ring bearer in our wedding?" I asked him. "It's a very important job."
"Aunt B, is there going to be kissing at this wedding?" Will asked, wrinkling his nose.
"Lots of it," I said, I scooped him up and covered him in kisses. "Starting with you!" He squealed and giggled.
After the frybread snack, we went to see the hall.
"Are you sure you want this?" Liz asked, seeing the hall.
"You know what? I think this space has potential." Her lips pressed together. "These walls are so drab, so... beige! And not in a good way! Some dramatic lighting, some drapes-"
We had dinner at the fish fry at Harry Clearwater's. I think this was a new experience for my future-in-laws. I think they were expecting an entire Pow-Wow and were vastly disappointed.
We took them home to the B&B and then went to Charlie's.
"I think Mom's freaking out," Edward said. I was in my pajamas, ready for bed in my old room. He had just gotten out of the shower with a towel around his hips.
"Oh yeah," he said. "I don't think she knew how different Forks and La Push were from Portland."
"Is it bad?" I asked. "We're rednecks."
"You're my redneck," he said, taking off the damp towel.
He was standing there naked in front of me in my father's house. I felt the moisture between my thighs and my nipples hardening.
"Edward, no," I whispered. "Not tonight."
"Didn't you always want to do it in your father's house when you were in high school?"
I had never gotten that far. My first time had been with Mike Newton in the back of his Suburban and it seemed to end before I even started. I didn't even get close to having sex again until college. I had never had the guts to have sex with anybody I brought home, even Edward.
"Edward, I can't."
"Aw, come on."
"I'm too loud. Charlie will know."
"Just this once?"
He was still a little damp, but a line of a water droplet traced down his abs, over his tight little belly button, down his happy trail. Yum.
But, I couldn't let him know he could control me this much just because he was so damn sexy. Or because I wanted to lick him at almost every moment of the day and night, given the chance. It seemed kind of fun, a little risky.
"All right, fine," I said, getting up from the bed, taking a blanket with me. I locked the door and padded it with the blanket and got onto my knees in front of his impressive package. It was just begging me to take it into my mouth.
Charlie knew we lived together. It was a given we were having sex, everybody knew that. But it seemed disrespectful to do it in his house. But oh, how I was longing to have Edward at this moment. My libido died sometimes after a long weekend with Liz.
Taking Edward by the shaft, I ran my tongue up the base.
Edward had a stupid/happy/high look on his face that he only got when I gave him blow jobs. What guy didn't love them? I dabbed my tongue over the tip. I loved my cocks uncircumcised, too. I wrapped my mouth around the head and sucked gently, really working my mouth. He sighed happily and then it happened.
And then, my fucking cell phone rang.
"Who is it?" I asked, popping his cock out of my mouth.
"My Mom," he muttered.
"Fuck," I mumbled. "Can't that woman leave me alone for enough time to blow you?"
"Ignore it," he demanded. "It's not going to kill her to wait a few hours."
I kept on running my mouth up and down his dick, playing with it with my tongue. Finally, the ringing stopped. I sighed in relief and picked back up, speeding my actions, humming.
Edward's hand was in my hair, I moaned softly.
Right as he was about to cum, there was a knock on the door.
"Fuck!" Edward and I hissed at the same time. I wanted some cum in my mouth and Charlie's home phone was ringing.
I got up off the floor, wiping the moisture off my chin and unlocked the door, opening it just enough that I could stick my head out. Charlie was standing there with the phone.
"Bells, phone for you."
"Thanks, Dad," I said, taking the phone. "Good night." I answered the phone. "Hello?"
"Bella? It's me, Liz."
Goddamnit. "How are you?"
"I'm good, but one thing," she said. "The seamstress doesn't know what she can do about your dress. Can she add more fabric to make it work?"
All I could see was Edward climbing under the covers and a raging hard-on poking out. "Yeah, whatever," I said to get her off the phone. "I don't care."
"All right," she said. "Are you and Edward having fun at your father's?"
I sighed. "Yeah, we're fine."
"Well, do you want to go out for breakfast in the morning?"
"Yeah, sure," I said. Two hands were gripping my hips, trying to bring me down to the bed. God, shut up, woman, I thought. "I'll call you in the morning, okay?" I said, although I had no true intention of it.
I hit the hang-up button. I tossed the phone onto the bed and resumed our activity.
One afternoon while I was finishing up a chapter I was editing, I got a call.
"Bella, your future mother-in-law is crazy." It was Lauren.
"She's been calling people on your wedding list and asking what they're going to wear to the event."
"You're kidding me!"
"I told her I'm coming in a crop-legged tux with my lesbian girlfriend so everyone can see my tattoos. I think she had a stroke over the phone."
"Lauren, just come in whatever you want," I said. "Show that ink, girl."
Once we were done talking, I called Liz. "Liz, are you calling people on our invitation list and asking them what they're wearing to our wedding?"
She seemed miffed. "Well, yes, I am."
"You can't do that!" I cried. It took every ounce of restraint I had inside not to shout at her.
"I want to make sure you don't have scary-looking fashions in your wedding photos," she whimpered. "Can you blame me?"
"It's embarrassing!" I cried. "Who have you called?"
"Just a few people!"
"Stop," I said. "Don't call anybody else about what they're wearing!"
"All right, I won't. By the way, the seamstress is ready with your dress in New York."
"Oh good, when do I get it?"
"You have to try it on. This weekend, maybe?"
"Liz, I've got a conference this weekend," I whined. "I wasn't planning on this!"
"We'll have to pay the seamstress fee all over again if I get the dress and it needs more alterations and it's left her shop!"
"Can't she hold it for a few more days?" I asked. "I think I can get there next weekend! Or maybe work from the airport during the week?"
"A weekday appointment?"
"Maybe on Tuesday," I said. "Tuesday or Wednesday."
"Can Angela work with the budget for the bridesmaid dress we picked out in San Francisco?"
I sighed. "No," I said. "We're going to David's Bridal for the bridesmaid dresses."
"David's Bridal!" she shrieked. "No!"
"Yes," I said. "What's best for one is best for them all."
"Fine," she said. "I'll see you in New York next Tuesday."
I immediately called Rose and Alice to see if they could come with me to New York.
I thought I was able to handle Liz on my own home territory, but going to New York with her was not going to be pretty. Thank goodness Rose and Alice were able to go to New York with me.
We stopped off in Chicago to change planes. Luckily, Liz had gone head of us. Thank goodness she was paying for our plane trips. This time, Alice gave me a Xanax instead of letting me drink.
I told them about her phone calling guests and then about her horror at David's Bridal.
"Hey, it's your wedding," Rose said, flipping open her laptop.
In New York, the taxi took us across Queens to Manhattan to our hotel.
Alice, Rose and I met Liz for dinner and drinks. "Bella, have you registered, yet?"
"Yeah, I have- at Crate and Barrel."
"Crate and Barrel?" she repeated. "They don't even have china settings. Where did you register for china settings? Nordstrom's? Lord & Taylor?"
"That's just it, Liz. We didn't register for place settings."
Her eyes got wide. "What?" she cried. "You can't not have china on your registry!"
"I didn't register for china, either," Rose offered. Liz looked at her with an equal mixture of disgust and shock. "It's not a big deal. I mean, when are we ever going to eat off fine china?"
"On Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year's- at dinner parties, on Easter, on your anniversary- that's plenty of reasons to get place settings!"
"We have really pretty plates already," I said.
"What about crystal? What about good silver? Bella, you can't be serious!"
"My silverware's just fine," I argued. "So are my wine glasses from Target."
She looked like she had been shot in the stomach at the mention of Target. What was wrong with Target? Target didn't use slave labor like Wal-Mart, and their stuff was cute.
"Just register for place settings and crystal," Liz said. "You won't regret it."
After we said good-night at the hotel and Liz went to her room, Rose and Alice grabbed me and we got smashed on Times Square, where I got verbal diarrhea about how awful Liz was being.
They brought me back to my room and I slept off the alcohol.
In the morning, we had breakfast with Liz. My post-hangover meal is always pancakes. Liz gave me the evil eye the whole time; I just made sounds of enjoyment with every bite.
"We're going to see your wedding dress and I know you're going to be so happy with it," Liz said in the cab. "Just know that Tony and I are willing to help you and Edward make this a beautiful, memorable event. Money is no object towards your happiness, Bella."
I just couldn't bring myself to tell her what an insult that was to Charlie. The cab pulled up to the fashion district and stopped in front of Ingrid Sovyet, a small designer.
"Does the seamstress work for the designer?"
"Yes," she said.
Ingrid met me in the front half of the studio. "Hi there, are you Bella?" she asked. She sounded like she was either Norwegian or Swedish, I couldn't tell.
"Yes, that's me."
"I'm Liz Masen, mother of the groom," Liz prompted.
"Oh yes!" she cried. "We've got the dress in the back. Bella, do you want to get changed into your undergarments that you'll be wearing with the dress?"
"Sure," I said, going to the dressing room area.
I changed into my strapless bra, white pantyhose and the shoes. "Bella?" Ingrid asked coming to the fitting room. "We've got the dress ready. Don't be shy."
A few people brought in a dress and Liz, Alice and Rose followed. It was weird being the only girl in the room in her underwear.
"That's not my dress," I said. Yeah, it was beautiful, but we had played this game before and I thought Liz knew how I felt about dresses that weren't my mother's. If I hadn't fallen for it the first time, why would I fall in love with anything here?
"Yes, it is," Liz said. "Just try it on. I know you'll love it."
Edward told me to humor her, so I did. "All right, I'm not promising anything. Where's my mom's dress?"
The assistants zipped me up into this designer dress that was very, very beautiful with long panels of silk, off-white lace with a train and a midnight blue sash that tied in the back.
"Oh, Bella!" Liz moaned. "It's gorgeous on you!"
"Okay, so do you like it?" Ingrid asked.
"Well, it's very beautiful, but it's not my mother's dress."
Ingrid laughed as if I made a joke. "This is your mother's wedding dress," she said.
"No it's not, my mother's dress is tea-length, it's got pearls and beads on it..." I looked down at the off-white frock. And then it hit me. The lace on the bodice looked to familiar... I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. "What did you do?"
"Bella, you said it would be fine to do whatever we needed to the dress," Liz said.
"No, I didn't!" I cried. "When did I say that?"
"In Forks, when I called you that night after we saw the reception hall-"
I had had Edward's dick in my mouth when I said sure, fine, whatever. I didn't think she'd actually...
"My mother's wedding dress is cut up?" I gasped.
"Well... yes, it is," she said. "They made this dress with parts of it."
"Where's the rest of the dress!" I demanded.
Ingrid and her staff had retreated to the walls, their expressions like deer in the headlights. "We can get the scraps for you."
Scraps? "Can you reassemble it?" I begged. "Please!"
"No, I don't think we can; we ripped the seams and... and cut the fabric."
"Liz, how could you do this?" I shrieked.
"The dress couldn't be repaired," she said. "You said it was okay."
"No, I didn't!" I cried. "This was my mother's wedding dress! This is my wedding-"
"No, Bella, you don't understand. This is my wedding, too."
"I don't want your dress," I said, tearing at the zipper. "I don't want your money, I don't want your place settings, and I don't want you calling my wedding guests to check what they're wearing!" My voice got more hysterical and louder with every word. I kicked the dress to the floor. "And I certainly don't want you at my wedding! I'm leaving!"
I went to storm out the door, not caring that I was in my underwear and tights, but Rose and Alice caught me and turned me- away from Liz.
"No, Liz," Rosalie said. "We don't need your help."
"Here," one of Ingrid's assistants said meekly. "Here's her mother's wedding dress pieces."
That did it. I started bawling.
The one part of Renée I was going to have on my special day was in scraps, the seams had been ripped and shears had raped the pieces.
"Bella," Liz said, "honey-"
"This is not your wedding! I never asked you for your money and I never asked you to mess up my mother's dress!" I screamed, somewhat unintelligible in my speech. "Get out of here! How could you? How could you do this to my mother's wedding dress! She only had one wedding and one dress! I hate you! Get out!"
"We can't let you on the plane in this state," the flight attendant said.
I broke down in even greater tears.
"Do you see this bag full of scraps? This is what's left of her mother's wedding dress," Alice said. "Her mother died and left her this, and her evil mother-in-law just had it cut up. We need to get as far away from her as possible- right now."
The flight attendant lady and the obviously gay male flight attendant exchanged a horrified glance. He handed me my boarding pass back. "You get on that plane, baby. Go far, far away."
I spent the next twenty-four hours in my bed, hugging that bag of scraps, sobbing so hard that I vomited snot and my eyes swelled up so badly I couldn't see. Edward couldn't tell what was wrong with me, but I insisted that his mother just wasn't welcome at our wedding and our children would have no grandmother.
I was inconsolable. Nobody could say anything to comfort me.
The remnants of my mother's dress dried my tears. I couldn't believe I could cry this much.
Edward knocked on the door to our room. "Bella? Somebody's here to see you."
"I don't want to see anybody."
"It's two somebodies," he said. "Charlie and Esme."
They had to be upset about what Liz had done to the dress, too.
He let them in, and the whole hysterical story tumbled out of my mouth. Esme wet down a washcloth with cool water and pressed it to my face before going downstairs to get out some teabags and sliced cucumbers.
"Bells," Charlie said. "I know you're upset." He climbed into the bed to hold me. "I know you thought this was the greatest dress in the world. But it's just a dress, honey."
"He's right," Esme said, returning.
"But- but- my mom- her dress-"
"Bella, you can't hold onto things for memories. Memories are in your head. And your heart. In the end, it's just a dress she got off a rack at the last moment in Vegas to get married in," Esme said gently.
"It's true, Bells," Charlie repeated. "You can remember your mother in pictures and stories about her, you don't need a dress."
"But I thought you wanted me to wear it!"
"I did," he said. "But it was because you reminded me of your mother when you wore it. And it was beautiful on you. You're beautiful because you're a part of her that lives on. She'll be there on your special day. Not because of a dress, but because of you."
"The dress was so special, though," I said. "It meant-"
"It meant nothing," Charlie said. "Bella, our marriage didn't even last two years before you mother left me. She packed you, and a couple of bags of clothes in her car and left. She didn't take her wedding dress with her. She left it at my house because it wasn't even that special to her. There's a reason why moths ate it and it was so shabby, I didn't even know she left it in the attic for three years."
"But... but it was the happiest day of her life!" I sobbed.
"Bella, I can tell you there are going to be much happier days than your wedding day."
"I don't even remember what that dress looked like on Renée," Charlie said. "All I remembered was her smile. The dress isn't going to be important as much as how you feel about Edward."
"But it was a part of her," I said, playing with a triangle of lace. "The happiest day of her life!"
"Bella, I know for a fact that our wedding day wasn't the happiest day of her life," Charlie said. "It was the day she had you."
In the end, it was just a wedding dress. It was just two pieces of thread cris-crossing over and over forming a fabric, stitched together only God-knows-where. And maybe Liz wasn't such a bad person for wanting me to have the wedding of her dreams. She hadn't had one of her own and maybe she was living through me. Yeah, it was kind of wrong, but it was sweet that she wanted me to be the toast of the wedding circuit season and something special. And she hadn't been trying to sabotage my wedding to Edward because she hated me. Her intentions had been good.
Apologies did not come easily, but I did it. I apologized to Liz for screaming at her, and she apologized to me for not being clear. No, she didn't apologize for what she did, but she took a step back when it came to the wedding.
Edward and I are completely happy and I get along with Liz. She wasn't such a bad person, just someone needing validation. She got hers when Tony asked to have a vow renewal ceremony with a reception for their 35th anniversary. She will finally get that wedding of her dreams that she was denied.
The reason why mothers feel the need to submit their opinion into everything is because they believe that they'll spare their children pain from making the wrong choice. This way, their children can learn from their parent's mistakes. The problem is, sometimes you have to make mistakes to grow up.
And of course, Liz is more than adept at putting in her two cents worth on what to name our first baby while it kicks in my tummy.
But, that's another story entirely.
A/N- if you haven't figured it out by now, reviews are like cookies for writers, so leave some comments! We greatly appreciate them!