I stood in front of the floor length mirror inside Alice's bedroom, staring at the person looking back at me. She was wearing a simple, knee length ivory dress that was barely held together by two thin spaghetti straps that rested on her shoulders. The dress hugged her body, showing her curves and caressing her body. It was just shade darker than her skin. Her long dark, mahogany hair had been curled and half of it had been pulled back, showing the bare contours of her neck. Her eyes were dark and smoky looking and her cheeks were rosy, like her blush might have been if she had still been human. Her lips had been painted a soft pink and were shimmering under the lights.
"I don't know this person," I breathed, looking at Alice through the mirror.
"It's just you," she said, smiling. "The way we all see you."
"Alice," I murmured, shaking my head.
"One night Jasper and I were out hunting," she started, placing her hands on my bare shoulders. "I asked him why you two never got together. I'll admit to being jealous of you, Bella. He laughed and shook his head. He said, 'Darlin, Bella is my sister. I can't be away from her but I love you.' All I've ever known is being a vampire, Bella. Before my change, I was in the dark. Lost in the dark. For a long time, I thought I was never going to find my way. I found my way standing in that forest, looking at you and Jasper. I love him so much, Bella."
"I know you do," I murmured. "He's my best friend, Alice. All I want is for him to be happy."
"I feel the same way about Edward," she smiled. "He's my best friend. He's been alone for a very long time, Bella. He took on the role of our protector but he was lonely. He changed the moment he saw you sitting on the couch. I didn't need to see it, I felt it. He loves you and all I want is for you to be happy together."
"Alice," I whispered, closing my eyes. I reached up and placed my hand on hers. "Thank you for all of this."
"You're welcome," she murmured. "Just love him, Bella. That's all I ask."
"I do," I said, opening my eyes. "I always will."
Alice smiled once again as she led me out of her bedroom. She led me down the stairs to the living room. Jasper was standing next to the front door. He was wearing a dark suit that I was sure Alice had bought for him. His shaggy blond hair had been combed back. He turned and looked at us and smiled.
"Wow," he said softly. "You look…beautiful, Bella."
Alice let go of my hand and danced her way over to him. "Don't be late." She smiled before leaning up and kissing him.
"We won't be," he murmured, bringing his hand up to her cheek. Alice looked back at me and smiled before she walked out of the house, leaving just me and Jasper. He turned and held out his hand to me. "Shall we, Darlin?"
"Yes," I said, breathlessly.
I placed my hand in his and let him led me outside and into the trees. Jasper held onto my hand as we walked through the woods. We weren't in a hurry and we both knew better than to run. Alice would rip us to pieces for messing up my hair. Besides, we had plenty of time. It's not like they could start without us.
"What are you thinking about, Darlin?" he asked. I smiled as I looked over at him.
"How much everything's changed in the last few months," I said. "Who knew that we would have ended up spending months here, instead of a few days?"
"Not me," he laughed, slipping his arm around my waist. "Do you still feel the pull to move on?"
"Sometimes," I admitted. "But I can't leave him and I can't ask him to go with me."
"Why not?" asked Jasper. "He would."
"I know he would," I sighed. "But he would miss everyone and so would I. Do you ever feel like leaving?"
"No," said Jasper, quickly. "I can't…She's my life, Bella. She makes me feel…"
"Like you are everything," I murmured.
"Exactly," whispered Jasper, pulling me to a stop. I turned and looked up at him. "Bella, you gave me a chance when you didn't have to. Most people in your position would have destroyed me, Peter, and Charlotte along with everyone else but not you."
"Oh, Jas," I sighed, shaking my head.
"No, they would have," he insisted. "Maybe when I first started traveling with you it was because I felt like I owed you something but I don't feel like that now. I haven't for a long time. I've stayed with you because you're my best friend and my sister. I love you, Bella."
"I love you, too, Jas," I murmured, bringing my hand up to his cheek. "You're a good man, Jasper." I ran my finger over the gold band that was resting on his finger. "You're a good husband. I've been the lucky one to get to spend the last century with you by my side."
"I'll be there as long as you want me to be," he promised. "Now, we had better get going before that wife of mine rips my head off."
"She would to," I laughed.
Jasper and I turned and started back on our journey. We walked for a few more minutes when we found Carlisle waiting for us. Jasper didn't say anything as he leaned down and kissed my cheek. He nodded to Carlisle and hurried to take his place on the other side of the trees. Carlisle smiled and shook his head as he took in my appearance.
"I always knew you would be a beautiful bride," he murmured, running his hands through his hair.
"Thanks, I guess," I smiled, taking his arm into my hand. "Are you ready for this?"
"No," he answered, honestly as he placed his hand on top of mine. "If it was anyone other than Edward…"
"Yeah, I know," I giggled. "But it is Edward."
"You really love him?" asked Carlisle, cocking an eyebrow at me.
"I really love him," I said. Carlisle sighed and looked at the ground. "Brother, you know he can't take your place, right?"
"I know," he grumbled. "I'm happy for you and Edward, Isabella."
"But?" I asked.
"But nothing," he smiled. "I'm happy for you both."
"Good," I said, returning his smile. "Now, are you ready?"
"No," he said, again. "I'll never be ready to give you away but I will because Father can't."
"That's good enough for me."
Carlisle pulled my arm through his and led me through the trees and into mine and Edward's meadow. Edward was waiting for me in the middle. He was wearing a dark suit. His face sparkled as he looked back at me. I couldn't decide if it was the sun that had shifted from behind the clouds or the love he felt for me that made his face light up. Either way he was beautiful.
I looked up at Carlisle and smiled as we made our way through the wildflowers to where Edward was waiting with everyone. Jasper had settled himself next to Alice, who was beaming with joy and love and happiness. Rose was standing next to Esme, who had her hand pressed to her lips. It was like she was trying to stop the sob from escaping. Maybe she was. Emmett was standing behind Edward. He had the biggest smile on his face.
Carlisle unwrapped my arm from his and placed my hand in Edward's, placing a gentle kiss on my cheek. I turned and face my lover, my mate. Edward brought our joined hands up to his lips and if I had been human, my face would be saturated with my tears. Tears of love and happiness, of course. Emmett cleared his throat and we all laughed as Edward and I turned and faced him.
"I never thought I would see the day that Edward found someone nearly as stubborn as he is," teased Emmett. I rolled my eyes at the buffoon while Edward punched him in the arm. Emmett smiled as he turned serious. "Today we stand here to witness, together as a family, the union between Edward and Isabella. The past few months have taught us all to value the power of love. Who gives this woman to be married?"
"I do," smiled Carlisle. I looked back at him. He had his arms around Esme, who was crying tearlessly.
"Isabella, repeat after me," said Emmett. "I, Isabella…"
"…take you, Edward, to be my lawfully wedded husband…"
"…take you, Isabella, to be my lawfully wedded wife…"
"…in good times and in bad…"
"…for better or for worse…"
"…for all of eternity."
Emmett handed Edward my ring while Rose slipped his into my hand. Edward slid the sterling silver band onto my left hand before raising it up and placing a soft kiss on top. I heard Esme and Alice whisper a hushed aw but I couldn't tear my eyes off of Edward's. His deep, butterscotch eyes were burning into mine.
"Isabella," murmured Emmett. I tore my eyes away and looked up at him. "It's your turn."
If I had been human, my cheeks would be on fire from the blush that had crept up them. I turned back to Edward and slowly slid the matching silver band on his left hand. A smile crept up on my face as I looked up at him. He was mine and I was his and nothing was ever going to change that. Edward wove our fingers together, pulling me an inch closer to him. Emmett cleared his throat once again and we looked up at him.
"It's an honor to pronounce you husband and wife," he said, smiling. He looked from me to Edward. "Dude, what are you waiting for? Kiss her already."
Everyone else laughed as Edward brought his hands up to my face and slowly leaned into me. Just before his lips touched down onto mine, he whispered, "I love you, Isabella."
I couldn't respond to him as his mouth landed on mine in the next instant. Instead, I told him that I loved him with the way I moves my lips with his. The way I held onto his hands with my hands. I told him that I loved him with each gentle caress of my tongue onto his. With each moment that I held him close to me. Edward slowly pulled away but kept his forehead pressed down onto mine.
"I love you, Edward," I whispered, closing my eyes. "I always will."
Do you remember the moment that changed your life? I used to think it was the moment I felt the razor sharp teeth of the vampire that changed me. However, now I realize that while that moment did change me, it was not the moment that changed my life. The moment that did, was the moment Jasper and I went hunting in the woods that surrounded the small town of Forks, Washington. The moment when we found ourselves face to face with a group of vampires who would led me to the brother I had thought was long dead and gone. The brother who led me to the man I was meant to spend my eternity with. All it took was a moment.
That's it, Folks. Thank you so much for all the great reviews over my first vampire story. It won't be my last. I have a new idea for one but I won't be putting it up for while. Let me know what you thought about this one.