Chapter 27- Sarai Qui (There You'll Be)
Two Months Later-
"Hold still, Bella, you fidget more than any vampire I've ever met." Didyme said, as she and Athenodora styled my hair.
"Sorry, I'm just nervous, I guess." I said, taking a deep breath.
I sat in front of my mirror, staring at myself. I was dressed in a beautiful white gown, it was off the shoulder, with a long ruffled skirt that flowed elegantly to the floor and a small train that followed behind me when I walked. It was my wedding dress.
A knock sounded on the door across the room and, after I called a 'come in', all of the Cullen family, including Edward, stepped inside.
"Everything is set up out in the garden. Do you need any help?" Alice offered, cheerfully.
"Actually could you retrieve her veil from her bedroom in there?" Athenodora asked.
"Sure." Alice replied, a second later she was back with my white gauzy veil in hand. It was attached to a beautiful tiara that was set with diamonds and rubies arranged into the pattern of flowers. I hadn't really wanted to wear something so elaborate, but Aro had insisted. Athenodora set it atop my head and breathed a sigh.
"Perfect." she said.
I gazed at myself and couldn't believe my eyes, I actually looked...pretty.
"You look wonderful, Bella!" Esme said.
"Thanks." I replied, bashfully.
"Bella, on behalf of all of us, I have a small gift for you." Carlisle said, stepping forward and pulling a small box from his jacket pocket.
"Now, you all know that you didn't have to get me anything." I replied.
"We know. But we still wanted to give you this." Alice said.
I laughed a small laugh and opened the box, inside lay a silver necklace. It was a simple rope chain but it was what was attached to that chain that had the venom tears gathering in my eyes. The Cullen crest lay there shaped into an oval locket, I flipped it open and inside was a tiny picture of the entire family.
"Oh, I love it! Thank you all so very much." I said.
"No matter what you believe, Bella, you were and always will be a member of our family." Carlisle said.
"Thank you!" I jumped up to give each of them a hug, even Rosalie and Edward, both of whom hugged me back rather awkwardly.
I opened the little clasp and placed it around my neck, the locket falling at the hallow of my throat.
"I also wanted to properly thank you for saving my life during the battle." Rosalie said, quietly.
I waved her off, "Your welcome, Rosalie. I couldn't just stand back and watch you die, I had to do something."
"Thank you." she said, smiling a small smile. "I know that I've been...less than kind to you and I wish to apologize for that."
"Apology accepted, Rosalie."
Another knock sounded on the door and I went to answer, I opened it to find Charlie standing outside. "Oh, hey, Dad, it isn't time is it?" I suddenly felt a mass of butterflies in my stomach at the thought of what was to come.
"No, Bells, I was just coming by to talk to you."
"Okay, come on in."
Charlie's health still wasn't at its best, but he was up and moving at least.
"Hello, Charlie, how are you feeling today?" Carlisle asked, ever the doctor.
"I'm feeling better, Carlisle, thank you." Charlie replied, then he turned to me. "You look beautiful, Bells." he said.
"Thanks, Dad." I replied.
"Alright, why don't we give Bella and her father some time to talk?" Didyme suggested.
Everyone cleared out of the room leaving me with Charlie. We were both quiet for a while, neither of us had ever been very good at expressing our emotions.
"So..." I began. "I'm glad that you've decided to stay in Italy, Dad." He had decided to take a year to decide whether he wanted to become a vampire or stay human. I thought it was for the best, one needs to be absolutely positive when making the decision.
"Yeah, me too. Gianna is really nice." he said. Gianna had taken over caring for Charlie when he had woken up, she would prepare his meals for him, read to him, and visit with him everyday, almost as many times as I did. She had offered for him to stay with her, until he became a bit more healthy. They had grown closer and a relationship was slowly growing between them.
"Yes, she is." We discussed several more subjects before there was yet another knock on the door. "Yes?" I called, Didyme stuck her head in.
"It's time!" she said and the number of butterflies in my stomach doubled.
I stood in my chambers, nervously straightening my tie and occasionally glancing out the window down at the garden below. It was filled with people, most of whom were members of the guard, the other majority were the Cullen's, the Denali's, Gianna, and Charlie Swan. I breathed a nervous sigh attracting the attention of Marcus.
"Everything will be well, brother." Marcus assured me, laying a hand on my shoulder.
"I do hope so, Marcus."
"You complete each other, Aro. I can tell that from each of your bonds." he paused. "Isabella truly loves you with all of her heart."
"Thank you for the reassurance, brother." I said.
"Your welcome. Now, if you will excuse me, brother, I shall make my way down to the alter." he said.
I was left alone, but only for a short interval. Caius stepped over my threshold, since Marcus was marrying Isabella and I, I had asked my other brother to be my 'best man,' as tradition dictated. He walked forward to stand by my side.
"Nervous, brother?" he asked, smugly.
"Perhaps. Is not your job to make me less so?" I asked.
Caius cracked a small smile, a rarity for him in any case, "I suppose that it is." he said, stepping in front of me and gripping my shoulders. "You and Bella are a good match. All shall be well, Aro."
"I hope your right." I said.
"Aro, in how many instances have I been wrong in the past?" he demanded.
I could not help but laugh, "Quite a few times, Caius, though your temper and determination have certainly made up the difference."
He scowled at my laughter, "You know that I am correct about this." he snapped.
"I know, brother, I know. Congratulations, my nerves have officially dissipated." I replied, to which he rolled his eyes. My anxiety had lessened, at least until Athenodora stuck her head through the doorway and said the words, "We are ready for you down in the garden."
"Thank you, Dora." I replied, taking a deep breath and turned to make my way toward my destiny.
Charlie and I walked toward the garden where the crowd awaited us. There weren't very many present as Aro and I wanted to keep things simple. It was just the rest of the Volturi, the Cullen's, the Denali's, Gianna, and, of course, my dad. My mom unfortunately had to be kept out of the loop, what with all the vampires, but I was glad in a way that a decision like the one my Dad would have to make wouldn't complicate her life. She was happy with Phil and that was all that mattered.
While we slowly paced forward I noticed that everything was beautifully decorated with white and red roses and ribbons, similar in fashion to my bouquet. Didyme, Athenodora, and Alice had really outdone themselves. As we neared the entrance the familiar music of Wagner's march began to ring through the corridor. The double doors swung open, revealing the colorful garden, lit from overhead by the evening sun.
The rows of chairs were decorated with white gossamer ribbons and satin. Every inch of the garden, that wasn't already covered with a blooming plant, was overflowing with fresh cut flowers. My eyes, however, barely saw any of it, they were trained onto the figure at the end of the aisle. Aro stood there, dressed in his best black suit, his shoes were shined to perfection, and his dark hair hung loosely around his shoulders. The light of the sun reflected off of his skin making him glow with an almost ethereal illumination.
Charlie pulled my hand into the crook of his arm and then grasped it tightly, almost as if he was more nervous that I. We marched forward at a slow and steady pace, a little too slow in my personal opinion. But we eventually made it to the alter where Aro stood waiting. After taking my hand in his own, Aro and I turned in unison to face Marcus and the ceremony began.
"Friends, family, we are gathered here today to join this man and this woman in the bonds of matrimony..." he began, then came to the line. "If anyone can give a reason as to why these two shall not be wed, speak now or forever hold your peace." There was a long pause, or at the least it seemed overly long to me, but no one said anything.
Then Marcus began the vows, "Do you, Aro Volturi, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife? To have and to hold, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health, as long as you both shall live?" he asked.
Aro held my hands between his and stared lovingly into my eyes, "I do." he answered.
"And do you, Isabella Marie Swan, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband? To have and to hold, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health, as long as you both shall live?"
I smiled a small smile, "I do." I replied.
Marcus grinned, "I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride." he said. Aro leaped at the chance, lifting my veil and kissing me hungrily.
Our reception was held in the throne room. A variety of classical music was playing through a speaker system that Demetri had set up. The symphonic notes echoed through the chamber and I recognized the familiar tune of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. A personal favorite of mine.Aro led me forward to the middle of the floor and we shared our first waltz as husband and wife.
I looked around us as we moved, several couples had joined us on the dance floor- Esme and Carlisle, Carmen and Eleazar, and, much to my surprise, Edward and Jillian. The two of them were waltzing, talking as they spun, Jillian was smiling and Edward had his crooked grin upon his lips. 'It's good to see him a little happy.' I thought to myself.
"I love you." Aro whispered, in my ear as he held me close.
"And I love you." I replied.
The melody ended and we were immediately surrounded by a circle of our friends. "Oh, congratulations!" Tanya said, "We are all so happy for you!"
"Yes, we hate to congratulate and run, but our plane leaves soon." Kate explained.
"Thank you for attending." Aro replied.
"Yes, thank you all very much." I said. "I hope we see all of you again soon." I had gotten rather close to Tanya, Kate, Jillian, Carmen, and Eleazar, we had become quite good friends. Irina continued to be a little distant, but she wasn't unpleasant to me.
"We'll have to come back and visit soon, after your honeymoon, of course." Carmen said, as she hugged me.
"Oh, yes, you won't be rid of us all that long." Tanya said, as she wrapped her arms around me.
Jillian stepped up next to hug me. "Do me a favor?" I asked, in her ear.
"Take care of Edward, he deserves someone as wonderful as you." I smiled at her as she pulled away, she grinned.
"He's stubborn, but I'll try my best." she replied.
"Be happy, Bella." Kate said.
"Well, we had better go. Aro, it was a pleasure, as always, seeing you. Bella, it was wonderful getting to know you." Eleazar said, taking my hand and kissing my knuckles.
"As it was you, Eleazar, thank you."
With their final goodbyes said, they swept out the door, heading for their rooms to retrieve their luggage. The Cullen's stepped up next.
"Congratulations, Bella." Esme said, as she pulled me into her embrace.
"Thank you, Esme."
"We are happy for you." Carlisle said, hugging me.
"Have a good time on your honeymoon, Bells." Emmett said, wagging his eyebrows suggestively. If I'd still been human, I would have blushed scarlet.
"I'm sure that she will, Mr. Cullen." Aro replied, smirking.
"Thanks, Em." I said, quietly.
"We have to plan a shopping trip, just you and I." Alice suggested.
"Alice, you know I hate shopping." I grumbled.
"I know, but I see you going with me anyway." she said, shoving out her bottom lip in a pout.
"Ugh, alright, fine...sister." I said, hugging her.
"Congratulations, little sister." Jasper said, as he shook my hand.
"Congratulations, Bella." Rosalie said, from Emmett's side.
"Thank you, Rosalie."
Edward was the last to step forward. "Bella," he began. "I am happy for you."
"I'm glad, Edward." I replied.
"Aro." Edward said, as he nodded in my husband's direction. Afterward, he turned to walk toward the door.
"Edward, wait!" I called, I ran up to him and wrapped my arms around his shoulders, hugging him one last time. "Promise me something?"
"What?" he asked.
"Promise me that you'll be happy, Edward."
He smiled a small smile, "I promise that I'll try, Bella."
"Good. You know you should give Jillian a chance. I can tell that she really likes you."
"I will." he said, looking at his feet. "I...actually think that I may like her too."
"I'm glad, cause if you break her heart, I'll be after you for not keeping your promise, Edward Cullen." I mockingly glared at him.
"Oh, I'm sure he knows that, oh ye all powerful Volturi queen." Emmett said, across the room.
"Shut up, Emmett." I smiled, laughing.
"We had best be going." Carlisle said. "Esme and I will be back in a month or so, so I can check up on your father."
"Alright, we'll see you then." I smiled, they nodded and left.
There was a brief pause in the congratulatory procession, before Charlie decided to congratulate Aro and I.
"Well, Bells, I'm happy for you." he said, walking up to me with Gianna on his arm.
"Yes, congratulations." she smiled, warmly.
"Thanks, Dad. Thanks, Gianna." I pulled each of them into a hug.
"You had better be good to my little girl." Charlie said, as he shook Aro's hand.
"Worry not, Mr. Swan, for I would rather face my final death, than harm a hair on her beautiful head." Aro replied, turning on his usual charm.
"You better not." Charlie threatened, then grinned. "Take care of her."
"You have my word that I forever shall." Aro replied.
"Well, Charlie, you've had quite a lot of excitement for one day, you must be tired." Gianna said.
"Naw, I'm alright." he replied, waving off the suggestion, only to be betrayed by his mouth a second later as he yawned.
"Come, you need to rest." she said, gently.
"Oh, alright." Charlie said. "See you later, Bells."
"Bye, Dad." I said, he and Gianna turned to leave, but I gently grasped her arm to stop her. "Thank you, Gianna, for taking care of him."
"It is my pleasure, Bella." she smiled, then turned to follow Charlie.
The rest of the crowd dispersed rather quickly, leaving just Aro and I in the room. He pulled me close as we began to twirl around the room again. He spun me and then dipped me, making me feel all the more like a princess.
He was smiling when he righted me, then cupped my cheek. "Come with me." he said, slowly pulling up behind the thrones and down the short walk way onto the balcony. The sun was setting in the distance, as I walked forward to rest my arms on the stone balustrade. Aro walked up behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist, I leaned back into his welcome embrace. We stood there like that, in our own little solitary world, for what seemed like hours, until the last rays of the daylight sparkled on our stone skin.
Aro turned me around to face him. He gazed deeply into my eyes and spoke, "Before you, Isabella, I existed in a meaningless haze, living each day without true meaning. Then I saw you and it was like the sun rising above a dark, bleak horizon. For the first moment in all of my time on earth, I felt hope. You are my life, my reason for existing. I promise to always be by your side, in one form or another, for the rest of our eternity. I love you with all that I am and all that I shall ever be. That is why I stand before you not as a leader, not as a vampire, but as a man who throughly, deeply, irrevocably loves you." he sealed his promise with a kiss.
I paused for a moment after our lips parted, gathering my thoughts, "I could never really express what I feel with words, Aro. I've never been very open with my feelings before. Everything that I could say would feel like an understatement, but know that I truly, deeply, throughly, irrevocably love you. And no matter what, I'll always be with you." He smiled and pulled me closer, resting his forehead against mine.
I stared into his eyes. Those scarlet eyes that seemed to peer into my very soul. This man, this vampire could have been my undoing, my death. But he had managed to awaken in me a persona that I never knew I possessed. What had happened in my past was long forgotten as I kissed his lips, knowing that he would never leave me...and that I would never leave him.
*Cries* I'm so sad to see this end. lol And here I go with the apologies again, but what can I say, I'm good at it...Sorry for not updating more quickly, sorry if this chapter sucked, sorry...well, I guess that's about it. I just want to recommend a story before I go...its called "Panta Rhei" by erythra-selena. It's a Marcus/Bella story and it's well written and has a good plot line. Go and check it out.
THANK YOU- letsjustdance, twimama77, Sunshine, LordXeenTheGreat, kouga's older woman, collizzy, calzonatopia, Kathy Hiester, erythra-selena, hannahcauisvolturi, lovelymokona, beautiful but damned, Angel of the Night Watchers, ebonyedlove, mynxi, Nemi Jade, the anonymous reviewer, InkincGirl, deathgeonous, caiusgirl17, dramaqueen1917, slythechristiangirl, Midoriori, and Liz, for all of your wonderful comments and compliments, I really do hope that this chapter lived up to your expectations! Well, until next time my dear readers!