Title: Speak Now
Authors: SaritaDreaming and wmr1601
Summary: One Bride, One Groom… One Huge Lie. Edward and Bella get together at a party hosted by Mike Newton, but by the end of the night, something's come between them. Fast forward four years to Edward's wedding to Tanya. Bella learns the truth behind what happened on that long ago night. Can she convince Edward to listen to the truth before it's too late? AH
Authors' Note: We'd talked about doing a collaboration before we realized that we were both signed up for the Foxy Fics; we contacted Kat and she said that it would be fine for us to work together on our submission for this fundraiser, so we got together on instant messaging and worked out a plot. We used Taylor Swift's song Speak Now as inspiration, but the story turned out to be so much more. If you haven't heard the song, then we suggest finding it on YouTube and taking a listen. Once we had the basic plot points worked out, writing this story was a lot like passing a pad of paper back and forth. We each took a POV and would write our part, then email it back and forth before finally putting the whole thing together into one master document.
Head over to Foxy Fics during the month of March, and for a minimum donation of $5, you'll get the rest of this story as well as tons of others from many great authors. Link is on my profile.
From wmr1601: Special thanks first and foremost to Sarita, for approaching me about co-writing with her. It's been a blast, and I'm looking forward to continue working with you both on this story and other stories in the future! Also thanks to my very best friend, Caz, for being a constant supporter to me through all of my insecurities, and for being a prereader for SN. The fact that we've never met face to face doesn't matter; I can't imagine my life without her. Thanks bb!
From SaritaDreaming: I want to thank Wendy for taking a chance and writing with a collab virgin, LOL. I'd been dying to do a collab, but I wanted to find someone whose writing style was similar enough to my own. When I read Wendy's one-shot 'Check Yes or No' in a contest I'm an admin for, I fell in love with it, and when I was thinking about someone to write with, she kept coming back to my mind. Thank you to Keye and Sandy, my bestest buddies and pre-readers for all my stories. Last, but certainly not least, thanks to my awesome beta, Jess (jkane180), who has taught me a great deal over the past several months and always makes me sound like I know what I'm doing even when I don't.
Suggested listening for this story:
Speak Now ~ Taylor Swift
Blurry ~ Puddle of Mudd
What If ~ Coldplay
It's been nearly four years since I stepped foot in Forks. After living in Florida with the constant heat baking into me, the cool, damp air feels like heaven as it settles on my pale skin like a tender caress. The sky is a mottled gray, and the sun tries to peek through, but it's not likely that it will. A gentle breeze ruffles the ends of my hair; a shiver runs through me, and I question if it's the weather or the reason I came back here that's causing it.
I stand on the cracked sidewalk of the main road that runs through town - Forks Avenue; my high heels make crunching noises on the crumbled pieces beneath them as I fidget. Above me is a canopy of green leaves swaying in the breeze, and I inhale deeply, enjoying the unique scents of nature and the town that, a few years ago, I was dying to get away from. Glancing around curiously, I see that things haven't changed much at all; the storefronts look the same, if a tad bit shabbier, and there seems to be a new internet cafe where the old dress shop used to be. Resting my hand on the trunk of the huge oak tree that's sheltering me, I rub my fingertips across its bark in an attempt to feel more grounded. It doesn't work.
I finally decide to turn my attention to the building that houses the reason I'm here; the Abundant Mercy Church. My lips twist into an ironic ghost of a smile. Abundant mercy. I could have used some of that four years ago, but I know I'm going to need it now. The little white church sits there innocently, welcoming in the faithful, the loving, the weary, and the misdirected. It's arched windows look like eyes to me, eyes that can see inside my soul, and I wonder idly if God will strike me down for what I'm about to do.
I've always considered myself a good person, a kind one. I've never been particularly religious; despite the fact that most of my neighbors are parishioners, I'm not even sure what the inside of this church looks like. Anger buzzes through me as I remember what brought me here.
And what I came to do is rather time sensitive, so I shouldn't spend the day rooted to the spot across from the scene of the crime. Smoothing the skirt of my sapphire blue dress, I look both ways before crossing the street. There are no cars in sight, and the clicking noises my heels make on the tarmac are rather loud and sharp, cutting through the quiet in short staccato echoes.
I reach the sidewalk on the other side and stand before the quaint, yet majestic, church. My eyes roam over the front steps, and I'm tempted to run up them and burst through the doors, but, in the end, I decide to case out the place first.
Walking along the left side of the building, I hear voices coming through an open window, and I pause to listen.
"How are you holding up?" a woman's voice that sounds vaguely familiar asks.
"I'm okay, I guess. I just hate everything about this podunk town, and he insisted that we had to be married in this church. I never expected to be back here with these inbred hicks."
There's only one person I know of with a voice that could give nails on a chalkboard a run for their money and would speak so derisively about the friends and neighbors from her own home town—Tanya Denali.
In a bold move, I lean forward until I can peer in the window. What I see of the bridal room from my awkward vantage point are pale green walls and a tall, freestanding mirror framed in mahogany. Tanya stands before the mirror, preening. I can see her perfect profile; her strawberry blond locks are pulled up into an intricate 'do with a few, stray spirals cascading down her back and a sparkly tiara to complete the look. Her voluptuous body is encased in a white strapless gown that fits her like a glove, and, I hate to admit, she wears it well. She's too entranced with her own image in the mirror to take notice of me watching her through the window, and I think the billowing curtains might afford me a little bit of camouflage anyway.
"Oh, Tanya, be grateful that you're marrying a man like Edward. There aren't many out there like him, sweetie."
Moving over slightly so the other woman is in my view, I see that it's Tanya's sister, Kate. Kate is a beautiful woman; tall and regal with long, straight, corn-silk hair that falls halfway down her back. As her head moves, her hair swishes back and forth softly, and it hypnotizes me.
"I know, Katie, but it just pisses me off that I couldn't get married where I wanted to. You know that big beautiful church with all the stained glass in New Hampshire? Near Dartmouth where all my friends are?" Tanya whines.
Rolling my eyes, I remember why I can't stand her; she's so fake and surfacey. If I was marrying a man like Edward, I wouldn't give a shit if it was at City Hall, just as long as I knew he was mine–that I could take him home and make love to him all night. I feel a twinge in my abdomen at that thought, and memories roll over me slowly, taking me back in time...
A/N: If you'd like to know when this story is continued, add it to your story alerts. It will most likely be in April sometime. Reviewers will receive a teaser for the next chapter. Thanks for reading!