Hi everyone, this was my entry in this years Valentine's Day countdown. It was a lot of fun to write. I plan to continue it just as soon as I can. It won't be a full length story, but I will probably add somewhere around three more chapters to tie up any loose ends that were left at the end of the one shot and to give you a look into their future.
I couldn't have done this without the help of my two most awesome beta's My-Bella and Hope4more, or without les-16, anonynouslysufferingfromOCD, and MedusaInNY who pre-read this for me as often as I asked. You guys all rock!
I have pictures of Bella's Vegas wedding gown posted on my blog, along with pictures from the hotel and chapel in Vegas. Stop on by and check them out. Just remember to remove the () from around the dots.
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. And Of course just in case that doesn't cover it, Stephenie Meyer owns anything and everything relating to Twilight. No copyright infringement is intended.
~* My Forever Valentine* ~
Valentine's Day 2011
"There, all done. Mike is going to be speechless when he sees you," Alice said as she placed the last of what felt like a hundred jeweled pins in my hair. I smiled as I looked at my reflection; my best friend had transformed me into something out of a fairytale storybook. I hardly recognized myself. Alice was more than my best friend though—she was the sister I'd never had. The extra makeup and the poofy princess ball gown that was my wedding dress were a little much for my usual taste, but I could handle it since it was only one day.
Alice moved to stand behind me and pulled the strings so tight on the corseted back I didn't think I'd be able to breathe. Standing before the full length mirror she had insisted on bringing with us today, I said to her, "You've really outdone yourself this time, Alice." My voice was shaking as I fought to keep my emotions at bay and not cry for fear of ruining the makeup she had just perfectly applied on my face.
"Oh, Bella, it was my pleasure. You know that I would do anything for you. This is your big day. You're getting married today, on the most romantic day of the year, Valentine's Day," she exclaimed to me. However, I couldn't help but think I was hearing a hint of hesitation in her voice.
"What's wrong, Alice? Why do I sense there's something you're keeping from me?" I asked, knowing that she would be completely honest with me. We had never lied to or kept anything from each other since the day we'd met back in third grade.
Her expression instantly turned from one of excitement to one of trepidation. She was keeping something from me and I was at a loss as to what it could be about.
"Please, Alice. You know you can tell me anything," I begged.
Sucking in a deep breath and slowly releasing it, she paced back and forth across the floor a few times before going over to her bag and pulling out what appeared to be a red envelope. Turning to face me, she had pulled her upper lip in her mouth and was chewing on it nervously, as she made her way across the room where I was still sitting at the vanity.
"Bella, you know I love you right?" she asked hesitantly as she place her hand on my shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze.
"Yes of course, Alice. Sisters forever right?"
She nodded with a faint smile.
"What in the world has gotten into you?" I could see she was clearly very torn up over something.
"Look…I know this might not be the best time to give this to you, but I only found it this morning," she said as she held up the red envelope for me to see before she continued. "I'm not sure what it says or why Edward never gave it to you, or even how long it's been there. But what I do know is that at some point he had meant to give it to you and I think you should read it before you walk down that aisle today."
"Why, Alice? What could possibly be in there that could be so important I would need to read it before I pledge myself to Mike? My relationship with your brother has been over for years now. I knew when I waved goodbye to him that day at the airport, our lives would forever be changed. So tell me why I should read this?"
"I don't know. I can't really explain it. You know how I get sometimes, how I just know things."
I nodded with a sigh, knowing exactly what she was talking about. Whenever she had gotten these weird feelings over the years she had always been right.
"Ok," she whispered and then continued. "You also know that as twins, Edward and I have always had a special connection. It might be nothing, for all I know it could be a card wishing you well on your marriage and he dropped it when he left this morning. But I can't shake this feeling that it's important and that you need to read it," she explained.
I thought again about how Alice's inner intuition had never been wrong. So when she handed me the card and offered to leave, allowing me some time to myself, I promised that I'd read whatever was inside the envelope. I was aware Edward had been home for a few weeks before he was off to Boston permanently. Like me he had graduated early in three and a half years instead of four. The difference was he now had four more years of law school ahead of him. Alice had said that it had been too late for him to switch his registration from the fall semester to the spring, so he had until August when law school would begin and had gotten a research job with a very prestigious law firm in the area. I had no doubt he would have a very successful career. But the only contact I'd had with him was a few passing glances when going to visit Alice. So I was baffled as to what he could possibly have to say now, after all this time?
Alice and I hugged tightly and she left the room. Holding up the hem of my gown so I didn't trip over it, I walked across the small dressing room located on the side of the church. I then sat on the long wooden church pew that had been placed in front of a huge stained glass window. Looking down at the object in my hand, I instantly recognized the near perfect hand writing in which my name had been written. My heart began to thump faster in my chest as I was taken back to a Valentine's Day long ago. Four years ago to be exact.
It was February 1st 2007, two weeks before the winter formal dance that was set to take place on Valentine's Day, during our senior year in high school. I'd had a crush on Edward since the sixth grade. His sparkling green eyes, unique lopsided grin, his messy auburnish brown hair, and his lean but muscular build were the things that all the girls at Forks High School admired about him. But I knew him for far more than just the superficial exterior things that caused them all to throw themselves at him on a daily basis.
He was sweet, caring, charming, good mannered, honest, smart, loyal, a true gentleman and despite all the girls throwing themselves at him, he was down to earth and never conceited. In fact he didn't relish in their attention at all. That wasn't to say he didn't date, because he'd had a couple of girlfriends over our stint in high school. But he never gloated about his good looks or cared that he could have had any girl he wanted. So when he asked me to attend the Valentine's Day dance with him, I was beyond thrilled. Shocked, but thrilled.
I remembered laughing at Alice when I'd told her he probably just couldn't decide who to ask so I was his safety net. I wasn't his sister by blood but I'd be as safe as taking his sister. No expectations, just friends having fun together. But Alice quickly shot down that theory, asking me if I'd taken a look at myself in the mirror lately. Going on about how I may have been a late bloomer, but I had finally blossomed and her brother had taken notice. Not thoroughly convinced of what she was telling me, yet wanting to have some hope that it could be true, I decided to just let the chips fall where they may.
On the night of the dance I'd been a nervous wreck, not really knowing what to expect. Alice and I got ready together at her house, while Edward was over at Jasper's house; his best friend and Alice's boyfriend. When they picked us up, I could see I wasn't the only one who was nervous. Edward who was normally calm and comfortable under any circumstance, was now fidgety and slightly on edge. His constantly running his hand through his hair was his tale-tell sign. But the other thing I remembered was how he looked at me differently, almost like he was seeing me for the first time.
Later that night, he had led me outside to the bridge that crossed the pond located behind the inn where the dance was being held. Walking across the wooden planks of the bridge with nothing more than the full moon and sparkling stars in the sky to light our way, we stopped near the middle and watched a few lily pads float on the surface.
The soothing sounds of the water flowing below us was interrupted when he whispered my name, "Bella."
I turned and looked up at him. He never said anything else; instead he leaned down and kissed me for the first time. It had been soft, sweet and magical. Foot popping as my grandmother Marie would've said. It was when he kissed me the second time, with much more fervor than he had the first, that I realized what I felt was so much more than just a crush. I was in love with him. And for the first time in the six years I'd been harboring my emotions for him, I believed that he might just feel the same way about me.
We never defined or placed a label on our relationship, but from that night on we were inseparable. That spring had been the most amazing time of my life. As the weeks flew by we grew closer and though neither of us ever spoke the words, I knew he loved me too. I could feel it and he showed me in everything he did for me and how he acted towards me. But all too soon, May came and as graduation loomed before us, Edward received a letter from Harvard, accepting him into an early summer welcome program only offered to a select few top students across the country. I knew he would go, there was never any doubt and I wouldn't have wanted him to do anything differently. He had worked hard for his grades and deserved the honor.
So when that afternoon, in the first week of June came, I hugged and kissed him goodbye at the security gate of SeaTac airport, I knew both of our lives would be forever changed. Throughout the summer and into the first few weeks of the fall semester, we kept in touch. He was having the time of his life at Harvard, while Alice and I were getting settled in at The University of Washington. But as time went on and we both got engrossed in our studies, our emails and phone calls grew further and further apart until they eventually stopped.
I was jarred from my memories by the ringing of the church bells signaling it was half past twelve. In just thirty short minutes I was supposed to be walking down the aisle to start a new life with Mike. Mike and I had met my second year in college. He was sweet and he treated me like a princess. But even as my feelings for him grew there were times when I'd always wondered what if. What if I'd told Edward how I truly felt about him? Would he have thought I was silly and that it was impossible for me to love him in such a short time? Would he have said those three words back to me and changed his plans or begged me to go with him? Or would he have been filled with remorse that we had started something that maybe should have been left alone due to the circumstances? I guess in the long run the fear that maybe he wouldn't return the sentiment, or that it would influence his future somehow other than he'd originally planned on was why I'd never spoken the words out loud to him. I'd also held onto the hope that if we were meant to be, we'd somehow find a way to do so.
Knowing my time was running short and that my father and Alice would be knocking on the door at any time, I began to tear open the envelope to see what was inside. I felt as if my heart would pound through my chest as I removed the heart shaped card from the ripped paper. It was red velvet with raised gold embossed lettering in some unknown to me elegant font that said, Be Mine.
A huge lump formed in my throat as I read the words he'd written inside.
I've never forgotten our Valentine's Day.
Tell me I'm not too late. Tell me you can still be mine.
All sorts of questions began running through my head. What was I supposed to do? My head was telling me to go on and walk down that aisle and marry Mike like I'd planned to, that there was a reason Edward had never given the card to me himself. Maybe the card was old. From sometime in the past when he'd been home. That thought was shot out of the water as I turned the card over and saw it was printed this year. I knew what I had to do. I had to know. I couldn't go through with my marriage and have lingering questions about "what ifs" and "what might have beens". It wasn't fair to me and it certainly wasn't fair to Mike.
I looked down at my left hand where my engagement ring sat. I turned the band round and round like it was some magical device and would give me the answers I was searching for. But I then realized if I wasn't sure now that this ring belonged on my finger then I never would be. I had never truly given my heart to Mike. It had always been in Boston with Edward. I slipped my engagement ring off and set it on the vanity top. I waited for the remorse or even regret to come but it didn't. Instead I felt free and relived and even more eager to find Edward. Even if he were gone, I knew now for sure that I would be making a horrible mistake today if I were to go through with the wedding. My whole heart wasn't in it and it had never been. I had been merely trying to fill a void that could obviously only be filled by one person. Now certain of what I needed to do, I sped across the dressing room as fast as I could in the cumbersome layers of my wedding gown. I flung open the door to find Alice so I could enlist her help. I had to find Edward. But as if she already knew, she was standing on the other side of the wooden barrier waiting for me.
"Where is he, Alice?"
Her answer was not what I wanted to hear. "I don't know. He was packed and out of the house before I was up this morning. When I went to say goodbye to him was when I found the card. Why, Bella? What does the card say?"
"That doesn't matter right now. I have to find him before it's too late. You must have some idea," I pleaded with her.
"Honestly, I wish I did. All I know is that despite him being gone, his flight wasn't supposed to leave until this evening," she insisited.
Thinking for a minute, I remembered the one place Edward and I had always liked to go to for peace and quiet away from everything and everyone. I knew where he'd be if he were still here. I smiled at Alice and said, "I think I might know where he is. We used to go there sometimes. Give me the keys to your car, Alice."
"What?" she exclaimed.
"The keys, Alice. You know, to your car. I know you love your Porsche, but I have to go. Now."
She hurried over to the vanity and dug through her bag and finally pulled her hand out with the keys clasped tightly in it.
"I need you to hold down the fort for me here. I know it's wrong and I'm asking a lot, but—"
"Just go, I got this," she said while tossing the keys to me. I grabbed my purse and was out the door.
I sped through the streets of Forks confident I wouldn't get pulled over since the chief of police—my father—and over half of the police force were at the church I'd just abandoned.
As I hit the brakes a little a harder than I intended, the car skidded to a stop. I had bunched my wedding gown all around me while getting in the car and now trying to untangle it so I could climb out was no easy task.
When I managed to get out of the tiny driver's seat of Alice's Porsche, I realized that had been easy compared to walking along the wooded path in this contraption known as my gown. Thank goodness I still had on my slippers and hadn't put my heels on yet.
I hoisted the dress up as far as I could and started up the trail. I had no clue if Edward would even be here, but we had come here to get away from everyone a few times that spring all those years ago. So I held on to hope.
Coming to the end of the trail, I had to stop and catch my breath for a minute. It had been hard to get up it, having gotten my dress caught on bushes and branches several times. I took a few steps out into the clearing. Gone were the wild flowers that had been here the last time I had visited. The tall wild grasses were brown and had been flattened by the many rounds of snow we had encountered over the winter. There were still some small patches of snow remaining in a few shady spots.
My eyes scanned the clearing and woods around it for any sign of Edward. There had been a jeep down where I had parked, but I had no clue as to whose it was. It could be a hunter or a hiker for all I knew. The longer I stood there looking around and not seeing anything indicating Edward was here or even had been here, the more I felt like I may have been horribly wrong. If it had been summer there may have been a chance he was lying unseen in the tall grasses and flowers that grew in abundance, but not now. It was clear that I was the only one here. As I walked back down the trail at a much slower pace than I'd used to go up it, I was again hit with the realization that even if Edward weren't here, the fact that I had so willing run out on my husband to be, said a lot about whether or not I should be marrying him. I had simply been trying to fill a void that was left four years ago. I hadn't meant to and I knew Mike was going to be devastated, but better now than two or three years from now.
Feeling emotionally drained and lost, the tears began to stream down my face. By the time I was back at the road, I was crying so hard I could hardly see straight. This was why when I saw Edward leaning against the jeep parked a few feet from Alice's Porsche; I thought I was imagining it.
I stopped and stood there staring at him. His expression was one of confusion. Just like I was having a hard time believing it was him standing there in front of me, he was having a hard time believing he was seeing me as well. But as if it simultaneously clicked inside us that we were both really there, we rushed towards one another. I could hardly breathe I was crying so hard. And when he took me in his arms and lifted me off the ground, clutching me to his chest as if his life depended on it, all I could do was wrap my arms around his neck and sob helplessly.
After what seemed like hours, but was only minutes in reality, Edward set me back down. I gazed up at him and was about to ask him all the questions I had been plagued with since reading his card, but he gently placed his fingers against my lips and shushed me. He then led me over to where the two vehicles were parked. While we had been standing there clinging to each other, the winds had picked up like a storm was rolling in.
Once we reached his jeep, he quickly dug his keys out of his pocket and unlocked and opened the passenger door for me. Due to the height of the jeep, Edward hoisted me up into the seat. I would have probably needed help even if I wasn't in a wedding gown. After shutting my door, he hurried around the back of the vehicle to the driver's side door and hopped in as well.
As if someone had rung a bell signaling it was the start of a race, we both blurted out a jumble of words at the same time. Me telling him I thought he was gone and I was too late and him asking me what I was doing there.
"You first," I mumbled through my chattering teeth as a shiver rocked through my body. Running off in a strapless gown was not a good idea, but all I had been able to think about at the time was finding Edward. Noticing that I was cold, Edward pulled off the worn leather jacket he had on and wrapped it around me. I slipped my arms into the warm sleeves of the jacket and was instantly enveloped in his scent. It was so much better than I had remembered.
Edward reached over and took my hand in his and held onto it like he was afraid I'd run away if he didn't. "Bella," he rasped. "Why are you here, how did you find me? I—I thought you were getting married today." He had a pained expression on his face as if the last few words had been excruciating for him to say.
I held up the card that I still had clutched in my other hand.
He raised one eyebrow at me as he asked, "Where did you get that?" I could see him trying to put the pieces together and as I was about to answer him, the start of a smile formed on the corner of his mouth as he whispered, "Alice."
I nodded and smiled as I thought of the lengths my best friend would go for those she loved. Clearing my throat I finally found my voice. "She said she found it in your room when she went to tell you goodbye this morning."
He ran his hand through his hair, scratching the back of his head a few times. "She gave it to you, and you ran out on your wedding to come find me?"
I nodded once again which prompted his next question, "Why, Bella? Why would you do that?"
"Oh, Edward, don't you know?" I cried. "This," I said as I held up the card again, "I've never forgotten either, and I had to know if you really meant what you said in here. If after all this time you still want me? I had to know if you love me."
He sat there not uttering a word, looking completely stunned as if he'd been zapped by a taser. I felt a wave of panic beginning to well up inside me, causing my chest to constrict in fear. What if he had changed his mind and that was why he never gave me the card? I couldn't handle his silence anymore. If I had come here to find him today all for nothing, I had to know now.
"Edward, please say something. Did you change your mind? Is that why you didn't give me the Valentine?"
"Jesus, Bella. No. I'm…I just can't believe it. I can't believe you're here. All these years, I have never been able to get you out of my mind. I've been thinking that you had just moved on… I just—"
I interrupted him. "I know, it's crazy, its mind boggling, insane even. But it's true. I'm here." I stopped for a minute to catch my breath and think of the best way to explain it all to him. When I thought I had gathered all my thoughts, I set the card and Alice's keys I'd been holding in my right hand down on the dash and wrapped my hand around his that was holding my left one and I began again.
"I tried to move on. After you first left, those first few weeks were so hard. I know we talked occasionally or emailed but it just wasn't the same. Soon I became engrossed in packing for college, and then once I was at school the hectic job of adjusting to the new schedule and classes became all encompassing. I imagine it was much the same for you. But you were always there in the back of my mind. If seeing Alice, your twin, everyday wasn't enough of a reminder, I had a barrage of what ifs that kept haunting me, making me wonder if I'd told you how I really felt if you would have felt the same way too."
A new wave of tears began to run down my cheeks as I searched his eyes for some sign that he had those same thoughts and feelings too. "It's the one thing I've never been able to stop wondering about after all these years," I whispered.
"Oh, Bella," he said releasing my hands and lifting his to cup my face. "I've been so stupid, selfish, and most of all a coward." He pulled me over the center counsel onto his lap. It was as if I was too far away and he needed me closer to him, even though we both struggled with the copious amounts of dress material between us.
His eyebrows scrunched, forming thick lines on his forehead. "I was so stupid because I never told you how I felt all those years ago and for not begging you to wait for me to finish school. When I stepped onto that plane, Bella, I must have gotten up out of my seat three or four times, ready to run after you and beg you to transfer to a school closer to Harvard. On my last attempt, when I'd finally made up my mind to really do it, just as I got to the door, the stewardess had shut it and turned the lever to lock it. I saw it as a sign and resigned myself to being too late."
He let out a deep breath and ran his hand through his hair a few times. I smiled as I remembered how often I had seen him do that in the past. I had frequently teased him that his hair wouldn't always be such a mess if he'd keep his hands out of it for five minutes.
"So many things I wished I would have done differently back then. I could kick myself now when I think about all the time I wasted. I was selfish, because I didn't want to be rejected if you didn't feel the same way as I did then, and a coward for the same reason. I was so afraid you'd say no that it was too long to wait, or too far to move, even if you did feel the same as I did. So I let you go, foolishly thinking you'd move on and be happy without me. But here you are, looking more beautiful than ever." He paused and leaned in closer to me. His face was just a few inches from mine, so close I could feel his warm breath caress my lips. "Tell me, Bella, say it now, say what you wanted to all those years ago?" he begged as his eyes bore into mine.
I slid my hands up his arms, until they were resting over his hands that still gently held my face. "Hey I made mistakes too. I could have told you. But when you left I always thought that was how it was meant to be, that if you felt the same way as I did it would somehow workout, that we'd find our way back to each other. After a while I guess I just gave up hope and tried to move on. But my feelings never changed. I love you, Edward. I loved you then, I've loved you all these years, and I love you now."
I could feel my heart thumping in my chest as I waited for him to respond. He didn't make me wait long. "Isabella Marie Swan, I love you too. So much."
In the next instant, his lips were on mine. I slipped my arms around his neck as my trembling lips parted when his tongue brushed against them, asking for permission to enter. We continued to kiss with unrestrained eagerness. Our tongues and lips dancing together until an explosive boom of thunder startled us apart.
Edward gazed into my eyes and brushed back the hair that had fallen from the intricate pins Alice had carefully placed in it earlier.
"Bella, I won't make the same mistake twice. Come with me. This is our day, Valentine's Day belongs to us and no one else. Marry me and move to Boston with me. Or tell me to stay. I don't care, but I won't let you go again."
"Yes ,yes, yes. I don't want to let you go again either. But you're supposed to leave today and I need to pack and I have to tell my parents and oh, God, what am I going to tell my parents and I owe—"
"Hey. Calm down and breathe for a minute, Bella. I don't think you completely understand what I'm saying. I want to marry you today. As soon as possible," he explained and I could see that he was serious. But I just didn't know how.
"I want that too, but today, Edward? That's impossible. I mean where are we going to live and then there is my job and…how are we going to do this?" I said looking into his gorgeous green eyes. I really wanted to marry him, to be his wife, but I was just overwhelmed with how we were going to merge our two lives that were currently on opposite sides of the country together. I found myself hoping that he didn't think I was having second thoughts. I couldn't blame him if he did. I had already run out on one wedding today.
"Nothing is impossible in Vegas. We can fly to Vegas and get married tonight. Valentine's Day is our day. Marry me tonight and we'll fly back here tomorrow. Then we'll take everything else one step at a time. I still have one more week before I have to start my new job and I have an apartment that is more than big enough for the two of us. My parents bought it for me as a graduation gift, so where we live isn't a problem. And hell, I haven't even unpacked yet so we can do it together and make it ours. We can take that time to get you packed and handle anything you need to do. We'll talk with your parents and deal with the rest tomorrow. The only issue would be your job. I can support us both, it might be a little tight, but it's enough for us to get by on until you found something new. But today…right now…all I want to do is make you mine. So if you aren't sure, if this is too much too fast, you have to tell me now. I just know I can't let you go again."
I hadn't even thought of Vegas. It had never occurred to me. . And once he'd spelled it all out for me, I began to see how we could really make it work. As I thought about it, it hit me that even my job might not be as big a deal as I thought it would be. Proof reading manuscripts could be done anywhere, why did I have to be behind some little desk in an office to do it. I would have to talk to my boss, but I was pretty certain she might be willing for us to mail the manuscripts back and forth. I was suddenly flooded with images of the life Edward and I would have together and I loved what I saw. I had never imagined myself getting married in some gaudy little chapel by an Elvis impersonator in Vegas. However in the long run no matter what kind of wedding it was, the end result would be the same. Edward and I would be husband and wife, tied to each other by the bonds of holy matrimony for the rest of our lives.
Resolute in my decision, I smiled brightly at him. "Ok. Let's go to Vegas, baby" I said, planting a kiss on his lips.
"Are you sure? You deserve so much more and—"
I nodded vigorously and kissed him again. A huge smile lit up his perfect face when I said, "Yes. I'm sure. I've never been more certain about anything."
"Then let's get to the airport. We want to get a flight before the storm hits."
Edward asked for the keys to Alice's car. I handed them to him and watched as he jumped out of the jeep and grabbed his luggage from the backseat and put it in the trunk of Alice's car. I also had him grab my purse off the front seat. There was no point in bringing his luggage with us to Vegas and having to check it in and then wait to retrieve it. It would only serve to slow us down. Climbing back into the jeep, he then started it and once we were on the main road, he picked up his cell phone to call Alice and let her know where to find her car. There was no answer so he left her a message.
As we drove out of Forks, we talked some more. I told him how when I didn't see him in the meadow I thought it had been too late that he'd left already or had never been there to begin with. He explained that he had come back down the north trail from the meadow and when he reached his jeep he was shocked to find Alice's car there. Plus anyone who knew Alice would immediately know it as hers, especially since it was the only yellow Porsche in Forks with license plates that said "TNKRBEL" on them.
Edward went on to say how he had thought Alice had come after him for some reason and he was just about to call her when he looked up and saw me standing at the end of the southern trail. He filled me in on how he hadn't even realized that he had dropped the card until I showed it to him. We both agreed that it was meant to be. That fate was finally intervening and righting the mistake we had both made all those years ago. This was us finding our way back to each other like I had hoped we would all those years ago.
Edward and I had been on the road to the airport for about an hour when we saw the sign for an outlet mall located just off the next exit. I was familiar with it, having been there several times with my mom and Alice.
"Hey we need to get off at the next exit," I told Edward.
"Um, sure. You need to use the restroom or something?" he asked in a confused voice.
"No. I have to get out of this dress. I can't go through the airport in it and wear to Vegas to marry you. Especially since it's a dress I was supposed to marry someone else in. It just feels all kinds of wrong. Not to mention it's been torn in several places from me walking through the woods to the meadow."
"Shit. I'm sorry, I never even thought of that," he said as he raised my left hand and kissed it.
"Nothing to be sorry for," I said.
After a quick stop at one store to grab a change of clothes and shoes, we were back on our way to the airport. Three hours and lots of weird looks later, we had just parked the jeep outside the airports rental car entrance, when Edward's cell phone had begun to ring. I could only imagine the crazy thoughts that must have been going through the minds of the people who had seen us in the store. Me in my torn and tattered wedding gown, my hair falling out of the pins and Edward's leather jacket added to the mix, must have been quite an amusing sight to take in. Of course there was also Edward's shit eating grin he couldn't seem to wipe off his face. Not that I'd want him too. And as crazy as rushing off to Vegas to be married by midnight might seem, I knew I was doing the right thing. I felt it in my heart and had no reservations at all. In fact I was downright giddy and couldn't wait to be Mrs. Edward Anthony Cullen. My only regret was that our parents and Alice wouldn't be there to share it with us.
"Hello," Edward said as he answered his phone.
I could hear a high pitched voice talking a million miles an hour on the other end and even though I couldn't make out a word that was being said, I knew it had to be Alice.
My suspicion was confirmed when he said, "Alice. Calm down and let me talk for a minute and I'll tell you where she is. Yes, I saw her. No, she's here with me."
I knew instantly what Alice had asked him next by his answer. "We're at the airport. No she's coming with me. No not yet. We're going to Vegas first."
His comments were immediately followed by a screeching high pitched squeal of "Oh my God!" so loud that I could hear it plain as day.
"Yes, Alice, we are. No we aren't waiting until tomorrow, it has to be today. Look I have to return the jeep to the rental agency and get Bella and me on a flight. Do you have the name and number for Mom and Dad's travel agent? Ok that would be great. I love you too Ali and thanks."
"What do you need a travel agent for?" I asked as we walked into the rental place.
"I am hoping that she will be able to book us some place nice. As much as I am willing to marry you anywhere, I really don't want to have it in one of those drive through Elvis dives. You—no we deserve so much better than that, Bella."
I stopped where I was, causing him to do the same when he realized I wasn't moving any more. "I would marry you right here in this parking lot, Edward Cullen. After all this time, that is the only thing that matters to me."
"God I love you so much," he said swooping in to kiss me.
"I love you too. Now take me to Vegas and make me your wife," I ordered with a wide smile.
"Yes ma'am," he replied with an equally big smile.
As we stepped up to the ticket counter to purchase our tickets, I was grateful my police chief father had drilled it into my head to never drive without my license and I had grabbed my purse in my rush to run off and find Edward. Without it I'd have no ID and wouldn't be flying anywhere, much less getting married.
We were lucky there was a flight that was leaving in just under an hour. The clerk printed our boarding passes and handed them to us along with Edward's credit card he'd used to pay for them.
While walking from the ticket counter to the security checkpoint, Edward got a call from his parents' travel agent. Alice had apparently taken it upon herself to explain the situation to her and the two of them worked together to pull together everything Edward and I would need to get married tonight. Knowing we wouldn't be arriving in Las Vegas until nine-thirty at night and would need a place to sleep, Alice and the agent, Heidi, had booked us in the penthouse suite at the Bellagio Hotel. Edward said Alice had tried for the honeymoon suite but given it was Valentine's Day it was already booked. There would be a limo waiting to pick us up at the airport to take us to the hotel where a tux and dress would be waiting for us. All we had to do was get ourselves to the hotel to check-in and then to the chapel by eleven thirty tonight.
Once Edward hung up the phone from Heidi, he called Alice and we both thanked her profusely. Not only had Alice helped us with the arrangements in Vegas, but she had briefly explained to my parents what she was comfortable with, and let them know that I'd be back tomorrow and would explain it all. After saying goodbye to her, the two of us then headed to the security gates. Edward and I looked at each other as if we were both thinking about the last time we had stood at this gate together. But this time neither one of us would be going off without the other. This time we were going together. After having to take the time to remove the remaining pins from my hair made it through security with no trouble and headed straight to our gate to wait for the plane to board.
By the time the plane took off, I was feeling like Alice; I bounced and twitched with excitement during the entire two hours of the flight. And judging by the amount of times I saw Edward raise his hand to his hair, he was feeling it too.
"Look over there," I said to Edward as we made our way through the terminal after landing in Las Vegas. I had spotted the driver of our limo. He was standing by the entrance to the terminal with a sign that had "Cullen" written on it. And from that moment on, the time seemed to go by at a lightning fast pace.
We checked into the hotel and were escorted up to the suite. Apparently it was done for all the guests who stayed in any of their suites. Upon entering the room, the hotel employee showed us around and waved his hand, gesturing to the two garment bags hanging on the closet door. He said they had been delivered a short time ago and pointed out that there was a note attached.
Edward thanked him for his help and after giving him a tip the man left.
"Shall we?" Edward asked as he took my hand and pulled me towards the closet.
I removed the note from the bag and read what it said.
Edward and Bella,
I knew the day would come when the two of you would be grateful to have a professional shopper in the family.
A gift from Jazz and me. We love you both!
"Remind me to get Alice something really nice once we are all settled in Boston," Edward said as he read the note over my shoulder.
I nodded in agreement and then said, "Ok we don't have much time. So you need to go get ready in the other room."
I tried to shoo him out of the room so I could shower and get dressed. It was close to ten now so we really didn't have a lot of time. The front desk clerk had told us our reservation in the chapel was for eleven-thirty.
Before he left, he grabbed my hand and pulled me to him. Kissing me hard and passionately, he then whispered, "I love you, soon to be Mrs. Cullen."
"And I you, so much," I replied with another kiss.
Walking into the bathroom, I once again felt the presence of my best friend. She had known exactly what toiletries and makeup products I would need and had them sitting on the vanity in a gift basket.
I quickly showered and put on a small amount of makeup. After drying my hair and leaving it to hang in its natural waves, I made my way back into the bedroom to dress. Taking the dress out of the garment bag, I saw that Alice had indeed thought of everything. Inside the garment bag was also a supply of underwear, shoes, the works. I was also very happy when I saw that Alice had chosen a dress that was much more in line with my own taste. The dress had what I would call a Grecian style to it. It was strapless with an empire waist and bodice. There was intricate beading along the waist and the center of the bodice. It had a sweetheart neckline with a gathered bust. The skirt portion of the gown hung from the bodice flowing loosely to pool slightly around my feet. It was beautiful and I felt beautiful in it.
Fifteen minutes later, dress on and ready to go, I exited the bedroom and was met with the vision of Edward in a tux.
Everything else around him faded into a blur. He was drop dead gorgeous. Even more handsome than he had been on that fateful Valentine's Day four years ago. I couldn't take my eyes off him and as I got closer to him I could see his eyes were sparkling with emotion. He was simply stunning, there was just no other way to describe him. The dark color of his tux jacket highlighted all the red and brown hues that blended perfectly to create his unique shade of hair. Auburnish or bronze had always been the best way to clarify the color. From the way his jacket hung on the expanse of his broad shoulders to the way his pants seemed to cling in all the right places, he was perfect and it left me reeling with butterflies dancing inside me. It had been years since I felt this way. This was how I was supposed to feel on my wedding day.
Edward took my hand and spun me, taking in my appearance. As I came to a stop and looked up at him, his face broke into a heartbreaking smile.
"You should see yourself, Love, there just aren't enough words to describe how utterly and insanely beautiful you are tonight. Perfection doesn't even come close to being adequate."
He took my left hand and raised it to his lips. Kissing my ring finger he said, "I've been informed there is a jewelry shop here in the hotel. Perhaps if we hurry we can find something to adorn this very lovely hand of yours."
"Edward, we don't have to do that now, we can get rings whenever. As long as I know you're mine, that's all that matters to me."
"Well, then I guess I'm just a bit more selfish than you because I want there to be no doubt by anyone who might lay eyes on you that you are forever taken," he said softly as he held me in his arms.
"Then who am I do deny you you're every wish?" I smiled and placed a quick kiss on his lips.
"You are making them all come true tonight. Now let's go before we are late to our own wedding."
He grabbed the room key and slipped it in his pocket and then took my hand in his and led me out of the room.
A few minutes later we walked into the door of Tesorini Jewelers. Edward quickly explained the urgency of our situation and the gentleman working there was extremely happy to assist us. I didn't want anything flashy so when I saw the platinum band with a single row of diamonds around it, I knew it was the one. Edward chose a simple wide platinum band and after assuring they fit and paying for them, we were off to the chapel.
The chapel was small but not in a cramped or confined sort of way. It was cozy and sweet. There were tall stands with large flower arrangements displayed on them, three rows of white wooden pews on each side of the main aisle, and two nearly floor to ceiling pastel colored stained glass windows at the front of the chapel.
We were greeted by a woman who introduced herself as Kate. She went over the process with us and led us to the front of the room. After explaining everything, she informed us that the person who had made the arrangements for us had provided most of the information needed for the paper work and we just had to fill in a few blanks and confirm the rest along with providing them with a copy of our ID's so that we could begin. She left us alone for a few minutes and then returned with two men. The first one she introduced as Stefan, who along with her would serve as our witnesses, and the other an older Italian looking man as Mr. Demetri, the minister who would perform the ceremony.
We were instructed on where to stand and the ceremony began. The minister went through the traditional vows and Edward and I also spoke a few words to each other, saying how lucky we each felt to have found each other once again and we promised to never be afraid to tell each other how we felt from this moment on.
With just a few minutes to spare before midnight, we were pronounced husband and wife. After a heart stopping kiss, and whispered words of love, we signed necessary documents and took advantage of the photo package they offered. We knew we'd want them to share this moment with our family.
Before we knew it, we found ourselves standing back at the entrance to our suite. Edward slid the key into the lock on the door. I took a step forward as soon as he opened the door, but was stopped when Edward caught me by the hand and asked, "Just what do you think you are doing?" He had a somewhat scolding yet playful tone to his voice.
I turned to face him, while being careful of the foot he had bracing the door open. Sliding my hands up his chest and resting them on his shoulders, I rose up on my toes and kissed him softly. "Well Mr. Cullen, I thought I'd spend the rest of the night getting to know my husband a bit better, if you know what I mean." I winked at him and leaned into him as I waited for his reaction.
He didn't disappoint. Sweeping me up in his arms and practically growling, he said, "We'll spend hours doing just that, Mrs. Cullen, but we will do it the proper way. And we'll start with me carrying you over the threshold."
I giggled as he carried me into the suite and turned around allowing me to lock the door. My giggles were silenced when Edward began to place soft kisses along the bare skin of my neck and shoulder as he carried me into the bedroom. Sitting on a tray next to the bed, we found a chilled bottle of champagne and a note from the hotel, congratulating us on our nuptials.
Edward popped the cork, sending it flying through the room and landing somewhere unseen. He poured some for the both of us and after handing me mine, he said, "To us and to you, My Forever Valentine."
As we tapped our glasses together, I added, "To us and to today, just the first of a lifetime of Valentine's Days we will share."
After we both had a sip of our bubbly drink, Edward took my glass and set it along with his on the bedside table. Pulling me into his arms, he gazed into my eyes and whispered, "I never thought this day would come. I've dreamt of you being mine again for so long. I love you, Bella."
"I love you too and I'm yours for forever now."
His lips covered mine and I felt myself being moved backwards until the back of my legs touched the bed. We continued kissing as Edward's hands slid up my back and stopped at the zipper of my gown. He slowly lowered the zipper and allowed the dress to fall into a puddle at my feet. He separated from me and turned to pull down the blankets on the bed. Facing me again, he lifted me and placed me in the center of it. I watched with a hunger I had never felt before as he removed his tux. I wanted to reach forward and help him undress, but found myself frozen in place, completely captivated by the image of him removing his clothes. He was spectacular. Nervous and excited all at the same time, I caught myself biting my bottom lip in anticipation of what was to come. Clad in only his boxers, he crawled up on the bed next to me.
Hovering over me on his hands and knees, our eyes locked and his green orbs were darker than I'd ever seen them as they burned with desire. As I laid in a semi reclined position, propped against the many pillows on the bed, Edward whispered, "God, Bella, I have dreamt of you in this way for many years. You can't imagine how wonderful it is to know that it's finally coming true. I am so happy tonight will be the first night for us, and that it didn't happen all those years ago. This is how it was meant to be…special."
My heart was racing, threatening to jump right out of my chest. He leaned forward and with a featherlike touch, his lips brushed the top mine. I pushed forward to feel more of him, wanting to taste the sweetness of his lips, but he pulled back slightly. "Patience, my beautiful wife. I only get to have one wedding night with you. One first time with you. We have all night, let's make it one to remember." His beaming smile lit up his face and my heart stuttered at his sincerity. I lay back against the pillows and traced my left hand down his sculpted chest through the light matt of hair that covered it. "I love you so much Edward. Make love to me, my darling husband."
Edward's kisses began to move down to the swell of my breast. Sitting back on his knees, he gently tugged me forward and slid his hands behind my back allowing him to unfasten my bra. He tossed it over his head and chuckled in a low sexy tone that sent chills down my spine, when he heard it smack the wall. His lips followed his fingers as he toyed with one hard nipple and then licked and sucked all around it. I gasped and arched my back off the bed as he took the tender flesh in his mouth and began to squirm as I felt myself becoming aroused as I had never been before.
As he kissed his way down between my breasts and across my belly button, he hooked his hands onto my panties and pulled them off. Edward then proceeded to memorize every inch, indent, pucker, and mark on my body. There was no spot left untouched by him. If he wasn't using his lips, he used his tongue, his fingers, and even his teeth at times and I had never felt more cherished and loved than I had in this moment. He had me wound tight, my body felt like a tanker of kerosene that had been lit on fire and Edward was the match. I sure I would combust at any moment.
I lost track of time, hours could have flown by, I was so wrapped up in my husband and the pleasure he was bringing me. Edward paused long enough to raise himself up and remove his boxers. I couldn't take my eyes off of him as he stood on his knees before me in his naked splendor. Crawling back up my body, he straddled my right leg. I could feel his hard erection on my thigh and raised my leg rubbing it against him and causing him to moan. As I did, there was no mistaking how well endowed he was. His lips were on mine again, hard and eager as his tongue slipped into my mouth.
When it was my turn to bring him pleasure, I worshiped him like the God of a man he was. And now he was mine for eternity. I worked his body in much the same way he had done to mine, paying the same attention to detail as he had. Even pausing on occasion to let my lips claim his again, to show him with my kisses how much I loved him. He was mine and mine alone. I would forever be in debt to him and to the universe for making this right. Allowing us to come together, find our way back to each other. He was my home and when he finally settled over me with his pelvis resting between my thighs, I wasn't nervous or scared, I was ready to accept him fully. He had filled my heart with love. As we stared deeply in each other's eyes as he seated himself inside of me, I could only hope that my own expression mirrored his. The love and adoration that radiated from the mossy green of his eyes, made me melt.
We began to move together. At first it was slow as we adjusted to the feeling of one another. We took our time, cherishing, feeling, just loving. As both of our bodies started to roll to the edge, I pulled him closer to me and brought my hungry mouth to his. It was total nirvana happening in our union. It was definitely a love making beyond anything I had never experienced, but then again, I had never made love to the man of my dreams. The very same man who had claimed my heart and soul all those years ago. We connected on every level; body, mind, and soul. There was no doubt in my mind I could have ever experienced what I had with Edward, with anyone else. With him is where I was supposed to be.
We became a tangled mess of arms and legs as we groped and grasped in our quest to get our fill of each other. My arms went around his neck as my hands dug into his hair, tugging on it. Edward slid his arms under me, curling his hands around my shoulders for leverage as our pace picked up a bit in our increased need to reach our release.
"Oh God, Edward," I moaned. I could feel his warm breath against my neck as he nibbled and sucked on the sensitive spot behind my ear while picking up the pace of his thrusts. The feeling was beyond anything I had ever imagined as I moved with him, matching him thrust for thrust.
"Oh, Bella, you feel so fucking amazing. Mine, you are all mine."
"Forever," I panted before his lips reclaimed mine.
He continued moving within me, sometimes slow and deep and other times quick and hard, while at the same time alternating between kissing me and sucking and kissing on my neck. But soon it became faster and more frenzied.
"Edward, I'm so close," I cried out in ecstasy.
I had barely gotten the words out as he grabbed one of my legs and threw it up over his shoulder causing him to hit spots I did not even know I had. As he went deeper and deeper he gasped for air and moaned," Come with me, Bella."
All it took was a few more pumps and I was pushed over the edge. As we came, we clung to one another as the waves of passion over took our bodies. Fireworks danced behind my eyes, while Edward's mouth muffled my cries of joy.
Unwilling to let go of each other, Edward rolled us onto our sides and pulled the covers up over us. Brushing my hair back from my face, he whispered in my ear," That was beyond amazing, Mrs. Cullen. Unlike anything I ever experienced. I love you, Bella. So fucking much."
I placed a few soft kisses on his lips and murmured, "I love you too, Edward, more than I can even comprehend. You have made this the best day of my life."
"Just the first of many more to come my love."
He began kissing me once again and as the wave of desire began to build once more, I knew that this was going to be a long night. But after all this time spent longing for what once was, I was ready for my future with the man of my dreams. We would have a lot to deal with in the upcoming week, a jilted fiancée, packing and moving, my job, as well as facing our parents. While I knew our parents would be disappointed to have missed this special moment in our lives, I knew they would also understand and in the long run, they would be happy as long as we were. And as long as I had my Edward, my forever valentine, I would always be happy.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what ya thought, I will update just as soon as I can.