A/N – This is the end. I don't have any more futuretakes planned for this. I hope this fills in the moments so many of you wanted to see. You have all made this such an incredible journey and I appreciate every comment, every add and every pm.
There will be more coming from me but I have nothing started quite yet, so it may be a couple months before you see anything pop up. (I do still have a collab in the works that we will be finishing before posting. It's coming, but schedules are hard to align sometimes.
Thank you to my wonderful beta, Acrosstheskyinstars who makes my chapters 100 words shorter by taking out all my 'that's'. She has also been with me for a long time now and I'm so lucky to have her as a beta and a friend. And another thanks to Chartwilightmom who is not only the best ficpet a girl could have but a lovely friend and prereader.
Daddy Savage/The Wedding
Edward heard the cry before Bella, he always did. He rolled over and out of the warm cocoon of blankets he had with his wife, and stepped into the cool night air. The twins had only been in their own room for three nights and Edward already missed having them close. He hadn't understood when Bella tried to explain that they wouldn't all sleep in the same bed. Somewhere inside, he knew he and Bella couldn't have sex with the babies on the bed, but his nature had taught him family sticks together. He felt restless, not being able to dogpile with his family and provide the same type of bonding he had been given in his youth.
He wondered if this is what his father used to do for him. Had his dad gotten up in the middle of the night to soothe him in another room, giving his mother a chance to rest a bit longer? The loss had never been so real to him as it had been since his children were born. Bella had been great, explaining everything as they were going through it, but it left Edward feeling one step behind. These were things he should just know, and he didn't.
Everything in the babies' room had been made by Edward; the cribs were filled with rounded edges, sanded until they were nearly as soft as the girls' skin. On the head of each crib was the Cullen crest, and underneath was each of his daughter's names. Bella teased him that he wrote better with his tools than he did with a pencil.
The baby stopped her crying the moment Edward's face appeared above her crib. He picked her up, and not by the scruff of her neck. He had been warned within an inch of his life to never try that. She had given him a doll to practice with before the twins were born, and he had picked it up thus, causing a very long discussion that left him thoroughly scolded.
Of course, as soon as he had seen his children, he had known there was no way you could pick them up by their necks, they didn't even have any and their heads were much too wobbly. It wasn't the first time he had seen a baby, there were others out in public, but it was the first time he had seen one quite so young.
He scooped up Esme and she cooed in his arms, snuggling into his embrace. He rocked her gently, moving back and forth from foot to foot. Her tiny, round mouth opened in and yawn and her eyes fluttered closed again. He walked her over to the other crib, peeking in at his other daughter. The two of them were identical. Their features to most people would be interchangeable, but growing up with the wolves, Edward had learned that even two identical looking beings behave different. So while Bella sometimes had mild panic attacks about mixing up the babies, Edward knew which one was which without a problem.
Esme never slept through the night, she was up two to three times. She had a temper and her face got all red and angry looking when she wasn't given what she wanted right away.
Cradling her in one arm, Edward reached down with the other and ran his fingers over Carlie's cheek. Bella had come up with the name, combining both of their father's names together. And with two proud grandpa angels watching over the baby, that was exactly what she was. Carlie rarely cried, instead using soft grunting noises when she wanted something. She played constantly, kicking her little feet in the air and trying to grab them with her hands.
The two of them had such different personalities that even without much for facial expressions yet, Edward was quick to know which was which.
He placed the now sleeping Esme down in her crib and made his way back to bed. The covers were warm and comforting. He closed his eyes and returned to sleep.
Bella sucked in a large breath, holding tight as she tried to force the zipper up on the dress. She didn't like to think she was vain, but the twins had changed her body, and when she couldn't fit back into some of her clothes, even though she was technically wearing the same size, she wanted to cry. She sighed as she gave up and added the outfit to the pile.
The entire wardrobe had been tried on, and while a lot of the things in there fit her again, certain things, the ones that had fit 'just right' before, no longer worked on her new shape.
"Stupid hips," she grumbled as she made her way to the closet. Her fingers brushed along the garment bag, worried about the dress inside. A deep sigh escaped her. "It's now or never."
Pulling out the bag, she laid it on the bed, and carefully unzipped it. The dress was simple but it cut in at the thighs, and Bella had no idea if it was going to fit. Her pre-pregnancy body would have fit into it with no problem, and she had just assumed when she lost the weight she would be able to get married in the dress she fell in love with.
She just had to have picked a mermaid cut.
Each foot was gently placed through the top, and Bella pulled the dress up, until it stopped at her thighs.
"No, no, no," she cried as she tugged it to no avail.
The dress fell to the floor and Bella stared at it, feeling hopeless. She could get a new dress, she would have no problem selling this one, but it was the one she wanted. Bella sat on the edge of the bed, mourning the loss of her would-be wedding dress.
"Why won't you say your vows with me?" Edward asked earnestly.
It had been nearly nine months since Bella had had his young and he couldn't understand why they hadn't had their wedding.
"We will," she promised. "There is no rush."
Edward sighed. He had been brushed off on the subject before, and he was still unaware on how to voice his opinion. He knew enough now to know the importance of marriage and he wanted it. He had even asked Rosalie what to do. When she told him, he had thought it seemed dishonest since he knew that Bella did want to marry him, she wore his ring and already said yes, but he was desperate to try anything at this point.
"You no want to marry me anymore?" He tilted his eyebrows up, just like Rosalie had instructed, and his bottom lip protruded ever so subtly.
When Bella looked at him, she forgot that her body was no longer what it used to be, she forgot that a wedding meant her mother coming and meeting Edward, all she knew was that she was hurting the man she loved and she wouldn't do it any longer.
"Come here," she sighed. "Let's pick a date."
While being hugged tightly, Bella missed the wide smile on Edward's face.
Renee had been a task to keep away, especially after the babies were born, but Bella kept telling her to just wait until the wedding, it was going to be soon. No point in making two trips. Of course after ten months, Bella's mother was restless and she was getting downright insistent about coming.
"I'm coming," Renee said into the phone instead of answering with the usual 'hello'.
"We picked a date," Bella countered, hoping to throw her mother off for just a bit longer.
"Good lord, child. Finally! When do I get to come and meet my grandbabies?"
Bella had hoped by the short notice of the wedding she would dissuade some of the people she didn't want there from coming. There were family friends and acquaintances she felt obligated to invite, but between the one month notice and the unusual location, most of them had declined.
After the phone call with her mother, Renee had insisted she would come and spend two weeks before the wedding with Bella and Edward, helping out with the girls and no doubt getting in the way. Bella had made sure that Edward knew there were to be absolutely no naked days while her mother visited. She was firm about it even when he pulled out the large sad eyes.
But Renee coming meant that Bella needed to get everything done for the wedding in just a couple weeks. There was no way she wanted her mother's 'help' in the matter. Who knew what her mother was into nowadays, she could end up getting married in a red Sari, which was perfectly pretty but not the dress to wear for a wedding in the woods.
Edward couldn't help but notice Bella's nervous energy after they had picked a date. He wondered if maybe she didn't really want to get married after all. It wasn't until he offered to call off the wedding did he learn it had to do more with her mother's visit than anything.
"Will she not like me?" he asked curiously. Edward had met people he didn't like but there was always a good reason, he didn't think anyone would have a good reason to not like him.
Bella fidgeted, unsure of how to answer the complicated question in a way that Edward would understand. Her mother was known for embarrassing her and putting her in positions that made her want to chew her own arm off to get out of, but Edward knew nothing of being embarrassed and he carried none of the preconceived notions about how people were supposed to act, so she simply answered, "She will love you."
Her mother had barely knocked before she'd barged into the house demanding to see her grandbabies. Bella had worried so much about how she would react to Edward that she almost felt disappointed she had hardly glanced at him before rushing to the girls.
Renee held Esme high over her head as she looked up at the babe and cooed. "You are the sweetest thing, I could just eat you up." Of course Esme rebutted with a loud scream at the strange lady.
The common expression had Edward shooting a worried glance at Bella, but she quickly reassured him with a shake of her head and a smile. Bella watched her mother with her daughter and felt ashamed for keeping her away so long. Renee was their only living grandparent and both girls should have access to all of their family.
Two days into Renee's visit, Bella sat with her mother on the deck while Edward played on the grass with the girls. Bella sipped her lemonade and smiled as Edward, on all fours, nuzzled Carlie's belly with his nose. The little girl laughed and kicked her feet while Esme attempted to throw toy blocks at her sister's head.
"He is a very good looking young man you found there, Bella," Renee commented.
Bella turned to her mother with suspicion and answered, "Yes, he is."
"You never really told me how you met. And he certainly doesn't say much."
Bella looked at her mother for a moment and sighed. "Just say what you want to, mom."
"He seems like a nice boy, but is he slow? There seems to be something off about him."
Bella thought immediately about how far Edward had come, that not long ago he had been unable to speak or drive or use the toilet, and she laughed. "No, mom. Edward is most definitely not slow." She glanced once more at her family and realized she didn't need approval anymore from the woman sitting next to her, so she told Renee the truth. She left out some details, there are just some things a mother doesn't need to know, but Edward's history was laid out for her mother to dissect.
"So you are marrying a wild man?" Renee asked, unable to stop watching Edward as he played with his children.
"Yup," Bella answered succinctly.
Renee finally peeled her eyes off Edward to look back at her daughter. Bella saw Renee's smirk and approving look, then started giggling, both of them chuckling together before long. When the laughter died down, Renee spoke again, "Why didn't you tell me?"
Bella gave an apologetic smile. "You are a bit unpredictable when it comes to things like this."
"There are no things like this, honey. In fact, I'm pretty certain this is the only thing like this, ever." Renee glanced back at Edward, eyeing him again. "And after knowing where he came from, you'll have to excuse me, but I will be having dirty thoughts about your fiancé for a while."
"Mother!" Bella said, shocked.
"Oh hush," Renee said as she playfully slapped Bella's shoulder, "It's not hurting anyone, and it keeps me young. Is he all rough and raw? Oh I bet he likes it doggy style!"
Bella turned beat red and scowled at Renee, who was suddenly having the time of her life.
Renee chose every moment she could after that to ask Edward about his former life. She would corner him in the kitchen or in the hallway or really anywhere she could. What was it like living with wolves? Was it weird to wear clothes now? Did he miss acting like an animal?
"Did you know to hold your penis when you peed or did it just flop around everywhere?" Renee punctuated her question by resting her elbows on the table and using her hands to prop up her head.
"Mom!" Bella scolded as the three of them sat together eating lunch.
"What?" She shrugged.
"You can't ask him that," Bella continued.
"Why?" This time it was Edward asking. "I know the answer." There had been many questions Renee had asked him that he didn't understand; he was feeling grateful for an easy one.
"See, Bella. He knows this one. Let the boy answer."
Bella covered her face with one hand and shook her head, mumbling as she got up and left the room.
"So?" Renee prodded as soon as Bella had left the room.
"I always remember holding it. I think it was something I know before I was lost."
"Huh," Renee replied with great interest, turning back to her sandwich satisfied. "I bet you have quite the handful there, too."
Edward smiled politely, again lost in the conversation.
After about a week, and much to Bella's confusion, Renee and Edward had developed an odd sort of friendship. Renee was clearly taken with Edward's childlike innocence and his willingness to answer every question she could think to ask, well…the ones he could understand, anyway. Bella tried to explain to Edward that he didn't need to tell certain details to other people, especially her mother, but he couldn't see why their sex life would be anything to be ashamed of. Besides, it was a topic he enjoyed himself.
Edward rolled over on the bed and brushed his hand over Bella's stomach, pushing up her t-shirt as he kissed her.
"Touch," he whispered and nuzzled her neck.
"Oh no," Bella replied sternly, pushing back on him. "It's bad enough my mother has heard about everything we've done, she doesn't need to hear it, too."
Edward frowned, and he moved his fingers around, running them across all the spots that usually made her shiver, but all he was encountered with was an angry look. He pulled back his hand like he had been scolded.
"It's not happening, Edward," Bella said rolling over, presenting her back to him. Usually that excited Edward even further, but even without being able to understand everything Bella told him, he got this message loud and clear.
"You not want me to tell your mom about touch?" he asked to clarify.
"No, I don't."
Edward thought for a moment, and then he touched Bella's back. "I not tell your mom again."
Bella turned and faced him again, looking skeptically. "Don't tell her anything."
"Okay," he answered, and then his hand moved slowly to her hip. "Touch now?"
Bella smiled and nodded.
Bella couldn't help but notice the sour mood her mother developed only a day later.
"What's up?" Bella asked as the two of them gathered eggs.
"What exactly did you tell Edward?"
Bella kept her head down. "What do you mean?" she asked nervously.
"Well I asked him if he liked coffee and he said he wasn't allowed to tell me. He won't even speak to me anymore. Whatever you did has him running scared from me. I wasn't that bad," Renee grumbled.
Bella stood and turned around to face her mother with an incredulous look on her face. "You're kidding, right?"
"What?" Renee whined defensively.
"You asked him if he held his dick while he pees."
"He didn't care."
Bella couldn't argue, although she stood by the fact that it was inappropriate to ask. She promised she would talk to Edward again, if Renee would agree to stop with the sex questions.
After being given a list of things he could and couldn't discuss with his future mother-in-law, Edward resumed speaking with Renee. She still made many little comments he didn't understand but the questions were mostly gone, replaced by little stories about Bella in her youth. Edward couldn't understand why Bella didn't appear to be any happier. He supposed she was just nervous about the wedding.
Bella sat on her bed reading; Edward was in the shower and with all the wedding plans and dealing with her mother, she needed a break.
"Can I come in?" Renee asked as she knocked on the partially closed door. Bella wanted to say no, but instead she placed her book down and invited her mother in.
"What is it?" she asked as Renee sat down on the end on her bed.
"I like him," Renee stated simply.
"Me, too." Bella couldn't help smiling.
"But I'm your mother, so there are some things that need to be said." Bella went to interrupt but Renee held up her hand and continued, "Let me finish. He is a nice boy, but there are lots of things about him that could cause problems. Everything is new to him. The world is new to him. He is like a child and he may grow up one day and want to stretch his wings. There is no guarantee there will be a place for you in his life when that time comes. I want you to make sure you are prepared for that. I don't want to see you hurt because you rushed into anything because you share children with this man."
"Don't worry, mom. I know this is it. We are forever."
"How do you know?"
"Did you love dad?" Bella asked.
"Of course I loved your father but…"
"Did you love him so much it hurt to be separated from him, even for a day?" Bella interrupted. "Did you wonder what he was doing when you were off with your friends? When you were with him did you think of ways you could make him even happier? Even when you fought, did you think: there is nothing better than this, what we have?"
Renee sighed and cupped Bella's face, smiling softly. "So smart, my girl, even in love."
It wasn't the one she had picked originally, but Bella couldn't help feeling like a princess in her wedding dress. The skirt was made up of many layers of light chiffon, giving a full but airy look. The bodice was fitted and had loose sleeves that wrapped around her upper arms. If she had a pair of wings, she would have looked like a wood fairy, which was perfect for a bride getting married in the woods.
Her mother had insisted on renting a large tent for Bella to get ready in, saying it wasn't right for a bride to get dressed in the middle of the woods. Bella hadn't really thought about it, but she soon realized she would be unable to wear her dress for the long car ride out to the woods, so she was glad her mother had insisted.
"I'm going to go find my spot," Renee said, playing with Bella's hair, letting the curls fall loose down her back.
Bella turned and faced her mother, giving her a hug. "Thanks, mom."
Edward was pacing. He knew there was a reason he had asked Bella to marry him. He even knew that it wasn't long ago he had been offended by her not choosing a date. He now knew what she had known.
Weddings are stressful.
Rosalie and Bella had gone through many wedding magazines and Edward had watched while they pointed out and chose things for the wedding. He'd seen all the men in tuxedos and wondered why Bella didn't want him in one, instead opting for a pair of black dress pants and a white shirt—untucked. Now he was extremely grateful, because at least part of him was comfortable.
People were everywhere. It wasn't that Edward had never been in crowds, it's just this was the first time everyone in the crowd addressed him. On top of that, he was worried about Bella. Was this the part she didn't want? It was clear she wanted to spend forever with him, but he couldn't help but think the wedding might have been the part she was dreading, not the forever after.
"You look like you could use a break," Billy said, expertly leading Edward out of the crowd.
The informal setting had given Edward no break or space to have his own thoughts. Several trees had been decorated to create an aisle, but the guests were pretty much free to stand and mingle as they pleased.
Once the two of them were far enough from the crowd so they wouldn't be disturbed, Billy turned to head back.
"You are not staying?"
"No, you take a minute. I'll come get you when they are ready." Edward smiled his thanks and Billy nodded, quickly going back the way he came.
Once alone, Edward was at ease. The woods always made him feel like home, and he was tempted to drop down to his hands and go for a run, but he knew he wasn't supposed to get dirty. Rosalie had made well sure that fact was drilled into his head.
Leaning up against a tree, Edward could still hear the chatter of the guests and he wished this part could be over so he and Bella could go on with their life.
A thick bush not far from him rustled, it was the type of sound most people would attribute to the wind, but Edward's senses were much keener than most peoples. He crouched down, preparing for danger. A furry head stuck out of the bush and Edward cocked his head as he looked directly at Leah. He knew it was wise to hold his position and let her make the first move.
Stepping out of the bush, her paw gracefully touched the ground, he pace slow until her whole body was revealed in front of him. Edward felt much bigger than before. He had always seen the wolves as his equal or even greater but now he saw just how much different they were in size. His whole life was about finding what made them the same and now the differences were glaring to him. Still, Leah had been part of his family for so long.
Leah took another step toward Edward and he slowly stood up. She should see him for what he was now, a man. The grey wolf lowered her head as Edward became fully erect, and she turned and sprinted off quickly.
Edward waited to feel the hurt from what he had lost, but instead his heart was pulling him away, back to where Bella was waiting to become his wife.
The guests took their places, the Minister standing next to Edward in the front. Rosalie stood with a twin in each arm as she beamed proudly, waiting for the wedding to begin. Sitting off to the side, a young woman plucked at a harp, filling the forest with the sounds of the wedding march as Bella was led down the makeshift aisle on the arm of Emmett McCarty.
Edward had never seen Bella look so beautiful. It wasn't the dress she was wearing or the way her hair was fixed; it was the look of pure love and happiness on her face when she saw him standing there waiting for her. Even when Esme saw her mother and started crying, holding her arms out for Bella to take her, Edward couldn't keep his eyes off Bella.
He had been told what to expect, and how to act, but what was explained to him was just a shell of what was happening. Not being able to stand one more minute of not touching her, Edward made his way down the aisle to meet his future wife halfway. When he saw Bella smile at his action, he sped up, closing the distance between them in just a few steps. There were a few mutters in the crowd and Bella heard her mother giggle, but Emmett just stepped aside and allowed Edward to take her arm and lead her to the front.
The minister spoke of love and the joining of two souls. Edward had a hard time following much of what he said, and he hoped his lack of understanding wouldn't result in them not actually being married. But when the vows were read to him and he recited them, he understood. There was nothing he wouldn't do for Bella and his girls. Pledging to love them and to provide for them in all the ways he was capable of was an easy promise to make.
Luckily Bella had warned him she may cry, because as her tears fell, Edward was able to see them for what they were for, tiny wet symbols of her happiness. He puffed up his chest, feeling proud as Bella returned the vows, and finally, with the seal of a kiss, they were one.