AN: We're finally here – the final chapter!
Happy Ever After
"You know, if you're having second thoughts…"
Lily giggled and adjusted my tie. She was laughing a lot today – a sure sign that she was happy and not having second thoughts at all. Most brides are nervous on their wedding day, but not my baby girl. Of course she wasn't. She was beautiful and strong and, as she continued to remind me, happier than ever.
"You're so handsome, Daddy. Have I told you that?"
"Don't try to change the subject."
Lily grinned before turning around to face the mirror once again.
"I love this veil," she sighed as she fingered the delicate lace. It was her something borrowed – a gift from her grandmother. It was the same veil my mother had worn on her wedding day.
"Oh, I almost forgot!" Lily reached into her bag and pulled out a jewelry box. "I took it off when they were doing my hair."
I smiled when she pulled the necklace out of the box – with the replica of Bella's wedding ring dangling from the silver chain.
"My something old," Lily smiled softly before slipping it over her neck.
Emotion bubbled within me as I tried to blink back the tears. She was the spitting image of her mother, and I was giving her away today. Jared was a good man, but he wasn't nearly good enough for my daughter.
Of course, no boy could ever be.
For just a second, panic gripped me.
How could I possibly place her hand in his?
"Did you have second thoughts when you got married?"
"Not a one," I replied without hesitation.
Lily sighed dreamily as she gazed at herself in the mirror once more.
"I want what you have," she whispered. "For better or worse – no matter what. He's a good man, and he loves me, but there are no guarantees. I know this. I just...hope, you know? I hope we have what you and mom have had all these years."
"I hope you do, too," I said sincerely.
Just then, Bella appeared in the doorway holding a bouquet of daisies.
"Alice says it's time," she said.
Our daughter was just like her mother in that she hated being the center of attention. She didn't want a big wedding – just a simple ceremony in our front yard with family and a few close friends.
And she wanted both of us to walk her down the aisle.
"Ready, baby girl?" I asked, offering her my arm. She smiled brightly and linked her arm through mine. Bella took her place on the other side, and the two of us led our daughter down the staircase and out onto the front porch. Beyond the sea of smiling faces was the altar where a beaming Jared was waiting, with our son – and his best man – standing proudly at his side.
"Don't let me fall," Lily whispered as the violins began to play.
"We'll catch you if you do," I promised her softly. "We'll always catch you if you do."
"What are you thinking?" I whispered against Bella's ear. The wedding was short and sweet, just as Lily requested. The reception was now in full swing out on the front lawn.
"Hoping the rain holds off," Bella said, glancing up at the sky. Sure enough a black cloud was overhead. This was nothing out of the ordinary, of course. It was Forks.
"I don't think a little rain could possibly spoil this day," I replied, wrapping my arms around her waist and pulling her back against my chest as we gazed at our family. Everyone was dancing. Charlie with Karen. Jasper with Esme. Carlisle with Alice. Masen with his girlfriend. Even Rosalie had somehow convinced Emmett to dance with her.
"Would you like to dance with the mayor?" I whispered against her ear.
Bella giggled and twisted around in my arms.
"I'm never going to get used to that," she grinned as she pulled me toward the grass.
"You have four more years to get comfortable with it," I smirked as I wrapped my arms around her.
"Today has been amazing," Bella whispered emotionally, and I held her a little tighter.
Just then, the first raindrop fell, but instead of sprinting for the porch, we merely held each other closer and swayed with the music.
"Did you give Jared any fatherly advice?"
I glanced across the yard to see our daughter and her new husband dancing in the rain and smiling up at the sky.
"Yes," I said with a satisfied smile. "I told him that if his wife ever wants to dance in the rain, then he'd better dance."
Bella's face softened as she leaned up on her tip toes and kissed me gently.
"My mother loved to dance in the rain."
"I know she did," I whispered.
This started out as my very first daily drabble, and I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. Thank you so much for your comments, reviews, recs, and the overwhelming support.
Special thanks to Shaina (we're marking another one complete!) for being the best beta a girl could ever have. Thanks to Kathie and Krista for pre-reading. Your input is invaluable.
Thank you for reading. :)