Chapter One – Marry Me
This chapter was inspired by the Train song "Marry Me", lyrics by Pat Monahan.
Disclaimer – Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer.
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The sound of the bell above the door pulled Edward's attention from his coffee. From the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of chestnut waves, and the air shifted around him like an invisible hand, encouraging him to lift his gaze from the musical notes in front of him. He raised his head as he turned slightly toward the door, and he saw her.
She seemed to shimmer and blur for a moment; the lines and curves of her grew wispy like smoke before coming into sharp focus once again.
The sunlight danced off the red in her hair, sending sparks of color into the air. A gentle glow seemed to emanate from her, peaceful and warm, soft and light. She was beautiful, she was perfection. She was everything.
Edward blinked his eyes against the sun and was stunned by the vision in front of him. Warmth from her smile wrapped around him, love from her eyes made his heart soar. The air around him crackled expectantly as if something earth shattering were about to happen. And there she stood.
She was beauty. Songs and sonnets could be written to the creamy color of her skin, the gentle rose of her blush. Her top lip was a delicate bow, sitting gracefully above a pouty bottom. Together they curled up slightly, the beginning of a smile. Her eyes were a deep brown, with glints of gold and amber if one were to take the time to gaze into them. A quick flick and they locked with his, and Edward felt all was right in his world.
A gentle piano played in the background, something happy and uplifting that Edward certainly would have been able to identify if he'd been paying any real attention to it. But he wasn't; it was simply an additional layer to the sensory overload he was already experiencing.
Warm air caressed his face, with a hint of salt that was always present to remind him of home. The sun was casting late afternoon shadows; playing with light and color across the garden.
The scent of flowers was everywhere. Simple red and white roses sat gracefully in vases around the garden. She held roses. Red roses.
She wore white. Stunning, perfect, beautiful white. In the simplest of shapes, the silk draped over shoulders in delicate straps, embracing her breasts like the petals of the roses she held, surrounding her waist gently and falling to the ground in soft waves. The gentle breeze stirred the fabric at her feet, playfully showing off the delicate sandals she wore.
Edward's heart sang to her, You wear white and I'll wear out the words 'I love you' and 'you're beautiful…'
Her smile grew, as if she heard his heart calling to her from across the garden. She cocked her head to one side, opened her arms slightly; perhaps offering a silent answer to his heart's request.
The music shifted as her smile grew even brighter, and she took a step.
Forever can never be long enough for me, his heart sang louder.
She took another step. The rest of the crowd ceased to exist for Edward. There were only the two of them there now. He gazed at her in amazement, so undone by this beautiful woman.
Now that the wait is over and love has finally shown her my way…
Her steps quickened now, as if she couldn't reach him fast enough.
Forget the world, now, we won't let them see…
Edward held his breath as she approached him, tears running down his face.
But there's one thing left to do…
He saw the silvery tracks of her tears as she held her hand out to him.
Marry me… Today and every day.
Electricity danced across his palm as she placed her hand in his. All at once, the sun shone brighter, the air smelled sweeter, the music wrapped around them in the gentlest of hugs. She was here, she was beauty, she was everything.
Marry me… Today and every day.
The preacher began to speak. Formal words for a formal occasion; they reached each guest, ensuring that everyone present was included in the magic that was happening that day, in that garden, between those two.
Tears glistened in her eyes as they listened to the preacher speak his words; words as old as the traditions they represented, words of promises and cherishes and love and commitment. Words of forever.
Edward watched with tears of his own as her mouth formed the words "I do". She gazed at him in adoration as he repeated those simple words, "I do."
He slid a circle of gold carefully onto her trembling finger. It looked like home there, as if it had always been. Edward held his hand as steady as he could so she could easily slide her ring on his finger. Her ring, the ring she picked out for him; that represented her love and commitment to him. Its new weight was perfect on his hand; the absolute completion he felt was extraordinary. For a moment, the rings touched and the setting sun cast one last ray upon the matching gold bands. Absently Edward could hear the preacher saying more words, but all he knew at that moment was that they were one. Forever.
A gentle tug brought his questioning eyes to her expectant ones, and with a grin and a wink, he turned his attention back to the preacher. With little fanfare but a very warm smile, he announced them husband and wife.
Finally, he thought, as he placed his lips gently on his wife's. Her hands travelled up his arms and around his neck, sliding gently into the hair at his nape while her lips sighed with pleasure against his. It was a chaste kiss, but Edward felt it down to his soul. It was their first married kiss.
Marry me… Today and every day.
The light shifted and the music grew, and Edward turned his head toward the sound of heaven and home. Dual voices of girlish giggling drew his attention, harmonizing with more mature laughter, coming from the voice that wrapped itself around his heart every day. The three voices combined, one lower tone and two higher ones, until they formed the loveliest melody his ears had ever heard. Singing and laughing, laughing and singing, with the tinkling of piano keys to accompany them.
Blinking against the warm summer sunshine, Edward stepped toward the sound. His footsteps led him past pictures of years spent living and loving in this very room, in this very house. Pictures of a brown-eyed beauty cradling another brown-eyed beauty, her red face scrunched-up and new. Images of this little brown-eyed beauty danced before him, like she often did, light and happy, and he couldn't help but smile at the wonder of her. She was the image of her mother, brown-eyed, chestnut haired, with bow lips and a smattering of freckles across her nose. His heart expanded in his chest simply staring at her angelic face.
His gaze was pulled to mischievous green eyes peeking out from a sea of auburn curls. This one's all me, he thought. From her high cheekbones to the slight dent in her chin, from her coloring to her natural affinity for music, she was her father's daughter. She smiled happily from within the frame, the proud big sister showing off her new baby. Mama's little helper, she was. Edward's entire life existed within these frames, three beautiful girls, three reasons for smiling each day.
The happy sounds of laughter and music continued to pull him towards the back of the house, where the sun streamed in from floor to ceiling windows, where the sting of salt was strong from the open French doors, where the joy of his three favorite people filled the room.
She's still the most beautiful, the most perfect thing I've ever seen, he thought. Ten years, two children and one very hairy golden retriever later, she remained the only woman to catch his eye. He watched her radiant face as she laughed and sang with their daughters, her eyes crinkling up a bit in the corners.
Promise me you'll always be happy by my side…
And again, as if she heard his heart singing to her, she looked up and caught his eye as he stood in the doorway. With a smile on her face and her youngest at her side, she motioned for him to join them at the piano, where his little lookalike was holding a recital of her own.
Without conscious thought, he moved to the piano and sat down to join her. And just like that, the harmony of three voices became four, his baritone adding depth and richness to their light and gentle tones. And it was perfect. His perfect family.
Marry me… Today and every day.
The music gradually calmed until it was quiet and still. Shadows grew until the room was darker, calmer, and the air was heavier than before. From his perch at her side, he could just barely hear the pounding of the surf, taste the bite of salt in air through the open French doors to the balcony. This was one of their favorite things, listening to the pound of the surf, the rushing musical quality as it ebbed and flowed with the tide.
She lay gentle and quiet, her body a tiny swell under the covers, resting for a bit before the next series of visitors came to call. Her snowy white hair fell in gentle waves around her slender shoulders, and a peaceful smile touched her lips. In his, her hands were small and thin, her rings loose, the delicate rice paper of her skin so fragile to the touch. But she was so strong, always so strong on the inside.
Today, the music of the surf was too faint for her ears. She sighed, longing to hear its gentle melody. He caught her sigh, smiling down at her peaceful face; her eyes still full of love after all this time. He brushed her hair off her cheek before placing a soft kiss there.
I promise to sing to you when all the music dies…
And since he always kept his promises, Edward began to sing to the love of his life.
"Marry me… Today and every day…"
The ringing of the bell signaled the opening of the door to the café. Edward shook his head against the sound, its tinny chime all wrong compared to the soothing music in his head. The air shifted around him, becoming clear and crisp once again. His confused eyes took in the beauty in front of him, and he felt his heart leap in elation.
She was looking ahead, her gentle features relaxed in a similar, yet unfamiliar smile. There was a sadness in her smile and a shadow in her eyes that seemed out of place. She was just as beautiful, just as perfect, yet completely unknown. Edward stared unabashedly, drinking in her casual dress, her petite stature, the way the sunlight played upon the myriad of colors in her chestnut hair. The short line in the café afforded Edward the luxury of gazing at her for a moment before it was her turn to order.
With each passing second, the urge to reach out to her became stronger, until it was almost a tangible companion at his table. It got under his skin and lifted him from his chair, at odds with his usual reticent nature. On some very basic level, he knew that he must speak that first word to her, take the risk and dive in head-first if he was to know her. He couldn't let her walk out without saying it; he had to find the nerve to say something.
She turned and suddenly she was right there in front of him. Edward watched a hesitant, yet warm smile settled upon her face, and felt his own smile grow a thousand-fold in reaction to it. Suddenly he just knew this was right.
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A/N - Hi and thanks for reading! This was my contribution to the FGB for Autism Awareness. As you can see, it is the first chapter of my first multi-chapter story. My plan is to update every Monday night, but I can't guarantee there won't be hitches if real life gets in the way.
Will it all be EPOV? Will it swing back and forth? Will all the chapters be this short? Put the story on alert and we'll see next week. And if you haven't heard this song, you-tube the video version and simply enjoy the beauty.
Thank you to Katie, Pam, and Jen for their never-ending support and encouragement.
One last thing - please click that button and leave a little review, telling me what you thought of the chapter; the feedback is very helpful.