A/N: This is a cute little one-shot about what was going on in Tanya's head during Bella and Edward's wedding. This is not what you'd think, guys—if you came here for a really angsty and rueful Tanya, set on destroying Bella and claiming Edward for her own, don't read this. You'll be severely disappointed.
I see Tanya as an extremely misunderstood character. Since Tanya once had a crush on Edward, Twihards typically view Tanya as the bad guy. Well I don't. I see Tanya as an extremely strong, independent woman who will let go of her feelings for Edward in order to make him and Bella happy. I also think that since Breaking Dawn is written from silly little Bella's point of view, and Bella sees Tanya as intimidating and dangerous, we don't see Tanya in a way that shows her how she truly is.
So, without further ado, here is Release. By the way, the title refers to the act of Tanya releasing the feelings she once had for Edward for his and Bella's sakes.
"Tanya?" A soft, lightly accented voice quietly called my name, shaking me from my dazed thoughts. I blinked twice and glanced over at Carmen through the car window, realizing that she, Eleazar and Kate were already out of the car and I was still settled in the driver's seat, sitting as still as a marble statue and staring at nothing in particular. I could not seem to wrap my mind around the fact that I had officially lost my first prospect. In one swift movement, without even having to think about it, I was out of the car and standing by my family (excluding Irina), where I belonged.
I handed the car keys to Eleazar and smiled. "Remind me to let you drive next time, brother," I said jokingly. He laughed and took the keys from my outstretched palm.
Kate glanced at me and gazed deep into my eyes, guessing at what I was thinking about immediately. Darn my sister for knowing me so well.
"Tanya, you knew this day would come eventually. After all, Edward teamed up with those disgusting mutts just to save her when we could not." All four of us shuddered with guilt at the thought of abandoning our cousins in their time of need not too long before. Carmen scowled slightly at Kate—she, being the kind person she is, did not like it when the two of us referred to the wolves in such a rude manner.
I sighed softly and smiled. "You're right, Kate. I did know. And I'm happy for him. And for the human girl."
Kate grinned. "I'm happy too, of course. Edward's wallowed in his own self-pity for too long now."
Carmen chimed in, smiling brightly. "Oh, as am I! I cannot wait to meet this girl! She must be something if she has caused our dear cousins so much trouble in such a short amount of time."
We all laughed and made our way towards the front entrance of the Cullen home. We could smell the strong fragrance of a large assortment of flowers wafting from the inside of the house, and the scent strengthened dramatically as Rosalie opened the front door before I even had the chance to knock. Rosalie grinned and flipped her hair—which was curled for this occasion—in friendly competition with my sisters and I. Kate, Carmen, Irina and I were always viewed as competition in the beauty department by Rosalie. Eleazar could plainly see what was going on before him and rolled his eyes almost unnoticeably.
We responded by each flashing her a smile; mine and Kate's more of a playfully menacing one while Carmen's was nothing but benevolent and warm. She was the first to speak, her Spanish accent flaring with her excitement.
"Rosalie!" she exclaimed, throwing her arms around the blonde beauty. "It is so lovely to see you after such a long time!"
Rosalie returned the hug willingly, smiling. "It's nice to see you again too, Carmen. I always miss your hospitality."
Rosalie then moved on to Eleazar. "Eleazar, it's always so great to see you! Have your sisters annoyed you to the point of wanting to reduce yourself to a pile of ashes yet? I know they've done that to me and I haven't even known them for as long as you've lived with them!" She winked at me and Kate.
Eleazar smirked. "Not yet, but I shall let you know when they do." Kate and I scoffed jokingly.
"Don't test me, Eleazar," Kate jested, wiggling her fingers just centimeters away from his face. He jerked away defensively and the two of us giggled. Carmen rubbed his arm comfortingly.
"No se preocupe. I won't let her hurt you," Carmen said gently. She laughed and he smiled, lowering his lips to her hand and kissing her knuckles softly.
Rosalie jumped in. "Well, why don't you four come in? Edward will be down in a minute—he's just getting ready with Emmett and Jasper."
She moved out of the way of the doorframe and ushered the four of us inside eagerly. We had arrived early, as there were no guests sitting in the many pews set up for the wedding as of yet. Descending the long, winding staircase in a blur to greet us next was Alice.
"Tanya, Kate, Carmen, Eleazar!" she squealed as she pulled us into a group hug. It always amazed me how someone so tiny could be so strong. As she drew back, she proceeded to hug us all separately.
"You all look so good!" she trilled. "I should throw parties more often, just to see everyone dress up like this." Alice grinned at the thought of more parties to plan. Always the pixie hostess.
"Ah, what a typical thing for you to say, Alice," Eleazar replied, announcing aloud exactly what I had been thinking.
"Don't hate me, cousin!" she sang and winked at him before she was back up the stairs in the blink of an eye. Kate and I exchanged a glance and Carmen answered the question we had both asked in our minds.
"She is upstairs helping Bella get ready," she said.
Carlisle, Esme, Jasper and Emmett all greeted us next, and before we knew it, all of the guests had arrived and Edward was standing at the altar with the pastor behind him, eagerness apparent on his countenance as he waited for his Bella to descend the staircase and join him in matrimony. Carmen, Eleazar, Kate and I shared a pew just behind the Cullens'.
We heard movement at the top of the stairs and everyone stood and turned around. I allowed a quiet gasp to escape my lips as I was finally able to see the woman who had stolen Edward's heart. She was an absolute vision in a white wedding dress with long sleeves and a flowing train. Her dark brown hair was tied in a bun with a few strands hanging loose to frame her heart-shaped face. She was exactly as Edward had described her, and gorgeous in every single way. Her cheeks flushed a bright red as her eyes fell on her beloved and looked as if she wanted to sprint down the aisle with glee, but her father's hold on her arm held her back. She soon glided past my family and Carmen beamed at her—I suppose she knew exactly how Bella was feeling and wanted to show her that she could relate. I don't think Bella noticed, though. All of her focus has been given over to her soon-to-be husband.
We all sat and the moment Edward took Bella's hands into his, I let go.
I released all of the feelings I had ever felt for Edward Anthony Masen Cullen in that very second. It all hit me at once—I was never, ever right for him like I had previously thought. That precious, human girl standing before him was the only person who could ever be right for him. What I had said earlier reigned true; I was happy for him, and I was happy for her.
In a blur, the ceremony was over, and after a longer-than-usual first kiss as husband and wife, everyone stood once again and clapped for Mr. and Mrs. Cullen. Bella seemed barely aware of the fact that every single member of my family, including myself, had all hugged her as she walked back down the aisle with Edward at her side.
The wedding quickly breezed into the reception. My family and I stood in an extremely long line to greet the bride and groom, chatting amongst ourselves about what to say to Bella, and how to prevent her from being startled by us—which is what most humans are after first seeing us.
We were gathered just behind Bella's human friends, and from what I heard (which was everything), their names were Ben, Angela, Mike and Jessica. Quickly, though, the four humans departed and we were standing before Edward and his blushing—literally and figuratively—bride. Her eyes widened tenfold upon seeing the four of us, and I heard Carmen cough back a giggle.
I smiled brightly and brought Edward into a tight embrace. "Ah, Edward, I've missed you." I'm so sorry we couldn't meet your lovely bride sooner, dear cousin.
Edward maneuvered out of my hug upon realizing that Bella was becoming slightly uncomfortable. He chuckled. "It's been too long, Tanya. You look well."
"So do you," I responded with a smirk. Scaring the human girl a little bit would not kill her, after all.
"Let me introduce you to my wife," said Edward, and his smile made him look as if he might explode with satisfaction. It was official now—he was hers and she was his—and that made him happier than I had made him in over fifty years of knowing one another. My family and I laughed quietly, pleased at his ardor. "Tanya, this is my Bella."
I examined Bella speculatively. Although I understood why Edward loved Bella, I wanted to see if there were any distinct qualities that I could tell he would like in her. The most obvious quality was that she was a brunette, but there was nothing else I could pinpoint. Perhaps her elegant simplicity also attracted him…
"Welcome to the family, Bella," I said with a smile, hoping to show her that I welcomed and accepted her wholeheartedly. She seemed to misinterpret my smile as rueful by the way she shifted her weight uncomfortably. "We consider ourselves Carlisle's extended family, and I amsorry about the, er, recent incident when we did not behave as such. We should have met you sooner. Can you forgive us?" Part of me was apologizing for the members of my family who were present, and the other part was apologizing for Irina not being there to welcome Bella like the rest of us.
Bella was breathless as she replied, "Of course. It's so nice to meet you."
I turned to my oldest sister (who was younger than myself, but older than Irina and Carmen). "The Cullens are all evened up in numbers. Perhaps it will be our turn next, eh, Kate?"
"Keep the dream alive," she responded sarcastically—a phrase that she used very often when implying our hopes and dreams for the perfect man to come along in a horse and carriage and sweep us off our feet. But, alas, we could only hope to be as lucky as our little Spanish sister (technically, two hundred seventy two years old is far from "little," but she is a child compared to mine and my sisters' millennia of walking this earth).
Kate removed Bella's hand from mine and took it into hers. "Welcome, Bella."
Carmen then reached out and placed her hand over Kate's, beaming with delight at meeting the newest member of our extended family. "I'm Carmen," she said in her lilting, beautifully accented voice, and used her free hand to gesture towards her soulmate, "this is Eleazar. We're so very pleased to finally meet you."
Bella gulped softly as she gazed between the two of them, and her eyes widened ever so slightly as her gaze met Eleazar's inhumanly handsome face. He smiled warmly in response.
Bella's chocolate-brown eyes returned to Carmen's. "M-me too," she stuttered. Carmen and Kate released Bella's hand simultaneously.
I realized that there were more people waiting to greet Bella behind us and ended this conversation as swiftly as possible. "We'll get to know each other later. We'll have eonsof time for that!" I joked, entirely serious about the amount of time I gave them. Us four glanced at the couple standing behind us, whose eyes were huge as they took us in, and made our way away from Edward and Bella.
Kate, Carmen, Eleazar and I all sat at a round table in the outdoor ballroom and feigned sipping champagne as members of the Cullen and Swan families made toasts to the bride and groom. We watched as Edward and Bella cut the first slice of their extremely grand wedding cake, howled with laughter as Edward actually ate a piece of the cake (knowing very well that he'd be in the bathroom, forcing it out of his mouth a few minutes later), watched as the bride and groom had their first dance, etc.
Soon, the dance floor was open to everyone, and Kate and I sat by and watched Carmen and Eleazar shock the entire group of people on the floor with their flawless dancing—which made everyone else's dancing look feeble in comparison. Carmen would let out one of her signature giggles whenever someone would comment about the "Spanish goddess on the dance floor." Eleazar could not help but agree aloud with every single private comment someone would make about how flawless Carmen was. Later on, Edward switched dance partners with Eleazar, and Edward spun Carmen around while Eleazar took Bella and slowed his dancing pace significantly with her, the two of them talking quietly and trying to get to know each other better.
Kate and I were chatting amongst ourselves when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked up to see Edward's honey eyes staring down at me. "May I have this dance?" he said with a crooked grin as he held his arm out towards me. Kate nudged my side and chuckled before I got up and followed Edward onto the floor.
Edward took both of my hands into his and we began marching across the floor. He twirled me around three times before stopping me and speaking quietly.
"I'm sorry, Tanya."
If I had been drinking something, I would have spit it out at that very moment. Eleazar, who danced right past us with Carmen in his arms again, let out a deep laugh at my bewildered expression.
"W-what on earth do you have to apologize for, Edward?" I asked after recollecting my composure.
Edward sighed. "I'm sorry that you were not right for me."
I shook my head and smiled. "Oh Edward, you're so courteous. To be frank, I am very glad that I was not right for you. If I had been, poor Bella would probably be stumbling across the dance floor with that Mike boy as her groom." I giggled as Edward growled at the thought of a pervert like Mike marrying Bella.
Edward stared at me, shocked. "So you are not disappointed?"
I shook my head ever so slightly, my curls bouncing lightly on my shoulders. "Well, I am a littledisappointed, of course. I've never been rejected by a man before. But I see how happy she makes you, and how happy you make her, and I realize that I could never do that for you. The love you have for each other is unconditional—a kind of love that I witness on a daily basis." I shot a smile at Carmen and Eleazar as they flew past us yet again. They smiled warmly at me, then at each other.
I love you, Edward, I thought, wanting to make our conversation more personal. But now, I merely love you as a friend; as a cousin.
Edward only nodded and smiled in response and the two of us danced the entire length of the floor and back. I was truly happy that night. I had finally found my peace—my release.