Accidentally in Love
Ch 30: Sea of Love
A/N: Thanks so much for reading. Sorry for the delay - blame the weather change and a nasty migraine. Here's the last full length chapter. (It makes me queasy to even type that. LOL) There will be an epilogue.
Thanks to SydneyGen, Greenabsinthia, and Seastarr08 for doing their thing for me from all across the globe.
Oooh - If you like this kind of thing, I put a couple of links for this wedding stuff on my profile page - and the link to the AiL Beach Wedding board on pinterest.
-x-o-x-Accidentally in Love-x-o-x-
I had no idea who started the tradition for the bride and groom to spend the night before their wedding apart, but whoever they were, I hated them. Sure, I understood the idea that it was so you wouldn't see each other the day of the wedding, but it was developed in a time when the happy couple wasn't used to sleeping next to each other. I was anxious enough as it was going into my wedding day, and tossing and turning all night made for a bitchy bride.
"Here, Bella, I made you a mimosa."
"Esme, don't get her started this early." Rose huffed, shaking her head.
"It's okay-" I started, but Rose cut me off. "Here's some coffee, B."
"I'll take the mimosa." Angela accepted the champagne glass from Esme, and the two of them stood together with their arms around each other like the Wonder Twins. Jessica sitting on the floor touching up her toe nail polish and sipping from her own champagne flute.
I looked around trying to figure out what had just happened. Rose had just steamrolled over me without a thought to what I wanted. We were in the honeymoon suite at the resort waiting for the hair and makeup people to arrive. Alice had run out to do something, and it was just the five of us.
I frowned for a second and then decided to hell with it.
"No. I want a drink, Esme. Just one. I slept like crap. I love Alice, but she's going to be bossy and make me want to kill her today. So please, let's start it with something special, not coffee like today is any other day. Okay?"
"Sure. I'm sorry."
"I'll pour you one now."
"It's going to be a great day, Bells."
In typical Esme fashion, the mimosa she made me was predominantly champagne, but it was delicious. Exactly what I needed. So was she, to be honest. Without my mother there, I was glad that Edward's mother had been with me every step of the way. From finding my dress to that morning, getting ready for the wedding, she'd been a part of it. Hell, if you wanted to get technical, she'd precipitated our getting together in the first place. If it hadn't been for her meddling, Edward and Garrett would have never placed the ad.
She caught me watching her and came over to join me on the couch. I could hear Rose, Jess and Angela laughing in the bedroom, and Alice was still out doing whatever it was she had rushed out to take care of.
"Are you okay, sweetie? Is there anything I can do?" Esme smiled down at me with a look that all mothers seemed to perfect. It was the one that said she was really worried about me, but she was trying to hide exactly how worried she was.
I tried to smile to reassure her. "No, I'm okay. I'm just glad you're here."
"Have you spoken to your mother?"
"Not really. We, ah, told her about the engagement, but she didn't seem to care. I just decided I wanted this to be a happy time, not all about her."
"She doesn't know you're getting married today?"
I looked over at her sheepishly. "I didn't tell her."
"Oh, Bella. I'm so sorry." She put her hand over mine, and we sat quietly for a few minutes. "Have you changed your mind, do you want to call her?"
"No," I sighed. "My dad is going to call her tomorrow. Anyway, I wasn't thinking about her. I was just thinking about how glad I am that you're here. That you've been a part of everything."
"Oh, honey, I wouldn't have missed it. I'm so glad that Edward has finally found his one. You don't ever have to worry about not having a mom around when you need her. You might even get sick of me."
I chuckled, thinking of all Edward's warnings that his family would smother me. "I don't see that happening. I mean, yeah, at first how close your family was freaked me out, but now I'm honored to be a part of it. I still think you're all crazy, but I'm glad you've taken me in."
She smiled sweetly and patted my hand. "Of course we've taken you in! You've made Edward so happy, and that's all I've ever wanted. Well, that and grandbabies, but you'll get to that soon enough, I'm sure."
I giggled a little at how relentless she was. We'd stumbled into this after Esme pushed Edward for marriage and children, and here we were, on my wedding day, and she was already -gently- pushing for grandchildren.
Before I could come up with something to say, the girls came into the room, nudging each other and laughing. They pulled up short when they saw Esme and I on the couch, and their faces became serious.
The door to the suite opened as Angela spoke, and Alice walked in.
"What is going on?" she snapped, her hand on her hip. "What have you done to upset my bride?"
"I'm not upset!" I laughed, trying to calm Alice down.
"She's fine." Esme patted my hand again and stood, picking up our champagne glasses and heading for the wet bar. I prepared for the verbal beat down that Alice would unleash, thinking it was going to be a really long day.
"Did you make mimosas?" Alice huffed, and her eyes darted around the room.
It was one of those moments where time seemed to stand still.
"You made drinks without me? Mom, that is so uncool."
Rose, Jess, and Angela stood frozen, looks of confusion and disbelief on their faces. It was like a sitcom, and I couldn't hold back the laughter that bubbled up in my chest. Once I started, everyone else joined me except Alice, who looked at us like we were crazy.
"Oh my God!" I laughed so hard that my side started to hurt. "That was not the reaction I was expecting!"
She rolled her eyes and waved off our laughter. "Do we have enough for another round? I feel cheated!"
By the time Esme had the second round of drinks poured, Alice's friends Kebi and Amun arrived to do our hair and makeup. They got started right away, working together to get each of us ready. Room service brought a light lunch, and then it was time for pictures. The photographer was sweet, but Alice was like a drill sergeant. She had a list of photos she 'required' and had no problem ordering us into different groups to get the exact pictures she wanted.
After what felt like a couple hundred pictures in the suite, we headed to a room near the beach to wait for the ceremony.
"Bella," Kebi touched my shoulder to get my attention. "Let me do a final touch up, and you should be ready to go."
"Oh my God, is it time?"
"Just a few minutes." She smiled and led me to a table where she'd set up her makeup kit. She checked the pins holding my hair into a twisted updo and brushed powder over my face. "Now, everything is waterproof, so you don't have to worry about crying. I'm not saying you can full-on sob, but don't worry if you get teared up."
My bridesmaids and Esme stood to the side, glancing in a mirror and checking their faces as well. When Carlisle and my father stepped into the room, I knew it was time.
With a final round of hugs and squeezes, everyone made their way out to the hallway leaving me alone with my father. I'd been on autopilot most of the day, but suddenly my stomach was filled with butterflies.
What I was feeling wasn't nerves. I was excited, anxious to get through the ceremony. Edward and I had begun with an unconventional courtship, but I'd felt since the very beginning that we were headed for this point. At first, I didn't want to believe that Edward returned my feelings, but just a couple of days into our first trip to the Hamptons, I knew. Despite going into it as a ruse and only knowing each other for a short period of time, we'd both fallen hard.
I nodded and smiled.
"You sure? Cuz I can still flash my badge and get us back to Washington if you want to blow this joint."
"I'm sure, Daddy. Thank you for doing this for me."
"Bella," he started, then paused and I saw him swallow hard, "I know I wasn't always there for you, but I love you. I wouldn't have missed today for the world. I can't apologize to you enough for the way your mother has behaved. I don't know where her head is but, someday she's going to regret missing out on today, and so many other important days in your life."
He took a deep breath and kissed my forehead. "Sorry. Had to get that off my chest."
He snorted, and his mustache twitched. "Yeah."
I grinned at him and took a step back, reaching for my bouquet. He opened the door, and we moved into the hallway where I could hear the sounds of our processional.
"You look beautiful, B," he whispered as I slipped my hand under his elbow.
"Thanks," I looked up at him, biting my lip. The music changed, and it was our turn to step out into the sunshine to move down the aisle. I held him off for a second and looked up into his eyes. "You know this doesn't change anything, right? I'll always be your little girl."
He laughed and smirked down at me as we took our first step.
"Bella, I'm not sure what you know about marriage, but this changes everything."
He may have continued to talk, but I didn't hear another word. My eyes had found Edward at the end of the aisle, and everything else dropped away.
I felt a pull towards him and began to move. Part of me wanted to run, but I instinctively knew I should let Charlie set the pace. Somehow I managed to put one foot in front of the other without falling in the sand. With each step, I was closer to my goal. The wind blew around us, and the sound of the waves was the only music in my ears. Edward was the only thing I saw. The sun glinting off his hair. The lean lines of his body. The light blue of his tie that I knew matched both the bridesmaid dresses and the water behind him. But more than anything, I saw the joy in his eyes, and the smile he couldn't contain.
The closer I got, the wider the smile stretched across my face. Suddenly, Charlie stopped a few steps away from Edward. The sudden stop startled me almost as much as the minister's voice.
"Who gives this woman to this man?"
Oh, right. The giving away bit.
"I do," Charlie said firmly.
He squeezed my hand before placing it in Edward's palm.
"You look gorgeous," he whispered.
"So do you." He did. He looked mouthwateringly gorgeous. His unruly hair was in more of a style than usual, though I could tell he'd already run his hands through it. He looked like he should be on a runway at fashion week, or in a print ad for some expensive cologne or designer watch.
The minister began talking again, but I'd tuned out. Angela appeared at my side and took my bouquet, then I faced Edward and he held both of my hands.
Holy shit. This was just like A Wedding Story on Lifetime. I'd seen this episode, or wait, maybe not this one. Definitely a beach wedding episode, but Edward looked better than the random groom with the run of the mill engagement story, or even a sappy one that you just knew they embellished for television.
Edward raised an eyebrow, and a small giggle escaped my lips. His eyes closed and he smiled, shaking his head, just enough for me to know he was laughing at me on the inside.
I tried to focus on the minister's words, I honestly did. But I was distracted by the tiniest of details. The delicate starfish on Edward's boutonniere. The sound of the wind flapping against the fabric draped over the altar. The sand between my toes since I'd decided the night before that shoes were pointless until we got to the reception. I smiled a little, thinking how no one knew I was barefoot, well, no one outside of the bridal party - not including Alice, and no one was telling her.
The minister's voice buzzed in my ear. I was sure he was saying important things, telling vague anecdotes since he didn't actually know either of us, and reading from Genesis and the Song of Solomon, but I couldn't focus on any one thing for more than a second or two.
From the corner of my eye, I could see our guests seated in a semicircle facing the altar. Over Edward's shoulder, the four stooges stood tall. They looked classy in their tan suits with darker brown ties. Definitely a good choice to go with tan. The sun was warm on my shoulders, and I knew they would have been roasting in classic black tuxedos. Garrett leaned towards Emmett murmuring something in his ear, and they both grinned. Cheeky bastards. Who knew what they were joking about.
Jasper and Riley seemed to be staring beyond me. I was sure Jazz was probably watching Alice, remembering their own ceremony or something equally sentimental. The dreamy look on Riley's face made me happy too. I struggled to get my head around the idea of him eyeing Jessica romantically or even sexually, but from what I'd heard they'd hooked up after the rehearsal. She knew his story, and she was all about having the clichéd hook-up with her groomsman. Who was I to argue with his fucked up marriage? Maybe a roll in the hay with Jess would convince him to finally get divorced. Anything was possible.
Edward squeezed my hands and began to recite after the minister. My eyes got wide, realizing we were at the commitment part of everything. Not that everything else hadn't been leading up to the 'I do's,' but in my eyes the 'repeat after me' and 'with this ring' parts were what sealed the deal.
Edward's voice was confident as he said the traditional vows. We had talked about writing our own, but we agreed that the standard vows said everything that we wanted. To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish.
By the time Edward finished speaking, my eyes had filled with tears, but I couldn't pull my hand away from his to wipe my face. I physically couldn't do it. I nodded at the minister when he asked if I was okay, and then it was my turn. My voice wasn't nearly as clear as Edward's, and I stuttered several times as a sob caught in my throat, but I managed.
As I finished, Edward's lips moved in time with mine. "Until death do us part."
It filled my heart with an emotion I could hardly describe. It was a profound joy, mixed with the terror of imagining my life again, without Edward.
I blinked a few times and finally wiped my eyes, trying to stop my tears as the minister asked Garrett for our rings. He held the rings in his palm and said a blessing over them before giving Edward my wedding band.
He took my left hand in his and began sliding the ring up my finger as he said the words, "With this ring I thee wed. Wear it as a symbol of our love and commitment."
I let out a breath I hadn't realized I was holding when the ring slipped fully onto my finger. I stared at the ring on my hand for a moment, awed by its simplicity compared to how much it meant. My heart started pounding because I knew that we were almost finished. I just had put Edward's ring on him without losing it in the sand and say one more sentence, and it would be done. I bit my lip and took the ring from the minister, beginning to push it onto Edward's finger.
I opened my mouth to speak, but was suddenly surprised when the ring stopped at Edward's knuckle. I looked at the minister in a panic, but he just smiled sweetly back at me. He'd probably seen this before. I took a quick breath and pushed again, with a little jostling, the ring popped over Edward's knobby knuckle. I sighed and said the words, hoping no one else had noticed.
"With this ring, I thee wed. Wear it as a symbol of our love and commitment."
I grinned at Edward, and he chuckled at me, reaching up to cup my cheek.
"Edward and Isabella, in so much as the two of you have agreed to live together in matrimony, have promised your love for each other by these vows, the giving of these rings and the joining of your hands, I now declare you to be husband and wife. You may now seal the promises you have made with a kiss."
Neither of us hesitated. We both grinned like fools as our heads gravitated towards each other until our lips were touching. Edward's tongue slid along the seam of my lips, and I opened my mouth to him. Apparently, we were going for it. My hands went around his neck and directly into his hair. He continued cupping my cheek, and his other hand slid from my hip to the bare skin between my shoulders. I shuddered and smiled against his mouth. I probably would have let him strip me down and have his way with me there if our groomsmen hadn't started cat calling.
Edward pulled away with a chuckle, resting his forehead on mine. We stared into each others eyes, grinning and sharing one last moment in our little bubble at the altar until the minister made his last announcement.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Cullen!"
We turned towards the guests, and I was amazed to finally see how many people were there for us. I'd walked through them on Charlie's elbow, but I'd been so blinded by Edward at the end of the aisle that I'd missed everything.
As we made our way up through the rows, I saw Maggie's giant boobs and her ridiculous hat. One of the Denali twins sat behind her, with her equally gigantic boobs and orange skin that made her look like an Oompa Loompa. She had to have been someone's plus one because neither of the sisters had been invited. On the other side, I spotted Randall and a couple of Edward's fraternity brother's I'd seen in pictures. I waved at a few of our friends from Seattle who had made the trip.
Before I knew it, we were climbing the steps to the anteroom where I'd waited earlier in the day. This time, the room was full of our entire wedding party, all talking and laughing loudly as Carlisle opened a bottle of champagne. Alice rushed over and gave me a hug, then promptly began fluffing my dress and muttering about Edward sucking off my lipstick.
Carlisle and Emmett poured a round of drinks, and we all took a few minutes to relax before we had to get more pictures taken. I fixed my lipstick and Alice repinned a couple of pieces of hair that had fallen down. When she returned me to Edward, he kept his arm around me, his hand between my shoulders just as it had been when we kissed. It was as if touching me through my dress wasn't close enough. I loved it. I knew we had hours of the reception still to get through, but more than anything I wanted to run away with Edward. To start our life together. To be Mr. and Mrs. Cullen.
I sighed, probably louder than I'd meant to, and Edward smiled down at me with a wink.
-x-o-x-Accidentally in Love-x-o-x-
Pictures were tedious, but I knew they would turn out to be gorgeous. We used the ocean and our altar as the backdrop for most of them, though a few shots were taken of the wedding party standing up on the deck as well.
I was exhausted by the time we made it into the reception. I'd told Edward about my lack of sleep and the mimosas that started my day. He'd just laughed and told me Jasper and Emmett had kept him up most of the night smoking cigars, watching porn and drinking Carlisle's scotch. I'd stared at him in shock, wondering if I knew my brothers-in-law at all. For just a moment, I couldn't imagine them keeping Edward up like that the night before his wedding. Then reality seeped back in, and I realized it was totally something they would do. Assholes. I was so making them do shots later.
Edward seemed to get fidgety after we found our way to the head table.
"You okay?" I asked, putting my hand on his bouncing knee.
There was something worrying him, and it started to make me anxious as well. Did they have something embarrassing planned that I was going to hate? Like having all of the old men in attendance bring me keys as if they were returning keys to my apartment?
He sighed and ran his hand through his hair. "I'm just nervous about Garrett's toast."
Shit. What was he going to say? Leave it to Edward to choose the loose cannon as his best man. Then again, the only safe choice would have been Jasper and nothing about Edward and my relationship had been safe. There was no time to work myself up over it though because the DJ began to tap his mic to get the crowd's attention.
After a quick introduction, Garrett stood and accepted the mic. He glanced down at Edward and me with a devious smile and a wink.
"Edward and Bella," he said with a laugh. "What can I tell you about the happy couple? Where do I even start?"
"At the beginning!" Emmett hollered.
"Yes. That's a good idea, smart ass," Garrett chuckled, lifting his glass. "So, this one night, Edward and I got kind of drunk after he and Esme got in a fight about him not giving her an heir—oh, wait, wrong story! But seriously, my girlfriend Angela and I were the masterminds between these two meeting. I don't think we ever anticipated the connection that they would feel, or how immediately they would be drawn to each other." He smiled and paused, and I had to laugh. He was telling the truth, without telling the whole story.
"Did you know that Edward accidentally called Bella his future wife on their first date? Total Freudian slip. He was afraid he'd scared the hell out of her, but somehow she went on a second date with him anyway, then a third and so forth.
"I knew early on that Edward had fallen for Bella, but it wasn't until the first time that I saw the two of them together that I knew we'd all be sitting here together someday. They were so in tune with each other, from the very beginning. But in the end, it doesn't matter how they met or that Edward proposed without a ring like an idiot. All that matters is that they found each other. I'm glad to have been a part of their fairytale and I know, like all of you, I'm looking forward to seeing the great things that the future holds for them."
He smiled down at us and I mouthed "thank you" as I wiped my eyes. He'd said it all so well. Even the jab about the engagement ring. None of it mattered.
Garrett raised his glass and the crowed did the same. "To Edward and Bella!"
Everyone toasted, glasses clinking and voices happy. Angela stood and straightened her skirt. She looked beautiful, the soft blue of the dress was gorgeous against her darker complexion. She cleared her throat and chuckled into the microphone.
"Thanks, babe, I'm not sure how to follow that."
The whole group laughed, then quieted when she continued to speak. "Bella has always been like a sister to me. We've been through some stuff together, right?"
She glanced down at me and we shared a smile. Stuff was putting it mildly, and outside of school she generally swore like a trucker. Then her smile turned wistful, and I knew she was going to make me cry.
"When we were twelve, Bella and I made a list of what we wanted in a husband. I remember we wanted the same things, well mostly. I wanted a guy with an English accent who rode a motorcycle, but that was because we spent that summer watching Grease 2 over and over. Sorry, Gare.
"Anyway, he had to be a college graduate and have a good job, preferably one that he couldn't go do in a flannel shirt. He had to be funny. He had to speak a foreign language. He needed a car, and he couldn't live in his mother's basement. But more an anything he had to make our stomachs flip and our hearts flutter, and he had to be BFF approved. Now, I was worried about the foreign language bit, but I've heard Edward swear in Spanish, so it's all good."
Everyone laughed again, and Ang reached down and grabbed my hand.
"But here's the thing, while Edward ticks off all of the boxes on our list, he does so much more. Let's face it, he's not bad to look at, and makes her smile like I've never seen. He always puts Bella first, except for when he's trying to save lives, and he is 100%, primetime in love with her."
I snorted at her Top Gun quote as she lifted up her glass. "To the happy couple!"
The guests all raised their wine glasses and toasted again as I stood to hug her.
"Love you, Ang."
"You too, babe. You too."
We gave each other a good squeeze, and I was passed off to Garrett, who quickly blew a raspberry on my neck, earning a high five from Emmett. Edward cuffed Garrett on the back of the head as someone started to tap their spoon on a water glass.
The noise got louder and louder as more guests joined in. Edward shrugged and pulled me into his arms for a kiss. We started to separate, and they did it again.
"I could do this all night." Edward laughed and leaned back in for another kiss.
Dinner was being served as we turned to take our seats. My ass no more than grazed the cushion on the chair when the clanging started again.
"You may get your wish," I teased as I turned towards Edward, puckering up and waggling my brows.
He cupped my cheek and grinned. "Silly girl, I already did."
-x-o-x-Accidentally in Love-x-o-x-
I can't believe they're finally married! These kids *sigh* they've been so fun to write. :)
Thanks so much for reading. I'm still just blown away by the response to this story and these silly characters. You all are the greatest! Give me two weeks to stir up an epilogue!
If you like that kind of thing - there are a bunch of links on my profile for this chapter, including a link to my Pinterest board for planning/visualizing this wedding. :)
Reading Recs This Week -
Polaroid by RockRaven244 (wip 16ch)
Summary: A glimpse, a snapshot, a frame, an image...this is how they come. Some a blur, some crystal clear; like a Polaroid. She told me not to interfere, to live life, and love my family. And I do...most of the time.
The Spaces Between Notes by LyricalKris (complete - Bella/Carlisle)
Summary: She was over twenty years his junior and had him pegged before she ever knew him. He definitely wasn't the sex-crazed rocker her father warned her about. Music speaks to many, but really knowing a person is listening to the space between notes.