Disclaimer: all characters and copyright belong to Stephanie Meyer.
PART THREE-FIGHTING THE FUTURE
Part Twenty One-Epilogue
Jacob stood on First beach, eyes closed letting the gentle breeze blow through his long, black hair. He had grown it out again at Bella's request, she loved running her hands through it. Now that he was no longer phasing as often, he could put up with the discomfort when he did turn wolf. With his eyes closed the sound of the waves lapping the shoreline and the sea birds calling, were so much louder. He grinned as he felt the warm sun shining on his skin. It was a rare occurrence around here, but as it was such a special day, it felt like the weather had also decided to bless them with sunshine. A hand on his shoulder made him open his eyes and turn swiftly. "Hey Em..." he greeted his best friend.
Embry gave him a happy smile. "Are you ready? No last minute doubts?" He asked teasingly.
Jacob just rolled his eyes. "Hardly, I have been ready for this forever. Have you seen her?"
Embry nodded. "Yeah, she looks beautiful man. Kim, Leah and the others are all fussing around her."
Jacob winced, he knew how Bella must hate that. She was a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl and loathed getting dressed up for anything, even her own wedding. His mom and the other women had railroaded her into wearing white. They had both always been adamant that they wanted a beach wedding. It was their favourite place, and being such an informal location, Bella had assumed that she could wear something casual. But she had not reckoned on the older women taking charge. His mom and Sue Clearwater had almost come to blows as they battled to get Bella and Leah to have traditional weddings. Sam had married Leah the month before, in the end they had eloped, much to Sue Clearwater's disgust. Poor Harry had a job on his hands to get her to talk to Leah when she came back home as Mrs Uley.
In the end, Leah had confronted her mom and apologised, telling her how much pressure she felt as the wedding became bigger and bigger as Sue invited more guests, even some distant cousins she had never even met. Like Bella, Leah hated being the centre of attention and as both mother and daughter had quick tempers, their clashes had not been pretty. In the end Sue asked Leah to at least have a reception at a venue of her choice. A wicked gleam had come into her daughter's eyes at this compromise and Sue knew exactly where the party would be held. Let's just say it was an event the residents of La Push never forgot. The beach cook out went on for two days straight. There were a lot of people suffering bad hangovers by the end of the celebrations and it was only the male pack members who were still standing at the end of it.
Jacob smiled to himself as he recalled the event. Tonight's reception was going to be nowhere near that level. It was going to be a more intimate, family orientated party, Bella had insisted on it. He surveyed the scene in front of him. Row upon row of white chairs had been placed upon the sand with an aisle straight down the centre. All the guests had arrived and were seated. Jacob followed Embry back to the temporary alter that had been erected on the beach. It seemed that Bella and her entourage were finally ready. He checked his attire one last time. He was decked out in a pair of black trousers and open necked white shirt.
"You got the rings, right bro?" He checked with Embry one last time.
"For the millionth time, Jake...yes." Embry grouched.
"Jeez, just checking..." Jacob said nervously. He looked up when he heard his mom calling out his name. She waved at him as his dad helped her settle on one of the chairs. Sarah still had trouble walking for long distances and sometimes still needed the wheelchair, but today she vowed to try and keep on her feet. His dad gave him an encouraging smile as he sat next to his wife, taking hold of her hand and kissing it.
Jacob saw all of his pack brothers lined up, lounging on the chairs on the opposite side to his parents. All of them were accompanied by their partners. The only single one was Quil, he refused to settle down and preferred to play the field. He was still very immature in a lot of ways and Jacob knew that it would take a very patient woman to put up with his juvenile behaviour. His eyes strayed to Paul and his wife, Kristie. She was holding a baby in her arms and Paul was keeping hold of his very lively two year old son. They had not been together long when Kristie had discovered she was pregnant. Everyone had been stunned but extremely supportive. Once Jaden was born, it was only a short while before Kristie announced a second pregnancy. Lily Anne was now six weeks old.
Sitting just behind them was his sister Rachel and her husband Jared. She had given birth to twin girls not too long after Kristie and now she was playing the doting mom to little Sarah and Sadie. Jared had not stopped grinning since they were born and some of the others wondered if his face had frozen with that expression. They constantly teased him about his enthusiasm, but Jared brushed it off. He felt like his life was perfect. Sam was sitting beside them, Leah was one of the bridesmaids so he was alone for the moment.
Finally after what seemed an age the wedding march started up and Jacob turned his gaze onto the aisle, where the love of his life was just about to make her entrance. All the guests heads twisted around to get their first glimpse of the bride. Ever so slowly, making sure to plant each bare foot firmly in the sand so she did not trip, Bella began to walk down the aisle. Beside her strode her proud father, Charlie Swan, holding on firmly to her arm. The guests took in the radiant bride's expression, her face was bare of make up, only the merest hint of mascara framing her huge brown eyes. Bella's luxuriant, long brown hair was pinned up at the sides, held up by small silver combs. Her simple, calf length white dress floated around her slender frame. As the faint breeze blew the dress, a small bump was clearly defined. Bella was four months pregnant with her first child.
Following gracefully behind her came her chosen bridesmaids, the guests gasped in surprise as they realised it wasn't only the bride who was expecting. Leah was the head bridesmaid, she was dressed in a pale blue, empire line dress. A flower of the same colour pinned to her short black hair. She was heavily pregnant, just about due in fact. The pack had placed bets whether she would drop while Jake and Bella exchanged vows. Behind Leah, came Kim. She flashed Embry a shy smile as she patted her growing bump. She was a month ahead of Bella. Bringing up the rear came Angela, she wasn't showing quite as much as the others, although she was as far along as Bella.
"Jeez it sure is going to be noisy around here when all these babies are born..." Harry whispered to his wife. Sue gave him a dark look as she elbowed him in the ribs.
"Remember two of them are yours, you old fool. Believe me you will be doing your share of babysitting duties." She retorted.
Harry pulled a face, earning him another dig in the ribs from his wife. He prayed that both of his grandchildren would be boys. It was tiring being surrounded by so many feisty women. All eyes followed the bride as she reached the altar, she handed her bouquet of wild flowers to Leah, kissed her father on the cheek and then turned to face her soon to be husband.
"Hey you..." Bella whispered as she smiled up at Jacob.
He held her hands tightly in his own as he gazed at her lovingly. "Hey..." he echoed her words as he leaned down to kiss her. Before his lips reached hers, he felt Embry tap him on the shoulder. He raised his head and glared at his best friend.
"What was that for?" He muttered.
Embry laughed as Bella giggled. "You have to wait until you're married before you kiss the bride, you doofus..." he reminded him.
Jacob's cheeks flushed red. "Oh yeah, I forgot..." a happy grin spread across his face as he joined in the laughter.
The wedding party had retreated to the community hall located dead centre in the middle of La Push. It had been decorated simply, large tables had been set up, groaning with food. The women had excelled themselves, they knew how hungry the pack could get. On the central table a huge wedding cake had been placed. It was four tiers high and perched on the top was an exact replica of the bride and groom. Jacob knew that it was his father who had carved the wooden figures and he turned his gaze onto Billy, both men exchanging happy looks.
"Thank you..." Jacob mouthed toward his dad. Billy just nodded as he gazed with pride on his only son.
Bella was in the middle of a throng of people who were all busily congratulating Charlie Swan who had finally revealed he was going to make an honest woman of Valerie Littlesea. They had been dating for ages and had been putting off making their relationship official, but it seemed that wedding fever had caught up with Chief Swan too. Bella hugged her father and looked up at him happily.
"This is brilliant news dad...it's about time..." She laughed as Charlie reddened.
"I don't see what all the fuss is about. It's the second time for both of us, it's no big deal..." he grouched.
Bella pointed over to Valerie who was being hugged and congratulated by extended members of her family, she was glowing. Charlie softened as he looked at his future wife. "Well maybe it is after all. She looks happy, doesn't she, Bells?"
Bella slipped her arm through her fathers and nodded. "Yeah she does. I am so happy for you dad. It feels like all our lives are falling into place..."
Charlie smiled down at his only daughter and patted her hand. "Yes it does, and about time too..."
The wedding speeches were long over and the music was now turned low as the few remaining couples with enough energy to still stand, circled slowly on the dance floor. All the food had been consumed and the wedding cake cut and shared around. It was now approaching midnight and Jake and Bella were ready to leave for their honeymoon. She had changed into her favourite pair of jeans and a t-shirt with 'Just Married' printed across the front. It accentuated her growing abdomen.
The guests all gathered around the happy couple as Bella turned her back, ready to throw her bouquet. She tossed it high in the air and it landed with a thud on Quil Ateara's head. He let out a surprised yell before throwing it away as if it burned his fingers. It was eventually caught by one of his cousins.
For the last time Jacob and Bella endured the congratulatory hugs and good wishes as they made their escape out into the cool night air. Big smiles broke out over their faces as they took in their mode of transport. Bella's old red Chevy had been polished to perfection and decorated with all sorts of banners and bits and pieces. The word 'Wolfie' had been spray painted across the rear.
"GO ON GUYS GIVE US ONE LAST KISS..." Quil bellowed out loud, causing the older guests to glare in his direction.
"Here's to Mr and Mrs Black..." Billy called out, all the crowd began to cheer and wolf whistle as Jacob took Bella in his arms and kissed her passionately.
When they pulled apart, both breathless, Bella locked eyes with her new husband and smiled. "I love you Jacob Black..."
"I love you too, honey..." he replied promptly, leaning down to kiss her again.
A collective aaah echoed through the crowd as Jacob picked up his bride and carried her to the Chevy, he easily opened the door and placed her carefully inside. He ran around to the drivers side and slipped in, turning on the loud engine. Jacob drove the Chevy in a circle around their gathered friends and family, both he and Bella leaning out of the opened windows yelling out their goodbyes. After a few last minute congratulations, the newly weds drove away into the night...
As the Chevy disappeared into the distance, Leah suddenly bent over double and let out a curse. Sam stared at her in shock as he knelt beside her. "No way..." he said.
Leah took deep breaths as she held onto her protruding belly. "Yes way, my waters have broken. The baby is on it's way..." She declared.
A/N-I am sorry that this took me so long to finish. I was going to add more to this story, but decided that this was probably the best place to end it. I want to give a big thank you to everyone who has read, favorited, followed and reviewed this story. It has been a fun journey and I have enjoyed every moment.
This is NikkiB over and out! :)