Welcome to "At Last"! I'm super pumped about this story. It's been a lot of fun for me to write and I hope it's fun the few of you who have been suckered into reading it!
Before I get on with the story, I wanted to let you all know that this story is dedicated to the lovely and talented Detochkina. Have you ever had someone give you their utmost support, even without total reason? Detochkina's that for me. She is my cheerleader, and she is the best cheerleader ever. She has held my hand since the beginning of this story, kicked my butt when I needed a little push in the right direction, and encouraged me to fix tricky parts because she said that she knew I could do it.
*wipes tears from eyes*
"Did you ever know that you're my hero? You're everything I would like to be …"
So thank you, Detochkina. Seriously. This story is for you. You gave me an egg slicer and a toaster oven; I'm giving you these random words in hopes of making you smile. (I know the two aren't comparable, but I'm trying my best here!)
And since I am giving my Academy Award speech right now –heh, heh- I want to send out a huge thanks for the incredibly amazing xrxdanixrx for pre-reading and telling me this story was something I should post.
MizzezPattinson - you're the best pre-reader a girl could ask for. Your words of wisdom and crazy amount of pimpage was exactly the kick in the ass that I needed to get this story ready to be posted. You're too kind to me, woman!
And lastly, to my BETA GODDESS, - you are a goddess, really and truly (no exaggeration, either, you are the real deal). Thank you SO VERY MUCH for your hours of work in fixing my interpretation of English (even though English is my main language, we all need a little help sometimes, don't we? :P). You are the best. Ever. Ever. EVER!
Disclaimer: Not mine. Not my beta's, either. My pre-readers also don't own the rights to Twilight. BASTARDS (kidding, guys! ILY!).
Okay, that's it. Hope you guys enjoy the story! See you at the bottom ;)
Chapter One - Oh Shit, I Did What? Well, That's Embarrassing.
The sight in front of me was every potential bride's wet dream: handsome groom, beautiful bride, doting wedding guests, immaculately decorated reception hall, and tear-invoking first dance song.
My love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song.
Even the thought of the "perfect wedding" made me want to vomit in my mouth a little bit. Thank God it wasn't my wedding that I was musing over. I was, in no way ready to be married - that task was left up to my best friends from high school … and best friends from college … and, come to think of it, my best friends from the place that I work, and just about every casual acquaintance that I had ever made. They can all get married, and I'll stay happily single.
My rebellious thoughts to the tranquil sound of the song At Lastby the late Etta James was interrupted by my mother clearing her throat, and when that didn't garner my attention, she not-so-subtly leaned into my shoulder. Keeping her eyes on the bride and groom that were dancing in front of us, mom lowered her voice to a whisper before starting in on the argument that she truly loved to have with me.
I mean, I'd swear she liked bickering to me about this so much that she would do it daily if I would actually answer my phone when she called me. The "silence" button was getting worn out on my poor little iPhone from me slipping the toggle over so I didn't have to hear the ringtone that I specifically designated to her for when she called me.
I'd decided to watch Alice's first dance from my mom's table at the wedding, and it wasn't until now that I'd started to regret it.
"Bella, I am sick of beating around the bush. When are you going to settle down and get married? I'm getting old; I want to be able to enjoy my grandchildren before I need a hip replacement."
"Funny, Renee, you never beat around the bush when you are talking to me about this subject. And I seem to remember us having this conversation just a few years ago … except then you were begging me not to give you grandchildren because you were too young."
"Stop being a smartass, daughter dearest. You know that there is a world of difference between eighteen and twenty-eight."
"You act like twenty-eight is ancient. Jesus, I don't know why I decided to come over to say 'hi' to you before dinner started. I was just asking for it, wasn't I?"
"Your clock is ticking, Bella." She spoke in an admonishing tone, ignoring my last statement.
"I don't have a clock, Mom. I'm not too concerned." I sarcastically shot back, pulling my attention back to the bride and groom in an attempt to show Renee that I wasn't in the mood to discuss this particular topic at this moment in time.
"You'll care about it when you decide to have kids in ten years and can't conceive because you are past your prime."
I rolled my eyes at this comment; I usually did when she used that defence. "You know, the first time you said that to me, I was offended. Now I'm annoyed that you keep repeating it." I stood up from the chair at my mom's table as soon as I realized that the song was coming to an end. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to my seat."
The bride and groom for this particular wedding had decided to do things in a little nontraditional way, so they had their first dance as soon as they arrived at the reception hall, before they ate dinner and before they cut the cake. They wanted to keep people "entertained" - aka tortured - at their wedding, so dining was slated to be one of the last events of the evening, which meant speeches from the best man and maid of honor were next, and I was up.
Fuck! I was so nervous! I mean, it was one of my best friend's weddings, and Alice was marrying Jasper. And I had been to enough weddings at this point in my life to be able to spout off some sort of bullshit speech that sampled all of the other speeches that I had heard over the last eight years, but I didn't want to settle for anything like that this time. Alice and Jasper deserved something more than some ramble on that went something like, "Blah blah blah, don't stop believing, let's get this party started!"
I had a speech written; it had been finished for quite a while. That being said, I was still scared shitless. It wasn't writing it that scared me - it was delivering it that made me want to pee myself. Ever since I was a kid, I've been scared to death of standing up in front of a group and being the center of attention. Public speaking caused my throat to close up and … no air could get through … and I choked ...
But I was due to talk in front of a huge crowd in a short amount of time, in front of my high school best friend's 400 wedding guests.
So I did what anyone in my position would do -hit the champagne- hard. The server whom I stole my first bottle from looked a little shocked as I grabbed a newly opened one out of his hands as soon as he had uncorked it. The good news was that since I was wearing a bridesmaid dress, I would be allowed to do whatever I wanted, so the server let me be.
Maybe he shouldn't have let me do whatever I wanted. Maybe the server should have stopped looking at my fucktastic tits and paid more attention to the fact that a tiny, barely 105-pound girl was chugging a sixty-five-dollar bottle of champagne.
In college, one of the subjects that I studied the most was binge drinking. I wasn't proud of it, but I passed that class with flying colors. Apparently I had a talent for opening up my throat and taking large amounts of … whatever … in short amounts of time, and being able to swallow just as fast.
Needless to say, that talent has made me quite popular over the years. Oh! It wasn't like I was a whore or anything, I just sure as hell knew how to party. I knew how to play a mad game of catch up, meaning I could come late to the party but get drunk as fast as you could snap your fingers.
Knowing of my little talent and being able to recall the consequences of drinking so fast -puking the next morning was the rule, not the exception- should have deterred me from doing something so blatantly fucking stupid right before a speech, buuuut ...
Yeah, apparently I was a twenty-eight year old idiot. I drank to the point where I thought that I would be pleasantly buzzed, where the edge would be taken off and I would be able to deliver my speech like a rockstar. But stupid, stressed out, maid-of-honor me forgot to take into account the booze I had drank earlier in the limo, along with forgetting I hadn't eaten anything since the bagel that I stuffed my face with at 10:00 am while we were getting our hair done.
What did that mean, children? Alcohol plus empty stomach equals drunken, sloppy mess.
We were summoned to sit in our seats in order to prepare for the speeches to be given and so the servers would see their cue to begin dinner service. By that time, a huge part of me was hoping that the food would be served before I was to give my speech, even though I knew it would be futile. At that point I was sitting pretty good, well past buzzed, and perched happily in my "drunk" corner.
Time flew by when you were trying to compose yourself enough to give a speech honoring your best friend and the man that she had been dating for the last eight years. I sat in rapt -at least I hoped my facade made it seem rapt- attention as I watched the douchey best man, Mike, give his douchey speech. Mike finished up by raising his glass, and even though I shouldn't have clinked my glass with Alice's, nor should have I taken a sip of more champagne, I did. That sip may have been the one that pushed me over the edge.
I stood up, straightened my dress, and delivered my speech.
Well, it wasn't the speech that I had written, and it certainly wasn't anything like the speech that Kristin Wiig gave in Bridesmaids, but it was a speech … well, maybe.
As soon as we all clinked our glasses in honor of Alice and Jasper, my mother rushed up to the main table and whisked me away to the washrooms, much to the chagrin of Alice.
Once I reached the safety of the powder room, my mother turned to me and frowned. "What was that, Bella? I thought you had a speech written!" She grabbed a cloth from her purse and blotting my lips with it.
I smacked her hand away from my mouth and licked my lips. "I did have a speech written. This was better."
She leaned in closer and smelled my breath. "Are you … are you drunk? Jesus christ, you weren't drunk fifteen minutes ago!"
"I had a few sips of champagne … maybe I should have held off until after I ate dinner, right?" I shrugged. "I was nervous about standing up in front of everyone, and I ..."
"You overdid it."
She was saved from responding to me, because at that moment, Alice burst into the bathroom, her face as red as a tomato. Her face only turns that shade when one of two instances occur; she was laughing so hard that she couldn't catch her breath and the lack of oxygen caused her face to turn a lovely shade of fuchsia, or...
...She was pissed off so badly that she couldn't even see straight.
Every part of me was hoping for scenario one but was bracing myself, seriously bracing, in case a monster of a slap was coming at me if scenario two was the actual case.
"Oh, Bella! I thought maybe your mom dragged you in here. Thank goodness I found you!" My crazy best friend paused as she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and fluffed up perfectly coiffed hair before turning back to me. "That speech was … it was absolutely perfect. You have no idea how many people have been coming up to me and asking me to meet you! I swear all of Jasper's college friends from New York rushed up to the table to ask about you."
"Anyone worth a try?" Mom questioned over my shoulder. I rolled my eyes, trying not to turn around and strangle her.
I swear, all that woman thought about was furthering her bloodline. She'd probably pimp me out if she could.
"Oh, yeah. Any one of them would be a catch. Come on, B. Let me introduce you to the perks that come along with being a maid of honor."
Alice dragged me out of the bathroom and immediately placed a drink in my hands. Either she was still buzzed from the highs that came along with it being her wedding day, or she was simply high as a kite, because I had no business drinking anymore than I already managed to without having some food in my stomach.
I was also pretty sure that I could have puked on her at that moment and she wouldn't have cared. She said that my speech was perfect, and yet she failed to realize that the only people who claimed the speech was perfect were single men. Ha.Oh, Alice, your wedding high was a glorious, beautiful thing.
The idiot binge drinker in me eagerly took the drink that my best friend handed me as I was introduced to the friends that Jasper made when he went away to New York for college and left Alice and me back in Seattle.
Even though I was introduced to them, I forgot their names as soon as I heard them. Instead, I remembered the three guys that I met as "McDelicious," the man with the muscles that just screamed to be squeezed; "McHandsome," the guy who had hair that was just begging to be pulled as I licked his face; and "Mc-I-Wanna-Fuck-This-Man," honestly, that nickname was pretty self-explanatory.
It was really, truly a shame that I couldn't remember the guys' names after that night. Though, to my credit, hot dayum,they sure bred guys on the east coast much differently than the west coast, because all three of Jasper's college buddies were ridiculously gorgeous. Seriously, I couldn't be bothered remembering their names, because I was too focused on the muscles bulging out of their button-up-shirts.
I spent the rest of the dinner not eating the food as I should have, but instead chatting up with the guys from New York.. I wasn't ashamed of this fact, as I wasn't ashamed of the fact that before the cake was served, I was sitting on McHandsome's lap in the lounge by the bar. It was there that I was able to thread my hands through that man's beautiful hair, and to admire the way he could style it so flawlessly. "Don't ever cut this, okay?" I murmured.
McHandsome answered my plea by placing kisses on my cheek before slowly closing in on my mouth. Woooo! That man knew how to kiss! I didn't complain one bit when the kisses quickly surpassed a PG-13 rating. Alice's grandma, whom I had always adored, scolded us for our behavior. I was a little shocked myself by my brazen attitude around this man, but come on, I was crazy drunk and he was so fucking hot!
McHandsome started laughing, and it was at that moment that I realized that I had not only said that last bit out loud, but he wasn't a sober attendee of the wedding, as well.
"You're drunk, aren't you?" I squinted my eyes in accusation.
"You're drunk, too."
"Touche." I grimaced at my ever-so-eloquent response.
We kissed until Jasper's fifteen-year-old cousin started staring at my man. Yeah, that's right … if I'm making out with him, he's my man. Because the girl looked like she had just stepped off a 19th century plantation and I knew she was from Alabama, so I figured it would be perfectly reasonable to call her Muffy. I was one second away from telling Muffbucket, er, Muffy to get the hell away from my mancandy when McHandsome grabbed me by the wrist and helped me stand up.
"Let's dance some of this alcohol off, eh?" He suggested.
I didn't know if I answered him. In all likelihood, I hadn't, but that was fine. He got the hint when I started dragging him to the dance floor.
The dance was now in full swing - I had missed the entirety of the dinner and all of the little things that followed it. A small part of me felt bad that I missed the cake cutting and the stupid tradition where the wedding guests clinked their glasses to get the bride and groom to kiss, but then I realized that I fucking loathed those traditions, and Alice wouldn't have minded that I missed watching her and Jasper kiss fifteen billion times just because the flower girl had an obsession with pounding on her glass dish with her butter knife.
My McHandsome sure knew how to dance. Holy hell, it seriously took everything in me to not grind into his suddenly very prominent erection every chance that I got. I'm not a strong person though, so within minutes I was full on dry-humping him on the dance floor, regardless of the fact that my mom was there.
After a few dances, my night's path became very clear to me. Resistance at this point was futile. My kitty wanted action, and grinding on a dance floor, with my mom fifteen feet away from me giving me a thumbs up, just wasn't working for me anymore.
I leaned into McHandsome's ear and licked the outer edge of his earlobe -thank God for my high heels- in as seductive of a way possible before whispering in his ear. "Do you have a hotel room?"
"Yeah, I do."
I didn't think to ask him if he had his own hotel room, but hindsight's always 20/20.
I grabbed him by the hand and dragged him to the exit, completely disregarding my shoes, my purse, and my dignity. "Where to?" I asked, hearing myself slurring the words. "I mean, where's your room?"
"Across the street."
I giggled, because of coursethe guy from New York booked a room in the overpriced hotel across the street from the wedding reception. A part of me hoped that we could have a quick "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" and return back to the reception, whereas the other part of me wanted to ravish McHandsome for as long as I could, before passing out, hopefully in McHandsome's 700-thread count-sheets, $500 per night hotel bed.
We made it to his room quickly but not before virtually defiling the elevator. And the hallway. And the door frame.
I tried to be smooth once we started undressing each other, but it was a mess, considering all of the alcohol that I had consumed. I nearly tripped trying to step out of my dress, and I ached to take my heels off. McHandsome insisted that I keep them on. It was okay with me; the heels were kind of hot, and once we were doing the horizontal mambo, it wasn't like I was going to be standing on them anymore anyway, right?
Right. As soon as we shed the last article of clothing, we hopped into the bed and began rolling in between the sheets.
The sex was glorious, amazing, drunken sex. Not the best that I'd ever had, because we were both so wasted, but definitely the best that I'd ever had when I was drunk.
Would that be an honor that a person would want to know about? Probably not, huh? Needless to say, I kept that tidbit of knowledge to myself; I didn't want to bruise McHandsome's ego … the beautiful men most often had big egos that needed stroking often, and I had done my fair share of stroking, sucking, and screaming that night as it was.
Had you ever been asked if there was one day that, given the chance to go back and do things over again, you'd like to re-do?
Alice's wedding night, the night when she was supposed to have all the fun and possibly conceive a child, was, for me, that night. I would have liked to ingrain McHandsome's name into my mind, so I wasn't stuck referring to him by how good he looked. I'd like to have talked to him about more important things in life other than his hair, no matter how beautiful it was - and actually remembered what was said. I would like to have spent more time figuring out the little things about McHandsome rather than just sucking on his face.
Most importantly, I would have liked to have made sure that McHandsome used a goddamn condom when he fucked me seven ways to Sunday. That was the thing I would have liked to re-do the most.
I'm told that I need to remind you guys that unprotected sex with strangers is not cool, and I in no way condone it. This is fiction, and in my fic world, STDs don't exist. Sadly, STDs are real, and unprotected sex can have some deadly (and I'm told sometimes itchy) consequences.
Since I have the entire story written (minus the epilogue, which I'm still working on), I'm going to be posting on a regular basis. So ... from now on, every Wednesday will be At Last's posting day. If you have any questions or anything, feel free to PM me, otherwise, I'll see you next Wednesday (I'm also on twitter. Tweet me and I'll tweet back, and share the secrets of the universe with you)! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING!
And, as always, because you all know I'm a review whore, reviews get teasers ;)
(Before I forget, this story is also dedicated to my RL BFFs - Danielle, Jen, and Deneice. Thank you guys for being supportive of my dirty little secret -fanfiction- and for giving me inspiration for not only Bella, but Rosalie and Alice, too.)