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UPDATE: Thanks to nidszala, Neverland1, Tris Swan, Dizzy167, and Bobbie Francies Reisen, for reviewing.
I think that this chapter is going to be the last one :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.
Those last few days before the wedding flew by in no time, either spent assisting the bride-to-be with final arrangements, or killing time with Jace and the rest of the Cullens.
There were still a couple of minutes left before I had to make my way downstairs, and I was making good use of that time by ensuring that I was satisfied with my appearance. My makeup was light – barely noticeable – simply applied to emphasize features like my eyes and my lips. A messy bun had been the choice of hairstyle for the bridesmaids, kept neat in the back with a few loose strands in the front to frame the face.
I smiled, taking a little twirl and watching the dress spread out around me. Though the bridesmaids' dresses were all the same colour, each one varied in cut, tailored to the likes of each of the women.
Mine was high neck, and quite sheer until it reached the sweetheart neckline. There were more sheer cutouts at the waist, and everything was very form fitting up until that point. The bottom section was light and flowy, so although it didn't hug my body, it fell smoothly around it, hitting the ground and hiding my shoes.
I began making my way to the door once I heard a knock, opening it to the sight of Edward, clad in a fitted suit, still hovering above me despite the added help from my heels.
Once realizing that he was taking his time to notice my appearance, I allowed myself to do the same. Starting at his copper-toned hair, which I could tell he had attempted to tame, but somehow still looked distinctly like bedhead. Down to his jet-black suit, with a matching black tie and white undershirt. On his feet were were also black, dress shoes. Overall, no surprise, I couldn't keep my eyes off of him.
"Beautiful," he mumbled, seemingly to himself, causing my cheeks to heat up.
"Thank you," I smiled, smoothing my dress down, "You cleaned up quite nicely, yourself." Nicely was the understatement of the century. He looked like he'd walked right off the runway.
He held out his arm for me to take, and I smoothly hooked my arm through, allowing him to lead me to the entrance of the ballroom. Guests were still filing in, as the bride was having last-minute touchups done in her room. Edward would eventually have to go inside and meet his family, but I appreciated that he was keeping me company until I had to pair off with one of my dad's friends and walk down the aisle.
"Is my dad already in there?" I wondered, looking to Edward, who looked down for a moment, concentrating. He nodded.
"How is he?"
Edward once again appeared thoughtful, before answering with a smile, "Worried that she's not going to show. But also terribly excited to see her." A smile stretched out across my face, imagining those same feelings racing through me.
"How are you?" he turned the questioning on me, as I bit my lip.
"Happy for him," I nodded, feeling that I genuinely meant the words coming out of my mouth, before continuing honestly, "Also kind of nervous that I'll somehow trip while making my way down."
Edward chuckled at my answer, stepping in closer to me, "It's going to be fine. You're going to make it down there unscathed."
"Can Alice confirm this?" I joked, making him grin as his hands squeezed my waist.
After a moment, I sighed, "I wish I'd been paired up with you."
His hold on me tightened, as his voice dropped, "So do I."
A voice distantly called out from behind us, "It's time!" coupled with the sound of shuffling as everyone got into order.
"I love you," Edward planted a chaste kiss on my lips; careful not to touch my hair or face when he released me. "See you out there."
"I love you, too," I smiled, squeezing his hand, watching him slip inside just before the doors closed. So began my walk over to the rest of the bridesmaids, taking a bouquet filled with white roses in hand and meeting my dad's friend, Peter, who greeted me politely.
He offered me his arm, which I easily took, still holding onto the bouquet and awaiting my turn to make my way down the long white cloth.
I heard fumbling from behind me, turning around to see Sulpicia getting her veil adjusted by uncle Caius, who was going to be walking her down the aisle.
"He's going to be blown away," I commented, making her look up at me with a sheepish smile on her face. "You really think so?"
I nodded, beaming, "I know so."
She was stunning in an ivory dress that hugged and accentuated all of her curves, trailing down in a mermaid-type cut. There was lace detailing all around, particularly at the capped sleeves, as well as bordering the deep V-neckline.
Feeling Peter move up in line, I turned back around, following his lead to the door. Before long, we were making our way down the aisle, as I focused my eyes to the front, looking for the familiar mop of bronze, grinning at me as I smiled back. I reminded myself to focus only on him, and not on the numerous eyes trained on my every move, finding myself becoming less and less tense right as Peter separated from me and I moved over to the side with the rest of the bridesmaids.
I took the time to look over at the rest of the Cullen family, all beaming at me. Their smiles of support all had an additive effect of soothing me just that bit more and I shot them an appreciative smile back, before looking over at the groom.
Aro's hair was slicked back, making him look a lot physically older than he actually was.
His white tuxedo gave him a neat, finished look and, amazingly, meshed perfectly with the setting – the lilies decorating the arch right at the altar, the flowers of all different colours and scents strewn about the floor around us. The white chairs with golden framing that the guests would soon be seated in.
I was slightly surprised at how crowded the room was, but then again, my dad did have a few centuries' worth of friends, so it made sense as to why everyone would want to be there for this important moment in his life.
My dad glanced over at me briefly, but it was a long enough time for me to give him a smile – hopefully showing him once again that I didn't have any hard feelings about the way things had turned out. It wasn't fair for me to expect him to be miserable and alone for the rest of his existence. It was time for him to move on.
He smiled back with a nod, and I found myself taking a deep breath, feeling immensely relieved that the knot in my stomach had gone away. I could feel a pair of eyes on me, finding myself looking over at Jace, whose raised eyebrows indicated that he was waiting for me to give my opinon on the décor.
I threw him a subtle thumbs-up with a wide smile, hoping to display just how awed I was at the way that everything had been organized for the event. He'd done a brilliant job at assisting Sulpicia and Aro with the wedding.
My gaze once again focused on my father, seeing the change in his expression as the wedding march began and his bride began her trek down the aisle to meet him.
I found myself having to remind myself to breathe, a little bit overwhelmed at the amount of love and joy I saw on his face, and hers. It was the first time in forever that I'd seen him with a smile on his face that could rival the sun in its brightness.
I looked over at Edward, finding his eyes already on me, smiling as he smiled, though his eyes were serious, as though his mind was trained on something else. The minister cleared his throat to begin the ceremony, and I forced my eyes to shift to the altar.
The minutes ticked by as the classic sermon on love and marriage was given, before the minister asked both the bride and the groom to repeat their vows, saying the famous "I do"s as wedding bands were slipped on each of their ring fingers. My face was beginning to ache from all of the smiling.
In no time at all, I was clapping with the rest of the guests as Aro and Sulpicia shared their first kiss as husband and wife, before the room was cleared and everyone made way for the live band, starting off the reception.
A pair of arms wrapped around me from behind, as I grinned, holding onto his hands.
"See? That wasn't so bad," he leaned down, whispering into my ear.
I shook my head, "Thanks to you. I couldn't have done it without you there."
He planted a kiss on my cheek, removing his hands from my waist and grasping my hand in his as we made our way over to the rest of his family.
Everyone looked incredible, no surprise, and we all took the time to compliment one another, as, slowly but surely, people began filling the dance floor. It was a sudden reminder of the ball, just a few months ago, where we had all stood in a similar part of the room, and Rosalie had complained about the guests and their refusal to dance.
It seemed her head had been in a similar direction, as her next words were, "At least they learned their mistake from last time," complete with an eye roll.
Those few months ago had also seen the moment when Edward and I had shared our first dance together. Easy, fluid, and unlike any other dance I'd ever had.
From beside me, he removed his hand from mine, causing me to look over at him, only to find him outstretching it once again for me to take, "Would you care to join me for a dance?" His voice was smooth, like velvet, and I found myself blushing, reminiscing on that long period of time when I'd had the biggest crush on him, and hadn't wanted to risk embarrassing myself in front of him.
Times hadn't changed much. I still caught myself sneaking peeks over at him when he wasn't looking, slightly obsessed with how effortlessly perfect he always looked.
But, I no longer felt embarrassed to make a mistake or stumble in front of him. He'd seen me at my worst.
"I'd love to," I answered with a grin, taking his hand as he led me to the rest of the dancers, pulling me close. Gripping one of my hands, his other hand went to my waist, as mine rested on his shoulder. I followed his movements as if it were second nature, catching myself laughing at one point, when he twirled me around, making me dip. I didn't miss the few smiles from family friends, observing the two of us continue to move around, right until the end of the track.
All heads turned to the front when there was a tap on the microphone as the master of ceremony announced that it was time for the ceremonial throwing of the bouquet. I was noticeably disappointed to have had my time to dance cut short, and Edward, noticing this, gave me a peck on the lips and a squeeze on the waist.
"Ladies, gather around," Sulpicia ordered, as many single, coupled, and even already-married women crowded around her.
I stayed planted in my spot; perfectly fine with amusing myself by watching the girls push past each other, fidgeting as they waited for the flowers to be thrown.
Edward was laughing from beside me, and I turned to him with an expectant look, smiling as I waited for him to let me in on the joke.
"No, nothing." I debated on pushing for more information, but at that moment, he really seemed like he wasn't going to expand on it, so I just shook my head, deciding that I'd pester him about it later. For now, I was focusing all of my attention on the madness about to ensue as girls fought for the symbol that a new wedding was on the horizon.
Sulpicia readied herself, turning around so that her back was to the sea of waiting women. In the next instant, she was throwing the bouquet behind her, and just as expected, everyone went insane, waiting to see which direction it would follow.
Except, the flowers never left her hands.
My eyebrows creased together, as I shook my head, "What is she doing?"
She began smiling, turning around, walking through the crowd of people, who all seemed just as confused as I was, but nevertheless parted the way for her. What I failed to notice was that her eyes were trained on me the whole, and her feet were following.
"Um, what are you –" she interrupted me by handing me the bouquet of flowers to hold, as I looked around the room to find that almost everyone had a gigantic smile plastered across their face. All the while, I continued to open my mouth like a fish out of water, completely bewildered by her actions, and everyone's staring as if they were in on something that I hadn't yet caught onto.
Slowly, I turned my body, hoping to receive some kind of clarification from Edward, only then noticing that his hand had left my body.
I inhaled sharply as my gaze dropped to the floor, because there Edward was, settling on one knee, reaching inside his pocket for a tiny, black velvet box.
Immediately, I covered my mouth with the hand that wasn't holding the bouquet, holding back a cry.
He smiled, seeing my expression, before clearing his throat.
"Bella, the past few months with you have easily been the most exciting and rewarding months of my life," he paused, "I was enraptured by your beauty and grace since the minute I laid my eyes on you," he shook his head, looking me up and down as my heart continued hammering in my chest.
"But it didn't take long for me to realize that you're also generous, passionate, kind, and humble. You continue to amaze me every day by simply being yourself. And somehow, I find myself falling deeper and deeper in love with you the more I spend time with you.
"It's been a while now, that I've realized that there's no one else I'd want to spend the rest of my existence with. I will do everything in my power to make you the happiest person on the planet, if you would do me the honour of becoming my wife."
He breathed, "Will you marry me?" pulling open the box, as I felt myself nodding before my eyes even had time to focus on the ring. Because, truly, the ring didn't matter. The only thing that mattered to me was that the man of my dreams wanted to solidify our relationship, and make it official. And I was right there with him.
"Yes," I continued nodding, hearing the room erupt in applause and cheers as Edward held my left hand in his, slipping the ring onto my finger, grinning from ear to ear.
I was sure that if it could, my face would split open from the smile I was wearing, and soon enough, Edward was wrapping me in his arms and crashing his lips onto mine, muting out our surroundings. The whole while I continued to smile against his lips, not feeling the slightest bit weird, seeing as he too, couldn't stop smiling.
Once breaking apart, I leaned my forehead against his, finally putting the puzzle pieces together as I shook my head, "So this is what you were hiding from me?"
His lips upturned in a smirk, and his response was a smooth, "Maybe."
I wrapped my arms around his neck, pressing my lips against his once more, "I love you."
He sighed against my lips, mumbling right back, "I love you," he paused between kisses, "So much."
In a strange kind of way, I was grateful that my father had abruptly decided to get engaged, and celebrate the occasion when he had. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have gotten the chance to meet Edward Cullen. And my life wouldn't have changed so drastically, for the better.
There were sure to be ups and downs, as there were in any relationship, but I knew, without a doubt, that there was no one else I'd ever want to share those ups and downs with.
He would always have my heart - for eternity. And after today, i felt that I would always have his.
So many of you guessed that this was going to happen, so props to you! Hope you guys enjoyed the story.
Originally, I had an epilogue, but I don't know, I kind of like leaving things here.