My Brother's Brother
My parents met three years after my mom divorced her first husband. Her first marriage produced my Big Brother, Emmett. He's a big, goofy, lovable teddy bear, Varsity Soccer and Intramural swimmer. All-American scholar and Boy Scout. He is a great big brother, protective and friendly. Everything the stories and trendy movies describe as the stereotypical Big Brother. That was Emmett.
When I was six years old, I met Edward. Edward is Emmett's little brother, on his Dad's side. Emmett's dad is my Mom's ex-husband. They met, dated, got pregnant and eventually got married right after high school. They had Emmett and did the best two teenagers could manage. Unfortunately, they were not mature enough to handle the pressure and expectations parenthood and marriage required, so they split up and divorced when Emmett was really little.
Edward is annoying. He's kind of nerdy, constantly playing video games. When we have family gatherings, he always has his Android Touch and Tablet with him. He "Skypes" with his friends and plays video games all the time. My mom says he is musically talented, playing piano, drums, and singing. I think he is stuck up and aggravating. He always says "Hi" to me, then goes off to a vacant room to interact with his electronic toys. He's only a year older than me, but he acts like he is so big, and sometimes like he's the boss of me.
This weekend, Emmett is getting married. He met Rosalie right after he graduated High School. She is taking some classes at a vocational school because she really likes classic cars and wants to learn how to rebuild and restore them to their original condition. Emmett is even more huge than when I was little. He is working to become a policeman, so he can Protect and Serve our community. I think this is really cool, because my dad is a fireman and my mom is a nurse, so it's kind of like Emmett is following in their footsteps.
Our families are all staying at a really exclusive resort in Destin, Florida for the nuptials. Rosalie's family is from the South, and my mom says they are "high society", so we all have to fly down and stay at the resort for a few days before and several days after the wedding. I have been named a Junior Bridesmaid and Rose has a cousin and good friend who are her Maid of Honor and other bridesmaid.
I am very nervous about the wedding, because all of the movies I have seen have the same number of Bridesmaids and Groomsmen for the ceremony. That means I might have to walk down the aisle with some older friend of Emmett's from college. I fidget and squirm during my fittings, wondering who I will walk with during the processional. Mom keeps telling me to be still and relax.
When we arrive at the resort, I quickly recognize Emmett's Dad, Carlisle, helping the valet unload baggage from their taxi. It dawns on me that if Carlisle is here, then so are Edward and Esme, Emmett's brother and step-mom. Honestly, I don't know why I didn't consider this before, because, obviously his dad and family would be present at his wedding. I look forward to seeing Edward, because at least I can be sure there is someone else here my age that I know.
On the morning of the ceremony, my mom takes me to the resort salon for a mani-pedi and up do. She gossips with Esme and Rosalie's mom about the event and their expectations of the marriage in general. From what I can understand, everyone seems very supportive of the soon-to-be newlyweds and cannot wait for the pitter-patter of grandchildren in the near future.
I return to our suite with my mom to finish our preparations for the wedding. My dress is a really cool shade of red that Rosalie insists is the classic Candy Apple red of the original Chevy Corvette. Though the other bridesmaids are wearing crazy 4 inch platform peep-toe pumps, I get to wear the same color in a really cool pair of custom dyed mary-jane Keds. They are super comfortable, and I won't want to kick them off the minute the string quartet starts the recessional.
Mom, Phil, and I head out of our suite about 30 minutes before the ceremony is set to begin. Mom looks amazing in a strapless black dress with fringe hitting her knees, a red shawl, shoes, and purse. Phil is very dashing in his black tux, which he purchased when he became a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus and his jet black suede Van's. I trip along in my dress and tennies, hoping that my hair doesn't fall in the humid ocean air.
We arrive at the beach in plenty of time before the event is sent to begin. Mom and Phil are chatting with family and I am day dreaming as I gaze around toward the ocean and over the sand. Unexpectedly, my eyes land on a young man standing near Carlisle and Esme. His eyes scan the horizon, the sand, then the chairs for the ceremony, finally landing on me. My breath hitches as his green eyes stare right into mine. I take a deep cleansing breath and look down at my feet. After a few moments, I glance back up to find him apparently engaged in conversation with the adults around him.
The resort's wedding planner, Angela, starts flitting around the space, looking to get all of the attendants and parents into their appropriate places. She ushers my parents and Emmett's dad and step-mom to their seats, and ensures Rosalie's parents and grand-parents are properly seated at the front of the space. Next, she lines up Jasper, Emmett's best friend with Alice, Rosalie's best friend and cousin. Next is Mike, Emmett's good friend and co-worker, along with Rosalie's childhood friend, Jessica. I am watching the activity closely, wondering who I will be paired up with, when Angela calls my name. My head pops up and I head her direction.
As she maneuvers me into place, she absently calls out "Edward" and I look around for Emmett's scrawny little nerdy brother to come forward. Instead, I am faced with the handsome young man who was talking with Carlisle, Esme and the other grown-ups earlier in the evening.
Edwards steps forward, looking amazing in his tuxedo. The tailor has done a bang up job accentuating all of his lines and, like Phil, he is wearing a comfortable pair of black suede Vans. I stared down at my shoes as Angela inserts my arm through Edward's. The processional begins and all the couples start their journey toward the altar, where Emmett is smiling so big it looks like his face might split in two.
Edward and I put one foot in front of the other as we start our expedition down the aisle. His arm is almost uncomfortably warm around mine as we walk toward Emmett. Out of nowhere, Edwards says "Jesus Pete, is that man Pussy-whipped, or what?" I stutter-step but regain my composure quickly as I lean into Edward and nod my head. Mister Perfect grades and puritan Boy Scout took me completely off-guard with his comment. His arm flexes, pulling me back to the present as we continue to proceed toward the altar.
I stand at the back of the attendants, watching my brother say his vows and eternally bind his life with his true love. Periodically, I peek over at Edward. I am surprised three times during the ceremony to find him looking directly back at me. His green eyes pierce into my brown. He is currently seventeen to my sixteen. I look forward to the first dance and those following that require the wedding party to participate.
The wedding reception is as expected. The wedding party, parents, grandparents, and friends all participate in various dances and sing-alongs. Three hours after the completion of the wedding, guests start to kiss cheeks and express their exhaustion and plans to retire for the night. At a table reserved for family, I sit close to my mom and Phil, watching the event from a distance. Mom is leaning on Phil, nursing her champagne and kissing his jaw. Phil has his arm around her, clearly calculating the best plan for departure.
As I sip my Sprite, looking around at nothing, a feel a voice close to my ear… "Would you like to dance?" I know the voice, but turn quickly toward it nonetheless. Edward's striking green eyes occupy my vision, leaving me deaf, dumb and not-quite-blind. I nod with the straw dangling from my lips, darting out my tongue to release it from its location.
Edward reaches out his hand, pulling me from my seat. I have never been so happy for custom Keds in my LIFE as he guides me to the dance floor. Many of the guests have left, and between several overly suggestive club tracks, the song "What A Wonderful World" is playing over the DJs speakers. Edward swoops me out away from him and then back into his chest for the dance. Thankfully, Phil has taught me to recognize a good lead and I willingly allow Edward to guide me over the parquet.
His lead is dominating, keeping one hand at the small of my back and the other guiding me around the dance floor. I feel ridiculously like a Princess as he moves our bodies to the music, never stumbling or missing a step. He leans close to my ear, whisper-singing "I see skies of blue… clouds of white, Bright blessed days…dark sacred nights , And I think to myself …what a wonderful world." My breathing is a little ragged as the song progresses and closes out. Edward has pulled me closer to his chest. He chest is more well developed than the boys with whom I go to school. I feel safe in his embrace and enjoy the feel of his breath on my neck and quoting the lyrics near my ear.
With the final notes of the song fading away, Edward pulls back a bit and looks directly into my eyes. I swallow thickly and lick my lips, just as Edward leans toward me darting his eyes between my eyes and my lips. Taking a final deep breath, I close the distance and kiss the corner of his mouth. My eyes are closed, but I feel his breathing deepen at my forwardness. I chance a peek into his eyes, only to find they are closed and his nostrils flared as if he is pulling in every scent his senses can acquire. I close my eyes, again, and angle my head a bit. As I had hoped, he leans back into me and kisses my lips, softly. His mouth is hot and strong against mine, and I gasp, only to find his tongue seeking entrance into my mouth. I open willingly, but cautiously, as I know Mom and Phil are only feet away, as are Edward's parents. I complete the kiss by withdrawing my tongue and providing gentle pecks to alleviate the tension. I open my eyes moments before Edward opens his. He looks down at me, dazed, and then a smile tugs at the corners of his mouth.
"Wonderful", he states, his mouth in a wide smile and green eyes dancing. "Thank you for the dance, Bella."
I duck my head, looking at my shoes, as I reply "Thank you for asking, and for making this a little more interesting than it was 20 minutes ago." I look back up at him, and he pecks my lips one last time.