FINALLY finished and almost a year since I uploaded the first chapter! Amazing.
I would not have wanted to do this without the help of two very special girls, Beach and VampyreGirl86 who have advised and corrected in such a positive way – every time – and I thank you for every minute of your life you gave me without wanting anything in return. A million times, thank you wonderful ladies – especially lately to VampyreGirl86 who has been toughing it out with a busted knee while being very pregnant.
Chapter 41 - Traditions
"I'm up all night to get some. I'm up all night to get lucky. I'm up all night to get lucky. I'm up all night to get lucky."
"Edward Cullen, what are you teaching that child? Anyone would think you'd had no sexual activity for weeks."
My husband, or soon to be husband, depending on who you spoke to, was dancing around with his precious son in his arms, annoying the crap out of me in an endearing kind of way. Alex had started feeding every two hours again and although I wanted to see him growing and healthy, he was exhausting me when I needed to be on top of my game with this huge wedding approaching.
Seriously, I tried to organize everything myself but I was a failure as a wedding planner. I employed a woman to help me plan the things I should be doing and when I found out all the things I'd forgotten, I handed the whole thing over to her since I could not let two hundred people down.
Now all I wanted was to finish writing this chapter before we left for our wedding at the Alderbrook and for Edward to give me some peace to do it.
"I just like the song, babe!"
"Right…can't you go annoy the couple at the other end of the apartment?"
"No, I can still hear him snoring. God he's loud."
"Sam warned you but you insisted they stay here."
"I'm glad they're here. It's unbelievable that they were able to make it."
Amazingly, we had kept in close contact with Sam and Pat through emails, Facebook and Skype. Sam didn't fall pregnant while they were in Fiji but they had another 'sexoliday' as she called it when Pat finally finished work in Fiji and she conceived. They had become like close family who lived overseas, and the only people we could talk to about our Fijian wedding.
We had a few lively discussions about telling everyone that we were already married but Edward insisted we couldn't say anything until after we'd been married in front of them, the 'them' being our families.
"He just smiled at me!"
"What, show me!" I gasped and stood up to see my son, looking fascinated by his father, and there it was, an unmistakable smile, repeated when his eyes found me. "Aw, I want him." Suddenly I needed Alex in my arms, the same child I swore was going to be the death of me not an hour before.
Edward turned away slightly as if it wasn't my turn. "Hey, he's mine. I want him. You just finish what you have to do. He likes me."
I chuckled and closed the document, having lost interest in writing when my son was finally communicating something other than being hungry or wanting his diaper changed.
Sam would be excited to see this, five months pregnant and already feeling her baby move. She was going to be a wonderful mother, ready to give up her previous life for her baby.
I wanted so much to be like her but the story in my head screamed at me to keep writing it. I thought I would be finished by now, but unraveling James' repetitive erotic writing, deciding which parts to keep, and threading in another story was complex. Just the outline took me two months to complete and I was unsure until Victoria looked at it and told me I had something unique and to keep going.
Fleshing it out and trying to write a convincing multi-facetted personality was challenging so I had a sheet I kept with me reminding me of the boundaries I had set. I knew I could easily lose control of the plot otherwise and let it spiral down into a James-like insanity.
I decided to write it from Jimmy's point of view because I had no constraints in telling what he knew. Brad was helpful in filling in the gaps once he found out it was going to be anonymous fiction and that I was donating the proceeds. I had to promise that I would write a completely different death scene than what actually happened and he wanted to veto anything he felt could point to his grandson. I did decide to burn James to death but I left Jimmy alive. In a way, his character was an amalgamation of Jimmy and me in the story and his death was a terrible accident that had no bearing on the tale.
It was important for me to write a story where Jimmy lived because everything Brad told me about him showed he was a caring and patient human being and I felt he was the only one who influenced James positively. I really wondered how bad James would have been without him and now I could write Jimmy's attempts at trying to head off the evil when it came to the surface because I had a gnawing feeling that the diary we'd read did not show the true extent of James' mental state; that he'd written it on "good" days.
Piper still refused to speak to me but I wasn't sure that she had a lot to offer the story really since it was mainly the relationship between the two boys that drove the plot, and she had never made an effort with James, not even as Jimmy's friend.
"Yes…you are Daddy's good boy. Come on, let's go wake up uncle Paddy and stop that horrible noise," Edward cooed into Alex's face and walked out, making squeaky kissing noises on his cheeks for the millionth time. They were irresistible.
I walked into the bathroom and surveyed my body with a sigh. I still had some weight to lose but a couple of sizes up from my pre-baby weight would have to do when I had such a small window of opportunity to find something that suited me between the birth and the wedding. Edward kept telling me the important thing was feeding our baby and not losing pounds.
Alex was born just after midnight, the day after Edward's birthday so my husband spent his special day caring for me while I grunted, cursed and abused him for getting me pregnant. Deep down, I didn't want them to have to share a birthday so I think my body co-operated. Ten hours of excruciating pain produced our healthy eight-pound boy, another photo for Dr. Best's wall and a vow that I would never do that again.
Seven weeks later, I was so besotted with my son that I'd mellowed from that stance, thinking that maybe in a year or so I could do it once more. I was also more than interested to try intercourse again with my very patient husband. Dr. Best recommended I wait six weeks for my milk supply to settle down before having a Depo shot and then another week to make sure of full protection, so because of the timing, we decided to wait until the wedding night for penetration. That was in two night's time; the reason Edward was singing the Daft Punk song about getting lucky.
I was daydreaming about our honeymoon when Sam came in to show me the photos she'd just taken of Edward and a smiling Alex.
"He's so beautiful, Bella. I want to take him home with me." I hugged her and told her it wouldn't be long before she had a 'little fella' of her own. That was what Pat called him, and I liked it.
The last week with them had been wonderful chaos, full of last minute dress fittings, dance practice, Edward's bachelor party, and my girl's night that Alex attended. Pat cooked a barbeque dinner at our place with Renee, Phil, and all the Cullens, where the slices of canned pineapple he added to the grill made the meal reminiscent of the delicious food we had on the beach in Fiji. That man could cook a fine steak and 'prawns' as he insisted we call them. He said shrimp were things you used to bait a hook.
Pat and Emmett hit it off because they had their trade in common but it was Pat and Jasper who bonded surprisingly, both outsiders in the way they spoke, and they didn't need anything translated. They just got each other, even though Pat never shut up and Jasper was quiet.
I wondered about Jasper and Alice. She was obviously in love with him but she was still living at home and I suspected she was cautious, having suffered with Edward through his marriage imploding, seeing the effect it had on him. More than anyone else, she hated Tanya and was occasionally vocal about it.
When Garrett and Angela ended their short-lived relationship, first Garrett and then Angela pulled out of the wedding party. We offered to switch them so Angela was Jake's partner and Garrett was with Alice, but they really disliked each other now so much that Angela said she would be happier avoiding him and bringing another date.
After that, we knew we had to work on Sam and Pat, and we were over the moon when Sam finally said they would come as long as I didn't dress her in some clingy gown that made her look like a beached whale. I was more than aware of weight. Rosalie had put on a few pounds as well so I was conscious of finding something flattering to every shape. Of course, Alice was still a waif of a girl but she had boobs, so we all needed support in that area.
We found a strapless design with an A-line skirt that started under the bust. It had an overlay of soft chiffon but it wasn't frou-frou at all; just a timeless simple ballerina length dress, and after looking at the color range, I chose a coral orange because it matched everyone's coloring. To make it slightly different, Alice suggested we use a slightly darker shade for the skirt and then it was perfect.
My dress was from the same designer. Strapless again, the soft fabric was twisted across the dress, gathered and sewn down on the bust but just below my left boob they allowed it to open up slightly, making the material fall softly outwards, hiding a myriad of body faults but showing my ankles and my unbelievable shoes. My God, the shoes; someone had created a lacy leaf structure made from a heavy white string and they looked and felt incredible on, tied at the back with a satin bow.
Emmett and Rosalie had the job of bringing the bridal party's clothing in their SUV and the five of us were driving up in my new car, my BMW Active Hybrid 3, complete with baby seat.
Edward was surprisingly cooperative when it came to selecting my car. He told me to research as much as I wanted but sat me down and asked me what my most important requirements were. I told him safety, something big enough to get the baby seat in an out of easily, and that I wanted a hybrid.
He spent a lot of time on the internet, looking at reviews and calling dealers before he presented me with his first option, the Tesla, all-electric and powerful but ridiculously expensive. The million options on the panel Edward found fascinating bamboozled me and turned me off.
Knowing I wasn't happy, he moved on to the hybrid BMW. The price tag was still scary but I loved the way it looked, reminiscent of the old classic BMW shape. He explained in detail how the motor worked, charging the battery as required and he talked about how silently it ran in electric mode but how sexy the motor sounded using gas. When he started talking about three-liter-twin-turbo-six-cylinder-eight-speed-auto and zero to a hundred in 5.4 seconds with next-generation efficient dynamics, I suddenly got it. He wanted it. He would drive it fully on gas and zoom around in sport mode when I wasn't in the car.
I was six months pregnant when we took the test drive and I fell in love with it. We ordered it that day.
One last breastfeed and we were off, spending four nights at the Alderbrook and then driving the Aussies up to Vancouver for a couple of days sightseeing before they flew home with a promise that we'd come to them next time. It wasn't enough; a week was all we got before Edward had to go back to work but I couldn't complain because I had everything I could ever want in my husband and child and the memories of a perfect honeymoon to last me forever.
Five minutes after we drove onto the Southworth ferry, Alex started squirming and turning bright red as if he was going to cry. Then the grunting started and I tried to hide the laughter rumbling in my chest when there was an enormous wet fart.
Pat turned around anxiously. "What the bloody hell is the little bugga doing? He's not dropping one in here is he?"
I almost had tears in my eyes from laughing when I nodded to Edward who jumped out of the car and said, "Come on Paddy, I'll show you how to deal with it."
Paddy's mouth fell open until Sam told him to get on with it, and when he begrudgingly got out, we heard him ask Edward, "Are you going to change his nappy in the boot?"
"What did you just ask me? Speak English man, for Christ's sake!"
This was too funny. Sam and I were scooting out as Edward leaned in, unbuckled Alex and picked him up, supporting his head tenderly and kissing him. "Come on you. You can't help it."
I had to take photos. The look of horror on Pat's face as he watched Edward holding Alex's ankles in the air as he cleaned him up was priceless. Having the spectacular blue water in the background was a bonus. Alex started smiling again and Edward responded with, "I love you too," before leaning down and kissing his nose. Then Alex grabbed a handful of Edward's hair and wouldn't let go.
"Uh, buddy… let Daddy go, okay?"
Edward was scrambling to get his hands on a diaper and Pat tried to pry the little hand open gently before looking towards me at a loss. "He's bloody strong! I don't want to break his hand."
"S'okay." Edward was expert at this but not fast enough because Alex peed all over the front of his t-shirt. "Oh, shit, he got me!"
I think I took ten photos before I composed myself. I asked Edward if he wanted me to take over but he quickly had Alex in a fresh diaper, the snaps of his suit done up and he handed him to me. He folded the change mat, placed it back in the bag and then opened our suitcase for another shirt before wandering off to the bathroom, dirty diaper in hand, shaking his head.
"What have we done, Sam?" Pat looked from Sam to Alex as if he was in shock. "Why doesn't anyone tell you that happens? Is that normal?"
I kissed Alex's head and nodded. "Yep, it happens all the time, Pat. You take off the diaper and they pee in the air. Maybe you'll have a girl. I don't know what they do."
"Jesus." You could see his mind working him into fear. "A girl." Sam hugged him from behind and he turned to kiss her. "Bloody hell, I hope your mum can help us because mine's a nut case."
"You'll work it out between you, Pat. You don't have to learn everything at once. Do you want to hold him? It should be pretty safe now."
Pat nodded and took Alex gingerly, then held him up to his shoulder like a pro. Sam and I both took photos of Pat smelling Alex's head.
"He's a real nude nut isn't he?"
"He's bald – no hair yet – just fuzz. He smells good though."
Edward walked up, put the wet t-shirt in a plastic bag, then kissed me before mumbling, "My fault. I know better than that."
"You're a good dad and I love you. At least he didn't poo on you."
"Christ," Pat cried, looking terrified again and handed Alex back to me before sighing in relief.
- bURN -
With Alex sleeping in his stroller, we had dinner on the stone patio adjacent to the restaurant and gazed out at the twinkling lights mirrored in the glassy canal. We reminisced about how the hotel looked decorated for Christmas and I felt easy, knowing I was over what had happened. Edward told the full story of the trip he and Charlie had taken to Walmart to get me some clothes to come up here and I was nearly in tears laughing, having never heard it before.
We talked about the plan for the next few days. Carlisle and Esme were bringing Renee and Phil, towing the boat in the morning to join the one we'd hired for the weekend, the plan being to get in as much skiing as possible before people started arriving. We expected forty for the rehearsal dinner on Friday night and hoped everyone would be in their seats at five on Saturday for the ceremony, taking place on the lawn.
Charlie was coming down with a convoy of people from Forks and La Push who were taking over another hotel down the road. Being the only child of two parents who were only children themselves, we did not have many blood relatives, but those who were coming felt like family, especially to my father who had lived most of his life looking after them in one way or another.
He was coming with the Clearwaters, which I found interesting. I wondered if his comforting Sue has started something between them but I refused to ask him, even though Edward kept urging me to.
Organizing something of this size was daunting but our wedding planner had taken care of everything. She even found someone to make the exact cake I had seen on the internet, three tiers covered in shredded coconut and topped with deep orange edible roses, a replica of the cake our photographer in Fiji had for his own wedding. It was also a private nod to how close Edward and I came to getting caught.
The photographer sent us a link to view the images he had taken, requesting our order for the high-resolution versions. He didn't offer prints from Fiji, merely a download service. What he didn't tell us was that he had already added a dozen of his best shots of us to his online gallery for the world to see. It was my fault; I failed to read the fine print, but he understood and took them down for us. I didn't think anyone in either family would be searching Fijian photographer's websites and when nothing was said, we calmed down about it.
He had some amazing shots on his site and that was where I saw his cake. As Sam would say, it was 'scrumdiddlyumptious' - a word now part of my vocabulary. It suited my husband perfectly and he knew when I used it to describe him, I wanted him sweet, sexy, and yummy.
We had the two hundred scented Pure Fiji candles delivered to the room they provided for storage. I lit one in our room and it reminded us of those two weeks of bliss. I brought the body wash, lotion and shampoo with me as well.
That night, it was a wonderful feeling feeding my baby on the window seat in the dark, looking out over the water and feeling happy again when the last time I'd been here I was almost broken.
- bURN -
"So what do you think?" I was standing on the jetty having just asked Edward what he thought of me taking Alex in the canal since it looked so clean.
Edward called from the boat, ready to untie the rope. "I can't see why not, as long as he has sunscreen on and a hat. He's hot too so he'll probably enjoy it. We won't be that long. Do you want a ski?"
I just shrugged and said, "I don't think so. I'll probably fall and break something."
"Could have fooled me; I thought you were as light as air on your feet these days."
Edward had been teaching me a very specific dance for our wedding and we had practiced until I finally felt like we could pull it off, but water skiing was not dancing around our apartment in his very confident arms, so I still shook my head.
He looked frustrated, ready to get going, but not wanting to leave me here on my own. "Well, Emmett should be here soon, babe. Do you know what time Alice was arriving?"
"I'm here!" On queue, Alice and Jasper walked down the lawn towards us with towels ready for a swim. "This place is amazing!" Without asking, she took Alex from me and kissed him. He smiled at her and she made a face full of surprise. "He smiles?" I nodded and Edward asked Jasper if he wanted to join them. He looked at Alice and she waved him on, saying she was happy to stay with her nephew.
Pat shook hands with Jasper and hooted from the boat, "Hi, Alice!"
"G'day mate! How's it going?" she called back in a passable Aussie accent.
"Wouldn't be dead for quids! The sun is shining and my mate's getting married to a good sort."
Alice laughed as Edward started the engine, drowning out all further talk, and she waved to them before biting Alex's cheeks as we headed back down the jetty. When we sat in the shade she remarked, "I swear he's grown since last week. He's just gorgeous." I'm sure Alex was picking up on the intonation in people's voices because he smiled at her again. "Yes you are gorgeous aren't you little Al." Alex responded by grabbing her hair and pulling her close, slobbering on her face.
After initially having a reaction to the cool water and drawing his legs up, Alex let them down and relaxed enough for me to hold him in my arms, lower him right in and float him around, like we did in the bath. I should have known he'd be a water baby like his dad because soon he was moving his legs in the water.
"Jeez, Alice, I'm going to have to get my act together. He's coming alive so fast and I don't know what I should be doing to develop his brain at this age. Do you think he needs toys yet? I seriously thought I had until he was two months."
"Uh, I think that's next week, Bella. Hang on." She said as she walked out and picked up her phone. "Here we are, baby milestones. Okay, he's smiling – that's good – he's grabbing so you can hang things over him to help his hand to eye co-ordination and we should sing to him. He can have time on his tummy to help him lift his head and naked if it's good weather. We could try that now."
"He'll probably pee everywhere," I whined, knowing I'd end up with a soaked towel. "At least Edward does sing to him all the time."
As I moved out of the water, Alex started to cry as soon as he felt his weight in my arms again so I lowered him back down and he stopped. "Is he telling me he wants to stay in?"
"Beats me." She shrugged and laughed under her breath.
"I have no idea what I'm doing, Alice," I groaned as I tried to smile at my happy son floating in the water.
"Just chill, Bella. I don't think anyone does and you've had a lot going on. This is supposed to be your wedding so try to enjoy it. He will be fine."
- bURN -
"Come in, Renee!"
Mom was startled when she saw me kissing my husband. We had planned on him being gone by the time anyone arrived but I couldn't let him go.
"What are you doing here? No grooms allowed!"
"I'm just saying goodbye to my girl and my son. I'll see you at the altar, baby." Edward left us, carrying his shoes and socks, and my mother held her hand up to wave, closing the door behind him and then she smiled.
"He smells nice." I saw the tiny rise in her eyebrows and suddenly felt territorial, but I quickly changed the subject.
"The rehearsal dinner went well last night, don't you think, Mom?"
"Hmm. Quite well."
"Was there a problem?"
She ran her index finger over her pursed lips before answering. "I wanted to clarify a comment made by your Australian friend."
"Who, Pat?" I laughed. "He's a bit of a joker."
'Hmm, well we were talking about his wedding in Fiji and I was saying it might be nice to renew our vows there since you all raved about it so much."
"And…?" I tried to hide a tingle of uneasiness creeping under my skin.
"He said, 'Ours was a bit different since we had a dozen family and friends with us. Their ceremony was very intimate and personal.' What do you think he meant by that?"
What could I say? "Mom… I…"
"Good morning, are we ready for a wedding, ladies!" Rosie and Alice waltzed in, holding our dresses. "Oh are we interrupting something?" Rosie stopped for a moment but when we failed to respond she hung everything in the wardrobe, taking Alice's from her as well.
"That's like a workstation, Bella!" Alice walked straight over, admiring our pack-and-play-come-change-table and peeked at Alex who was making clucking sounds in its bassinet, animatedly moving his arms and legs, watching three owls dangling above him, rotating around in the slight breeze.
She cocked her eyebrow up and I admitted, "I didn't know it was in the bottom of the bag. He loves it." She came over and hugged me while Renee and Rosie leaned over Alex, unaware I was struggling with confidence as a mother.
There was a knock at the door and Esme bounced in with the photographer who set up his video equipment. I called Sam who came straight over but arrived looking sheepish when she saw Renee.
The camera was rolling when my mother unleashed the secret we'd kept for seven months in front of everyone.
"Maybe Sam could clear up that little matter we were just talking about."
Sam glanced at me before answering, "Sorry, Renee, what matter is that?"
"Well, did Bella and Edward get married in Fiji?"
Only Alex punctuated the complete silence with a happy little gurgling sound. Sam looked at me, trying to apologize with her eyes and a deeply etched frown. I held my head high and answered, "Yes," and a communal gasp filled the room.
"Serious?" Rosie exclaimed as she stood, her eyes bulging in their sockets.
I sat on the bed, feeling beaten and sighed. "It was a last minute thing. I was trying to heal at the time and when he asked me, I wanted him to know I was fully committed to him. To say no would have been wrong."
"Carlisle and I already knew." We all turned to Esme who had a cheeky smile on her face. "Since the business paid for the trip, we requested a full copy of the bill so Carlisle could write off as much as he could. The inclusion of the photographer and celebrant kind of gave it away."
My mouth dropped open. "We paid for the wedding separately and all our day trips!"
"I know that, but it was still listed on the bill." She looked at me smugly. "We know what he's like, Bella, but it's time he grew up and realized he can make his own decisions without us disapproving. You are not Tanya."
"I'm so sorry, Bella. Pat didn't even realize what he'd said. I really hoped Renee hadn't picked up on it."
"That's okay, Sam. I'm glad it's out. Oh, now I can show you the photos!" I bounced excitedly, grabbing my laptop. "They're pretty sensational!"
Cursing and exclaiming filled our bedroom as they looked at the images and I told the story of the photographer nearly giving the secret away.
I explained that I wanted to include some of the Fiji ceremony in today's wedding because I had a feeling that Edward would part company with his secret at some point. The huge palm fronds and ginger lilies were expensive but I wanted to reproduce that exact archway. They were currently in the hotel's cold room along with the cake and our bouquets, tiny white orchids for the bridesmaids and mine made up in the orange colors from their dresses.
The wedding planner had gained approval to light torches at sunset and the orange paper lanterns were her idea. She even managed to source the same blend of juice they served at Davui for our mimosas.
I walked out onto the patio, feeling elated and content, watching the game of beach volleyball and people generally joking around, diving off the jetty, while someone whizzed past skiing and thought how lucky I was to have two wonderful weddings to Edward. Sam came over, put her head on my shoulder and sighed, saying that no one would tell Edward what they knew. I hugged her and then we started giggling about what had just happened and about the fact that I didn't have to tell him anyway – he could see for himself how it went down on the video.
It was 3:30 when I experienced something so non-traditional that it fit perfectly into our topsy-turvy out of order relationship. With my hair swept up, woven into an elegant bun to the side and my make up in place, I breastfed my child before I put on my wedding dress. Alex didn't care; he happily suckled, oblivious to the fact that tonight he'd have to take a bottle. At least it was my own milk, but I was worried what would happen if he wouldn't accept it. He refused once before, the only time Edward and I tried to go out on a date, and I had a vision of a frantic Renee knocking on our door, shoving him at me and running away.
My bridesmaids assured me that my mother would handle it, so I placed my nipple pads in my strapless non-maternity bra and when Rose helped me zip the dress, I felt the joy of knowing I was definitely a couple of pounds lighter than the last fitting.
"Oh. My. God. You look amazing, Bella. That dress… it's stunning on you."
"Yeah, the weight's finally starting to shift." I twisted around in front of the mirror and the back looked good as well, without pinching into fat.
She shook her head slightly and walked over to the others, trying to share their mirror. "She's never seen herself clearly. She doesn't realize she's beautiful."
There was a knock at the door and Alice greeted Charlie, Renee, Carlisle and Esme, who asked, "We're ready for him. Have you fed him?" I nodded, doing a last minute check that they had his little outfit and plenty of supplies. Esme hugged me and told me I looked beautiful, saying I should wear my hair up more often. I lifted Alex and kissed him on the head before Carlisle took him, handed him to Esme and proceeded to wheel the pack and play out the door. We suddenly had so much space that the girls started dancing and I admired my very handsome father.
"Dad, you look fantastic in a tux."
"I have to look good to walk a bride like you down the aisle, Bells. You look like a princess in that dress and Esme was right about your hair. You look very grown up."
Grown up - jeez, I'll be twenty-eight soon.
He sat on the bed, looking uncomfortable with this many women until the photographer returned and set the video on a tripod to record while he took photos of my mother helping me place my veil in the back of my hair and me having a disagreement with my father about why it wasn't going over my face.
When the photographer said he would take Mom and meet us on the lawn in ten minutes, there was suddenly a flurry of activity as my bridesmaids smoothed their dresses and hair.
"Earrings, oldish, check, diamond bracelet, new, check, Nana Cullen's borrowed brooch, check, blue garter, check, bouquet, check. You girls ready?"
We hugged each other before we all took a big breath and left.
I could see the archway but I couldn't see the boys clearly yet since they seemed to be sharing something Emmett was saying. Sam was first down the aisle gap between the hundreds of white chairs, followed by Alice who seemed to wave at every second person she saw. Rose was more regal, only occasionally nodding at one of the Cullens or someone she had met from Forks.
"Looks like it's our turn. I'm happy for you Bella, I like who you picked." Dad placed his hand on mine, threaded it through his arm and kissed my hair gently before blowing out a breath and asking, "Shall we?"
Everyone stood and the first thing I noticed was little bubbles in the air, floating up to the sky. I nodded and smiled at people from back home and some of those I'd met at our engagement party, another non-traditional event that took place soon after we married in secret.
Then my eyes fell on him and he was the only thing in the world. Handsome could not describe the way he looked today in his black tux, white tie and vest, deep orange rose and unruly hair. It suddenly struck me why I chose so many different versions of orange in my wedding when I looked at his unusual tawny colored hair in the afternoon sunlight, colors that had soaked into my soul, reinforced by the beautiful amber and diamond jewelry he bought me.
His eyes roamed over me as his face broke out into a smirk and his head shook slightly but we never broke eye contact. I had a flash of him under this same kind of archway, tanned and barefoot in shorts, ready to give himself to me freely under the hot tropical sun.
As we moved closer, I felt the pull to him but I caught sight of my son in Esme's arms in the front row. He had on a baby version of what Edward was wearing, without the jacket, and a little black hat. The look on my face made Esme whisper, "He's fine."
I took a big breath and continued, looking back at Edward who glanced from me to Alex, patiently waiting for the words we had chosen from a list of welcomes, the ones that seemed written for us.
"Dear friends and family, we are gathered here, not to witness the beginning of what will be, but rather what already is. We do not create this marriage, because we cannot. We can and do, however, celebrate with Bella and Edward the wondrous and joyful occurrence that has already taken place in their lives, and the commitment they make today.
"Who gives this woman to be married today?"
"I do." With moist eyes, Charlie took my hand from his arm and gave it to Edward, almost choking on the words that came out. "I know you'll take good care of my girl."
"I will." Edward nodded and kissed my hand, just as he had done in Fiji.
I remembered we were supposed to stand separated at this point, but Edward took my hand and wrapped it around his arm immediately, looking intensely into my eyes and whispered, "I don't have a word for how you look right now. I'm so happy." I covered where he had joined us with my bouquet, not knowing what to do with my other hand, and he leaned down to smell it before we both looked up and she began with the excerpt from "Gift From The Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the wife and co-pilot of Charles Lindbergh. The book had sold a staggering five million copies since its publication in 1955 and its words were as meaningful today as they would have been nearly 60 years ago. Somehow, they captured my journey of abandoning my long held beliefs on marriage and commitment, and reading from such a celebrated work fit with our world.
"When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.
"The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides."
We then came to our vows. Neither of us felt comfortable in front of all these people pouring my hearts out like we had done in Fiji. Instead, we repeated to each other the very traditional vows we had chosen and incorporated the ring giving into them.
"I Edward take you Bella to be my wife and best friend and one true love. I come to you today to give you my love, my heart and hope for our future together."
Edward had to take my engagement ring off my finger to slip the wedding ring on first. It was another non-traditional thing we wanted because the engagement ring had become such an important part of our story that we wanted to include it in the ceremony somehow.
I forgot to take off my wedding ring on the way home from Fiji and during the flight, my finger swelled around it, making it impossible to get it off. Hours of panic later, after trying everything we could find on the internet, we found that soaking my hand in ice water and working it off with oil worked but what remained was a deep indentation, red and bruised. Edward's solution was to rush to Matthews Beach and pick up the engagement ring, even though Carlisle had said he would bring it to work on Monday morning. They must have thought we were crazy.
Now, when the engagement ring slipped off easily, Edward chuckled slightly and I was the only one who knew what it meant.
"I give you this ring, as I give to you all that I am, and accept from you, all that you are."
Once he had the two rings back on my finger, he kissed them and smiled again in relief.
As soon as she presented us as husband and wife and declared we could kiss, Edward squashed me with an overwhelming hug and a kiss that said that we made it, that we'd done it, that it was over, and then he said he loved me, kissing me sweetly as he had done last time.
There was applause and many people blew bubbles from their little plastic white bottles as we started to walk up the aisle but one sound pierced through the rest. Alex had started to cry from all the commotion and I battled with my priorities, feeling the tingle in my boobs.
Esme stood shushing him, rocking from side to side. "Go. We'll be there soon. Have your photos taken and I'll take care of him. He just had a fright."
We nodded apprehensively and tried to keep going until a loud wail stopped us in our tracks. We both turned, and then Edward walked back and took him from his mother, holding him horizontally and raising him up to kiss him on his cheek. The crying immediately stopped in his father's familiar hold and we went off to have our photos taken with our wedding party and a seven-week-old baby who had us wrapped around his tiny finger.
I took Alex's hat off and there was a red lipstick mark on his head. When I licked my finger to wipe it off, all the boys called out, "Nooooooo!" telling me that everyone wanted him to keep his mother's kiss in place. Apparently, he was wearing my kiss in all the photos already taken and I laughed aloud, knowing this was more perfection in our non-traditional way of doing everything.
I kissed Edward and told him how much I loved him for bringing Alex with us. He said he'd always pictured these wedding photos including our baby so it was fitting that Alex had called after us when we were going as if he didn't want to be excluded.
From afar, we watched the guests moving towards the ballroom. Most chose to linger with their drinks out on the patio and I thought Edward had nailed the pre-dinner music with his quirky choice.
Soon after we returned from Fiji, we went to see "Silver Linings Playbook" a movie that affected us both deeply for different reasons. Edward loved the dance sequence and the music they chose, discovering the Dave Brubeck Quartet for the first time and he bought several of their albums the next day. I came out of the movie feeling that James may have had undiagnosed bi-polar disorder because there were many traits he shared with Bradley Cooper's character and the effect on his slightly dysfunctional family was fascinating. It set me on a path of research that I was using in my book.
Edward had spent ages picking the music tracks for the wedding reception, only stressing over the song for our wedding dance. It came down to two choices, Led Zeppelin's "All of My Love" and Stevie Wonder's "As". I loved both songs but in the end, we decided the Led Zeppelin song should remain our 'first time' song forever.
Now the sounds of the Dave Brubeck Quartet floated in the afternoon air around us, a perfect background for our guests as our parents performed their duty of making introductions. We kept Alex with us for all the photos, only handing him over to Phil just before we assembled for our big entrances.
The MC came out to check we were ready and as soon as he was inside, Nat King Cole's "L.O.V.E" started playing and he announced each couple beginning with Carlisle and Esme, then my parents, the wedding party and finally us. The cheers seemed to get louder for each couple and reached deafening levels as we entered the room. Surprisingly, Alex looked calm in the crook of Phil's arm, sucking on half his hand shoved in his mouth.
As the Steve Wonder song started, Edward quickly kissed me for the short intro and held me in position. Three minutes was all we had because he faded it out before the funky raucous section.
He'd choreographed the song before I was very pregnant and it was so sexy, so full of eye contact and hip movement that rehearsals often ended in bed. It was a dance where Edward gave me all the queues, dancing mainly with his leg between mine, placing his hand to my hip when he needed me to spin out, and then pulling me back in.
He led and I followed, letting him snap me back against his chest, his lips brushing my neck. The crowd reacted to every one of these moves and there were loud whistles when he finished with a searing kiss, tipping me sideways, leaving me as breathless today as he did all the times we practiced it.
With all the cheering and whooping over, we put our weary son in his stroller, hoping he would sleep through dinner and he sighed as if thanking us. The poor kid was exhausted.
As we chatted with our guests, I admired the room, beautifully decorated, and saw the Pure Fiji candles in front of every place setting. That tiny touch made me happy, knowing they would all take a tiny part of our happiness home with them.
During dinner, Carlisle handed us an email he had printed from Victoria congratulating us. Edward shook his head and gave it right back before I got a chance to read it. He slipped off his jacket and hung it on the back of his chair.
"What did she say?"
"It says the usual stuff and then she says she feels she was important in us coming together. She just can't help herself. Em's not reading that shit at our wedding."
I was going to try to defend her and say she may not have meant it that way but Victoria was Victoria and there was no way she'd change.
Dinner went smoothly with Alex sleeping and we quickly forgot Victoria's little jab, holding hands when Emmett stood and tapped his spoon to his glass until everyone was quiet. He blew into his microphone and then started.
"Ladies and gentlemen, it's an honor to have been asked to be best man at Edward and Bella's wedding. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Emmett; Edward's older, good-looking brother. I know Ed didn't want me outshining him on his big day but you know he doesn't have that many friends. He had to go as far as Australia to find people who would agree to join the wedding party."
Edward leaned back, taking a small notebook and pen from the inside pocket of his jacket, twisted his pen open and smirked as he wrote down something before raising his eyebrows at Emmett. A few people laughed at the the tongue in cheek warning Edward was giving his brother.
Emmett tapped Pat on the back a couple of times apologetically and went on. "No seriously, thank you Paddy and Sam for making the huge trek to the States to be part of their day. Did he pay you? No sorry, I didn't mean that."
Emmett's face burst in a cheeky dimply smile before walking the couple of paces back to his spot and glancing at the notebook.
"See, here's my problem with being Ed's best man. He's going to be my best man in a month's time so I have to be very careful what I say. Anyway, most of the dirt I have on him involves parties that happened at home and I'd be incriminating myself if I spill since I was older and should have known better."
There was quiet chuckling from the audience and I wondered if Emmett would start dishing the dirt or not. I was quite keen to hear some of it.
"Actually, I'm very proud to be here because I love my brother. He has many qualities I admire." Emmett reached into the pocket of his vest, pulled out a tiny ripped piece of paper and proceeded to read from it, causing more laughter from the crowd. "Ed doesn't have a mean bone in his body and he doesn't expect anything from anyone but he'd be the first one to give you the shirt off his back. He proved it when he dropped everything right out of college to help me start my business and I can vouch for the fact that he worked very hard."
Edward scratched out whatever he'd written, sending a ripple of laughter through the room. Emmett put the scrap of paper down before him and continued.
"I always felt like the brute of the family and that Alice was the artistic one, but Ed falls somewhere in between. He's very down to earth and friendly, strong enough and willing to work hard physically. He was one of the most naturally talented swimmers I'd ever seen when we were in high school and college. He has a mind like a steel trap because somehow, he remembers everything about everybody. I've never seen that notebook before but maybe that's his secret stash of information because I seriously don't know how he does it. He's also articulate, well educated, musical, speaks a foreign language, and he can throw anything on and look good.
"So he's the kind of brother you could easily be jealous of but I've never seen him do anything for show. He's just a good guy."
Edward stood and they embraced, not a man clap on the back, a real hug and I felt the tears pool in my eyes. When I looked down at the table, Rosie saw I was getting upset and put her arm around me, kissing my hair.
"So how did they meet? I guess you could say that my father brought them together. He astutely saw Bella's talent and wanted her for his business. Apparently, it was quite a battle of wills to get her to join the company."
We all looked over at Carlisle who was slicing the air in front of his throat, telling Emmett not to continue with that subject, and I watched with interest as he avoided my eyes.
"Ed and Bella were both at the end of long-term relationships that didn't end well and they'd each given up on finding their soul mate. It was during that time that I thought Ed would benefit from some of my expert skills with the ladies and I gave it my best shot but it turned into an epic fail, not because women weren't interested, but because I didn't know he'd already fallen for the dark haired beauty who worked downstairs and who couldn't stand him. That was Bella.
"As soon as we all met Bella, we knew the reason for the marked change in Ed. He was going on twenty-seven, but acting moody and erratic like a teenager in love, and it was very entertaining watching them fight their attraction for each other over those first few weeks. My parents saw what was happening and it took a party at their house for Ed to come to his senses when she spectacularly slapped him across the face in front of everyone. As they say, the rest is history because Bella is the sweetest girl you could ever meet and she forgave him, seeing the good in him, as she should."
Edward picked up my hand and kissed it, keeping us joined as Emmett continued.
"They've been through a lot in this past year, enough to test any relationship, but somehow their love for each other keeps growing stronger, so I know these two will make it. They better, because I'm marrying Bella's best friend and our family parties have been awesome lately."
He fist pumped and our whole table started clapping and cheering.
"Now, because I can't make up stuff to insult my brother and run the risk of a backlash at my wedding, I thought I'd have a look at some of the traditions associated with getting married and where they originated.
"I notice that Bella chose to wear a veil today, and she really is a beautiful bride isn't she?" There was a round of applause and I felt the color rise in my cheeks followed by a huge kiss from my husband. "Settle down you two. I read that the veil symbolizes a bride's modesty, innocence and virginity." Emmett raised his eyebrows, glanced over at Alex asleep in his stroller and added, "I guess one out of three ain't bad."
I just shook my head and Emmett cleared his throat, as there was another round of quiet chuckling and some more writing in Edward's notebook. Em looked over at what he was writing and Edward closed the book immediately, taking my hand back in his.
"Uh oh, I had better move on. Throwing the bouquet – we all know this one - the unmarried woman who catches the bouquet is supposedly the next to be married. Likewise, the unmarried male who catches the bride's garter should be the next one at the altar. I'm telling you I've caught the garter many times and it's a crock.
"I prefer the older custom where the guests raid the bride's chamber for stockings and throw them at the groom. Whoever lands the stocking on the groom's nose is the next to marry. We could have some fun with that later, hey Ed?"
Edward just grinned at him, daring him to try it and knowing he wouldn't.
"Throwing rice at the married couple came from a superstition of throwing nuts and grains in the hope of bringing the couple a good harvest and many children to help with it. Yeah, we liked the bubbles better. They don't need more children yet.
"Wedding cakes… another symbol of fertility, so beware, you've been warned." We watched many of the guests look over at our incredible cake and smile.
"Now, many centuries ago, groomsmen were not friends and family chosen to share in the festivities. No these were a group of men assessed for their ability to help the groom steal the woman of his choice, and the strongest, most capable of them, 'me', became the best man who he would take with him to make sure he was successful in pinching his wife.
"Bridesmaids became part of the ceremony as a way of confusing evil spirits as to who the actual bride was.
"So the way I see it, when you wanted to get married you assembled a group of thugs and chose the worst of them to help you basically abduct some poor woman and then at the wedding ceremony, you couldn't tell which one she was. I'd be keeping away from that wedding cake in case you need to return her."
There was a lot of shaking of heads and laughing at this one. Emmett placed his hand on Edward's shoulder and tried to take it back. "No, no, no, of course he wouldn't want to return her. Anyway our bridesmaids are all uniquely beautiful women, don't you think?"
Everyone applauded and I looked over at Alex who was still out like a light.
"That brings me to something special. My sister Alice is one of these gorgeous girls." Emmett paused and there was a moment between him and Edward where they nodded at each other as if agreeing to what he was about to say.
"I've already told you that Edward is a good guy so I want to go back to something he did that showed how special he is. He was asking Bella's Dad for her hand in marriage when I waltzed in and showed them the engagement ring I'd just bought for Rose. I wanted him and Bella to approve it before I asked her. Ed held off for a month before giving Bella his own ring, letting me have my hour in the limelight and I love him for it. Thanks Ed, I'll never forget that."
I hugged Edward, remembering a slightly different story, and realized there was not a sound in the room. People were just sighing.
"A similar thing has just happened and Ed and I felt that it should be included in today's happiness."
"Em?" Alice said just above a whisper, trying to stop what was coming.
"Alice has just agreed to Jasper's marriage proposal and we'd like to welcome him into the family officially. Jeez the family gatherings are going to be really something now."
There was a round of applause as Alice thanked her two brothers before Emmett walked over and dragged a reluctant Jasper over to our table where everyone hugged him before he sat down with Alice on his lap and buried his face in her neck. I don't think I'd ever seen Alice this emotional before and I leaned over Rosie to grab Alice's hand and congratulate her.
She just nodded, unable to speak and held Jasper's head close to her.
"On that note, I'd like to propose a toast to the bride and groom who I haven't forgotten. To Bella and Edward, may you enjoy as much happiness together as you bring to everyone you meet. I could not be more proud to be your brother and best man on this glorious day and I hope, Ed, that you will be kind to me now when you give your speech in a month's time. To Bella and Edward!"
People laughed as they stood and raised their glasses to toast us. Edward beamed and kissed me with so much love that I felt I could burst from the feeling in my chest.
Edward's speech was heartfelt. He said it was a privilege to have so many people witness him marrying the love of his life. He remembered to thank everyone and even wished his Aunt Mavis a happy birthday.
After cutting the cake I was just about to feed Edward a piece when Emmett jeered, "Are you sure about that?" and I huffed as I tried to ignore him. As if my virile husband needed fertility when he only had to look at me and I fell pregnant. There would be no more mixing up dates on when my next Depo shot was due.
Straight away, the boys dragged Edward off for their performance and they all slipped their jackets on again. I couldn't wait for this. He'd driven them mad once they agreed, making sure they got it right by watching the YouTube and memorizing the instructions he sent. I know they rehearsed it before they left for the bachelor party because they banned Sam and I from that side of the apartment and we heard the song playing.
I was pleased they included Jasper because it fit with Edward's idea to encourage everyone to dance. The back-up track started with Jake as the lead singer of The Temptations, on his own to the right, while they all stepped forward, clicked their fingers and then stepped back. Jake mimed the words, "I've got sunshine, on a cloudy day," waving one hand over his head in an arc while the other four continued stepping forward and back. Jake put some soul into it, obviously having learned all the words perfectly, and the other four continued with their dance, sometimes switching around positions and turning to all face the same way or all turning inwards.
I felt Rosie's hand wrap around my elbow and she said quietly into my ear, "They're our men, Bella. I'm swooning here."
"Yeah, he's cool. They're all amazing."
I squeezed her hand feeling contented. She was a hard nut to crack but she'd mellowed over my friendship with Jake, partly because she saw the respect people showed him in Forks but mostly when she saw how comfortable Edward was with him. She really loved Edward. He could do no wrong in her eyes.
At the end of the second chorus, the boys formed a line and danced towards us, fanning out as they clapped in time and found their girls of choice.
"Dance with me, baby." Edward was in front of me, looking so delicious I could have left my wedding right then and followed him anywhere. We held each other close; my hands in the hair above his collar as he leaned down to kiss me. Then he took off his jacket and laid it over a chair, dazzling me with a smile and a sigh. "That's better. I've finished. We can just let the music play and enjoy ourselves now."
"You did good, husband."
"You liked it?"
"Rosie said she was swooning."
I nodded, scrunching his hair in my fingers. "I've been swooning over you for a very long time, handsome."
He pulled me in tight and spun us around a few times before tipping my chin up. "You know I can't decide which bride I like better, my barefoot island girl or the elegant creature I can't take my eyes off tonight."
"I know, I was thinking about you in your shorts when I was coming down the aisle."
"The tux is pretty hard to top, Edward."
He laughed and pulled me in tight again and just as were losing ourselves to the dance, Dad tapped him on the shoulder and Edward nodded, giving me up too soon and dancing with Dad's partner, Sue Clearwater. She was the one he chose as his partner for "My Girl." The dance with Dad was emotional and he admitted only that he was fond of her.
After that, there was a never-ending stream of dance partners. We could not be rude to our guests but I kept finding Edward looking at me disappointed as if he wanted them to all go to hell. I felt the same way.
My son gave me my freedom with a cry I knew meant hunger and I excused myself to feed him, enjoying the chance to sit down back in our room and the relief of emptying my rock hard boobs. The two-hour feeds had built up my milk and Alex had gone over four hours today. He was almost gagging it squirted so fast down his throat.
He was adorable when I carried him back, a complete dead weight with milk dribbling from the side of his mouth. I presented him to Edward who smirked at me when he asked, "What have you done to him?"
"I drugged him on milk. I think he'll be out for a while," I answered, still smiling to myself as Edward lovingly put him down in his stroller.
"Let's take him outside and relax. They're going to light the torches."
It was wonderful. Everyone left us alone as a staff member lit the three torches; the fires were magnificent against the weakening sky, giving up to the setting sun.
"It has power doesn't it?" I sighed, feeling satisfied and happy.
"What does, babe?"
"Fire; as beautiful as it is dangerous."
I'm not sure how he took what I said, but he pulled my head to lean on his shoulder and put his arm around me. "Always remember that my love for you is more powerful than any fire."
I kissed his jaw and enjoyed our brief time in peace with my sleeping son and my beautiful husband.
Gradually people came out with drinks and dragged chairs over to sit with us and look at the water but we had to get back when Carlisle announced the first people were leaving. I made sure they had their candles and a piece of cake after we had our photo taken with them. A hundred other photos followed and my cheeks were sore when Edward led me outside under the orange lanterns to dance, saying he wanted to feel me close to him.
Then Emmett pulled us inside, saying it was time for him to catch his last garter and Edward flung it straight at him. The look on his face when he dropped it was priceless and we died with laughter.
Rosie did a much better job of catching the bouquet.
More dancing followed more mingling. The two Daft Punk songs, "Get Lucky" and "Lose Yourself to Dance" drew everyone to the dance floor and I had trouble taking my eyes off my husband's sexy hips until once again, they pulled us away when people finally started leaving en mass, some saying they would be back in the morning for golf, but most were driving home.
With a wrench of mixed feelings, we kissed a still sleeping Alex goodnight when Renee said she and Phil were tired and taking him to bed. Edward put his arm around me as we watched them leave with him, kissing me and saying he would be fine.
I ate some more cake and I downed a huge glass of fruit juice, feeling slightly flat and sweaty after all the dancing. It picked me up enough to say goodnight to the last of the guests not staying over and as we were walking into the foyer, Edward pulled me back to him, starting a slow dance.
"This is such a beautiful dress on you. Did I tell you how stunning you look tonight?"
"I think you might have mentioned it Cullen." My hands smoothed his shirt over his chest and his upper arms as my mind started wandering.
"I brought my jacket out with me."
"So we don't have to go back in?"
He shook his head slowly, staring from my boobs up to my eyes. "I think they'll get it. Let's go to bed."
He hummed into my hair before saying, "You still always say yes."
"You always offer good things, handsome."
Once we were back in our room, with the moment upon us, I suddenly felt nervous; scared I might feel different to him. I'd religiously done my exercises but there was no way of telling what he would feel when he was inside me.
I took my shoes off and then with a tremor in my fingers, I tried to remove the veil from my hair and the frown on his face told me he saw. "Baby, what's wrong?"
He picked me up, sat me down in his lap, finishing the job of removing the veil, and threw in on a chair. "We don't have to do it if you're not ready. I don't need sex to show you I love you on our wedding night. Just hold me. I don't feel like I got enough Bella time tonight."
I gushed out a huge breath of air and hugged him to me, knowing in that moment that nothing could break us apart and that he'd become part of me. I lifted his chin and started a slow seductive kiss, grabbing handfuls of his hair. He responded as I knew he would, letting me take the lead, making noises as if he was holding himself back and then pulling out of the kiss.
"Uh, baby, don't tease me. I'm just a man."
"I'm not teasing you, Cullen. I'm gonna fuck you."
I was momentarily dazzled by the smile on his face and then he tipped me back, letting me feel his true hunger for me. All my fears evaporated as our clothes came off and when I straddled him, I slid along his erection, absolutely ready, when he suddenly stopped kissing me, pushing my hair back off my face.
"If I hurt you, you'll tell me, okay?"
"You won't hurt me. You love me."
I looked down and lined him up, needing to see him enter me, and then sunk down, pushing my boobs into his chest.
"Oh fuck," he cried out, his whole body convulsing, and the smile - oh Christ the smile - it owned me, fixed me, proved he knew he'd come home. "You have no idea how good that feels." He turned his head and blew me away with a kiss, pushing himself up to fill me deeply and I cried out into his mouth from the relief. I relaxed and started to fuck him, finding our old rhythm of push and pull, our hips in tune with each other and I let my head fall back and closed my eyes.
He ran a finger around my clit and I automatically clenched around him, knowing I'd come quickly like this. "Oh fuck, I need those tits in my mouth. I want them."
"Do your worst," I moaned, heading towards orgasm where his fingers on my clit and his moving inside me were the only things in my sex-riddled brain.
He started gently kissing my boobs but he soon lost it, moaning, using his tongue around my nipples and that was it, I'd gone past the point of no return and I started to come all over him. His moaning got louder, panting into mouthfuls of skin, pushing up so hard I kept climaxing, and then it was too much for him also. He held me in place, dropped his mouth to my shoulder and rocked me back and forth as he pumped into me.
We stayed that way holding each other before he kissed my neck and panted, "Fuck, that's almost worth waiting for. I can't remember the last time I came that hard." His mouth was back on mine, gently kissing a thank you, and then he looked down and snorted. "Uh, babe? I love you but I'm covered in milk."
I looked down and saw my nipples were dripping. "I didn't even realize."
"I thought you tasted sweet," he said laughing.
I raced to the bathroom, clutching my boobs and found a towel, ready to wrap it around me when I realized I had spunk running down my legs. I was leaking from everywhere. "I'm just going to have a quick shower!"
As I turned on the shower, I heard it. I could hear Alex crying from Renee and Phil's room up the hall. I quickly soaped myself, trying to convince myself I was hearing things. It wasn't the first time it happened. Sometimes I could have sworn I heard him crying after Edward took him out in the stroller when I was writing and they were blocks away.
I turned off the water and called Edward in. "Can you hear Alex?"
His shoulders dropped and he nodded. "Let's go and get him."
I could feel tears starting as I cupped the cheek of the only man who could ever understand how to make me feel this happy. "Oh Edward I love you."
That was how we ended up knocking on my mother's door around midnight on our second wedding night and took our baby son to spend it with us. As soon as Alex was in my arms, his cries changed and he started trying to get at me through my robe. Renee held the door as a relieved Phil helped Edward quickly wheel the pack and play up to our room and then I sat on the bed with my son kneading, moaning and grunting at the breast just as his father had been not half an hour before, smiling to myself, knowing I was the luckiest girl alive.
Please drop me a review and tell me what you thought.
To everyone who followed, fav'd and reviewed, to those who sent lovely messages on FB or via PM, to those who added this story to their groups and blogs, and to those who just read, I really enjoyed meeting you and hearing your theories, ideas and encouragement. Without you all, this experience would be nothing. Mwah! Mwah! Mwah!
The playlist for this story is on my profile page if you're interested. When looking for the Dave Brubeck music, I found an interesting mashup - Radiohead (15 step) vs Dave Brubeck (Take Five) by Overdub. It's not from the wedding but I've included it because I liked it.
Next I'm re-writing my first story. I am not doing this because I'm on the reportable offense fanfic list. I pulled the chapters before I knew about that. *pokes tongue out*
The rec from Beach is "Another One" by Mathisson.
A Tattward and Bella story. Bella is a single mom who has won the lottery and moved away from her home town. She meets the Gang and fun times ensue. Mostly Fluff. ADOPTED first 28 are the original. Starting on chapter 29...all Mathisson!
I have a rec of my own – anything by IReen H. Her stories stay with you for days after you read them. Just enjoy the ride while you're on it and don't make assumptions or try to work out what is happening because you will probably be wrong. You can always go back to read again. Her words are sometimes complex and other times refreshingly simple but her messages are deep.
Thank you to everyone who voted Burn into the Top Ten fics completed in January 2014 at www . twifanfictionrecs . com