And so we come to the final chapter of this story. I have to admit I have mixed feelings here—sadness that t's over, and eagerness to start a new one. Thank you so much for all the love you have showered upon Sweetward!

Disclaimer: SM owns everything 'Twilight'.

Pre-read by TeamAllTwilight. I can't thank her enough for all the time and effort she has put in this story. Do try her very entertaining story—'Raising the Steaks'.


Chapter-50

Outtake-6 (The Wedding)

I am getting married to Bella. It's like a dream come true.

When I was a child, mom used to tell me months before Christmas—"If you are a good boy, you will get a lot of gifts from Santa." Why months before? Because I would start pestering her right after the Fourth of July fireworks—that's why. When would Christmas come? Would I get the gifts I wanted? Did she talk with Santa beforehand so that he could decide if I deserved the gifts or not? Why couldn't he just come in from the front door?

Mom is the most patient person on this earth of course, so she would answer all my questions one by one. As soon as I could count, she showed me a calendar so that I could see how many months were there between July and December. Before that she would remind me of the events that came before Christmas—dad's birthday, going to a new class at school, trick-or-treat at Halloween, etc. As for gifts, I would get some of my choice and some of Santa's, because he knew not only what I wanted, but also what I needed. No, she had never spoken with Santa. There was no need to, as he always knew what a child had done during the year, if he had been good or naughty. And he didn't come in through the front door because then someone might lock it and keep him in their house forever, and then who would distribute all the other gifts in his bag?

I think I was eight when some kid in my class told me that Santa Claus did not exist. Our parents were the ones who quietly put the gifts under the tree while we were asleep. It made me very sad. As soon as I was home, I asked mom if it was true. I hoped she would say that kid was a liar, but she did not.

"Edward, the fact is that nobody knows whether there is a person called Santa Claus or not," she said pensively as she ran her fingers through my hair. I loved that—no, I still do. "Christmas is all about the spirit of giving, you know—about loving your fellow human beings, making others happy—that is what a good life is all about. As long as you follow the spirit, it doesn't matter if Santa comes from the North Pole to give you gifts, or your parents do. Remember, a generous heart is a happy heart. And tell your friend that just because nobody has seen Santa, it doesn't mean that he doesn't exist."

A generous heart is a happy heart—I promised myself that I was never going to forget that.

Well, I know today is not Christmas—of course I do—but it certainly feels like it. There are lots of lights in the backyard, guests and music. Of course we don't usually have so many guests for Christmas. Still, mom always throws very nice parties. Rose's engagement party was nice too, but too many people were inside the house. This one—outside, in the open, is much better. I don't mind the crowd that much when I can see the sky above me and trees around us.

After Charlie left that morning, mom had a serious conversation with me. Well, dad was there too, but he didn't say much. Mom asked me if I was sure that I wanted to marry Bella.

"I am sure she is a very nice girl, sweetie," she began and I nodded enthusiastically. Mom smiled a little. "But, you don't really know her, do you?"

I frowned as I thought about it. Did I know Bella? How much was it necessary to know someone before you married them?

"I know her hair smells very nice," I said, ticking off on my fingers. "And she is the prettiest girl I have seen, and also the kindest—she never says anything mean when she talks with Rose, and her laugh is full of warmth, and she likes to play Uno. And oh—" this was very important "—she does not kick her feet while sleeping." I finished my list and looked at her proudly.

The corner of her mouth twitched as if she was going to laugh, but she didn't. "Okay, and do you know what it means to get married? You can't change your mind next week, Edward, and say you don't like her anymore."

I was annoyed. "Of course I am not going to change my mind next week! I know that once we are married, it is for life, just like you and dad."

"And will you take care of her, and protect her when required? Sometimes she might want to do different things than you—you might not even like them. Then what will you do?"

I put my face between my hands as I thought over this. "I guess we can do different things at times? If I want to sketch and she wants to go shopping, it's all right. We can do something both of us like later on, right?"

Mom nodded, and that was that. Dad smiled, but he also looked sort of sad. He has been like that for months now. I wished I could do something to make him happy.

Even Charlie came over to ask me if I would be happy with Bella. I assured him that we would be very happy together.

Mom called a tailor so that he could take measurements for my new suit. I am wearing it today. It is dark blue, and the shirt is white and the tie has stripes. Emmett said I looked very sharp in it. I hope that's a good thing.

I listen attentively to the minister and repeat the vows after him. I will keep each and every one of them to the best of my ability.

Emmett told me that I must have kissed a few girls before, in school and then college, but I do not remember. For me, kissing Bella is a first. It's nice—she looks so pretty, and her lips taste sweet, like the wild berry flavor in skittles. I am curious about her cheeks and so I kiss both of them one by one—they are slightly salty, but nice. I think I like kissing her a lot!

Everybody claps. We step down from the dais and mom hugs both of us. Her eyes look too shiny. When I ask her, she says they are happy tears. I remember her saying that when I came home from the hospital too. I wonder if I will cry happy tears some day?

Lots of people congratulate us. Good thing dad had already told them not to shake my hand. That would make me very uncomfortable.

The band started playing. I knew Bella and I had to go first, but when I looked at her, she seemed to be looking somewhere far off. That means her mind has wandered off. I do that when I am thinking of a new story.

I touch her shoulder and tell her that I don't know how to dance. Turns out she can't either, so it's okay. We just move around any which way and then there are so many other people around us that it doesn't matter what we do. I dance with mom and two of my cousins. Dancing with Maria is the most fun because she is ten and doesn't care for steps. We just hold hands and jump and yell.

All the jumping makes me thirsty, so I pick up a coke from the drinks table. I am chatting with Emmett when I feel someone looking at me. When I turn around, I see Bella staring at me.

"Dude, aren't you going to introduce us?" asks Emmett, slapping my shoulder.

"Of course, she must be wondering who you are. Come on."

While I introduce Emmett to Bella, Jasper comes up and teases me about not being able to drink champagne. Well, I don't particularly want to, and I like coke—no hangover, you know—so I try to show him how you can make coke fly just like champagne. Unluckily most of it ends up on his coat.

He yells something about Gucci. Really? I thought they just made shoes, 'cause I have a pair of their sneakers—really comfortable. Anyway, it was hilarious, the way the bubbles landed upon him. They might have landed upon Bella also, but I got her just in time. Hey, it's my job to protect her, right?

I have fun cutting the cake. It has five tiers of creamy whiteness with a green vine with leaves going around it. Good thing we have to cut just a piece from the top, or it would have fallen down. But once Bella and I have fed each-other, the servers take over and make sure all the guests get a piece. I find the green leaf on my piece is made of marzipan. Yummy!

After the dinner is over, we stand with our backs to the guests. Bella is handed her bouquet which she tosses towards the crowd. Some girl catches it and screams happily. Then it is my turn to remove her garter. Someone suggests I should use my teeth for that, but I refuse. My teeth are quite sharp. What if I hurt Bella while pulling the garter down?

Emmett gets her a chair so she can be comfortable. I remove the garter very carefully, feeling her silky skin under my fingers. Once it is off, I stand up and toss it behind me, to be caught by somebody who whoops loudly. I don't care—Emmett is the only guy whose wedding I will be attending in the near future.

Our guests say goodbye, and Esme suggests I take Bella to my room so that we can rest. I am tired—it's been hours I've been on my feet, and of course Bella must be too. Emmett and Rose come up with us. When I say goodnight to them, Emmett looks at me like he wants to tell me something important. I raise my eyebrows at him as Bella goes inside. She wants to take a bath, and of course I give her the option to go first. It is only polite.

"Dude, you know what—you have any idea—what are you going to do tonight?" he asks finally.

I frown. "We are tired, so we will bathe and change and go to sleep. Why? Is there something else I should do?"

Rose sighs. Emmett scratches his head and then shakes his head. "No, there's nothing else. Just—try to make her happy, okay?"

I give him a 'duh' look. "Well of course Em—mom already told me I should take care of her, and I will. Don't worry about that, okay?"

He nods and leaves, muttering something about not being able to tease me. I don't know what he means. He teases me all the time about something or other.

After Bella is done, I take my pajamas to the bathroom. Mom said I must wear them or Bella might feel uncomfortable. Maybe that's why she had looked so shocked last week, when Charlie had woken us up. Boxers are comfortable, but now that I am no longer alone in my room…yes, I should dress properly.

When I come out of the bathroom, I find Bella reading one of my books. I ask her if she likes it, and she praises it so much—she says I should get my books published and that she is sure I will be famous. She is so kind.

Then she hugs me, and it feels so good. I hug her in return and rest my chin on her shoulder. She kisses my neck, her lips soft. I like it very much. But then, suddenly I feel her teeth on my skin. Is she going to bite me? That would be very strange. I am not something to be eaten!

"Are you tasting me, Bella? Like I tasted your cheek earlier?" After all, she didn't actually bite me.

"Yes Edward, and you taste very nice."

I smile. "Sweet, or salty?"

She smiles too. "Kind of both?"

Isn't that great? "Like those monster cookies mom makes?" I do eat so many of them. It's no surprise I taste like them too.

To my astonishment, she hasn't had them ever. That is so wrong. I will get her one as soon as we go down for breakfast in the morning.

She notices me yawning and suggests we go to sleep. I remember how nice it was to snuggle with her the other night. Will she want to do that again?

Yes! She smiles and nods encouragingly. I wrap my arms around her and close my eyes. It feels so good.

Santa may or may not exist, but God does. And Bella is the best gift I have ever received in my life. Even though it's not Christmas today.


End Note: So that's it! I will complete 'Not Without Thee' now, and then begin a brand-new story. The title is 'Analogous', and it is all EPOV!