Being There

Disclaimer: all characters and copyright belong to Stephanie Meyer.

A/N-sorry for late update on this story! Thanks for the awesome reviews. I really appreciate it.

Nikki :)

Part Forty Eight

"You've set a date?" Charlie asked Jacob in surprise.

Jacob closed the hood of the car he was working on and wiped his hands on an old rag, trying to clean the oil off of them. "Yeah, Bells and I have decided it's pointless waiting any longer. With dad giving me formal permission I can officially marry."

Charlie cleared his throat, fiddling with his gun belt. "So when exactly?"

"Bells wants to get married on her birthday." Jacob revealed.

"That's only two weeks away." Charlie said in astonishment. "Anyway you can't."

"Can't? Why not?" Jacob threw the rag to one side, surprised at Charlie's negativity.

Charlie scratched the back of his neck. "Well Ren and I are getting married on that day." He said quickly. "We thought it would make it more special, you know as it's Bells' birthday."

"Oh." Jacob winced. "Bells was dead set on wanting it to be that day. What do we do?"

Charlie sighed. "I have no idea son. I have no idea."

Bella and Renee sat at the kitchen table as they poured over bridal magazines. "I can't believe you are getting married too baby girl."

"I know." Bella picked up one of the magazines and showed her mom the meringue style dress the model was wearing. "Do you think that's me?"

"Oh definitely." Renee plucked the magazine out of her hand and flicked through it. Her face saddened as she looked at the slim, gorgeous models.

Bella noticed her mom's change in mood. "What's wrong?" She asked gently, putting a hand on Renee's arm.

Renee shrugged. "I hardly think I'll be able to find a dress that suits me. It's not like I can walk up the aisle, is it?" There was a bitter edge to her voice as she stared at her wheelchair.

"Mom, you'll look beautiful whatever you wear." Bella said softly.

"Ignore me baby girl, I'm just feeling sorry for myself. I just wanted to look nice as it will be your birthday too." Renee gave her a sad smile.

Bella's eyes opened wide. "My birthday? You want to get married then too?"

"Why is something wrong?" Renee asked in concern. "You're not going away or anything are you?"

Bella bit her lip as she tried not to laugh. "No mom. I was just thinking of getting married on that day myself."

Renee stared at her daughter in astonishment for a few seconds before she burst out laughing. "Wait until I tell your dad. It was his idea, he thought it would make it somehow more special"

"Oh no what are we going to do?" Bella said as she began to laugh too.

"I have no idea." Renee replied.

Jacob and Charlie stood outside the front door contemplating how to tell the girls about the double booking. "You go tell them." Charlie urged Jacob.

"No way." Jacob stepped away from the door. "You're the chief of police. You tell them."

"No, you're taller." Charlie backed away from the door too.

"What has that got to do with anything?" Jacob asked.

"It'll be hard for Bella to reach you when she gives you a slap." Charlie said with a smile.

"No, this calls for diplomacy. You're her dad, just go in there, be firm and tell her that you've ruined her wedding plans." Jacob shoved Charlie forward.

"Hey get your hands off me before I arrest you, future son in law or not." Charlie huffed. "And I haven't ruined her wedding plans, that's down to you."

"Me?" Jacob crossed his arms and leaned against the wall. "This has nothing to do with me. I'm just thinking of my fiancée."

"And I'm just thinking of mine." Charlie copied Jacob's pose. "So you are just going to have to man up and go in there and break my little girls heart."

"No no no." Jacob shook his head. "You're old...older and it's the second time for you. You man up and tell poor Renee that the date she set her heart on has been cancelled."

"You're unbelievable." Charlie said irritably. He shrugged his shoulders and took a deep breath. "We go in there together."

Jacob sighed. "I suppose so. You first."

"Wimp." Charlie muttered as he steadied himself quickly before thrusting the door open and striding inside, Jacob lagging behind. He saw Renee and Bella sitting at the kitchen table together, looking through bridal magazines. "Can I have word?"

Bella and Renee exchanged a knowing look before Bella stood up and clasped her hands excitedly. "Before you say anything dad, mom and I have an announcement to make."

"You do?" Jacob made Charlie jump as he came to stand beside him.

"Yes." Bella ran over to Jacob and took his hand. "How would you feel about a double wedding?"

"Double wedding?" Jacob echoed as he glanced at a shocked Charlie.

"Yes." Renee rolled her chair forward so she was in front of both men. "It seems that we have both chosen the same date to get married, can you believe it?"

"Really?" Charlie tried to sound surprised.

"Yes, really." Renee held out her hands and Charlie took them, kneeling down so he could kiss her on the lips. "So how about it?"

"It sounds like a great idea to me." Charlie gave Renee a relieved smile.

"What about you, Jake?" Bella asked.

"I think it's an awesome idea." Jacob swept Bella into his arms and gave her a passionate kiss on the lips, causing Charlie to glare at him.

Renee laughed fondly at her future husband. She leaned close to him and whispered in his ear. "You just wait until the wedding night."

Charlie beamed.

Jacob went to visit Embry, he wanted his friend to hear it from him that he and Bella were getting married. He knocked on the door. It took a while before it was answered by Kay. She stared at him blearily for a moment. "What do you want?" She slurred.

The strong smell of alcohol made Jacob wince. "I'm here to see Embry. Is he in?"

"My son is never in. You lot keep him out to all hours." Kay shot Jacob a glare before staggering backwards slightly. "EMBRY." She screamed loudly. "VISITOR."

A few seconds passed before Embry emerged. He had been sleeping in as he had been on a night patrol. He gave his mother a disapproving look before urging her to go onto bed. Kay wobbled on her feet for a moment before disappearing into her room, slamming the door.

"I'm sorry, Em. I didn't think." Jacob apologized.

"It doesn't matter." Embry said tiredly. "She is more or less drunk all the time now."

"You need to move out, you can't keep living like this." Jacob replied.

"I know, Jake, but I'm not exactly flush with funds at the moment. If I could find someone to share the rent with then I might have a chance." Embry yawned. "I'm sorry I really need to crash."

Embry's words had given Jacob an idea. "Alright Em, I'll let you get back to sleep. I'll see you later."

"Hey what did you want to see me about?" Embry asked him.

"Oh nothing that can't wait. Talk to you later, get that sleep." Jacob gave him a quick wave before leaving. Embry stared after him for a moment before exhaustion made him seek his bed again.

Bella was playing with Brandon when Jacob returned. She looked up at him enquiringly as he joined her on the floor. He tickled Brandon's belly, making his son giggle. "How did your talk with Embry go?"

"He was really tired and Kay was acting up so I didn't get a chance." He told her as he leaned in for a kiss.

"Something has to be done about that woman. Embry can't be expected to spend the rest of his life putting up with her." Bella said fiercely.

"Well I have an idea that could solve Embry's problem and also Jared's." Jacob declared.

"You do?" Bella picked Brandon up and settled him on her lap.

"Embry can't afford to move out unless he finds a room mate and Jared is still sleeping on our couch, so it makes perfect sense that they find an apartment to share. Am I brilliant or what?" Jacob crowed.

Bella rolled her eyes at his theatrics. "Yes Jake you're brilliant."

Jacob laughed, causing his son to copy him. Bella smiled at them both, happy that there just might be a solution for Embry's loneliness after all.

Bella served up dinner, she had called Embry and invited him over so Jacob could tell him about the wedding and also put his suggestion to both him and Jared. She set the table with Jared helping her. Billy was in the living room keeping Brandon occupied. Bella was on tenterhooks waiting for Jacob and Embry to come back inside.

It was another five minutes before they came back. Bella's eyes traveled straight to Embry, she saw Jacob stop and say something to his dad while Embry approached her. "Are you okay?" She whispered.

Embry smiled at her affectionately as he gently embraced her. "Congratulations, Bella. I'm happy for you both."

Tears sprang into Bella's eyes as she pulled away and gazed up at him. "You'll find someone too, Em." She touched his cheek gently with her hand.

"Maybe." He said wistfully. He leaned down and kissed her on the cheek, letting his lips linger there for a moment before stepping back.

Jacob came up to them carrying Brandon in his arms. "Is dinner ready?" He asked, dampening down his irrational jealousy at Embry kissing Bella, even if it was on the cheek.

"Yeah, everyone go sit so I can dish it up." All the men hurriedly made themselves comfortable at the table. Jacob put Brandon in his high chair and began to feed him.

"That was lovely as always, Bella." Billy patted his stomach.

"Thanks." She smiled at him.

"Yeah, thanks, Bella." Jared stood up and began clearing up the plates. "I'll wash these up."

"You don't have to." Bella said quickly.

"It's the least I can do. You and Jake have been great letting me stay here." Jared replied gratefully.

"Before you do that." Jacob interjected. "I want to put something to you and Embry."

Jared looked at him with interest as he sat back down. "What's that?"

"Well I was thinking you must be getting sick of sleeping on the couch and Em wants to move out of his mom's house, so I thought it would make good sense if you both rented an apartment together. It would give you both some space and you could split the rent." Jacob suggested.

"That's an awesome idea man." Jared agreed. "Why didn't I think of it? Well Em? Do you think you could stand sharing a place with me?"

Embry gave him a wry smile. "I think I could manage. Yeah let's do it."

Bella and Jacob exchanged a relieved smile. It seemed things were slowly slotting into place at last.

A/N-thanks for reading!