My bachelorette party was held at the sports bar around the corner from our condo. It was the same bar Edward and I had been at when Russian Barbie bought him a beer, but it was one of my favorite places and she hadn’t given us any trouble since Edward threatened to report her to human resources.
Alice wasn’t happy about my idea of a fun night out, but she’d given in when Rose said the night was about me and it should be my choice. They had a tendency to dress me up like a fashion model and drag me to flashy clubs where I felt out of place and was terrified that I would trip over my borrowed heels. I didn’t want that at all.
So two weeks before the wedding as we headed to the corner bar, I wore my favorite jeans and ballet flats with a “BRIDE” t-shirt and the veil Alice had made for her party. On our way through the door, I thought I overheard Rose telling Angela that she’d bribed another nurse to make plans with Irina to ensure she didn’t drop by the party. I stepped around them and kept walking with Alice to our table without asking her about it—I didn’t really want to know.
A few minutes later, everyone joined us after getting drinks at the bar. Rose sat to my left and made a production of putting the penis necklace over my head before she slid the stupid penis water bottle full of beer in front of me.
“Suck that cock, Bella.”
I had no idea how she said it with a straight face. “Ew, Rose.”
Having a baby had not made Rose any less, well, Rose. She was still full of wisdom and insight and just as blunt and honest as she’d ever been. Emmett was at the hospital, so baby Iris was with Carlisle and Esme for the night.
Rose rubbed her hands together in glee and picked up her drink. She took a sip of her drink and sighed loudly before glancing round the table at our surprised faces. “What are you looking at? Pump and dump, bitches.”
“Yuck.” I wrinkled my nose and laughed a little. “I don’t think anyone was looking at you funny for drinking; it was more because you were acting so much like Emmett.”
Ang, Alice and the girls from my office nodded in agreement.
“He kind of grows on you—like a mold,” Rose said, shaking her head as we all laughed again.
“So…this is Bella’s bachelorette party,” Alice said excitedly. “Plans for tonight: have a few drinks, open presents, send B on a scavenger hunt -”
“No. No scavenging,” I interrupted.
She waved her hand. “You won’t mind after a couple of drinks.”
“Alice…” I couldn’t believe she had come up with some kind of game for me to play. She knew better. Wearing a veil in a bar and being the center of attention was more than enough for me.
“Fine, I’ll show you the list later and you can see if you want to do it.”
“I don’t want to do it.” I gave her a hard look and she finally nodded, though, though I could tell she didn’t want to.
Ang announced the first round of shots were on her and dragged Alice to the bar. Rose put her hand on my arm and whispered, “Let it go. She won’t push you.”
I gave her a nod and she pushed the penis water bottle at me again. Ang and Alice came back from the bar with a tray of shots and the night began in earnest. There were shots and more shots, drinks sent over from random people at the bar, gifts of lingerie and some things from the sex shop, massage oil, body paint, a vibrator and extra batteries—which I seriously couldn’t believe they’d made me open in public—and laughter, lots of laughter. We were almost crying from laughter when Rose told us that Emmett was afraid of his daughter’s vagina.
“It’s seriously his kryptonite,” she slurred. “He can’t look at it or talk about it. I’m not sure how he changes a diaper with his eyes closed, but he tries. I told him there wasn’t a chance in hell he was getting out of that. He’s a frickin’ doctor—he sees vaginas every day!”
I knew it wasn’t that he was unhappy with a daughter, but he was overwhelmed by all things female about her—her pink bedroom and ruffly clothes, the idea that she would grow breasts, date, get married, and ultimately bear her own children. He couldn’t even think about it.
Despite my being in the spotlight the night was exactly what I’d wanted my party to be. It was laid back and fun, even without the scavenger hunt. When we headed for home I needed Alice to hold my elbow to keep me steady.
“Did you ever think this was possible, Al?” I slurred as we entered the condo.
“You being this drunk, Yes,” she giggled, leading me to the bedroom.
“Noooooo—me and Edward getting married.”
She laughed and pulled my shoes off as I sat on the bed. “When we were kids I thought it was just a silly crush, you know that. But later, in college, it was obvious that he felt something for you too.”
I snorted; it was part laugh and part disbelief.
“Does it really matter, Bells?” Alice smiled and helped me stand up so she could help me get my jeans off. “It’s really happening. You’re going to be my sister.”
“And here I was thinking the great part was that I was marrying your brother.”
We both laughed as she folded up my jeans and set them on the dresser. I slipped my bra off and threw it on the floor. “I’m gonna go to sleep, Al.”
“I know, sweetie. I’ll be in the living room if you need anything.”
The last thing I remember was Alice setting a bottle of water next to the bed and pulling the sheets up over me. When I woke up later, my head was pounding and my stomach churning.
“Fuck me.” I cringed at the sound of my own voice.
“I’m afraid that would make you feel worse, baby.”
“Edward?” I groaned. “Am I dead?”
“No, but I’m sure you feel like shit.”
“Ugh. You have no idea.”
He chuckled and I remembered his bachelor party two weekends before; I’d stayed in the bathroom with him for hours while he threw up. Okay, maybe he did know how I felt.
“What do you need, Bella?”
I opened an eye to find him sitting up, leaning over me, looking way too chipper. “Stop talking. My head hurts.”
He brushed some hair off my face and simply waited for me to say something more.
“I could use some juice.”
He nodded. “Do you need to go to the bathroom?”
I wasn’t sure if he was asking me if I needed to throw up or pee or if I needed his help, but I didn’t want to move so I shook my head no. “Oh fuck. I need something for my head, too.”
He leaned down and kissed my forehead and I felt the bed shift as he headed to the other room. He brought me some tomato juice and a couple of Aleve. I drank the juice quickly and swallowed the pills, hoping they would work their magic. Then Edward tucked me back under the covers and curled himself around my back, wrapping an arm around me. He softly rubbed his thumb over my collar bone, lulling me back to sleep.
When I woke up again I felt like my bladder was going to explode. Edward was sitting by the window reading as I hurried to the bathroom. After relieving myself I stood in front of the mirror taking in my frightening appearance as I brushed my teeth. My hair was a rat’s nest and I somehow still had the barrette from the veil in my hair—yet the veil itself was nowhere to be seen. I had dark circles under my eyes both from my make-up and from lack of sleep. I finished with my teeth, quickly washed my face, brushed my hair and wandered back to the bedroom to lie down.
“How you doin’?” Edward’s voice was low and quiet.
“I feel better. Rough—but better.”
He closed the journal he was reading and climbed back into bed. We stretched out next to each other and he smiled at me, taking in my freshly scrubbed face and brushed hair. “You look about a million times better than when you woke up the first time.”
“Is Alice still here?”
He shook his head. “No, I sent her home when I got here.”
“When was that?”
“What time is it now?”
“What did you have planned today?” He laughed. He’d been a zombie the morning after his bachelor party yet he’d dutifully trudged to work that afternoon.
“Nothing,” I sighed. It was true; I didn’t have anything planned, but I’d been hoping to spend some time with him. Sexy time.
“Nothing like nothing, or nothing like you’re pissed you don’t feel good because you thought you were gonna get lucky?”
“Probably more of the second one.” I fought a smile. He knew me so fucking well.
He laughed, leaning in before kissing me slowly. “I don’t have to be to work until five. Let me make you something to eat and we’ll see what we can do about that.”
I sighed and nodded.
“Left over tacos?” he asked, knowing that it was exactly what I liked after a night of drinking.
“Mmmm, yeah. Greasy and spicy. Perfect.”
“You talking about the tacos or yourself?”
“Love you, Swan.”
Two nights before the wedding, I ate a smorgasbord of leftovers for dinner and did some final packing for the wedding and honeymoon, which I still knew nothing about. It was Edward’s last night of work before the wedding, and I was anxious for him to get home. He’d been working extra shifts and staying late to keep his paperwork up to date in preparation for his days off. While we’d spent a few hours together after my bachelorette party, it felt like I’d hardly seen him since.
I kept some of the leftovers out for him, but at nine o’clock I gave up and cleaned up the kitchen. I read for a while, finally giving up and going to bed around midnight. It wasn’t anything new, and I shouldn’t have expected him to be on time the night before his vacation. I was tired, the wedding hormones were in full force, and I fell asleep wondering if this was what my life was going to be like—always waiting for Edward.
A few hours later I had one of those crazy good sex dreams. A pair of hands slid up my thighs, and I moaned when soft lips kissed my hip. A wet tongue trailed down my stomach…Suddenly I realized it wasn’t a dream.
“Jesus, Edward! You scared me!” I gasped in surprise, sitting up enough to verify it was in fact my fiancé between my legs.
He laughed before stretching up to run his nose along my collarbone and whispered in my ear, “Who did you think I was?”
“I thought I was having a fuck-awesome dream and I was going to find my new vibrator to finish the job.”
“No need for that.”
His lips found mine, kissing me as his hand moved between my legs where I was already wet for him.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m seducing my girlfriend so I can make love to her one last time.”
“One last time?”
“As my girlfriend—well, fiancé—the next time we’re together you’ll be my sexy young wife.”
He slipped two fingers inside me and I moaned as he slid them in and out. “That feels good.”
“Shut up and let me do it already,” he teased, before kissing me hard and moving his fingers faster.
I stopped talking then, making my thoughts known through gasps and more moans while thrusting my hips to meet Edward’s. Clutching him to me, my fingernails dug into his skin as Edward began giving a dirty running commentary.
“God that feels good.”
“You’re so beautiful.”
“I love you.”
“You make me so fucking crazy.”
“Are you close? Tell me what you want.”
“Oh, fuck. Oh, fuck.”
We were slick with sweat, our bodies slapping together as my muscles clamped around him, and I couldn’t stop myself from calling out his name. Edward pushed into me over and over until he arched his back, the chords of his neck straining with his orgasm. His dirty words ended with a groan and he dropped his head to my shoulder, breathing hard.
“Fuck, I’m out of breath. I’m getting old.”
“Cradle robber,” I teased, gently running my hands up and down his back.
“Whatever—I’m a manther.” He laughed, scooting off me to lie on his side.
“What? What the fuck is a manther?” I loved how we could go from hot sweaty sex to ridiculous banter in no time.
He lowered his voice, trying to sound like the guy from the Old Spice ad. “You know, like a cougar? I’m a manther stalking my prey.”
I let out a quick burst of laughter. “You mean like a dingo?”
“What?” He narrowed his eyes and shook his head, laughing.
I did my best, or really my worst, Australian accent. “A dingo! The dingo fucked my baby!”
“Oh my God! You are insane!”
“You love it!”
“I love you, but I’m seriously considering calling someone for a psych consult the next time you visit the hospital though.”
“Wait until we get back from the honeymoon, okay?”
“Anything for you, Belly.”
I snuggled against him and we stayed tangled together like that laughing and talking until we fell asleep for the last time as boyfriend and girlfriend.
The last two days before the wedding went by in a rush. I had never really understood when my friends said that they hardly remembered things about their weddings, but now I totally got it. I was so busy trying to make sure that everything was going as planned that I was distracted and forgetful. I wasn’t very helpful at all.
My mother was making me crazy, and I was pretty sure Charlie was going to cuff her and throw her in his squad car if she didn’t stop acting like a fool. Her flight had gotten in late and she missed the entire rehearsal. She came by herself, claiming Phil couldn’t get time off work. I didn’t care anymore. I was tired of being the only one who put in any effort in the relationship with my mother. I had a feeling that Edward and I wouldn’t be seeing very much of her again until we had children—if then.
I had been bracing myself all morning to see Renee, but when my bridesmaids and I finally made it to Georgetown Ballroom to finish getting ready, nothing could have prepared me for what I found.
“No fucking way!” I stopped in the doorway. Alice ran into my back and Ang ran into hers.
“I swear to God, Bella, give me the word and I’ll spill something all over her,” Rose said over from my shoulder.
Alice’s eyes were wide and focused on my mother. She tried to speak several times, starting and stopping until she could finally get something out.
“Renee, is that a wedding dress?”
My mom had on a white chiffon gown that was ridiculously inappropriate for the mother of the bride. It was full length and had a sweetheart neckline. She topped it off with a matching scarf and a beaded comb securing the up-do in her hair.
“No,” Renee laughed, “it’s a mother-of-the-bride’s dress. I’ll look for a wedding dress when i get back to Florida.”
What the fuck?
She held out her left hand to show off a ring. I was too far away to really see it and I had no desire to get any closer. Bless Alice and Angela for slipping around me and grabbing my mother’s hand to gush over both the ring and her apparent engagement—if it was real. She could totally have been faking to make herself feel better.
Esme rushed towards Rose and I grabbing Iris out of Rose’s arms. “Girls, you all look beautiful. Carlisle brought all of your dresses in earlier and they’re hanging over there,” she said, gesturing to a clothes rack near the window holding a row of Tiffany blue dresses and one large garment bag that held my wedding dress.
She held the baby on her hip and gave me a one armed hug while still managing to look like she stepped out of a fashion magazine. Esme wore a smokey blue dupioni silk knee length dress with a contrasting grey sash at the waist. I knew at a glance that it was one of Alice’s designs. It was classic yet edgy having just one sleeve. It was perfect and beautiful—and absolutely appropriate for the mother of the groom.
It didn’t matter to me that Esme knew what was appropriate to wear because she’d already had two children get married. All I cared about was the fact that she took just as much care in dressing for my wedding, as well. I sighed, thinking how in a simple clothing choice, Esme had once again proven to be more of a mother to me than Renee had ever been.
“Oh sweetie, please don’t let her upset you,” she whispered as we walked towards the rack of dresses.
“You know she did it to get a reaction. Don’t give it to her,” Rose added.
Renee was still busy with Alice and Angela and I planned to avoid her. I took a deep, steadying breath. “Rose, keep her away from me as much as possible.”
My mother tried to be helpful during pictures but really only succeeded in irritating me. At one point, when she was needed in a photo, she was on the phone and we had to wait for her. The second time it happened, Rose grabbed the phone from her and muttered something into the mouth piece about Renee being busy before she hung up.
“I’m sorry, Renee,” she said in a tone that said she wasn’t really sorry. “We need to get these pictures done so I can feed Iris. My boobs feel like boulders. Now everyone get in their place.”
By the time I stood at the top of the stairs with Charlie, I was frazzled and ready for the day to be over. I hadn’t even seen Edward and all I really wanted was for him to take me in his arms and tell me it didn’t matter that my mother was a complete bitch.
“Bells,” Charlie started, sighing and shaking his head while he watched the bridesmaids make their way down the steps. “I don’t know what’s gotten into your mother, but don’t let her get to you. I’ll manage her for the rest of the night, and then we can send her back to Florida for Phil to deal with.”
I nodded, taking a minute to think about what a great job my dad had done raising me on his own. “Dad, have I ever thanked you—I mean for everything you’ve done? You could have sent me to live with her, but you never did.”
“Aw, baby, I couldn’t do that; I would have missed you.” He smiled lightening the mood, and then he winked. “And I think all of those dinners you cooked me and the laundry you did was plenty thanks.”
“I love you, Charlie.”
“I know, Bells. I love you, too.”
Emmett had set up our music on the laptop and recruited a first year resident to be in charge during the ceremony by promising him free drinks at the reception. An instrumental version U2’s One played on the sound system while the wedding party came down the aisle. When The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony began, Charlie raised an eyebrow at me, not sure of his cue.
“This is us,” I chuckled, tightening my hand on his elbow.
We walked slowly down the stairs, me lifting my dress and Charlie keeping a firm hold on my arm in case I fell, which was entirely likely. Edward’s eyes were locked on mine as we made our way up the aisle. The guests were all standing, but all I could see was my fiancé smiling broadly. My heart was pounding, and I couldn’t pull my eyes away from him.
I wanted to do this. I was ready, more than ready, to get married to Edward, and I loved him—so much; but I was starting to freak out about everyone watching me.
Charlie must have sensed something was wrong because he chuckled quietly in my ear. “You’re fine, Bells, just keep walking. We’re almost there.”
I glanced at him and then quickly looked back at Edward before wiping away a tear. We made the last few steps and Edward stood beside me, his hand on my elbow instantly calming me almost as much as his voice. “You look amazing.”
My eyes stayed on him while Reverend Weber asked, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”
My parents spoke at the same time, but their answers were different.
“We do,” Renee said.
“Her mother and I do.” Charlie’s word’s made me giggle. I loved that he didn’t say ‘we;’ he and Renee hadn’t been ‘we’ since I was in diapers. He gave me a quick kiss before shaking hands with Edward and sitting down. Alice grabbed my bouquet, and I turned to face the man of my dreams.
Edward held my hands as we listened to Angela’s dad talk about how long he’d known us, and how seeing our families joined together in marriage brought joy to his heart. He thanked us for asking him to perform the ceremony, then surprised us by mentioning Edward’s parents; we hadn’t planned a memorial of any sort during the ceremony the way Alice had.
“Edward, your parents are watching down today as they always have been.”
Alice made a noise and I knew she was crying, but Edward looked at the reverend with wide eyes, drinking in his words. I wanted to pull him into my arms and hold him, but I resisted and Mr. Weber continued.
“They’re thankful to Esme and Carlisle for all that they’ve done and they’re happy today to see their son taking a wife and starting his own family. You honor them every day with your commitment to family.”
Edward’s eyes filled with tears and his lips made a hard line as he struggled with his emotions. After a second he nodded at Reverend Weber, who smiled sympathetically at us before returning to the ceremony.
“Hand in hand you enter marriage and hand in hand you step out in faith. The hands you give each other…”
He talked about how we should care for each other and be supportive in times of trouble and that marriage wasn’t easy, but nothing worth it ever was. Before I knew it, he asked Edward if he would take me as his wife.
“Edward, do you take Isabella to be your wife, to live together as friends and mates? Will you love her as a person, respect her as an equal, sharing in joy as well as sorrow, triumph as well as defeat? And keep her beside you as long as you both shall live?”
“I do.” He smiled, never taking his eyes off of me.
The reverend spoke again, this time asking me the questions. I was so excited that I spoke too soon, interrupting him before he could ask the as long as you both shall live bit. Everyone laughed, Edward even threw his head back a little, but no one was surprised that I messed something up. I was just hoping that was the worst of my screw-ups for the day.
Despite the modern music in our ceremony, we used traditional vows. To have and to hold. For better, for worse. For richer, for poorer. To love and to cherish in sickness and in health. Now and forever and all of that.
Reverend Weber blessed our rings, and then it was the moment I’d been waiting for. I held my breath, watching as Edward slid the wedding band on my finger. I started to cry and felt my lip wobble. Edward reached up, his hand cupping my cheek as he wiped away a tear. He mouthed that he loved me and, after a deep breath, it was my turn.
I pushed the ring on his finger, biting my lip as I struggled to get it over his knuckle. With a final wiggle, it moved forward and went on all of the way.
I stared at the ring on his hand, having a ‘holy shit’ moment. I’d dreamed of us being married for so long that it was surreal to think that we’d really done it.
Reverend Weber’s voice was clear and loud as he pronounced us husband and wife, then he smiled at us and spoke more quietly. “Edward, you may kiss your bride.”
And kiss me he did, as the guests clapped and cheered. It felt like forever, but I’m sure it was only seconds before Edward gave me a tight hug and we broke apart. He reached over and shook Reverend Weber’s hand before we turned and faced everyone. There was more cheering as Edward turned and gave me another quick kiss before we walked quickly down the aisle. Instead of going back up the stairs we made our way outside into a small sunny court yard.
I squealed a little as Edward hugged me to his chest, spinning me around in the sunlight. The rest of the wedding party joined us and the photographer snapped candid shots of us celebrating before we needed to go sign the wedding license and pose for a few more pictures while the guests enjoyed some cocktails.
When we made it back into the ballroom, the space had been rearranged for dinner. Reverend Weber gave a blessing and then it was Emmett’s turn to make a toast.
“Considering how long they’ve known each other, Edward and Bells haven’t been dating all that long,” he joked. “But the truth is that because of how long they’ve known each other, they didn’t need to date very long at all to know how good they were for each other.” He cleared his throat and I wondered if he was going to start making jokes. “I can tell you all sorts of things about how Edward’s not as much of a dick when he’s with Bella, or how I know he wouldn’t have survived his residency without her. The bottom line is this though, I couldn’t have chosen a better wife for my brother. So despite how long it took him to figure out she was the one for him, he did, and I’m finally getting Bella for my sister.” He raised his glass. “To Edward and Bella.”
I grinned at Emmett, he was such a soft soul underneath his bear-like exterior and practical jokes. He winked down at us and before most of the guests finished toasting he began to tap his glass with a spoon, encouraging us to kiss.
We ate dinner, pausing to kiss every few seconds when someone else began dinging their fork or spoon on the glassware. We laughed and mingled with friends and family before cutting the cake. I’d warned Edward that he wouldn’t like the consequences if he smashed cake in my face, so he’d been on his best behavior.
When it was time for dancing Emmett took the microphone and began his duties as emcee. He introduced the wedding party one by one, having Rose join him near the stage when it was their turn, and then Edward and I were on the dance floor alone. The opening guitar riff of U2’s All I Want is You came through the speakers as Edward took me in his arms for our first dance as husband and wife. Edward sang quietly in my ear as we swayed.
You say you want diamonds in a ring of gold
You say you want your story to remain untold
All the promises we make
From the cradle to the grave
When all I want is you
As the song played, I forgot that we were the only ones on the dance floor and felt myself snuggling closer to Edward, putting my head against his chest.
“You know I’ve lost track of how many weddings I’ve danced with you at,” he said quietly.
I laughed. “Yeah, we’ve done this a few times.”
“But never as bride and groom.”
“This is true. I’m not a bridesmaid anymore.”
He laughed. “Not tonight anyway.”
I leaned back to look at him. “What? I don’t know anyone else that’s single! I think my career as a bridesmaid is done.”
Edward shook his head, chuckling. “There are a couple of single women in your office.”
“Shit. I’m officially un-friending them, on the outside chance they ask me to be in their weddings.” I put my head down again, leaning on Edward as we danced.
“Sure thing, Bells.” We were quiet for a few seconds, then he whispered, “I’m sorry I wasted so much time figuring out that you were perfect for me.”
I smiled at him, then reached up to brush some hair off of his forehead. “It doesn’t matter anymore.”
He let out a deep breath. “I suppose it doesn’t. You agreed to marry me anyway.”
“Agreed? I went through with it! I finally got my wedding and now you’re stuck with me!”
We stopped moving, but Edward continued to hold me. He ran his nose along my neck before his lips grazed my ear, sending a shiver down my spine as he spoke.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
*sniff* They’re finally married! I can’t believe it! Thanks so much for taking my first multi-chapter Twi-journey with me. It’s been a blast! We have an epilogue next week and then we’re all done with these kids. It makes me kind of sad, I have to admit it. *See you next week!*
Links – cuz you know you want to see Renee’s dress and all. LOL