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Rumors

Summary:

Bella meant to tell her friends about the wedding on her own terms. But when word gets out before she can prepare, the whole town is soon buzzing with rumors about the police chief’s daughter and that Cullen boy.


FINAL CHAPTER -- NOW POSTED!!


Notes:
ATTENTION READERS: DO NOT STEAL MY STORIES. Someone has stolen some of my stories from this website and posted them as their own on fanfiction.net. It is plaigarism, it is stealing and it is illegal. Read, enjoy -- but don't steal. This takes place after the last chapter of Eclipse -- before the Epilogue. I originally meant for this to be a oneshot, but it came out much longer than I'd imagined. So I've broken it into chapters. The good news for all of you -- the story is already written, so I will be able to post updates fairly regularly. I just hope you all still post nice reviews -- they will encourage me to post the next chapter! Also, I'd like to say a huge THANKS to addictedtotwilight. I was got about halfway through this story and hit a wall, so to speak. She kindly helped my get past it.


1. Chapter 1

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1408   Review this Chapter



* * *

I was not in a good mood when I woke up the next morning. I hadn't gotten much sleep, after all, and what little I had gotten had been restless. I'd been up late talking to Charlie. Rather, we'd been up late talking to Charlie – as I'd impressed upon him that discussions about my life no longer involved myself alone. It now involved Edward. My fiancée.

I'd tried to break the news to him as gently as possible. I knew he didn't exactly love Edward – but he, himself, had admitted that Edward was generally more responsible than Jacob. And Charlie had asked me for a proper goodbye. I was doing that; I was getting married. I was saying goodbye. I wasn't just "running off" with him, as Charlie had feared I might do. No, I was having a proper wedding (even if I was a bit young).

Charlie had been wary from the beginning when Edward and I walked into the living room, hand-in-hand. He was sitting on his usual spot on the sofa, eyes fixed attentively to the Mariner's game. It was tied at the bottom of the ninth and it looked like the game would go into extra innings if the Mariner's didn't score soon. I didn't want to interrupt such an intense game, so Edward and I sat quietly, side-by-side, on the other end of the sofa while Ichiro went to bat and knocked it out of the park. It was a home run with two runners on base – Mariner’s jumped ahead three runs to sink the win. Charlie pumped his fist in the air, shouting with glee. Then, as the announcers started their post-game banter, Charlie finally seemed to notice that he had guests.

"Hey you two," he said.

"Hi dad," I said, my voice choking up. I coughed to clear my throat. "Can I ... can we talk to you a minute? It's kind of important."

I watched the dread pass over his face, but I had a feeling he was thinking the worst – worse than what I actually had to tell him – because out of the corner of my eye, I saw Edward smile. He squeezed my hand reassuringly. My palms were still sweaty; I felt the gold band – still new on my finger, slick against the moisture.

"It's – it’s nothing bad," I reassured him. "It's just ... important."

"Sure, Bells," he said, flicking off the TV. He turned to give us his full attention. I could tell that he was still wary. "What's up?"

"Well, I know you were afraid that I was going to run off with Edward – but I'm not." I tried to sound as reassuring as possible. "But we are ... well ... we're getting married."

Charlie didn't say anything at first, but I watched – fearful – as his eyes grew large in their sockets and his face turned a deep shade of crimson. In his lap, his hands balled into fists; his knuckles whitened.

"Dad?"

He closed his eyes and took several big, deep breaths. In and out ... in and out. He licked his lips, then opened his fists and began rubbing his knees. Finally, he opened his eyes, his glare darting between me and Edward.

It didn't look like Charlie was going to say anything soon – but before I could work out what to say in his place, Edward spoke up. "That is, sir," he said. "We would like to get married ... if we could have your blessing. I've asked Bella and she's already agreed – but we would like your permission first. I would like it."

Charlie must have still been holding in some air, because he let out a deep rushing breath and his skin returned to a more normal pallor. I watched his body visibly relax. As long as he didn’t know what I was thinking, I could admit that Edward's gift certainly came in handy. Though I'm quite certain he meant those words; knowing Edward, he wouldn't just say something like that simply to appease Charlie. Edward really did want my father's blessing. Finally, Charlie found his voice. "You want ... to get married. But you're only 18!"

"I know we're young, sir," Edward continued. "But I love your daughter. And I'm quite certain she loves me back, even if I don't deserve it."

"You want to get married."

"We are getting married," Edward pressed on. "But we would rather do so with your blessing."

"You say that as if you've already chosen a date ..."

Edward deferred to me. "Well, dad, see ... the thing is ... we, um, have. Chosen a date. In August. This August."

"WHAT?!" His face skipped crimson and turned a deep shade of purple. I was afraid he might have a heart attack or something.

"Dad, please," I said, moving to his side and grasping his hand. He squeezed mine tightly. It hurt, but I didn't say anything about it. "This isn't about running off with Edward, or anything. This is about proper goodbyes and doing things the right way. I know you and mom got married really young and I know how much mom thinks marriage before college is a bad idea. But I truly believe it's the right thing for me to do – in this case. Maybe it wasn’t right for you and mom – maybe it’s not right for a lot of people. But it is right for me and Edward – it’s right for us. Please trust me on this … I promise, I’ve thought this over a good long time. Edward wanted an answer from me months ago … and I’ve put it off until just recently. And while I am doing this for us – for Edward and I – part of me also wants to do it for you. Because I know you wanted some closure – a goodbye. This is that chance.”

I’d run out of words and fell silent, looking up at Charlie’s face. His eyes did not meet mine. Instead, they seemed to focus on his lap – where I still clutched his hands. I watched his finger brush over the diamonds glittering on my left ring finger. He twirled the gold band around my finger, twisting his head for a closer look. “This looks expensive,” he said finally, without looking up.

“It was my mother’s,” Edward said. “My birth mother’s …”

“So you’re getting married. In August. Are you still planning to go to college?”

I squeezed Charlie’s hands. “Yes.” I just didn’t bother to tell him that it would be a few years until that actually happened; first I had to become a vampire and get used to the endless blood lust and grow strong enough to spend time with humans in a confined space. Charlie didn’t need to know that part; he couldn’t.

“And you’ve already got a date picked out and everything … you haven’t really given me any choice, Bella.” He sighed deeply.

“Yes,” I said. “I have – you can choose to accept us – Edward and I – or not. I know it’s not really a choice you’d like to make, but …”

“No, no,” he said. “It’s okay. This is what you’ve chosen. And you’ve been perfectly nice about it … I’m just … a little shocked still. My little girl is getting married.” He looked up at me, fearfully. “We have to call Renée.”

“It’s late, dad …”

“Bella, I’m going along with this whole thing … because I don’t really have a choice, despite what you say. I’m not going to forget I have a daughter just ‘cause she’s going to get married right out of high school to a boy I don’t particularly like – no offense, Edward. But you have to tell your mother and you’d better tell her tonight.”

So, Edward, Charlie and I had spent a late night on speaker phone with Renée in Florida. Compared to my mother, Charlie had handled things incredibly well. It was a long, long night. Followed by a restless sleep in Edward’s arms. I suppose I was just agitated from the conversations with my parents about the wedding. Their words kept floating in and out of my dreams.

* * *