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I Do... Don't I?

It's Bella's Wedding Day, and Jacob uses his invitation to get in, and speak with the bride. Things are about to get even more complicated than she could have expected... “I’m getting married today, though!” I insisted... ...Edward walked into the room then... ...“Not to me, apparently.”

DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN THE CHARACTERS! Rated 'T' for safety. Is on FanFiction.net under my PenName Amai Ayame Ai.

1. Twenty-Four Hours

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1565   Review this Chapter

Disclaimer: I own nothing of the Twilight/New Moon/Eclipse! *sniffles* I wish, but that is Stephenie Meyer’s!

I Do… Don’t I?

Part I: Twenty-Four Hours

I sat on the large sofa in Edward’s room—our room—panicking. I couldn’t seem to be able to put my veil on without messing up the elegant curls Rosalie and Alice had put into my mousy brown hair. This was Alice’s fault, of course; designing a veil with bobby pins in it! As if she couldn’t see…

My thoughts suddenly veered to thoughts of the one Alice couldn’t see. I wiped the tears from my eyes carefully, before they were able to smudge the charcoal makeup Alice put on me. I stood and went to the mirror to attempt to set my veil correctly on my head.

“Suck it up, Bella, you made your choice,” a mimic of my own voice rang out from behind me. I whirled around to see Jacob, whose expression wasn’t half as bitter as his words. I realized he was teasing me. “Hey, Bells,” he said, smiling.

And it was my smile, the smile that my Jacob wore. I slowly stepped forward, seemingly taking hours before I reached him, where the tears made their comebacks, and worse even than the last time I saw him, months ago.

“Bella, don’t cry,” Jacob murmured, gently brushing away my tears with his fingertips.

“But you aren’t yelling at me,” I mumbled back, the comeback feeble. “You are being so kind, when I deserve so much worse.”

He laughed, surprising me. He was a portable sun again…

“Bella. You can’t expect me to yell at you? Never,” he vowed, ducking down and brushing his lips across my cheek. I was so confused! Why was Jacob here, especially in the room with me as I prepared for my wedding…?

As it used to be, Jacob seemed to know what was going on in my mind without me needing to verbalize it. “Edward sent an invitation to me, a while back,” he whispered, looking away. His voice went bitter, only for a moment, an unconscious reaction to speaking Edward’s name.

“Oh,” I breathed. “Do they know you’re here, though?” I asked, motioning around us to Edward’s room.

“The psychic showed me up herself,” he replied, grinning smugly. His barriers were going back up, I noted. He examined me closely, taking in the wedding dress, my makeup, hair, even the veil dangling from my fingertips.

“What?” I asked, backing away a step. His scrutiny made me feel self-conscious, and I wondered what he was thinking.

“I thought you were opposed to marriage,” he said, bluntly speaking. “Not that you don’t look fantastic,” he added, grinning. I vaguely wondered if Edward was listening to Jacob’s thoughts, finding that I didn’t really care.

“Thanks,” I mumbled sourly, a new wave of panic shooting through me. I needed to get my veil on still, so I turned toward the mirror again, attempting to figure the thing out. I could hardly concentrate, though, because Jacob had moved just behind me. He took the veil from my hands and examined it before gently placing it on my head and pressing carefully to set it in place. “There,” he whispered, backing up.

“Stop it! Please, Jacob,” I begged, more tears surfacing and falling from my eyes. “I don’t deserve you being so nice,” I whispered, shaking my head and reaching up to take the veil out of my hair.

I had no clue what I was doing. Maybe the Jacob Bella took over my body. I don’t know for sure, though, but I knew I was shocked at the next words that flew from my lips. Though I knew I had wanted to say them for a while now.

“Kiss me, Jacob?” I asked, keeping my eyes on the floor. I didn’t see his reaction, but after a moment of two, Jacob had moved in front of me, gently cupping my neck with his too-big, too-hot hand, his fingers tangled loosely in my hair. He tilted me face up toward his and, just before our lips met, Alice burst in, looking like she would cry if she were able.

“Bella,” she whispered, her voice pained. “It’s gone for one moment, and back the next?” she questioned, though the scene in front of her was bound to be answer enough.

Except that I hadn’t made a choice at all that would affect the outcome of this day. Unless actions were enough, now?

Jacob was surprised, too—it was plain to see. His mask dropped, replaced by a confused, yet hopeful gleam in his eyes. He was looking between me and Alice slowly, his eyes always lingering on Alice longer, trying to understand her faraway gaze, and hurt expression. When it finally sunk in, he shook his head. “No, Bella.”

I snapped my gaze to meet his, frowning. “No what? I didn’t make any new choices, Jacob!” I snapped, shaking my head slowly. I felt bad for being snippy with him, but not enough so to apologize.

“Apparently you did, subconsciously, Bella!” Alice snapped at me. “Your future has been gone for three minutes now!”

“I’m getting married today, though!” I insisted, my voice slightly whiny as I stamped my foot on the floor, wincing when a shock of pain shot up my leg. “Damned heels,” I muttered.

Edward walked into the room then, closing the door behind him softly. He said, “Not to me, apparently.” Though he smiled, it wasn’t a true smile that reached his eyes, which were tight, dulled by pain. Tears formed in my own eyes; I had promised myself I wouldn’t hurt him anymore.

“If not to you, then to whom?” I mouthed the words, my voice unable to support them.

“Bella,” Alice said, her voice sympathetic. Both Edward and Jacob held a hand for her to keep down. She shot Jacob a glare, but obeyed them.

“Bella has a choice to make,” Jacob whispered. Alice whined, deep in her throat, but allowed it. All eyes turned to me after that.

“I kept quiet, for I hadn’t cancelled my wedding with Edward, or even thought of it. I’d made my choice a long time ago: I knew who I couldn’t live without, after all.

Edward seemed to know what I was thinking, even without the ability to read my mind. He crossed the room quickly, taking my ace in his hands gently. His hands felt good in this too-hot room.

“Bella,” he said simply. He was about to speak again, but I shook my head and pulled away from his grasp.

“No. I don’t want you to be noble, either one of you. But I know this will always be a dilemma with us, and you will always- always wonder if Jacobs is on my mind,” I had begun crying again, as I remembered the half-civil conversation between Edward and Jake in that tent; I was half-asleep, but the fact that Edward had sent Jake an invitation was proof enough in my eyes.

Edward and Jacob both shook their heads at that, frowning.

“I only want you to be happy, Bella,” Jacob said. “I already told you,” he added.

Edward sighed. “She’ll need more time, of course,” he said, his voice light though his words were nowhere ear light. If anything, they carried more weight than anything else in this world.

Alice nodded. “She will have an answer—her choice—within twenty-four hours,” she said, her voice confident. Edward glanced at her, his rows furrowed. I understood. Alice could see me announcing that I had my choice, though the answer itself was still unclear.

“Remember, Bella,” Edward’s voice startled me. “You still cry at night.”

I scowled. That wasn’t something I liked having Edward point out to me. “Fine. A day. Now, get me out of this dress before I ruin it without meaning to,” I mumbled, keeping my eyes on the floor.

A low snarl echoed throughout the room. “Control yourself, dog,” Edward muttered. I looked up at them, noticing that Jacob had moved forward.

“Neither of you moved to help her,” he mumbled. I thought I saw a light blush on his cheeks, but I wasn’t sure.

“Just unzip me, Jake,” I sighed, turning my back to him. He walked silently to me and gently tugged the zipper down. He wouldn’t ruin the dress, of course, because it wouldn’t sit well with me.

“Thank you,” I murmured, waiting for the boys to leave. When I glanced over my shoulder, Alice was the only one behind me. I sighed and slid out of my dress, blushing faintly because of her silence while I changed, and the fact that she was still in the room.

When the dress was back in its bag, dangling from its hanger, she spoke. “Bella, do you want to talk?” she offered. She was still my friend…

I nearly broke down then and there, but I managed to hold it together and get dressed as I answered her. “That’s too much, Alice. I don’t deserve it,” I mumbled, looking into her saddened eyes.

“‘I’m sorry,’ won’t even cut it,” I laughed mirthlessly.

Alice shook her head and moved forward quickly, enveloping me in her arms and squeezing lightly. “It isn’t your fault, Bella. He is your human soul mate,” she said softly.

“But Edward shouldn’t be so understanding!” I moaned, the tears flowing as I finally broke down.