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Dream's Shadow

Summary:
This is my take on the over- and usually poorly- done plot. Edward leaves Bella again. She is changed and they meet again in the future. There will be a big twist! Requested by Iris. Banner by Iris!


Notes:
Try it! I know stories like this usually stink, but I thought I'd give it a try. I own nothing. Stephenie Meyer owns all.


90. Chapter 90

Rating 5/5   Word Count 670   Review this Chapter

They kiss for a long time. Edward and I are the only ones who can hear their thoughts, or lack thereof, along with the chorus of alternating cheers and mild disapproval emanating from the crowd.

I catch some interesting minds throughout. Claire’s sister, for one, who is purely happy to see the stranger she is related to happy, and Claire’s mother, who is guilty as anything.

The kiss softly ends. I ache for Edward. Fortunately, he’s very close by. He walks with me, hand in hand, down a paved path through trees that remind me of home.

I spend the reception with his arms around me, spread on either of my sides while he plays piano for the guests. It is very kind of him, I think, to provide the entertainment for his mortal enemy’s wedding.

All for you, he thinks. She’s your friend.

Yes.

Then I’m happy to do this.

Alice sang into a microphone she’d snatched from the theatre in this very building. We’d moved from the chapel into a utilitarian student union, enlivened in Alice’s best fashion with every manner of flower and fabric and jewel.

I didn’t know she could sing, but honestly I’m not surprised. After all, those vampires can do anything, can’t they?

I listen to the speeches, watch the humans devour their unappetizing feast, and muse on the past I’ve missed.

But mostly I watch Quil and Claire. Together.

She’s different than when it’s the two of us talking. Our friendship is a very giggly adolescent one, the platonic equivalent of a brief fling. We met, decided we liked each other, are throwing her a big party, and doubt we’ll ever see one another again.

She’s always light-hearted, but sometimes abrasive, dismissive, when the conversation verges on uncomfortable.

With Quil, she seems unbelievably happy. She’s happy still, yes, blindingly so, but also shy, a little afraid of making the wrong move.

I remember that. I think I may still behave that way. I’m terrified of losing Edward, and he’s so volatile, so unpredictable. I tread carefully around him, always.

She’s very sweet, too, and at complete peace. She trusts him, with everything in her, more than anything else in her life.

It’s beautiful.

And Quil… oh, the way he stares! My old comparisons, the blind man and the sun, the collector and the Da Vinci, even the mother and her child—they are inadequate. Nothing but Edward’s adoration for me can pose a parallel to this much love.

I understand what Jacob meant even better now. How could even Claire, after everything, resist this? How could she deny that this love is forever? It’s unstoppable.

I feel Edward’s breath on my neck and I grin.

I love you.

I love you too, Bella.

To my surprise, Carlisle stands. The toasts are still going on, and he raises his empty glass. “Hello, Quil, Claire. I am honored you invited me today. I must admit I was somewhat surprised… but the more important thing is what even an outsider like myself can see. You love each other. I can personally vouch for the fact that feeling love like that is enough to guide you through many years- or forever. My congratulations to both of you.”

He knew? About all of this? Why didn’t he tell me? They’re my friends. My would-be family! I deserve to know the… what? Secrets I turned my back on? Tawdry gossip that goes on in my willing absence?

Besides, I’ve spent the last twenty-five years in Volterra. They don’t have email.

I forgive him instantly and turn my attention back to the festivities.

They dance, they eat, they smile, they kiss. Claire throws the bouquet and poor Leah Clearwater catches it. They leave.

In their absence, the casual guests leave. My family and the pack are alone.

We have some explaining to do.