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Just the way I'd imagined it

Summary:
Its just before Bella and Edward's wedding and both of them are going crazy with nerves.


Notes:
This is my first story, so be nice


7. Wedding

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2554   Review this Chapter

Edward's house was abuzz with activity when Alice and I arrived; Esme and Rosalie had worked through the night, no doubt, to transform their beautiful home into an even more gorgeous reception hall. Emmett, Carlisle and Jasper were answering the women's every call and running back and forth from room to room, following Alice's detailed list of instructions. The rows of white chairs on the lawn had each been adorned with crimson ribbons. Wrought iron candelabras stood at each end of the long aisle, topped with matching crimson candles. Beside the candelabras were large bowls of blood red roses, dozens upon dozens nestled together. It was, literally, my dream come true.

Alice rushed me into the house, visibly irritated by my sluggish human pace. As she dragged me up the stairs to ready myself, I searched each passing room and open door for Edward, but he was nowhere to be found. She pulled me inside her cavernous bathroom and locked the door. I looked at her quizzically.

"Just a precaution, incase you decide to bolt." She gave me an innocent smile.

"You'd know if I were going to do that."

"Snap decisions, Bella. They get me every time."

For the next few hours, Alice worked on my hair, curling and pinning it into several different styles before deciding on a simple romantic look, pulled half up with gentle curls framing my face, cascading downward. She then pinned a thin delicate lace veil to the crown of my head and smoothed it down my back.

It took another hour for her to decide just how to apply my make-up; bold and dramatic or soft and natural? She finally decided on a combination of both, applying a smoky look to my eyes, a soft rosy blush to my cheeks, and a slippery pink gloss to my lips. She had stepped back to admire her handiwork when her face suddenly tightened and her eyes narrowed.

"No, Edward. You are not ruining this," she said through clenched teeth.

"Alice, I just want to talk to Bella for a second," Edward replied. I could tell that he was standing right outside.

"No! You wanted traditional, and tradition says that you can't see the bride!" The tone of her voice was menacing enough to have frightened anyone, but I could hear his soft chuckle through the thick door.

"I don't have to see her; I just want to talk to her...alone."

"Ugh..." Alice grumbled. "Five minutes!" She trudged off towards the door, mumbling something to Edward about staying safely outside. When Alice had left the room, I crossed over to the door and pressed my cheek gently against the finished wood.

"Bella?" he whispered. His voice was soft and smooth, calm, beautiful.

"Hi," I squeaked back.

He sighed through the door. "How are you feeling? Alice isn't torturing you too badly, is she?" I could hear the smile in his voice now.

"I think I'll manage," I replied.

The door knob turned slowly. "Edward..." I whispered, apprehensively. Instead of it opening completely, the door fell open just a few inches and Edward slid one hand through the open space. I wound my fingers through his, the heavy wooden barrier still standing between us, separating me from what I wanted more than anything in the world. We stood there for a long moment, taking comfort in the feeling of each other's touch, before I heard Alice shooing Edward off down the hall. His fingers slid out of mine, but not before giving me a final gentle squeeze.

Alice grumbled before slamming the door and locking it once again.

"That wouldn't keep me out if I really wanted to get in," Edward laughed, his voice moving farther away down the hall.

Alice's bad mood passed quickly when she looked at her watch.

"It's almost time, Bella," she smiled. "Let's get you dressed." She flounced over to the closet and came back holding a box tied with a black ribbon.

I eyed the box inquisitively. "Alice, did my dress shrink or something?" I asked.

"No, silly. This does underneath." She handed me the box with a devilish smile playing cross her lips.

My stomach dropped. I'd been dreading this. Being intimate with Edward was what I wanted, what I craved, but having the inevitable events of our wedding night brought up in conversation by someone else threatened to awaken the swarm of butterflies inside me. Alice's eyes bore into me, urging me to open her gift. I'd done everything up to this point to make Alice happy; there was no point in stopping now. I took a deep breath before I released the silky black ribbon and let it flutter to the floor. Inside the box was a layer of thin tissue that smelled of expensive sweet perfume. I tentatively pushed back the tissue and stared down at a piece of complicated white satin lingerie.

Like my dress, it was not a modern style; vintage, like something from a 1950's pinup calendar. I lifted it out of the box, it was heavier than I expected.

Alice stood beside me and ran her delicate fingers over the detailed embroidery. "The boning will complete the shape of the dress," she said, almost wistfully.

Alice- always fashion conscious.

"Go ahead, put it on. I already know it's going to fit." She smiled again and left me to put on my present. I stared at it for a long while trying to figure out how to even begin putting it on.

"Alice," I called, "I think I'm gonna need some help with this." I could hear her laugh as she walked back into the room holding the long white garment bag that contained my dress.

"I know," she sang, smiling back at me as she unzipped the long bag.

It took several minutes for Alice to securely lace me into the corseted top, while I clung to a chair for support against her constant tugging. My mind wandered; if Edward and I had been married in his time... I laughed to myself at the thought.

"Done!" Alice finally exclaimed in mock exasperation. I turned to look at myself in the mirror, expecting to be ashamed of what I saw, embarrassed, like a little girl playing dress up. Instead, I gasped at my reflection; the support of the boning in the fabric made me stand up impeccably straight with my chest up and shoulders back. I actually had cleavage, which was a rarity. My waist, though already slim, was more defined; the garment provided me with a perfect hourglass figure. The little girl I had expected to see was not looking back at me from the mirror.

"Do you like it?" Alice asked.

"It's perfect, Alice. Thank you. Do you think Edward will like it?"

She laughed, "Of course he will. But I wouldn't be surprised if he sees it as just a temporary road block." I flushed scarlet as Alice patted me lightly on the shoulder and went to retrieve my dress from its hanger in the bag.

She slid the dress carefully over my head so as not to mess up my expertly tussled curls, and began buttoning me into the beautiful gown. A few small changes had been made since I first laid eyes on the gown Alice had picked out for me; where there had once been a high neck and long billowy sleeves, now was a sweeping neckline that left my neck and chest exposed, and spread over into delicate, slightly off-the-shoulder, capped strips of sheer fabric. The bodice was fitted and covered with intricate beadwork and delicate antique lace which flowed into a long A-line skirt with a train that extended a few feet past the rest.

"Perfect," Alice whispered before kissing my cheek. "I'm going to go get dressed. Renee will be in, in a minute. She wants to see you." She grabbed her crimson maid of honor dress from its hanger and disappeared through the door that led into her bedroom, unlocking the door as she passed. As soon as she was gone, there was a knock on the door that led in from the hall.

"Bella, honey, can I come in?"

"Of course, mom," I replied, still transfixed by my own reflection in the mirror.

"Oh my..." she breathed when she saw me. "Bella, you look absolutely beautiful." Her eyes immediately started to swim with tears. She came to stand next to me and I met her gaze in the mirrored reflection of the two of us.

"I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of you, sweetheart, for so many things. You've proven yourself to be so responsible and mature, and..." her voice broke. "I know you're going to be so happy; you and Edward together. It just seems right." We smiled at each other for a moment before Alice returned looking model-esque and perfect.

"Alice!" Renee exclaimed. "You've done such an amazing job. Everything is so beautiful."

"Oh, it was nothing," Alice replied, winking at me. "Let's get you downstairs, Bella."

I took a deep breath. It was time. This was actually happening.

Renee walked behind me carrying the train of my dress. Alice kept a wary eye out for Edward to make a snap decision and surprise us out in the open, but the house was strangely calm. I knew everyone must already be assembled outside on the lawn.

We reached the first floor landing, when Alice suddenly wrinkled her nose, as if she smelled something foul. She glanced at me quickly before turning to my mother.

"Renee, lets give Bella just a minute alone, shall we?" she said as she took my mother by the arm and lead her off into the kitchen.

A moment alone to collect my thoughts. That was good, I needed that. But I wasn't alone for long.

"Bella?" a soft, deep voice asked from behind me. Startled, I turned to see who was occupying the room with me.

Jake; dressed in dark slacks and a white dress shirt with the first two buttons undone, and no tie. My heart thudded in my chest, the butterflies attempted another escape.

"You look..." his eyes traveled down my body, "beautiful doesn't even begin to describe it."

"Thanks," I blushed.

"I just..." his voice trembled, and he took a breath to steady himself. "I just need you to know that... I'm happy as long as you're happy. That's all I ever wanted, you know? It may be a while before I can be your friend again, but I will be someday. I promise. I want nothing but good things for you, and if this it then... I know you'll be safe with him and that he'll love you." He swallowed hard, obviously trying to keep his demeanor carefully under control.

I crossed the distance between us and threw my arms around his waist. I didn't care about smudging my make-up, or messing up my hair. At that moment, all I wanted was to comfort him in a way that I hadn't been able to in far too long. He wrapped his arms around me and held me close. I could feel the burning fingers of one hand twine into my curls and the other trace the buttons down the back of my gown.

"He's not going to like the way you smell," he whispered.

"I don't care." I squeezed him as tightly as I could.

"I love you, Bella." His voice broke again.

"I love you too, Jake." He kissed my forehead with his too-hot lips before letting his arms drop from around me. He kissed my hand and I saw his eyes glistening.

"Bye, Bells," he choked, before turning and walking out of the room.

I stood still in the place where he left me until Alice and Renee returned. Alice immediately pulled me into a hug to hide my ashen face from my mother.

"It's going to be alright," she whispered.

"I know," I replied. I meant it, and the emptiness I felt in Jake's absence began to be filled with the anticipation of the man who was waiting for me.

***

The next few minutes seemed to go by in slow motion, like I was under water. Alice made sure I was shielded from Edward's view as he walked out the door and down the aisle. Then Renee left me to take her seat in the front row. Alice fluffed and adjusted my veil before taking Jasper by the arm and gliding down the aisle after them. Then Charlie was there, looking just as I remembered him from my dreams; extremely handsome in a dark suit and red tie, eyes tired and watery with tears, smiling at me. I kissed him on the cheek and took a deep, calming breath before taking his arm and stepping out into the evening air.

Everything around me seemed to be moving slowly, but I was still at a normal pace. I had time to look around and see that, also like in my dream, the clouds had cleared slightly and silvery pink and orange ribbons of light were cutting through the gray. Everyone was there, Jessica and Mike, Angela and Ben, people I knew well and some I didn't. And then my eyes locked on Edward, standing like a personified statue of perfection.

He was positioned so that he, Alice, Emmett, and Jasper were standing in the long protective shadows of the trees, safe from the dazzling sun light. He was wearing a perfectly tailored tuxedo, the black perfectly contrasted against his pale white skin. I forgot about everything else around me, all that mattered was him. When Charlie and I reached the end of the aisle, he kissed my cheek and cupped my face in his hands briefly before taking his seat next to Renee.

I was vaguely aware of Emmett speaking, but I could only concentrate on Edward's eyes; golden and smoldering. He was dazzling me again, with more force than he'd ever thrown at me before.

"Bella, do you take Edward to be your husband? Do you promise to love him, honor him, for as long as you both shall live?" He winked at me.

"I do," I said.

"Edward, same thing." Edward broke our gaze to glance at Emmett as everyone laughed.

"I most certainly do," he said as my favorite smile spread across his perfect lips.

"Well then," Emmett laughed, "Edward, you may now kiss your bride."

His smile widened as he placed an icy hand on my cheek and pulled me into an earth shattering kiss. Everyone clapped and cheered as they rose to their feet. We broke apart and turned to face the gathered crowd. Renee was crying, Jessica was clinging to Mike's shoulder, Angela and Ben were smiling lovingly at each other. Edward took my hand in his and walked me back down the aisle toward the house.

My heart swelled and thudded in my chest. Edward was mine and I was his, forever, literally until the end of time.