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The More things Change

Summary:
The Cullen family undergoes many changes--some people leave, some people arrive. Marriages, babies, and imprints confuse the issue even more.


Notes:
This is a sequel to "Home"...you don't have to read that to totally understand this, but it would probably help alot! Yeah, I know I sound like I'm begging for reads, but I'm just trying to be helpful! So go read "Home" if you get confused...


12. Chapter 12: Sean's First Wedding

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2459   Review this Chapter

Sean’s POV:

As much as I would miss Alice…and Maria (and ok, all the other Cullen’s, too--even Edward…there, happy?), I had to get away, if just for a couple days. I had to figure out what the heck I had done in that clearing. I’d never kissed Bridget that way. I really couldn’t put a description to what was going through my head at that moment except—it felt like if I let go of her, if I stopped kissing her, if I turned and walked away from Alice…I’d die. Which was impossible, really. But still—that’s what it had felt like. My life was collapsing around me, and I didn’t know how to stop it…well, maybe collapsing isn’t the best word to use, just in case Alice ever reads this. What I mean is, I had put up solid mental walls around my heart to make certain I never fell for a woman again. I had promised myself that after what happened with Bridget, no female get inside those walls. And for nearly 1700 years, I had kept that promise. But now, somehow, Alice had slipped through my defenses.

Of course, I didn’t buy all this “soul-mate” hooey. My mind always searched for the rational, the logical, and there had to be a logical reason for whatever was happening…there just HAD to be! And given enough time, I would find it! Yes, find it and hopefully put a stop to it. That was one reason I was going to Seattle. To try and think. Yeah, right--fat chance I’d get time to think, because of the second reason for my trip.

That other was that the head of the Seattle office had called in a favour. I had to take down a renegade for him. I was kind of hoping that it would take so much time that I would miss the wedding. No such luck, of course…it only took three days from tracking to takedown, and before I’d even had time to do all my thinking about Alice (or really ANY thinking), there I was in a taxi pulling up in front of the Cullens house once again. Well, that was alright….Alice would kill me if I missed her great triumph. She was really going all out for this wedding. But with my history, weddings really made me…uncomfortable.

I saw Maria standing outside the house, waiting for me. She was frowning, had her arms folded in front of her, and was tapping her foot. None of which was a good sign. What was the big deal? The wedding wasn’t until tomorrow, for heaven’s sake! What is it with girls and weddings anyway? And why was she wearing one of her fancy dresses?

As soon as I was out, she lit into me. “DADDY!!! Where have you been? Don’t you know what time it is?!?” I paid the cab driver, and he shook his head in pity.

“Uh,” I mumbled, glancing at my watch. “Almost Five?”

“Yes! And the wedding starts at 6!!” She shrieked. “You barely have time to get ready!!”

“What do I need to get ready for? I’m not in the wedding! All I need to do is take a quick shower and change my clothes…big deal!” I picked my suitcase up and started inside, Maria following right behind me. And in front of the door I stopped and turned to her. “Wait—did you say the wedding was today??” She nodded smugly at me. “Aw, crap,” I muttered. “Well, at least Alice won’t notice how late I am, seeing as how she’s in the wedding and all, and probably going crazy with last minute odds and ends. At least I lucked out there.” I turned the knob on the door and walked inside…

…to find the house very crowded. “What the frig is this?” I exclaimed. I saw Charlie standing with a woman and man, talking to a woman with short dark hair, who seemed rather ill at ease. I figured the woman near Charlie was Bella’s mom. Next to the dark haired woman was a dark haired man in a wheelchair. A few teenagers (friends of Bella’s, I assumed) were standing in a tight group whispering. Another older couple and a younger couple were there as well. I also saw most of the Cullens, who were trying to make the rounds and get all their guests comfortable. There was no sign of Alice, as predicted, nor Bella or Rosalie, but several unfamiliar, very pale and beautiful faces turned towards me, and regarded me with expressions ranging from surprise to disdain.

“Oh, super,” I muttered again. “More of them! This just keeps getting better and better!”

“You sound like Jake,” an unfamiliar voice rumbled from behind me. I turned around and came face to face with…someone’s chest. “Uh—“ I said, raising my eyes a few inches to see who had spoken. It was one of Jacob Black’s friends, but I didn’t know which one. Honestly, they all looked basically alike to me…like tall, dark haired muscle-y guys. It’s a good thing Maria had disappeared somewhere once we got inside the house—she would probably have drooled over him, then tried to drag him off somewhere and…eat. She preferred the good looking guys as her snacks. And since he must be a wolf, too, I didn’t want any fights on the wedding day…Edward would NEVER let me forget that one!

The giant smiled down at me. “I’m Seth,” he said, sticking out a huge hand. “And you must be that half-vamp guy Jacob and Sam were talking about. Pleased to meet you!” Then he lowered his voice. “And you sure don’t stink like the vamps do, either!”

“Um, thank…you?” I replied, shaking his hand. He laughed. I could get to like this kid. He seemed really easy going. I’d just have to keep Maria away from him. Which shouldn’t be too hard to do…I mean, aside from the wedding, how often would the wolves be at the Cullens house anyway? In fact, I was slightly puzzled as to why this Seth kid was here to begin with. But before I could inquire about it, he had moved off, and Maria came bustling back into the room.

“DADDY! Why are you just standing here? You have GOT to go get changed! Go!! Now! Upstairs!!” She started pushing me toward the staircase, and I decided I’d better go. But I noticed all those strange vampire eyes watching Maria and I, and shook my head. Why is everyone so darn nosy, I wondered?

As predicted, it didn’t take me more than half an hour to get ready. I was NOT looking forward to the next forty five minutes or so. I really hated weddings, and I had my reasons. Besides, I had honestly thought the wedding was the next day, and had been looking forward to watching the “all-Star Game”. So, I snuck a tiny little TV out with me. It had one earphone, and I could hide it under my suit jacket and watch discreetly. I am sorry to say that not only did weddings anger me, they bored me and even scared me, as well. So this way, I could actually enjoy the wedding…well, the ball game AT the wedding.

Evidently, I got downstairs just in time. Maria, frowning, grabbed my arm and dragged me to a chair near the back of the ones that had been set up in the Cullens’ living room. I noticed Rosalie up front at the piano. I sat down and started fiddling, discreetly, with the mini-TV. Suddenly, there was music playing, and I heard Maria inhale sharply. Then she started smacking me on the arm.

“Gah!” I whispered to her. “What is it?” I was frustrated because the reception on the TV wasn’t the greatest, and the earphone was not staying in well.

“Look!” She whispered back, still smacking my arm.

I looked where she indicated, and my jaw dropped. It was Alice, and she was walking down the aisle, and she was…oh my, words cannot describe how utterly beautiful and stunning and gorgeous she looked! She saw me, and her face lit up, making her appear even more beautiful. I watched her as she made her elegant and dainty way to the front of the room. Then she and everyone else turned and looked at the stairs, the guests all rising.. I was still gaping at Alice. Maria laughed quietly, and whispered, “Daddy—close your mouth and wipe your chin!”

I tore my eyes from Alice to glare at Maria…and wiped my chin. How embarrassing. I noticed that Maria had risen, too, and I decided I’d better as well. “Why are we standing?” I grumbled quietly to Maria. She ignored me, staring towards the stairs.

“Good grief, haven’t you ever been to a wedding before?” one of the unknown vampires hissed at me.

“Actually no,” I replied. “Do we have to stand the whole time?”

She gave me a dirty look, rolled her eyes and sighed, turning her attention to the stairs as well.

I shook my head, and turned too. Bella was coming down the stairs on her father’s arm. When they reached the bottom, Bella’s face turned dreamy, and I realized she must be seeing only Edward. Gag…inwardly I shuddered, suddenly glad that this was the first wedding I’d ever been to. If that’s the way all brides looked—I shuddered again. No one would ever look at me that way! I started to get bitter, and was very glad when we were able to sit down again. I immediately turned my attention back to the TV, and was able to enjoy a couple innings of the game.

And it was a classic game! In the bottom of the ninth, the National League was down by 2 runs. The bases were loaded, and there were 2 outs. The next batter came and hit a home run. I pumped my fist in happiness, and said, “Yes!” I guess I said it rather loudly, because I glanced up and noticed that nearly everyone in the room was looking at me. A couple of them chuckled, including Emmett, whilst Rosalie and the unfamiliar vampires scowled. Then everyone looked at the front again, and I saw Edward and Bella kissing. Gag again, I thought, and turned my attention to the now over game. I sighed. Well, there was always next year.

Bella and Edward swept down the aisle to the applause of the assembled guests, and into a sea of hugs and well wishers. I noticed the woman who must be Bella’s mother wipe at her eyes after she hugged Bella. I rolled mine. Give me a break. I quickly switched off the TV and put it in my pocket. Then I folded my arms and stayed right where I was. There was no way in Hell I was getting into this. In fact, first chance I got, it was back upstairs for me. Maria had disappeared into the crowd. Well, let her. I was near the end of my rope with all this anyway. I sat silently brooding, a frown on my face. Well, at least now I knew why I didn’t attend weddings! Thank God that would be the ONLY one I would ever have to attend!

I finally noticed that people were moving outside, and sighed. I got up and followed at the back of the small crowd. Everyone seemed to be greeting Edward and Bella, which I found odd, considering nearly everyone had already hugged and congratulated them inside. I sighed again. Best to congratulate them myself, I suppose. Keep up with tradition and all. I grabbed a glass of punch, and once again I was last in line. I was looking around for Maria, but couldn’t see her anywhere. I passed near to Bella’s human friends, and heard them whispering.

“And who’s that?” one asked.

“Oh, someone told me that’s Dr. Cullen’s cousin,” another said.

“Cousin?” A third replied incredulously. “I saw him and Alice Cullen holding hands a few days ago!”

“Eww,” said the fourth. “How gross! What is it with the Cullens anyway?” I didn’t like the voice…it was whiny and rather snide.

“I met him,” said the second voice. “He was really nice. He’s moved in here, but he travels a lot. That girl over there helping at the food table is his daughter.”

“Man, she’s hot!” replied the third voice, which I now realized belonged to that Mike kid I had lied to in the woods. His comment earned him a smack from the whiny-voiced girl.

Finally, I reached the happy couple. “Well, congrats, you two,” I said, phony smile firmly in place. I shook Edwards’s hand, and Bella hugged me. “Thanks,” she replied. I took a big swig of the punch.

“And I have the feeling,” Edward said, “that soon we’ll be giving you the congratulations.”

“Why?” I asked, frowning. I took another big swig of the punch. That stuff was really good!

“Well, I am a mind reader, you know. And let me tell you, this might be the best night of my existence, but I can still hear the thoughts of others. And Alice’s thoughts are coming through loud and clear. Now that Bella and I are married, I think she’ll be turning her attention to you full time!’

The punch I had just swigged came flying out like a fountain. Luckily, I had turned my head away from them to keep an eye on Maria. I choked and sputtered and coughed, trying to catch my breath. The air had suddenly grown very warm. I felt slightly dizzy. Through the fog that was swirling around my eyes, I saw Edward and Bella smile. Bella put her hand over her mouth and tried to suppress a giggle.

“Excuse…me…I just…remembered..I had to…make a phone call!” I managed to get out past the coughing. I nearly ran from the crowd, back through the house and out onto the front porch. I was vaguely aware of music starting behind the house. I finally managed to get my breath back, and leaned heavily on the porch railing.

No, no, no, no, NO!!! My mind screamed. I will NOT be getting married! Not soon, not EVER!!! No one loves me like that! No one COULD love me like that!! Not even Alice…the poor girl was just deluded. She was sad about loosing Jasper, and had latched on to the next person who came her way. That’s all it was! That’s all it would ever be!! She would come to her senses, and I would be on my merry way.

Before I could get anymore depressed, my phone actually rang. Well, at least I wasn’t totally lying to Edward, I thought…..