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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...


13. Chapter 13: Wedding Aftermath

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1295   Review this Chapter

Sean’s POV:

I’m not really certain how long I stood there after the phone call. I was completely lost in thought. Thoughts about the phone call I’d just received. Thoughts about Maria and I actually staying here with the Cullens. Thoughts of Alice. And Alice and me. And Alice and me and Maria…I could see us making a nice little family. No one would ever buy it, of course—Alice and Maria looked more like sisters. Besides, Maria was actually several decades older than Alice. But still. We would know we were a family, and that’s what matters.

But could I actually get over Bridget? Could I tell Alice I loved her? Did I love her?? And if so, could I admit it even to myself, let alone her? I sighed. When did my life become such a mess, I wondered?

I gradually became vaguely aware of people starting to leave. The teenagers passed, still whispering amongst themselves. I overheard part of their conversation again.

“Did you notice how strange that cousin of the Cullens acted?”

“Yes, I did…and just where did you disappear to, Mike?” The whiny girl asked in a tone of voice that nearly made me cringe.

“Uh, well, !—I’m not quite sure…and I have this weird bruise on my arm now, like I gouged myself or something.” His voice sounded somewhat groggy.

“I saw you go off with that girl!” Whiny hissed. “Don’t deny it!! I saw you!”

“I-I did?” Mike replied, confused. “I don’t remember…” I shook my head and smiled to myself. Sounded like Maria got a snack after all. Whiny voice smacked him again. I almost felt sorry for the kid—it wasn’t really his fault, after all. Oh well.

A few other people left next. . I wasn’t really paying attention, though, when a voice said, “Well, long time no see, Sean!” I glanced over to see Charlie standing in the door way, a wry smile on his face. He walked over and we shook hands. “Yeah, I’ve been kind of…busy,” I said.

Charlie got a mischievous look in his eye. “Remember when you first arrived in town, and you said you fell asleep on the bus?”

I nodded. “Well, why didn’t you just tell me that Dr. Cullen was your cousin? Why the deception?”

“Well, I honestly didn’t know he lived here,” I replied. “I travel a lot, and I’d lost touch with him. We have a large extended family, and lots of us forget where the others are. Happens pretty often, actually.” I hoped he bought the lie.

No such luck, of course…”I thought you said you worked for the Chicago streets and sanitation department?”

Crap. “Um…” I began, but Charlie started laughing. “Don’t worry about it! I know cops when I meet them—I had you pegged almost the second you walked into the station. But I figured you’d tell me in your own good time what your business in town was.”

I chuckled sheepishly. Best to let him think that. After all, I was a cop…of sorts. “Yes, sorry about that, Chief Swan. And I did honestly fall asleep on the bus. That much was true. But now I’m kind of glad. This way I got to see Carlisle and his family again.”

“Charlie shook his head. “Don’t worry about it! And please call me Charlie.” He glanced behind him. “Well, gotta go! Talk to you later, Sean. Here, let me take him, Sue.” The last comment was directed at the dark haired woman coming through the door behind him. She was pushing the wheelchair bound man that had come with them. I saw no sign of Seth, however. Charlie let the woman precede him down the steps, then as Charlie turned the wheelchair around to angle it down the stairs, I locked eyes with the man sitting in it for a moment. I couldn’t quite fathom the look he gave me—equal parts curiosity, distrust, and sadness. I’d never seen him before tonight, yet he looked familiar.

As I watched Charlie and his friends walk to their cars, another voice spoke behind me. “There you are, Sean! I’ve been looking all over for you! Where have you been?” I would recognize that voice anywhere—Alice had caught up with me. She sounded so happy, flushed with the success of her great wedding plans. Yet at the same time I detected a note of stress in her voice. Probably because of me. She walked over and joined me at the railing. Should I tell her now? Or should I wait? I wasn’t really sure. After a few moments of internal struggle, I decided I should just get it over with. Now, while she was relatively happy.

“Jacob Black was here,” she murmured. I glanced at her. “I thought someone told me he’d run off?”

“Well, he came back. My numbskull brother Edward sent him an invitation!’ She shook her head. “He and Bella were dancing, then things suddenly turned…nasty. There was almost a big fight. Thank goodness Seth was here. He and a couple other wolves got Jacob away before anything really happened, but it was close. And I couldn’t foresee it, because I can’t see the wolves in my visions.”

“Why in the world would Edward do something like that?” I asked angrily. “He wasn’t content to just win Bella, he had to twist the knife in poor Jake’s back?” Man, I really hated Edward at that moment, wedding day or no. I shook my head. “That was cold!”

Alice sighed. “I really wish you and Edward would get along better, Sean. Yes, it was kind of stupid, but he claims that he just wanted Jacob to have a chance to come if he wanted, to be Bella’s friend. He says that’s all it was…and I believe him.”

“Still—pretty cold.” I shook my head again. I glanced sideways at Alice. She was staring up at the sky, an unfathomable expression on her face. I decided to change the subject. “Um, it was a really beautiful wedding, Alice,” I began. “You did an incredible job. And, I loved your dress—you were gorgeous! More than gorgeous—I can’t really describe how totally beautiful you looked!”

She turned her brilliant smile on me, and I gulped at the love I was in her eyes. I was so undeserving of it. “Thank you, Sean. I’m glad you liked it!” She wrapped her tiny arms around me and sighed. Then she looked back up at me with a sparkle in her eyes. “So who won the game?” Aw, crap.

She laughed at the look on my face. “Don’t worry, Sean,” she said, hugging me tighter. “I understand your feelings about—about weddings.” The sadness crept back in to her voice. Gah, I couldn’t stand it. I turned to her, and took her gently by the shoulders, and blurted, “Alice, um…would you like to go out with me tomorrow?” I felt like a high school kid, and I hated it. Of course, unlike a highschooler, dinner and a movie were out. What does one do on a date with a vampire?

But it was worth it when her face lit up. “Oh, I’d love to, Sean! We can go shopping!” Well, that settles it for me. Shopping. Gah, I loathed shopping! Maria was always trying to get me to go with her, but I never would. Yet for Alice, I would do the one thing I hated more than just about anything else—I would spend the day…shopping. Wow, I thought—I must love her! If only I could tell her that. Well, since I was spending the day with her tomorrow, I promised myself I would. Tomorrow, I would tell Alice Cullen that I loved her! And then, tell her that I had to leave…..