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Choices

Summary:
Choices Banner This story takes place in Eclipse when Riley goes to Bella’s room to gather her belongings for Victoria. This is what could have happened if Bella had arrived while he was still there, and the events following. Written pre-Breaking Dawn, so that book will be disregarded here. This will include my idea of how the series would have ended.


Notes:
Choices Banner *Written before Breaking Dawn was released, so that book will be ignored with this story.


31. Wedding Plans

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(Previously):

EPOV

Sensing Bella’s vulnerability, Alice had pounced. "Bella, you know what would take your mind off of all this? Wedding plans, that’s what. It’s well overdue, we’ve got to start nailing down details. Come on, Bella, there’s no time like the present!" Alice gently pulled Bella from her seat before she could object. She dragged her to her room, otherwise known to Alice as ‘wedding headquarters.’ Paying close attention, I let them go, listening for when Alice would get out of control, knowing I would step in when needed.

Chapter 31: Wedding Plans

BPOV

Wow- Alice is out of control, and I have no idea how to slow her down. Magazines were flying in all directions, I was covered in fabric samples, and I was actually becoming frightened. Perhaps I should have been paying more attention to her wedding plans...clearly she’s been obsessing over this night and day. How on earth was I going to bring her back to reality? As I had already expressed to Edward, I did not want a fussy, elaborate wedding, and that was exactly where this was heading.

Clearing my throat, I gathered my courage, and forced myself to interrupt Alice’s current speech on the pros and cons of indoor versus outdoor ceremonies.

"Alice. It’s not that I don’t appreciate all of this - I really do. Obviously you’ve put a great deal of thought into all the details, but this isn’t what I had in mind. Edward and I have agreed this will be a simple, quiet ceremony." I waited for the onslaught. Thankfully, at that very moment, Edward appeared silently in the doorway, glaring at Alice, as if daring her to challenge my wishes.

Alice glared back at him. It was like they were having a showdown of sorts. After a couple minutes, she dropped her gaze, and looked down at her lap, sighing.

"Quiet, and...simple?" Alice cringed as she repeated my words, especially the second one. "Just how quiet and simple, exactly? You have to at least let me have some fun, Bella..."

Alice looked back up at me, her eyes wide and innocent. "Please? For me? I won’t get this chance again, Bella. Yes, Rosalie and Emmett will surely marryagain and again, but she always takes charge of all the details..." Alice trailed off, laying on the guilt. It was starting to work - that little pixie always knew how to melt my heart. She just looked so sad...

Edward came in and sat beside me. "Stop it, Alice. You will do exactly as Bella says - no more, no less. This is our wedding, and I wish for it to be only what Bella wants. She is actually happy about the idea of marriage now, and I won’t have your - tendencies - help to diminish that fact."

Alice glared at him, then looked back at me with her wide eyed look of innocence. It was quite impressive, how quickly she could change her entire demeanor. She waited for my verdict.

Glancing around at the state of her room, I couldn’t help but feel touched by how much effort she’d put into this. Still, I had to maintain some level of control, or there would be no telling what would happen.

"All right, Alice. As far as simple, here are my guidelines. You may choose a dress for me, but I will have the last word on it - I’m the one that will be wearing it, for goodness sake. As you and Rosalie will both be my bridesmaids, you may choose your own dresses. Edward will decide what he and his brothers are wearing, and Carlisle and Esme are well able to dress themselves. If Esme asks for your help, fine. As far as music, I have only two songs I insist upon - Edward’s lullaby, and Claire de Lune. You may add whatever other music you want, as well as anything specific Edward may have in mind. That should cover most of it, I believe," I said, pausing.

Alice was practically squirming in her seat. Her tiny fingers were gripping the satin upholstery on her chair tightly. She was obviously dying to say something, but I wasn’t quite finished yet.

"As far as quiet...well Alice, this is one thing we can’t budge on, for obvious reasons - technically, I’m supposed to be dead. Clearly, you can’t invite anyone to my wedding. It will be family only - the members of this household, and no one else," I finished.

Now she was really fighting to maintain control. It would only be moments until she ended up tearing that upholstery, and I didn’t want to know how much it would cost to repair.

Sighing heavily, I asked, "What, Alice?"

Instantly words began flying from her mouth, so fast I could barely understand her. Leaning over slightly, I braced myself against Edward for support, as I strained to catch everything she was saying.

"How long do I have - what’s the date? Do you want to see the dress I chose now that I know you’ll want anyway or do you want to wait for me to get more so you can compare them? What about flowers? You didn’t specify anything about flowers. Does that mean I can do whatever I want? And what about decor in general? You know, lighting, candles, color scheme - all of those things - you didn’t mention anything like that, so does that mean you’re leaving it up to me? Because I have lots of ideas, it wouldn’t be any problem. Music - did you want musicians or just CD’s? I’m quite sure I could locate live entertainment that doesn’t know you’re supposed to be dead. Speaking of which, of course I knew not to invite people that think you’re dead, Bella. Obviously, with no human guests, we won’t have to have food - although if we have live musicians, that may look weird to them. Hmm.. Makeup and hair - are you leaving that to me as well? I have a list of the top stylists in New York City - I was going to fly one of them in - would that be ok? It’s really not a big deal. Have you thought about a honeymoon location? What about your shoes and accessories? I have some great options for those as well - depending on which dress I ch - I mean, depending on which dress you choose." She stopped almost as abruptly as she began, clearly relieved to get all of her questions out. Blinking innocently, she waited for my response.

Edward had to shake me slightly to bring me back to the present. My mind had begun to glaze over trying to keep up with her.

"Um...ok, as far as when, we don’t see any point in waiting, as there aren’t any invitations to send out...so how about two months from today?" I watched as Alice’s eyes bulged. "If that’s not long enough, we’ll just do things the way I had originally planned - no frills, completely simple and easy. I can pick up a dress in Port Angeles - no big deal," I added.

Alice shook her head adamantly, hiding her panic. "No problem, Bella, I can do it. Continue."

"Well, then... I would like to choose the dress myself, and I don’t want to do it now, so I’ll wait until later. I guess flowers are up to you, as well as decor. I hadn’t really planned on either, so just nothing over the top. No live musicians, it’s not necessary, unless Edward disagrees. Makeup and hair...we don’t need to hire someone, we’ll do fine on our own. Shoes and accessories will be handled the same as the dress - you may give me some options, no more than three choices for each, and I will decide. Is that everything?" I asked, still dazed.

"Your honeymoon?" she asked, expectantly.

"Oh..." I trailed off, unsure of what to say - once again, if I had still been human, I would have been blushing furiously.

"I’ll be taking care of those details, Alice," Edward interrupted. I glanced curiously over at him, wondering what he was planning.

"Well then, yes, that should be everything, at least for now - thank you Bella!" Alice was thrilled at having control of some of the details. Briefly, I wondered if that was a good idea, but after having experienced that last episode, I was far too eager to escape, so I decided not to worry about it. Together, Edward and I backed hurriedly out of her room, as she went to work, blurring as she ran from corner to corner, piecing ideas together. Clearly, I was out of my element.

A few days later, Edward and I were outside, spending time with Esme while she was making some additions to her garden. She truly had a gift for such things. Edward was helping clear a new area, when he suddenly stopped, tensing. At about the same time, Alice came bounding out the back door.

"Someone’s on their way here - they’ll arrive soon," Alice said hurriedly. She’d been checking the future repeatedly since Jane, Felix and Demetri had left, but hadn’t picked anything specific up yet, just brief flashes of Aro and his brothers discussing our family.

"Can you tell who it is yet? Are they a threat?" Esme asked, worried.

Alice closed her eyes, focusing. "It’s one of the Volturi guards, and no, they don’t appear to be a threat. They’re bringing something - a letter, I think." Alice replied.

Later that evening, we were waiting inside, along with everyone else. When we heard them approaching, Carlisle moved to the front door. As soon as the knock sounded, he opened the door.

Demetri stood waiting, expectantly. "Greetings, Carlisle. Aro has sent me to deliver this specifically to you." He held out an envelope for Carlisle to take.

"Ah, well, thank you. Please offer my regards to Aro, and tell him I’ll be in touch," Carlisle responded.

"Certainly," Demetri replied, as he turned, going back in the direction he had come from.

Carlisle closed the door, and turned to face the rest of us, curiously waiting. "Give me a few moments to read this, I’ll be right back," he said, disappearing to his office.

Uncertainly, we all sat in the living room, waiting. When I asked Edward why Aro had sent Demetri with the letter, rather than mailing it, he explained that Aro wanted to know for certain that Carlisle had received it - he didn’t want to leave any room for excuses. We were all anxious, as we were quite sure this letter was in response to whatever Jane had told Aro upon her return to Volterra.

Carlisle reappeared quickly. It must not have been a very long letter.

"Aro has requested that our family visit them in Italy," Carlisle explained, his tone somber.

"We cannot do that," Edward interrupted. "As soon as we get there, you know he’s going to insist on using his gift - he’ll immediately see what’s going on with Bella, and know about her powers, as well as the fact that we purposefully deceived him," he said, distraught.

Carlisle met his gaze steadily. "Yes, I am aware of that. That is why we will not be going. I am going to reply, letting him know we respectfully decline."

"Can you do that? Has anyone ever refused a request of the Volturi?" Rosalie asked, shocked.

"Not many, no. Our response will not be well received. I’m afraid Aro will see it as outright disrespect. He was already interested in Alice and Edward, and he’s fascinated by how Bella is immune to certain gifts, like his. Now he believes we are hiding some incredible power of Bella’s from him, which in reality, we are. Upon realizing this, he will most likely become even more fixated on acquiring her for his empire, and quite possibly Edward and Alice as well. What he would chose to do with the rest of us after deceiving him, well...it wouldn’t be good. I will do all that I can to explain that our family simply wishes to live peaceably, and that we are certainly not a threat. Unfortunately, I believe it will only make him more curious, and possibly angry. When something intrigues Aro, he pursues it - it becomes an obsession. This problem isn’t going to just go away, but for us to willingly go to Italy would essentially be handing Bella over to him - once he sees the depth of her power, he won’t rest until she’s one of them. As for the rest of us, it might as well be suicide," Carlisle finished quietly.

Silently, we digested what Carlisle had just told us. We all knew what it basically meant - whether we went to Italy or not, we were all essentially trapped.