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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.


33. Nerves

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2485   Review this Chapter

Chapter 33: Nerves

BPOV

It had been three weeks since Carlisle’s reply had been mailed. We were all growing considerably more anxious, knowing by now our letter had surely reached it’s destination, waiting to see if our request to simply live in peace would be granted.

Edward and I had just returned from hunting, and as we approached the house, we heard crashing sounds, followed by a struggle. As we listened closer, we glanced knowingly at each other, and we ran towards the back door, and proceeded directly into the house. I’d asked Emmett to do me a favor earlier that morning, and apparently, he’d made a decision, cluing Alice in.

"Knock it off, Alice! Bella told me to do it, get off!" Emmett yelled.

"No way! There is no way you’re doing that! I will not allow it - you’ll ruin everything!" Alice screamed back.

As we rounded the corner of the kitchen, we found Emmett sitting in dining room, his laptop open. Alice was perched on his back, trying to wrestle his computer away from him. Jasper stood in the doorway, chuckling at the sight in front of him.

"Dude - get your wife off of me - it’s not funny! I’ve been given one job for this thing, and I want to do it - tell her to stop!" Emmett roared at Jasper.

"You’re on your own, Emmett," Jasper laughed. "I’m not getting involved. She can be ruthless when she wants to be."

"Forget it Emmett! I won’t have it - you’re not messing up my vision for this wedding!" Alice yelled fiercely. Kicking her leg around his side while still holding onto his back, she swiftly knocked the computer off the table.

"Damn it, Alice! You probably broke it!" Emmett yelled.

Edward cleared his throat, and the two of them froze, glancing over to where we stood.

Alice hopped off Emmett’s back, and hurried over to Bella, quickly regaining her composure. "Hi, Bella. Don’t worry, everything’s under control. All the wedding plans are going great!"

Edward and I exchanged wary looks. "Then what on earth is this all about?" I asked, entertained by her facade. It was a good thing Esme was out running errands - she would have been appalled at their behavior.

Emmett jumped up, and picked up his computer. Snapping it shut, he held it close to his chest, his arms wrapped protectively around it, glaring at Alice. "She’s freaking out, saying I’m not allowed to do my part, that’s what’s going on. She’s completely out of control!"

Jasper just stood in the corner, leaning back against the wall, arms crossed, grinning at us. Clearly, he found all of this to be highly amusing.

Edward and I glanced down at Alice, who was hissing back at Emmett under her breath.

"Alice? Is this true?" Edward inquired, trying not to laugh.

"Bella, I know you would never have asked Emmett to officiate, right? For some reason, he thinks you want him to be the one to marry you two, which is ridiculous - he’ll just do something goofy, and mess it all up. I’m right, aren’t I?" she pleaded.

Which one of us is going to tell her the truth, love? Edward thought to me.

I sighed. It had probably better come from me, I suppose, I answered.

"Alice, remember you said you’d agree to whatever my terms were. Well, one of those terms is that I want Emmett to officiate. He’s promised to take it seriously, and it makes sense, to me anyway. He’ll do fine, and it’s easier than having to search for an official far enough away to not know about me. Plus, there are just too many risks to take with that, anyway - what if they were to start asking questions?" I said, bracing myself for her response.

"Why can’t Carlisle do it then? At least then I’d know for sure that it would go according to plan," Alice begged, disturbed.

"Carlisle will be walking me down the aisle, that’s why," I replied softly, trying to will her to understand.

Alice, please...I promise Emmett will do fine, this is how I want it... I spoke silently to her.

Sighing, she started to speak again, then decided against it, as she caught Edward’s expression. "All right, fine...but you’d better not mess it up!" she said, glaring back at Emmett. She turned, and just before stomping out of sight, spoke once more.

"Bella - you’d better be upstairs in five minutes. It’s one month until this wedding, and you need to have your dress fitted! We’ve got details to deal with. Oh, and the wolves have responded - the ones we invited are all coming, which means we’ll have to explore menu options, too..." her voice trailed off as she disappeared up the stairs.

Dutifully, I followed behind. I felt guilty for upsetting her with Emmett’s part in the ceremony, so the least I could do was endure another afternoon of insanity.

EPOV

A couple of weeks later, we received another letter delivery from Italy. Aro once again asked our family to reconsider, to visit him in Volterra. He was more adamant in this one, much more direct. Clearly, this was an issue he wasn’t going to let go. Not so subtly, he reminded us that Bella was still alive due to his generosity. It was as if he felt a sort of ownership of her.

What was incredibly irritating was that Bella wouldn’t appeal much to the Volturi - not without us, anyway. She was connected to our family, as were her powers. Of course Aro didn’t realize this, but we certainly couldn’t tell him, either. If he knew that, it would only convince him more that we were too powerful, too much of a threat. What Carlisle was truly worried about was that if Aro did find out about Bella’s unique connection to us, he would move to not only attain Bella for his empire, but Alice and I as well. He’d held great interest in Alice and I already, and if he discovered that Bella shared and intensified our abilities, his fascination with us would become insatiable - a trio of omniscient, future predicting vampires.

With two weeks until the wedding, Carlisle sent another reply, similar to before, respectively declining, while explaining our family’s wishes - to live at peace, together. None of us were expecting a favorable response, and I couldn’t help but worry constantly about what was to come. At all costs, I had to protect my Bella - without her, I had nothing. In just two weeks time, I would be able to call her my wife...it was the one thought that brought peace to my conflicted mind.

BPOV

The day of the wedding finally arrived, and the house was full of activity, all due to Alice. She was uncontainable, running around like a woman obsessed since around three o’clock this morning. She was actually making me nervous. How much could there be left to do, anyway? When I’d started to raise questions, reminding her that this was supposed to be kept reasonable, she ushered me off dismissively, saying that I’d only given her two months, so of course it would be reasonable.

The ceremony was set to start at six o’clock this evening. Twilight somehow seemed appropriate to us. Most of the family was going hunting this morning, whereas I chose not to. It was the least I could do for the very few guests that were going to be there, to not smell offensive to them. Besides, I didn’t want to hear everyone’s thoughts all day - I only wanted to focus on one person, and that was my soon-to-be husband. Of course, Alice stayed behind as well. She wanted to be here to continue setting up, and to accept the floral arrangements and catering so she could make sure they were delivered correctly.

The bell rang numerous times throughout the day, and I heard Alice ushering delivery men all around the backyard. She had given me strict orders to stay inside, because she wanted everything to be a surprise. Alice had even gone to the extent of having the giant window in our room covered from the outside - apparently, she didn’t trust me not to peek.

With everyone else gone, I spent the day relaxing, reading for a while, listening to music, and eventually taking a long, hot shower. Edward had made me promise that for just this one day, I not worry about the Volturi. He wanted this to be our day, and only ours.

It had been arranged that when the rest of the family came back from hunting, Edward would be confined to the other side of the house with the men to dress, while I would join the women in Alice’s suite. Her bathroom was the largest, after all.

I couldn’t wait to see Edward. It was funny to think I’d once been so against the idea of marriage, so scared of it. True, I was nervous right now, but that was more due to Alice’s frantic pace than anything else - I could hear her freaking out left and right. In contrast, whenever I thought of being able to gaze into Edward’s eyes while he called me his wife, I calmed down considerably. It was comforting, and something I was yearning for.

Finally, I heard the family arrive home. Alice was yelling at Emmett again, giving him strict orders for the ceremony. Giggling, I heard Edward enter the house with Jasper and Carlisle. He was arguing that he’d left something in his room that he had to get, and they weren’t buying it - honestly, neither was I. When Jasper informed him that he would retrieve the item for him, Edward let it drop, mumbling to just forget it. He was just as anxious to see me as I was him.

After listening to be sure my path was clear, I made my way to Alice’s room. Rosalie and Esme were already there, waiting. Alice was still out back yelling at Emmett, but knowing her, she wouldn’t miss this opportunity for the world. I knew she’d be along shortly.

Esme pulled me into her arms as I entered the room. "Bella, today is such a special day. I’ve thought of you as my daughter for so long now, as you know. You’ve completed my son, in ways I feared would never happen. Thank you," she said as she embraced me.

Smiling shyly, I thanked her for having always been so accepting of me. The three of us then made our way into Alice’s giant bathroom, and began preparations. Rosalie sat me down, away from the mirror, and asked if I had anything specific in mind. This was their area of expertise, so I told her to do what she wanted, as long as it wasn’t too much, and the makeup was light.

Alice flew into the room about ten minutes after we’d started, and immediately took her place of command. She let Rosalie work on my hair, while Alice took charge of the makeup. Esme sat across from me, telling me stories of all the other weddings their family had thrown throughout the years, while she fastened her own hair into an elegant chignon at the base of her neck. I believe she was trying to distract me, to keep me calm, while the other two worked on my appearance.

Eventually, after what seemed like hours, Rosalie and Alice stepped back, studying me, then looked at each other, smiling. Without a word, Alice spun the plush chair around so I was facing the mirror. Gasping, I took in the image before me.

They had worked absolute magic - never before did I think I would be so pleased with my appearance. Rosalie had swept my hair up into large, loose, barrel sized curls, secured on the back of my head, creating a beautiful effect - elegant, yet somewhat casual - not too formal. Alice had actually listened to my request as well. The makeup was not entirely noticeable, yet it completely enhanced my features. It was wonderful.

"Thank you both, so much..." I wasn’t sure what to say. Thankfully, I didn’t have time, as they pulled me over to the dressing area, and began collecting all of our garment bags from the closet.

Before dressing, Alice quickly ran some gel through her hair, spiking it around her face. Rosalie fluffed her gorgeous curls once, and they were ready. How embarrassing that I had required all that work, and they were ready within five minutes. My expression must have deceived me.

"Bella, you’re the bride...you’re supposed to be fussed over. Besides, it’s just something we enjoy doing. Whenever I get married, we spend hours on my hair," Rosalie smiled softly. "You’re absolutely beautiful without any of the fuss," she added reassuringly, as Alice nodded in agreement.

Alice, Rosalie, and Esme got dressed first. They all looked stunning. Their choices in dresses were far better than anything I could have chosen.

Alice had chosen a midnight blue dress with a large violet ribbon, which fastened around her waist. She had it hemmed so it was short, just above knee-length, which complimented her petite frame.

Rosalie was beautiful in a long, deep violet satin gown. The rich color accented her blonde waves and pale skin perfectly.

Esme was wearing a gorgeous shade of green. Her dress was a strapless two-piece, which hit just below her knee.

As I slipped my dress out of the garment bag, my nervousness returned. Would Edward like the dress I had chosen? It had been a difficult choice - all three that Alice had selected had been amazing. This one though, had spoken to me. I had never even imagined anything so beautiful. It had actually been Alice’s original choice, which obviously thrilled her to no end.

The dress was ivory, strapless, with a rich satin ribbon which encircled my waist. The entire dress was covered in delicate lace that draped gracefully to the floor. It had a simplicity about it, while still looking classically elegant. The lace gave it a vintage feel, while the style was modern. The combination of the two elements reminded me of how Edward came from a time long ago, while I came from the present - a perfect mingling of two connected souls from different times.

After some more help from Alice and Rosalie, I found myself fully dressed with my veil in place. Gazing at my reflection in the mirror, my anticipation began to build. In just a short while, I would be Mrs. Edward Cullen. Suddenly, memories of Charlie and my mother flooded through me, and I wished they had been able to be here for this.

"It’s time," Alice said quietly. She was passing me something - it was my bouquet, and it was stunning. There were white roses, blue Gentians, pale blue delphiniums, and white calla lilies. I was still staring at it when Alice’s voice interrupted my thoughts. "Bella, are you ready?"

Taking a deep breath, I smiled back at her - at all three of them. "Yes, I’m definitely ready."