This is a missing moment from Breaking Dawn just before the wedding. Alice is helping Bella get ready, and Bella and Esme share a heartfelt, mother/daughter moment. Esme gives Bella "something new" to wear for the wedding, but Bella is the real something new as a new addition to the Cullen family.
1. Chapter 1
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1244 Review this Chapter
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
“Open your eyes,” Alice whispered from behind me.
The reflection I saw in the full-length mirror took me aback. Of course, I had seen myself in the dress before, but the full effect with my hair and makeup was not something I was prepared for.
My long hair was braided and twisted into an elegant up-do with just a few strands hanging loose into curls. The crowning glory, however, was the delicate tulle veil that rested just underneath the intricate braids.
Alice could easily be employed as a celebrity makeup artist. She herself was a cosmetics maven, but she had the skill to make it look like I wasn’t wearing any at all. My usually pale complexion was cream and roses, and my chocolate-brown eyes were starry, framed with thick lashes.
My soon-to-be-sister did her job well. She had transformed me – a shy, clumsy girl – into a fairytale princess. For the first time in my life, I felt beautiful.
“What do you think?” Alice wanted to know.
I was speechless. I wanted to compliment Alice on her skill, but I was still too startled by the dark-haired beauty looking back at me.
“It’s okay to own it,” Alice encouraged. “You’re a knockout, Bella!”
“Thanks,” I laughed, a little shakily.
Just then, there was a slight knocking at the door. “May I come in?” asked a voice as clear as a bell.
“Of course, Esme,” Alice opened the door for her and she glided into the room, looking stunning in a black-sequined evening gown.
“Oh, Bella,” she beamed. “You look beautiful.”
“Alice, would you allow me to steal a couple of moments with Bella before the ceremony begins?” Esme asked pleasantly.
“Sure, I’ll go check on things downstairs; make sure everything’s in place.” Alice flitted quickly out of the room, her movement as graceful and effortless as an angel’s.
Esme turned to face me. “I have a gift for you. It’s from Carlisle and me.” She procured a small, black velvet jewelry box tied with a golden bow.
Probably due to some subconscious insecurity, I had never been good at receiving gifts, especially when it came to Edward and his family. But right now, Esme radiated such warmth; I couldn’t dampen the gesture with an awkward objection. I simply accepted the gift graciously.
I opened the jewelry box and inside was a pair of diamond-drop earrings. They sparkled in the early afternoon sunlight streaming in from the window. “Oh, Esme,” I breathed. “They’re gorgeous.”
“I’m glad you like them. We got them to match your engagement ring.”
I took a closer look at the earrings and then examined my left hand. Sure enough, the earrings were cut in the same Victorian-style as Elizabeth Masen’s ring.
“Thank-you,” I whispered softly.
“You’re welcome,” Esme said, and she took my hands in hers. “You know, Bella, I already consider you part of the family. I have ever since the first day Edward brought you home to meet us. I couldn’t have hoped for a more wonderful daughter.”
I could feel myself tearing up, and did my best to keep them from spilling over.
“You’re my daughter, Bella,” Esme continued. “I love you every bit as much as Alice and Rosalie. It’s always been true, we’re just making it official today.”
“Thank-you, Esme,” I said. “Thank-you so much for welcoming me into your family and making me feel like one of your own.”
“I’m the one who thanks you, Bella. You’ve given us the greatest gift by opening your heart to Edward. You can’t imagine the joy I feel every time I see the two of you together. How he lights up just at the mention of your name. You’ve brought him to life, and shown him what it means to truly love.”
Esme’s words filled me with such peace and assurance. They banished from my mind any misgivings I might have had before about my worthiness of Edward’s love or of my becoming a member of his family. Esme was Edward’s mother and his happiness, in whatever form it took, was good enough for her.
“I feel exactly the same way about him, Esme. I love Edward with all my heart, and I want to be with him more than anything.”
“I’m so proud of you,” she said, as she gently pulled me into her stone-cold embrace. “You’ve got a wonderful soul, Isabella Marie Swan.”
I laughed tearfully. “After today, it’s Bella Swan Cullen.”
“Carefully, Esme,” said Alice, who had come back into the room. “I’ve worked too hard to settle for anything less than perfection.”
“I’m fine,” I told her.
“Well, thank-goodness I had the foresight to use waterproof makeup. I had a feeling today would be a day for waterworks.” She pulled me back towards the full-length mirror and I obliged without a fuss.
“Let’s do a little inventory, shall we?” Alice asked. “Your grandmother’s hair combs are something old and something blue; Esme’s earrings are something new. Now we just need something borrowed…hmm.”
She paused for a moment, and then took something off of her wrist.
“Jasper gave this to me on our last anniversary. It seems appropriate for a wedding,” she said, as she clasped a diamond-and-sapphire bracelet around my wrist.
“Oh, Alice. Are you sure you want to part with that? It means so much to you.”
“It couldn’t be in better hands. Besides, it goes well with your dress.”
“Thank-you, Alice. This day wouldn’t be what it is without you.”
“You and Edward are my family, and I want the two of you to have the best day and the greatest life together.”
Alice gently pulled me into a hug, careful not to disturb any of her hard work.
“Okay, I’m going to go find your dad and let him know it’s time.”
“Don’t forget the flowers,” Alice said, handing me a bouquet of roses with sprigs of orange blossom and freesia.
Pachelbel’s Canon was being played in the next room, which was Alice’s cue to make her way down the aisle. I knew I had about a minute or two before it was our turn.
“Are you ready for this, Bells?” Charlie asked; my arm interlocked with his.
“Yeah, I am. You know, I’ve imagined this moment in my head so many times, and it’s nothing like what I thought it would be. I was expecting to feel nervous and self-conscious, but I feel surprisingly calm.”
“That’s good,” Charlie said. “I’m so proud of you, honey.”
The Canon ended and transitioned into the Wedding March. I felt a thrill go through me because I knew this was our cue. The doors opened and Charlie slowly leaded me down the aisle.
The room was beautiful and filled with people, but all of it was in my peripheral vision. My eyes were locked with the glorious, godlike creature waiting for me at the end of the aisle. His family stood next to him, ready to welcome me into all of their lives.
I had never been more at ease about anything in my life. On my father’s arm, I faced my destiny with a free mind and an open heart.