"Blushing Bride"

By Casca

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.  All rights reserved.

 

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Stop it, stop it, stop it, I scolded myself. As if it would make a difference. As if I could actually stop it. How could you stop a tidal wave? How could you stop a landslide? You couldn’t. You couldn’t stop any of those things so you certainly couldn't stop the cold, terrified sweat from breaking out over your supposed-to-be-glowing bride's face.

Bride. Ew.

Where was Alice? She'd promised not to leave me alone this morning. Well, promise was a slight embellishment. Her exact words had been something alone the lines of, "You have to be downright stupid if you think I'll leave you alone. I'm not giving you the chance to even think about making a run for it."

That had been earlier, before my uncharacteristically wedding-obsessed mother had arrived, before Esme had made her first grinning appearance, before Rosalie had poked her head in with a hesitant smile. It had been just myself and Alice, the latter of which had foreseen a particularly intense freak-out happening around eight am and as a precaution, had forced me to practice some sort of yoga position. After five minutes, I'd untangled my limbs, stopped breathing like I was about to give birth, and demanded that she get me something to drink.

I'd merely frowned into the mirror at her declaration that I would try to make a run for it, staring at my pale face as she opened tube after tube of beauty products.

"You would see it, wouldn’t you, and stop me before it happened, so what does it matter?" I'd muttered glumly.

Alice had growled. "How many times must I drum this into your thick heads – I. Don’t. See. Everything. With your luck, you would change your mind on an impulse that I wouldn't see fast enough and break your leg trying to get out the window or something." Then she'd sighed. "It would be typical of you to get married in a cast."

I hadn't been able to respond to that because she had turned to me abruptly and sprayed twenty consecutive squirts of a flowery smelling something right in my face. And two hours later, she – along with all of my other female pokers and prodders - were gone, gone when I needed them most. 

I'd known this would happen. No matter what I'd told myself, no matter how many times I had gone to my happy place, I knew the dread and the sweats and the panic attacks would start. Think of Edward, I commanded myself sternly. Think of the honeymoon. Think of Edward on the honeymoon.

"It's not too late."

The whispered voice came out of nowhere. I gasped, whirled, and looked for its owner. But there was only air. Could I have imagined it? No, my imagination was not that good. The voice had been too beautifully perfect for me to possibly get right.

"Edward!" I hissed, and leaned towards the doorway of the bathroom to peer into Alice's bedroom, but I was instantly reminded that I couldn’t move like a normal person. Stupid designer wedding dress.

Hiking up the yards of white lace and satin to my knees as though I was about to wade into a lake, I stepped cautiously into the bedroom and looked around, expecting to find either my beloved or Alice holding his severed head in her hands.

"If she finds you in here, she'll behead you," I whispered to the room, then gasped when he appeared, as usual, out of thin air. My own personal guardian angel. I looked at him, clad in the sort of tuxedo that I'd only seen on red carpets on TV, and my heart stuttered to a frantic halt in my chest. He couldn’t possibly be mine. He couldn’t possibly be real.

His eyes were trying not to glow as he took me in, wedding dress and all, but when they lifted to mine - probably bugging like a beetle's out of my head – a radiant light shined from the gold. His next words, thankfully, weren't the sort of customary things a groom might say when he looked upon his – gulp – bride-to-be. No fancy words of flattery from Edward, thank God. He merely lifted a brow and said,

"Alice would never throw a wedding with a headless groom. How would it look?"

I half laughed, half whimpered and stumbled towards him, throwing my arms around his shoulders, burying my face in his neck, and breathing in his scent as deeply as though I was taking my last breath.

"Hi," I whispered, holding tight.

"Hi." His answer was a sigh, full of warmth and affection, and his arms came tightly around me. I snuggled closer. "It's not too late," he said again in my ear and I lifted my head to find his liquid amber eyes mysterious.

"For what?" I asked suspiciously. He wasn't about to change his mind about this marriage business when I was finally wearing the dress, was he?

He merely lifted a perfect brow and said in his low, musical voice, "Vegas."

The laugh caught in my throat, but I couldn’t help the thrill from racing down my spine. "Really?"

"Say the word," he whispered. "And we're out of here."

I chewed on my lip. "Alice said she wouldn’t speak to me for three decades if I did anything stupid."

"Only three?" he mused.

"Where is she?"

"Dealing with an emergency. A box of champagne flutes has mysteriously disappeared."

I caught the hint of laughter in his eyes and my love for him soared right through the roof. I pressed my lips to his jaw in gratitude. "Thank you." Out of curiosity, I pulled back. "Where did you put them?"

"Four trees south of Emmett's window, highest branch. She's seen them there already, she's just trying to convince Emmett to retrieve them so she wont get her dress dirty."

I could picture it, Alice climbing through the trees in – what had she called her dress? – A Vera Wang magnum opus.

"She could probably manage," I muttered, nuzzling my nose against his jaw, breathing him in again and again. I couldn't help it. It was the only thing that calmed me. My personal drug.

Edward paused, listening to voices I couldn't hear. "Ahh…Jasper's just gone to get them."

I gasped. "How much time to do we have?"

I sounded breathless and desperate. Edwards's lips twitched. It was slightly foolish, I had to admit. We were getting – gulp – married. We would be spending the rest of the eternity together and I was worried about the thirty minutes I would have to spend without him before the ceremony?

We grinned at each other for a second… and then he bent his head.

"We have," he whispered, "every minute…" He kissed the hollow of my throat. "Every second…" His lips brushed my jaw. "Every millisecond…" I shivered. "Of every single day…" Finally, his lips found mine. "Of forever."

I sighed as he retraced the cold path he had made along my jaw line. This was why I needed him near me. All the time. It all made so much more sense in his words. Every second. Every millisecond. Of course.

"And eight and a half seconds until Alice comes back in here."

I barely had time to gasp before he lifted his head to give me my favorite crooked smile, yanked me against him with as much force as his careful restraint allowed and kissed me with the sort of abandon that was present far too rarely in his kisses. Then he was gone.

Three seconds later, another vampire, this one teeny-tiny and wearing a glittering bridesmaid dress, was suddenly standing there, shooting daggers under long, pixie lashes.

"Hi!" I grinned at her for good measure.

"I know he was in here."

"Who?" I asked innocently.

Alice sighed. "Honestly, Bella, I realize it's a superstition and all, but you shouldn’t take any chances with luck if you can possibly help yourself."

"I don’t know what you're talking about," I muttered, smoothing my dress, my own attempt to fool a psychic. I saw the reluctant smile appear on her face, and my own faded slightly. From experience, mysterious smiles from Alice didn’t often bode well for me.

"I have to admit," she said with a resigned lift of her brow, "it's the first time this morning that you look like a real bride. Blushing and all."

I ignored the revulsion at the phrase and found myself smiling back. I suppose it was the first time that morning I'd actually felt like one. 

 

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