Rating: PG this chapter, overall story will be R (or M)
Word Count: 1714
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Edward/Bella focused
Warnings/Spoilers: First several chapters of Breaking Dawn spoilers
Brief Summary: My rewrite of Breaking Dawn following the chapters of Edward and Bella's honeymoon, assuming no pregnancy, but otherwise the same life problems... (love triangle, Volturi, etc.)
It was an amazing feeling to walk into this place that I had visited so many times before and be able to call it home. Our honeymoon had been so long I barely remembered what the Cullen house looked like. Alice had done some decorating before our arrival, a “Welcome Home, Newlyweds!” banner hung inside the doorway, and the rest of the family was gathered just behind it, waiting to barrage us with questions.
Edward squeezed my hand, which brought to my attention a wordless conversation he was having with Carlisle. It didn’t appear there was any tension between them, but he left me to go continue the silent discussion in the kitchen. Alice took the opportunity to flit to my side and give me a peck on the cheek.
“Welcome home, Bella! I just knew you’d have a great time!” Alice smiled and danced off behind them.
“Yeah, we heard you two were going to ‘have a great time’ quite a few times after the wedding. That’s why we had to ship you off to the island in the first place – we didn’t want to listen to that,” Emmett slapped me on the shoulder with a wink. Rosalie rolled her eyes dramatically. As crude as he could be sometimes, I was so proud to be part of his family. Tears started welling in my eyes again, so I looked off into the kitchen.
“Hungry, sweetie? We stocked the pantry before you came back. I’ll go fix you something,” Esme smiled warmly and shot a glance at Emmett before she left to cook. I followed her into the kitchen to check up on the impromptu meeting. Edward was leaning in towards Carlisle and mumbling responses to unasked questions, his voice was nearly inaudible. Alice sat at their side, her fingers pressed to her temples, staring at nothing in particular.
“I know that look, guys. What’s coming to eat me now? Volturi? Rogue newborns?” I had to joke. Keeping things lighthearted was all we could do to stay sane until I was…well, sturdier. My human days were numbered as long as the Volturi were still around.
“Nothing new, my love,” Edward leaned back and turned the full effect of his smile on me. We were married for weeks now, and he could still dazzle me with a simple smile. I went to stand next to him, and placed his arm around me, nuzzling into his chest.
“Well if it’s nothing new, why all the serious discussion?” I wondered out loud. I looked at Carlisle for an answer.
“Well, of course it’s not new danger, but there’s still the Volturi issue. I was thinking we might discuss when Edward was planning to…” Carlisle trailed off and I felt Edward’s arm tense around me. “How much longer would you like to postpone this, Bella? I know it’s depressing to talk about all this with you fresh off your honeymoon…”
But I was ready. I didn’t even need to think about it, really. Standing next to my own personal god-turned-husband, I knew there was nothing else I needed in the world. What was the point in waiting any longer? We should stick to the plan – I was supposed to be changed immediately following our honeymoon, after I had my last necessary human experience. I wasn’t going to change my mind when it came to the issue of spending an eternity with Edward.
Just as I began to speak, Esme appeared and slid a sandwich my direction from across the counter. I smiled warmly and started picking at it.
“Well, I was thinking I should make the change as soon as possible.” Edward drew in a sharp breath; I refused to look up at his face. “Why wait for danger to come to us when I know what I want? We’ve waited for the best possible moment, and it has arrived. My parents know I’m with Edward; I’m already living in the company of vampires… Let’s do it!” I knew the last bit of enthusiasm would upset Edward, so I continued to ignore his unfavorable reaction.
“I have to agree with you, Bella. Now is as good a time as any. Edward… Will you be able to do this?” Carlisle reached out and grabbed Edward’s shoulder, and I felt him relax his grip on me slightly.
Edward placed his index finger under my chin and turned my face to look at him. “Bella, I will be ready as long as you are ready.” His eyes bore into mine, trying to find any sign that my decision was less than final.
“Let’s do it tonight, then,” I said with conviction. Edward let a low growl through his defenses. Jasper quietly approached his other side and the tension left the room.
“You can do it, Edward. We’ll all be here for you,” Jasper looked at me encouragingly. “However, we need to go hunt immediately if this is the plan, brother. I know your vacation has left you thirsty.”
Edward nodded. “Tonight, then.” He turned to me. “Bella… I will only be gone for an hour or so. Use this time to ask the family any last minute questions.” He leaned down and pressed his lips against my ear. “I love you. Please understand that I’m happy that you’ll be mine forever, I just am prone to worrying about your safety, if you haven’t noticed,” he said with a grin.
Edward kissed the top of my head and was out the door with Jasper at his side. I was sure he’d be in higher spirits after some hunting. Carlisle looked at me expectantly. “Well, any questions for me?” he smiled at me, seemingly quite relaxed at the turn of events. Esme pretended to be busy shuffling around the kitchen.
“Um… Not really at the moment. But, thank you!” I returned his smile, but my stomach was doing somersaults.
Alice had been silently watching our exchange, but came and took my arm. “Let’s go have a look at what you’ll wear for the big night! We’ll need something comfy and durable, but chic,” she squealed as her eyes glistened with possibilities. She led me up to Edward’s room – now our room – and walked me into the closet.
I don’t know why I expected Edward’s stuff to be the only thing in there, but as soon as Alice flicked on the lights, I knew I was mistaken. Racks upon racks of designer clothes, probably straight off runway models, lined the walls. Alice carefully watched my reaction, and seemed disappointed by whatever she saw. She pouted and walked solemnly to a rack in the back and pulled out a thin, black cotton dress.
“This will give you some room to maneuver. And extra space in case, you know, your… proportions… change, after you join our legion of the undead,” she laughed at her joke, and held the garment up to me to judge it.
“A dress, Alice? I’m going to be burning from my insides out and you want to put me in a dress?” I tried to be funny, but my voice cracked in the middle. Alice’s face turned serious.
“Don’t say it like that, Bella. No one knows what it’s going to be like for you. Carlisle is going to give you morphine – and Edward and I will be by your side the whole time! Just keep your eyes on the prize, okay?” her eyes were sympathetic. She walked over to me and rubbed my back to comfort me.
“Yeah… let’s just stop picking out the clothes I’m going to die in and have some fun before I’m out of commission for three days,” I said with some more resolution in my voice. Alice nodded and smiled again, and pushed me backwards out of the closet.
While we were walking back down the stairs, we heard Edward and Jasper’s return. They were talking quietly with each other, and it sounded like similar words of comfort were being offered to Edward. Alice noticed I was eavesdropping and jumped in front of me in a flash. I would have knocked her over if she hadn’t been made of stone.
“Bella. You know that I would never let Edward do anything so major without knowing – and by knowing I mean seeing – the outcome. I know you’re going to make it through this! I’ve seen it! If this is what you really want to do, you can rest assured that Edward will succeed tonight. I would not risk losing my newest sister without this certainty!” The truth in her eyes was unwavering. She saw me come through this. This was totally doable.
Just then, Edward peeked around the corner. His cheeks were flushed with the fresh hunt, and his eyes were creamy and golden. I rushed down to greet him with an enthusiastic hug, and his lips met mine with an equal amount of passion. “I missed you, my love. Do you have everything in order before we proceed?” his eyes tightened ever so slightly with his words.
“Yes, I think so. My parents are taken care of, Alice has chosen me a slutty dress to wear, and Jake…” but I trailed off, unable to complete the thought. This was the first time I’d opened the Jacob drawer in several weeks, but it still stung. Edward showed no response.
“Bella, it pains me to watch you hurt over him. I truly want to make everything better, but I think we all are aware that immortality comes at a great cost for you. I promise this will be the last time I ask you – are you sure this is the right path for you now?” he asked, his features twisting into a mix of hurt and concern.
“I know things with J-Jacob will never be the same. I knew that he would not accept my decisions, and I know what’s important to me,” I ran a fingertip along his lip as I spoke. “Please, Edward. Let’s do this tonight.”
“Then we’ll change you tonight. I’ll change you tonight, Bella,” and, with that, he kissed me urgently and desperately. I felt myself being led upstairs, and I tried to forget that somewhere in the forest my best friend was in pain.
A/N: The next chapter to this fic will be posted by Friday night at the latest... (if not later tonight, which is more probable.) And it will be rated R ;)
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