More Than Words Chapter 11
Disclaimer - I do not own Twilight or any of its characters. No money is being made from the writing of this story. All rights belong to Stephanie Meyer.
A/N: I assure you, this is a J/B story. Oh. I went out for coffee and cigarettes and found a Beta along the way!
Sparagus has offered her services, and I am gratefully accepting. Chapters one through ten will be revised and re-posted over the next few days.
“That’s great. At least we don’t have to worry about a big move right before the wedding! Oh, Jazz! I finally had a vision. Bella will be over later, and Edward and her will straighten it out. The wedding will be so perfect!”
Alice had stood and was busily bouncing around the room, straightening out odds and ends and completely bursting with excitement.
“That’s great, Alice.”
I sent out some excitement towards her, even though it was the farthest emotion from my mind.
I pulled up in front of the Cullens’ house some time later. I sat in my car for a few moments, trying to get my thoughts straight. Of course, Edward couldn’t read my mind, but I didn’t want my actions to give anything away. I had to pretend that nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
I felt a small bit of courage and knew exactly where it had come from. I let a out small smile, and I desperately wanted to thank Jasper, but I knew the others in the house would hear me, so I gathered as much appreciation as I could and hoped he felt it.
I took a deep breath and exited the car. Edward met me before I made it to the first step.
“Bella, love, I missed you.”
He smiled his crooked grin and reached out to take my hand. His cold flesh felt strangely foreign to me today.
You can do this, Bella.
“I’m sorry that I overreacted Edward. It’s just… really hard to…” I sighed and then finally shrugged, “I can’t explain it.”
I squeezed his hand a little harder, but he immediately removed it and placed his arm around my shoulders.
“It’s alright. We’ll get past it. It’s my job to keep you safe and in less than two weeks you’ll be my wife and hopefully then, all this nonsense will all be over.”
He ran the index finger of his opposite hand down my jaw.
Did he just refer to my sex drive as nonsense?
“Well, I guess we have some last minute plans to iron out then, huh?” I ignored my inner thoughts and forced a smile at him hoping that it reached my eyes.
He gently guided me through the front door and up the stairs to the main living area.
“I’ll be right here. For moral support.”
I groaned inwardly knowing this wasn’t going to be pleasant.
We sat in the living room and waited a moment before Alice came bounding in carrying several folders. She was bubbly as usual, but something was off. I was instantly nervous.
“Alice? What’s wrong? I eyed her up and down, curious.
“Don’t worry Bella. It’s nothing, really. Jazz just had a rough night. He did well, though. He didn’t slip. I’m proud of him.”
Alice smiled at me then, and I knew that whatever story Jasper had told of his whereabouts last night were believed by the family, including the psychic and the mind reader.
“Okay, on with the plans,” she giggled and opened one of her folders. “Flower arrangements…Lilacs, white roses and sprigs of lavender for your bouquet, with three large Calla Lilies…” Alice droned on about her plans for my wedding and I nodded when it seemed appropriate.
I just wanted the wedding to be over with. I wanted to be changed and to forget the whole ordeal.
As Alice went on about flowers and cake samples, Edward sat with his right hand lightly resting on my thigh. Where once it was a welcome feeling, it now made my betrayal burn me from the inside out.
I was trying to keep my mind off of Jasper, but it wasn’t working. We had promised to never talk about it again, but I knew that would be near impossible. He had cemented a place in my heart with his compassion and grace. While I could never again be with him, at least we would be family.
At least it’ll all be over soon…
The next twelve days flew by. The mornings were spent watching Bella and Alice make last minute arrangements. I loved watching them. Alice was so excited. Bella seemed very overwhelmed.
Just wait until she has to do this a dozen more times…
The evenings went much the same as always. I would hold Bella in my arms while she slept. She didn’t try to push my physical boundaries any further, either. It seemed she had acquiesced to wait.
Everything was going well. Emmett and Rose had agreed to pack up Bella’s belongings from her father’s after we had left on the honeymoon and move them into the Fork’s home. Esme was already planning the redecorating of my room to accommodate Bella both before and after her change.
That was the one thing Bella was still adamant on, her change. Now, more than before, she was pushing me to do it as soon as possible. I did want an eternity with her but hoped to put it off at least until she attended college, at the very least. That was one part of her life that she should experience as it was meant to be experienced Hopefully, one day she would thank me for making her wait.
The only tense moment in the house since Bella’s and my tiff was when Jasper had seen Bella while Alice was doing some last minute alterations of her dress. He projected a wave of raw desire that we all felt, and simultaneously, Bella’s heart rate accelerated. She was… afraid of him.
Given that he had recently come very close to slipping up, I quickly removed him from the premises. It wouldn’t do to have her fearful of him right now, and I couldn’t afford to have him make such a grave mistake as he had at the birthday party last year. His desire for her blood was constantly troublesome. I couldn’t wait to have Bella away from Forks and all to myself for a few weeks.
I thought of my last conversation with Bella before today. She had decided to take the name Cullen, but chose to keep her own, as well.
Mrs. Bella Swan-Cullen.
As often as she would be changing her name and identity, I figured I could humor her.
I pushed the memories away, completely prepared to focus on the present, and our future.
I turned and looked at my reflection, straightening my tux.
Today is finally the day.
In less than an hour that beautiful creature would bind herself to my brother forever. He didn’t deserve her. Every time she had a desire or a question he would humor her. Sure, he saw it as giving her what she wanted, but it was more the way a parent gave into a child, not a man to a woman. The more I paid attention, the more I was sure that all of this was a game to him.
No. Not really a game.
He was and would forever remain seventeen. He was just a boy. He may have spent over a hundred years on this earth, but he would never gain the maturity that was necessary to enter into something as deep and complex as an eternity-long commitment to another person. I couldn’t help but fear for her future.
I nearly came undone when I saw her in that dress. She was a vision; she was perfection. When I saw the pure white, I felt such guilt, but it was quickly swallowed by my desire to have her again.
I had spent so much time keeping her out of my thoughts so that Edward would be none the wiser, that the emotion had snuck up on me like a flash flood. I hadn’t even been able to be with my wife. Every time we tried, I would freeze up. Alice believed that I was still upset from my ‘slip up.’ She was right, I guess, in a way, though it was a gross understatement.
As I looked upon her during that fitting, Bella's eyes met mine, silently pleading for me to let it go. Her heartbeat increased, and I felt her fear. She was scared that I would break her confidence and tell the family. Before I was able to form another thought, Edward had me by the arms and rushed me to the forest behind the house.
I promised him that my thirst for Bella’s blood was under control. I would hold it together for his wedding.
Shaking my head free of those thoughts as I heard Esme rallying the family, I straightened.
It was time.
Alice and my mother were busy primping me, but I couldn’t make myself concentrate. The last few days had been the hardest. I was so stressed. All I had done for three days was eat and sleep. Alice had already reprimanded me for that, because she'd had to do a very last minute alteration on the dress, for which she gave me an earful.
“Seriously, Bella! Why on earth would you eat pasta, of all things, the day before you’re getting married? Just…why did you do that?”
Alice huffed unnecessarily and rearranged the fabric while my mother tweaked my hair.
“Bells, honey, are you having second thoughts?”
Renee. My mother. She was always worried that I would make the same mistakes as she had. Little did she know…
“No, Mom. I’m good. Just… nervous.”
I went back to nibbling on my lip, trying to relieve some of my anxiety. Alice’s hand swept up and gently pushed my hand away.
She finished what she was doing and stood.
She stared at me for a minute, “Bella? You look a little green.”
“Yeah, I have a bit of a headache. Just nerves. Can I have a glass of water?”
Alice floated out of the room and came back a reasonable amount of time later. It was so hard having the Cullens maintain the human façade around my friends and blood family, but necessary.
I took the glass from her and pulled a huge gulp down. It felt like rocks were seated in the pit of my stomach. With one more, deep breath to ground myself, I lifted my chin.
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