'Father,' Alec called, walking into the castle dining room where his family was and pulling Isabella by the hand.
King Aro looked up from his meal, 'you're late, my son, where have you been this last day? … Who's this?'
Jane sent him a wary look, telling him to say what he was going too gently and not to just drop it; the consequences would be so much worse if his did.
'This is Isabella, Father,' Alec replied pulling the blonde girl closer to his side, 'my ... wife.'
Alec, Isabella and Jane all cringed as cutlery hit the plates and food splattered off of them. His father leaped to his feet angrily.
'What?' he roared and Alec felt Isabella shuffle behind him slightly as Jane groaned.
'You remember Isabella Cullen, of course, Father,' Alec began.
'Cullen!' his father yelled. 'And now everything makes sense -!'
'Darling,' Alec's mother sighed, placing a hand on his arm, 'calm down. Alec, Isabella, come sit down and let's talk like civilized people.'
Continuing to guide Isabella with her hand, Alec pulled her to sit next to him. He was opposite his mother and round the corner from his father while Isabella was opposite Jane, who reached across and squeezed her hand. That made their father realises that his daughter knew everything.
'Jane, how could you allow you're brother to ruin his life like this?' their father asked angrily but sunk back into his seat and finally their mother removed her hand from his arm.
'Darling,' she said calmly, 'we can sort this out. No one knows their married yet, besides us and her family, at least that's what I'm going to assume. They can easily just get divorced and no one will be any the wiser. Alec, my dear, I can sort out all the paper work and -'
'What?' Alec growled and Isabella glanced up at him, he squeezed her hand in apology as he stood up angrily. 'No,' - he sighed heavily and softened his voice - 'Izzy, my love, would you and Jane please … just go somewhere. Janey, why don't you show Isabella somewhere she wouldn't have seen.'
Alec could see Isabella sending him a worried look so he leant down and kissed her cheek. He could see every act of love for her was making his father angry and his mother worried and uncomfortable. Jane took his wife's hand and led her out the room but as soon as the door shut everyone exploded.
'ALEC!' his father's voice thundered. 'What has gotten into you? This girl is a criminal's daughter and even more a commoner. How can you disgrace us first by marrying without our consent and then by marrying a commoner? This is unacceptable!'
'What are you doing?!' his mother yelled at him. 'Alec, this is a mistake. This marriage will ruin your life, you have to end it! I will not let you destroy yourself! Divorce this girl or I will find a way to make sure it will end some way!'
'Stop it! Please!' Alec shouted over them since he hadn't been able to get a word in edgeways so far. 'Will you please just let me speak? Please, I beg.'
His parents exchanged a glance and sat down once again, with faces that were set in their decisions but resigned out of respect, and Alec hoped love, to listen to his side. Alec himself didn't sit down but instead walked away and started to pace, sorting his thoughts out. He stopped and leant on the table so he was leaning over both of them.
'I beseech you,' he began to plead with them, 'to allow my marriage to Isabella stay and to not destroy it. Mother, I love her more than anything in the world and without her my life would be filled with misery. She is this ray of sunlight,' - he spoke to his mother, moving round to kneel at her side, knowing she was the most reasonable and could, if he convinced her, help convince his father - 'this gem, she's hope and dreams. She's the completely opposite of me but she completes me, without her I feel complete lost. She's kind and sweet and caring and family is at the utmost importance to her. If someone's suffering she wants to help them, she has to, or she can't look at herself in the mirror.
'So, you see, Father, that she's not just good for me, necessary for me, but she'd also be good for the Kingdom. One of the people who need help rather than someone who has grown up papered as Jane and I. She offers a different perspective on things and she always keeps me on my toes and makes me see things from other's points of view.
'I'm so dreadfully sorry that I didn't ask you or tell you or even invite you to our marriage, but I knew you would just react like you are and try and stop me. I couldn't allow that, you must understand. Izzy and I, we'll do whatever you want if in return you allow our marriage to remain. Just get to know Isabella, please. Jane wasn't keen on it to begin with but she got to know her and now she's completely taken. She agrees that Isabella is good for me and will be good for the kingdom.
'Please, please, please. Please allow me to stay with the woman I love. This creature which is beyond human. Who, although she has suffered deeply, shows nothing but kindness to everyone, who I've never heard discriminate anyone. She says things like "perhaps the price of being poor is that you have to struggle for every little necessity but then you get an appreciation of it and you know what you want. Whilst begin rich, maybe you have a life of abundance but do you really know what you want and desire compared to what you need'. There was so much more to it than that but she's so insightful and like I said she knows how people live and the everyday struggles they face because she has faced it. She knows the people and they know her. She's a well-known face around those who suffer because, poor though her family is, what they have they have to share.'
His mother placed a hand on his check as though to stop him but he continued, 'she's an angel, Mother, and if you got to know her I assure you you'd love her. Please.'
'Alec,' she sighed heavily, 'even if what you have said is true, we cannot allow it -'
He pulled away from her and stood up, frowning angrily down at her.
'You're the Queen, are you not?' he growled and then seemed to speak to himself. 'What was it Izzy said? If it has been written into law by men surely it can be unwritten? Or something like that ….'
'See!' his father exclaimed. 'She's such a simple-minded child; she doesn't know that nothing is that simple.'
'We can teach her,' Alec spun around to him, 'Jane and I can teach her.'
'Aro, darling, there's no need to insult the girl,' his mother scolded Alec's father, effectively stopping another rant from Alec. 'Alec, kneel at my level would you. You must understand that, love or not, a prince cannot marry a commoner - and don't be smart with me and say that you already have. Perhaps you have married her but when people find out the kingdom will be a laughing stock, people could decide we're a liability stop trading things with us, it could lead to our downfall. Do you really want to destroy the kingdom just so you can marry the woman you love?'
Alec's eyes fluttered shut before he looked up at her, 'no, but, Mother -'
'No, Alec, I've had enough of this conversation,' she waved a hand to gesture him away and stand he did, but he didn't leave.
'Alright,' he sighed and his parents must have thought his defeated with his slouched shoulders and his bowed head but then he straightened his posture out and stared at them defiantly with a fire burning coldly in his eyes. 'Alright, then I shall leave,' - 'Alec!' - 'No, Mother, I told you there is no way I could live without her and I won't. I will abdicate my position as king and Jane and whoever she marries can have it when you hand it over or die, Father, because if being a prince is what is making me unable to spend my life with Izzy then I want nothing to do with royalty anymore. Say I died to avoid the horror and the embarrassment of it, I don't care.'
His parents looked sufficiently horrified and as Alec strode from the room he almost expected them to call after him but they didn't and he let the doors slam shut behind him.
'Alec, what did you do?' his wife exclaimed at him later that evening as they sat in her family's shabby living room.
He sat on the sofa, his mind still reeling from the conversation with his family and what he said, his head was in his hands as though trying to hold it together from all the thoughts flying around in it. Isabella knelt in front of him, her tatty patched brown calf length skirt blown around her, her hands resting on his knees.
'Alec! What on earth possessed you to say that?' she worried. 'You can't throw away everything for me; they're your family -'
'You're my family, Izzy,' he interrupted her but didn't look up, still he knew he had evoked her beautiful smile
Feeling her hand on his chin he looked up and took in her beauty. Her pale curly blonde hair, kept out her face by a brown piece of fabric acting as a head scarf, a ruffled off white blouse that didn't cover her shoulders and had no straps but sleeves that went down her arms or would go all the way if she hadn't folded them up so they stopped halfway up her forearm, and a simple brown corset. All her clothing was scruffy, tattered and patched together on multiple occasions by her mother. Despite her trying to clean up before meeting his parents he could see still see dirt covering her skin, her nails were still destroyed and her hair still knotty but to him, she was still beautiful. She had managed to be clean for their wedding day which had literally just been an exchange of vows. She and her mother had found a clean white dress in her mother's wardrobe and they had had their little wedding to themselves. Her father had married them with only her family present.
'Alec, are you listening to me?' her voice finally reached him and he shook his head.
'No, I'm sorry,' he answered honestly, reaching across to place a hand on her cheek and smiling at her softly.
'Why were and are you looking at me like that?' she asked, blushing under his intent gaze.
He grinned and seized the moment to be teasingly cheesy, 'because you're beautiful.'
One blush blended into the other, the second far more intense and Alec chucked. Moving his other hand to her cheek, he rested his forehead against hers.
'Stop fussing,' he whispered, 'you've inherited you're mothers worrying habit, everything will be fine. I promise.'
He felt her sigh though he didn't hear it and she nodded.
'Okay,' she whispered softly.
He gave her a weak smile in return and moved that tiny bit so he could kiss her. They jumped apart as the door slowly opened to reveal her parents. Isabella jumped up to hug them and Alec smiled. Her family was worth so much more to her than his did, he thought as he watched his father-in-law wrap Isabella is a tight hug, kissing his forehead very lightly and whispering something in her ear. He pushed himself of the sofa to greet them as well.
'I take it it didn't go very well?' Carlisle asked taking in Alec's tired movement, he tightened his arm around his youngest child. Alec just flopped back down on the sofa even though he hadn't even fully got of it yet and that seemed to be answer enough.
'They were furious,' Isabella muttered sadly to her father.
Having spent a few days with these people Alec could see how Isabella was so confident that her father had never touched Royce. He was so gentle that Alec would be surprised to hear that he had hurt a fly. It seemed so stupid that he had been so convinced that he could murder someone.
'They were beyond furious, love,' Alec disagreed, rubbing his hands over his eyes
'So what's the verdict, dear?' Esmerelle asked him and the other two turned to look at him as well. Isabella already knew but Carlisle didn't. Alec knew, however, that he would react the same way as his daughter, they were so alike.
'Basically, they said that they couldn't allow it under any circumstance so I said that I would abdicate my claim to the throne and no longer be a prince,' Alec tried to say it as though this meant nothing to him but Isabella's eyes, which were a window to her emotions, told him he'd failed. His family may not be as close as this one but they were still a family. 'Izzy's not too impressed with my rash actions.'
'I imagine not,' Carlisle frowned. 'Alec, that's a serious statement to make.'
'That's what I said,' Isabella agreed and not remembering her saying that, Alec assumed it was when he had glazed over.
'Alec, are you sure you can and want to do that?' Esmerelle questioned.
'That's what I asked,' Isabella her mother and Carlisle's lips twitched as Alec exchanged a look with him
'Aren't there any other options?' Carlisle continued the questioning. 'These people are your family, Alec, this is your heritage. You shouldn't have to give that up.'
'That's what -' Isabella began and Alec sent her a look. 'What? I said that too!'
She waved a hand as there was a knock on the door and her father went to get it. He soon returned with Jane and standing in the Cullen living room she looked remarkably out-of-place with her clothing pristine clean, even Alec was beginning to look a bit scruffy.
'Well, they've finally calmed down!' she exclaimed, wrinkling her nose at the sofa before deciding she would sit down. 'But, Al, you won't believe this. They are quite adamant of the fact that this is just you rebelling against them as all children do and soon you'd realise you were being stupid and come home.'
Alec wasn't surprised at all though slightly disappointed, 'well, being King means a lot to Father, perhaps he thinks he passed that trait on to me.'
It took his parents a few weeks to realise that this wasn't Alec rebelling but was in fact a hundred percent serious and soon they sent for him to come and talk to them. He went unwillingly, hoping this wouldn't end in a shouting match. His mother hugged him tightly as soon as he walked in and his father greeted him with a nod of the head and "son". They were sat in the library, the place where Alec had first spoken civilly to Isabella and it just gave him a constant reminder of her as he spoke with them. They started off with irritating pleasantries but eventually got on to the main point.
'When are you coming home, dear?' his mother asked in her best maternal voice and Alec blanched.
'I thought I was quite clear last time, Mother, I'm not,' Alec frowned. 'Not unless you are willing to accept my marriage to Isabella.'
'Is this girl really worth throwing away your family, your status, your heritage for?' his father growled.
'Izzy's all the family I need, the only title I need and want is that of her husband,' his father frowned as Alec answered his question with something that would never have come out of his mouth before he had met Isabella. 'She's changed me, Father, for the better.'
'You're really serious about this girl?' his mother asked and Alec looked at her hopefully.
'I've never been more serious about anything in my life, Mother,' Alec smiled over at her trying to ease her troubled mind which was clearly displayed on her features.
'I tell you what my son,' she gestured him closer, 'your father and I have had much time to discuss this and I will give her one change only. If I think she is worth it then perhaps we will discuss this further and make another decision. Don't get your hopes up, my son, even if I like the girl, your father and I may still decide to terminate the marriage and there will be nothing you can do about it.'
Alec lunged away from her, 'Mother, even if you terminate my marriage to Isabella, I will not leave her side for this life. If you even think about terminating my marriage to her you will never see me again, I will be gone from your life and you'll have no one to blame but yourselves.'
'Alec,' his father snarled. 'Take what you're being offered before we change our minds.'
'Very well,' Alec bowed in his father's direction. 'When?'
'Tomorrow night,' his father replied and Alec nodded before spinning toward the door. He was almost at it when his father spoke, 'and, Alec, make sure she looks and acts the part.'
Alec growled and slammed the door behind him - it was a freaking trap!
That next evening before dinner, Alec could be found pacing his old bedroom waiting for Jane and Isabella to join him. Since the evening before when he told them all the news, Jane had been teaching Isabella as much as she could and now was trying to make her look the part of a princess. However, in his mind he was sure that they couldn't do enough. If Isabella made one mistake, one slip up, everything would be done with and his parents would be watching her like a hawk.
The door creaked open and Alec turned to find his sister dressed up but could hardly focus on her since his wife was right behind her. He felt his draw drop open. She was wearing a dress he knew that Jane had never worn before because it didn't fit her which was made of rich purple material. As was Isabella's style the dress didn't cover her shoulders but the sleeves were puffed up. Her skirt was floor-length and fell gracefully around her small frame. Atop of the dress was a deeper purple corset with lighter ties and one her hands with little light purple gloves. His gaze run over her face, which was the cleanest he had ever seen it and covered very lightly in makeup. Her blonde hair was piled atop of her hair and accented only with a simple purple headband.
'I feel so weird,' she complained and Alec smirked: he knew she was in there somewhere.
'You look beautiful,' he assured her, 'stunning, amazing, any complimentary word you can think off. I'm sure it applies.'
'Are you alright, Al?' Jane laughed slightly and he managed to snap out of it enough to glare at her.' Come on, we better not keep them waiting or we'll be in trouble before it even begins.'
'Of course,' Alec agreed and gestured her out. Isabella waited for him and he wrapped an arm around her waist as they walked.
'Alec,' she whispered in a quiet voice and he turned to look at her struck at how young she sounded and when he turned he realised she looked younger as well despite all the royal getup, 'I'm terrified.'
Alec felt his heart melt for his wife and wished he could do something to ease her fears but he couldn't because he was just as scared. He couldn't even stop and try to calm her down since then they would be late but she was getting paler with every step they took and she was naturally pale.
'I know, love, I know,' he pulled her closer, 'try not to think about it. Calm down, breathe, relax, I'm right here. They agree or not, I am not leaving you. I love you more than anything in the entire world. You are my everything.'
'I can't breathe,' she whispered and he spun around to kiss her, anything to distract her.
As he pulled back, she managed to laugh. She pulled off a glove as he continued to make them walk and wiped a finger across his lips so he assumed he had lipstick on them. He chuckled as well realising this and licked them as she put her glove back on. They were approaching the dining room and he kissed her on the forehead before the entered.
'You're just on time,' his mother smiled as he entered with Isabella.
Alec looked his parents and the room over and knew straight away that they were trying to intimidate Isabella, to prove to him and her that she doesn't belong there. There were succeeding because Alec could almost feel Isabella's heartbeat. He was really beginning to get worried that she would have a heart attack before the night was out.
Isabella curtsied to them gracefully as Jane had told her to do and Alec gave his parents a very small bow. Jane was already seated and watching them, trying to send Isabella calming looks.
'Isabella, you look lovely,' his mother smiled as the two of them sat down, Alec keeping a tight hold of Isabella's hand, rubbing soothing circles in it. Perhaps he was scared but he knew that was nothing to how she felt right now.
'Thank you, your majesty,' Isabella replied in her sweet voice and Alec was extremely proud that there was a not a waver in her melody, for to him her voice was like music. 'As always you look simply beautiful.' - Jane must have told her how much their mother loved compliments.
'Thank you, darling.' Alec wasn't sure what his parents were up to and he really didn't want to stay long enough to find out. 'Tell me about yourself, dear, you come from a big family Alec tells us.'
'Well not really,' Isabella began, her family being something that could easily get her talking for hours. 'There are only four of us; I know a family with seven children -'
'Seven!' his mother gasped and Alec knew the family to which Isabella was referring was her in-laws. 'God gracious!'
'Yes,' Isabella smiled, 'they work on the land so the more members of the family they have, yes they have more mouths to feed, but they also have more hands to bring in money. It works itself out for the better. However, I'd much rather hear about you. What was your family like?'
'Oh, I was the youngest princess of Italy, you know,' their mother began and it seemed she was going to stop there until she was Isabella's interested face. 'Over there, it was a lot warmer, warmer than it is here - I hated the weather when I first moved here for I detested rain with all my heart -'
'It's England,' Isabella laughed with Alec's mother, 'there's hardly a day when it doesn't rain!'
'I know,' his mother was still giggling slightly and placed a hand on his father's arm, 'but I was young and very much in love with the man I was arranged to marry. I was willing to deal with rain if it meant I got to be with Aro. My family was rather small - just me, my elder sister and my father. My mother died when I was two so I hardly knew her and I barely remember her know but my sibling did. She loved her dearly. Growing up in Italy was magical, my family was close and that really sums it up.'
Alec glanced at Jane and she shrugged completely confused by their mother's attitude. The rest of the dinner passed smoothly and Isabella didn't make a single mistake. During it even his father started chatting to Isabella and Alec began to think that maybe this wasn't as impossible was he had thought.
'Isabella,' Alec grinned as they left the castle that night, 'that was amazing! I'm so proud of you.'
She turned to look at him, now dressed in her normal clothing and her hair even messier than usual but the moon illuminated her face giving her a kind of surreal glow. She beamed over at him and he pulled her to a stop to kiss her. He picked her around the waist not breaking contact with her lips and spun her slowly in a circle.
Alec had forgotten what his mother had said about liking Isabella but still terminating the marriage so when he was asked to go see them a few days after the dinner, he was sure this conversation was going to go better than the last few. It didn't, however.
When he arrived it was to find divorce papers sitting on the table waiting for him to sign. The sight of them seemed to make his whole body run cold.
'This is the easiest way, dear,' his mother told him.
He just shook his head and backed away, feeling hatred for his parents begin to bubble in his stomach along with a sick feeling in the back of his throat. His heart beat sped up and he couldn't swallow.
'Alec, either you sign the papers willingly or I will somehow force you to,' he father ordered.
Alec continued backing away from them until someone grabbed his arm and began to pull him forward, he was barely aware enough to fight them. For the first time in years Alec felt tears blur his eyes but, at the moment his father held a pen out to him, Jane screamed. Her scream shattered the haze surrounding Alec and he shot up, by the time everything was calm enough again he was gone.
Isabella was alone when he returned to her house and seeing his expression she rushed to his side and simply wrapped her arms around him.
'We can't win, Izzy,' he whispered into her hair, 'but do me a favour and never sign anything unless you know exactly what it is.'
'I promise,' she whispered so softly he barely heard it but he did and he relaxed ever so slightly.
However he had never expected threats to their lives from his own parents.
He had simply been walking through town with Isabella when his own soldiers grabbed him and a scream from Isabella told him that they had her as well. He struggled until he got view of her and then kind of wished he hadn't. One of the soldiers had her arm behind her back, which from her expression was clearly causing her pain, and knife to her throat. He struggled even harder to try and get to her.
"Your father says, Prince Alec, that you are to sign the papers -' one man began formally.
'Never,' Alec growled.
'-or we kill the girl,' he spoke as though this was nothing.
Alec instantly stopped struggling as he realised how far his parents would go in order to keep face. He stared at his wife as her breathing changed trying to pull the knife away from her neck since the man holding her pressed it further into her skin. Alec felt all fight leave him as he saw a single red dot appear on the knife. The papers were forced in front of him and he was released. It was an easy decision but he still wasn't happy to make it. They both reluctantly signed and then Isabella was unceremoniously released while he was pulled away but he saw the villagers flock towards her and one even managed to rip the divorce papers out of the hands of the soldier holding them - it was Emmett.
'Mother!' Alec yelled as she walked into his room which he was practically being kept prisoner in however his voice faltered as he saw how remorseful she looked. 'What is it?'
'Your father has gone too far,' she sighed sitting down on his bed with her head in her hands. Despite everything she had done, Alec felt himself draw towards her as her shoulders began to shake slightly. 'I'm so sorry, Alec, I believed that ending the marriage would be what's best for you but I never wanted either of you harmed. Everything you said about Isabella was completely true and I do love her dearly but it simply can't happen -'
'Can't you just lie about her heritage to any royals who ask?' Alec begged, kneeling at her feet but his mother shook her head.
'I was debating doing that, my dear, I was,' she rested a hand on his cheek, 'but it's too late now' - Alec froze - 'Oh, darling, I'm so sorry. When you tried to escape the other day, your father decided that he'd had enough of this and' -'
She stopped to let a sob out and Alec felt his mouth become dry and his heart beat slow down. His grasped at his mother's hands begging to know what had happened but she simply stared at him.
'Please, Mother,' he whispered, she looked away from him crying.
'He had her killed, dear,' she cried and Alec leapt away from her. 'He sent soldiers last night and I didn't find out till this morning. I'm sorry, I'm so dreadfully sorry.'
'Please leave,' Alec forced the words out of his mouth, feeling as though he was under that wave of cold that he had when he had seen the divorce papers, though this time it was a lot worse. He didn't cry though.
His mother sighed and got up. Just as she got to the door, she turned around, 'I am sorry, Alec, I would never have agreed to this. I have managed to get you permission to leave now and go see her family. I love you my dear, I'm sorry.'
He moved towards the Cullen house like a ghost, letting his feet guide him to the now familiar destination and was met at the door by her father. Carlisle was hardly recognisable: he seemed to have aged a hundred years since Alec had last seen him. His eyes were red, his hair messed up, his whole face draw downwards, his clothing was just thrown on without looking like he'd really tried and his eyes, that like Isabella's sparkled all the time, had lost that shine; they were just blank.
'I'm so sorry,' Alec muttered, he couldn't get it out of his head that if he hadn't met Isabella, she would still be alive but her father just shook his head.
'It's not your fault, Alec,' he replied but the voice was not the one Alec was familiar with - he had forgotten that Isabella wasn't just Carlisle's youngest but also his favourite. 'Come on in.'
Alec followed his father-in-law back into the house and he found it surreal that nothing had changed. If he didn't know any better he would assume that Isabella had just nipped into town. At least, he could pretend that until he entered the living room because everyone in it just seemed broken and finally Alec felt tears well up in his eyes. Carlisle went straight back to his wife, who was in floods of tears, and Alec gazed around the room. Emmett was just staring blankly at a wall, trying to sooth Rosalie who looked like she was about to break apart, she clutched at her husband's clothing as though he was the only thing that would keep her from drowning in her despair. Jasper was sat in a chair with his head titled up to the ceiling and Alec could see tears trickling down his face and Mary-Alice was perched on the arm of the chair, holding his hand and trying to control her own tears. Edward was sat on the floor against the wall, hugging his daughter close to him and crying into her hair while his wife, Lillian, was being hugged by her father. Alec wasn't surprised to see Charlie and Renee Swan there as well. Cynthia, Mary-Alice's sister, was being hugged by Renee.
Alec leant against the door that had been shut behind him and slowly slide down it till he was resting on the floor but despite the tears welled in his eyes still they didn't fall. He was too numb to cry, too numb to feel anything. Isabella was gone, the woman who he loved, who had saved him from himself, who had barely had a chance to live because he had fallen in love with her. She was gone and nothing could change it. It wasn't fair and it wasn't right. Alec's world was dark, dreary and cold, because Isabella was his sunlight, happy and warm, and she wasn't going to come back.
Esmerelle let out a heart-breaking sob and Alec let his eyes flutter shut, letting his head fall back against the wall. He was done fighting, he was done caring.
I'm soo sorry … I think I've been reading/watching/listening to too much Les Misérables. This was not the plan! I have no idea what possessed me to write it like this, sorry. Review though, I'd love to know what you think x