And three months after that was our wedding day. Brooke had arrived this morning - she was due to arrive earlier but things came up and yada yada she ended up a few days later than planned - so now me, my bridesmaids, Elsee and Claire were in my house (Sam had cleared off to Paul's) getting ready for the day ahead. Well actually, we were all done know and slipping our shoes on.
All of my bridesmaids (Leah, Angela, Kim and Brooke) were wearing a knee length dress with a tulle underskirt that swung with every step they took. It had a structured bodice which featured stunning ruching detail that, according to the sales woman, defined a feminine figure. The dresses were strapless with a concealed zip and they were all wearing white heels. The only difference between Leah and the rest of them was that she was wearing a cream dress while the others were in yellow.
I had brought that dress that Allison and I had seen at the Bridal Exposé which I had paired with white heels and a veil which matched it perfectly. My hair was half up and half down which the slower section flowing over my shoulders however the curls were tighter than usual more like Elsee's.
Thinking of her, I looked over at my angel who was spinning around with Claire dressed in a pretty A-line dress with stripping. It was a darker yellow than the bridesmaids dress with dainty spaghetti straps and straight neckline, which had a cream stripe running parallel to it for effect. The skirt, was flared and floor length. The two girls hair was the same as mine but clasped around the hair band was a hair comb with three bloomed lilies in cream and cascading from it was ribbon with small flower accents.
We made our way to the beach, luckily the weather had held enough that it was perfect for a wedding, where we were met by Seth and the groomsmen - Sam and Paul were already done the end (or at least, I hoped they were). We spent a few minutes getting ready before Leah nipped into view and waved her hand. She hurried back and handed Elsee and Claire two white wicker baskets that had cream Calla Lilies accented with small red flowers and even smaller yellow ones. The music began to play and I took a deep breath before smiling widely at my daughter and gesturing her away. The two of them then disappeared out of view to spread cream petals on the walkway we had made.
I hurried of the find Embry and pushed him toward Brooke but instead of linking arms with her when she turned from taking her bouquet from Leah he froze staring at her. Seth, Jacob and Jared, appropriately enough, wolf whistled but before they even did that I knew what had happened: Embry had imprinted. Kim and I shared a knowing glance - we knew that look. Brooke blushed slightly and soon Embry held out his arm. She took it without a moment's thought and they disappeared as well leaving me grinning and shaking my head fondly.
Jared chuckled as he walked over to his own imprint and offered her his arm, grinning widely. Kim giggled, took his arm and the offered bouquet from Leah and the two of them went as well. I looked at Angela, who looked thoroughly confused as to the proceedings - she always was too perceptive, she knew there was something going on that wasn't just as it seemed - but it was her turn to go with Jacob so they went on her way. Leaving me, Leah and Seth.
Leah picked up the final bouquet, a hand tied arrangement that was packed tight with red rose buds and cream calla lilies which was beautiful and classic, and then handed me mine. She gave me a fond smile as the music changed every so slightly and then did something so unlike herself - she kissed my cheek and walked away to go down the aisle. Seth rolled his eyes next to me, dressed in matching clothes to the groomsmen which were white dress shirts with cream waistcoats, trousers and ties. Attached to his suit was a red bud and a white Calla Lilly with berry fillers, the short stems wrapped in yellow.
He offered me his arm because, like the perfect brother he was, he was giving me away. I smiled up at my younger step-brother and took it as once again the music changed and we began to make our way forward. I clutched the stems of my cascading bouquet tightly, which was elegant and full. It was made with cream Roses, small Calla Lilies and bloomed Lilies with red roses as accents.
My eyes scanned the crowd as we stepped into view and everyone gasped. I could see friends and residents of La Push nearer the back, close friends who had made the journey from Arizona closer, Billy and his two daughters who had been visiting anyway, I could see Brooke's family and Quil's along with Embry's mother. Soon enough I could see Sue and Allison but by then my eyes were more interested in Sam, smiling widely at me from the alter. Seth and I stopped just in front of the first row of chairs and his kissed my cheek. I made the rest of the way up to Sam alone.
The ceremony paced with a hitch, I managed to say "I do" at the right time even though I was locked in Sam's gaze for the most part of the ceremony. The new ring felt heavy and yet feather light on my finger as I locked my hands behind Sam's neck when we kissed, sealing our marriage. I knew everyone was clapping but I could barely hear it - my focus was on Sam and Sam alone. We pulled apart though before we made people uncomfortable. The clapping reached me as we did so and we turned to face them. Everyone was on their feet, wide smiles gracing their faces and for a moment I was completely happy before I felt Sam's arm shake slightly around my waist. I placed my own over his waist and pressed my cheek against his shoulder while I was really scanning for what was wrong.
I saw it as I took my bouquet of Leah but before Sam and I began to move. Joshua. My eyes flittered shut but Sam's arm pulling me forward made me smile brightly again as we took our leave. Silently, though, I beg Sam not to let this ruin our wedding day.
'Congratulations,' Joshua smiled his eyes flickering between the two of us, we both glared - Sam in dislike and me in suspicion. 'Isabella, you look beautiful.'
Sam's face softened for an instance as he looked down at me, a soft smile playing on his lips, 'that I, sadly, have to agree with.'
Then without another word to him, Sam pulled me any from his father and we continued over and out of the way so our guests could gather in the tent we had set up before we entered.
'Well done,' I told him smiling up at him. 'At least you don't phase at the sight of him anymore.'
Sam gave me one of his looks - are you really thinking that now? - and leaned down, cupping my cheek, to press a kiss to my lips which quickly made me forget all about Joshua's uninvited appearance. That is until our DJ's voice announced for us to come in.
'So for the first time anywhere,' his voice boomed. 'I would like to introduce Mr and Mr Sam Uley...'
Sam and I pulled apart before walking in to a round of applause, both my hands around Sam's arm, a large grin permanent of my face. We walked straight past our guests onto the dance floor just in time for the music to start.
'… and now it's time for their first dance.'
Sam swept me into his warm arms and easily led us in our slow first dance as a married couple. I wasn't clumsy or unsure, I didn't even have to think. I just looked into Sam's eyes and somehow managed to move so gracefully that I was surprised. Eventually, about half way through, the bridesmaids and groomsmen joined us and I was glad some of the attention was off Sam and I, even if it was just a little.
'We did it,' I grinned up at him.
'Yes, we did,' he smiled down at me in return, lowering his head to kiss me again though this time it had the background noise of whistling, whooping and cheering.
Soon that dance finished and we headed to dinner with speeches and then eventually photos before the dance floor opened back up, starting with Sam and Allison and, since Seth had given me away, me and my little step-brother. The dance floor then filled up with everyone else and I took a chance to rest my feet from the heels I was wearing and to look around at all my friends and family, dress probably the best I would ever see them until another wedding.
I heard a giggle and turned to see Elsee and Sam. He had hold of her hands and she was standing on his feet as he danced them around. As I watched he picked her up and span them around before placing her back on the floor. I had never seen such a wide smile on Elsee's face, Sam's face was also lit up with his eyes shining with love for our daughter.
'They look like they're having fun,' Allison's voice said from behind me and I turned to look at her but she was smiling wishfully at Sam. 'I remember when Sam was that small …'
'Aw, Allison.' I tried not to laugh. 'You're not going all sentimental on us, are you? I thought you said you didn't want to, and wouldn't, be one of those crying mothers.
'I'm not,' she said firmly but her voice wavered. 'I just … you've given him everything he wanted. He always wanted kids for two reasons: one, he wanted to be a father but there was also another reason, he wanted to prove he wasn't Joshua, that he would stick with his family through thick and thin … and I think he's done quite well in proving that already.'
I turned back to my husband - a jolt of the stomach at the thought - and daughter and smiled softly.
'He's nothing like Joshua,' I said, 'and he's done amazingly in proving it.'
Sam looked up at that moment as he spun Elsee, who was off his feet at the second, under his arm and grinned widely at me. I blew him a kiss and my smile widened as I noticed the photographer behind him getting evidence of the scene to always be remembered. I danced with most of the pack during the course of the evening and even with Sam's uncle, Joshua's brother who was still around, at least once.
What really made my evening though was Carlisle and Esme appearing in the corner of the room seemingly from nowhere.
'Congratulations, Bella!' Esme beamed, squeezing me tightly but then was distracted by Elsee running over with the surprising yell of "Grandma!"
All three of us blanched in shock but eventually I smiled over at Esme and nodded that it was all fine before stealing her husband off for a dance. Carlisle was just as easy to dance with as Sam, simple because he could dance and was easy to follow, there was also the fact that we didn't move all that much. I rested my forehead against his shoulder, breathing in his familiar sweet but fatherly scent that would irritate Sam later. Charlie may have been my father and I loved him but Carlisle was always going to be father figure. I just hoped Elsee and I don't get too attached because I knew he and Esme couldn't stay.
'Why is it you always have the most impeccable timing?' I asked him only half joking - he always seemed to appear just when I was thinking of him or needed some help, or, in a different way, when it was safest for him (right now, there was hardly anyone who would recognise him at a glance in the tent: either outside looking at the stars or down at the beach toasting marshmallows - that's were Sam was right now.).
'Talent,' he chuckled, 'and observation. I am proud of you, Bella, you've done well.'
I looked up at his honest golden eyes wondering if he knew exactly how I felt about him but knowing I couldn't tell him for fear of getting attached to him but it seemed he knew me too well.
'Just because you didn't marry Edward, does not mean I don't still think of you as my daughter,' he told me sternly but smiling that same smile down at me as he always had for as long as I'd known him which granted wasn't really that long, just a snippet in how long he'd been alive. 'For as long as I'm alive I will always think of you that way.'
I felt my eyes begin to sting and we stopped dancing, allowing me to easily wrap my arms around him in a tight, for a human, hug. I squeezed my eyes shut and buried my head in the crock of his neck.
'Thank you,' I whispered. 'You always have felt like a father to me … I love you.'
I felt him smile and kiss my hair, 'you too, sweetheart.'
Half an hour later, Sam returned and, after I threw my bouquet - Leah catching it with the most surprised expression on her beautiful face -, we began to get ready to leave for our honeymoon. Elsee was staying with Sue, Seth and Leah so we didn't have to worry about that and Jacob, as the Beta in Sam's pack, was able to command the pack while we were gone. This would be the first time that Sam and I had more than twenty four hours alone together and usually that was always interrupted by something or other.
I went back to the house to remove my wedding dress and surprisingly Esme accompanied me.
'Esme?' I asked as I pulled on my shoes. 'Do you want to know something?'
'Depends what it is,' she smiled over at me, perching on mine and Sam's bed. I moved to sit next to her.
'Elsee,' I said. 'I named her that because it reminded me of your name. Esme, Elsee, they're kind of similar. I just wanted to tell you that I had always and will always think of you as my mother -'
'But Renee -'
'Was more of a friend or even more honestly a child,' I told her smiling. 'I love you. I just wanted to tell you why I was okay with what Elsee said.'
Esme looked like she was going to cry if she could but she shook it off, 'oh, come on, your husband's waiting for you, Mrs Uley.'
'Mrs Uley,' I said in a sing-song voice and wide grin on my face, giggling as soon as finished causing Esme to smile and shake her head.
'Let's go,' she laughed pulling me to my feet.
Once Sam and I had said goodbye to everyone and made our way through an aisle created by the guests as they chucked who knows what over us. I laughed and hid besides Sam large figure as much as possible but loads ended up in my hair anyway. Sam's car was at the end but we didn't get in it right away. I knelt down and Elsee ran straight into my arms; I managed to pull her into my arms and Sam appeared at my side, one hand around my waist and the other at Elsee's hair.
'We'll be back in two weeks, Else,' I told her, bouncing slightly as I tried to pull her more securely in my arms.
'Aren't you looking forward to staying with your Uncle Seth and Aunt Leah, Princess?' Sam asked as Elsee looked over at the mention people who gave her said expressions.
'Yes,' Elsee smiled, 'but I don't want you to go.'
'We'll be back, Elsee,' I promised her, placing her back on the ground. 'I promise. Two weeks, that's it.'
'You won't even have time to miss us,' Sam added.
Slowly, she began to nod sadly. We both hugged her and eventually got into the car to begin the drive up to La Push to our honeymoon. We were driving through Forks when I saw it. A little girl, who must only be five, sitting outside her house and, even over the car engine, I could hear yelling inside her house. She looked up as we passed, staring in awe and I managed to chuck my veil just a few paces away from her feet. I couldn't see her face but Sam, looking in the mirror, could.
'I think you just made her day,' he chuckled, wrapping an arm around me while he drove and I snugged into his side since the front of his fancy car was just like a sofa though a lot less comfortable.