Unblinking Eyes

Chapter Twenty-Four

Sunday 13th August 2006


Evelyn's POV

"Erm..." I bit my lip as I looked in the mirror, swinging around, the hem of my dress flowing just above my knees. It was a light pink, floaty, with two layers. Grandma had given me a necklace- something my mom used to wear a lot since the gem was a watery purple in the shape of a droplet. I had my red bracelet from Seth- which didn't really go with the outfit, but I wore it anyway. I had tried to make sense of my hair, and thankfully it was smooth and glossy, curling delicately.

I was still unhappy though.

"What's wrong?" Grandpa asked as he passed me in the hallway. He was carrying a large box of trinkets and he paused by the open front door. I frowned at him.

"Is this worthy of a wedding?" I asked anxiously, holding onto the hem of my dress. He chuckled, shaking his head.

"You are just like your mother. Took her hours to get ready the morning of her wedding... and even then she didn't like the dress!" He laughed heartily. "I think you look lovely, pumpkin." He smiled and walked out of the door to go to the garage. I huffed, my shoulders drooping as I looked again in the mirror.

Just then I heard the old motor of a car come down the beaten track and I bristled, grabbing the present and my small bag, along with a cardigan. I looked around to my grandma- who was washing up in the kitchen.

"They're here granny! I'll see you later."

"Okay!" She exclaimed. "Have a wonderful time dear." She said, poking her head around the doorway.

"I'll try my best." I smiled at her, turning to bump into my grandpa. There were cobwebs in his grey hair and I held back a laugh. "See ya grandpa."

"Bye sweet pea!" He smiled as I brushed past him, giving them a wave as I ran out of the house. I turned to see Seth hanging out of a small red car that I don't remember being his. Then I saw Mr Black sitting in front and he gave me a friendly wave, Sue next to him in the driver's seat.

I beamed, running over, opening the door and sitting in the back.

"Wow, Eve-" Seth's cheeks darkened. I felt my face almost break in two.


"Do I look dapper or what?" He chuckled, popping his crisp white collar.

"You certainly do!" I laughed, looking forward as Mr Black turned around the car. "Mr Black, you were invited too? And you Mrs Clearwater?"

"Oh, yes. And I have to look after Seth, of course." He smiled in the mirror.

"Last minute invitation from Billy." Sue smiled a little.

"She's taking the place of Jacob." Seth murmured beside me.

"No, you're taking the place of Jacob, Seth. You will be the only shape shifter at this wedding." Mr Black suddenly sighed, turning around to look out the window. "Jacob is heart-broken about the whole thing, but I told him it was coming. That she was going to be married to the Cullen even if the world turned upside down. It doesn't matter if they're vampires or not. But he doesn't listen."

"How kind of you." Seth chuckled beside me. "You're not usually this nice towards the Cullen's."

"It's only because of Isabella. She deserves a beautiful wedding." He said, more serene now about the whole ordeal. "Besides, if a fight breaks out, only Seth will be there."

Seth laughed. "I killed a vampire, remember Billy? Somehow everyone keeps forgetting that-"

"Or trying to." Mr Black muttered and everyone laughed. "And how is your grandfather, Evelyn?" Mr Black asked me, turning a little to look at my eyes intently.

"Still calling me after vegetables." I mumbled, and Seth burst into laughter, almost doing a spit take.

It was a strange car ride- the banter between them was very funny. I began to see the real Seth shine though again and it was lovely to see his eyes spark. Mrs Clearwater was calm between them- like a sharp blade. She was a true mother to all the ages. I was glad she had come. It made me less nervous for she was, too.

Once we arrived at the Cullen household, I could barely stand up right. My neck hurt from looking around in wonder. It was beautiful. Like something straight out of a magazine. Seth and I wandered around for a bit, admiring the sparkling fairy lights in the high trees- perks of being a vampire, I suppose- and the level of detail. The air smelt amazing- the wild scent of flowers was tangible and right on the tip of my tongue.

We then went inside where I got my first real glimpse of vampires. I stood wearily a little behind Seth, him holding my hand solidly. Two of them were talking to humans near the aisle, another big one by the long weaving plants, talking to some other humans. It struck me instantly how pale they were- like marble statues carved by a genius seventeenth century sculptor. How could any being be that perfect? It made me feel a little sick, to be honest.

"Its alright," Seth whispered in my ear, pulling me gently forward. "They're more normal than you think."

"Easy for you to say." I spluttered. Suddenly the bigger vampire glanced up and smiled warmly at me, raising a hand in a wave. Startled, I couldn't do anything. Seth grinned back at him, waving back. He then looked back to me with liquid brown eyes.

"Everything's okay." He smiled then, and there was nothing I could do to not smile back.

I found the present table and I placed mine down. It wasn't large or brilliant- just something to return to her. It wasn't mine. Besides, I liked to think me giving it back to her was a symbol. That now I understood, that we were both going through the same sort of thing. I smoothed over the wrapping, remembering reading the book all those months ago when my brain had been so overwhelmed by fear.

We were soon told to take our seats and so we sat on Bella's side. I twisted my palms in my lap- a nervous habit. The scent of flowers and looking around in wonder made me dizzy after a while and so I took to watching the altar.

Edward was quietly talking to the minister. His beauty stunned me- like it would anyone. His skin was crisp and white against the wavering, smudged colours of the flowers and candles all around us. But what I noticed most was that he didn't seem nervous. No, he seemed like he had waited for this day for a long time. Like it was finally happening- the one experience he hasn't had. Vampires, as far as I know- tried to live seemingly human lives. It occurred to me that Edward was the closest vampire to being a human that there ever was.

Then the music started and we stood, gazing around to see a very small but very beautiful lady walk down the aisle in a watery dress, her short black hair curled delicately, a bouquet of flowers in her tiny hands. I smiled briefly- she reminded me a little of my mom.

Then came Bella- a vision in white- her hand clutched tightly around her father's. I beamed as I was sure Seth did. She was classically beautiful and nobody could say otherwise. While everyone gazed at Bella, my eyes wandered around to her soon-to-be husband. What I saw would stay in my mind forever. He was beaming- a smile so full of exhilaration, passion and love. It made my heart skip a beat. I knew then that this was meant to be.

I also knew I recognised that kind of smile.

When everyone sat down I quickly did too, my eyes wide as I watched chief Swan give away his daughter. Bella began to silently cry as the minister spoke. I smiled a little, watching them- how their eyes interacted and how they held each others hands. Seth reached out to take mine, his warm fingers making my nausea settle. Why had I been nervous for Bella? Was it just because I was uneasy around her new family? Probably. But I now knew they were still people- just different. Like my Seth. He wasn't a monster. He was a person, too.

And so when they said their 'I dos' and kissed tenderly, I didn't judge their love. I appraised it. I accepted it. I stood and applauded with the others, Seth grinning ear-to-ear beside me as he fist pumped the air. I let out a little laugh, wiping the tears from my eyes. Honestly, I was such a sap.

Everyone hugged the new husband and wife including Seth and I. Bella smiled at the both of us, her eyes large and disbelieving.

"I hope you're happy." I said over the words of everyone else.

"I hope you are, too." She said quietly back, returning into the arms of her husband as he kissed the top of her head.

We were then outside again but it was darker, the sun on the horizon, the river churning slowly at the bottom of the meadow. Music flowed through the grounds and glittering lights were everywhere- weaving through the trees and above our heads with the flower canopy. Seth and I went to Mr Black where he sat with chief Swan and Sue at our table.

"Hi kids." Mr Black greeted warmly.

"Hi." Seth said, resting his hands on the back of his chair. I smoothed out my skirt for a moment- it was ruffled by people embracing me and asking my relation to the happy couple. It was a difficult one to explain, that.

"How'd you like it?" Chief Swan asked calmly. A large bottle of beer sat on the table before him and I was sure that had something to do with it.

"It was beautiful." I blurted out.

"Yeah, she cried." Seth grinned. I frowned, hitting him lightly on the arm.

"You cried at Beauty and the Beast."

"B-but they w-were meant to be together!" Seth wailed and the two men chuckled, Sue smiling. "See ya later for food!" Seth beamed, winking at me before wrapping his arm around my shoulders, keeping me warm as we walked up the grass.

"Guess this is some version of Beauty and the Beast, right?" Seth mumbled in my ear. "I mean, if you were to look at it from Edward's point of view."

"Humans can be beasts, too. It's subjective. Nobody has to be a beast. It's a choice." I said quickly. The thought had already been on my mind.

"Wise words." Sue suddenly said by my side. I jumped to see her and she smiled. "It's best we keep you two company." I glanced to Seth's side and saw Billy wheeling himself up the grass.

"Wow, we're like... the weirdest band ever." Seth muttered and I let out a burst of laughter.

I saw the newly weds emerge from the house- Bella's veil gone, though her hair was still pinned up by the pretty blue clips. People merged around them- the people they had just embraced- but they could laugh now and relax in the cool August evening.

"Congrats, guys," Seth grinned as we came up to them. I smiled politely at them both. Bella's eyes crinkled with happiness at she smiled at me. Then Seth hugged Edward- like they were old friends- which I guess they were. Battle buddies, as Seth put it. Sue gripped my arm beside me and I knew she was on edge. "It's good to see things work out for you, man." Seth smiled as they departed. "I'm happy for you." His words echoed mine from earlier.

"Thank you, Seth. That means a lot to me." Edward said in his calm, serene voice that could lull a thousand children to sleep. He then looked to us, his eyes warm despite him being the coldest creature on earth. "Thank you, as well. For letting Seth come. For supporting Bella today." He then nodded at me acutely, knowing I had a lot to do with it. His eyes were thankful and so I nodded a little back.

"You're welcome." Billy murmured, though his voice wasn't edged with darkness like I would expect it to be. No... he seemed... more optimistic. Maybe it was just for Bella's sake.

We waved goodbye and Seth wheeled Billy away, Sue's hand on my arm still, her other hand on her son's shoulder.

It was a fun night. The food was delicious- four courses- and we were served virgin cocktails. I couldn't get over how beautiful it all was and, eventually, the party planners came to our table.

The woman who reminded me of my mom was called Alice. We hugged despite never meeting before and I gushed over the beauty of the wedding. The other woman- slightly less petite with rolling curls of brown hair- was a lot less excitable than Alice, yet still gave me a hug. Seth and I wandered over to the cake after it had been cut and slices were taken away. It was very grandeur, like something a princess would have. With wide eyes I looked to him and he grinned.

"Better taste half as good, right?"

"Right." I nodded and he laughed. He had laughed a lot more this evening than in a long time. I guess this side to him- the wolf and pack side- was hardly seen by me. It was strange seeing him interact with the vampires so shamelessly and confidently. But, I admired his bravery.

Especially when a certain blonde vampire wouldn't stop eyeballing him. I frowned at her but she didn't look away. I knew it annoyed Seth in some respect so we took to the dance floor to ignore her.

"Who is she?" I asked as we walked onto the wooden floor.

"One of the Denali's." He shrugged. "She has a... disrespect for shape shifters since we killed her boyfriend..." He said quietly. "We better not talk about it." He then flashed me a grin.

For a while the music was hype and I laughed uncontrollably as Seth and I danced wildly and not-so-gracefully. Then it suddenly changed to something slower and I couldn't help but recognise the song.

It was one of the fifties tunes my mom and dad used to dance to in the living room. Without the words, slowed down by the sting quartet. My eyes widened a little and Seth smiled, bowing slightly to me before taking my hand, placing his other hand on my waist as we began to dance.

I looked up to him with watery eyes, our feet barely moving, other people around us dancing in each other's arms. He smiled softly at me, his eyes alight with all the candles and fairy lights around us. I nervously glanced at my feet, hoping I wasn't standing on his toes. He chuckled deep in his throat and I looked to him, smiling a little. He leaned forward to press his cheek against mine.

"You're so beautiful, Eve." He whispered and I closed my eyes, my heart thumping loudly. "If there was a more original word than that, I'd say it." He sighed, leaning back to look at me. My eyes opened and I beamed. "I'm not so good at talking though..."

"You're the best." I told him.

"I better be. My ego is very big." He grinned. "I'm joking. I'm sorry I don't say it enough... but you are beautiful. Every single day I have thought that for the past three years. The weird thing is you get more beautiful every time I see you..."

My eyes widened and I was sure my skin turned the colour of a tomato. He looked like he very badly wanted to say something but before he could do anything, his spine became straight and he looked around with wide eyes. His hand slipped out of mine and he hurriedly kissed me on the forehead.

"Something's wrong. I gotta go. Love you. Bye." He ran away then, as fast and lithe as a gazelle, his body melding into the dark backdrop to the party. My hand rested on my fluttering heart. Love you.

"Evelyn? Is something the matter?" Came Sue's voice at my side. I looked around and smiled weakly.

"Seth had to go. I guess... wolf problems?"

She sighed deeply, wrapping her arm around my shoulders and taking me away from the music. "Those are the only problems he has." She told me softly. Billy looked up from talking to chief Swan at our table and frowned. He knew the drill, however, and so took to a distraction- introducing me to the father of the bride.

"Here is our Evelyn, a very special girl indeed. She got into the Tribal School, remember?" Billy hinted. Charlie nodded and stood to shake my hand. His was still cold from the beer he had held.

"Yeah, you gotta be special to get into that place. Would've had my Bella go there..." He sighed, slumping back down.

"Oh Charlie, enough of that." Billy shook his head, smiling a little. "What's done is done. At least she is happy."

"Hmph." Charlie mumbled and in the corner of my eye Sue smiled. They talked for a while longer and I gazed around, swinging my legs beneath me. Bella came into my view and I saw her skin was stark white, her eyes misted. I frowned. But she soon began to smile as she danced with people and I let out a small sigh of relief. After a while Charlie was towed away to the dance floor by Alice. I yawned into my hand as I watched him dance wildly, my eyes stinging.

"We'll go home soon sweetie." Sue smiled, wrapping a warm arm around me.

"Yes, I'm sure you and Seth have a lot of things to do this summer." Billy grinned.

"We were meant to go fishing on the lake tomorrow... but I'm not very good." I told them. "Fishing is more fun if my brother is here."

"Ah, Jacob used to love fishing." Billy sighed, sitting back in his wheelchair. "How times have changed."

"He'll be fine, Billy." Sue murmured.

He just nodded stiffly, looking to Bella as she danced with her husband. How times have changed, I thought to myself. When I thought back to my life without the Quileute's- without Seth- I wondered how I survived at all. Because now my every mood was controlled by him- whether he was near, if he was happy... It was strange. Best friends weren't meant to be like us... were they?

"Its time!" Alice's voice suddenly came beside me and she grinned, running up the grass in her six-inch stilettos. We all meandered up to the front porch, grabbing handfuls of dry rice. When they appeared and kissed on the doorstep I gave them a face-splitting grin, throwing showers of rice over them like everybody else. Bella waved at everyone, her eyes moist, glancing at me and smiling a little. I knew she knew Seth had gone and so I smiled back, hoping everything was alright.

The car drove away, the flowers and ribbons trailing behind it in a mist of rice. Everyone seemed to let out a huge breath. Good-byes began to be said, hugs given, sniffs sounded. I shook a lot of strangers hands and hugged them as well. To my surprise, Charlie hugged me also, his eyes misted. I waved goodbye to the strange gathering- Alice and Esme plus the rest of the Cullen's, Bella's mom and Charlie, a few other guests who were plucking rice out of their clothes. Alice waved frantically at me, exclaiming that we would have to go shopping sometime. I just smiled and nodded, helping Billy into the car with Sue, sitting down in the back and waving at the pale people.

I let out a sigh, sitting back and letting the cool midnight air drape over me. I had just been to a vampire wedding. A very beautiful one at that. However, in reality, it had been one of the nicest days of my life. These vampires weren't very threatening. I knew that now. Curling up, I listened to Billy and Sue talk, my eyes gently closing, my thoughts returning to my sandy wolf as faint howls were heard outside.

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