Chapter 20 - The Pineapple Express
Stopping a wedding is not easy. Stopping a wedding while planning to steal it for yourself is even harder. Stopping a wedding while planning to steal it for yourself during the storm of the century is beginning to feel impossible.
At first, Edward and I thought we had this all under control. Monday, we went to the courthouse and applied for our marriage license and then went to a jewelry store to look at rings. Tuesday, I successfully rattled Rosalie by starting to say something when they did her hair and stopping.
"What?" she asked, staring at me in the reflection of the mirror.
"Nothing. Never mind. You look...good," I said.
"Good? I look good? This is my wedding, Bella. The best you can come up with is good?" she said, getting more infuriated by the second.
"It's just, I hadn't noticed how that updo makes your face look...round," I said, planting the seed.
"Round? Round? You think my face looks fat?" She really started to freak out.
"Not fat! I don't know what I'm saying. Ignore me," I said.
She couldn't. She made the poor girl at the salon try four other hairstyles on her. After I made her think her face was fat, nothing was right. She hated every style they tried. I felt a tiny bit guilty, but it was for her own good. At least that's what I told myself. Tuesday was also the day she asked me to pick up her shoes, the shoes Esme had failed to pick up per my instructions. I picked up the shoes, but I "accidentally" dropped them and got one terribly dirty. I brought them home, called Rose, and while on the phone "tried" to clean it, only to make the "problem" worse. She was livid.
Things seemed to be going smoothly. Then Wednesday came. I got to work early in the morning, only to find that an unusual weather pattern was developing. A Pineapple Express is a relatively common weather pattern that brings southwest winds to the Pacific Northwest along with warm, moist air from Hawaii, where pineapples are grown (hence the name). It's common for us to get them in the winter. Not in the middle of August. This particular storm was predicted to bring over two inches of rain a day over the next several days, with the heaviest falling between Thursday and Saturday. From the look of things, we were going to be dealing with some massive flooding, possible landslides, and road closures.
Thursday and Friday, I worked overtime, helping with the deluge of storm information we were trying to sort through. Emmett was supposed to fly in Friday night but his flight was cancelled because of the flooding. His flight wasn't the only one delayed or cancelled. No one from Felix's family was able to get into Sea-Tac. Edward tried to convince Rosalie to cancel the wedding because of that reason alone, but she refused. Felix apparently didn't care if his family was in attendance. He didn't have that many people from his side coming anyway.
Friday night's rehearsal was unpleasant. We learned the church basement, where the bride's dressing room was located, was flooded. The warm tropical air caused the temperature in the not-air-conditioned church to be a good ten degrees warmer than it was outside, and it was so humid I thought we were in a sauna. Rosalie was not happy. I thought I could convince her to postpone that night, but she dug her heels in. I had a feeling that she knew if she backed out, she was going to back out for good. I pushed her a little, hoping she'd give in, but her stubbornness won out and the wedding stayed on.
It's Saturday morning and the rain is still falling. I'm waiting to hear from Emmett and Edward is on the phone with Esme.
"I know...I feel the same way. Yes, we tried that...Bella said that to her. Well, we're counting on him getting here in time. I know we don't have a lot of time left. The weather isn't helping things, that's for sure. I know. I'll let you know when we know." He hangs up and opens his arms, in need of a hug. "She's freaking out."
I wrap my arms around his waist and press my cheek to his chest. "If Emmett's plane doesn't take off this morning, I'll be freaking out, too."
"We could kidnap her. Take away her phone and lock her in our bedroom until he gets here."
"I don't think that's the best plan," I say with a giggle. "But we'll make it Plan C, just in case."
"I want to marry you today more than anything." His voice is soft but his words penetrate right through my chest to my heart.
"I know how you feel."
"Promise me that if Rose gets married today, we won't wait. That we'll get married quick. I don't think I can wait for you to plan a second wedding. We'll have to elope."
I lift my head and he tips his so we can kiss. "If Rose gets married today, we'll go to the courthouse Monday and make it official."
"I hope she doesn't get married today. If anyone should get married on the rainiest day in Seattle history, it should be you. Right?"
I kiss him again because I love him and the way his mind and heart work. "Absolutely."
"I also propose that we treat tonight like a honeymoon no matter what happens." His hands slide down and he squeezes my butt.
My fingers slip into his front pockets and I kiss his neck. "Every night with you is like my honeymoon."
His chest rumbles with laughter and our mouths come together. His tongue is as playful as his words. We're lost in the moment when my phone rings. A Texan uniform stares back at me when I pick it up.
"Please tell me you're getting on a plane."
"Everything going into Seattle was cancelled. They couldn't get me in there until tomorrow night."
I stupidly point out the obvious. "That's too late, Em."
"I know that, Bella," he snaps. Emmett never snaps. The reality of what is happening today is taking its toll. "That's why I got on a plane late last night and flew to Denver. Now my mom and I are about to get on another plane to Spokane. We're supposed to get in at 10:00. Then I'm gonna rent a damn car and drive my ass to Seattle and get there before 3:00 hopefully."
I breathe a little easier. "That's good, that's perfect. You need to get here before 3:00 and you'll be fine."
"I don't know about fine, but I'll have a fighting chance at least." He still isn't convinced he can stop the wedding by just showing up. I know the closer it gets, the more afraid he is that his heart could take a huge hit.
"Your mom is coming?" I ask, changing the subject for a second.
"Well, if things work out, she wants to see her favorite niece get married."
"Oh, Em. I hope she gets to. I know if you get here on time, she will."
"I hope so. I'll let you know when we touch down in Washington State."
We say our goodbyes and I can tell Edward is dying for information.
"He's going to make it?"
"If we're lucky," I say. Although, I'm not sure if I would put my money on us or not.
The girls had a light lunch at the hotel before getting ready for the ceremony. Rosalie was in a terrible mood and something told me it wasn't just because everything was not going as planned. Several times today, I caught her staring off, that lost look on her face. She should be absolutely beside herself with happiness on a day like today. I know that's how I'd be feeling right this minute if I wasn't so busy worrying we might not be the ones getting married today. Still, there is a part of me that is absolutely spinning. Arms out, head tilted back, eyes closed, smile on my face - spinning. Edward and I could be husband and wife tonight. I could be a Cullen before the day is done. Rose could be my sistercousin-in-law. If that was a real thing.
If she was marrying Emmett today, that's what she would be thinking about, too. She'd be excited that we were going to be family. She'd be looking forward to someone calling her Mrs. McCarty. She'd be bouncing off the walls and smiling from ear to ear. She'd be spinning. Instead my friend sits still, staring straight ahead at the bleakness lying in front of her if she goes through with this wedding.
She can't go through with this wedding. We won't let her.
Every minute closer to the ceremony makes me anxious. The rain hasn't let up. There are landslides and road closures, massive flooding in the city thanks to the overflowing banks of the Duwamish River, but it's even worse the further east you go. I hope it doesn't make it too difficult for Emmett to get into the downtown area.
Edward is freaking out. Esme is freaking out. The Channel Four Weather Team is freaking out. I've been texted a hundred times by work. They know what today is to me, but this is the biggest weather story in a long time. They've even asked if they can send a camera crew out to get some shots of me at a wedding in the middle of this madness. Human interest, they say. I'd rather be at the office, studying the radar and researching the flood history. It's killing me not to be working during this kind of meteorological event.
"Can't you do anything about this fucking rain?" Rosalie snips as we pull up to the church. The parking lot is flooded not only from the rain but from the pump they have emptying the basement.
"I forecast the weather, I don't control it," I explain for the millionth time. Why is it that people think the meteorologists have some sort of power over the weather that normal humans do not? "You can complain to God when we get inside the church. He has an actual say."
She scowls at me like she's done all day. "You should be getting married on a day like this, not me."
Yes, I should. Angela gives me a knowing look and so does Alice. Everyone is on board with this insane plan, and I can't help but feel deep down Rosalie really means what she said. Armed with umbrellas and wearing hideous rain boots, we jump out of the car and run into the Green Lake United Methodist Church. It looks like a castle from the outside, but it's a royal pain in the butt because of the flooding. Rosalie has to get ready in the music director's storage closet because of the basement issues. The four of us are cramped in there, trying to help the bride in her dress.
Angela keeps bumping into music stands, Alice is nothing but arms coming out of the rack of choir robes, and if my elbow hits the drum cymbals that are behind me one more time, I'm going to scream. We had to kick Esme out because there wasn't enough room.
Rosalie looks gorgeous but miserable. My phone keeps beeping in my purse and I really want to check it because it could be Emmett giving me an update or Edward with some words of encouragement. Either way, I need to get it.
"Ang, can you hand me my purse?" We kind of shoved everything in one corner and there is no way I can get around Rosalie to get it myself.
Angela grabs Rosalie's elbows and spins in a small circle until she's closest to the pile.
Alice is still stuck in the robes. "I think I need to get some air."
Angela gets my purse and does the spinning thing with Rose again until she can hand it off to me. Alice then joins them like gears in a machine, everyone spinning until they get where they need to be. Alice makes for the door as I join the mix so I can get out of this insanely small and hot room as well.
"I'll be right back," I promise.
Alice and I both wipe our brows when we get out of there. Can this day get any crazier? I fear it can but hope it won't.
Esme is pacing the hallway. "Where is he?" she asks as I dig for my phone.
"I don't know. Hold on." I have a text, but it's not from Emmett or Edward. Channel Four is sending a camera crew. My boss is begging me to let them film some of the wedding that went on during this storm.
I'm not sure this is a good idea and that's what I text back. This may not be the wedding that goes on in the storm. Lord willing, this will be the wedding that does not go on in spite of this damn storm.
"Well?" Esme asks again. I forgot she was waiting for me.
"It's not Emmett."
I text him for an update but get no response. Last I heard from him, he was doing 101 on Interstate 90 and was still a couple hours away. He was driving like a maniac, but I guess he needs to because we're out of time.
"Where can he be? He needs to get here." Esme sounds exasperated.
"Did you know that we've beat the 24-hour rainfall record by a half inch? If that was snow, do you know how much snow that would be?" I've been sharing Seattle weather facts all day. I can't help it. I've never been so nervous.
"He's going to make it," Alice says grabbing my arm in an attempt to calm me down.
The doors to the church open and Edward, Carlisle, and Jasper come in with one umbrella for the three of them. They are all barefoot, tuxedo pants rolled up to their knees, shoes and socks in hand. It's quite a sight and I can't help but take a quick picture with my phone. That one is going in our wedding album. Edward is soaked.
"Any word?" he asks.
I shake my head. "Just texted for an update, but he hasn't answered."
Even drenched, Edward looks perfect. He walks toward me and shakes his wet head, sprinkling me with rainwater. "Hi."
"Hi," I say back. I want to marry this man so badly. I want to marry him today. Right now.
"He's going to make it."
"I hope so."
"You look beautiful."
"You look wet."
He laughs and the sound alone makes me want to pull him in front of the pastor and say I do and let him kiss the bride.
"I'm going to marry you today, Miss Swan. One way or another, I will make you mine today."
His. I've been his since the day he overthrew that football and got me covered in sand. Today, it hopefully becomes official.
I kiss his lips, placing my hands on his chest so he doesn't get my dress wet by pulling me against his wet body. "You guys need to go find a way to dry off."
"I'll meet you at the altar," he whispers in my ear before backing away and joining the guys to find a way to get presentable for the ceremony.
If Emmett doesn't show up in the next twenty minutes, I need to at least delay things until he does get here. I text my cousin one more time.
I need you. She needs you. Be safe but get here.
We decide to take turns hanging out in the supply closet with Rosalie. Angela and Esme have both been in there and now it's Alice's turn. I'm going last. Everyone is looking to me to get her to reconsider. I haven't thought of something really good to say yet.
The church sanctuary is slowly filling up with guests. Getting here can't be easy for anyone, even the locals. Roads are closed, people are dealing with their own flooding issues; it's a real mess. I look for my parents. I find an awkwardly tall and skinny boy standing in the back.
"Hey, Bella." The boy is eleven and looks like an overgrown puppy. His limbs and his feet seem too big for him.
"What are you doing here?"
He steps closer and lowers his voice. "Dad and Mom heard about your plan and decided to crash the wedding in hopes it turns into yours. I'm here for when the pastor asks if anyone objects," he says with a wink.
This kid. Never changes.
"I don't know what's going to happen, but if you even think about opening that mouth of yours when I'm up there at the altar with Edward, I will see to it that you are grounded for the rest of your life," I say, summoning my inner babysitter.
"Bella, come on. Give me a few more years. We're perfect for one another. And Edward is...he's...weird. You can't marry someone weird."
"She loves weird," Edward says over Jake's shoulder, scarring the living daylights out of the poor kid. "Hi, Jake."
I giggle while Jake holds a hand over his racing heart.
"Wear a bell next time, creeper! Jeez, you trying to kill me?"
"You trying to steal my reason for existing?" Edward asks as he steps past Jake and wraps an arm around my waist.
Jake rolls his eyes. "See?" he says to me. "Weird. I'm gonna go sit by my parents. Try to make this somewhat exciting, would ya?"
"And here I thought Felix was the only one who had some competition today." Edward kisses my neck. We really need to get married today.
"There's no competition for my heart. Never has, never will. It's all yours."
"Good. Any word?"
"Nope. I'm starting to get nervous. I mean, all I can think about is how the average precipitation this time of year is a little over an inch. We're way over that."
Edward laughs. "Well, now I know to expect some weather facts in your vows."
"I thought we agreed we were going to make up our own vows," he says dead serious.
I do not recall that conversation. AT ALL. "What are you talking about? I don't have vows written," I whisper yell as a couple from Felix's side of the family walks in. Jasper leads them to their pew.
"You can wing it. You'll be awesome. I'm worried about mine. I don't want to come off too cheesy."
"You have got to be kidding me." It's like he isn't hearing me. I am not 'winging' my vows.
Edward kisses my forehead. "Go talk to my cousin. If Emmett doesn't get here, you're our last hope."
I walk back out into the gathering space only to be greeted by a Channel Four camera crew.
"Bella! Hey, where can we set up?"
This is not what I need right now. "I thought I made it clear that you guys being here was a very bad idea."
"Come on, have you seen it out there?" Royce, one of my favorite camera guys, says. "We just filmed over by the 520 Bridge. That thing is shut down. It's crazy out there. We also shot these houses that were hit by a landslide. Man! It was awesome."
"Listen," I whisper, pulling them aside and away from the doors, "this is not the best wedding to be featuring for a feel good story. Okay? Just trust me."
None of them care what I'm saying. "Come on. Green Lake Church has a lake in its parking lot. It's funny. Just let us take a couple shots of the happy couple walking down the aisle and maybe a few outside shots of the flooded parking lot. We won't be any trouble."
Not trouble. Ha. Happy couple. Ha Ha. "Just stay out of the way."
I need to talk to Rosalie.
"I think I hit a chord," Angela says, looking all giddy when I return. "She brought up my wedding day again, and I said what I learned that day was it didn't matter if the ring bearer cried on the way down the aisle and ran to his mom before getting all the way to us. It didn't matter that my dad's cousin brought two extra people with him to the reception or that the original DJ cancelled two days before and we had to hire someone last minute who smelled like pot and looked like Chewbacca."
"That dude did look like Chewbacca!" I laugh.
"Anyway." Angela shakes her head at the memories. "I told her the only thing that mattered was that Garrett was there and he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I said your wedding day isn't about anything but marrying the man you love. Everything else, good or bad, is insignificant in comparison. She didn't say anything, but I could tell that hit home. If you work on her, she'll cave. I know it."
Angela and I have been best friends since kindergarten. She's always been kind and wise. She's given me the courage to talk to Rosalie and say what I feel. Rosalie expected to walk down the aisle in five minutes. Emmett hasn't texted me. I have no idea where he is or when he's going to get here. The weight of this hijacking is now firmly on my shoulders.
I open the door to the closet and hear Alice. "All I know is that if you marry your best friend then you have nothing to worry about. If he's the one you can talk to and be yourself with, you'll survive all the ups and downs married life throws your way. And trust me, married life has ups and downs."
"Maid of honor's turn," I say, joining them in the small room. "We've got about five minutes until go time." Alice gives Rosalie a big hug and wiggles her way out, giving my shoulder a little squeeze as she passes me.
Rose and I just look at one another for a minute. She looks beautiful. Her hair is smooth and shiny even though this church is humid as hell. Her makeup is flawless. The dress fits her like a glove. She is picture perfect - on the outside. Inside, there is a terrible war raging. I can see it in her eyes.
"Last year, we only had seven days of precipitation the entire month of August. Even then, it wasn't as much rain as we've had in the last 24 hours."
"Why are you so nervous? I'm supposed to be nervous, not you. I am feeling nervous, Bella. Maybe it's not nerves. Maybe I'm sick. I'm starting to feel a little bit sick. I wish I could lie down, but I can't. I have to go out there and get married." Rosalie's panic is heartbreaking.
"You don't have to do anything you don't want to do," I remind her. Maybe she just needs permission
"I have to get married today," she says like it's not something she wants to do.
I grab her hands and stare her straight in the eye. "You don't have to do anything you don't want to do, Rose. No one who matters will judge you or hold it against you."
Her bottom lip quivers. "The only one who matters doesn't really care what I do."
Where is my damn cousin when I need him? "That's not true," I correct her. "He cares. He cares so much."
Rosalie blinks back the tears. She wouldn't want to mess up her makeup before she walks down the aisle. "You're just saying that because you don't like Felix and he's your cousin." She still won't say Emmett's name.
"He is my cousin, but I don't dislike Felix. I just don't think you love Felix. I think you still love him."
She shakes her head and tries to turn away from me. "I love Felix. He loves me. He wants to take care of me. He could marry anyone and he chose me."
This is the ridiculous bullshit she's been feeding me for months. I can't take it anymore. "Is he your best friend? Is he the person you imagine spending the rest of your life with? Does he love you for who you are, good and bad? Does he write you love poems and say silly things just to make you smile? Does he want nothing more than for you to be happy even at the expense of his own happiness? Emmett has spent the last few months thinking you're happy and this is what you want. He was trying to do what you asked of him. He thought you wanted him to leave you alone. We both know that's not true, though, is it?"
She doesn't answer me nor does she turn around.
"I know everyone else has been sharing their thoughts on marriage. They speak from experience, but I'm going to share something, too. When I think about getting married to Edward, I can't stop smiling. I feel like the luckiest girl in the entire world not because he chose me but because he never imagined choosing anyone else. When I think about marrying Edward, I don't care if it rains or snows or if I have to get ready in a supply closet. All I think about is the look I'm going to see on his face as I walk down the aisle. You know that look, the one that makes me feel like I'm the greatest thing that ever happened to him."
I know she knows that look because it's the same way Emmett used to look at her.
"That's what you deserve, Rose. I love Emmett. I love him like you love Edward. But this isn't about Emmett," I say, changing my tactic. This has to be about more than Emmett. "This is about you. I love you. Edward loves you. Your parents love you. Ang, Alice, we all love you. We hate seeing you so unhappy on what should be the happiest day of your life. Please, don't do something you don't want to do. Don't settle for someone who isn't the one. Don't do that to yourself. You deserve to be happy."
She won't turn around, but I know she hears every word.
"Can I have a minute alone?" she asks, her voice is small.
"Sure." I leave her be. This is it. I've done and said everything I can think to say and do. I told her to choose herself, her happiness. I can only hope she'll listen.
Carlisle, Esme, Angela, and Alice are all standing outside the closet. They're waiting for me to say I've changed her mind. I'm not sure if I have. They all start talking at once. I can't understand what anyone is saying, but I assume they want to know what Rose is going to do.
"It's time," the church's wedding hostess says, quieting the crowd around me. She's ready to line us up and send Rosalie down the aisle.
"The bride needs a minute," I say, hoping for a few more minutes.
"No, she doesn't." The door behind me opens and Rosalie steps out.
I imagine she's looking at a pretty somber group. I can't believe I've failed. My shoulders slump and I head over to the bench where our flowers are sitting. At least I picked out beautiful flowers. I'll try to focus on them as I stand beside my friend as she makes the biggest mistake of her life.
"Are you sure about this, sweetheart?" Carlisle steps forward and offers his daughter his arm. "You know your mom and I support whatever you want to do today. The only thing we care about is your happiness. That's it. If you're happy, we're happy. Nothing else matters."
"I know, Dad."
Edward is going to be so disappointed. Emmett is going to be crushed. I'm going to get married in a courthouse on Monday. My mom is going to kill me.
"That's why I've decided I can't do this."
I'm not sure I heard her correctly. I spin around, flowers in my hand. "What did you say?"
Rosalie smiles for the first time today. The first time in months actually. "I can't do this. I can't marry Felix."
I feel like falling to my knees and thanking God in heaven when the door to the outside explodes open and my cousin comes charging in, soaked to the bone and wearing a bright orange life jacket.
"I object!" he shouts, running towards the sanctuary. "Please, I object!"
"Emmett!" I try to get his attention and stop him from stopping a wedding that's already been stopped before it started.
He looks over at me and the distraction causes him to slip on the wet tile floor, his feet fly out from under him and he lands flat on his back. He groans loudly as we all run to his aid.
"Oh my God, are you all right?" I ask, afraid he's nearly killed himself trying to get to Rosalie.
"Am I too late?" He sounds in pain.
I laugh as the hallway fills with people coming to see what all the ruckus is about. The wedding hostess is trying to keep order and shoos people back to their seats. She begins to close the doors leading to the sanctuary. "I'm going to give you all a minute."
Rosalie kneels down next to me, but her eyes are locked on Emmett. "What are you doing here?"
That's my cue. I pat Emmett on his life jacketed chest and stand up, motioning for everyone else to step back with me.
"I came here to stop your wedding," he admits. He tries to sit up and winces.
"Don't move, son," Carlisle says from where we're standing a few feet away. Rosalie looks over her shoulder at him. It's 'the look'. Her father pretends to zip his lips.
"Why would you do that?" she asks Emmett.
In my head I'm begging him not to say something like, Bella told me to. He needs to be smoother than that.
"How could I not, Rosie? The woman I love is marrying someone who's not me. How could I not at least try to tell her I don't want her to be someone else's wife?"
Damn, he's good.
"How did you get here? I heard the airport was shut down."
"I didn't fly into Sea-Tac. That would have been a whole helluva lot easier than what I did do to get here." He props himself up on his elbows. He looks comical in that life jacket. I can only imagine what the man has been through today. "I wanted to come earlier. I didn't want to make too much of a scene. I know you love this guy and you have every right to hate me for not telling you sooner that I love you and I never should have let you walk out my door. I should have held on to what we had, Rose. I should have held on to you with both hands because I will never love anyone the way I love you. My heart can't do it. It wants you and only you."
And I think I've fallen in love with my cousin. So has someone else. Rosalie leans down and kisses him. That's when I notice the television camera that's poking out the sanctuary doors.
I charge over there and get in front of it. "Are you kidding me right now?" I'm seething.
"Bella, this is great stuff!" Royce complains as I stand in his way. "Guy crashes wedding looking like he just swam the sound to get here and steals the bride. This is awesome!"
"What is going on out here?" Felix pushes his way out into the front hall. It doesn't take him long to see what's happening. "Rosalie, what the hell are you doing on the floor?"
Edward is behind him and so is Jasper. The guys from Channel Four come out into the entryway as well but back off and keep filming.
Rosalie stands up and smooths down the front of her dress. "Felix, we need to talk."
It appears no one has ever broken up with Felix before. Just because Rose decided it was over didn't mean he was leaving without a fight. She stuck to her guns, though, and let her dad, my dad, Edward, Jasper, and her uncle escort her ex from the premises.
The only people left at the church now are our family and friends. And they're waiting for the bride to come down the aisle. I'm the bride. I. Am. The. Bride.
"I'm not even going to ask you if you're sure. I have a feeling you'd say you've never been more sure of anything," Dad says, adjusting his tie.
I smile. "You'd be right."
"Edward's a good guy," he admits for the first time ever.
I squeeze my dad's arm, grateful that he sees Edward as more than The Daughter Humper. "He's the best, Dad. You don't have to worry about anything."
He nods. "Let's do this then."
The music begins and the doors open. Alice walks down first, then Rose, followed by Angela. Once they make it to the end I can see Edward standing beside the pastor. The look on his face makes me want to run, not walk, down this aisle. Sometimes it feels like I've been waiting a thousand years for this moment. Our wait is over. Every crazy hour of this day has led to this. Our moment is now.
I thought I would be overwhelmed with anxiety. I thought having everyone looking at me would make me want to run and hide. But all I see is him. All I feel is love. All I want is to say is I do. Because I do.
Dad and Edward shake hands and there is something so endearing about this exchange between the man who has loved me for my entire life and the man who's here to promise he will love me for the remainder of his.
Dad gives me a kiss on the cheek and hands me over to Edward.
It's as if Edward is seeing me for the first time today. "I love you," he whispers. Three words that say everything I ever need to know. "And you're beautiful."
"I love you, too."
The pastor speaks, but I don't know what he says. All my attention is on the man next to me. The feel of his fingers wrapped around mine. The untamed hair on his head. The way he looks in a tuxedo. There's nothing better, except maybe those worn out jeans he wears on the weekends.
When it's time for the vows, Edward goes first.
"Bella, I promise to keep you warm when we dance in the rain or play in the snow. I think we both know life isn't always rainbows and sunshine, but I promise to love you through every change in the weather. I promise to try to remember to put the remote back where it belongs and to not throw my socks on the floor. I promise to take care of you when you're sick and try not to whine too much when I'm under the weather." He wiggles his eyebrows at his play on words. He's so adorable and completely cheesy, but I wouldn't want him any other way. "Most of all, I promise to try to be the man you believe me to be. I love you now and forever because my heart will always belong to you."
"That was really good, baby," I blurt out, bursting with crazy love for him. Everyone in the church laughs, but I don't care. Edward gives my hands a squeeze. I take a deep breath and focus only on him. Guess I'm winging it. "Edward, I promise to always be your biggest fan. I promise to never let you forget that you are more than I could have ever asked for in a friend, in a husband, in a soulmate. I promise to do whatever I can to help you find balance and a new song when you need one. I promise to only go to bed angry if I'm 100% sure I'm right and you're wrong." He grins and I know I will never go to bed angry. "I promise not to read your journal without your permission and to send you out with an umbrella when I know it's going to rain. Most importantly, I promise to always come home because you are my home. You are my sun, my stars, my wind, my rain. My beautiful storm. You are the one I will love today, tomorrow, forever."
"Forever," he whispers back.
The pastor takes over and there are some I dos and rings exchanged. My ring has a teardrop diamond that Edward pointed out should really be called a raindrop. I love it almost as much as I love him. I smile as I slide on his ring. Seeing the platinum band on his finger, I realize there's nothing sexier than a man with a wedding ring. Now everyone who sees him will know they can't have him. He belongs to me. Two tiny pieces of jewelry perfectly represent the significance of our bond. An endless circle of love. No beginning, no end. Forever.
"I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride."
Edward doesn't hesitate. His hand cups my cheek and his lips cover mine. I have kissed him a million times, but this is like kissing him for the first time. It is our first. Our first time as husband and wife. And I feel it...everywhere. I feel it in the rapid beat of my heart. In the tingle up my spine. In the fluttering in my stomach.
Until death do us part.
"All right you two. Let's move this thing along before the church gets washed away." Emmett's voice breaks through our reverie.
Edward lets me move away first but then pulls me back in for one more kiss. I can hear everyone laughing again. The music kicks in and we have to stop. We turn to face our family and friends. Edward raises our clasped hands in the air triumphantly. Hijacking complete.
Royce and the other guys from Channel Four give me the thumbs up. Jake sits and pouts while everyone else stands and applauds. Mom and Dad are beaming with pride. Edward walks me down the aisle and I'm not sure I'll ever stop smiling.
This is what the beginning of happily ever after must feel like.
"We have some exciting news here at Channel Four. One of the members of our Channel Four family had a very exciting day today. Seattle's favorite morning meteorologist, Bella Swan, spent the rainiest day in city history doing something quite unexpected." Jane Cunningham, the nightly anchorwoman smiles brightly.
The screen switches to a shot of Green Lake United Methodist Church. The castle-like building looks regal as the rain comes down. It almost looks like something straight out of medieval times. Veteran meteorologist, James Goodman's voice plays over the video of the flooded parking lot and a pile of umbrellas in a corner of the church entryway.
"Seattle has not seen this much rain in a twenty-four hour period since December 2007, when another Pineapple Express hit the greater Puget Sound area. But a little (or maybe I should say a lot) of rain can't stop true love."
The Irving Berlin song "Love and the Weather" from the musical White Christmas plays in the background. There's a shot of the church sanctuary and of a young man and young woman holding hands and looking very much in love.
"In spite of a flooded church basement and the fact that this really was supposed to be someone else's wedding, our Bella Swan couldn't pass up the opportunity to say I do on this day in weather history."
"There's nothing Bella loves more in the world than the weather and Edward. So, it makes sense for her to get married on the rainiest day this city's ever seen." The name Angela O'Conner flashes on the screen as the woman speaks to the camera.
James continues while footage of a handsome young man conducting an orchestra is shown, "Bella married world renowned musical prodigy, Edward Cullen, today in a rather impromptu ceremony after his cousin decided to cancel her trip down the aisle."
A middle school aged boy is interviewed. "Everyone was getting ready for the wedding to start and all of a sudden Emmett McCarty comes busting in, screaming to stop the wedding. He was wearing this life vest and I heard he swam across Green Lake to get here, but I'm not sure if that's true or not. My dad said probably not."
James can be heard laughing lightly. "No, according to our sources here at Channel Four, the NFL's 2015 Defensive Rookie of the year did not swim across Green Lake, but the Houston Texan lineman did make quite a splash. He's not only the cousin of our Bella, but the former boyfriend of the original bride-to-be." There's a shot of man in a life vest and a woman in a wedding dress embracing inside the church. "No word yet if his arrival had anything to do with the cancellation of the planned nuptials, but he certainly seemed overjoyed with the outcome of today's events."
"I love my cousin. I love Edward. I knew they were perfect for one another when we were in high school together, and I'm so happy I could be here to see them tie the knot. I'd also like to give a quick shout out to Skipper Dan for helping me get here today. Couldn't have done it without you, buddy!" he shouts at the camera.
There's a shot of the wedding couple coming out of the church without an umbrella. They stop, standing in ankle deep water and kiss in the rain. She's wearing rubber rain boots and a strapless champagne bridesmaid dress but carries a bridal bouquet of roses and calla lilies. He's in a tux and his pant legs are rolled up to his knees and he's barefoot.
Lenny Kravitz's "I Love the Rain" plays in the background. James finishes his report. "It looks like some stormy weather is just what this weather girl needed. Let's hope there's nothing but blue skies for our happy couple from here on out."
Jane Cunningham is still smiling. "Thanks, James. And yes, all of us here at Channel Four say congratulations Bella and Edward. We wish you a lifetime of love and happiness and hope today you've weathered the worst of the storms."
A/N: Warning, long boring A/N on it's way...
First thanks to momof4 for her amazing support and help in writing this story. She stays up late for me and gets these chapters read right before I get them out to you. She is so wonderful and I am so grateful to have her in my corner.
Thanks to Mama Trouble - this is my RL mom. She also reads these chapters before they go out and never fails to find something I've missed. She loves reading all your reviews and sends me sweet little emails telling me she's proud of me. She is the best ever.
To my friends on Facebook and the lovely ladies who pimp this story out on Twitter and across the blogosphere. Thank you so very much. I have such an amazing support system in this fandom and I am so thankful for you guys.
To you, the reader - Thank you for reading and thanks to those of you who review. I appreciate all the feedback. Whether this is the first story of mine you have read or you've been a TF fan from the get-go, it really means a lot that you take the time to read something that I write.
I do no plan to write an epilogue for this story. I do not have a sequel in mind either. There will not be any Stormbabies (Kitty). I do not have plans to write another story. There's nothing running around in my head just yet. For those of you who loved Fridays at Noon, an outtake is your best bet right now.
I have lots of visuals on the blog. Head over there if that interests you. Thanks again for reading. Especially this long ass A/N.
Go read Blind Spot by FictionFreak95 or The Veil by BelladonnaCullen because my tricycle is awesome and everything those ladies write is golden. Both these WIPs are awesome and if you like my stuff, you'll love theirs.
Much love and thanks! xoxo, TF