Bella stood in front of the mirror and looked at the finished process. Staring at the reflection, she couldn’t believe that it was her. Alice’s dress was nothing less than perfection and fit her like a glove. Where most wedding gowns for expectant mothers were large, flowing dresses, much like a circus tent, Alice’s design was the opposite. The dress was made of white satin, with a plunging neckline and a fishtail silhouette. It hugged her belly, showing off her every curve. She loved the dress but adored the full-length lace cape, made from the combination of Esme’s family’s lace and her grandmother’s lace. When the two laces were joined, it was hard to tell where one ended and the other began. Alice had not made a veil, not wanting to take away from the cape. Rose and Alice had gotten her a pair of Christian Louboutin “Kate” blue ombre crystal-covered suede pumps, with a 4″ stiletto heel.
When Bella had opened the box and saw them, she looked frightened. “There is no way I won’t fall and break my neck if I wear these,” Bella groaned.
“Bella, Bella, Bella, these are Louboutin and they are made to be an extension on your feet,” Alice explained as she helped Bella put them on.
Standing up slowly, Bella waited to see if she would fall and when she didn’t, she took her first timid step. Damn, if Alice wasn’t right. The shoes were the most comfortable thing she had ever worn. “Oh, Alice, they feel wonderful.”
“Haven’t you learned by now that when it comes to fashion, I am God,” Alice proclaimed with a wicked smile?
Esme stepped forward and presented Bella with a red velvet box. “Edward’s gift to you.”
Bella opened the lid and inside was a diamond necklace with a large sapphire stone in the middle. It was stunning and, of course, expensive. Taking the necklace out of the box, she felt the weight of all the stones. “Will you help me put it on?” She asked Esme, her eyes full of unshed tears.
Esme draped the necklace around Bella’s delicate neck and closed the clasp. When she stepped back around to the front, she gasped. The necklace hung perfectly down her neck and into the plunging neckline of the dress. It was like it was made for the dress. “God, he is so much like his father when it comes to picking out jewelry.”
Bella ran her finger over the hard, cold blue stone. It was the most beautiful necklace she had ever seen in her whole life, and it was hers. How had she gotten so lucky to have a man like Edward in her life?
“Now for a few more things to make sure we start this marriage off right,” Esme said, as she held out a sixpence coin. “Rose, will you place this in her left shoe?”
“I would love to,” she replied, taking the coin and slipping it into the shoe.
“Now, let’s go over the list. Your gown is new, the lace is old, the shoes are blue, and this is your something borrowed,” Esme explained, handing her a delicate handkerchief with a Celtic knot, a thistle flower, and a horseshoe embroidered on the soft material. Along the edge was the Cullen lace. “It was my great grandmother’s.”
“Oh, Esme. It is so lovely and I promise to take care of it,” Bella cried, tears rolling down her face.
“Now, now. You are ruining your makeup and we need to be leaving for the church in a few minutes,” Esme murmured, reaching up with a tissue and patting away the tears.
Alice rushed over, touching up Bella’s makeup. After finishing covering any signs of tears, she prepared to put on the long, white, heavy cape with a hood. It was the second weekend in November and the weather had already turned cold. The weatherman had predicted that Wednesday a massive nor’easter was on track to hit New York City; with at least a foot of snow. Though before the snow would hit, a chance of freezing rain and ice could blanket the city.
Once Bella was bundled up, Rose, Alice, and Esme put their heavy coats over their dresses. Bella and Edward had decided not to have a Maid of Honor and Best Man at the wedding. Instead, the entire family would be witnesses to their vows.
Edward had stayed at the apartment the night before with his brothers, as they gifted him with a so-called bachelor party, scant strippers or whores. Bella had put her foot down on that issue when Emmett brought it up. No other woman was going to be naked in front of her soon-to-be husband. Of course, Edward agreed, stating that Bella’s sexy body was his every fantasy and desire.
As the ladies reached the mansion’s foyer, they were met by Bella and Esme’s security detail. Instead of the usual two officers per lady, there were four. Carlisle and Edward wanted to ensure nothing happened on the way to the church after Esme had told them about their run-in with Carmen and Irina at the spa.
Walking outside to get in the waiting limo, Royce walked over to them. “Hey, Mark. I can take over from here,” he said. This was his last opportunity to take Bella before she married Edward. Eleazar had paid him a lot of money to do this and once he did, he would be given a high-ranking position in the organization. Eleazar also had promised his daughter Kate would marry him, making him a member of the family.
Mark thought it was strange that Royce was here. He was on The Skipper detail and should have been at the church, where he was at this moment. “We have our orders, Royce, and shouldn’t you be at the church?”
“Yeah, but the Warlord has it covered,” Royce explained.
Mark took a step closer to Royce. He didn’t know why he was here, but he wasn’t going to step away from his duty until he was commanded to do so. “Look, Royce, I am not going to leave my post, no matter what you say. We don’t need your help, so step the fuck back.”
“Fine,” Royce growled, turning on his heels and storming off. Damn, Eleazar was going to be pissed. He needed to develop a new plan because there was no way he would fail.
Mark and other team members got the ladies in the limo and on their way to the church. They were on guard, not wanting to let their Skipper down. Forty minutes later, they were pulling up to the front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Bella had been silent the entire ride to the church. She was thinking about the future and if she would be a good wife for Edward. He wasn’t your typical husband. He was the leader of a massive crime family. Over the last month, she had been introduced to so many people who were part of the family. With each one, Edward knew them personally, as well as their husband, wife, and any children. He had kept his promise about staying around the house as much as possible, yet there were several times that he had been called out to take care of a problem. When he returned, he went straight to the bathroom and took a shower. She had gotten up to check on him and as she gazed into the shower, she saw the red water pour off his tone body. At first, she thought he had been injured, rushing towards him to see the extent of the damage, only to find that it was someone else’s blood. She refused to ask who; instead, she would collect his suit placing it in the special container so they could be destroyed.
Lost in her thoughts, she felt a hand on top of hers. Looking down, she saw a stunning diamond and emerald Claddagh ring that rested on Esme’s delicate finger. She had been corrected that the Cullen men did know how to pick out jewelry. Esme gave her hand a small squeeze.
“Carlisle and I are very blessed to have someone as brave, courageous, and loving as you to marry our son,” she said, her voice full of conviction.
“I don’t know about the brave or courageous part, but I do love your son with all my heart and soul,” Bella replied, staring into Esme’s crystal green eyes, which were just like Edwards’.
“Honey, to love a Cullen man, you have to be brave and courageous,” Esme giggled.
Bella giggled back, feeling lighter than she had all day. Leaning forward, she placed a light kiss on Esme’s cheek. “Thank you. You don’t know how much I needed to hear that.”
“Well, in about an hour, I am finally getting my wish,” Esme advised.
“Oh, and what is that?” Bella asked, curious to what Esme could wish for that she didn’t have already.
“A daughter,” Esme answered, her face full of love for the young woman beside her.
Tears began to run down Bella’s face once more. Rose and Alice had been quiet during the exchange, knowing that their dear friend needed a mother and Esme Cullen would be perfect for her. Alice reached into her purse and pulled out a tissue, handing it to Bella, who quickly dabbed at her eyes.
“Did I make a mess of my makeup again?” Bella questioned, looking over at Alice.
“No. You are perfect,” she answered.
The car stopped and Bella looked up at the grand entrance of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. She still couldn’t believe that Cardinal O’Malley had agreed to marry them so quickly.
“Why did Cardinal O’Malley agree to marry us?” Bella inquired.
Esme shrugged her shoulders and stated. “He loves his new house.” It wasn’t just a house. It was a vast stately home with six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a swimming pool, and a large media room. Esme didn’t know why the media room was the selling point, though when Cardinal O’Malley heard that, his eyes lit up like a child on Christmas morning agreeing to marry Edward and Bella.
“You paid off a priest,” Bella gasped.
“Yes,” Esme answered matter of factly.
Bella couldn’t believe that a Cardinal could be bribed. “Oh, well,” she thought. Taking hold of the door handle, she began to open it but was stopped by Mark.
“We have to wait until they determine that it is safe for us to get out,” Esme said, knowing that the girls didn’t understand. Not that there had been a threat against Bella, Edward didn’t want to take any chances.
Mark and the other security detail surveyed the area, and just as they were about to declare an all-clear, Cora came across the earpiece. “Baru.”
“Fuck,” Mark growled, looking towards where Cora was positioned and sure enough, he spotted Irina Ortiz walking towards the church steps, dressed in a white see-through gown. Mark rushed over and blocked Irina’s path.
“Get out of my way,” Irina snarled. She couldn’t be late for her wedding. Her mother had tried to make her wait until the fat bitch had been taken care of, but she couldn’t disappoint Edward. She knew he loved her and he was only looking at the fat cow because she claimed to be having his baby. However, there was no way her Edward would ever cheat on her. That is why she had to come to the church today to stop the sham of a wedding.
Mark grabbed her arm and began dragging her to the side of the church, all the while she was screaming like a banshee. When he had her around the side of the church, he handed her over to Cora and Clarie. Claire pulled Irina’s arms behind her back while Cora placed a piece of tape over her mouth. “Take her two blocks from home and drop her off,” Mark commanded.
“Will, do,” Claire answered, even though she had hoped that she would be able to shut the bitch up for good. Irina was getting on her last nerve and it took all the power she had left not to pull her gun and blow her fucking brains out.
After Claire and Cora had Irina in the car, he headed back around the church, then towards the limo. Opening the door to the back, he offered his hand to Bella. “I am sorry for the delay. Wouldn’t want to spoil your day with an unsightly piece of trash,” Mark said, his mouth turning up into a small mischievous smile.
“Thank you,” Bella chuckled, as she had witnessed the “piece of trash” being hauled away.
Once everyone was out of the car, they walked up the steps and into the church’s entrance, where they were met by Robbie dressed in a tailored black tuxedo.
“Robbie, what are you doing here?” Bella asked, shocked to see the man who she considered her father standing in front of her.
“Well, I heard my daughter was getting married today to some gangster and I am here to make sure that he doesn’t run off,” Robbie joked, then his expression changed into one of love. “Bella, dear, I would be honored if you would allow me to give you away today.”
“Oh, Robbie, of course,” Bella cried, tears once again began pouring down her cheeks.
Alice once again stepped forward with a tissue and began blotting away the tears. “After this, no more tears until Edward gets to see you,” she commanded with a smile. Removing Bella’s outer cape, she made sure that the lace cape was draped perfectly in the back so that it would flow up the aisle.
Once Bella was again tear-free and perfect, Alice, Rose, and Esme gave her a light kiss on the cheek, then went into the chapel to take their seats. Robbie offered his arm to her and Bella placed her arm on his. When the Uilleann pipes began to play, the doors opened and they proceeded down the aisle.
Edward’s heart was racing as the door opened and he had caught sight of Bella. He had missed her so much last night and just the sight of her caused him to crave the urge to touch, hold, and kiss her. She was a vision in white. Her gown hugged her every curve and showed off their sons. Looking closer, he saw the sapphire pendant nestled between her ample breast. Alice had given him the perfect dimension for it since it laid in the spot he wanted it to. When they finally arrived at the altar, Robbie placed a kiss on her cheek and put her hand in his. Robbie might not be her blood father, but he loved her as much as he loved his own daughter.
Bella had not been prepared to see Edward dress in a traditional Irish eight-yard tartan, five-button waistcoat, victorian shirt, ruche tie, kilt socks, and kilt flashes that matched his tartan. She had seen him in suits and tuxedos, but nothing prepared her to see him dressed this way. He was sexy as fuck and she wanted to know what he was wearing under that tartan. Damn, she was horny.
Cardinal O’Malley began the service and soon the time had come that Bella had been preparing for weeks.
“Tha mise Edward Liam Cullen a-nis ‘gad ghabhail-sa Isabella Marie Swan gu bhith ‘nam chéile phòsda.” (I, Edward Liam Cullen, now take you, Isabella Marie Swan, to be my wife.) “Ann am fianais Dhé ‘s na tha seo de fhianaisean tha mise a’ gealltainn a bhith ‘nam fhear pòsda dìleas gràdhach agus tairis dhuitsa, cho fad’s a bhios an dìthis againn beò.”
(In the presence of God and before these witnesses, I promise to be a loving, faithful and loyal husband to you, for as long as we both shall live.) Edward proclaimed with all his heart and soul.
Bella took a deep cleansing breath and began. “Tha mise Isabella Marie Swan a-nis ‘gad ghabhail-sa Edward Liam Cullen gu bhith ‘nam chéile pòsda.” (I, Isabella Marie Swan, now take you, Edward Liam Cullen, to be my husband.) “Ann am fianais Dhé ‘s na tha seo de fhianaisean tha mise a’ gealltainn a bhith ‘nam bhean phòsda dhìleas ghràdhach agus thairis dhuitsa, cho fad’s a bhios an dìthis againn beò.” (In the presence of God and before these witnesses, I promise to be a loving, faithful and loyal wife to you, for as long as we both shall live.)
Edward couldn’t help but smile. She had said her vows in perfect Gaelic. Hell, her diction and pronunciation were that of someone who had been speaking Gaelic all their life. He would have to teach her more Gaelic that she could use while they made love.
Cardinal O’Malley then instructed them to exchange their rings. Alice handed Bella the beautiful milgrain gold, Celtic Knot Wedding band he had selected for Edward. Edward took Bella’s gold Celtic Knot Wedding band from Emmett and placed it on his beloved wife’s finger. It was fortuitous that they had both selected the same band for each other. The symbolism, not lost on Esme, as the Celtic Knot symbolized eternal love.
Once their vows were said, Cardinal O’Malley finally said the words that Edward and Bella had been waiting to hear.
“I pronounce you man and wife,” he said. “You may kiss your bride.”
Edward wrapped his arm around Bella and leaned down and sealed their vows with a kiss of promise, love, and fidelity.