She didn’t have to do anything for the wedding, only to give her approval, because her soon to be sister in laws were arranging everything. Bella and Edward were going to be married in the forest, the Cullen’s backyard, actually. Everything very natural and virgin – Alice explained that it was sort of a fusion of two lives, or whatever. The drawings had been beautiful, and it was something Bella could see herself being wed at.
Alice had already found Bella the perfect dress. For some weird reason, Alice always knew what Bella wanted without Bella even telling her because it had already been made clear that Alice couldn’t fully see Bella. It was just that Alice was that good with fashion.
Rosalie had already sent out the wedding invitations, without Bella’s assistance or requests.
Carlisle and Esme had an island that Bella and Edward were going to on their honeymoon, there was no need to figure out a location for that. But she really didn’t fancy traveling for such a long time. However, Edward wanted this. And what Edward wanted, Edward got. She’d get him backpacking through Europe within a year, that was one of her resolutions.
The wedding cake was done by some master cake builder from Las Vegas or New York, or perhaps two cakes because they were expecting a few guests, but why buy two cakes when they’ll mostly be for show? Vampires didn’t eat human food.
Bella felt as if she had to do something for her own wedding instead of simply sitting around and having things happen. When Alice announced that she’d already hired a chef to cater for the wedding, something inside Bella snapped. “You guys don’t eat! How do you know the food is good? And what kind of food will this chef make? Cancel this chef and let’s hold auditions for food!”
At first, the Cullens had ignored her. All of them, even Edward. Jacob, of course, told her that she was well in her right to demand that she’d take care of the food for the obvious reasons. Jasper was the first one to buckle, mainly because Bella hung around with him more often, not really cursing, but he could sense that her desire for space from the family. Her wall of annoyance only grew bigger and he had enough of it. “I’ll talk to them,” he said gently as he looked over at her. “Because you are right. Do you want me to help you or-”
“No,” she was grateful though. “I’m going to place an ad in the paper and on the internet and we’ll see who’ll show up for the open audition and-”
Jasper smiled then, putting an arm around Bella as he lead her away from the house, hopefully out of earshot from the rest of his family. “Darlin’, my brother and sister are coming. You know about Peter and his gift, right?”
Bella furrowed her brow for a moment. “He’s the one who knows things.”
“Very annoying, really, makes him an assho- asshat sometimes, but yes, he knows things. Let’s just say that he wants to help you with your food issues.”
She blinked at him. “But what’s the point of doing things myself then, when another Cold One, who doesn’t eat, takes care of my food problem?”
Jasper smirked, winking at her before glancing around. “Cryptic bastard may know more than he’s saying but he wanted in and he can keep Alice and Edward from bothering you too much. Let’s leave it at that, deal?”
“So no putting out ads?”
“Well… you could,” he smiled at her. “As a test to Peter’s abilities, perhaps… that would get his panties in a twist. But I never had any reason to doubt his abilities. He actually knew you were going to throw your little temper tantrum at the whole arranged chef thing.”
She blew out a breath through her nose, scowling. “What does he have planned then? What does he want me to do? Alice will figure something is up.”
Jasper shrugged. “It’s fun to see my wife all worked up, don’t worry about it.”
“You might think it’s fun but it’s a fucking pain in my ass. I want to take her stilettos and shove them up where the sun doesn’t fucking sparkle!”
“Bella,” Jasper shook his head.
“I’m not a Cullen yet so don’t make me curb my mouth,” she snapped. “I’m hanging by a thread here.”
He barked out a laugh. “You’re worse than Rose when she got married to Emmett, you little bridezilla you,” he said teasingly. “You can stay at your dad’s for a few days if you want to take a breather.”
“No. I can’t be worse than her because I’m sure she was allowed to make her own damned decisions for her own fucking weddings. I didn’t even get a say in the honeymoon. My dress was chosen for me before I even got to see it. Whose wedding is this again? Not mine.”
“Darlin’, I know,” Jasper said as he stopped walking and gently placed his hands on her shoulders as he looked at her. “Trust Peter. Trust that it will work out.”
“Trust someone who I wasn’t even allowed to meet whenever he was in town,” she snarled, thinking about Edward, then sighing and running a hand through her hair in remorse.
“And why do you think you weren’t allowed to meet with him? Edward’s afraid to lose you. He loves you and he perceives someone like Peter a threat.”
She rolled her eyes. “Surrounded by the family, like that will happen. Besides, he’s mated already. Sometimes I just want to slap some brains into him.”
“What’s stopping you?”
She gave him a look that indicated his own moronic thought.
“Right. Human Bella. Vampire Edward,” Jasper said sheepishly before grinning. “Let’s go back to get you some food.”
“Yes, let’s feed the human like the pet she is after the whole drama over wedding food she’s been causing,” Bella muttered as she turned away from him, walking away. “It’s no wonder Laurent said what he did when he found me that day. Sometimes I wondered…”
“It’s easy to be considered someone’s pet when you’re the weaker of the two,” Jasper said as he pushed his hands in his pockets and strolled after her. “I mean, I’m definitely Alice’s pet. She’s got me wound around her little finger and can make me do things,” he added.
She was silent as what he referred to in regards to his relationship had no bearing on hers. Blinking, she tried not to think about the conversations Edward continuously avoided about her mandatory turning. She knew he was still extremely resistant and wondered if he would refuse to until the end, thus continuing putting her life in danger. Was she really a pet? No, he loved her, right?
“Where were you?” Edward said as he came out of the house, a worried look on his face as he pulled her into his arms. “I thought something had happened. The thought of losing you…”
Bella frowned, blinking as she as she took in a breath. “Jasper went and kept me from playing runaway bride. No worries here,” she smiled up at him.
“Don’t be silly,” he smiled sweetly at her. “Why would you run? Simply because of the food?”
“Oh I still want control over something and I claim that, since I’ve had little say in anything else. I won’t budge here Edward. I need something to do,” she sighed.
“What about that cook from that diner your dad always goes to for dinner?” Edward suggested. “You like her food, don’t you?”
She pulled away and started to grow angry at the suggestion. “Diner food, really? That only proves you have little respect for those of us that actually need to eat, Edward. Please. It’s the one thing I’m asking here since you chose a honeymoon I don’t care for, Alice chose a dress I never saw, and…”
“How can I turn down a honeymoon offered by Carlisle and Esme?” Edward said gently. “But I know you’re upset and we’ve all agreed that you can be in charge of the human food. Whatever you need, we’ll help you. Do you want us to put an ad on the internet or the paper?”
“And while I’m grateful, a tropical island for a human as pale as I am is asking for disaster,” she deadpanned. “I will handle any ads, interviews, or anything else involved with food. I don’t want you or the family’s help with that.”
“Let it go,” Jasper said to Edward as he passed him to go inside. The whole family was annoyed by Bella’s stubbornness, but she was right about the food. Rosalie was supportive of Bella as well, though. But Carlisle, Esme and Alice would never hear this. Alice wanted things to be perfect and Bella throwing a fit about food wasn’t perfection. “I’m going to take Alice out to hunt for a couple of days, get her out of your hair, Bella.”
“You don’t have-”
“I do. And I can. And I will,” he smiled before going to look for his wife.
Bella sighed as she put her hands around Edward’s cold body. “You forgive me, right? You’re not mad at me?”
“I don’t understand why you just won’t let anyone else take care of things for our wedding day, but no, I’m not mad at you,” he smiled at her, kissing the top of her head. “Come, I made you some grilled cheese sandwiches.”
“I’m not a child, Edward.”
“It’s the best I can do, you know that.”
Bella huffed as she let go of him and went inside the house to grab her coat and the keys to her truck. “I’m going to my dad’s for real food. Alone,” she said as she bumped into her boyfriend on the way out again. “I’ll be back in a few hours. I just-”
“Need some human time,” Edward said understandingly and Bella simply left. She couldn’t help but get angry while Edward and his family were only trying to be helpful and kind. Not anymore. She’d always had a slight temper, but it only seemed to get worse the closer it came to her wedding day. Luckily, her father somewhat understood and left her alone while she was making herself some food as she tried to calm down by ranting about her wedding to him. Her slamming the pots and pans around in the kitchen, led to her fist in the wall had been something else entirely.
Eventually, though, Charlie spoke up as he was cleaning his gun. “Have you taken your medication at all, lately?” He asked as a matter of factly, not looking up from his task.
“I might have missed a few days here and there, so what?” Bella shot at him before looking at the hole in the wall. “Uh… might have to ask Jake to come and fix this, dad.”
“Nonsense,” Charlie replied, shaking his head. “I can fix it, but maybe you should take your medicine before you go back to your fiancé. Wouldn’t want you to accidentally give him a black eye for the wedding day, would you?”
Bella pulled open a cabinet where a small jar of her pills were being kept in case of sleepovers, took one and swallowed it whole. “There. Happy? And for your information, my hand is doing fine.”
“Good,” Charlie nodded as he put his gun back together and looked at his daughter. “Bells, it’s important for you to take those meds.”
“I know, I know,” she sighed as she cleaned up the mess she’d made. “It helps with the anger and shit, but dad, do they really work though? I have the feeling that even when I take them lately that they’re not working the way that they used to.”
Charlie shrugged as he got to his feet and went to get some plaster to start fixing the hole in the kitchen wall. “Could be that you need a stronger dose, or, it could be that something else is at play. You’re not pregnant, are you?”
“Just saying!” He laughed as he came back with the required materials. “Sweetheart, it’s alright to be a little grumpy, or anxious or forgetful when it comes to your wedding. Every bride, and yes, even grooms, experience that sort of feeling. It needs to be perfect. Your special day.” He cleared out the debris from the wall before he started to fill it up with the plaster. “Hell, your mom and I fought all the time when we planned our wedding. She hated it that I didn’t care about the location, the food, the clothes or anything. I just wanted your mother to be mine.”
“Yeah, and look how well that turned out,” Bella huffed, before realizing something. “Do you think that Edward and I will last?”
“Every father wants his daughter’s marriage to last, Bella, but marriage is hard work. And unfortunately, I dropped the ball far too often in the time that I was married to your mother.”
“Well, on top of that, she’s really not wife material,” Bella added, never having been bitter about her parents’ divorce. She got to live with Charlie, which was fantastic, although she had wished her father had been a sheriff in a town a bit further south, where it was warm instead of cold all year round.
When she was younger, Bella often went to her mother’s for a week or two for a vacation once or twice a year. Sometimes her mother made the trip to Forks, but like Bella, she preferred the warmer climates. “Can I stay here for the night? I’ll text Edward that I’m staying here, but I really don’t want to go back right now. I’m tired. I’m angry. I’m… everything.”
“This is your home, Bella, it’ll always be your home even when you’re married,” he smiled at her. “Your room is your room, I’ll never change that.”
Bella hugged her father, kissed him on the cheek and headed upstairs. “You’re the best dad ever.”
Bella slept for what seemed the entire day, sure that she’d been left alone – she had asked Charlie to put locks on her window last year and it was still locked. She felt refreshed, relaxed and happier than she had felt previously. She did want to go back to Edward as soon as she could though, there was no doubt that he wouldn’t have liked her staying at her dad’s. It was highly probable that he’d been standing across the street all night to watch the house.
At first, she’d been annoyed by it. Edward had shown the classic signs of a stalker, signs that her daddy had taught her well, but the more she got to know Edward, the more she understood that he only did those things because he cared about her. That he loved her, and she loved him. Edward only wished to protect her. But she was safe at her dad’s. He was a cop, and Bella could take care of herself too.
She took a long, relaxing shower with one of her dad’s bottles of soap. He had always told her that under no circumstance she should ever use that soap because it’s expensive and Charlie liked to savor the smell for as long as he could. It smelled earthy. Mossy. Like sunshine after rain. She was a rebel. Of course she used the soap as much as she could, without hopefully getting caught.
She got into some comfy clothes that were still in her closet and went downstairs to prepare breakfast, or lunch, depending on the time, but stopped short when she saw an unfamiliar face sitting in the kitchen, her dad happily munching on some bagels and drinking Starbucks coffee. “Good morning?”
“Oh, hi Bells!” Charlie greeted her happily. “Peter here said you two had an appointment today? I couldn’t leave him out in the cold so I invited him in.”
Bella didn’t move an inch as she looked at this Peter. He was definitely a cold one. He was dressed as a punk cowboy – Bella wasn’t sure how to describe his fashion anyway, and was quietly observing her until she’d speak. “You’re Jasper’s Peter.”
“I sure am, though technically I belong to Char if anyone has anything to say ’bout that,” Peter nodded. “Good morning, Miss Bella, care for some breakfast? We have a big day ahead of us if we want to annoy some squirrel munchers.”
She narrowed her eyes at him before sitting down at the table. “What were your plans?” It was convenient for Peter to show up now, with Alice out of town on a hunt. She had to admit, the thrill of doing something to annoy the Cullens sounded good, still. Even now.
“You’ll see,” he smirked as he handed her a bagel and a styrofoam cup of coffee, it was still hot. “Eat up, it’s the good stuff, or so I’ve been told.”
“What are you two going to do?” Charlie asked his daughter as she took a bite of her bagel. “Nothing illegal, I hope?”
Peter gave him what was supposed to seem like an innocent smile. “What I do best, Chief. Piss off my brother’s family and I take my job extremely seriously too. Do you have any requests?”
“Don’t piss them off too much and keep my girl safe,” he muttered as he got his gun from underneath the table and placed it next to him on the table.
“She will be perfectly safe with me, I guarantee that. In fact they won’t get between me and her,” he assured, turning his gaze from the man to the girl in question as he emphasized on his promise. “She’ll be able to do what she wants to her heart’s content without any troubles.”
“Edward would never hurt me,” Bella huffed before shaking her head. “You’re talking big. There’s no way that they’ll allow that.”
Peter’s eyebrow rose and leaned back against the counter as he eyed her. “Huh. So how’s that headache of yours. Nice hole in the wall. Redecorating?”
“I’m feeling much better than I’ve done previously,” Bella deadpanned, not sure how Peter knew about the headaches, or the fact that the hole was created by her. “But Edward wouldn’t do anything to hurt me, so I’m safe. All I wanted was to have a say in the food we’re going to serve at the fucking wedding.”
“And with me as your personal buffer, you have the catering situation all to yourself. You just tell me what you want, and I’ll handle it. I’m your servant.”
“No, that’s not doing things myself,” she grumbled.
He let out a stubborn huff. “Good thing I’ve come prepared then. I’ve organised you your own personal food truck festival in the in law’s backyard. You should have seen their faces this morning when they rolled up. Brilliant.”
“Sweet cheeks, a lot of good food, a lot of caterers, have food trucks to make ends meet. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it and I promise you, there’s one chef there you’ll definitely want to have as your caterer. I’m not saying who, but I wrote it down on this little piece of paper,” he said as he pulled the paper out of his pocket and waved it around. “There’s a name on this. I’m going to give it to your dad so I can’t mess with it. As soon as you’ve made your decision of who’s going to be your caterer, you can call your dad and he can tell you the name on that paper. How’s that?”
“You don’t trust me and my abilities. This is merely a game I’d like to play so that you can see that I’m always right,” he grinned as he pointed at the bagel. “Eat up. We can take that coffee with us.”