Childhood is not from birth to a certain age. And at a certain age, the child grows and puts away childish things. Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.
Paul stormed out of his house and threw Annabeth and Emmett’s wedding invitation on the ground. He started running off into the woods. He took his shirt off as he ran. His dad ran out of the house.
“Paul! Paul!” He shouted.
Paul turned into a wolf as he headed into the forest. His dad sighed and looked down at the wedding invitation. He picked up the wedding invitation and looked at it. Paul ran, the image of Annabeth’s wedding invitation burned into his memory.
Charlie held the invitations. He has his face in one hand while looking at it. Charlie looks out the window. His niece and daughter are getting married.
Renee was holding the wedding invitations.
“Phil!” She called.
She started walking towards the house, her husband walking onto the porch.
“It’s happening.” She told him as she held her niece and daughter’s invitations.
I’m walking in my wedding heels across the back porch as Alice watched me. Bella was watching me as I walked effortlessly in the heels.
“Amazing, right?” I asked, giving a little twirl as I finished.
Bella and Alice clapped as I give a smile.
“How did you get so perfect after three days of practicing?” Bella asked.
“Practice makes perfect, Bella.” I replied.
“Easy for you to say, Annabeth.” Bella sighed. “Just thinking it’s a little much, you know? The dress and the shoes, and all of this.”
We saw Jasper and Carlisle carrying benches for the wedding, Bella making a point.
“No, it’s exactly enough.” Alice interjected. “Tomorrow will be perfect.”
Logan came in carrying a long tree trunk.
“Where do you want them, boss?” He asked.
“On either side of the aisle.” Alice replied as Rosalie walked past behind Logan carrying a fat tree stump.
“What aisle?” Rosalie asked.
“Does no one have vision?” Alice asked as she walked down the steps to help them.
I took off my heels and put my sneakers on. I look up into a window in the house and look at Emmett who was watching his family get everything set up for the wedding. Ben was hanging some floral decoration.
“You ready for tomorrow?” Bella asked me.
“I’ve been born ready, Bella.” I replied, not looking away from Emmett. “Ready for this ever since I was born.”
“You, go home and get lots of beauty sleep.” Alice ordered, walking up to me. “That’s an order.”
“Okay.” I agreed as we hugged.
Bella followed me as we got into my Jeep. Alice picked up the heels and smiles. She walked to the aisle as she helped the others get ready.
I put my clothes into a cardboard box. I turned around and leaned slightly against the box, looking deep in thought. I walked over to my bed and looked at the dreamcatcher that Paul gave me, that was hanging on the headboard. Emmett appeared behind me. I turned around and faced him.
“I was just checking for cold feet.” He asked me.
“Well, mine are toasty warm.” I told him as I sat down on my bed.
“It’s not too late to change your mind.” He asked.
“What? Now you’re having second thoughts?” I wondered. “You are.”
“No, I’ve been waiting half a century to marry you, Miss Swan.” He smiled.
“But?” I sensed a but.
“I haven’t told you everything about myself.” He sighed.
“What? You’re not a virgin?” I joked.
He chuckled and walked around to the other side of my bed. I turned myself to face him.
“Look, you can’t scare me away now.” I said.
“You see, years before I met you,” He explained. “I met another woman whose blood was like yours.”
“You did?” I asked. “What happened?”
“She and I were in a relationship.” Emmett replied. “She was using me to make her ex jealous.”
“Damn.” I swore.
“After I found out, she cut herself, in hopes of me turning her.” He added.
“Did you?” I asked him.
“I didn’t.” He shook his head. “I ended up killing her. After I killed her, I never felt so guilty in my years as a vampire. I never drank from a human before meeting her. And that was the first time I ever drank human blood.”
“Emmett, you can’t blame yourself for what she did.” I reminded him. “She was using you and her ex. I’m not saying she deserved it, but what she did wasn’t okay.”
“Annabeth, that’s what I told myself. But she was a human. I looked into her eyes as she died and I saw who I was, and what I was capable of.” He sighed.
“And what I’ll be capable of. Why are you telling me this tonight? Did you really think this was gonna change my mind about you?” I asked.
“I just wondered if it would change your mind about yourself, and who you wanna see when you look in the mirror a year from now.” He answered.
I rolled my eyes at him as I got up off the bed and walked over to him.
“I know I can do this. Let me tell you why. Because you did. You should give yourself some credit for that. Now, hopefully, a year from now,” I told him. “I’m gonna look in the mirror and see someone like you. I mean, someone capable of courage and sacrifice and love.”
We kissed. I heard a noise outside my window. Edward whistled.
“What is that?” I asked.
“Come on! Let’s go!” Logan called out.
“I’m late for my bachelor party.” Emmett replied.
Edward jumped up to the window.
“Send him out, Annabeth, or we’re coming in after him.” He said.
He jumped down from the window. I pulled away from Emmett.
“So, this party. Will there be strippers?” I asked.
“No, just a couple of mountain lions. Maybe a few bears.” Emmett laughed. “Either way, you’re the only woman who I prefer to strip for me.”
Jasper jumped up to the window.
“Don’t worry, Annabeth, we’ll give him back in plenty of time.” He joked as he jumped down from the window.
Edward playfully shoved Logan, who shoved back.
“Okay, go, before they break my house.” I laughed.
“Let’s go! Let’s go!” Logan called out.
Emmett walked over to the window, looked out it, then turned and faced me again.
“I’ll meet you at the altar?” He asked.
“I’ll be the one in white.” I smiled.
“That was very convincing.” Emmett joked, checking me out.
I laughed. Emmett jumped out the window and playfully shoved his brothers. I looked out the window. Emmett, Jasper, Logan, Ben, and Edward laughed and then ran off. I go in, turned one of my lamps off and then walked over to the bed. I got in the bed and turned off the lamp right beside my bed.
I was in my wedding dress as I walk down the aisle, holding my bouquet. The aisle was covered in roses and are all white. All the guests: my aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and others are all watching me as I walk down the aisle. I saw Emmett at the altar as I smile at him. We both smile at each other and turned to face the Priest.
Only then we saw Aro, Marcus, and Caius. I gasped and turned to Emmett, seeing that his mouth was covered with blood. I looked down at my hands and saw that they are covered in blood. Then I looked around me and saw that all the guests, including my aunts, uncles, and cousins are lying at our feet, dead, drained of blood.
I screamed out loud, sitting up straight in bed. I breathed heavily as Uncle Charlie ran into my room, run raised and loaded. Seeing that I was safe, and there are no intruders, he put his gun away and apologizes. I shook my head, indicating that it’s my fault, that I had a bad dream. Uncle Charlie nodded and left the room.
Alice was putting on my makeup. Bella was getting the wedding dress ready.
“What did I say about beauty sleep?” Alice asked me.
“Sorry, bad dream. It was wedding jitters.” I replied as Rosalie walked in.
“Do you need some help? I could do her hair.” She asked.
“Really?” Bella and I asked.
“Please. I’m not offended by your choice of grooms.” Rosalie replied as she walked up to me and started doing my hair.
“Just our blatant lack of respect for mortality.” I added.
“Essentially.” Rosalie agreed.
“Weddings. They bring everyone together.” Alice squealed as he hugged all of us.
Uncle Charlie was looking at the Cullen’s wall of graduation caps with curiosity.
“Hey, so, did you find Annabeth?” Aunt Renee asked as she walked up the stairs to meet him.
“Are those graduation caps?” Uncle Charlie asked.
Aunt Renee turned and looked at the caps.
“How creative!” She laughed.
“Or weird.” Uncle Charlie added.
“Alice? Bella? Annabeth?” She called out as she got to the top of the stairs.
“In here, Mom.” Bella called out from the room next to her.
She entered the room and saw me all made up.
“Oh, my gosh! You’re so beautiful.” She said as she saw me. “Oh, honey.” She starts crying. “Crap! My mascara.”
“Aunt Renee! I sighed as Alice handed her a handkerchief.
“Thanks.” Aunt Renee thanks as she wiped the tears away. “Charlie, get in here.”
“You sure? I don’t wanna…” He asked as he walked into the room wearing his wedding tux.
I stood up at the sight of him.
“I know. I look hot.” He joked, laughing.
“We thought you needed something blue.” Uncle Charlie opened the gift box containing a jeweled hair comb. “And something old. Besides your aunt.”
“Nice.” Aunt Renee retorted.
“It was your mother’s.” He added as I pick up the comb.
“Really?” I asked, tears in my eyes.
“Yes.” He nodded his head as I sniffed.
“But we added the sapphires.” Aunt Renee added. “Your mother wanted you to wear it when you got married.”
“It’s beautiful, you guys. Wow.” I thanked them. “Thank you so much.”
I asked Rosalie to put it in my hair.
“It’s your first family heirloom. Pass it on to your daughters, and their daughters.” Aunt Renee explains as she started to cry again.
Her words hit me like a wrecking ball because once Bella and I turn, we can’t have kids.
“Aunt Renee, I love it.” I smiled.
As I go to kiss them, Alice stopped us.
“Nope. No smudging my masterpiece.” She asked.
“She’s right.” Aunt Renee agreed.
“Okay. Time for the dress!” Alice squealed as she rushed to the closet and pulled a hanger out. “Do you wanna see it?”
“I want to see it!” Aunt Renee said as I go get dressed.
Classical music was playing. They are waiting for the wedding to begin. Eric, Angela, Mike, and Jessica are standing next to each other as they stared at the Denali sisters, all blonde, all gorgeous in their own right. Ben was standing next to Tanya as they talk.
“They have got to be related.” Eric said.
“What a gene pool.” Mike added.
“Seriously. You’ve got some…The drool.” Jessica told them as she turned to Angela. “So, you think Annabeth is gonna be showing?”
“Jess, she’s not pregnant.” Angela retorted.
“Okay. Who else gets married at 19?” Jessica asked.
I was nervous as I am about to walk down the aisle. The wedding music began to play.
“You ready?” Uncle Charlie asked as he entered the room.
“Yeah. Just don’t let me fall, Uncle Charlie.” I asked.
“Never.” He replied as I looped my arm into his.