A break in the grey clouds allowed the afternoon Sun to cast it's golden rays down upon the tundra of the Alaskan wilderness. It was a beautiful day, one filled with the sounds of spring; the melting of snow into rushing streams, the songs of birds, and the sound of Elk and Moose moving across the thawing ground.
It was a typical day at the Cullen home, where the family was involved in various individual pursuits, but taking pleasure in one another's company. Bella Cullen was sitting with her husband on the comfortable white leather sofa, reading one of her dog-eared paperback's, when she heard Esme's voice call out to her from the kitchen. "Bella, would you mind coming in here for a moment? An interesting piece of mail arrived for you."
Bella glanced at Edward, who only smiled at her indulgently as he idly played with her hair. He loved to sit with her when she read, and they often spent time relaxing in the living room together. If Edward had picked something up from Esme's thoughts, he wasn't sharing.
She stood from her seat, kissing her husband on the cheek, and walked towards the kitchen. The house was busy today, with Renesmee just returning from a shopping trip with Alice and Rosalie, and Jasper and Emmett playing their latest video game on the giant flatscreen TV. Only Carlisle was absent, working his shift at the nearest hospital.
A slight chuckle from behind her made Bella turn around, and she watched as a slow smile spread across Edward's face. Curious now, Bella walked faster into the open-plan kitchen, and over to Esme, who stood at the marble-topped counter. She was holding out a large, square envelope, with an embossed gold bow on the back. It was addressed, in scripted calligraphy, to Isabella and Edward Cullen, care of Charles Swan in Forks Washington. Clearly, Charlie had sent this on to them, as he was one of the very few people in Forks who knew where they lived.
Reaching for the envelope, Bella let out a gasp when she saw the return address stamp, and ripped the envelope open at vampire speed. She let out a shout of joy when she read the elegant writing:
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Weber request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter Angela Michelle Weber to Benjamin Cheney on Saturday, the eighteenth of July, 2011, at six o'clock in the evening, at All Saints Church, 33 Main Street, Forks WA. Reception to follow.
Bella shouted for Edward, racing back to the living room in a blur, the invitation clutched in her hand. "Edward, did you know?" Bella cried, her voice loud and exuberant. "Can we go? Will it be ok? Should I call Alice to check?" Bella spoke in a rush, bouncing from foot to foot in excitement. She couldn't believe it! Angela's wedding!
Edward laughed at her exuberance. "Easy, love, we will talk with Alice and get her opinion," he answered, standing from his seat. "But it's been 6 years now, and the differences in your appearance is quite marked. Except for your eye color, which we can solve with contacts, not all of your changed appearance can be easily explained away."
"But they haven't seen me in so long, and I can just tell them that I have been getting Alice's Bella Barbie treatments for years! Oh, please Edward!" Bella pleaded, her eyes wide and her lips pouty. She had clearly learned a few tricks from Alice.
Edward knew he could never refuse her. "OK, love," he laughed, "we can make it work. It might be tougher for me to explain why I don't look a day older than I did, but a change in hairstyle and maybe some glasses and I think I can pass for 25."
Before he had even finished speaking, Bella was in his arms, squealing out her thanks and delight, laughing along with him. Bella had not seen Angela Weber since her wedding to Edward, and she missed her shy friend. They had kept in sporadic contact via email for a few years after Bella allegedly left for Dartmouth, but these had faded to only a few emails per year and then to nothing for the past year or so. Bella's memories of Angela were muddy, like most of her human memories that didn't involve Edward or the Cullens, but she was excited to see her. She was, after all, the only person she really liked when she was in high school.
For the next few hours, Bella and Edward reminisced about Angela, with Edward giving her gentle reminders about her friend and the things she used to think about, her feelings for Bella and her other friends, and how Edward had 'tricked' Ben Cheney into asking Angela out by pretending to be interested in her. Bella had never heard this story before, and was delighted at Edward's gesture.
She leaned over, letting her lips lightly graze Edward's. "I always knew you had a heart – and soul – of gold, Edward Cullen. And this just proves it even further."
Edwards eyes darkened, and he held his wife tightly in a lover's embrace, kissing her with passion and love.
After Bella and Edward had checked with Alice about the feasibility of going – which involved Alice scanning ahead for possible obstacles like sunny weather, suspicious townsfolk, or any other possible calamities that she might see - they were happily assured that all would be well.
Some precautions would have to be taken, of course. Bella would have to wear either a shawl or a long sleeved dress as she would receive a lot of hugs, and her cool skin would attract too many comments and attention. And she would also need to wear lacy gloves, or keep some thermal hand-warmers on standby to keep the chill from her and Edward's hands. Besides that, Alice assured them that a fancy dress and different hair style and makeup would make everyone think that her changes were simply due to her getting older and maturing into a 'dazzling beauty.'
So, with a happy heart, Bella sent the RSVP that she and Edward would be attending.
Alice, of course, was put in charge of shopping for the dress, and she and Rosalie would make sure Bella would 'knock their socks off'. When Bella asked whose socks they were talking about, they laughed at her and reminded her about her many admirer's from Forks HS. Truthfully, Bella did not remember much about her old friends from High School, and she only had vague and muddy memories about any so-called 'admirers.'
Despite his disdain for the boys of Forks High that had lusted after his Bella when they were in High School, Edward was secretly pleased that they were going to drip with envy when they saw her on his arm. He had to endure their graphic fantasies and angry jealousy during the two years he and Bella attended Forks High, and he remembered many unkind thoughts at his wedding that predicted he and Bella would end up divorced after a few years.
He was going to enjoy showing her off. He always did, and even 6 years later was amazed that she had chosen him.