“Bella, you look beautiful,” gushed Esme as she fluffed my wedding dress. I was at my final fitting before the big day. Two years after Edward dropped to his knee, we were finally getting married in a wedding fit for royalty. Mafia royalty. Snorts. Despite my father’s decision to separate himself from the organization, he still had to uphold the same ideals from before. Minus the illegal activities. However, a lot of the families we were close with were invited to my wedding and shockingly, most of them were coming. Edward and I wanted a small wedding, but that wasn’t happening. Nearly four hundred guests were going to be in attendance of our nuptials. “I was apprehensive when you said you wanted a light pink wedding dress, but it’s so unbelievably beautiful.”
“You and I both know that I’m not virginal,” I quipped, giving Esme a wink. She chuckled. Turning, I looked at my dad’s fiancé, Sue Clearwater. “Do you think my dad will like it?”
“He’ll be crying like a baby,” she said, walking over to me and taking my hands. “Thank you for inviting me, Bella. I know I’m not your mother…”
“You’re not but you make my dad happy. I wanted you to be a part of this,” I said, hugging her. “You are going to be my step-monster.”
Sue rolled her eyes and kissed my cheek before sitting back down. She sipped her rose champagne while I scuttled back into the dressing room, removing my princess-like wedding gown. It was light pink with crystals, sequins and sparkles sewn all along the bodice. Over the top of the tulle was intricate lace work. The strapless dress hugged my body, flaring out at my hips. I couldn’t wait until Edward saw me in this, wearing my tiara, veil and jewelry. Squealing quietly, I dressed back in my street clothes. The attendant hung my dress up carefully and wrapped it in a garment bag. Paying for the rest of the dress, we left the bridal salon. Sue took my dress with her. We were going out later in the week for my bachelorette party, which was being hosted at Sue and Charlie’s new home in Bellevue. Plus, I was getting ready at Charlie’s new home before having pictures taken at Emmett’s house, Charlie’s house and finally, at the local Catholic parish.
My dad got out from prison after a year and half for excellent behavior. He was placed in a halfway house and worked with Emmett at the club. It was still booming. My dad used his business and accounting degree to work on the books. While he was out, he dated Sue, who had been widowed a few years earlier when her husband, Harry, died suddenly of a stroke. She was really good for him; kept him on a tight leash. Charlie was also good for her, making her laugh and have fun. He helped her act like a woman who was forty-five, deserving a new start, not a widow who was undeserving of love. Leah, Sue’s daughter, was pissed at the coupling but when she saw how happy her mother was, accepted Charlie.