Chapter Twenty-Five

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Damn you, ever-nagging plot bunnies ... I just can't get this one out of my head. I am focusing on one story, but I wanted to get a foundation on this new one. So, here we go ... This will be similar to Buying Love, Friends with Benefits, Mafia Princess and The One That Got Away, with shorter chapters and weekly updates: I'm planning on keeping the update schedule with this one ... Sunday updates, Wednesday teasers.

Up next will be the glienne, in Edward's POV, plus their bonding. And by bonding, I mean lemons. Gotta love citrus. ;-) Though, I think that may come next chapter ... we'll see.

Information about the Hand Fasting ceremony came from the website, A Practical Wedding (dot) com, with the vows and what not coming from Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Vintage 1955.

Chapter Twenty-Five

EPOV

"Dude, I can hear your heart pounding from here," Emmett said as he stood next to me under the dais. "Why are you freaking out?"

"I'm not freaking out," I argued. "I'm anxious to see Bella. I can't wait to be bonded with her forever. I can feel her, sense her love and the air is crackling with the magic of the ceremony."

"It's the perfect night for this," Eleazar said. "The first night of a blue moon, at midnight. Your mating ceremony is blessed." He murmured an incantation and the backyard was bathed in a warm glow, with globes of white light, twinkling around the backyard. "It's time, Lord Edward."

Emmett stood by my side, along with Marcus. Peter was acting as officiant, dressed in deep eggplant-colored robes. Eleazar was seated with Carmen. Jasper was next to Charlotte. Tanya and a few other of our allies were acting as witnesses. I could see the glow of a camera, indicating it was being live-streamed on the Intranet. I wrinkled my nose at that, but being fae royalty meant that we had certain expectations to uphold. Our mating ceremony, our glienne was to be a public event, not the private intimate ceremony that I'd hoped for. Yes, our guests were our inner circle but everyone was going to be watching.

Music began playing, but it wasn't music in the traditional sense. Nature was providing the soundtrack with birdsong, gentle breezes and shimmering chimes. It added to the magic of the night. Alice walked down the aisle first, wearing a beautiful, flowy dress in a deep lavender color. It enhanced her elfin features. She looked otherworldly, but radiantly happy as she glided down the aisle, holding a small bouquet of white, purple and green. She squeezed my hand as she took her spot on the dais. I blew out a breath as Rosalie followed my sister. Her dress was sheer and shimmering, a pale purple that almost appeared white. Her blonde hair was flowing over her shoulders in golden waves. She winked at me, her eyes sparkling as she gazed down the aisle.

My heart stammered. I felt Bella's presence before I saw her. The music swelled and everyone stood up, giving her the respect she deserved. I took a breath and in all of her glory, I saw my mate, my sihrena, my Bella. She looked like perfection personified, wearing a cream dress that deepened to a wisteria color with coordinating flowers dancing down her gown. She looked like royalty, her beauty enhanced by her gown, her hair and the magic surrounding her. With a calming breath, she looked up at me and her eyes glowed a warm orange while her body luminesced with her excitement. I felt her power calling to me. She moved faster to me. I stepped down, reaching my hand to her and she took it. Her emotions, which were churning as she walked toward me, calmed almost immediately. Helping her onto the dais, I stared at her. "There are no words to describe how beautiful you are," I whispered.

She blushed, warming the entire backyard. "I've missed you, Edward," she murmured. "I feel whole."

Peter cleared his throat and he smiled warmly. Bella handed her bouquet to Rose and we took hands. "Lord Edward and Lady Isabella, tonight we are surrounded by your friends and family, all of whom have gathered to witness your exchange of vows and to share in the joy of this occasion. Let this be a statement of what you mean to each other and your mating commitment of the glienne you will make."

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