The Rose Peignoir


I received my invitation to Rose and Emmett’s wedding two weeks before they were to exchange vows, but I knew it was coming. Handwritten by Emmett on Rose’s personal stationery, the verbiage was straight out of Emily Post. If Alice had been correct when she justified spending hours selecting the perfect invitation of her own by insisting that it set the tone of the entire event, then it was safe to assume that Rose and Emmett’s nuptials would be heartfelt and simple.

If Alice’s wedding represented everything that was wrong with contemporary marriages, Rose’s gave me hope that once in a while two people could get it right. Early in the afternoon on the first Sunday in November, Rosalie Ariel Hale married Emmett Samuel McCarty under falling leaves and a chuppah fashioned from autumn foliage and chrysanthemums. Having had little time to plan but not wanting to wait any longer, Emmett’s parents hosted the wedding at their home in Cherry Hill. The rabbi from Emmett’s schul joined Rose and Emmett for eternity in a traditional Jewish ceremony. The only thing lovelier than the weather was the bride herself, resplendent in a simple empire-waisted ivory gown.

Much to Alice’s annoyance, there was no official wedding party, but I was more than happy to take my place at Edward’s side among the guests. At our arrival, Edward was handed a kippah which proved to be more than a little challenging; I had to practically beat his hair down with the back of a paddle brush in the powder room to get it to remain in place. His hair seemed more red than brown in the afternoon sun, and sprung out from under it in every direction imaginable. He was, as usual, completely and utterly adorable.

As Rose walked down the aisle flanked by her parents, I’d never seen her look as happy. After breaking the glass at the conclusion of the ceremony, Emmett lifted Rose off her feet and spun her around, unable to contain his excitement that the woman of his dreams was now his wife. Their enthusiasm and joy was infectious, and I doubted there had ever been an event at which happiness and love were so palpable.

At the end of the reception, Edward and I returned to my house, determined to spend as much time alone together as we could. The moment we had closed my front door, Edward pressed his lips against mine.

“It looks like someone is more than a little affected by the romance of the afternoon.”

“It was kind of hard not to be. You’d be hard-pressed to find a man as in love as Emmett is with Rose.”

My eyes narrowed slightly as I peered up at him.

“Present company excluded, of course.” He kissed my neck after he spoke.

“They certainly are happy together, there’s no question of that, though I was a bit surprised they seemed to do everything so by the book. Neither struck me as very observant. I mean, Emmett was usually at the bar with us on Fridays.”

“Yeah, after he had Shabbat with his parents.”

“How do you know that?”

“He told me. We had a long talk about this at the ball game one weekend. His father actually converted to Judaism to marry his mother, because it was so important to her that she bring her children up in her faith. It was always a very big part of his life growing up.”

“I didn’t know that,” I admitted. “It does make sense though, now that I think about it.”

“Emmett is actually very religious, he just doesn’t make a big show of it. He considers faith to be a very personal thing. He and I are alike that way.”

The idea that Edward could be religious had never once occurred to me. I assumed he wasn’t, but we’d never discussed it. I seemed like a strange time to ask him, but I was suddenly curious.

“Do you believe in god?”

He cupped my ass with his hands and kissed my ear. “I believe you’re a goddess. Let me worship at your shrine.”

“I’m serious. We’ve never talked about religion.”

He sighed and released his grasp. “Yes, of course I believe in god. Don’t you?”

“No. Obviously, I’m not sure but I don’t think I do. I joke about going to hell all the time, but I don’t actually think such a place exists. Truth be told, I’m a bit surprised that you do believe in god. I always thought your mind was more…methodical than that.”

“You’re right to an extent. I do consider myself a scientist. As such, I’m aware that there are things we cannot explain, and I’ve never understood the idea that science and faith should be mutually exclusive.”

“Well, in certain instances they kind of have to be. For example, do you believe in evolution or creation?”

He brushed my hair off my shoulder. “I believe you are very highly evolved.” He kissed my collar bone. “I also believe you are far too intelligent to just be here randomly, therefore I believe in both.”

“Huh.” For some reason, I had a hard time wrapping my mind around Edward’s belief in a higher power. “Were you raised in a religion?”

“My mother is Catholic and my father is Presbyterian. It was important to her that I be brought up with the Church more so than him, so I was christened and confirmed. Had you been sober enough at Alice’s wedding to stand unsupported, you might have noticed I took communion.”

“I was too busy trying to figure out how I could entice you into a confessional to fuck me,” I admitted.

He took a step back. “Are you serious?”

“Uh, yes.”

“Do you ever think about anything besides sex? Most people at a wedding would focus on love and commitment and the joining of two souls. As the maid of honor at the wedding of your two best friends, you were actually more concerned getting laid. I’m beginning to think you may actually be hornier than I am, a feat I would never have thought possible.” He shook his head, laughing. “No wonder you fear damnation. For the sake of your soul, I seriously hope you’re right about religion.”

“Only a patriarchal Judeo-Christian god would condemn me. A female god would have understood my turmoil. In fact, had you lived ten thousand years ago, I’m quite certain some ancient cultures would have erected stone monuments to your penis and knelt before them.”

“A dildo deity! Just how I’ve always seen myself.” He threw his arms up in mock pride.

“Speaking of Alice’s wedding and the previously established divinity of your genitalia, I’m dying to get you in a tux again, though mainly so you can get yourself out of it while I watch. I’m actually extremely resentful of Rose that her wedding was not black tie. Of course, I understand that would not have been appropriate for the daytime, but if she knew how much it meant to me, I’m sure she would have reconsidered her plans.”

“It must have been a banner week for female friendship. ‘No, Rose, please don’t feel compelled to alter your wedding plans to accommodate my perverse fantasies involving my boyfriend, which I would have remembered living out, if not for my total and complete inebriation the night Alice got married.'”

“Wait, you stripped out of your tux for me after Alice’s wedding and I blacked-out?”

“More or less, yes.” His slight blush told me that he had.

“Fuck my life!”

“It’s not all that bad. I’ll make a deal with you, if nothing comes up sooner, next year I’ll bring you to an Eating Club formal at school after which I will happily perform a strip tease for you.”

“Well, shit then, Edward. Why don’t I just sign up to chaperone the prom this year and you can be my date. We can get a hotel room and then go down the shore for the weekend.”

“I’d go if you wanted me to, but I don’t think it would be a prudent career move.”

I rolled my eyes. “I was being facetious.”

“Is it that awful for you to spend time with me on campus?”

“It is a bit off-putting. I just feel like I don’t belong there.”

“I would hope that you would want to be with me, and the exact location should be immaterial.”

“Of course I want to be with you. That’s not what I meant, and you know it.”

“Then what did you mean? Have things been a little too easy lately? You can’t go a month without angst therefore you feel compelled to inject it into periods of your life that may otherwise be lacking it? I love you more than I can possibly express, but you frustrate the living fuck out of me. I want nothing more than for you to be happy, Bella. Sometimes, though, I can’t help but wonder if it’s an emotion you are even capable of feeling any way other than fleetingly.” He shrugged in frustration. “Whatever. It’s not something with which I can help you.”

I actually was working on it myself. I’d been to see Tanya, the therapist Esme recommended, each Wednesday since she suggested I do so. I couldn’t say for sure it was helping, but it had only been three weeks. We were still in the getting to know each other phase. Rather, she was getting to know me. So far, she had said nothing about herself. She just asked me a ton of questions. I could hear her voice in my head asking me why I was intentionally sabotaging my relationship.

“I’m sorry. When the time comes, I would be happy to attend any and all collegiate functions for which you would need an escort.”

“Much better.” He smiled, and creases formed at corner of his mouth. “Before I forget, do you have plans for Thanksgiving?”

“I don’t have plans to go anywhere, no. Usually the years Alice goes home I cook for myself and watch movies.”

“Do you have any interest in spending it with us?”

I threw my arms around him. “I’d love to.”

“Before you get too excited, I should warn you that it’s a bigger crowd than just the three of us. My father’s parents are coming down from New York. My mom refers to them as ‘killer WASPs’ but they’re really not all that bad. I’d love for them to meet you.”

“Should I be scared?”

“No. They already know of you and have seen pictures, so it’s not as if they’ll be surprised.”

“You have told them about our age difference, right? I don’t want a repeat of the night I met your mother.”

“I have told them you are older than me. As far as the specific number of years is concerned, I will make sure they are aware of that, though it’s not necessary. You’ll understand when you meet them.”

I hated it when he was cryptic. “Should I be nervous?”

“Not at all.” He leaned in and kissed me. “I have two hours left before I have to head back to campus. How would you like to spend them?”

“Hmm…I could tutor you in anthropology. I have a pretty good…um….” I grasped him through his pants and squeezed. “…handle on exactly how ancient cultures would have worshiped your man parts.”

“Parts, did you say? As in all of them? Plural?”

I undid his belt and opened his zipper. His breathing deepened and he closed his eyes. I reached inside his pants and cupped his balls through the opening of his boxers.

“Yes, plural.” I fell to my knees, pulling his pants and underwear down with me. I nudged his cock out of the way and ran my tongue over his sack. He leaned against the wall and let out a low groan as I put my hands on his hips and took him into my mouth.

Later as we laid spent on the hardwood floor of my living room in a pile of discarded wedding clothes, Edward lazily stroked my hair as I rested my head against his chest.

“I should get going.”

“I know,” I muttered sadly.

“Thanksgiving Break is only twenty-two days away. We’ll have five whole days together.” He leaned in and kissed my forehead. “This won’t be forever. Only three years and two hundred thirty-one days left of watching calendars and clocks.”

“You have a tally in your head?”

He smiled. “Perpetually. I’m a musician, therefore my sense of time is precise. I have an internal metronome. Speaking of, I really should get going. I’ve lingered forty-seven minutes longer than I intended.”

I wondered if his mind would ever cease to amaze me. He gathered his things and I threw on a t-shirt and walked him to the door, wondering if his leaving would ever get any easier. I hoped for my own emotional well-being that it would.





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  1. on 01 Oct 2010 at 1:51 pmlisa89

    His leaving is hard on my emotional well-being, too, haha.

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  2. on 25 Nov 2010 at 4:40 pmBooksgalore/Bookishqua

    Glad to see she’s bending on the spending time with him issue and getting therapy. I’m sure meeting the relatives will be highly entertaining.
    Books

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  3. on 05 Jan 2011 at 3:58 pmSea4Me

    His commentary, though accurate, was oddly timed. Maybe he had been thinking of it & it burst out when he was only slightly provoked. Good recovery again, tho I wish she spoke her thoughts more & shared that she was in counseling.
    Wedding #2 was great. Sure hope A&J’s wedding wasn’t all that terrible.
    Edw’s synopsis of faith & science coexisting was perfect; succinct & appropriate for the moment. Love it!

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  4. on 29 Jan 2011 at 8:19 pmJanice

    Poor Bella – I would have hoped that Emmett and Rose’s wedding would have rubbed off on her. They don’t really know each other all that well do they??? Didn’t know about each other’s religion . . . what else don’t they know. . .

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