|A Race Against Time
Author: tanglingshadows PM
A group of trackers. One target's scent. A continent. This is the Challenge, and Edward Masen is about find out that in world ruled by vampires, there's no such thing as secrets. AURated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Suspense - Edward & Bella - Chapters: 32 - Words: 123,840 - Reviews: 1,015 - Favs: 437 - Follows: 229 - Updated: 11-15-12 - Published: 10-15-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6400341
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Ch.1: One More Year
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight.
This is rated M for a reason.
The steam from the shower filled the room and her scent swirled around me. I stood in the doorway and listened to her hum as the water cascaded down her shoulders. I wasn't expected home for a couple more days, so she didn't know I was there.
My business in Volterra hadn't taken up as much time as I had anticipated, and for that I was equal parts grateful and despondent. The Volturi had been kind enough to let me know that I would be participating in this years Challenge. I sighed deeply as I thought about what that would entail; more time away from Bella.
I shook my head and once again thought that our worlds never should have merged. But alas, I wasn't around when the brothers took over. Sometime toward the end of the Dark Ages, the three Volturi Kings decided that the world would be a better place if vampires ruled over the humans. At the time, it made sense. The fall of the Roman Empire had created havoc all over Europe. Tribes warred with each other; took land that wasn't theirs and beat down rivals. No one was safe. The Volturi intervened, and in a well-planned and executed attack, all the tribal leaders were destroyed and a new Volturi run world emerged, along with the Renaissance.
Apparently, the brothers had suffered too long without any new art.
As the centuries went by, the Volturi's methods were perfected to the point that humans went about their everyday lives normally. They worked, they had friends, they went out to parties and movies, but they knew, without question, that they could "disappear" in an instant. It wasn't the best way to live, but it could have been worse. There were some members of the government that wanted to enslave the humans and treat them like chattel.
Outwardly, I remained neutral on the subject. If I were to tell them the truth, I would be executed and Bella wouldn't stand a chance when they found her. If I were honest, I would push for more human rights, but mostly, I would beg for the allowance of marriage between human and vampire. Bella would still be changed, but if I had been able to marry her, she wouldn't have been forced to live as if she were my mistress for the last five years.
One more year and I'll turn her and tie myself to her in every way possible. One more year. It had become my mantra since I'd left Volterra the night before.
I let myself think of our past as I breathed her in deeply.
I had met Bella when she was eighteen. I had been walking down the sidewalk of the small town I was passing through when I saw her. I leaned against the building I was nearest too and stood awestruck as she moved toward me. I asked to take her dinner the moment she was close enough, and she said, "I don't think you would like my type of food." Bella walked away and I followed. She was full of life and stubborn as hell, and never in my eighty years of vampire life had I met someone so amazing. Her blood called to me, and I let it draw me in, but after looking into her eyes, there was no way I would harm her. They were soulful and deep and awoke a feeling in me that I didn't believe existed, hope.
I sat on her doorstep for next two weeks before she agreed to a date, and then I could tell she was only trying to rid herself of me. I would change her mind though. Right after she said yes, I went out and rented an apartment in town. I hadn't had a set residence in years, but I gave myself a permanent address, hoping she would let me into her life.
It was on our first date that I found out that her parents "disappeared" the previous year and that she had been taking care of herself. I was never more disgusted with my kind than in that moment, and I knew my pursuit of her would probably fail.
She surprised me though. Bella kept me.
We went on dates every weekend and I took her to lunch during the week. Slowly our relationship grew, and I became a fixture in her home. My clothes hung next to hers in the closet; my shampoo and soaps next to hers in the shower. Then one day, I stopped renting my apartment and made the stay permanent. It was the most dangerous thing I had ever done. I knew that if the Volturi got wind of it, then we would both be in serious trouble. They would never believe that she was just a sexual toy. In fact, the Volturi were quite sure that I was defective since I hadn't taken a vampire lover and showed no interest in anyone.
If they only knew the troubles I went through to make sure her scent didn't drench my being when I went to visit them.
I had missed her birthday with this last trip. She turned twenty-three, and I was sitting in a grand ballroom, kissing ass to the rulers of my world, pretending that I was honored to be included for a second time in the Challenge. In reality, my mind was an ocean away, dreaming about my girl.
I fought off more tracker groupies than I cared to admit, too. I would have to tell Bella about them because I had known that pictures would surface soon. It wasn't that I was recognized in the human world, but Bella liked to subscribe to the vampire newspaper in case there was news about me in them. Very shortly, she would find several pictures of a blond, Russian vampire on my arm, and I cringed when I thought of her anger or even worse, doubt of my affections for her.
It did not help that the Volturi liked to play matchmaker, no matter how fake it was, and were pushing for this union. I couldn't stop myself from rolling my eyes; like I would ever consider Tanya as a mate. The woman was so old that she didn't even have a last name, and I was sure that more vampires and human men had been in her than she even remembered. Vampires have impeccable memory too, so that was saying something.
I groaned inwardly as I realized I would need to tell Bella more about the Volturi than I had before, and possibly tell her how much danger we were in if they found out about us. I had never told her the full extent of vampire's disgust for mixing species. What I had with Bella was unheard of and cause for imprisonment or death.
The shower shut off and the curtain moved, bringing me back to the present.
Bella sucked in a quick breath and jumped as she saw she wasn't alone, causing her to slip on the slick tile. I had her in my arms before she realized what was happening.
"Damn it, Edward! You scared me!"
I felt her warm, dripping wet body in my arms and my face fell to her neck, breathing deeply. I placed small kisses over her collarbone and listened as her breathing picked up. Her hands that had been gripping my shirt were now fisted in my hair.
"You're early," she breathed.
I hummed in response and licked the curve of her neck. I stood her up and let my hands roam over her back and sides, reacquainting myself with her body. It had been nearly a week since I'd left, and I never went this long without touching her. My hands cupped her bottom, and I lifted her up again, making her wrap her legs around my waist.
It was this change of position that made me lock eyes with her for the first time. She was flushed from the shower and from me; her arousal coated the air almost as thickly as the smell of her soap. Bella's eyes were heavy and her lips were pulled up in a sexy smirk.
My filter was lost. "I need to be in you." I sounded strangled and desperate, but this was what she did to me, always, and only her.
"Miss me, did you?" She leaned in for a kiss.
As her lips met mine, I growled low and she giggled. Instinct was taking over, telling me to claim what was mine, to bury myself in her and never surface. I walked out of the bathroom and pushed her against the wall beside our bedroom door. My kisses were becoming fiercer, and she was rolling her hips against me, gasping from the contact.
I leaned down and let me my tongue circle her nipple before pulling it into my mouth as roughly as I dared.
"Ughh, Edward! Bedroom now!" She was tugging on my hair, trying to get me to look up at her. I licked my way back up to her neck and let my teeth softly scrape her skin. For one small moment, I thought about biting her, taking her and changing her, so I wouldn't have to worry about her or our future. Then she turned her head, giving me more space to kiss. Bella would always give herself to me and it would have been wrong to bite her without her knowledge of it happening.
"Ummm, more," her voice floated around my head, and I pinned her with my body and brought my hands to her breasts.
"What you do to me…" I whispered against her skin.
Her voice was firmer this time. "Bedroom, Edward, or floor for all I care. Just stop teasing!"
I let her slide down the wall and into my lap, where she yanked my shirt up and over my head. As soon as my skin was in view, she started kissing and sucking across my chest and down my stomach. My belt was gone before I could think of helping her and soon my jeans and boxers were across the floor beside us. Time seemed to have no meaning when her lips were on me and this was not the first time that I had been so lost in the sensations that she had me naked without me realizing it.
I was breathing heavily and my hands were shaking as I tried to control myself. I was so close to losing control and being too rough. I knew it and so did she. We had been through this before and knew that sometimes, my desire was just too much and Bella always knew how to calm me.
She straddled my lap, but sat far enough back so that my extremely aroused cock was between us. Bella leaned her torso against me, pressing her breasts against my chest and kissing me softly. I heard the sound of the ripping carpet as I tried to keep my hands from breaking her.
"Let me take care of you," she breathed against my lips.
I could only nod. She looked at me sweetly and said, "Your eyes are still green. I like it when they stay green when we make love."
I whimpered, my hands tightened and the carpet tore more. We were going to make love; she was my love, my existence. The overwhelming feeling when I was near her became too much and made me wish I could stay in bed or next to her every minute of every day. Her words weren't meant to inflame me, they were supposed to ground me, but they did both.
Bella placed kisses on my jaw and her fingers brushed my lower stomach.
"I'm going to take you in my mouth." Her words were soft as she wrapped her hand around my shaft. I bucked my hips into her hand and growled.
"That's not helping, Bella," I ground out.
She laughed and started making her way back down my torso. It was then that I started babbling incoherently professing my love of her mouth, how her breath and tongue were so warm against my body, and how I had missed her hands on me.
When her tongue flicked the head of my dick I arched my hips towards her and begged, "Please."
She looked up at me through her eyelashes and said, "You taste so good."
I groaned and she took me fully in her mouth.
"Can't say shit like that. Oh God…" I panted as she ran her tongue along the underside of my cock.
The floorboards cracked under my strength and I cursed inwardly because I would have to fix them later. Those thoughts were gone as soon as they came because Bella moaned around me and had I been human, I'm sure it would have killed me.
I moved so that I was lying on my back in the hallway and Bella turned to get in a better position as she sucked me back into her mouth. When she moved, I was hit by the force of her arousal and my mouth watered. My mind chanted, "Taste her, taste her."
I leaned up and grabbed her hips before moving her so that her knees were on the floor on either side of my head.
Bella stopped licking me and moaned before she threw her head back and gasped, "Yes!"
I took one long lick of her sweet pussy and felt her breath against my cock again.
Soon, we were working each other and moving toward our climaxes. I didn't want to come in her mouth, so I did the one thing I knew would sidetrack her, I sucked her clit into my mouth and slid one finger then another into her, causing her to release my cock and rock her hips against my mouth.
Works every time.
In a matter of seconds, Bella called my name and clenched around my fingers; her juices ran down my hand and I lapped them up greedily. If Bella's blood called to me, her climax shouted my name. In my mind, her taste was more powerful than her blood.
Bella laid her head on my thigh and started stroking me, right before she placed her mouth on me, I moved her hips and sat up.
"No, I want you now," I stated, and pulled her to straddle me again.
"You're bossy today." She smiled as she raised herself over me.
I kissed her deeply and tangled my hands in her hair. "I missed you. I missed everything about you."
She sank down on me, and I let out a ragged breath, while she groaned softly against my neck. My mind was spinning with the feeling as Bella set a steady pace. Her kisses against my shoulder and her nails that were scratching the back on my neck were just making me harder, if that was even possible.
"You feel so good, so warm." I pulled my knees up and Bella leaned back against them as I gripped her hips, moving us harder. Her breasts bounced with each stroke and I stared unabashedly at them. Her hands wrapped around my wrists as she tried to gain some leverage and push back against me. I loved feeling her hands on me, helping me move, so much that I felt the tightening of my release.
"Oh, Bella! I'm going to come…oh…fuck!" I reached down to circle her clit and found her hand already doing my job, I leaned my head back and took in the whole view with my hand still feeling hers work her clit. My snarl reverberated down the hall, and Bella screamed my name as she came around me. I thrust in roughly once more and released into her, growling her name.
After Bella's breathing returned to normal, I moved us into the bedroom and curled against her in bed. She started tracing patterns on my stomach and giggled, "That was some amazing 'welcome home' sex."
"It's always amazing," I argued.
"Ummm, it is." She snuggled into my shoulder.
"Why do you like being so close to me? I'm hard and cold, I can't be comfortable to sleep on." I was less than what she deserved, but she never complained or said anything about me. Still, I wondered why she seemed to gravitate to me in her sleep.
Bella sat up and took my face in between her hands. "I cuddle with you because I love you. I love the way you feel. You aren't the softest thing in the world, but you're mine and I enjoy being close to you." I couldn't help but purr when she called me hers. I was a push-over.
"I love you, too, sweet girl." I played with a piece of her nearly dry hair as she lay back down on my shoulder.
"So we're still waiting another year to change me?" Bella's tone was strained, and I knew she was worried about something.
"Yes. I would like to wait until you're twenty-four, so that we can be the same physical age before you're changed. Why?"
Bella sighed and whispered, "There was an announcement in the paper today."
I twirled her hair around my finger. "What kind of announcement?"
I felt something wet hit my shoulder and smelled the salt of her tears. Immediately, I sat up and looked down at her body, trying to ascertain what had happened.
"Are you all right? Did I hurt you?" My eyes were searching hers, looking for the source of her pain.
"Are you engaged?" She asked quietly.
My head cocked to the side. "What?"
She started crying harder, and I barely made out her words.
"Are you getting married to a vampire named, Tanya? I read about it, and I'm worried that when you leave me, you go to her. Are you are putting off my change so that you can marry her and leave me?" I tried to interrupt her but she kept going. "I saw the pictures, Edward. She was all over you."
Bella dissolved into tears again. I had never seen her so upset and was unsure what to do, but I figured now was the time to tell her the truth about things in Volterra and also her ask her something important.
"Bella?" She wouldn't look up. "Sweet girl, look at me," I pleaded. When she finally looked at me, I smiled and said, "You're my only. There was no one before you, and if you sent me away right now, there would be no one after. You're my entire world, Bella. The thought of being with another woman goes against everything in me. The reason that those pictures were taken is so the Volturi can pretend that I'm doing what they say. They want me to marry Tanya, but I've refused several times over the last few decades.
"However, they expressed these hopes to the wrong people, and in order to keep the Volturi off my back, I was forced to attend a ball in Volterra with Tanya. I never reciprocated any of her advances, and I left halfway through the party so that I could talk with you after you got off work. It's a game I have to play for now. In a year, you'll be changed and I'll get to make you my wife."
Bella was sniffling. "You want to marry me?"
I kissed her and said with as much conviction as I could muster, "If there wasn't a law against it, I would be married to you already. You would have my name and you wouldn't be resorting to a life of sin just to be with me."
She laughed. "I forget that I destroyed your morals with a boob flashing."
I smiled at the memory. "That was the best day of my life until that point. Don't make fun of it! I'd never seen breasts in person before!"
"You came in your pants!" She squealed as I tickled her sides.
"I was excited!"
This lasted for several minutes before I laid her back on the bed.
"Hold on for just one second." I moved to the closet at an inhuman speed and was back to Bella in that time limit.
When I got back on the bed, I pulled her on top of me. Her hair formed a curtain around us, blocking us in our own perfect bubble.
"Isabella Swan, I love you. My life before you was desolate. You've given me a chance that I don't deserve. I know that I'm only half a man, but you've loved me and cared for me. I will spend an eternity being what you need, and I will worship you all the days of forever." She was smiling down at me; I had always been romantic so she wasn't expecting what came next. I reached for her hand and gently pushed the platinum solitaire ring on her finger. She looked down at her hand that was now resting on my chest then back up to me, her eyes wide and shocked.
"Will you be my wife? Keep me with you forever?"
Bella giggled, and I sat up as she threw her arms around my neck and hugged me as tightly as she could.
"Yes. I would love to keep you forever."
One more year. One more year. I repeated in my head.
"Thank you." I whispered and kissed her sweetly.
She pulled away and looked at me seriously. "You've never kissed her, right?" Her voice was fierce.
I smiled and kissed her chin. "Never. You're my only, remember? Only everything. You can't say that." I teased.
She huffed, "Oh my God, Edward. I think Jacob Black kissing me in ninth grade can be forgotten. I didn't even kiss back."
"All mine," I whispered against her ear and she shivered.
"All mine," she repeated and I purred. Thank God, none of the other trackers could hear me. I don't think any of them had even found this type of love or affection with their own mates. I smiled because Bella and I were an anomaly. Different. Special.
"I need to tell you something," I spoke into her hair.
"What?" She seemed uncertain.
"You remember how I told you about the Challenge?" It had been a couple of years since I'd mentioned it.
"The smelling game, right?"
I laughed lowly. "Yeah. I've been asked to participate again."
She looked into my eyes, and I saw that she was scared.
"Explain this it to me. What do you have to do?"
I ran my hands over her bare back.
"A group of trackers, vampires that can find anyone or anything if we are given the scent, are gathered in a room that's filled with our target's fragrance, and then we're given a continent. That's all the information we have and we are to find that scent. The first one that gets there wins. You don't even have to let the target know you've found them because they don't know they've been chosen. This is something that humans know nothing about and something I shouldn't tell you, but you're my girl and I tell you everything."
"You don't kill them then?"
"Never. The target is specifically there for us to find. We don't kill them, and we are not allowed to harm each other in the quest for the target." I explained.
She kissed my jaw, and I felt myself begin to harden at the gesture.
"How long will you be gone?" She rolled her hips against mine.
I gasped and let my fingers move to her ribs and brush the sides of her breasts. "I leave Saturday for the Challenge and I will be gone for at least a month depending on where the target is located. I will try and win."
"Why?" My cock was positioned at her entrance and I felt her wetness cover my tip.
"If I win again, I'm sure the Volturi will give me anything I want. I'm their favorite. We won't have trouble when you're changed." My breathing was becoming labored even though I didn't need it.
"Show me how fast you are, Edward." She whispered into my ear and forcefully thrust down on me.
I watched her ride me for a minute, and then I flipped us over and demonstrated my skills.
Later that night as she slept against my chest, I played with her ring. She was going to be mine. If I won, we would be in the clear. I could do this for us and be safe for eternity.
She whispered my name in her sleep and I smiled.
One more year. One more year.
First off, I need to thank some ladies for helping me get started writing this. LadySharkey1 is beta'ing for me. She's amazing and keeps my in line, which I desperately need. Jen_328 is my Yoda and without her there wouldn't be a story, she listened to me rave about it and told me to write it down. I did and here we are. Jadsmama and Chele the Original have dealt with me being coy all week about this, so here's to you for putting up with me and not telling me to eff off ;)
Thanks so much to all of you.
This fic will update every Friday. I have stockpiled chapters and clear idea where it's headed. Look for teasers on The Fictionators and the Pictease this coming Monday for Ch. 2.
Thanks for reading! I hope you liked the first chapter!