This was my entry in the First Time Fumbles Contest. It was sophiacorgi's Judge's Pick, and it won Second Place, Public Vote! Thank you to everyone involved with the contest and everyone who voted.

Big thanks to astrosport2009, who betaed this and made it better:)

I own nothing but the plot. Enjoy:)


It had been another unremarkable summer in Forks—too short, too rainy, too devoid of anything new and exciting. I didn't expect my junior year at Forks High to be much different. As it turned out, I couldn't have been more wrong. It was the year Edward Cullen moved to my tiny corner of the Pacific Northwest.

A couple of weeks before school started, a moving truck pulled up in front of the white clapboard house down the road. My mother and I watched with interest as a sleek, black sedan pulled up behind it, and a tall, blond man emerged, followed by two teenage boys. As chief of police, my dad knew pretty much everything that went on in town, and he'd told us that we'd be getting new neighbors. Dr. Carlisle Cullen was a widower who had taken a position at Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles. His two boys, Edward and Jasper, would be attending Forks High; Edward as a junior, Jasper as a senior.

Throughout the day, I surreptitiously followed their progress as tables, chairs, beds and boxes were carried into the house. They'd gotten lucky; it was a rare dry day, with hints of sun peeking through the clouds now and then. As I watched the movers struggle with a large, olive-green sofa, I noticed one of the boys with his head tilted up toward my window, waving. Embarrassed at being caught, I decided to try and save face by going outside and introducing myself.

As I crossed our yard, he ambled toward me, meeting me halfway with a friendly smile on his face. "Hey, I'm Edward," he offered. "You must be Bella."

Surprised that he knew my name, I faltered. "Uh, yeah. How did—ˮ

"My dad met your dad when he was here a few weeks ago. He mentioned you." Edward had an open, friendly demeanor that made talking to him easy. He'd lived in Chicago all his life, until his dad had decided he wanted a change. He'd wanted to move somewhere with a 'slower pace', as Edward explained it. With a snort, I told him that they'd probably found the slowest-paced place on Earth. His laugh transformed his face; his bright green eyes crinkled at the corners, and his mouth lifted into a lopsided grin, revealing even, white teeth. I invited him over for lunch, despite knowing that my mother would be hovering and, no doubt, entertaining fantasies of weddings and babies.

He ran home to tell his dad he was staying for lunch, and I went inside and begged Mom not to embarrass me. Waiting for him to return, I pulled out two plates and got the bread, turkey, ham, cheese and mustard from the fridge. While I was slicing a tomato, Edward's voice wafted in through the screen door.

"Hey, Bella." I peered over my shoulder and saw him standing on the back porch, hands in the pockets of his cargo shorts.

"Come on in," I called. He slipped inside and came to stand next to me.

"God, I'm starving! We had breakfast at, like, six this morning, and Dad only brought healthy snacks in the car." His face twisted in disgust. "I'm so frigging sick of apples and granola." He eyed the simple sandwich fixings like they were a gourmet meal.

I giggled. "It's only noon, but if you're so hungry go ahead and start making your sandwich. Do you want any lettuce?"

Grabbing a plate, he started piling lunch meat onto a slice of bread. "Nah. I need some real food now. No more rabbit food." He grinned, slathering mustard onto a second slice of bread. He took a huge bite, closing his eyes and moaning.

Just then my mother made her entrance. Edward practically choked trying to swallow the food he'd been chewing, then hurriedly wiped his mouth and hands. "Mrs. Swan, it's nice to meet you. Thanks for, um, lunch."

Introductions were made, then as she'd promised, she left us alone, but not before mouthing, "He's cute!" and giving me a thumbs up on her way out. I rolled my eyes. A boyfriend wasn't something I was actively looking for, though my mother seemed to think I needed one.

To be fair, she was right about Edward. He was very good-looking, although cute wasn't really how I'd have described him. He was handsome—more man than boy. I estimated him to be at least six feet, probably six-one or six-two. His dark auburn hair was just a little too long and looked like it hadn't seen a brush yet today. It was his eyes, though, that were his most striking feature; an intense green with long, dark lashes, they were topped by thick brows which gave his almost-pretty face a masculine aspect.

He caught me scrutinizing him and flashed me that crooked grin before turning back to his sandwich. Flustered, I kept my eyes on my plate, making my sandwich as Edward finished his. Noticing his longing glances at the remaining cold cuts, I burst out laughing. "Go ahead, finish it. I wouldn't want you to pass out when you're doing all that heavy lifting."

His cheeks turned pink as he chuckled and set to work making another enormous sandwich. I watched with awe as he devoured it. At last, he leaned back in his chair, sighing and patting his flat stomach. "You're a lifesaver, Bella. I should probably be heading back so it doesn't look like I'm slacking off." He rose, then turned to me with a hopeful expression. "Hey, wanna come see the house and help me unpack? My room's full of boxes ..."

I agreed without hesitation, calling out to let my mother know that I was going next door. I could hear the smug satisfaction in her voice when she called out in a sing-song voice for us to have fun.

Edward slung his arm around my shoulders as we walked over to his house. He introduced me to his father, Carlisle, an older version of Edward with blond hair and kind blue eyes, and his brother, Jasper, who waggled his eyebrows at us. Edward quickly removed his arm from around my shoulders and guided me to the stairs.

My jaw dropped open at the sight of all the boxes in his room. Not because of the quantity, but because of the contents. Edward had enough books to fill a small library, and more CDs and even vinyl albums than I'd ever seen outside of a record store. His tastes were eclectic, and I was delighted to see many of the authors and bands that I loved. I oohed and aahed over his collection as we unpacked and organized it onto beautiful, dark-wood shelves.

I spent most of that afternoon getting to know Edward, and liking him more and more. We had so much in common, and I felt as much at ease with him as I did with my closest girlfriends. I knew Edward was going to be a good friend; I had no idea how much more he'd end up being to me.


By the time school started, Edward and I were pretty much inseparable. I'd never had a best friend who was also a guy. He had the kind of personality that made it almost impossible to dislike him, and he got along with everyone, male and female, although he drew particular attention from the female population of Forks High. His looks aside, Edward had the qualities that all the girls wanted in a boyfriend, but few high school boys had. He was kind, polite and, that rarest of traits in teenage boys, sensitive. He had a great sense of humor and to top it off, he was smart. We were in many of the same AP courses, and spent most afternoons doing our homework together.

Despite all the attention he received, Edward didn't seem to be in a great hurry to get involved with anyone. He seemed happy to hang out with me, though it led to rumors that we were dating and probably put off some of his admirers. He didn't seem to mind. Being with him was easy—so easy that it took a while for me to realize that my feelings for Edward had moved beyond friendship.

I tried to act like nothing had changed, but my stomach would flip with nervous anticipation anytime he was around. I found myself wanting to stroke his stubbled face, to feel his thick, wild hair slipping like silk between my fingers. I wanted to know if his lips on mine would be soft or rough, what his tongue would feel and taste like in my mouth. I wanted to know what lay beyond the tantalizing V of his hips, glimpsed one day when he'd changed his shirt while I lounged on his bed doing homework. I wanted things with Edward that I'd never wanted with any other boy.

These new feelings changed the way I saw him. When he was just my best friend, I never felt intimidated by his charm or the way he looked. Now though, Edward's maleness seemed almost threatening—certainly nerve-wracking. I had no experience with boys. If rumor was to be believed, Edward had gotten around back in Chicago. What would he see in a mousy virgin like me?

He'd always been affectionate, but now I was starting to read things into a simple handhold or arm slung around my shoulder that I hadn't before. It was difficult to tell whether he was just being his usual, friendly self or whether he reciprocated my feelings. My closest girlfriends, Alice and Rose, were convinced that he liked me too, but fear of losing my best friend kept me from being honest about my feelings, so I savored every crooked smile and brush of his fingers, longing for more.

My hopes were shattered one day after fourth period. I'd been waiting for Edward in the cafeteria, and lunch was half over. Alice nudged me. "Go find your boy," she said with a wink, and I wondered if my crush on Edward was that obvious. I headed for Edward's locker, figuring he must have needed to get something before his next class, but stopped short at the sight of Jessica Stanley leaning against the wall of lockers, a flirty smile on her face and one hand outstretched, reaching out toward … Edward. He stood in front of her, hands in his pockets, while she played with the buttons on his shirt. At the sound of my footsteps, he turned in my direction, his mouth falling open at the same time that I did an abrupt about-face and walked in the opposite direction on shaky legs.

Internally, I berated myself for being stupid enough to think that Edward could ever want more than friendship from me. It was well known that Jessica was, to put it nicely, experienced, and she had boobs and curves where I was slim and small-breasted. Edward was a man—why wouldn't he want someone like that, instead of someone who'd never even been kissed?

Edward's voice rang out behind me, calling my name, but I didn't want to face him right now. Even though I'd gotten a ride to school with him, I pushed open the side door and ran out, not bothering with my jacket or my books. I walked home, not caring that I'd be missing a test in Chemistry or that I'd probably end up with detention for cutting classes. There was no way I could handle seeing Edward right now.

I went straight up to my room, after telling my mom that I'd left early because I had cramps. She regarded me skeptically, but didn't say anything. When she knocked on my door a few hours later, telling me that Edward was downstairs, I refused to get up, begging her to tell him I didn't feel well and would call him later. She looked as if she wanted to say something, but just nodded and closed my door.

It hurt to think that Edward was interested in a girl who wasn't me. But Jessica? If that was what he wanted, I'd never stood a chance. It made sense—Edward was gorgeous and, by all accounts, experienced. Why wouldn't he want a girl who could give him what he needed? Wanting to put it out of my mind, I curled up with the sad-eyed stuffed dog Edward had won for me at the fair last fall, certain that of the two of us, I looked far more pathetic.


Later, after my parents had gone to sleep, I was lying in bed reading when I heard a quiet ping. I pulled on my bathrobe and ran to the window. I blinked in surprise when I pulled the curtain back and saw Edward grinning up at me. "What the hell are you doing?" I hissed.

"Hey, Belllla. Can I come in?" Concern replaced my annoyance when I realized he'd been drinking. I'd never seen Edward drink much, so to find him outside my window, slurring, at eleven thirty on a weeknight was troubling.

My parents loved Edward, but I doubted they'd love him sneaking into my room late at night. With a sigh, I called down to him. "Okay. I'm going to open the back door, but you have to be really quiet. Do you understand me, Edward? Don't say a word until we get to my room."

"Okay," he said loudly. I rolled my eyes, still unhappy with what had happened at school but unable to refuse him.

After I let him in, I kept his hand in mine as I steered him toward my room. He knew where it was, of course, but his gait was clumsy and I didn't want him knocking over anything in the dark. Finally we made it inside, and I locked the door behind us. "What's up? Why are you stumbling around my yard at nearly midnight, Edward?"

"I—I wanted to talk to you." Locking eyes with me, he blurted out, "I don't like her, Bella. Jessica, I mean. What you saw … that was just her, flirting. I'm not interested. In, um, her." He lowered his gaze, seeming to have run out of things to say, and plopped down on my bed. With a tentative smile, he patted the space next to him. I sat next to him, my eyes following the pattern in my comforter. "You've always been easy to talk to, Bella." Cool hands tipped my chin up so we were eye to eye. "Ever since that first day … You're—you're so easy to be with. You're funny, smart …" Tucking a piece of hair behind my ear, he murmured, "Beautiful. You're beautiful."

I was shocked to feel his warm breath on my cheek. I turned towards his voice, feeling our lips come within a hairsbreadth of one another. He leaned in, closing the distance, and for the first time I felt his lips on mine. Warm, soft, a little dry—but this wasn't how I'd wanted it to happen. Not while Edward was drunk. I gave him a gentle shove and got to my feet.

"You have to go home, Edward." As much as I wanted to feel his lips on mine again, I wanted to be sure he meant it. My heart was thumping against my ribs, but I wouldn't let myself believe it until I'd heard it in the cold, sober light of day.

"God, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have—ˮ My hand over his mouth stopped his rambling. Mmm, those lips.

"I'm glad you did. But I need to be sure that you're sure. You've been drinking, Edward. Talk to me tomorrow, okay?"

He'd stood, and there was barely any space between us. My already-weak resistance was going to crumble into dust if he didn't stop looking at me like that—his head cocked, a small smile on his lips. He bent and kissed my temple. "Okay. Tomorrow."

"Tomorrow. Go home now. Get some sleep."

I led him downstairs and locked the back door behind him, not lingering for fear I'd run after him. You couldn't have pried the smile off my face as I lay in bed replaying those moments with Edward and desperately wishing it was morning.


"Look, I'm sorry for showing up drunk at your house last night. We both could have gotten into a lot of trouble."

Edward's ears and cheeks were pink as he whispered to me during the boring movie the sub had put on in Biology. "But I really did mean it, Bella. Sit outside with me at lunch? We can talk without everybody listening in."

I gave him a shy smile, sure my cheeks were burning by now, too. Lunch was at the end of next period. Time couldn't go fast enough.

My stomach was so full of butterflies I didn't even feel like eating, but I grabbed a slice of pizza, an apple, and a bottle of water and headed outside. Edward was already sitting at one of the dilapidated picnic tables. Because it was November, and chilly, we were the only ones out there.

His smile when he saw me was wide and genuine. "Hey. Um, if it's too cold we could go for a drive?" He seemed anxious, and I didn't want things to get weird between us.

"Sure, we can go for a drive." I packed up my lunch and the cold vanished when Edward pulled me close, putting his arm around my shoulders and squeezing.

He drove to a local burger joint, getting a cheeseburger for himself since he hadn't bought lunch at school. With an eye roll at my water, he ordered chocolate milkshakes for both of us. When the food was ready we ate in his car, exchanging small smiles and furtive glances. Finally we were finished, and he turned in his seat to face me.

"Bella … I meant what I said last night. You're the one I want—the only one I want." His expression was serious as he he idly played with my fingers. "Will you be my girlfriend?"

Happiness and relief washed over me. "Yes," I whispered, my gaze drifting to Edward's lips. Lips that I knew were soft, and warm …

It appeared that we were on the same page. Moving closer, he murmured, "Kissing you was amazing. I want to do it again."

"You want—ˮ

"—to kiss you. Right now. Can I?" A moment later Edward's warm lips were on mine. His kiss was soft, and slow, and careful; he didn't try to force his tongue into my mouth or knock our teeth together. He pressed his lips to mine, once, twice, then he took my lower lip in between his, sucking gently before releasing it. When he touched his tongue to my upper lip I instinctively opened for him, feeling him lick into my mouth. With a whimper I met him, tentatively sliding my tongue along his. He tasted like the chocolate milkshakes we'd been slurping up.

Edward pulled back and leaned his forehead against mine. His cheeks were pink, and he had the cutest, shyest smile on his face. "So … can we do this?"

"What, kiss?" I was definitely on board with kissing.

He chuckled. "No. I mean, I'd love to keep kissing you, but I meant this"—he gestured between the two of us—"can we do this?"

It was my turn to grin. "Definitely. I want this too."

Not wanting to waste what time we had left, I pulled Edward's face back to mine for a few more delicious kisses.


Apparently, everyone had known we were meant to be except us. Our friends were thrilled for us when we broke the news. None of them seemed very surprised, which I found amusing, since both Edward and I had been nervous about whether the other had felt the same. Alice rolled her eyes, saying that it was obvious we were crazy about each other and it had only been a matter of time.

Of course, I had to tell my parents about the change in our relationship. My mother was thrilled because, according to her, she'd known it all along. "Boy next door, hmm? Right!" She refused to believe we'd only just started going out, nodding her head and winking when I insisted it was true. My dad had always liked Edward, but now he saw him with new eyes. Eyes that saw not the polite, well-mannered boy from down the road, but a sex-fiend who was out to defile his little girl. Naturally, he was no longer allowed in my room, so we either had to sneak up there when my parents were out, or go to Edward's house, which was usually empty in the afternoons.

I understood now why couples jumped on every opportunity to be alone. There wasn't enough time in the day to spend with Edward, kissing and touching. All of it was new to me, and I couldn't get enough. He was sweet and patient, never trying to push me into things I wasn't ready for, although I was surprised at my body's enthusiastic response to his caresses and toe-curling kisses. I knew I wasn't ready for sex—not yet. But I was an eager pupil when it came to everything else, and Edward was a patient and devoted teacher. I'm sure he sensed my inexperience, though he never mentioned it or asked questions. I hated to think of him with other girls, but in a way I was glad for his experience. I knew when we were ready to have sex, he would make it good for me.

I craved his touch, and when I felt his warm, strong hands on my bare flesh for the first time, I thought I would go up in flames. The noises he made in the back of his throat when he pulled a nipple into his mouth or dipped his fingers into my underwear drove me crazy. I wanted to make him feel the way I felt, to be the one whimpering at the sight of him coming undone.

Coming. It was something I'd only ever done on my own, and my first orgasm at the tips of Edward's talented fingers made those self-induced orgasms pale in comparison. He'd groaned into my mouth as we kissed, my back arching as I fell over the edge into utter bliss. As I came to my senses, I realized that what I'd been feeling digging into my thigh was … Edward. Well, part of him. That part, which I hadn't actually touched yet. I'd felt it pressed into my stomach when we kissed and rubbed against it when we rolled around on my bed, but I hadn't actually held it, or touched it, or even seen it. We'd only gotten as far as taking our shirts off. When Edward touched me, he simply slid his hand down the front of my open jeans. So far, I hadn't reciprocated. As much as I loved his hands on me, I'd been nervous about touching him. I was afraid my inexperience would be glaringly obviousthat I'd be terrible at it, and I wouldn't be able to make him feel good.

Now though, I was ready. I wanted to do for him what he'd done for me. Before I could second-guess myself, I reached for him, ghosting my hand over the front of his pants. He inhaled sharply, making me pull my hand back. "Oh, God, did that hurt?"

His gentle smile made me blush. "No, it felt really good." And he guided my hand back, his eyes closing as I brushed my fingers over him again. I made a few more passes before nervously pulling his zipper down. His breathing was getting louder; he was almost panting. Again, I ran my fingers over him, this time through the thin cotton of his boxer briefs. He moaned. "Please, Bella."

My face burned with embarrassment. "I don't know how. Can you show me?"

Those beautiful green eyes fluttered open. With a hungry look, he reached down and pushed his jeans and boxers past his hips. I was fascinated by his maleness; curiosity overrode my fear as I circled a finger around the head, spreading the clear fluid that beaded at the tip. With a grunt, he took himself in hand and stroked once, twice, before placing my hand on him and wrapping his hand over top of mine. He guided me as we moved up and down, soft noises of pleasure falling from his lips. "You can squeeze tighter—you won't hurt me," he whispered. "Fuck yeah, just like that." He let go of my hand, digging his fingers into the blankets.

The feel of him was incredible. Hard and hot, but silky soft at the same time. I watched in fascination as his body tensed, and he jerked in my hand, sending spurts of milky semen all over his lower abdomen and my hand. Watching him come and hearing his pleasure made me aroused all over again, and I scrambled up to kiss him, wiping the mess on my hand all over my comforter in my haste to reach Edward's lips. He grimaced as I lay on top of him, and I remembered, too late, the sticky mess on his stomach. I sat up gingerly. "Sorry."

He laughed, pulling me back down. "Come here—the damage is done. Next time, we'll get a box of tissues or a towel first. Now you've got a lot of laundry to do." Next time. I covered his mouth with mine, not caring if the kiss was sloppy or I used too much tongue.

He broke the kiss and cupped my face in his hand. "Thank you. That was amazing." The look of awe and adoration on his face assured me that he meant it. I buried my face in the warm, spicy-smelling skin under his jaw, not knowing what to say.


We were more desperate than ever for alone time. Luckily, Carlisle worked long hours, including nights, and this gave Edward and me hours to spend on his bed, undressing one another and taking our time touching, kissing, and bringing one another to release without having to keep an ear out for parents.

I was shy at first about getting completely naked with Edward. He had no such qualms, and laughed at my fierce blush when he stripped out of his clothes without hesitation. He was sweet and eager as I undressed, running his hands over each exposed part of my body as though he'd never seen anything so beautiful. Feeling him skin to skin made me want him in ways I wasn't sure I was ready for.

Warm lips left a trail of kisses from my throat to my belly button. With my eyes closed, every touch seemed magnified. I dug my fingers into Edward's thick hair, scratching my nails against his scalp as he made his way down my body, leaving tingles in his wake. I giggled when he licked at my belly button and kept moving down, leaving sucking kisses on my hip bones and belly. When I felt his hot breath right there, I fisted his hair in my hand. "Edward, come up here."

"Uh-uh. I'm happy where I am." He peered up at me, smirking.

I trusted Edward. He'd never hurt me or asked me to do something that I wasn't comfortable with, but I wasn't sure I was comfortable with this. "Um, okay, but what are you doing?"

"Kissing you. Enjoying your beautiful body." He paused. "Are you okay?" He dropped the cocky persona, giving me a chance to stop him if I wanted to.

I knew what would come next, and I was torn between embarrassment and curiosity. "I—I don't know. Do you really want to do … that?"

He crawled up until his mouth was right next to my ear, his breath tickling my skin. "I really, really want to do that. But only if you want me to. Can I? I promise I'll stop if you want me to." Teeth scraped my earlobe, making me whimper. "But I don't think you'll want me to."

"Okay." All it took was feeling Edward's body rubbing up against mine, and I wanted everything he was offering.

He dragged his lips down my neck and across my shoulder, then moved down to my breasts. He drew first one nipple into his mouth, then the other; I felt it between my legs. I rubbed my thighs together as he licked and kissed his way down my body, right to where I was wet and throbbing. I jumped at the feel of his lips right there, even though it was just a light, closed-mouth kiss.

"Relax, beautiful. You're so tense." He stroked the insides of my thighs, gently spreading my legs as he did so. "We won't do anything you don't want to do, okay?"

I gave a terse nod, closing my eyes as Edward lowered his head. At the first flick of his tongue, my body arched, pushing my hips towards his face. "Sorry," I whispered, but he didn't seem to mind. With a soft grunt he started licking me in earnest, using his tongue and lips and making me … giggle. I couldn't help it; what he was doing felt amazing, but it tickled. It was like nothing I'd ever felt before, and I couldn't stop laughing.

Without realizing it, I'd tightened my grip on Edward's hair and had been rolling my hips against his face, breathless both from the pleasure he was giving me and from laughter. "Hey, I thought you liked my hair. Don't pull it out," he said. I giggled again, whispering an apology. "What's with all the laughing? You're gonna give me a complex."

He didn't wait for an answer, though, just went back to work, this time adding his fingers. With a quiet moan, I came, finally pushing Edward away when it became too much.

He moved up beside me, a wide grin splitting his face. "So? Was that okay?"

"That was amazing. And really tickly." I cupped his stubbly cheek and went in for a kiss, not caring where his face had just been. "Thank you." I laid there, blissed out and boneless and suddenly needing to feel Edward on my tongue, to give him what he'd given me. "Can I …?" My gaze drifted down to where he was hard against my thigh.

His eyes flashed with want, but he held back. "Do you want to? You don't have to, Bella." He reached for my hand, placing it on his hot, hard flesh, but I pulled it back. I wanted to do more than just touch him.

"I want to. I want to try, anyway." It was true. I wanted Edward to feel as incredible as he'd made me feel, but I wasn't at all sure I'd be any good at it. I'd heard Alice and Rose talk about doing it, and it seemed fairly straightforward—put it in my mouth, suck, lick, don't bite, don't choke. I could do this.

"Um, can you lie on your back?" The speed with which Edward scrambled into position told me that he did, indeed, want it.

Edward's chest rose and fell rapidly as I dropped little kisses on his chest, abs, and finally his hips. I followed the sexy V that led to my ultimate goal, and he groaned as I pressed my lips to his base. Taking an experimental lick, I watched Edward clench his eyes shut and gasp, his hands clawing at the sheet. His reactions gave me the confidence to take the tip of him into my mouth.

His skin was warm and tasted a little salty. I traced the shape of him with my tongue, gradually taking more of him in. Edward's raspy breathing and subtle thrusting motions spurred me on, and I began moving up and down his length, remembering to use my tongue as I went.

"Oh, fuck, fuck ..." Edward's hand had migrated into my hair, and he guided me to help set the pace he wanted. As his noises increased, so did the speed with which I bobbed up and down. When he called my name several times I stopped, pulling off to ask, "What's wrong? Is—ˮ I didn't get to finish my sentence. Edward's eyes were pinched shut as he frantically stroked himself. In no time, he was spurting all over his hand and stomach.

He opened his eyes as his breathing returned to normal, giving me a lazy grin. "Hey."

"Hey … um, should I not have stopped? You kept saying my name."

He laughed. "I was trying to let you know that you should move if you didn't want to swallow it. But, yeah, at that point you should definitely keep going, with your mouth or your hand."

I felt a hot rush of embarrassment and ducked my head. "Oh. I didn't know. Well, obviously."

He grabbed a handful of tissues and cleaned himself up. "Don't do that. You were great—your mouth felt so fucking good." He sat up and pulled me onto his lap, nuzzling into my neck. "I love everything we do, Bella. You shouldn't feel self-conscious with me. And anytime you want to practice, I'm here, okay?"

We both cracked up at his lame sense of humor. Edward had a way of making me forget my worries and insecurities; I loved that about him. In fact, I was coming to realize that I loved him, period.


We'd been going out for about three months when I knew I was ready to sleep with Edward. We'd thoroughly mapped and traveled one another's bodies, and I wanted to share this final, most intimate act with him. He'd been a perfect gentleman, never pushing or hinting that he wanted more, but I knew that he must.

It hurt to think of him with other girls. I knew it was hypocritical to be glad for his experience, yet hate how he'd come by it, but I couldn't help it. The subject came up the night I told him I was ready to take that final step.

We were lying in his bed, taking advantage of Carlisle working late. We'd used our mouths and hands to bring one another pleasure, and I was burrowed into his warm chest, sated and content. "I'm ready, Edward. I want to make love with you."

He turned to me, cupping my chin and tilting my head up. "Yeah? There's no rush. We can wait until—ˮ

"I'm sure. I want this. I want you."

He smiled down at me and his eyes were full of so much love, it gave me goosebumps. "I want you, too, beautiful. And Bella—I love you."

My heart sped up at his sweet words. I turned my head, pressing my lips to his chest. "I love you, too."

Of course, I couldn't just accept what he'd said—savor it. Something was nagging at me, and it wouldn't stop until I'd blurted it out. "Have you been in love before?"

His silence made my heart sink. In a quiet voice, he answered. "No, Bella. I had a few girlfriends in Chicago, but I've never felt the way I feel about you. Please don't worry about that."

"How many girls—?" I left it hanging, but Edward knew what I was asking.

"Bella." His voice was laced with frustration. "This isn't something I want to talk about right now, okay? I love you and I want you—nobody else. Isn't that enough?"

I hated that I'd ruined what had been a romantic moment and a turning point in our relationship. "It's enough. It's everything." I stroked his stubbled jaw and leaned up for a kiss. "Sorry."

He cradled me in his arms, my head tucked under his chin. "It's okay. Just—don't doubt the way I feel for you because of what you think you know about my past. None of that matters."

I knew he was right. Then and there, I resolved to forget about the girls he'd been with before me. He was mine now, and that really was all that mattered.


"Hey, you're sleeping at my house tomorrow night," Alice whispered to me as we stood at our lockers packing up. Rose stood behind her, waiting for us.

"I am?"

A devious smile crept over Alice's face. "No, not really. You'll be at Edward's, but I'm your cover story."

Thoroughly confused, I asked, "Why are you telling me this? What's going on tomorrow?"

Unable to keep a grin off her face, Alice filled me in. "Carlisle's going away for the weekend. You know he's been seeing Esme Platt, one of the nurses from the hospital. He's taking her to Seattle, so you and Edward will have the house to yourselves. Edward asked me to make arrangements so you could stay over. He wanted to surprise you."

Rose eyed me curiously. "This is going to be your first time, isn't it?"

I wondered that myself. It had been a couple of weeks since Edward and I had decided we were ready and made declarations, but we'd had precious little time together. It would be just like Edward to make a grand romantic gesture for my first time. "Um, I think that's what Edward's planning. We haven't been able to see each other much lately."

Rose hugged me. "Edward's so in love with you, Bella. He's a good guy. He'll make it special for you." I nodded, beside myself at the idea of a whole weekend alone with Edward. "Wait a minute—where will you and Jasper be?" Alice and Jasper had been dating for several months now. I knew that they'd have jumped at the chance for a weekend alone, too.

Alice shrugged. "We'll hang out at my house." She threw her arms around me, sounding almost as excited as I felt. "It's your first time, Bella. Enjoy the time alone with your boy."

I waved a final goodbye to Alice and Rose as I crossed the parking lot to Edward's old Volvo. He was leaning against it, looking edible in dark jeans and a gray hoodie. Pressing my body into his, I murmured, "I have you all to myself this weekend, huh?"

He leaned his chin on top of my head and hugged me close. "I can't wait to hold you in my arms all night and wake up to your pretty face in the morning."

Shivers raced down my spine at his words, as I thought of all the ways we could pass the time.


Friday night I packed a small overnight bag. I'd gone on the pill a while ago, but to be safe I threw in a box of condoms that Alice had given me. She'd offered to lend me 'something pretty' to wear with Edward, but I didn't want to feel like I was playing dress up. Frilly, girlie lingerie wasn't me. I'd packed a simple cotton tank and panty set, lavender trimmed with white lace. I felt pretty and feminine in it, and I knew Edward would like it.

My dad was working late, and my mom had a book club meeting, so getting to Edward's wasn't a problem. Rose had been over all afternoon helping me get ready and corroborating the sleepover story. She dropped me off behind Edward's house with a hug. "Have fun, sweetie. And be prepared to spill next time I see you."

I rolled my eyes. My friends knew I didn't like to talk about what Edward and I did, but I'd be subjected to the third degree anyway. "Thanks, Rose. I love you."

I waved as she drove away, then turned to walk to the house. I stopped at the sight of Edward leaning across the doorway, a broad smile on his face. Just thinking about how much I loved him, and what we'd be doing later, made my stomach do somersaults.

He walked out to meet me, gathering me up in a hug and taking my bag. "Hey, gorgeous." He tucked a few stray hairs behind my ear, his eyes crinkled in the corners from smiling. "I can't believe you're mine all weekend." He had a way of making me feel like I was the most beautiful, most desirable woman in the world. It was one of the many things I loved about him.

We went inside, and he dropped my bag by the door. "I'll carry it up later. Are you hungry?" I could barely think about food; all I heard was 'later'.

"Um, I could eat something. Should I cook, or—?"

"Nope, no cooking tonight. I'll order something. What are you in the mood for?" He flashed a cocky smirk, raising a brow as I finally realized what he'd said.

"Whatever you're in the mood for." I gave it right back to him, proud of myself for not melting into a puddle of hormonal goo.

He laughed. "Okay, okay. Let's stop with the double entendres or we'll be too hungry to do anything fun later. Chinese good?"

Nothing was going to keep me from what was happening later, not even hunger, but I could eat dinner first. "Sounds good. Oh, I want dumplings."

He called in our order, then sat on one of the chairs at the kitchen table and patted his lap. "C'mere."

I went to him, straddling his lap and resting my hands on his broad shoulders. He smelled so good, a little like citrus—grapefruit?—and rain. Running my hands up the back of his neck, I noticed the ends of his hair were damp. "Mmm, did you just shower?"

"Yeah. We can take one together later, if you want." He rubbed his nose along my jaw, my ear, my neck, making low sounds of satisfaction in his throat.

Later. It was getting closer with every passing minute. Anticipation and nerves buzzed through me. Before I could think about it too much, the doorbell rang, and I jumped up so Edward could pay for our food.

We watched a movie while we ate, sitting on pillows at the low coffee table in the family room. We'd settled on Looper after Edward shot down my first choice of Magic Mike. I'd been excited to see it on the shelf, then wondered what a movie about male strippers was doing in a house inhabited by three straight men. Curious, I questioned Edward. "I think Dad got it for Esme," he said with an eye roll. "He's whipped."

"Oh, like you're not?" I teased. "I thought maybe you were watching it for pointers. I was hoping for a little bump 'n' grind later."

Edward put down his fork, giving me a hungry look. "Oh, I can definitely give you a little bump 'n' grind." He pushed on my shoulder, easing me down onto the floor as he crawled over me. "Is that what you want? A striptease? I was hoping you'd be the one undressing me."

He rubbed his hips against mine and I whimpered. "I want to undress you right now. Let's go upstairs."

He helped me up and took my hand, leading me out of the room. Later was here.

We held hands as we walked upstairs. Once we were inside Edward's room, he closed the door and cupped my face in his hands. "I love you, Bella."

"I love you, too, Edward. So, so much." The lump in my throat was a testament to how much I loved this beautiful boy. I closed my eyes and felt his lips come down on mine, gentle and warm. It ignited something within me and I pressed back harder, deepening the kiss. Edward groaned, breaking away and breathing heavily.

"Are you sure, Bella? Just because you're spending the night doesn't mean we have to—ˮ

"I'm absolutely sure. Now, you said you preferred that I undress you?" My trembling hands betrayed my nervousness. One by one, I slipped the buttons on Edward's soft cotton shirt through their holes and pushed it off his shoulders.

He gazed down at me with utter adoration. Without a word, he guided me over to the bed and we finished undressing one another. We'd seen each other naked before, of course, but rarely had the opportunity to enjoy being skin to skin for long. Now we had all night, and we took our time exploring and worshipping.

Edward's hands and mouth had driven me to desperation, and judging from the way he moaned as he ground his erection into me, he was right there with me. When he sat up, panting, to reach for the condoms, I blurted out something that was probably obvious to him, but I felt needed to be said anyway.

"I—I'm a virgin!"

Edward stopped what he was doing and tenderly brushed his fingers down my cheek. A small smile lifted the corners of his lips as he nodded and murmured, "I know." He gazed into my eyes, gauging my reaction. "This is my first time, too."

My eyes widened at his admission. "But … what about the other girls? In Chicago?"

He frowned. "I don't know what you heard, Bella, but I never slept with any of them. I told you I'd never felt the way I feel for you, and I meant it."

"But why didn't you answer me when I asked how many girls you'd been with?"

He chuckled and shook his head. "Because you asked the night that we decided we were ready, and I'd just told you I loved you. I was annoyed that you insisted on bringing it up when none of that mattered to me at all. I just wanted you to drop it."

"You must think I'm a typical jealous, nagging girl." I certainly felt like one.

He pulled me onto his chest and kissed me. "Nope. I think you love me, and it's perfectly normal to be a little jealous." He closed his eyes. "Just the thought of you with someone else …"

"Psssh. As if I'd even look twice at another guy." I shifted my hips, making him suck air through his teeth. "Can we stop talking now? I'd like to wake up tomorrow not a virgin."

"Mmm, I think I can help you with that." He rolled his hips a few times before maneuvering me onto my back, then he pulled a condom from the box and tore the package open. Watching him roll it on and stroke himself a few times was one of the sexiest things I'd ever seen.

He crouched over me, licking and sucking on my breasts. His fingers played in between my thighs and he sighed when he felt how wet I was. "Mmm, Bella." He lowered his body over mine, bending his head to whisper in my ear. "Ready, pretty girl?"

"Yes." I couldn't keep still; my hands roamed over Edward's muscled back and shoulders, and my hips rose to meet his. I felt his fingers between my legs, then his tip. There was pressure, then sudden, burning pain. I cried out and dug my nails into his back.

"I'm sorry it hurts, baby. Do you want to stop?" Edward had stopped moving, and was looking at me with concern.

I gave him a watery smile. "No, just … give me a minute?"

"Of course." I could see the strain of wanting to thrust on his face. After a minute, I nodded and in a small voice said, "Okay."

Once again he pushed forward, and my knees tried to clamp together against the pain. Edward rolled to his side and scrubbed his hands over his face. "I can't, Bella. I can't do it, knowing I'm hurting you." Looking down, I saw that he'd lost his erection.

I didn't answer. I didn't want him to hear the tears and the shame in my voice but he knew, and as usual he knew just the thing to say to make me feel better.

"Hey, don't be upset. Let's just relax a little, take a break. We'll try again." He held me close, whispering silly things, and gradually my mortification faded. When he started to press teasing kisses to my mouth, I responded eagerly. Soon, I could feel him pressing into my belly.

This time he rolled on the condom and held himself over me, kissing me deeply, passionately. He slid a finger into me, carefully stretching me before adding another. With his thumb rubbing me on the outside, I could feel my orgasm building, until finally I cried out in pleasure. He moved his kisses to my neck, sucking and nipping, and as I squirmed and moaned, I barely registered the pain as he finally pushed inside me.

He held himself still, his breath coming in short pants. "Better?" he asked.

"Yeah. Are you—is it—?ˮ I felt the blood rush to my face.

He grinned playfully. "I am. It is." His face took on an expression of mock seriousness. "Disappointing, huh?"

"No! I just wasn't sure—ˮ

"I'm only teasing." His eyes scrunched up like he was in pain. "Bella, I have to move. You feel so good."

I skimmed my hands down to his behind, gripping the firm cheeks. His thrusts were tentative—slow and gentle, each one drawing a low moan from his lips. After just a few strokes he held himself still inside me, his eyes clenched tightly closed, and I knew he'd found his release.

He rolled to the side and pulled out. Gingerly, he removed the condom and threw it in the trash. Turning to me, he enveloped me in his strong arms, scattering kisses all over my face. "Was that okay? Did it hurt much?"

"No. I wasn't really expecting it, I guess. You did a good job of distracting me."

"I'm glad. It'll get better." With a laugh, he added, "And last longer."

I cupped his handsome face. "Hey, I wouldn't change a thing about tonight."


I thought. "Well, if I had it to do over again, I'd probably order Thai instead of Chinese. But other than that, everything was perfect."

"It was perfect because it was us. I wouldn't change anything, either."Edward nuzzled his face into my hair. He sounded blissful, and I smiled as I remembered that I'd be sleeping curled up next to him all night.

"Do you feel like a shower?" His eyes were drooping as he stroked up and down my side.

As tempting as it was, I was tired too, and the thought of leaving Edward's bed for any reason didn't appeal to me. "I'd love to, in the morning. Right now I just want to go to sleep."

"I wore you out, huh?" He gave me a flirty wink, then grew earnest. "I love you, Bella. I'm glad we were each other's firsts."

"Me, too." I snuggled into his side, reveling in the afterglow of this perfect night with my perfect boy. It hadn't been like something out of a movie; there were no fireworks or rose petals on satin sheets. Just the two of us finding our way together. Perfect.


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