We walked slower than I normally would, and Edward seemed to be holding himself back from striding out. Maybe it was the ice, coating the sidewalk with a glittery layer, that was keeping our speed low. Maybe it was my 'recovery', as apparently I wasn't well enough to be outside. I breathed in, taking a huge lungful of frigid air and felt it go through my body, airing out the stuffy cabin fever that still seemed to stick to me. It definitely didn't feel like a bad idea being out here. Or maybe, it was that we were both enjoying this space outside of our individual realities. This space where we could feel the warmth of the other's palm, and where the only focus was the present.

I looked up at Edward, the streetlights creating shadows on his face that caused a beautiful silhouette. I squeezed his hand slightly and he turned to look at me.

"Where are we going, then?"

He smiled, and it was more carefree than I'd ever seen him look. This side to Edward was playful, and his tired expression gave way to a more childlike wonder that was utterly contagious. "Oh, you know. Here and there."

I rolled my eyes and just let him lead us. My ears pricked as I heard movement behind us. I turned my head and saw a man in black following us down the street. My heart leapt in my chest and I was about to alert Edward when he span me to him.

"Relax, baby. He's one of mine."

His eyes were concerned, and his thumb traced my lip slightly.

He then turned to the man and barked at him. "You just scared my girl. Not seen, and not heard, you fucking understand?"

The man mumbled back an apology and swiftly crossed the road.

I blinked a couple of times, allowing myself to calm down.

Edward's eyes looked back to mine and softened. "I'm sorry. I should have warned you."
Shaking my head, I responded. "It's not your fault, or his. I'm just paranoid."

His jaw tightened a little. "That's the life I lead. Constant fear. I'm so sorry that you're a part of this now."

"I'm not," I told him, honestly. Tugging his hand, I made us continue our walk.

The playful boy had transitioned back to the dark, brooding man I'd known before, and I was sad to have lost him.

It wasn't long until we were nearing the waterfront. I let us walk, in a peaceful silence, taking in the beauty around us. It was mid December, and Christmas was everywhere you looked. The lights bounced off the water and even the ugliest skyscrapers managed to look somehow graceful when illuminated with the backdrop of festivity. When we reached the barriers sealing us off from the water's edge, I pulled us to the railing and looked out.

"It's so beautiful," I said. "I don't really come here at Christmas much. I don't think I've come here with the lights up since I was a child. I usually stay at home this time of year."

When I glanced back to Edward, he was searching my face for some emotion.

"With your dad?"

I nodded. "Yeah."

His mouth twisted with guilt. "Sorry you haven't been able to see him much recently."

"Don't bring that on yourself. I was captured by Caius, not you, remember?" I tried to say it playfully, as if downplaying the horror would somehow make it all okay.

Edward saw through that of course, rolling his eyes. "Before that. I worked you too hard. I didn't even realise you were commuting back for ages."

I sighed. "Can we leave the past in the past? This blame game isn't going to solve anything."

He groaned, rubbing his face. "Again, I'm sorry. You're right. I'm just a fucking masochist, I guess. It's hard for me to understand that you want to be around me after everything I've done to you."

I punched him on the arm playfully. "Oh come on, you're not all bad."

He chuckled a little. "I think you're the only one that thinks that."

"That's a lie," I responded easily, frowning at his comment. "Your family loves you."

He looked away from me, out into the water. His eyes were glinting, lit from the reflection of the blue lights of the nearby pier.

"You know I haven't celebrated Christmas with them in four years."

His hand was gripping the railing, and I let my own cover his.

"Why not?" I asked.

He shook his head. "I don't even know. Whenever Esme asked I always concocted some excuse. It seemed soft, this sort of pithy demonstration of love for your family. Love didn't seem important. My family was my blood, and I would defend them by spilling blood. Giving gifts seemed idiotic and pathetic."

I couldn't hold it in, I tried to muffle my laughter with my scarf but it wasn't very successful. Edward looked at me and I gave up trying to disguise it and just laughed in his face.

"Do I want to know?" He asked, raising a perfect eyebrow.

"I'm sorry," I giggled. "It just is so obvious that you'd be a little Scrooge! As if Edward Cullen is going to sit around a fire and eat turkey!"

He clutched his chest as if I'd wounded him. "Are you calling me predictable, Isabella Swan?"

I grinned at him. "Maybe we should shock Esme to the core this year and turn up with a trunk-full of presents."

Edward's eyes were wide. "We?"

His question was abrupt and brought me up short. Fuck, that was weird of me. I shouldn't have presumed that I was even invited let alone that I could persuade Edward to come with me with presents. What was I thinking? Classic Swan word vomit.

"Sorry, Christmas is obviously family time, I shouldn't have assumed th-"

He pushed my back against the railing and threaded his fingers through my hair, bringing my words to an airy stop. His eyes had darkened considerably and he pushed mis mouth against mine. I responded to the kiss immediately, moving my lips desperately against his. The only air that mattered was the air within our embrace. His tongue explored my mouth and I tasted the glorious manly essence that was purely and only Edward's. It was all-consuming, and his weight against me, simultaneously pushing me against the metal and pulling me away from the cold had me pressed to him like glue.

A catcall flung us out of the spiral of each other we had got caught up in. Edward leaned away from me slowly. His eyes were black and the intensity no longer scared me, it was thrilling.

"Never apologise," he growled, "For offering to spend time with me."

I breathed in and nodded.

He shook his head and touched his forehead to mine. "I'd consume every fraction of your time if I could."

I gulped down some air to try and cool down my burning skin. "Well then you'll have to let me know what Carlisle would like for his Christmas present."

Edward choked out a laugh. "Ignore him, please. He'll come around."

I smiled and pressed a tentative peck on his lips.

He inhaled deeply through his nose and I felt his hands clench around me. Then he released me and the railing, letting me having some unwelcome personal space.

His fingers pushed through his scalp, his eyes scouring my face like he'd never seen it before. He then took one of my hands in his and pointed it back towards the city skyline.

"Ever been up there?"

I shook my head, my eyes widening in delight.

And that's how I ended up having the most delicious meal at the top of the Seattle Space Needle with a man I used to hate.


As we left the building, Edward had a brief discussion with the man that he'd assigned to guard us for the night, and then he slipped away. Edward reached me, and righted my scarf.

"So where now?"

It was getting late. A spy at Edward's watch put the time at after ten. Edward mimed thinking, tapping his chin in an exaggerated way.

"Hm. Home?"

There was a lightness in his voice that I loved.

"Fiine," I grumbled petulantly. I knew it was childish but I didn't want to return to real life yet.

Sucking it up, I started walking in the direction of the safe house, and he grabbed my shoulders and turned me the other way.

"Nope, wrong way."

My brow furrowed in confusion. "The safe house is that way." I pointed to the left.

"True. Let's go."

He took my hand and started leading me in the opposite direction. He hailed a cab, and leaned in, saying the address too quietly for me to hear. I stepped into the vehicle at his request.

"Where are you taking me?"

"Like I said. Home."

I rolled my eyes. "We better not be driving all the way to Forks. That cab fare would be ridiculous. And my dad would kill you on sight."

Edward just grinned. "It's cute that you think I'd worry about either of those things."

I smiled darkly. "You're stupid if you're not scared of my dad."

My suspicions were proved wrong however when we pulled up only five minutes later. Edward motioned for me to get out and paid the driver.

I stepped out and looked around me. I didn't recognize this area at all. Edward took my hand, a fixture I was starting to like more than I should, and led me a few feet down the road.

He stopped outside a gated housing area and scanned a keycard to allow us past.

"Will you please tell me what's going on?"

He winked. "We're surveying my most recent purchase. The safest of safe houses."

I looked around me. The houses did seem very secure, as well as fancy. "It's very nice. What kind of people are you keeping here? Seems a lot more expensive than your other houses."

He shrugged. "The money isn't a problem."

"I get it, you're rich," I deadpanned.

He shook his head as he approached one of the semi-detached properties. It was modern, clearly a new build, but retained some character that made it seem homey.

He took some keys out of his suit jacket pocket. Opening the door, he gestured for me to go in.

"After you, m'lady."

I walked in as instructed. The hall opened out into a beautiful open plan living room and kitchen.

"It's lovely, Edward," I said, appraising the smooth marble counters and the large oven. Turning back to him I caught a nervous look in his eyes.

"State of the art security, too," he told me.

I smiled, resisting the urge to roll my eyes for the tenth time that evening. "Of course. Only the best for the Cullens."

"And for you."

His eyes held me as he said it, watching my face.


He scratched his head lightly.

"I bought it for you."

I gaped. "You're kidding."


I swallowed. "When? How?"

He looked a little guilty, thank goodness. How could he keep something that big from me?

"A few days ago, a week, I don't know. I should have done it sooner."

I shook my head. "You know I can't afford this place."

He raised an eyebrow. "Did you not hear me? I bought it. You don't have to afford a thing."

I let out an aggravated noise. "Edward! I can't accept this!"

"Why not?"

He didn't seem genuinely confused, he probably expected this reaction. I was damn predictable. But he was provoking me anyway.

"It's too much. You can't just get me a house. I'd have to work for you for years to pay that off."

He smiled. "You raise a great point. That reminds me, you're fired."

My mouth fell open. "What?"

His smile widened and he looked like he was holding back a laugh. It would be cute if I wasn't so damn annoyed. This man.

"You can't work for me anymore. We have a policy against employees having relationships with co-workers."

I crossed my arms. "Oh really? You gonna report me to HR?"

Edward chuckled. "You're really fucking hot when you're angry at me."

I tried to ignore the compliment, and the pleasant stomach curl that went with it. I watched him approach me, and he settled his hands on my waist, trying to distract me.


"Bella," he responded, his amused smile quelling me anger a little.

"Why am I fired?"

He tilted his head to the side. "Well I wasn't entirely lying. I can't have an employee a floor away that I just want to fuck all day every day."

My heart jumped and I struggled not to react. "And?"

"Annnd… You can't be Emmett's PA because I will fucking die of jealousy."

I let a smile out despite myself. I sensed there was more, though. "And?"

He frowned. "And the whole reason you're working for me is for your mother's release. We both know that she can never be released in the sense that we meant before."

I released a breath. That was undeniably true.

"Plus, you should be working for a company you're actually passionate about, not just doing all the shitty tasks my brother doesn't want to do."

Edward studied me. I nodded.

"Yeah you're right. I guess I can't work for you anymore."

Edward let out a relieved sigh.

I wasn't letting him get away that easily. "So I guess if you're no longer my boss I don't have to speak to you anymore?"

Edward raised both eyebrows. "I suppose you're not contractually obligated. Since I no longer control your salary."

I grin, happy he was playing along. "Now. If you'd like to get out of my house."

He smiled at me.

"You kicking me out, Swan?"

I kept my arms folded and took a step back. "Too right, I am. Maybe if you ring the doorbell I might be persuaded to let you back in."

To my surprise, Edward obeyed my request. I heard the door close with a click and dashed to it to listen out for the doorbell.

A few seconds later, it rang through the house. I stepped up to the door.

"Who is it?" I called.

"Delivery," came the gruff voice.

"I see. I better let you in, then."

Grinning, I latched the door, just so I could then unlatch it. I opened the door and let Edward in.

I tilted my head at him. "You're empty handed, Cullen."

"My mistake," he apologised.

"What are you delivering, then?"

His hands reached up and he grabbed me by the waist and picked me up, making me squeal.


He carried me past the living room and into another room. A bedroom, already furnished like the rest of the house. The sheets were white, like all of the other Cullen properties. This boy needed some colour in his life. His hands were sturdy on my body, and then gone, as he threw me down onto the soft material.

I gasped as I fell, and barely captured my breath before he caught my mouth with his. It was breathy, fast, as his lips eagerly pressed at mine. His body curved over mine as he straddled me, pushing my hands above my head and into the mattress.

His eyes roamed my body.

"You're wearing entirely too many layers."

He released my hands for a moment to tug the coat from my body, sweeping the scarf with it. I breathed deep, feeling the blood rushing to my face. I bit my lip, embarrassed by the probable obvious blush that was now covering my body.

"Beautiful," he murmured, pressing an insistent set of kisses to my neck. I squirmed underneath him as the delicious feeling flowed through me down to my toes.

I reached between of us, my desire making me bold as I pushed his jacket down his shoulders. His white shirt was tight against his chest, and I burned with the desire to see beneath it.

"Can I?" I asked, touching the buttons.

He looked pained. "Please."

He breathed through his nose as I slowly unbuttoned his shirt, feeling his growing hardness against my thigh. I was right there with him. I'd needed this, him, for too long. My fingers felt clumsy as the shirt finally fell apart. I impatiently pulled it off him, making him smile.

He was so fucking hot. I thought I knew how hot he was, but lying underneath him with his chest muscles rippling inches away from me and his eyes staring like fire on my skin, it was too much. I was dazzled by him. My hand reached up and touched his chest. He shivered.

"Sorry, is it cold?"

He nodded, but propped himself up on one elbow and used the other to press my small hand against his chest. His eyes closed for a second, then blazed down on me one more. I was entirely under his spell and was almost relieved to be able to close my eyes against his beauty when his lips reached mine again. Our mouth caressed one another until we were both coiled up so tightly inside each other that we needed a breath. He pulled away, his expression still ravenous as he pulled my top off over my head. He stared down at my bra, breathing for a moment, before reaching down to pull off the jeans. My legs slid out of them and I subconsciously hid myself from having so much skin on show.

His hands reached back up to pin my hands back, effectively preventing me from hiding, but his eyes didn't falter in his study of me. "You're fucking gorgeous."

I blushed once more. My face ached towards him and we kissed once more. He pushed my hands under one of his, and used his free hand to trail his fingers up my thigh. It was my turn to shiver, but not from the cold. I felt him smile against my mouth as his fingertips brushed my underwear.

The pressure built as he pressed his hand against my wetness, cupping me, as he let out a groan.

I bit my lip to hold in a moan of my own.

He pulled away from my hungry lips, his hand still cupping my heat. His eyes fluttered open and held me there. "Are you okay to do this?"

I nodded, feverish with need. "Please. Don't stop."

"Thank fuck."

He kissed me with a new intensity, his hand rubbing against my most sensitive place. My thighs fell apart, granting him better access.

His fingers trailed up and found the waistband of my panties, pulling them down my legs. I kicked them away from me as his fingers began slowly tracing their way back up my leg. Far too slowly. I panted as his lips pressed across my cheek, down my neck and to my chest. Reaching my bra line he moved his free hand from my thigh and popped open my bra. Taking it off me, he knelt above me, taking in my fully naked body. I didn't hide from him anymore, too aroused to be self-conscious, as he looked at me with absolute desire and disbelief.

He fell back to me, his tongue swirling my nipples before darting south. My breathing was reaching hyperventilation as his head moved between my thighs. His tongue lapped at me, and I almost came right there. His free hand trailed down to meet his mouth, two fingers pushing into me as he worked my clit with his tongue.

"Fuck," I murmured, as he started to push them inside of me with a slow rhythm.

It was fucking incredible, but after so long I couldn't handle the build up for much longer.

"Please. Edward."

He glanced up, his mouth glistening as his eyes were darker than I'd ever seen.

"What do you need, baby? Tell me."

"You." I panted. "Inside me. Now."

His eyes flashed and he leaned back on his heels, unbuckling his belt and undoing his trousers. He pulled them off himself before releasing his cock and rolling a condom on himself, groaning at his own arousal.

"Fuck, baby," he said, positioning himself over me.

I opened my thighs more, allowing him between them as he lined himself up.

"Ready?" He asked.

"Yes," I gasped, as I felt his head poke my entrance.

He pushed forward, and his cock sheathed itself inside me. He'd claimed me long ago, claimed me as his, but now I felt like I'd been branded. This was personal and perpetual, this ownership, it filled every part of me and made me wrap myself around him, forcing my body to own him in return.

His hips moved in and out, slowly at first, but when I moved my legs around to clutch his body to mine he started to move faster. He held me firmly around my ribs as his hips pounded against me. The feeling was intense, like the swelling of an orchestra.

He reached between us, breathing hard as he rubbed my clit with his thumb. I gasped, my orgasm rising like a wave.


He locked eyes with me, gripping me even harder and moving even faster. It was rough, and everything I needed.

"I know. I'm close, baby," he whispered.

I nodded, my breath catching as I tried to delay my orgasm. The sensation was too much however, and I started to spasm and fall apart around him. My eyes closed and I gasped in relief. His hips moved even faster and began to jerk as I came hard on his cock. My vision swirled with stars and I grasped that feeling of euphoria with all of my being.

He moaned, moving down until he was nearly on top of me. He held his weight off of me as he came inside me, keeping himself locked in that embrace.

We both breathed hard. My eyes flicked open, and Edward was looking down at me, somewhat bewildered. I couldn't help but smile, and his answering smile was blinding.

After ten seconds, or a minute, or five minutes, our breathing steadied. He pulled out of me with a slight groan. Disposing of the condom he flopped his body down beside me, lying down with his body curved towards me.

I turned to face him, my limbs feeling a little weird and my mind feeling more relaxed than I could ever remember. "That was nice."

He rolled his eyes, shooting me another dazzling grin. "Yeah. Nice. Shut up, you little idiot, and come here."

His arms reached out, and turned me around, pushing my body back into him. He pulled up the covers around us. And just like that, Edward Cullen was spooning me. I was the comfiest I'd ever been.

I was supposed to be thinking of a good retort, but all I could think was how good I felt, and how warm that bed was, and I found myself drifting away.


I woke up the following morning, with that glorious warm body still next to me. I stood up, stretching, and watched him sleep. He had shifted when I'd got up, and the cutest little frown appeared on his face. His copper hair flopped over his face and I ogled him for entirely too long. It was bordering on creepy when I eventually stopped looking at his hot as sin shoulders and made myself walk into the bathroom and take a shower.

I got dressed, and sent Edward a quick text in case he woke up whilst I was gone.

Errand to run, back in a few x B

I left the house... my house? As I closed it behind me I realized I didn't have a key. If he wasn't awake by the time I got back I'd have to wake him. Damn.

Finding a cafe only took a couple of minutes, and it was a really nice one. Back in Forks there was only one diner, and no other options for food. Here, walk across the street and there's a lovely little french cafe. It was another world. I couldn't believe this might be my life from now on, my local cafe. There was health food just across the street too, and a mini salon. Edward had dictated my life, but it was hard to be annoyed when he was so good at it. I would have to fight him though on the subject of payment, I couldn't just take it for free. I'd make it work somehow, maybe he'd let me pay back half of it over time?

I stepped into the cafe and ordered a couple of chocolate croissants and bagels. I Didn't know what Edward liked so I got a couple of different fillings. While I waited, I got onto the real task of my trip.

I flipped open the phone I'd been neglecting and called Emmett.

"Hey, Peps. You alright?"

His voice always made me feel at ease, but the calming sensation had to battle against my rising queasiness at what was to come.

"Yeah, I'm all good, Em."

"Are you still with Edward? Haven't heard from him since yesterday."

I blushed a little. "Uh, yeah. I'm still with him. He's fine."

Emmett laughed a booming laugh. "Yeah, I bet he is."

"Can you pass me on to my mother please?" I asked, not quite ready to handle Emmett's banter. Last night had been amazing, but I wasn't entirely sure what it meant, and I didn't want to answer questions on it.

"Renee?" He asked, confused.

"Yeah. I need to sort that out," I said with as much resolve as I could manage.

"You sure, Peps?"

Worry laced his voice, and I was grateful to have him as a friend.

"Yes. I'm sure. Thanks, Emmett."

"I'll put her on."

After a moment I heard voices and then the unmistakable sounds of my mother came down the line.

"Bella? Bella, are you okay?"

She sounded panicked. I gritted my teeth.

"I'm absolutely fine, mother. No thanks to you."

The malice that covered every word surprised even me.

She gasped. "Oh baby, I'm so sorry. I'm so so sorry. I never meant to hurt you. I didn't realise how bad he was. I'm so sorry. I promise. Please forgive me."

I swallowed against the heap of emotions coming at me. I couldn't let her dictate my life any longer. As apologetic as she may be, she was still accountable for her actions.

"I can't do that."

"Bella, honey? Talk to me."

I kept my voice low, speaking in hushed tones into the phone. This wasn't exactly an average cafe conversation.

"If I let Edward deal with you, knowing everything I know, you probably wouldn't live past this hour. But I'm doing you one last favour."


She was starting to freak out. As she should.

"I do mean last. If I hear you've done anything to go against my wishes you will be Edward's problem."

"I won't baby, I won't."

"Good. You will leave the country today. I don't care where you go, but you're never allowed to enter the United States ever again. I would suggest somewhere far away."

She made a strangled noise. "Can- Can I see you?"

I huffed out a breath. "No."

She started to cry.

"I'll sort out safe transit to Mexico, a new identity and some money to get you started. Where you go after that, what you do, is up to you. If in five years, you're still alive and mentally stable, you can send a postcard. I don't want to hear from you before that. You have betrayed me, more than I believed my mother capable. Do you understand the terms?"

She sobbed.

"Do you understand the terms?" I kept my voice hard. I was helping her, the only way I could. She couldn't be in my life after what she'd done, but I couldn't condone her death even now.

"Yes," she cried.

"And do you accept?"

She sobbed once more.

"Yes. I'm so sorry, baby. I didn't realise. I didn't realise."

I took a breath and then let it pass out slowly.

"Pass the phone back to Emmett, please."

With one last cry, my mother's voice faded away into background chatter.


"Hi. Can you arrange to get my mother out of the country on a plane to Mexico?"

"Yes. Now?"

"Preferably. She'll need a new ID and some money to get her going. Beyond that, don't do her any favours."

"Understood. Does Edward know about this?"

I shook my head. "To be completely honest, if he knew what I knew she would be leaving in a coffin. This is her last chance to stay alive. I'll explain it to him later. Is that okay?"

"Of course it's okay, you're one of us, Peps, I'll do whatever you need," he said sincerely.

"Thank you, I'll speak to you later?"

My voice was choked with emotion as I said goodbye to him. I'd lost one member of my family, probably long ago, but now I had a whole new family.

I picked up my order and stepped across the street, a weight off my shoulders.

Ringing the doorbell, I awaited my man with a smile.

When he opened the door, however, his eyes were panicked. He was half-dressed as if he'd just flung his clothes on in a panic. It took him a second to even register it was me in front of him.


He took a deep breath, leaning against the door frame. His fingers pinched the bridge of his nose.


He swept me in a hug, crushing the paper bag against my body. What on earth was wrong?

"Edward, what's going on?"

He pulled me inside and shut the door. He let my body go and pushed my form against the door.

"Where were you?"

His eyes were still alarmed as he asked, but he was calming down every second.

"I was out getting breakfast. I texted you," I told him, concerned.

He seemed to visibly sink a little at my words, and he pressed his forehead against me.

"I forgot to check my phone."

My eyes studied him. "Was this about me? You were in full Edward freak out mode."

He avoided my gaze. "No comment."

I shook my head. "Are you kidding me? Do you think I'd just run off?"

He shrugged. "I thought you might have had some regrets."

I huffed out an incredulous breath, stalking past him into the kitchen.

Pulling out the breakfast items I'd picked up, I put them on a plate, finding some in one of the many cupboards. Apparently this house was fully stocked already.

I pushed the plate over to him and he took a croissant guiltily.

"You're ridiculous," I told him.

He shot me a smile, but it didn't quite reach his eyes. "I'm not used to caring about girls walking out on me. It's not like I don't deserve it."

"What do you mean?" I demanded.

He took a bite and I tried not to get distract by the smudge of chocolate on his sinful lips. And I tried not to think about where those lips had been last night. God damn. I watched him swallow with rapture.

His eyes were watching mine watching him, and I flicked them back to the relatively safe area of his green orbs. Relatively, because nowhere was safe with Edward.

"You deserve better than me, and thinking you'd gone this morning just proved to me how fucking lucky I've been to even get this much of you."

The honesty in his voice made my breath catch. Lucky? To be with me?

"Have you seen yourself? I'm the lucky one."

He smiled, but shook his head. "You know what I mean."

"No." I told him. "It's too late for that. You can't push me away. I want all of it. All of you."

He took in my words, contemplating them. He watched me. As the seconds ticked by he seemed to have a growing realisation.

"You really mean that?" He asked, his voice gravelly.

I rolled my eyes. "Yes. You've staked your claim on me for ages. You can't rescind that. You have me. I'm yours. And now, you're mine."

If he didn't understand me now, he wouldn't ever.

He put the croissant down. "Oh really?"

His eyes were a challenge. His voice a game.

I took a step back, pretending I was playing along; the role of prey to his predator. But I changed the game. Moving to the living room, I tapped on the coffee table. I pushed both my hands onto the wood, testing the weight.

"What are you doing?" Edward said, watching my body as I pushed against the furniture, his eyes darkening. I'd come to realize that was a clear indication that he was turned on.

"You were saying how secure this house was," I purred. "Maybe we should test out how secure this table is…"

His eyes widened and he stalked towards me. I moved away once more, perching on the sofa.

"Or this sofa?"

He had almost reached me before I was across the room once more, knocking the wall.

"Or this wall?"

Edward groaned. "Now you're really asking for it."

He pushed his hands on the wall on either side of me, caging me in. His arms circled my body as he pulled me up and my legs instinctively wrapped around him, my back propped up against the wall.

Fingers pressed down my body and I arched into them. His teeth nipped my neck.

"After this, we're going back to reality," he nuzzled into my skin.

"Uh huh."

"After this, I'll need to go be the Boss. But trust me, when all of that is dealt with, when the ones that want to tear us down are gone, we'll be back here, right here. Doing this. Everyday. You're mine."

I watched him as he spoke the words, and heat flowed through my body at the promise, the threat. Later, we had a lot to sort out. Villains to defeat, stories to complete. But right now…

"Kiss me, Edward."