Disclaimer: The author does not own any publicly recognizable entities herein. No copyright infringement is intended.
Gabby and April, thank you for pre-reading, and Fran, thank you for taking your time to edit. Any mistakes left are my own.
2nd place in Anything Goes Contest. Thank you everyone that voted!
I arrived at our family's resort, Rifugio di Esmeralda, for a relaxing trip with the guys before I got married. We hadn't been here since my grandmother's death, ten years ago. However, the trip started on a sour note that left me feeling anti-social.
I stared blankly at the amber liquid in the glass in front of me; I swirled it before taking a sip. The burning alcohol coursed through my body but did little to distract my mind. What I thought was going to be an enjoyable vacation at our family's resort quickly turned to hell.
"Edward, this is Victoria," Emmett said, interrupting my brooding.
I glanced up at the flaming redhead in a skimpy sundress who was now standing at my side. She had a nice figure, but her violet eyes seemed harsh and cold.
My brother and our friend, Jasper, thought that if I had a fling, I could then put everything behind me. However, that wasn't the case. I was never the type of guy to use a woman loosely before, and I wasn't about to start now. Jasper had respected my request and bought me a drink. Emmett, however, was insistent on finding me a girl.
"Nice to meet you. If everyone would excuse me, I'm going to go for a run on the beach," I said standing.
"I could come with you," Victoria purred, placing her manicured hand on my chest. Her nails reminded of the talons of a raptor trying to capture her prey.
"As nice as that offer is, I'm going to have to pass." I half-scowled as I gently removed her hand. "But I'm sure Emmett will buy you a drink."
Emmett looked at me worriedly, probably thinking his girlfriend, Rose, would kill him if she found out. It serves him right for not listening to me when I said that I wasn't interested in a setup. It only took a second for her to turn away from me and latch onto his arm, pressing herself up against him. He cast me a pleading look, which I ignored.
I walked out of the bar and onto the nearly deserted beach. The air was still warm, but less humid. The white sand seemed to glow in the moonlight while the ocean's waves looked calm, and serene.
I started running, heading for an area of large rocks further down the beach. It was a place I liked to go, just around the bend on the eastern side of the island. I jumped up onto the reef; watching out for slick seaweed or unbalanced stones that would send me tumbling into the surf. I kept going further out on the jetty until I was at the tip. The waves below crashed roughly into the barrier, spraying me with the salt water before being pulled back leaving swirling pools behind.
"You're not going to jump are you?" a musical voice said startling me.
"No. Where are you?" I glanced around not seeing the honey-voiced speaker.
"Down here, to your left," she directed.
I looked down to see a girl, about my age sitting on a rock dangling her feet just above the water. She had dark brown hair and wide, curious eyes to match. She was wearing a simple, blue bikini top and a flowing green skirt that was dampened at the bottom by the ocean. My eyes were drawn to a glowing white stone hanging around her neck by a thick chain. She was breathtakingly beautiful—almost surreal.
"Sorry, I didn't see anyone out here." I apologized. "What are you doing here all by yourself?"
"It's a beautiful night and the ocean is so peaceful." She smiled shyly at me. "And yourself? You look like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders."
"It's complicated." I grimaced.
"Would you like to talk about it? Sometimes it helps to vent," she offered.
I hesitated and ran a hand through my thick hair. I had no idea who this girl was; yet I felt comfortable in her presence.
"Okay, but feel free to tell me to shut up at any time." I made my way toward her and sat nearby. "First things first; I'm Edward." I held out my hand.
"Nice to meet you, Edward; I'm Bella." Her hand felt warm and soft when I shook it compared to the cold, harsh one I touched earlier.
"I came here, along with my brother and friend, to celebrate my impending marriage. Unfortunately … or fortunately, I'm not sure which, but when I arrived, I walked in on my fiancée and her assistant in my bed." I had now vented my pent-up frustration.
"So you loved her; however, they were in love, and they hurt you by being together," she concluded. She reached out sympathetically and touched my shoulder.
"Not exactly. I wasn't in love with her. It was going to be a marriage of convenience. Our families are business partners and wanted this union," I explained.
"Oh…I see." However, she looked perplexed but nodded anyway. "Well, maybe it's a blessing in disguise. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I believe people should marry only out of love. Perhaps it was better to have happened now than later."
"How old are you, Bella?" I asked.
She looked youthful and had an innocence that illuminated her, almost as if she were glowing. I found her refreshing.
"I am eighteen, and you?" she answered then swung her feet as a wave hit them.
"Twenty-five. And for the record, people don't always marry out of love," I explained to her.
She smiled strangely and gave a small shrug. She looked up at the moon, letting the light hit her face as though they were rays of sunshine instead of moonbeams.
"True, but those marriages don't work, or the people in them are miserable. I wasforced to marry a horrible, abusive man, but I couldn't go through with it. I'm glad I didn't, even if the repercussions altered my life forever," she commented lightly, looking back at me.
"I can see where that could be true. Tanya did seem remorseful about it. What gets me was the lying; I wish she had been honest and told me the truth. It wasn't as though I would've forced her to marry me. If she was happier with Eric I would've understood," I admitted.
"No one enjoys being lied to." Her fingers touched her necklace as she glanced out at the ocean.
I wagered a guess that Bella had been deceived before. I was curious to find out who would hurt such a beautiful girl; was it the abusive man she was supposed to marry? Was she hiding out on the island to keep away from him? I felt a swell of anger and protectiveness. I knew she didn't know me well enough to tell me yet so I would have to gain her trust.
"What type of stone is that? It almost looks as if it glows," I asked about her necklace.
"This is a moonstone. It was my grandmother's." She looked down at it fondly.
"It's exquisite just like its owner," I complimented.
A light blush filled her cheeks. "You're very sweet as well as handsome."
We talked for hours about everything and nothing. There were even periods of time we sat together in silence. It was the best night of my life.
Dawn was breaking; the stars were disappearing, and the sky was turning from gray to pink when she stood quickly.
"I didn't realize it was so late or early… I should go." She turned very pale and started to act nervous.
"Can I walk you back?" I stood slowly; my legs stiff from sitting so long.
"Thank you, but I'll be fine." She turned me down, making my heart thud unevenly in my chest.
As she rushed away, she stumbled up the rocks. I hurried to help her get to the sand before she was hurt in her haste.
"Can I see you again?" I asked not letting go of her hand.
I had to see her again. I wasn't ready to let her go.
She paused, seeming unsure. She gazed up at the waxing moon as if held the answers for her.
"As long as the moon shines then you may find me here on the beach at night."
It seemed like a strange parting—almost poetic, yet cryptic. Before I could ask, she rose on her tiptoes and kissed my cheek, her lips felt like a whisper against my skin.
"I enjoyed talking with you, Edward. I hope to see you again." Her eyes lingered on mine for a moment that was filled with hope.
"Wait!" I reached for her.
"I can't, sorry." She looked apologetic; she turned and darted in the opposite direction from me.
Bella must be staying at one of the nearby resorts, or maybe one of the few year-round houses on the island. I watched her for a moment before starting my way back. I glanced once over my shoulder, and she was gone from view.
I entered the cabin quietly, not wanting to wake my brother or Jasper. Luck wasn't on my side as both were sitting on the couch looking wide-awake, dressed for a day on the beach. Jasper gave his watch an over exaggerated look.
"What are you doing sneaking in at this hour young man?" he scolded with a smirk on his face.
"Who are you, my dad?" I retorted.
"Hell, no." Jasper snorted in disdain.
"Did you score some pussy, bro?" Emmett waggled his eyebrows.
"Don't be crude. And no, I sat out on the beach watching the waves until the sun started to come up," I explained while kicking off my shoes. I wasn't feeling tired earlier, but now I was ready for a good night's sleep or day; I suppose.
"Do you believe that?" Jasper looked at Emmett.
"Nope." Emmett shook his head.
"Well, that's all you're going to get from me. I'm going to sleep." I headed to my room; hoping that housekeeping had been here after yesterday's fiasco.
"Wait, I thought we were taking out the wave runners." Emmett looked disappointed.
"We still can, but this afternoon." I yawned and closed my door behind me.
That evening, as soon as the sky was dark, I went for another run. I was happy to see Bella waiting on the rocks for me. A smile lit her face as soon as she saw me, and my heart rate started to race.
"You came back." She stood excitedly. She made her way to me quickly but began to slip on the damp rocks. I rushed forward, caught her, and then held her in my arms a moment longer than necessary. I placed her on her feet beside me then took hold of her hand.
"I wanted to see you again," I admitted.
Bella looked up at me through her long eyelashes, and I felt pulled towards her. Never before had I felt a strong attraction to a woman. Nevertheless, this fascinating, angel-like woman before me had entangled me under her spell in a mere day.
She paused, looking up at me. I looked her in the eyes gauging her reaction as I leaned in for a kiss.
Our lips met, softly and tenderly. Her lips moved gently against mine—they tasted of sweet fruit. It was a chaste kiss but left me desiring more, as my body became aroused by intoxication.
That was the first night I kissed my angel.
The next few days fell into a pattern. I slept the morning away, hung out with Jasper and Emmett in the afternoon, and met Bella on the beach at night. After the second night, Jasper and Emmett no longer waited for me in the morning. I kept Bella as my secret—it felt nice for once having something that was all mine and not in the prying, judgmental eyes of anyone else.
On the fifth night, my last on the island, I found Bella standing in the surf up to her ankles. She was peering up at the sky with a worried look on her face. She didn't seem to hear my approach until I reached out to her. She looked paler than normal, and I worried that she was getting sick.
"Is everything all right, angel?" I brushed her arm gently.
She smiled, but it didn't quite reach her eyes. "It is, now that you are here."
She kissed me once on the cheek and then on the lips almost in desperation. Something had changed—I could feel it in the air all around us. Invisible bonds were wrapping around us; pulling us together. The air was filled with electricity that heightened my senses. Her arms closed around my neck as she melted into me. I deepened the kiss, licked her lower lip and pleaded for entrance. Her lips parted, and her tongue wrapped around mine greedily.
My hand slid from her waist and cupped her breast. I rubbed circles over the smooth material that covered her erect nipples. She let out a breathy moan as she thrust her body closer. Her lips left mine, and she placed tiny kisses along my jaws, then moved to my neck. Her hands pulled at the material of my shirt with a sense of urgency.
"Bella, tell me now if we should stop." My voice was rough.
Every fiber of my body desired her at this moment. And it was only by a thin thread that I was holding back. She was special, and I wanted no regrets.
Bella looked up at me with sparkling, hypnotic eyes, and without words, she communicated her response. Her hands rose behind her neck and loosened the ties of her top. In what seemed to be slow motion, it fell at her feet exposing her creamy-white breasts to the moonlight. Her moonstone nestled itself right between them, illuminating her skin even more. Her hands traced her curves down to her hips; she swiveled them in a circular motion as the skirt slid down her legs.
She was a goddess standing before me—undraped—displaying herself to only me. She took a step closer and kissed me lightly on the lips just once. She backed away and settled on the sand with her legs stretched out to her side. Her arms supported her upper body as she arched her back, her chest rising. She eyed me with an expression filled with desire.
I tore the buttons off my shirt in haste, and they flew across the sand; forever lost. I tugged off my shorts and kicked them away.
I strode over the wet sand towards her, and she raised herself onto her knees as I approached. I fell to the sand and pulled her to me, kissing her heatedly before slowly lowering myself onto the firm, cool beach. Her hair fanned out around her like a curtain as I positioned myself between her legs and kissed her lips repeatedly.
Her hands rubbed my shoulders, and her breathing became more labored as desire filled her eyes. She raised her hips and rubbed herself against my throbbing member.
"Impatient?" I teased reaching down to rub her with a gentle circular motion.
"Please, don't tease." Her breath hitched.
"All right, angel."
I thrust slowly into her, enjoying every second of movement. She was tight, warm, and ready for me. Her hands clenched my shoulders, and she winced slightly. I paused for a moment, realizing in shock that she had been chaste.
"Bella, are you all right?" I brushed her cheek—worried that I had hurt her.
"Yes, please, don't stop." She opened her eyes and gazed at me with longing.
I continued to move inside her, starting slow. It didn't take her long before her facial expression changed from discomfort to enjoyment. My lips kissed all the exposed silky skin that they could reach. Before I knew what happened, I reached my climax, spilling into her.
I pulled out gently, placing soft kisses on her cheeks and her lips.
"I didn't know; I wish you would've told me. I'm sorry if I hurt you." I cupped her face gently in my hand.
"It was just for a moment." Her hand covered mine.
"Come with me tomorrow, back to the States?" I pleaded with her. I wasn't ready to be separated from her yet.
Her eyes pooled with tears. "I wish I could, but I have to remain here."
"Please, don't cry. We can find another way," I promised.
She nodded closing her eyes and leaning into my palm.
"Come for a swim with me." She sat up swiftly and tugged on my hand.
"I would love to." I stood and swept her off her feet.
She squealed and kicked her legs, but looked excited as I carried her into the waves until we were waist deep. We held onto each other, floating in the warm water of ocean—touching, kissing, and making love again.
When I woke in the afternoon, I made some life-altering decisions. I never wanted to leave this island, not while Bella was here. I spent hours on the phone with my father making plans.
At first, he was reluctant to agree with my idea. He didn't want to lose my help with our businesses on the mainland. He was finally sold when I convinced him that with today's technology—I could remain a very active participant right here.
By late afternoon, I was the soon-to-be-manager of Rifugio di Esmeralda, when the current manager retired at the end of the following month.
I was excited to share my news with Bella. I could only hope that she would be as pleased as I was. I hoped to have a real relationship with her.
It was early evening, and rain pelted the windows of the resort's recreation room. I was pissed that I would miss a night with Bella.
Instead, I wandered the room looking at the photos that hung on the wall. Many of them depicted the history of the resort and the island.
"Check it out. The island has a resident ghost. I never knew that." Emmett stood between two frames on the wall.
I drifted over and glanced at them. I froze when I saw a picture of the ghost captioned as 'Isabella Marie Swan' (1837-1855). The girl in the timeworn photo was my Bella; she was even wearing the same necklace.
It couldn't possibly be my Bella.
I looked over to the story next to the photo. My eyes scanned the lines, and I shook my head.
Isabella was betrothed in an arranged marriage to a Jamerson William Hunter. He was a wealthy man who wanted Isabella to be his bride. According to the story, Isabella's father, Charles, was also well-off and Hunter desired his fortune.
The clipping went on to say that they were supposed to be married on this very island that Charles had once owned. Isabella refused to marry Jamerson and ran from the altar on their wedding day.
From there, two different scenarios are revealed. One states that as she was running, she slipped and fell over the cliffs on the eastern side of the island. The other claims that Jamerson threw her off—killing her.
The legend concluded that Isabella could still be seen walking the beach and the rocks at night.
I gave my hair a sharp tug as I glanced back at the photo, and my heart gave an uneasy thump.
She couldn't be a ghost.
I had touched her.
I had kissed her.
I had made love to her.
However, something inside told me this was my Bella.
I had to find her. I don't care if I had to search the whole island from top to bottom.
I bolted from the room, leaving the others behind in confusion.
"Edward, where are you going?" Emmett yelled after me.
"You're not going out there tonight are you? That's crazy." Jasper ran after me and grabbed my arm.
I shrugged him off; stunned by my actions, his hand dropped to his side.
"Does this have anything to do with the girl you met?" he pushed.
"Who says I met a girl?" I responded, trying not to sound irritated.
"You've been acting happier than I've ever seen you. You rush out of here at night for something, and you come back with a huge grin on your face despite the fact you've been up all night. I figured that you met your soulmate or something." Jasper shrugged.
"Is it a guy?" my brother asked. "I'll support you, either way, bro. You don't have to be afraid to tell us. But there has been a huge change in you in the last few days."
"I did meet someone, but I'm not ready to share her yet," I told them.
"Well, when you're ready I hope you introduce us," Jasper smiled.
"I hope to very soon. I have to go find her, I can't explain, right now." I turned my back on them.
"Edward!" Jasper's yell was carried away with the wind.
I sprinted to the rocks, praying that she was there.
The rain was lighter, but the wind was still strong as I stumbled on the slippery, wet surface. The ocean crashed wildly around me, spraying water and making it difficult to see.
"Bella! Bella, if you're out here, please answer me!" I pleaded. "Bella!"
"Edward." I heard her light voice.
My head snapped around, but I couldn't see her.
Where was she?
"Bella, where are you?" I begged.
"I'm down here," she called again.
I heard a splash in the water over the wind. She was treading water in a small alcove created by the rocks. I was concerned that a wave would come up and throw her into them, or that the undertow would pull her under.
"What are you doing in the water, don't you know that it isn't safe during a storm?" I demanded as I made my way down to her.
"I could say the same thing to you. Don't worry about me, I'm a strong swimmer."
"Come on out. I'll help you get warm. I can't tell you how happy, I am to see you. I had thought for a moment...you're going to laugh at me." I ran my hand through my hair.
"Why would I laugh at you? What were you thinking?" She looked concerned.
"I thought that...why aren't you coming out?" I reached for her hand, but she didn't take it.
"It's not true, right? Please, tell me the story isn't true," I whispered, dropping my hand to my side.
"Depends on which story you've heard." She looked brokenhearted.
"Are you Isabella Marie Swan? Are you...are you a ghost?" I choked on the words.
"I'm not a ghost." She shook her head.
"Thank God. So it was a relative, and you're alive." I let out a large breath and then started to laugh at myself.
I had an overactive imagination.
"I don't have an ancestor ... I am Isabella Marie Swan." She wasn't smiling.
I stared at her in confusion. She was watching me as if she was afraid that I would run. The crashing of a wave disturbed us, breaking the tension.
"I don't understand." The birthdate was in the 1800s, how can they be the same person?
"I'm not a ghost, I'm a mermaid." She watched me cautiously.
"Right...sure. I see it now. My brother found you didn't he. This is Emmett's idea of a prank right?" I laughed nervously. This sounded right up his alley—he loved to play pranks, but this time, he went too far.
My laughter faded as I watched her lean back and lift a large, glistening, green tail out of the water. In my shock, I slipped and fell hitting my head on a rock.
"Edward!" she screamed as I went under the surface.
The undertow dragged me toward the murky depths, and I became confused as to which way was up. Her arms wrapped around my waist and started to pull me in a different direction than where I was going. I trusted her, and we soon broke through the surface.
I coughed and spurted, my eyes stung from the salt water. I gasped for breath as she held on to me.
"Edward, are you all right?" Her eyes were wide with concern. Her hand touched the back of my head, and I winced slightly. "You're not bleeding, but you should get to a doctor."
"I'm fine," I snapped harshly, pushing away from her.
She looked at me as if I had slapped her. She dipped down into the water, so only the top of her head and eyes were showing and watched me sadly as I climbed onto a rock.
I felt guilty for snapping at her. She had done nothing to harm me—in fact, she saved me from a watery grave. "A mermaid?"
She nodded and didn't speak.
"How? I didn't think you existed." I wanted to understand.
I needed to understand.
She lifted her head above water, looking apprehensive.
"I explained a little, but you haven't heard the entire story; the man I was to marry was an evil warlock who practiced dark magic. When I refused to marry him, he cursed me to become a mermaid refusing to remove it until I agreed."
"I have seen you with legs, though." I was trying to wrap my head around everything.
"My moonstone amulet has enough magic from the light of the moon to change me into a human. However, without the moon, I remain a mermaid; it's not strong enough to break the curse on its own."
"Where is this evil man...Jamerson?" I scanned the area afraid he would appear any moment.
"He wasn't immortal. He passed on many years ago," she answered looking relieved.
"Can anything break the curse?" I asked.
She swam closer and pulled herself up onto the rock next to me. I could see her tail close up now. It was green like her skirt, and although she had scales, they looked to be made out of satin.
"One thing can. Jamerson stipulated that it could be broken by a kiss from my soulmate under the full moon." She looked at me with pleading eyes.
"How do you know if someone is your soul mate?" I asked.
She leaned closer and placed her lips on mine. The kiss warmed me and my body started to hum like it was alive.
"Do you feel that?" she whispered against my lips. "That is how you know."
Then, as if by magic, the clouds parted as the storm subsided, and the moonlight lit the ocean and the beach. Her necklace glowed, and her tail split into two legs before my very eyes. The tail spread out into a skirt.
"Whoa." I shook my head. If I didn't see this with my own eyes, I wouldn't believe it.
I stood and pulled her to her feet as well. She looked up at the sky with a wistful look. I glanced up and noticed the moon was full. She turned her eyes to me with a hopeful look.
I leaned down and kissed her—it was full of passion and desire. I wanted to be the one break the spell because I knew deep inside I couldn't live without her. I pulled back and looked at her.
Nothing changed, so how do I now if the curse was broken.
"We will know by the morning light," she answered my unasked question. "Stay with me?"
"Always," I promised as I held her to me tightly.
We held onto to each other for hours until dawn started to break. At that point, we moved to ankle-deep water, just in case. As the sun hit the water, her grip tightened on my arms, and she started to shake with nerves. I felt the sun's rays on my face, and I tilted my head to look at her.
Her eyes were clenched closed so she didn't see it.
"Bella, open your eyes, angel." I encouraged.
She opened her eyes slowly, blinking. She raised one leg then the other—happiness broke out over her features. "We did it, the curse is broken!"
She jumped into my arms, pressing her hands on either side of my face as she kissed me over and over. I gently placed soft kisses on her cheeks and her lips. She looked up at with a contented smile and rubbed my chest. Her eyes glowed with happiness.
"I love you," I confessed.
"I love you, too." She smiled sweetly.
"Now that you are human, I want to show you the world and give you anything you desire. I want you to meet my family. Please, say you want that too." I kissed her lips lightly.
"I want that," she agreed, "but there is just one more thing." She bit her lip.
"What?" I frowned.
"Please don't be angry with me, I was afraid of how you'd react. I may not be a mermaid anymore, but I'm still not human either. You see, Jamerson wanted me for a particular reason—I come from a long line of powerful witches. I am a witch, Edward." She looked at me warily.
"A witch?" I felt dizzy.
"Don't worry, Edward, I am a good witch." She laughed freely, her voice floated on air.
"I need to sit down." I moved to the biggest rock on the beach.
She took a tentative seat near me watching carefully—the laughter was gone from her face, and the sorrow returned.
"Why didn't you tell me before?" I rubbed my eyes. I was still struggling to process this new information.
"If I had told you before you were ready to believe me, you would've run away and never have come back. You had to love me with your own free will for the curse to be broken." She pulled her knees to her chest and stared out at the rolling waves.
"So I'm not under a love spell." I breathed out sharply—I instantly regretted my words when I saw the hurt look on her beautiful face.
"No, for one, it needed to be true love not contrived, plus the 'three folds rule' would come into effect, only cursing me all over again. I vow to you that I would never use magic to hurt you." She looked at me imploring me to believe her. "The reason Jamerson wanted me was my family's line of powerful witches."
"You have to understand; this so much to absorb. What about the other night when we made love right on this very beach—I felt…" I trailed off when I couldn't find the words to describe the sense of utopia I felt.
"What you experienced was the bond between soulmates that humans don't usually feel. It was amplified because I'm a witch and because I was wearing my amulet." Her fingers brushed her necklace.
"I believe you—all of it. I'm sorry to be so skeptical. However, this doesn't change anything. I still love you more than I thought possible, and I wanted a life with you," I confessed as I knelt before her in the sand.
Her brown eyes brimmed with tears and happiness. "I will love you until the end of time."
I cupped her cheek then pressed a kiss against her petal soft lips. A kiss filled with promises of a beautiful future ahead.
This story has been in my head for a long time. I was glad that I got a chance to use it.
I plan on continuing but after I finish my current story.
Thank you for all the review, votes and love you have given my story.