Bella POV

His hands slid down my waist, his thumbs brushing the soft fabric carefully like I was a china doll- too precious to be broken. I felt his lips at my neck, soft, butterfly kisses following the material of my dress moving towards my cleavage. I moaned my fingers fisting his hair, as I combed the silky strands. His lips were finally at my breasts and he began to pull my dress, freeing my body from its' confines. He looked up, his eyes turning red he smiled wickedly and then...

'Miss Isabella... Miss Isabella. Your mother says breakfast will be out in the gardens today, she will be sending her handmaid in momentarily.' I groaned wearily, god damn Angela's dreadful timing.

'Let my mother know I am just rising Angela and to expect me down in precisely 45 minutes.' I flopped back down on my bed and yawned, I had once again received no adequate sleep and the dreams had plagued me once more. I glared at the bottle of sleep draught my mother had fetched from the apothecary, the solution tasted disgusting however I would have anything to stop these incessant dreams. Yet once again another method of medication had failed me, my mother- no doubt- would be at the apothecary by mid-day to complain about their potions' lack of effect of my disturbed sleep.

Not that she knew anything about the nature of my dreams- oh no- I had told her I was having nightmares of horrifying violence. It was better than telling her my subconscious had wandered into the depths of the gutter where a lady's mind should never wander.

I heard a soft knock on the door, and called Lauren into the room. She had brought an armful of dresses, fabrics, ribbons and bows, ready to dress me up as a lady should without even knowing my thoughts were on the man invading my mind. Beginning with my dress she chose a soft pink coloured fabric which had gold designs patterning the sides, paired with lacy white fabric which she put around the dip of my dress's neck bringing one's eye directly towards my chest however covering it modestly as expected from a lady.

Once dressed I headed outside to the garden, letting myself admire the roses which adorned the wooden chairs and columns which were strategically placed around the garden. As I admired the white roses, something caught my eye, a rogue red rose standing proudly and openly amongst the white, it was perfect and its' petals looked as soft as velvet and as I reached out to stroke them carefully I felt someone's hand brush down my posterior tugging my dress. I whipped round only to see no one and realise that I had cut my finger on the red rose's thorns, placing my finger in my mouth I sucked slightly. Looking around I saw no one but I could feel eyes on me, their looming presence made the hairs on the back on my neck stand on end. The dark corners of the garden seemed ominous even in the daylight and I moved towards them to investigate.

'ISABELLA.' I jumped as my mother's voice rang around the garden, I pulled my finger out my mouth and blood immediately began to pool around the small cut but I left it, heading towards the breakfast table laid with pastries, breads, fruits and tea. My mother and father sat there, my mother's attention was on me as I sat myself down beside her. Her eyes were cold and calculating to any stranger who could've seen her however I knew the care she held for me despite her formalities and strictness.

'You couldn't sleep last night, you have bags under your eyes.' She snapped, as she sipped her tea.

'Yes mother, what does it matter?' I asked delicately, spooning fruit on to my plate. I had been prepared for this, mother had an eagle eye for propriety and my appearance was always the first thing she noticed. No rogue hair or chapped lip could miss her and no baggy eyes for that matter.

'Isabella, as you well know the bankers' ball is this evening and we are to attend. I can't have you embarrassing yourself in front of potential suitors, how am I suppose to enter you into society if you looked like a sick person? I swear to goodness I am going to wrangle that apothecary with my own bare hands, he assured me this remedy was the best money could buy- it better be for the price I paid. ANGELA... ensure Isabella has cold tea bags pressed on her eyes before she gets ready this evening.' She eyes our housemaid carefully, ensuring she listened to every instruction.

'Yes Lady Swan. My sister has also made a cream she thought would help, it's made with all natural ingredients and my sister assured me it does wonders for the complexion.' My mother sighed and only smiled, she had always loved Angela's caring side and this kind gesture was one of the reasons she'd hired her.

'Mother do I have to attend the ball. It'll only tire me more and I don't think I could stand an evening in the company of James and his cronies.' I shivered at the very idea of James, he was a loathsome and disgusting man who had a terrible tendency of wandering hands when dancing with me.

'Isabella, James is a fine man, he's set to inherit his father's business. You would be lucky if he was your suitor,' my father had finally entered his say in the conversation and inwardly I laugh. Money... that's all father ever cares about.

'James is a vile, disgusting toad of a man father. There's nothing that could ever make me believe I was lucky if I was his suitor.' I snapped.

'Isabella! Hold your tongue and learn your place!' My father's eyes glinted cruelly.

'Father my place is what I make it and I will decide my own fate. If you don't mind I think I'll take the carriage out for the afternoon.' I began to rise from my chair, preferring to leave the table rather than enter another argument with father.

'Very well Isabella, however be back for 4.30pm sharp. You'll take time to get ready before the ball.' My mother once again returns to her breakfast having ignored Father and I's tiff, while father also returns his gaze to the morning paper's finance report and I am once again irrelevant.

As I look out the window I watch the streets pass by. People walk the streets, couples hand in hand whispering sweet nothings to one another and I sigh. I want that. I want a man who'll listen to my thoughts of the world, someone who will love me unconditionally as a husband should and I love them unconditionally, however that kind of relationship is a rare and expensive idea. It is unlikely that I will marry for love, I will most likely marry in a business deal for my father to increase my family's social standings. I sigh once more as I pull my eyes away from the couples, and the carriage begins to slow.

We have finally arrived at my favourite spot in town, and I step out into the bright daylight. I wave for Eric our horseman to stay at the carriage, as I began to follow the path around the lake. I held my hands in my lap as I walked looking the part of a docile and innocence lady of upper society, trying to pretend to be something I'm not. However as I pondered on this I suddenly feel watched, I whip my head around to see nothing but the neatly arranged flower beds trim med to perfection.

Great! I must just be going insane.

I turned back around to see the lake when I'm suddenly met with what I would assume to be a brick wall, however when I look up I find the darkest, eye I've ever see. Onyx black, the eyes are frames by a face which could've been carved by Michael Angelo himself, chiselled jaw, straight nose, wild yet styled hair and dressed like a gentleman.

In front of me was exactly like the sort of man my mother would tell me to stay away from.

'My lady, you should watch where you're walking, you never know who may around.' His face remains impassive however his eyes twinkle in a threatening yet mischievous manner.

'Excuse me but I do believe that you were the one who approached me and I had absolutely no idea that you were behind me. In fact I believe it is you that it at fault here sir and I would expect an apology from you if you consider yourself anything of a gentleman.' I was shocked at my reaction, I was never usually so rebellious against the social interactions which are acceptable for a young woman to partake in... even now I risk social judgement for talking to a man without my chaperone anywhere nearby.

'Ah so the lady has some fire. What a change to the usual mundane and well to do manners of a lady, I would much rather argue with a shrew than be flattered by a simpering fool.' I actually spluttered at that. A SHREW! How dare he? He doesn't know even know me. The arrogance of him.

'Shrew! I'll have you know that I am a lady of great wealth and sustenance and what would you be?,' I have now begun prodding him in the centre of his chest, which in itself is a foolish action judging his size and more than average muscle mass the action of my prodding only brought us closer together, 'I would have no doubt that you're a lowly clerk in the bank with the state of your manners.'

'Why? Isn't this refreshing a woman shouting rather than flirting, this day may be better than I thought it would turn out to be.' He ran a hand down my cheek and that's when I noticed our proximity. I pulled away abruptly however I suddenly felt a warm, strong arm thread itself around my waist holding my body close to his.

'No, no, no my dear you cannot end this rather pleasant interaction so soon.' He leaned forward and I felt his nose at my hair inhaling deeply and I shivered. His other hand drifted down my face, along the curves of my neck tracing the neckline of my bodice before meeting my eyes again. If it was even possible it would appear as though they had grown darker, their pupils dilated with what I could only describe as desire. He had a expression of longing, like a child who had lost a treasured pet who had only just been returned.

'It's you.' Lips parted I seemed to be caught in the pool of his mesmerizing eyes, I ran my tongue along my upper lip slowly to relieve the cracked, dryness which had appeared. Immediately his eyes caught my mouth in its' gaze, leaning down he smirked as he saw that I too leaned forward our lips mere millimetres away and I could feel the heat of his breath- warm and dewy against my lips. Hands were moving along the bodice of my dress, overheated and feeling like I could explode I wished I was out the constraints of my corset which constricted my already shallow breathing. Mimicking the movement of his hands I ran mine along the planes of his back admiring the strength in the muscles below, corded and tense prepared for anything.

Finally after what felt like a millennium our lips finally made the initial touch, soft and smooth I yearned for more. Leaning in to deepen the kiss, I could feel lips part beneath mine and...


Hands having left my body, my lips suddenly cold and all that's left from the encounter is the shallowness of my breathing.

'Oh there you are Miss. Your mother wanted us back by 4.30 and it's already after 4. Please we should return to the carriage.' Eric appeared frantic about the issue of time however I hardly noticed as I looked around me, where did he go?

'Eric, did you see a man with me a moment ago?' I looked behind me however there was still nothing.

'No Miss, it was only you, now can we please depart?' I finally looked round at the trees once more, certain that if I did I may find the dark eyes I'm looking for. Nevertheless the trees remain inanimate and lifeless, trying to last a few months more before the cold winter sets in.

Edward POV

I chuckle to myself as I watch her look around with confusion and frustration painted upon her delicate features. No doubt she probably thinks she must be losing her mind. However as unfortunate as it is, I had to end the kiss, I couldn't have that ridiculous horseman seeing me and also I didn't have the time I require to truly show Isabella how she makes me feel.

Nevertheless, nothing wasted. I set out to meet her and I did.

There's nothing now that will prevent me from being with my mate...

Hope you liked it... R&R- This story is open to getting a Beta, so if anyone's interested PM me.