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Epilogue

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The night was perfect, fireflies glowing in inconsistent tempos like a lackadaisical light show illuminating the purple sky. The table had been set by Rosalie in what I assumed was supposed to be a romantic and whimsical style but I barely saw it. Elena's dress captivated me, vibrant yellow, the gold and emerald clip in her hair, so like the green of her eyes, glued my eyes to her, I was free to stare and I was taking advantage of it.

That yellow dress was going to break me, for way too long I had been trying not to notice the feminine curves of her body, and I had been successful, but Alice and her fashion sense were going to be my doom. It didn't show much of her body, I had seen her in bathing suits, bikinis even, but something about the way that yellow cocktail dress hugged her breasts and waist, belling out but suggesting the beauteous swell of her hips was too much for me.

I have never been so uninterested in food in my entire life. Before I became a wolf, my appetite could only be described as healthy, and even though I couldn't remember when or what I last ate, I couldn't bring myself to look away from her long enough to eat.

On the table there was a simple centerpiece, two flowers in a similar yellow to that of her dress, but it blocked my view and as if she was reading my mind, she pushed it aside, leaning over to grab it and giving me the most subtle view of her honey cast tanned cleavage.

I tried to return to my food but settled for watching her as she ate; it was just as satisfying. She played with her food, moving it around and taking small bites here and there, but not with the usual vigor she gave my food, or all food really. I loved the way she ate, with absolutely no shame. When I was writing my doctoral dissertation, I moved on campus to stay close to the library, and while I was there I noticed something I loved about Elena more than anything else, having grown up slightly secluded, she didn't get caught in the pit-falls of being a girl; she was just Elena. She didn't feel like she needed to wear make-up, prance around in high heels that hurt her back or eat meekly, she ate like a wolf and it was endearing.

"Is it okay?" I asked motioning to the food but not taking my eyes off of her.

"Yeah, it's great," she said dreamily, her fork almost missing her mouth as she shoveled more food in without looking.

"You are so beautiful," I sighed, examining her glossy black hair and shocking green eyes. I hate that compliment normally, beauty meant so little on the scale of importance, but she was so striking at times it hurt to look at her.

As I watched her, the warm sea breeze filling the night, her heart sped erratically and mine swelled. It was hard to believe that I had this kind of effect on her, I didn't deserve it, but then I was the luckiest bastard alive. Her fork clattered loudly on the plate, the only sound besides the wind as she dropped it, standing quickly.

In the sense of vampire abilities and speed, she was pretty much human, so I was surprised when she made it into my lap before I could even blink, pulling my face down to hers and kissing me hungrily.

"You are so—so—so sexy," she panted between kisses, her hands traveling up and down my chest where tension was growing so powerful it was becoming hard to breathe.

"I'm not sure I can handle hearing you say that word right now." The earnest panting of the word 'sex' coming past her soft citrus tasting lips instantly made me hard; my warm member pressed into her hip as she sat across my lap. She bit her bottom lip and I grabbed her waist attempting to move her away from it.

"Is it just sexy or does the word sex do it too?" She asked, boldly glancing down at my erection.

"Oh Shit! I'm sorry," I apologized standing and scurrying to get her off of my lap, and that's when I heard it; Emmett and Jake's loud carrying laughs filling the house.

My mouth opened wide in horror and Elena, who couldn't hear them inside laughing, took it as embarrassment. I was far past embarrassment, I was in the land of complete mortification, and it got worse when she closed the distance between us again uttering words that in any other situation would have brought me to my knees, but now made me want to crawl into a hole.

"I like it. I can't wait to see it," she said honestly.

Other than kissing that stupid European douche, Elena didn't have any experience with men. She knew the biology of it, I was there when they showed her diagrams and gave her models from Carlisle's old office, but in many ways, she was ignorant to the ways of physical love, not that I was an expert or anything.

"I—I, um…me too?" I said uncertainly, the laughing inside stopped and I couldn't help but smile; cosmic punishment for eavesdropping, they now had to think about the inevitable consummation of our relationship.

"Was that too forward?" she asked shyly brushing her curly black hair behind her ear.

Before I could answer Emmett arrived, dropping a basket of bread and growling at me. I got the hint, a few kisses would be all we could have for awhile and I was okay with that, but Elena wasn't.

After about ten straight dates which all started, included and ended with kisses, she started to push for more. It wasn't that she had to push hard, I would have done anything she wanted, any time of the day, but it was hard in a house full of vampires.

She initiated everything, I didn't know what she wanted, and I would have enjoyed anything she did, so she started us, every night something new. First innocently, with her gliding my hand down to her behind, which I kneaded eagerly through the thin material of her nightgown and it progressed, to groping of all areas.

The next big step was under the clothes, swiping my fingers across her sensitive nipples, running my nails, down the exposed skin of her back.

When she finally got so frustrated she jammed my hands into her pants, I was so worked up by the sweet scent of her arousal, I stopped worrying about the noises she made and started to live for them. She made little squeals of delight, grinding against my hand as I slipped my middle finger inside of her, rubbing her clit with the palm of my hand. Every time she finished, clenching hard on my hand, I hurt, it'd been a month, a month of touching and kissing—I couldn't last much longer.

The family wasn't pleased. Jake couldn't look me in the eyes anymore, and Rosalie was worse, hissing and giving me a wide berth whenever I walked in the room. We were planning to move back to our home in France with Alice and Jasper, but there was still the awkward question of propriety. What was okay to do with your soulmate while you lived in a house where everyone could hear you? Could we stay in the same room? Even holding her the whole night would have been better than these rushed touches.

"Marriage," Carlisle said the word but did not elaborate; he left it at that, like a prompt for my contemplation for the next five weeks till I asked her. It didn't take me five weeks to decide, I was so in love with her I would have married her the second our lips first touched, but I was struggling with how to ask her. I just went for it.

"Marry me." The first major move I made in our relationship and she laughed. A good full minute at least, she clutched her bare belly, her breast bouncing as she giggled. We were in her room, which was simple, creamy white and purple, her soft cotton bedspread under us as her family hunted and we played.

"Okay, maybe not…" I said rolling off of her, she pulled me back.

"Yes, of course Ethan, of course. You looked so cute when you asked, baby," she giggled wrapping her legs around my hips pulling me closer to her.

"Yes."

"Really?"

"Yes, yes, yes! So please… don't waste this hour or so we have of freedom," she begged, reaching behind her back and unclipping her bra.

Perfect, I thought every part of her was perfect but her breast was especially perfect.

"So…wow," I never failed to make an idiot of myself when Elena was concerned.

"Thanks."

I tried to take it slow, very slow, to let her feel and try everything, but I hadn't been with a woman for almost a decade and she made sounds, lots of little sounds that made all of the hairs on my arm stand on end.

I kissed down her body from her dark pink nipple down the valley between her breasts, a pit stop at her belly button, which I licked a circle around making her thrust, pressing her arousal soaked panties press against my chest.

"Ethan!" She screamed when my tongue dipped under the band of her pale yellow underwear.

"Are you okay?" I asked, eyeing her as I hooked my thumbs on either side of the lacy yellow material that kept her clothed, however partial. Such a small piece of material, tiny but it made all the difference in the world.

She bit her lip, so hard I thought she might start bleeding before she urged them off, pushing my fingers to glide them down her thighs. They were lightly tanned like the rest of her and so soft it felt like touching silk. She spread for me almost automatically and I traced my fingers up and down her folds, resting my thumb on her button of nerves. She pushed against me whimpering as I rubbed clockwise in tiny circles.

"Shit!" I love it when she swore and arched and flexed and moaned. Every deep guttural moan made me shudder. I licked slowly along her folds where she tasted like se and with every soft flick of my tongue, she clawed into my shoulders.

She couldn't wait and I didn't fight it, I helped her undress me slipping inside of her when she gave me the okay.

Fire. She was wet, burning hot and wet and tight around me. Our body heat, her eyes burning into mine, perfection. It hurt, fingers didn't prepare her, not completely, but she didn't whine, and she didn't want me to stop.

She spread her legs wide, her feet placed flat on the mattress, her pelvis angled up at my thrust. I put my right hand on her hip and used the other to keep myself upright, trying to thrust myself as deeply as I could go, she screamed.

"Harder, please," she begged biting hard on my neck till I complied.

"I love you," I breathed in her ear adjusting so I could pick up speed.

"I love you," she cried, pulling at my hair. I angled my pelvis down hitting rough against her clit with every thrust making her release tiny whining sounds until she rocked a spasm that made me float. She constricted tight and hard around me, holding me tight for long enough to bring me with her.

When the deep, loud breathing stopped we heard them, Rosalie, Emmett and Jake by the smell. They weren't laughing this time.