This is a companion fic to my story Ferns. The idea started as a collection of outtakes and then became its own thing. I intend to make it as enjoyable as a stand-alone as possible, but the experience will definitely be enriched by having the wider context of reading Ferns, too.

As with that story, this fic could be considered canon compliant from the standpoint that it doesn't technically contradict anything that happens in the books and draws on them as the basis for Bella's fantasies, but it goes off into subject matter decidedly not Stephenie approved. The focus is pretty much exclusively Bella and Edward and their relationship, though other characters will be mentioned and may appear for one-off scenes.

Most of this fic will be them acting out Bella's fantasies, playing sex games, and finally digging into some hard conversations and Edward's sexual baggage. Every chapter includes varying degrees of character-driven smut, and there is a high proportion of both fluff and angst with a guaranteed HEA. If that sounds appealing to you, welcome, I hope you enjoy!

**Disclaimer: The characters and situations of the Twilight Saga depicted in this story are the legal property of Stephenie Meyer, Summit Entertainment, and Little, Brown & Company, and have been used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended, and no profit is being made.

**Rated M for: Sexual content in every chapter, including some vampire fetishism and light BDSM—particularly kinks related to biting; some language.

Chapter 1: Bed in the Clouds

When I realized that my human memories were beginning to fade, I began writing things down: childhood adventures, life with Renée, our courtship. I also wrote this, which I kept private. I thought it was for me, so that I wouldn't forget, but the more I write, the more I think it's for both of us.

I was hoping to feel anchored by drawing lines from who I was then to who I am now. Maybe it's naive, but the thinking was I might quiet the fear that losing memories means losing myself. As I wrote, it became more—a place to vent my frustrations, work out my feelings, and ask myself questions. I thought it was too private to ever show anyone.

But I've come to realize that I also want you to see this part of me, to understand. You say I am the springtime you stole and carried off to the underworld. From my perspective, that wasn't the way of it, but I think the only way to convince you would be to show you.

To the best of my recollection, all of this is true.

Your Bella


I remember the first time he kissed me. It haunts me even now, because I'm still unsettled by how unprepared I was. The meadow was just through the trees behind us and I was motion sick from having experienced vampire speed for the first time. After ensuring I was okay, Edward comforted me, teased me, and then, before I could properly brace myself, he kissed me. It was so gentle and hesitant, as though he meant it to be chaste. That was not how I experienced the moment.

The chill of his lips against mine, the heady sweetness of his breath, set something off inside of me. I was immediately ablaze, a burning pyre of want. Every part and trace of me lit up and hummed with sensation. I clutched at him greedily, wanting more. Wanting everything. I was at the mercy of this overwhelming desire, this overwhelming boy. The fire, I realized then, would kill me. I would die to have him, to be with him.

Literally. It was only a matter of time.

Before that kiss, I had believed myself to be fairly ordinary—a normal young woman who was attracted to a conventionally appealing guy in conventional ways. Sure, he was a vampire and that was definitely a unique circumstance, but it was also incidental. His vampirism had nothing to do with why I was drawn to him. Moreover, the degree of my desire was probably average—just teenage hormones and all they accounted for. He made my skin tingle, my heart speed up, and yes, sometimes, he made my panties wet. I had dirty dreams about him, where he did…things to me. But from what I could gather from books I read, from pop culture, from friends, this was normal. I was normal.

After Edward kissed me, I would never feel normal again.

I burned for him too easily, too hotly. The fact that his lips were cold, that he was dangerous, stoked the fire instead of giving me pause. My boyfriend was a monster and I was kind of into it. Worse, I began to suspect that I was hornier than any other girl I knew. What I was feeling and the degree to which I was feeling it couldn't be what everyone else was experiencing. The world would burn down! Even Angela, who was head-over-heels for Ben, described kissing him in ways that sounded merely nice. There was nothing to indicate the kisses had plunged her into a hellfire of sexual starvation the way mine had.

I tried to be good and respect the boundaries he said were immutable. We couldn't have sex—he was clear on that point. So, I didn't let myself want it too much. There was no use torturing myself by pining for something I could never have. I didn't fantasize about it if I could help myself and I didn't wish or hope. Schemes that resulted in full sex with Edward came to me only in my dreams, and I had no control over that.

But if we could kiss, we could do some things, right? Surely, he could touch me; I could touch him. He could watch me; I could watch him. My fantasies flooded with scenarios accordingly…but progression never came. Edward spent every night in my bed beside me, but always on top of my covers. He kissed me and touched me, but never under my clothes, never between my legs. My wandering hands were intercepted, kissed, and then removed from his body.

Why? I don't know—probably something about my safety not being worth the risk. Or maybe it was fretting over my virtue. I was never brave enough to ask. I cursed my shyness and quietly conceded to the wisdom of my ninth grade sex ed teacher: if I couldn't even talk to him about this stuff, I probably wasn't ready for it anyway.

Yet, whether I was ready or not, my body wanted. Insistently. Constantly. The lust Edward awoke in me was ever-present and exhausting. It was distracting, preoccupying. It made me frustrated, irritable, and easily led. Self-respect be damned, I would do anything for the smallest touch or kiss, scrambling for whatever scraps of physical love he threw my way. They were meager, brief, and he often gave them to me with an air of grudging indulgence. Like he was humoring me.

And that was maybe the worst of it, the part that made me feel the most trapped and alone—not even Edward was feeling what I was feeling. Largely, he was occupied by the devil on his shoulder: his thirst, and the angel: his love for me. There was no room left in him for sexual desire on the scale I was experiencing. Sometimes there were glimpses, flare-ups, and God how I thrilled for those. He would have to pull back because a kiss had gotten too intense, or move away from me on the couch because he was enjoying touching me too much. I lived for when his erection would brush against my leg while we kissed in my bed, when his eyes would look at me with hunger. It got to the point where I didn't even care what kind. I just wanted him to want me, and he never seemed to struggle resisting sex, even the night I finally threw myself at him and agreed to get married. At least with my blood he was actually, honestly tempted. There were times I could see in his eyes that it was touch and go, and their black hunger would send hot shivers down my stomach.

From time to time, I would wonder what it would be like if he did lose the battle against his thirst. There would be pain, I knew that. The excruciating kind—I remembered it all too well. And it would be death for certain, but sometimes I wondered if that would be so bad. I would die while he held me in his arms, while he drank his pleasure and satisfaction from my blood. After that, oblivion. There were definitely worse ways to go. Or, more likely, he would stop himself before the end. Even if he lost control, surely, his love for me would keep him from drinking me completely dry. I would wake as his vampire bride, my dearest wish. So, really, was his thirst for my blood so bad? Was it strange that sometimes I dreamed of him drinking me and it was only half nightmare?

I didn't realize until it was too late what all of this was doing to me, the type of sexual being I was shaping into.

Heart of Glass

I remember the day I realized I was a pervert. In retrospect, I had been one for a while by this point, but I had remained blissfully ignorant of that fact. I did worry about sex, but it wasn't about the kind I wanted, it was the quantity. I was a virgin, but I felt anxious that the amount of sex I seemed to crave would make people think I was a slut. I didn't like that word, but I was scared of it. I knew the power it, and the ideas behind it, wielded. I was scared that people would think less of me if they knew…especially my very old-fashioned fiancé. He had a lot of antiquated ideas and hangups about sex—would they extend to me? Would it bother him when he realized how ravenous my sexual appetite was? The wedding was fast approaching and there would be nowhere for my lust to hide in our marriage bed. That was enough to worry about. The last thing I needed was to add fears that I was abnormal or twisted in some way.

"Bella love," he took my hand in his one cloudy day a month before the wedding. "We should…. There's something we need to talk about." He wasn't meeting my eyes and he was holding his shoulders in a more rigid posture than usual.

My heart stumbled, then picked up pace. "Yes?"

It took so long for him to answer that I was starting to wonder if he had changed his mind entirely, but then it all came rushing from his lips so rapidly I almost couldn't understand him. "About our wedding night. Sometimes, for some women, there can be pain, even blood the first time. Usually that results from her lover being selfish or inexperienced. If a woman is aroused and prepared properly, there shouldn't be discomfort except in rare medical circumstances. I…I'm committed to doing that for you, Bella. Everything in my power to care for you." He swallowed and continued in that awkwardly formal way he had when a topic made him uncomfortable, "But there is a slight risk of blood, and to be absolutely safe, we should avoid that. It would be best if, well, you prepared yourself for the night ahead of time."

I understood his shyness now and could feel how utterly red my cheeks must be. Edward produced a catalog and placed it on the table in front of me. It took a shocked succession of seconds for me to register that it was for a sex toy shop.

"Choose whatever you think you will like or need. Alice marked some pages she thought might be helpful, and she wanted me to tell you she's available to answer any questions. She'll place the order for you."

I blinked at him. "Alice…?"

He looked uncomfortable, but at least he was making eye contact now. "I didn't tell her—a vision. But I did take some of her advice on how to approach this with you." He smiled guiltily. "She even offered to talk to you herself, but I…." He shrugged stiffly. "It seemed right that I should be the one. We're getting married. We should be able to talk about sex together without embarrassment."

Easier said than done, but time and practice would make it less weird. At least, I hoped so.

My mortification melted a little. I was touched by the determination in his eyes, the gentleness in the hand that held mine, and his commitment to giving me the wedding night I asked for.

Well, begged. To be completely honest, I had begged for my wedding night. Edward was fine with a sexless honeymoon. So fine, he had fought me on it, determined to wait until after I had turned to consummate our marriage. I recoiled from the very idea. Even though I knew it was risky, I needed to know what it was to make love with him before my newborn senses and hungers subsumed me. What if I never wanted him this much ever again? Never loved him this much again? I wanted to be with him forever and I wanted to be his equal, but I couldn't shake the terror that my turning would make me into a stranger, especially during those early years. When he made love to me for the first time, I needed to still be me. Besides, I trusted him—I knew he wouldn't hurt me. It had taken me throwing away every last shred of my pride and dignity, pleading with tears in my eyes, for him to cave. I would always feel some degree of humiliation about that.

Was it a bad sign that sex fell in a such a different place on the priority scale for each of us?

But it wouldn't always be like this, right? Once I became a vampire and he didn't have to worry so much about my safety, he'd want me, too. He'd want me as badly as I wanted him. I had to believe that.

When Charlie arrived home, I had to scramble to hide the catalog from him. It was several days before I could bring myself to look through it, and even then Alice had to nag me before I sat down to make a choice.

It seemed extravagant, buying a sex toy just for this, but that was typical Edward. It was as though he looked at every slight inconvenience or complication that crossed his path and thought, "But how can I solve this with money?" Yet, in this case, I conceded he might be right. I wasn't an expert by any means, but I knew enough to understand the stakes. It wasn't just that I could have an intact hymen that might tear rather than stretch. Any number of things could cause a virginal vagina discomfort, even light bleeding. Edward would be enough of a stressed wreck at the edge of his control on our wedding night without adding an extra degree of difficulty for him. None of the free options I could think of would be as sure-fire or thorough.

That being the case, I might have insisted on ordering for myself and paying with my own money if the catalog didn't require a credit card, which I did not have, not to mention it might put my name on some kind of mailing list that would send flyers or future catalogs to Charlie's house. In this case, I accepted the Cullen generosity with light grumbling and minimal fuss. A husband buying his wife a thirty-dollar sex toy was hardly a lavish gift—especially by Edward's standards.

I felt intimidated and flustered by most of what was printed on the glossy pages. I'd never thought of myself as sheltered, but reading the varied item descriptions challenged that assumption. Practically, I restricted myself to the selection of dildos and vibrators, and then eliminated vibrators from the equation. I didn't see why it was necessary to bring batteries into this. I was just making sure a little bit of torn skin wouldn't throw a wrench in my wedding night.

Choosing a dildo should be straightforward, only…how big was Edward? I had no real idea. I had felt him before, of course, but only through clothing and only for the most fleeting of moments—and who's to say if he was even fully aroused at the time? If I got something too small, would that even prepare me properly? And too big…why put my virgin self through that?

I psyched myself up, picked up my phone, then set it back down. Shaking my limbs to loosen them, I went and got myself a glass of water, drank it, and then dialed Edward's number. The call connected, and I hung up before the first ring. Of course, he called me back, but I declined and sent him a text instead.

B: how big are u?

E: My height?

I closed my eyes and groaned. My fingers trembled as I typed.

B: no

B: placing the catalog order

B: how big are u?

Thirty seconds passed.

E: Oh.

E: A moment, please.

I'm not sure if it was his polite manners and full punctuation or if the uncomfortable situation was enough on its own to shock the giggle that broke the silence out of me. Was it good or bad that he didn't know this information off the top of his head? And did this mean that he was…? Well, he would have to touch—energetically—to bring himself to his full size and get the measurements, wouldn't he?

My embarrassment waned in the wake of a hot wave that rolled down my body beneath my skin and pooled between my legs. Edward stroking himself—at all—but especially while thinking of me, or maybe even looking at me, was one of the things I thought of most when I masturbated. An old habit carried over from the beginning of our relationship when Edward had been adamant that sex was impossible for us. It was only natural that Edward pleasuring himself became a peculiar fixation of mine, and for the first time ever, I knew with relative certainty, he was doing just that right now. My skin felt flushed, my bra felt tight, and my thighs clenched together involuntarily. Suddenly, I wished that I'd been nervy enough to go through with the call.

If I were a braver Bella, would I be listening to his breathing right now? Would we be having phone sex? I felt lightheaded just imagining it. Or would he have excused himself and ended the call to do this in private regardless? I hated that I was pretty sure I knew the answer.

All at once, I felt alone and horny again. Alone in my horniness. It felt awful.

Then his text came through with the dimensions and my first thought was, That can't be right. But I knew that Edward wouldn't lie or exaggerate about this. And that meant…those were the numbers, plain and simple. So much for not putting my virgin self through it. Jesus.

Now that I knew what I was substituting, the pool of eligible dildos narrowed considerably. My natural inclination was just to choose the cheapest one and be done with the whole business. It was a purple latex thing that would have looked nonthreatening if not for how veiny it was. Yet, my eye kept dropping to the bottom right of the page and the advertisement for a glass dildo. That glass would be closer in feel and weight to Edward's body than the latex was a thought that wouldn't leave me alone.

I was being ridiculous. What did it matter what the dildo was made of and how it felt? It was meant to serve a singular purpose and it didn't need to resemble Edward in any way other than size to accomplish that. If it weren't for the fact that the idea had always weirded me the hell out, I would just go downstairs and grab something from the produce drawer in the fridge like other girls I'd heard talking from time to time and get it over with. This wasn't about Edward or having something like him as the first thing inside me. I would experience the real thing soon enough.

But I chose the glass dildo anyway.

If Alice raised an eyebrow at my selection she didn't voice it. All she said was that she had taken the liberty of ordering me some lube as well, which was probably a good idea.

The package arrived the following Monday in the middle of a torrential summer rainstorm while Charlie was, thank God, at work. Especially because I didn't realize it had been dropped off right away and it sat on the stoop for two hours before I found it. Luckily, the box had been wrapped in a weatherproof bag. In my room, seated on my bed, I nervously opened the package. Out tumbled a—frankly giant—clear glass dildo, hermetically sealed in a plastic shell, and a bottle of lube that looked half frozen.

I knew there was no rush. The wedding was still two weeks away, and I had plenty of time to plan this, to prepare myself. But the house would be empty for the next five hours. Edward and his family were away hunting. This was as good an opportunity as any. Besides, I admitted, my eyes lingering on the dildo…maybe I wanted to. Maybe I was ready.

Call me paranoid, but first I locked the front door and then my bedroom door as well. Just in case. I also closed my curtains and taped a piece of paper in my window that said NOT RIGHT NOW in Sharpie. No one was supposed to be coming by, but I had more than one person in my life who thought it was perfectly fine to come through my bedroom window at all hours unannounced and I wasn't taking any chances. I'd masturbated in this house before, countless times, but this felt different. Usually I was in the shower or under the covers and I could be quick or stealthy if the circumstances required. I had a feeling what I was about to do would require more commitment than that. I would probably have to dedicate some time. I should probably get naked.

After cutting the dildo from its shell with the scissors from my desk, I did so. The cool air of my bedroom raised gooseflesh on my arms and made my nipples tighten. My first thought was to get under the covers after all. The glass cock rolled toward me across the quilt as I climbed onto the bed, stopping only when it encountered my knee.

I gasped. It was ice cold.

That wasn't surprising given that it had spent the day on a delivery truck and then outside my house in the rain. I picked up the dildo and studied the lines of it. It had veins, too, just like the latex one I had considered, though not as many, and there was an intimidating-looking head mushrooming at the top. I marveled as I turned it over, as it caught and refracted the light from the lamps beside my bed and the fairy lights along the ceiling.

In spite of its size, I felt my pussy clenching with anticipation. I knew that was just foolhardiness, though. Its eyes were too big for its stomach. I'd never been brave enough to so much as push a finger up inside me, let alone something the size of my wrist. Up till now, masturbation had just entailed playing with my clit. How could I want something I had no context for, something I knew would probably hurt? I did though. My skin was humming and my uneven breathing was loud in my ears.

I moved to reposition myself on the bed so that I might lie back against my pillows, but in the process I lost my grip on the dildo and it rolled down my torso before I caught it. A startled cry wracked my body as I squirmed against the cold. The sensation was like a giant ice cube rolling down my skin. My nipples clenched so tight, it was almost painful. Pursuing this line of exploration, with a trembling hand, I pressed the tip of the dildo to the tip of one of my breasts. The feeling was so intense, I whimpered. It didn't feel good, per se—it sort of hurt actually, but my nerves were overloaded in a way my body translated as pleasurable.

Flopping to the bed, with my head on my pillow, my free hand went right between my legs. Biting my lip and feeling slightly weird about it, I teased my nipples with the icy cock, back and forth. My hips involuntarily bucked against my hand. How had I never noticed before how sensitive my breasts were? My clitoris was starting to become slick with my juices and I knew I would have to take the leap soon and penetrate myself with my fingers. I couldn't go from nothing to this giant glass monstrosity—there was no way.

The thought of trying to force this cock inside me should fill me with dread, but it didn't. The walls inside me were clenching in on themselves, feeling hopelessly empty. At least the glass was smooth—that should help. I took a bracing breath and pressed a finger inside of me. It wasn't as natural as I hoped, taking one or two tries before I found the true opening, my fingernail scraping against the tender skin on the way in. The sensation was more alien and less pleasant than I was expecting, with twinges of discomfort even, but I was determined and kept going. I moved my finger in and out, trying an angle or two. Gradually, it became more natural. Rubbing my thumb against my clit as I moved helped a lot, so did continuing to drag the cold dildo across my nipples, and I graduated to two fingers.

My eyes fell closed and I concentrated on the way it felt to have something inside me at long last, the way it felt to rub my skin with the glass cock. I realized that I was moving the dildo in such a way as to mimic thrusting against my body. I even did it against my face. The bulbous head and veiny underside moved up and down my cheek, across my lips, along the side of my nose. I pretended to myself that it was Edward, naked above me and rubbing his cock against my face, maybe even pinning me down while he did it.

Three fingers and now I was moaning and jerking.

I teased my lips with the head of the cock. My tongue extended and I licked, then kissed, wishing it was him so badly it hurt.

And then I had an unwelcome epiphany that my sexuality was something different than I'd always assumed it was. I was not a girl who was attracted to a boy who happened to be a vampire. No, things that should be off-putting—the danger, his strength and power in comparison to mine, his icy, hard skin—were turning me on. I was a twisted little freak.

The packaging for my dildo had warned that the glass could be unpleasantly cold and suggested warming it up with body heat before use. But I knew I wouldn't and I knew why. The cock was warming up the more I handled it and rubbed it against my skin, but that thought only made me desperate to hurry up.

I wanted it cold when I pushed it inside of me.

Sacrificial Maidenhead

I remember crying alone on my bed after my first penetrative orgasm. It was too much—an overwhelming emotional riptide that pulled me under.

When I admitted to myself that I wanted the dildo to still be cold when I pushed it inside of me, I became frantic. It tried to do it immediately, withdrawing my fingers to make way. But it didn't want to go in, even after I had stretched myself with three fingers. I fumbled for the bottle of lube and opened it too quickly. Gobs of it exploded out, freezing and wet, all over my chest and stomach. I gasped, first because it felt cold, and then because it felt naughty. I slathered the dildo in the lube and tried again.

This time, the glass cock head broke through. I pushed, fighting the tightness, feeling my insides give ground, the burning stretch. It hurt, rather badly actually, but it was also satisfying in a way I had not expected and could not explain. I shivered as the cold glass went all the way up inside me, sending a chill through my bones. I moved it back and forth, in and out. I expected the pain to go away, but it didn't. Not completely. Instead the pleasure grew alongside it, twined with it. With my free hand, I rubbed my clitoris in circles. The combination was something I had never felt before, and it was too intense.

I don't know if the orgasm was really any better than ones I had felt before, or if it was just so different, so devastating, in every sense of the word, that it redefined the concept. If I had to describe it, I think all I'd be able to say is that it was big. More. Too much.

And then I cried. I cried because it had been so strange and unexpected, such a complex arrangement of physical sensations and emotions that I couldn't make sense of the experience. I cried because I had gained awareness of a part of myself that I didn't understand yet. But mostly, I cried because I was alone in my room. I had gone through this by myself. He wasn't here.

After I cried myself dry, I cleaned up the mess and took a shower. Things looked clearer after I washed the lube from my hair and my practical side asserted itself. I had stepped into the tub with a vow that the glass dildo would be going right into the trash. It had served its purpose. But I emerged more curious than wounded, and the dildo found a home in the back of my closet rather than the garbage can.

Edward came by that night, home early from his hunt and unable to spend even a single night away from me. I curled up to his body and confessed that my package had arrived and I had used it. He tried to remain impassive at the news, but I caught him sniffing the air and it made me throb between my legs despite an intense soreness that was growing by the hour. His eyes darkened. I felt him shift position on the blanket and realized it was to angle an erection away from me.

For a split second, I considered trying to seduce him. I didn't care how sore I was—I wanted that same experience from earlier, but with him. What would it be like if the aftermath was intimacy rather than loneliness? I tried to picture the difference his arms around me would make, and nothing had ever sounded more appealing. But ultimately, I decided against it. Seducing Edward was a no-win situation. Either I succeeded and then I'd feel guilty for not respecting his wish to wait for our wedding night. Or worse, he would withstand my seduction, again, and I would have to live with another rejection. I wasn't sure if my self-esteem or my heart could take that. I'd rather not know.

Besides, only two more weeks. I pulled his body closer, nestling my head into his chest and ignoring the discomfort of having such a hard pillow. It would be different, I reassured myself, once we were married. He'd show affection and desire more freely. Sex would bring us closer rather than being this awkward gulf between us. I would never have to feel this way again.

Over the next week and a half, I did experiment with the dildo a few more times, always with intense results. None as emotionally wrenching as that first one, but big nonetheless. I came to manage the size better, minimizing the discomfort. I embraced the pervert in me and put the dildo in the fridge before every use—there was no one for me to pretend to, and I knew what I wanted. I just couldn't have him yet.

Mostly, I imagined he was there, that it was him I was feeling thrust inside me. Sometimes I pretended that he was in the rocking chair, watching me in the shadows, and for some reason that visual drove me insane. I wanted it so badly I actually waffled about proposing it to him. It wasn't sex, not technically. But something told me Edward would see it as such. He'd never even slipped his hand inside my panties because he saw that as over the line. Perhaps I would have been able to convince him, but shyness over performing for him in that way and fear of rejection kept me silent. Instead, I revisited my mental library of old, well-worn fantasies, the ones that had fueled my self-explorations since I met him. I confined my wantonness to my own head.

As I crossed off the days, I became wrought with anticipation. Soon. Soon, at long last, finally, Edward would make love to me.

Floating Feathers

I wish I remembered every detail of my wedding night, but the honest truth is that some of it is a blur, and some of it seems distorted—as though I experienced it through a filter of such intense emotion that I can't trust my memory. It was like that even before I turned. I know it was heaven. I know it was everything I wanted, but sometimes I doubt the details.

As I showered and prepared myself to join him on the beach, I worried that he would take my nerves as a sign that we shouldn't have sex after all, and remember thinking, rather hysterically, that it might actually kill me if he called it off.

"I promised we would try," he reminded me as we stood close together, naked, waist deep in the warm Brazilian ocean under the moonlight. "If...if I do something wrong, if I hurt you, you must tell me at once."

I nodded, agreeing, but I didn't let the words sink in because I didn't want to consider whether or not I was lying. Once we started, once his hands were actually on me and we were skin to skin, I wasn't sure I would be capable of asking him to stop. Unless something went very wrong. But I knew what he was saying was important to him. He could only do this if he believed I would be safe.

"Don't be afraid," I reassured him, my hand on his chest. I focused on what I knew to be true. "We belong together."

"Forever," he agreed, and I was calmed by his love, by the ring on my finger and the promises he made me as he slipped it into place.

He led me deeper into the water rather than back toward the beach. When I asked, of course his reason was consideration for me.

"The warm water will help keep you relaxed," he said, pushing wet tendrils of my hair off my face.

The thought made my mouth suddenly dry. I had imagined losing my virginity in a bed. Mine, his, a cot in the camping display at the back of Newton's Olympic Outfitters—I wasn't picky. I had imagined losing it in our meadow on a blanket of ferns and wildflowers, under the sunshine or in the rain. On the plush rug on his bedroom floor to a soundtrack of classical music. Hell, once I had a vivid dream I had lost it in a feverish frenzy in the back of his Volvo. But never had I imagined losing my virginity in the ocean.

My awareness of the water against my skin, the way it rocked and stroked with the waves, shot up. The nervous, tingling heat between my legs that had been with me for the past hour detonated into something positively molten. My knees wobbled and I could feel how pink my cheeks were.

Edward lunged as though he was worried I was going to somehow trip and fall in chest-deep water, catching me against his body. I gasped. He was cool and hard and so, so naked. The last of these was overwhelming in a way that stunned me, threatened to overload my senses and make me numb. I fought against that, needing more than anything to remain present in my body. I had waited for this, dreamed of it, for so long.

My nipples were hard and the temperature of his skin made them tighten even harder, until the feeling of my breasts being pressed to his chest was almost painful. His cool skin made me hyper-aware of my nudity, and his strong arms locked me in place against him. Most significantly, I could feel his cock pressed into my hip, and it was…he was…erect.

"Bella," his brows pulled together. "Are you all right?"

I became aware that I was trembling and my breathing was completely erratic, like I was hyperventilating. I tried to answer, but forming words was taking longer than usual and he jumped the gun.

Shaking his head, he said, "We don't have to do anything you're not ready for, Bella. Let me get you back to the house."

"No!" I burst out at the same time as he pivoted toward the shore, and his thigh slipped between my legs. His hard muscle bashed into and then settled against my clit. I moaned loudly and then squirmed, hips pulsing.

He studied me, perplexed for a fraction of a second, and then I watched the realization dawn in his eyes.

"I'm not scared, I'm just…" I faltered at saying the words out loud.

"Aroused," he finished for me quietly.

I was going to go with crazy fucking horny, but yeah, that worked.

"So, you're feeling all right?" he clarified.

I nodded.

"And you'd like to keep going?"

"Please." I hadn't meant for the word to sound so pathetic.

His expression filled with tenderness and he cupped my cheek. I leaned forward, raising on the tips of my toes in the soft sand, to meet his kiss. It was so loving, but there was also an unfamiliar undercurrent of passion that crackled and hummed.

I clutched at his gorgeous body, deepening the kiss. Shamefully, I was unable to keep myself from literally humping his leg.

But some of my embarrassment sapped when he moaned into my mouth and his hands moved to grasp my waist, encouraging me. He…he was feeling this, too—finally. And, dear God, that was thrilling.

I'm not sure where I found the courage, but I took one of his hands and guided it from my waist and down, between his thigh and my pussy. He groaned and shuddered when he touched the folds of my entrance for the first time, felt how slick I was. It wasn't the water and I knew he could tell the difference.

"Lift me," I whispered, and he did.

I wrapped my arms around his neck and my legs around his waist while he held me. Placing my hand over his again, I led him back and I showed him what to do, how to touch. It seemed to turn him into a gibbering mess, especially when I guided his finger inside me.

"Bella." He buried his face in my neck. "Bella."

I felt brimming and whole. All my fears washed away. I wasn't by myself or ashamed anymore—he was right there with me, in every sense of the word.

I was ready, and the erection bobbing against my hip told me I wasn't the only one.

Nudging his fingers away, heart racing, I shifted my weight and repositioned myself over him. He froze when he realized what I was doing, eyes wide, but didn't stop me.

He was…so big. Even with all my practice with the glass dildo, the stretch and burn was more than I anticipated when I incrementally lowered myself onto him. Maybe he had undershot the girth measurement, or maybe the real thing was always different. We both cried out at the sensation—his a primal noise of shock and ecstasy that turned my limbs to jelly. His grip on my waist tightened, fingers digging into my flesh with a pressure I'd never felt before. His face fell forward into my chest as his body quivered.

"Oh God, Bella. Bella…God, oh God," he muttered into my skin.

I panted at the intensity of his reaction, my arms around him, my fingers in his hair, waves crashing into us. I reveled in the feeling of having him inside me. I thought I'd felt full with the dildo but, no, this was different. This was fullness on an emotional level. A spiritual, metaphysical fullness. I was filled not with mere stuff, but with him—he was inside me, surrounding me, with me. I didn't want to cry—I wanted to whoop and yell to the moon.

"I…" he gasped. "I didn't mean for us to…." He swallowed and lifted his head off my chest to look up at me. His golden eyes were bright in the moonlight. "I didn't think we'd have sex out here, in the water."

"No?" I asked, still dizzy with my emotional high.

He shook his head. "I thought there would be some foreplay. I would gradually prepare you, and then we would go back to the bed for…for the…."

My poor, old-fashioned boy was having a hard time getting the words out. But his erection throbbed inside me, ensuring I knew how he felt and what he wanted. If my traditionally-minded husband wanted to do this properly, in a bed, I didn't begrudge him that one bit.

Stroking the hair at his temple, I said, "Then take me to the bed, Edward."

He moaned.

Holding me securely, he walked us back to the beach, to the house. He was trying to jostle me as little as possible, and maybe that was for the best. His rock hard hip bones were already digging uncomfortably into my thighs, but I didn't really care. I anticipated that some of that was inevitable given how much denser his flesh was compared to mine. I didn't mind it anymore than I minded his body temperature—which is to say, I sort of got off on it a little. And what rocking there was while he walked felt delicious, felt like sex.

I was whimpering with pleasure by the time we made it to the bed, and I could feel my pussy clenching him in eager pulses. I was trembling.

He's going to make love to me. He's going to make love to me.

Gently, cradling me like I was precious cargo, Edward lowered us to the bed, arranged so that I was on top, straddling him. The change of angle made him somehow slide even deeper into me.

Raising up on one elbow and cradling my jaw in his hand, Edward kissed me. His voice pained and breathless, he said, "You dictate the pace, Bella love. Whatever you need."

God, did he have any idea the sheer scale of my need?

He was soon to find out. My self-consciousness fell by the wayside as my body took full control, everything it had pined and burned for since the moment I clapped eyes on Edward in its grasp. I started by rocking and squirming, unsure of motion or rhythm due to the newness of it all, but my movements became desperate and wanton almost immediately.

That's where things become hazy, an impressionistic watercolor of euphoria. I know I had more than one orgasm, but, insatiably, couldn't stop. I chased another, and another. I remember Edward's wide eyes as he watched me devolve into a creature of lust. I kissed him everywhere—everywhere I could reach while still keeping him sheathed inside me. I remember putting his hands on my breasts, repeatedly. I had to do it more than once because he kept worrying about squeezing too hard. Finally, I played with them myself, squeezed as hard as I wanted while he watched. I think he tore blankets, but I'm not sure.

I remember colors, white and blue and black and warm brown. Stars—outside the floor-to-ceiling windows that surrounded us, inside the lids of my eyes whenever a climax cleared a path of devastation through me. I was an animal of pleasure, with no other purpose or motive, and I was in the safety of his arms where I could indulge to my gluttonous contentment.

At the end, I think he rolled us over. I remember flashes of his body above mine, of him making noises I had never heard before or dreamed existed. I remember that, impossibly, making love with Edward had lived up to and surpassed my every hope and expectation. In my ecstasy, I was more than myself. I was him, too. And I remember floating bits of cloud all around us as we drifted through heaven.

I think they must have been feathers.

The First Disillusionment

In the morning, he took it all away from me.

He didn't erase it—he couldn't. It happened and nothing he could say would change that.

But his fixation on the bruises that had bloomed across my skin overnight couldn't help but cast a pall over the memory. I didn't mind them. As a perennial klutz, I always had a few bruises here and there. Half the time, I wasn't even sure where I got them. That morning, Edward took every last one with deadly seriousness, tracing the paths of his touch, the imprints of his fingers like he was reconstructing a crime scene.

It caused a fight at the time, but afterward my annoyance melted away. I couldn't really expect him to react differently. I knew who I had married and how seriously he took my safety. Eventually, I pieced together what was actually bothering me. It was the way he talked about our first time, the faces he made, the harshness of his tone.

He tried to convince me that it wasn't like that. It was the best night of his life. He insisted. I didn't have any reason not to believe him.

Except…the way he pulled away. The way he spoke with regret every time the subject of sex came up and swore he'd never touch me again until I was changed. He resisted my seductions just like the virginal Edward had, for weeks. Until I broke his resolve with tears.

Deep down, I knew that I never would have been able to speak about our wedding night the way he did. Even if our places were reversed and he had been the one hurt, I wouldn't have had it in me to regret it so much. I wouldn't have been able to resist him if he wanted me again regardless of the danger, either. Maybe that made me a worse person than him, less morally strong, but I already knew that.

I tried to remind myself that Edward and I were different people. We reacted to things in our own way. But I couldn't suppress the nasty little worry that our wedding night didn't mean the same to him as it did to me. Maybe he hadn't felt it—the transcendence, the complete, consuming intimacy. Maybe, regardless of how it had felt at the time, I had been as alone with him as I had been on my bed that day.

And just like that, all the loneliness and insecurities came crashing back.

Author's Note: We are getting started early on the angst with Bella, aren't we? I tried to lighten things up here and there though, and I hope we all had a good laugh imagining the look on Edward's face when he realized he just got a text message from Bella asking how big his dick is.

I did crib a few of Stephenie's lines from chapter 5 of Breaking Dawn, so giving credit there.

I want to thank everyone for reading, especially all of you who migrated over from the final installment of Ferns, and I extend a warm welcome to everyone new who stumbled upon this blind. Thank you all for giving this fic your time :)