Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the authors. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.
Thanks to Lakegirl for a great beta.
Over on the Lexicon, several of us have been debating exactly how far Edward and Bella could go v. how far they would go. No layer cakes what-so-ever, but plenty of donuts, Danish and éclairs, glazed and iced, but not on the same plate.
This honestly began as a little one-shot of Edward teasing Bella about reading Dracula. But the smut sort of took over.
"What are you reading?" Edward whispered. As usual, I hadn't heard him arrive. He tucked his shoes under the bed and lay beside me, wrapping one arm around my shoulder and placing his hand over mine. With his other hand, he gently rubbed my back. He kissed the back of my neck and peeked over me to glance at the book.
"Dracula?" he chuckled incredulously. "You're reading Dracula?"
I sighed. I had known this was coming. "I'm reviewing it. It was on the summer reading list for English. We'll be discussing it in class any day now. Have you even looked at it?"
"The book? Or the list?" He said with a certain nonchalance before he started kissing my neck again.
I turned to face him and rolled my eyes. "Either."
"I've read the book, of course. It was published well before I was born, but it was still rather scandalous in my youth. My mother wouldn't allow me to read it. She thought it was too violent. Also, by then, people had begun to make sexual associations with the story. She was afraid it would mark me somehow. Of course, she hadn't read it either. It was far to risqué for a woman of good breeding. At least, it was during the early 1900s." He smirked. "But Carlisle gave me a copy. I found it amusing."
He watched me carefully. "What do you think about it?"
I hesitated. "It wasn't exactly what I expected."
"How so?" he urged.
"Well, I've seen various movie versions. They basically fall into three categories," I explained. "Some are just ridiculous."
"Only some of them?" he asked with a grin.
"Don't be an obnoxious vampire." I tried to keep from laughing. It didn't work.
Contrite, he encouraged me, "Go on."
"In others, Dracula is handsome, sexy; more a hero than a villain." More like you. I paused and glanced at him. "I mean, why on earth would Mina want Jonathan Harker when Dracula is so clearly superior?"
"Dracula is always a villain, Bella," Edward spoke softly.
"Not in the movies, he's not. Sometimes he's a lover," I argued, blushing. A grin spread across his face. "But then there are the movies where he is. The villain, I mean. They always show some bald, skull-headed creature with enormous fangs. The sort of person you would know right off just isn't your average human. Jonathan Harker would have had to have been a total idiot not to scream and run when he first saw him."
Edward's voice was sarcastic, "One would think that anyone would scream and run when they meet a vampire."
I ignored him, just as I had when he'd urged me to do exactly that, well, at least the running part. And partly because the other vampires I'd met – James' coven, the Volturi – did make me want to scream and run. "But the book falls somewhere in-between. I mean, Dracula's certainly not sexy, but apparently he's not absolutely repulsive, either. A little strange-looking, perhaps, what with the pointed ears and hairy palms, but not so much you'd look at him and say, 'Not human.'" I shook my head and shrugged. "But the female vampires. They always seem to be attractive. What's up with that? It doesn't seem fair to the guys."
"I wouldn't know. The only woman who's ever interested me is human. She just wants to be a vampire," he teased as he resumed kissing my neck.
I rolled my eyes. "It was a rhetorical question."
"Hmmm," Edward murmured. He kissed me below my ear. "How far have you read?"
"Well, I'm in chapter five, where Lucy is writing to Mina about Godalming, Morris and Seward all proposing to her. Seward is kind of creepy, playing with that knife while he proposes. Speaking of making people want to run." I shuddered. "At least it did make her want to scream."
"Are you sure it wasn't the proposal that upset you?" he asked with mock seriousness. I was about to protest when he continued, "Most people don't notice how creepy Seward is. That's quite observant of you. But then, that's typical." Edward snickered. "You're less frightened of the vampire monster than the human monster." He pulled me closer to him and kissed my forehead. He could make me want to scream when he kissed me like that.
Something he'd said intrigued me. I tried to imagine Edward as a real seventeen-year-old. "Wait. Your mother really wouldn't let you read it?" I asked.
He stopped kissing me and shook his head as he ran his thumb over my cheek.
"And now it's required reading for school," I laughed quietly. "Do we seem completely depraved to you?"
"Times have changed," he said softly, still brushing my cheek gently. "Sometimes it's embarrassing. Other times, I'm really glad."
"Which times are which?"
"It's embarrassing when I hear some of the things men say to women. Or about them. Or even around them. It's disrespectful. My parents taught me that, and Carlisle believes that respecting women is important, as well. And it's really embarrassing to hear the things people think but won't say. If you could hear what some of the guys at school think about." He shook his head. "No. Actually, I'm glad you can't hear it." His forehead wrinkled as he spoke. "I'd hate for you to have to listen to that."
I waited for him to continue, but he didn't speak. Finally I asked, "And the times you're glad?"
Edward gazed into my eyes. "When I'm with you." He paused and gave me a guilty look. "I know that by modern standards we've done nothing improper." He seemed more than a little uncomfortable. "When I was alive, holding you, touching you, kissing you – it would have been outrageous and disgraceful behavior. And for me to be alone with you, in your bedroom or anywhere else, it would have been considered shocking and shameful. Although I'm sure Charlie wouldn't be too thrilled with it even now, come to think of it."
Now I was starting to feel uncomfortable. Was Edward ashamed of our relationship? "Does that make me disgraceful and shameful?"
"Never!" He barely let me finish before he responded. "Bella, never. You say the most absurd things sometimes. Things were so different then. People believed that women who wore their hair down in public were indecent. The rules were so arbitrary. You are extraordinary, and you would be in any time period." He cupped my face in his hands and kissed me, his cold lips pressed against mine. Before I could react, he ended the kiss, but he still held me close. He traced my lips with his fingertips as he spoke. "And I like feeling a little scandalous. At least, I do if I'm with you. I've never felt so… so human before. At least, not since I was human."
"So you feel scandalous with me?" Scandalous. I kind of like that.
He gave me a curious look that was somewhere between naughty and sheepish and nodded.
"I suppose that it might raise some eyebrows if anyone knew that you spend almost every night with me. But I don't think anyone, even Charlie, would think twice about anything else we've done."
Edward averted his eyes and dropped his hand from my face. "I know where those lines used to be when I was alive, but I had no reason to care about them then. I have absolutely no idea where they are now. Somewhere between 1918 and Hollywood. I've thought about what we've done – and what we might do…but…" he struggled awkwardly and his voice faded.
But what? I don't think I'd ever heard him sound so meek and uncertain. "So you've set the boundaries where they are out of consideration for my honor?"
"Most of them," he admitted. "Some of the boundaries are to keep you safe."
"But there are other things you've thought about doing? Things you want to do?" I held my breath. Every time I had tried to bring up this subject before, he'd found a way to change it. I'd always let it go because I knew how worried he was about hurting me. Plus, part of me was a little afraid to find out once and for all if he actually wanted me. But now…I had to know.
"Bella, I want you in every way. Even ways that I know I can't have you." Suddenly, he seemed to comprehend. He cupped my face in his hands and his voice dropped to the barest whisper. "Are you saying that you want to change the boundaries?"
I wasn't sure of the best way to respond. My answer was a resounding "yes," but I didn't want to scare him off or embarrass him by being too forward. "Do you remember the first time you kissed me?" I asked carefully.
"Of course I do. How could I forget that?"
"I already had fewer boundaries than you did."
I saw his jaw clench. "That boundary isn't going to change, Bella. You know why."
"I was just using it as an example. There are other boundaries."
"Such as?" He eyed me speculatively.
I smiled. "Like this one. Lie back and relax, like you did that day in the meadow." I was clearly going to have to lead the way here. I still wasn't sure how much of his reaction was reluctance and how much was the same nervousness that I felt.
Edward rolled cautiously onto his back. He watched as I unbuttoned his shirt and pulled it open, exposing his chest. I grazed my hands over his muscles. His eyes grew wide when I straddled him. "Bella," he stammered nervously as I traced the shape of his abdominal muscles. I felt nervous, too, but I didn't want him to know just how nervous I felt.
"Shhh. Relax," I said with far more confidence than I felt. I placed my hands on either side of his torso and ran them up to his chest. He didn't take his eyes off my face. I pushed the sleeves down his arms and twined my fingers with his. I leaned toward him and let my hair fall against him, brushing his skin. He gasped as I exhaled against his chest. I breathed in his scent and kissed him. Not a chaste kiss. I caressed his body with my lips and tracked his muscles with my tongue. I knew this was safe. He couldn't argue so far.
He brought one of my hands to his lips and kissed each finger, then my wrist.
I raised my head and looked into his eyes. "I like that."
"And I like that," he whispered, his voice husky.
I sat up again, watching his expression. I swallowed, thinking about what I wanted to do next. He watched me carefully, contemplating my every move. I know what I'd like to do. I took a slow, calming breath and crossed my arms to grab the hem of my pajama shirt. I pulled it over my head and tossed it on the floor. I held my breath waiting for his response.
Edward blinked in disbelief and opened his mouth but didn't make a sound. He lay absolutely still and stared. I'm pretty sure he stopped breathing. I swallowed nervously. I wasn't sure if his reaction was a good thing or a bad thing. My cheeks burned and I dropped my head.
"Bella," he finally whispered. "Is this your boundary?"
"Is this where you want my boundary to be?"
He hesitated before answering. Finally, he spoke, "No. But I don't want you to do something you don't want to do." He placed his thumb under my chin and lifted my face. His eyes pleaded with me. "You're blushing."
I laughed nervously. "This is … awkward. It's what I want, but I'm not sure about your response."
His mouth formed a perfect little "O" and he asked, "What is it about my response that makes you uncertain?"
"You seemed so shocked. I was afraid I'd gone too far."
A smile flickered across his face. "Shocked? No. Awed? Yes."
"Awed?" I repeated.
He nodded. "Isabella Marie Swan. Do you have no idea how exquisite you are?"
His words took my breath away. He kept his mouth closed this time, but he still stared. Cautiously, he raised his hands. "May I?"
"I think that's the point," I grinned.
Gently, he placed his hands at my waist. His thumbs circled the soft flesh of my abdomen. He breathed deeply. I knew he was inhaling my scent. He raised his hands slowly; their coolness set a wave of prickles across my skin. He cupped my breasts in his hands, stroking them with his thumbs. I gasped.
He jerked his hands away. "Did that hurt?"
I smiled and shook my head. My blush deepened. I took his hands in mine and brought them back to my breasts. It occurred to me that now I was imprinted on his perfect memory, like a photograph, only more private.
"You look pensive. What are you thinking?"
My face burned. "That there has to be a point when I can't blush any redder."
He laughed. "I'm quite partial to you blushing. It's beautiful." He lifted one hand to stroke my cheek. "You're beautiful," he whispered before dropping his hand back to my torso. He couldn't stop touching me, and his touch made my nerves tingle. I wondered if this was the way warmth affected Edward.
"One of the reasons you like the meadow on sunny days is because the heat warms you, right? You bask in the sun and feel warm?" I asked. He nodded, and I leaned forward, pressing my body against his as he wrapped his arms around me. I wanted the warmth to seep from my skin into his. I knew he could hear my heart beating, feel my pulse against his chest. I inhaled, drawing his scent deep into my lungs. "Is it the same when I make you feel warm?
"It's not the same at all. It's much better," he murmured. "I don't believe I've ever felt this warm. You can't begin to imagine what this feels like."
"Describe it for me."
He shook his head. "I have no idea what to compare it to. I certainly can't remember anything from my human life to compare to this."
I waited for more.
"Maybe this will help. My sense of touch, like my other senses, is heightened. Think of how it feels when I touch you. Then multiply that exponentially. And that's just how it feels wherever you're touching me. There's also the way you feel. The softness of your body. The shape of your body. Then add my other senses, smelling your scent, seeing how beautiful you are, hearing your voice, your heartbeat. I guess you could call it sensory overload." He sighed and shuddered.
"Would it still feel this good – if I were a vampire?"
"It would feel…different. And not so warm." He paused. "I think it would feel just as good. But for other reasons."
I kissed his chest again and decided to be daring. I knew I had to be careful—I didn't want to chip a tooth—and he could probably barely feel what I was doing, anyway, but I was curious…
"Did you just bite me?"
"Just because you won't bite me doesn't mean I can't bite you," I teased.
"Please, do it again."
I did. I bit his chest. I bit his shoulders. His neck. His cheeks. His ears. I even bit his nose. I bit the inside of his elbow. His wrists. His fingers. Then I started all over again. The irony did not escape me.
He touched me the whole time. His body seemed to vibrate against mine and he moaned softly. His fingers skipped over my body; his lips crushed into my skin. I rocked against him. Even that felt good. For both of us, apparently.
Suddenly, he was on his knees, cradling me in his lap. "Too far?" I breathed, wondering what had triggered his reaction.
"Just…" he said as he exhaled slowly. "Just a surprisingly immediate response. I needed more control." He looked sadly into my eyes. "I don't want to hurt you, Bella. I'd never forgive myself."
"Is this our new boundary?" I asked cautiously. I was happy and more than a little surprised he'd let things get this far. I couldn't really complain if this was as far as he was willing to go. Even so, I wanted more.
He pondered a moment then shook his head. "I don't think it has to be." He smiled. "Trust me?"
"Then let's try this." He rolled me upright, my back curved against him. We both knelt, his legs on either side of mine, as he kissed my shoulder. I felt my heart slamming in my chest and wondered if he could feel it, too. I tilted my head back and swallowed. His fingers ran lightly over my throat and down my breastbone. My breasts felt tight, and I struggled to breathe. His touch felt incredibly delicate. I reached behind me to touch him, my fingers in his hair. I grew dizzy from the smell of his breath. He pressed his hands against my breasts, to my sides, over my hips and down my thighs. I felt his coolness through my pajama bottoms.
"Don't stop," I whispered. "Please, don't stop."
He didn't understand. He ran his hands over my body and down my legs again. I placed my hands over his, guiding them back up the inside of my thighs. I twined my fingers with his and slipped them under the band of my pajama bottoms. "Don't stop."
He hesitated. "Bella, are you sure about this?"
"I've already told you that you could have my soul. My body is nothing compared to that." I pushed my pajama bottoms over my hips and wriggled them off to make it clear just how sure I was.
"I wouldn't say your body is nothing," he said solemnly. "In fact, I'd say it's most definitely a masterpiece. A work of art." He stroked me as he spoke, his fingers disappearing between my slick folds. He breathed deeply and I wondered if the scent he smelled on me now was different or just more intense. I'd ask later because I didn't want to interrupt him. His hands played against my flesh, their gentle coolness creating a burning deep inside me. The warmth spread in waves through my body. I gasped and shivered.
"Cold?" he whispered. Before I could answer he'd snatched up his shirt and slipped my arms into it.
I laughed. "I wasn't cold." Not anywhere near cold. More like on fire.
His brow wrinkled for a moment; then he smiled in understanding, clearly pleased with himself. He rolled me back to cradle me in his arms then cupped his hand to my cheek. "I love you," he breathed into my ear before he kissed my neck. "I love you." He looked into my eyes and smiled that incredible smile, and I thought my heart might burst.
It suddenly occurred to me that I was draped, naked, across his lap. That fact hadn't escaped him, though. He took in every inch of my body, his nimble fingers caressing me, exploring me, his expression reverent. I blushed and leaned my head against his chest to hide my face. "Don't be embarrassed, Bella. You're beautiful," he assured me.
"It's just not fair," I complained as I raised my eyes to his.
A puzzled look crossed his face. "What's not fair?"
I smiled sweetly at him. "I'm naked and you're still wearing your clothes."
"You are wearing my shirt." He smiled possessively and reached underneath me to tug on the shirttails. I could tell he liked his shirt on me. To tell the truth, I liked his shirt on me, too. I planned on keeping it to sleep in on the nights he hunted.
"But it's unbuttoned. It doesn't count." I ran my hand over his chest and squirmed to face him again. He cupped my breasts in his hands and leaned forward, kissing one and then the other. "I like that," I sighed. I REALLY liked that. "But you're still going to have to get naked."
I slipped my fingers under his waistband and found the button on his jeans, catching him by surprise. I could feel him straining against the denim as I unzipped the zipper. I raised one hand and gave him a little push square in the middle of his chest, and he lay back on the bed. I caught his eyes as I struggled to pull his jeans over his hips. He smirked and raised his butt to make it easier. I tugged them the rest of the way down his legs and tossed them on the floor with my pajamas. Then I pulled off his socks.
It occurred to me that I'd never seen his legs before. I knew he looked fine in his blue jeans, but I wasn't prepared for the sculpted runner's calves or the defined muscles of his thighs. The dark blue boxer-briefs didn't hide anything. I bushed again, remembering what he'd said to me that first night in my room. 'I may not be human, but I am a man.'
"What are you thinking?" he asked.
I wasn't about to tell him what I was really thinking. I raised my eyebrows and said, "That answers the boxers or briefs question."
"You only had to ask. I'd have told you." He chuckled, and then added, "Sometimes I do wear boxers."
"Ever go commando?"
He raised his eyebrows, apparently surprised by my forward question. "People haven't always worn underwear, you know. And for many years, the purpose of underwear was to keep your clothes clean enough to wear them longer. If you had enough clothes, you didn't need underwear."
"That doesn't answer my question. Ever go commando?"
He sighed. "Always, until Alice started buying my clothes." He shrugged. "Sometimes I still do. Old habits die hard."
"Alice dresses you, too?" I giggled.
He grinned. "Right now, I'm more interested in you undressing me."
"Are you, now?" I teased. I pulled the hem of his underwear. Again, he raised his butt so I could pull them off. Then he lay still. Michelangelo's David would never look the same to me again. Not after seeing Edward's physical perfection. What I wouldn't give for my own perfect vampire memory bank.
Until this point, I'd been acting on instinct. But now I felt – uncertain about what to do next. I'd never touched anyone like this before. It was different, somehow, than being touched. And he was so good at that. I breathed deeply. At least I can't hurt him. I started tentatively at his feet. I'd seen his feet before; his slender, long white toes. My hands roamed slowly up his ankles and over his calves. He closed his eyes and sighed. My hands crept over his thighs.
He hummed. Really hummed. Soft, low, beautiful. I relaxed and slid my hands higher so I could grab his butt. He raised his head and opened his eyes, grinning as he watched me.
I bit him again, all along his inner thigh. His stomach contracted, and he exhaled. I ran my tongue upward from his knee. "You taste as good as you smell," I whispered.
His laughter had an edge to it. "And you talk about me not being fair…"
I ignored him and switched thighs. This time I kept going. I exhaled slowly, my breath warming his skin. Then I used my tongue, licking from the base to the tip of his penis. He gasped, and I felt his whole body jerk.
"Bella," he stammered. "You don't have to…"
When I glanced up, he was almost sitting, his arms supporting him. "Shhhhh…" I reached my hand up to cover his mouth. It gave me an instant to make sure I wasn't shaking. He fell silent, but he didn't lie back. He watched me carefully, his eyes disbelieving as I explored him, feeling his hardness.
Question after question about vampire physiology ran through my mind. Since he was like marble to begin with, was this an erection or just his normal state? How would I know the difference? If there was a difference. One thing I knew: he didn't feel like marble in my mouth.
I slid my hands over his hips and down to his thighs, raking what little fingernails I had over his flesh. I felt his legs tremble on either side of me. Could he be as nervous right now as I am? Or did I cause that to happen? He touched my head, and his fingers caught briefly in my hair before he gasped and pulled his hand away. I did. I caused him to tremble. I felt a little more confident, so I slipped one hand underneath, searching. I found his testicles and squeezed them together. He raised his hips. I arched my neck so I could take him as deeply as possible in my mouth. Okay, so I feel a lot more confident.
Suddenly, I found myself lying on the bed beside him as he gasped and shuddered. I reached for him and he whispered, "No, Bella. Wait."
So I watched him. I watched as his muscles quivered uncontrollably. I watched as he closed his eyes and ground his teeth together to keep from crying out. I did that. I caused him to feel like that. I watched as his arms relaxed and he lowered his body onto the bed and lay very still beside me. I waited until he inhaled and opened his eyes.
He twined his fingers around mine and gave me a somber look. "I think I lost control," he whispered. He scanned my face and body for injuries. "Are you hurt?" I shook my head. A relieved smile crossed his face.
I curled onto my side and reached to run my free hand through the glistening fluid on his pale skin. He grabbed my wrist before I could touch him. "No, Bella."
"Why not?" I asked, confused.
He held my hand to my face. "Your fingernails are bitten to the quick, and that's venom. I don't think it would change you, but I'm not taking any chances. And for once, you don't want to, either. It would be such a tiny amount into your bloodstream that the transformation would be long and painful."
"That's venom?" I asked, incredulous.
"If you could see the look on your face right now," he laughed quietly. "Yes, Bella, that's venom. Venom replaces all of a vampire's body fluids."
"Oh," I murmured. "I had no idea."
"And I had no idea that you would be willing to…" He paused, his brow furrowing as he searched for words. "…Expand our new boundaries to that point. I am …surprised."
"Surprised?" I repeated nervously.
He nodded. "Pleasantly surprised, but surprised none-the-less. That was amazing." He sighed. "You are amazing." He rolled onto his side to face me. His gaze held me and we lay there silently until he kissed my neck, just under my ear. His lips grazed over my body, kissing me randomly. Well, mostly randomly. I felt my nipples stiffen under his kisses. Once more, he lifted me into his arms, this time, raising my legs and nudging them apart so he could kiss my thighs. He tilted his head back, closed his eyes and breathed deeply. He placed his lips against my tender flesh and looked at me sorrowfully. "It's too dangerous. I can't …" he whispered.
Damn his teeth. I'd give anything for a real kiss. I smiled and guided his hand between my legs. "I know. We'd have a hard time explaining that particular bite to your family."
Tenderly, he stroked his fingers against my skin. I raised my hips to him, enjoying the way it made my stomach flutter. He used his thumb to caress and explore blindly while he kissed me. His thumb found its mark, pressing against my nub. Edward was always thorough, and this time was no exception. My body absolutely throbbed at his touch. I felt burning pleasure race over and over again along every tendril of nerves. It was all I could do to remember to breathe as my body undulated wildly against his. I felt a scream rising in my throat and I sank my teeth into his shoulder to silence myself. He sighed as I bit him, murmuring, "Harder, Bella. Please."
Was that a quiver I heard in his voice? Did I really have that affect on him? Then his body shuddered against mine. Finally, we lay silently in each others' arms, him not breathing at all, me gasping for every breath.
Once I found my voice, I whispered, "You're good at this too, you know. In fact, if Dracula was anywhere near as good at this as you are, I can understand why Mina would overlook his physical imperfections." I grinned.
Edward shook his head. "Silly Bella. I love you. Truly, I do."