The Game of Control

A/N: I don't own these characters, clearly! I am also working on a prequel to this fic, if anybody's interested. I'd appreciate any feedback you have, good or bad.

Oh, and in my world? The whole "venomous fluids" thing is not an issue! So, in that sense, it's AU. And Edward's biggest fear is simply losing control of the monster within!

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If he'd just give in and change her, they could have sex. He knows this, has given it a lot of thought, as he does everything. When you don't sleep at night and your girlfriend prefers you curl up next to her until she falls asleep, you spend a lot of time thinking about the feel of her body next to yours, the scent of her hair, the warm blood coursing through her veins that you maybe could drink without killing her.

It's then that he starts to hate himself again. This isn't right, he knows this but he's weak and he can't stay away from her. He can't look into her eyes and watch her heart break again. And, if he were being really honest with himself, he'd admit he can't take it, either.

He found himself in the same place as he did every night. His arms around the one person in 100 years to bring light into the dark places of his dead heart, and yet he was terrified to follow through on the promise of her love. The thought of losing control and hurting her—at a moment when he should be giving her pleasure—stopped him cold every time.

He shifted slightly and stared at her face as she drifted off to sleep. She looked beautiful and felt so warm against his cool skin that he couldn't help but reach out and touch her face.

She didn't move at first, because his touch was light, less than a feather caressing her skin. His fingertips played over her cheeks and chin and to her neck…her delicious, intoxicating throat. She moaned slightly, feeling the slight pressure of his hands as he cupped her face. Her eyes opened sleepily and whispered his name, "Edward?" She wasn't afraid. Why is she never afraid? Why am I always afraid?

He leaned down and pressed his lips to hers and she opened under him, as usual, giving up every piece of herself to him willingly, happily. They kissed deeply, teasing each other with lips and tongues until she finally grazed his bottom lip with her teeth and an involuntary groan escaped his lips.

"Bella," he panted. He was on the edge of control, and knew he could easily rip her t-shirt off and have what he wanted. The thought of all that warm skin was too much for him and he sat up.

She followed him up, touching him. "Please don't, Bella."

"Edward, it's okay."

"No, it's not." He stood up and headed for the window. He was outside when she heard him say, "I'll be back in a little while. I need some air."

Bella leaned back on her pillow, her skin still hot and yet cool from his touch. His kisses made her ache. She wanted to feel his hands on her and sometimes laying next to him made it impossible to sleep. She's not sure he noticed but the thought that he could smell her arousal made her blush. Stupid vampire abilities and senses! Thank God he couldn't read her mind!

She wondered if during any of his late night visits—before she knew they were a regular thing—he'd seen or heard anything embarrassing. She blushed at the thought and closed her eyes.

Edward surely wasn't going to change her in the middle of the night at Charlie's house. She settled in and tried to go back to sleep.

He'd been working up to having sex but he didn't tell her that. He'd been kissing her each night before bed like he had that night of the first attempt. He would hold her close—face to face—and kiss her slowly, working his way to her neck and tonight he was down to her shoulders. She pressed up against him tightly, whispering his name, thick with longing, silently begging him to go further.

Nights passed and he was there again, tugging her thin t-shirt out of the way to kiss her soft flesh. Her hand was entwined in his messy black hair and her hips were pressed up to meet his. Instead of tugging her shirt down off her shoulder with his right hand, which he'd done before, he used his left hand to lift the shirt and splayed his hand across her stomach. His hand moved slowly across her flesh, until it came to rest between her breasts. He kissed her shoulder again, breathing in the scent of her and then lifted his head to kiss the soft skin on the spot between her breasts and stomach. He lifted his hand and gently touched the tip of her breast with his fingers. She bucked under him, excitement making her pulse race and her insides melt. He caught her scent, vital and alive, and it made him jump up to keep from hurting her. Or would he hurt her? He didn't know for sure and that was the scariest part.

She sat up, her shirt falling back down, her skin flush with heat from his touch. "I'm sorry," she said breathlessly.

"No, don't be. I'm the one who's sorry. This should be the most natural progression in the world and with me it's a series of frustrating half-starts."

"Edward," Bella offered, "This is what I want. I'm willing to take it slow for as long as it takes." Or until you change me, she added silently.

Edward left again. Bella knew he'd be back.

He'd grown accustomed to the scent of her. He'd asked her to do a series of embarrassing things, most recently, sleeping without panties. He had to get used to it. It was like her throat, only more so, especially after he kissed her and touched her under her t-shirt.

Tonight he was ready to take the next step and still maintain control. He was kissing her again, and she was responding in that ridiculously unguarded way she had. Her mouth opened under his eagerly, tiny sighs and moans escaping at the back of her throat. His hands played across the tips of her breasts. She whispered, "Yes." His right hand snaked down, slipping under her pajama bottoms, searing his own skin with the heat from her body. He cupped her bottom with his right hand and pulled her tighter against him. Her knee kicked up reflexively to rest on his hip. He pressed against her and she started to grind her hips into him. He moaned in surprised excitement.

Bella began to lose herself in the feeling and the scent of Edward's cool skin. Her hands moved from his hair to his shirt, pulling it off in an easy motion—once she disentangled his hands from her pants. His skin was smooth against hers and she reveled in the feel of his hard body. Lost in his own desire, Edward's hands slipped down to her waist and began pushing the terry material down Bella's narrow hips. His mouth never left hers, even as she gasped quietly once the pants were out of the way.

She kept her legs together, aware of the new territory they were entering. She briefly wondered if this heightened pleasure would mean a delay in her ultimate goal of becoming a vampire, but the thought went away when he reached between her legs to caress her.

Without thought, Bella's legs shifted open, allowing him access to this most intimate part of her anatomy. She couldn't think, so she let herself go as his hand found a gentle rhythm and took her away.

The ecstasy began to build and her cries of pleasure grew louder. Edward kissed her then and she broke apart under his hand, her moans of pleasure lost against his lips. He held her as she calmed. Bringing his hand up to her face he was intoxicated by her scent. He ran his finger over her lips and then gently kissed her.

Her hands were in his unkempt hair again and she whispered, "Edward, I want you so much." He sighed heavily and answered, "I want you, too, so badly."

It went like that for awhile, she lost track of the days, but he would come to her in the night, kiss her all over her upper body and use his hands to bring her release. Then he would kiss her goodnight. One night, he brought his still-wet fingers to her face and she grabbed his hand and slowly brought the fingers to her lips. She licked one finger shyly and then, growing bold, sucked on it eagerly. He stared at her in awe, wondering what she was going to do next. She placed his fingers against his lips and he let his tongue dart out, tasting the skin of her fingers and her own exceptional sweetness on his own fingers. He wondered briefly if he was going to pass out like she occasionally did.

"Edward," she said seriously. "I want to return the favor."

He didn't know what to say. He knew he should say no but he felt helpless. He so rarely denied her anything she wanted and he was curious how much he could take, how much further this could go. That was the thing: her orgasm brought him keen but controllable pleasure. He loved the feel of her, the scent of her, the quiet abandon she reached under his fingers. He wanted desperately to taste her but was afraid that the scent, mingled with the blood rushing through her body—and the artery at her thigh—would all prove too much for him. He'd fantasized about it but so far he hadn't managed to not turn it into a bloodbath in his head. He'd not contemplated what it might be like if she took control away from him, however.

She rolled over on top of him, her small naked form providing a sweet pressure against his body. His shirt was off, his nerve endings alert. She kissed him and he went with it, giving her permission to take the lead. He buried his hands in her long hair as hers roamed his chest and fluttered lightly down. She rubbed his erection gently through the soft material of his pants, worried that it might upset him. He exhaled sharply into her hair but did not try to stop her.

Encouraged, she undid the button and the zipper quickly, hoping he wouldn't have time to think it through. Her hands were warm and soft against his cool, hard flesh. Edward was transported to a new place under Bella's ministrations. Surprised, he looked into her eyes and smiled crookedly at her. Somehow, given the chance to focus on his own pleasure and stop his single-minded focus on hers, Edward found a happy balance. He was hungry, and he still wanted her blood, but it turned out that when her hand was stroking him and she was looking at him with lidded eyes, he wanted her body more.

"I am so in love with you," he told her, a little surprised how at his surge in feeling. She smiled and kissed him again.

"Prove it," she whispered playfully, as she continued to stroke him. He laughed with her. She broke the kiss and looked him in the eyes for a moment before ducking her head down to replace her stroking hand with her eager mouth.

Edward gasped and lightning flashed before his eyes. Her warm wet mouth enveloped him and he lost the ability to worry. Gasping, he tried very hard to control his movements. He was afraid his hips would buck against her mouth involuntarily. Edward didn't have a chance against her eager desire to please him. He found himself tumbling over an invisible cliff and he lifted her off of him gently just before he released himself.

Bella smiled with satisfaction, knowing this was a huge turning point for them both. She laid back on the bed and sighed happily. Edward wiped up the mess with his t-shirt and turned to face her. "That was amazing," he said. "Mm hmm," she hummed softly.

"I want to take you away for the day and night, Bella. Do you think Charlie would believe it if you said you were going to Seattle overnight with Alice this Saturday?"

Bella smiled up at him and nodded sleepily. She would construct whatever lie necessary to make it happen.

Saturday was an unusually beautiful day in Forks. The sun was out and for the first time in weeks there was not a cloud in the sky. It was otherworldly. Charlie was gone fishing by 5 a.m. and Bella got up early, too, knowing Edward had gone home in the middle of the night to prepare for their day together. She wasn't sure what he had planned but she was hoping it involved a dose of sex and vampire changing.

He arrived on time, hair perfectly tousled, chiseled jaw set in an unusually relaxed line. The shade from the house and nearby trees kept him from shimmering in the light.

"Where are we going?" she asked.

"We're having a picnic in the meadow," he said.

"You don't eat."

"I do, I just don't need to," he replied with playful defensiveness.

They drove to the end of that familiar road, the memory of James's near attack and the werewolves counterattack pushed to the back of her mind. She was sure the new memories would erase the bad ones.

Edward carried her swiftly through the trees and delivered her to the meadow within minutes. Setting her down, she found herself staring into the meadow with wonder. He'd set up a little spot for them to spend the day—perhaps the night?—that featured a soft blanket with throw pillows, and a large cooler that apparently held their food for the day. Surrounding the perimeter were outdoor torches to light up the area when darkness finally took hold.

She turned to him smiling. "You're amazing."

"You're worth it," he replied, his skin sparkling like diamonds in the sun. She swooned a little at that and he feared she might pass out so he kissed her and lifted her up in his arms. By the time he broke the kiss, he was placing her gently among the throw pillows.

"Hungry?" he asked.

"Yes," she replied. He went to release her hand but she grabbed him, tugging him back down to her. She closed her eyes as he kissed her, letting her hands feel the energy that seemed to shoot from his skin when he was under direct sunlight.

This time neither of them could stop to think about the consequences, or worry about what might happen in the heat of the moment. All Bella knew was that she had to have him and if it meant dying then it was all worth it. For Edward, he'd realized her death was such an unacceptable outcome—the idea of a world without Bella was the same as one with an endless black night—that he'd stopped worrying about it. He'd sooner kill himself. The only concern he had was for her pleasure and giving in to her every whim for as long as she would allow.

Their physical interactions took a familiar if unusually fervent course. She couldn't wait for dinner, couldn't wait for nightfall; she had to see him naked and sparkling in the sunlight. She pulled his shirt off and ran her hands flat against his incredible skin, absorbing the vibrant energy that reflected off it.

He ached to feel her warmth surround him. The feel of her pale skin in the warm sun and the soft rushing blood beneath excited him, pressed him on when he otherwise might have slowed down.

Clothes slipped away and sun caressed skin until, finally, they were both naked and his sparkling body covered hers. Lying on her back, her legs wrapped around his waist, she reveled in his touch as he kissed her stomach and ran his hands over her hips and thighs. Her hands wound in the hair at the back of his neck. "Edward, please," she begged. His head dipped lower and then kissed the soft flesh of her thighs. She shook with pleasure and then he pushed her legs apart and drank from her in the only way that wouldn't end with her turning into a vampire. Bella shook violently and tipped her head back. She regretted it immediately; she simply had to look down at him, at his skin. She stared at the beautiful iridescent glow of his back as she called his name and her pleasure peaked.

He was kissing her then and her hands were in his hair. It happened so quickly she was sure he was moving in hyper speed.

"Please be inside me," she pleaded. He nodded and slowed his movements considerably. He expected this would cause her pain and he was prepared to do everything he could to counter it with pleasure. He touched her in all the places that were guaranteed to make her gasp and moan. She relaxed and he positioned himself between her legs. He continued running his hands over her body as he slid himself inside her. It wasn't until he was in that he started to consider how difficult maintaining control in the face of his own pleasure would be. He stopped moving entirely and she put her hands on his face. "We can do this," she whispered. He nodded and kissed her again. The heat of the sun and the heat of her skin threatened to drive him over the edge immediately. He pressed into her, filling her with his hard flesh. She gasped in pain and he was brought back to his senses.

He gave her a moment to relax, to adjust to this invasion. He ran the back of his hand over her sides and whispered, "You feel amazing." With a slight surprise, Edward realized that this moment with Bella was likely the most meaningful of his long life. He kissed her forehead sweetly and started moving inside her again, cursing himself silently for being selfish, for needing to feel the delicious friction of her heat.

Her legs spread wider for him, urging him on. Edward kissed her again and her mouth opened under his as he thrust into her and out, slowly and repeatedly. He knew it must hurt her but she simply closed her eyes and breathed in. He reached between their bodies and stroked her in time with his thrusts. She moaned loudly and her hips bucked up to meet his hand. He rolled over then, placing her on top of him. She looked surprised but didn't complain. He continued stroking her with his thumb as she settled onto his erection. She looked down at him, distracted from the discomfort by the gentle circling of his thumb and by the beauty of his face in the sunlight. He sparkled so brightly now she could hardly see him from the dazzling light. She relaxed and he felt her muscle release slightly. With one hand he stroked her and with the other he lifted her up and down on himself, feeling secure he would not crush her in this position.

The security allowed him to relax and enjoy the wet warmth she provided him. When she cried out his name and arched her back he grabbed her hips and pressed up into her, his own desire peaking at the same time.

When they recovered and could breathe normally, they stared into each other's eyes, amazed that they were both still intact. He was certain from the look on Bella's face, she felt it, too, and would probably like to do it again as soon as possible. He leaned up and kissed her, slowly extracting himself from her body. She whimpered at the loss of him, never wanting the moment to end.

They laid in the sun naked for some time, fingers trailing over each other's skin, sleep threatening to overtake them repeatedly.

Finally she rolled over and smiled at him, "Can vampires get a human pregnant?"

He grabbed her, laughing and pulled her close to kiss her again. He didn't know what would happen in the future but in the meadow Edward finally felt the world was full of possibilities, maybe forever.