Thank you to Stephanie Meyers for creating these wonderful characters and this fantastic world. I have truly enjoyed it.
The evening of Edward and Bella's wedding. Edward's POV
I sat there in our hotel suite, twisting the platinum band on my ring finger, completely awestruck at the events that had unfolded just hours before. If I had thought a year and a half ago that the human that nearly caused my demise would in-turn be my wife, I never would have believed it. But here we were. Though it is not that hard to believe, really. Everything about Bella and my relationship defies reason and goes against the natural way of the world. It seems though that we not only survived in the face of great odds, well with me being a blood-lusting vampire that craves her blood more than any other humans', and her being a beautiful, angelic young-woman who doesn't seem to know what is best for her and couldn't stay upright while standing still. Even in the face of all of that, here we are. My life…my wife…my Bella.
I heard her in the bathroom having a "human moment" as she so endearingly referred to it. I was glad for some time to reflect on my own thoughts. Knowing what path we are heading towards shortly from now, I felt the need to cherish the past.
When I saw her round the corner on Charlie's arm and head down the grand staircase of the white mansion set in the woods, if I had a heart…it would have stopped beating. She was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. The dress that Alice had procured for Bella was beyond words and the fact that it was a style from my earlier life, a life I no longer remembered, but clung on to as much as I could, made it all that more special. Alice had fussed over Bella for hours, which didn't make Bella entirely happy. But throughout the entire wedding planning process, she seemed to come around on the idea of holy matrimony. There was no doubt that we wanted to spend our eternity together, but the shaky marriage that Charlie and Renee had did nothing for Bella's opinion of the institution. It didn't seem right to go to the next step in our lives, one neither one of us had experience with, even me in my long one hundred plus years existence, without being husband and wife.
The moment she said she would love and cherish me for her eternity…I don't think I had ever heard more sweet words. August thirteenth would forever be the beginning of the rest of my life, now it was a life, not just an existance, with my Bella eternally by my side. How did I, the monster that I could be, deserve the angel that she is?
None-the-less, she chose me and so I honor that with all my whole being.
The evening flew by in a blink, vampire time frames or not. We swirled on the dance floor that was set up in the living room. Our skin only separated for her to dance with her father and me with Esme, the only mother I truly remember. I felt like my long-stilled heart would leap out of my chest in joy as I held her in my arms, and on my toes, for our first dance as man and wife, gazing at her and all of her beauty. All those present, mostly close family on either side were elated by our happiness. Renee was not entirely thrilled with the idea of her one daughter marrying so young, but I believe that she came to the realization that our love was different, strong than she and Charlie's. Our love was one to withstand the ages…as well as possessed, flame-haired, avenging vampires and immature werewolves.
Caught up in my own mind, I snapped back to hear the water from the bathroom turn off. If I had a pulse now is when it would have begun to race nervously. I was starting to have doubts about what we were about to do, husband and wife or not, I was still a vampire and her blood still sang to me like no other. Not that that, much to my constant disagreement, would matter much longer.
But I knew from our previous intimate moments, that if I just concentrated on my love for her, I could never hurt my Bella. Even still, looking past the blood-lusting issue, what if I got too wrapped up and somehow injured her? I believed I feared that more than anything. For the moment she was still an incredibly frail human, so easily broken by my stone hands. Regardless, we had made a deal and I said we would "try".
My nerves then gave me a jolt, so far I had been fairly good at the human acts of intimacy with Bella, kissing, embracing, tracing every line of her beautiful face while she slept. But this, this was something entirely different. We were going to be one, as husband and wife. What if my human instincts did not come back to life like so many times before? What if I were overcome by my vampiric needs?
Then, there, standing in the doorway to the bathroom was the most breathtaking woman I had ever seen. All thoughts of ineptitude washed away, for at the moment, I did not care if I fumbled, I just wanted to be with…my wife. If the site of Bella in her wedding gown had made my cold-heart palpitate, then the silk and lace ivory gown, with a slit up the side and delicate spaghetti straps that gently hung on her shoulders, was going to nearly kill me, again. Her hair still in loose curls cascading down her back. I couldn't move from the chair. I just stared at her in pure awe.
"Do you like it?" she asked nervously, "Alice picked it out. She said I couldn't wear my sweats to bed on our wedding night," with a shy smile.
I gasped, my breath ragged on the intake. I was speechless. I slowly looked her up and down, taking in every tantalizing curve, still amazed at her pure, innocent splendor. How could she not see how extraordinary she was?
All I could manage to choke out was, "you are absurdly beautiful."
She looked up at me through her dark lashes and a rosy blush covered all of her cheeks trickling down her neck. It reminded me of just how human she in fact was. As much as I wanted this, it was going to be tricky.
Before I had a chance to question our impending actions, there was the briefest flash in Bella's eyes, a sudden change in her stance as she squared her shoulders. She walked over to me with a strut I had never seen before. It was in no way awkward or clumsy, as she so often was. It was strong and sexy, womanly; this new Bella took me off guard.
She reached her hand out as a request for me to stand and whispered, "We're going to take this nice and slow," seeming to understand my apprehension. She wore a wicked little grin. As my eyes locked on hers, I reached out to take her warm, delicate hand. She pulled me up and motioned towards the king-sized, four-poster bed that was the center of the room. I followed her like a little impish puppy, still flabbergasted by this newfound confidence in my Bella.
Standing next to the bed, as she placed her hands on my cold chest I realized that I was still in my tuxedo. One button at the collar of my shirt undone, bow tie draped around my neck. Bella's eyes locked on mine and in that instant the desire and want that we both felt was so thick it could stand on it own. With trepidation she reached up to the buttons on my shirt and with agonizing slowness began to undo them. I thought I was going to die in anguish at the anticipation. I delicately placed my hands on her face. She took in a small gasp of air at my cold touch, an electric current passed between us. The lust in her deep brown eyes flared up like a fire. This was not the overly crazed Bella of so many times before, who lacked the self-control. No, this was a new Bella with control and determination. She pulled my shirt over my muscled shoulders, taking in every inch of me as if it were the first time she had truly seen my ivory, marble skin. Her breaths were deep and lusty as she gazed at me.
"Bella, I…" was all I could say, to try and express the magnitude of the moment. I wanted to give her one more chance to rethink this before it was too late.
"Shhh…" As she placed her delicate finger on my lips. The way she looked back at me, as if she was the mind reader, I knew there was no going back, for either of us. We had waited too long for this union and even if it was a complete failure, we still had to try.
With more fervor than I had ever seen from Bella, she pushed on my chest to will me on to the bed. My stone skin felt on fire as I lay back on to the cold silken bedding. How would I ever get through this without losing my concentration? We weren't even undressed and I could barely think straight. The fire in the pit of the stomach was flaring up with an indescribable desire to have her, to be with her in even possible way. For once my thirst was not overpowering me.
Still without unlocking from my eyes, she undid the buckle on my pants and slid my trousers to the floor. She paused for a moment taking in my manhood that so yearned for her. I may not have been a human for a very long time, but the feeling burning in my loins was every bit man. I reached up to motion her to me. She gave me with a coy look I hadn't been expecting. Oh, this was definitely a new Bella and she was driving me crazy! She reached up and pulled her silken gown off of her shoulders and let it fall like a wisp to the floor. With my eyes, taking in every bit of her womanhood, gracing her curves, pausing for a long moment on her perfect breasts. It took every bit of strength I had to not attack her right there.
Bella placed her hands on my thighs, tracing the musculature with the tip of her fingers sending glorious chills through my body, as she crept up my torso. I reached up to cup her breasts, feeling her heart be rapidly under my cold palm. Her smooth, supple skin like ivory silk under my grasp. Slowly she placed her legs, on either side of me letting us come together as one. I moved my hands on her luscious hips to guide her. She winced and tried to hide the discomfort. A woman's first time with a mortal man can be uncomfortable, I am sure my stone flesh magnified that. But she didn't seem to let it break her determination, which as she started to move slowly turned into a look of pleasure. The yearning and fire I felt was like nothing I had ever experienced, even stronger than that first breath of her tantalizing blood so long ago. I flipped her over onto her back, holding my weight off of her, arm tight around her small waist, our skin connecting as I had dreamed of for so long. The warmth of her small body radiating onto mine. The venom was pooled in the back of my throat, but I hardly noticed. At that point…all my superiorly refined senses became a blur. I saw pure ecstasy and desire in her eyes that I am certain were reciprocated in mine.
We continued in that fashion for an immeasurable amount of time. The only place we held back were our kisses, having previously agreed it would be safer for her to refrain for fear of my venomous teeth. We were all twisted in the bedding, moving slowly, but always connecting as much flesh together as possible. Becoming one in every achievable way, our breaths in rhythm, exuding our desires, ending in wave after wave of pure ectasy. Spreading warmth throughout my whole body.
Afterwards I held her in my arms still in complete awe of what had just occurred. I never believed we would succeed in consummating our holy union while she was still human. I never believed that my desire for her blood would be superceded by my desire for her body.
I looked down at the beautiful angel in my cold arms and shuttered to think of what this all meant…that I was running out of time…to hear her heart beat, to see her cheeks flush…to breath in the bouquet I so longed for.
Bella's eyes slowly opened and looked up from my chest with an impish grin. She looked peaceful and happy, and I am sure quite proud of her transformation into this sex goddess.
She paused for a moment and then said in a whisper, "Ok…I'm ready." I knew exactly what she was referring to and I cringed slightly to myself.
"We don't have to do this. We could cherish tonight, together and wait…" I started to say but she cut me off
"Edward" she said with determination, a change in her eyes, "we have been through this so many times. The honeymoon is the perfect time to be out of the public eye and then we leave immediately for college. We have it all planned out. You can't back out on our deal"
She started to push away from me trying to sit up, the very thought of disconnecting out contact pained me. "I'm not backing out on you Bella," I said emphatically, pulling her back to me.
"I just don't see the need to rush in to it tonight and make our wedding night the night you lose your soul". She scowled at me not liking that last thought
"You don't believe that, I know you don't, not after what you said in Italy". She had a point, it was getting harder and harder to keep up my convictions on the whole soul-less vampire issue. Especially considering since I have been blessed with Bella's love, my soul felt more real than it ever did when I was human.
"I just…" I whispered
"What is it Edward, are you too thirsty?" she considerately replied but knowing that the warm, golden color of my eyes meant I had drank recently.
"No, no it's not that. I just.." trailing off, finding it hard to express to her how much her humanity meant to me, on so many levels. Part of me did fear that it would change things. To not hear her pulse race at my touch or her cheeks flush at the slightest embarrassing comment. I was realizing how much I would miss those very things that drew me to Bella. I knew deep down that this had to happen for us to spend an eternity together like we just pledged in front of all those important to us. And although we would lose some things, there was a level of equality that we would gain that was important to Bella, and if I was being honest with myself, I yearned for as well.
"What is it then?" she said
I took a deep breath knowing I had to tell her my thoughts. "I am worried about not being able to hear your heartbeat or see the lovely flush of your cheeks. I get great joy in taking care of you and keeping you from harming yourself as you seem to do so easily." She scowled back at me, not wanting to ever admit that she was the most accident-prone human to walk the face of the earth.
Bella became very still and pensive. Her eyes darted away from me and looked down. I couldn't stand not being able to see into her deep chestnut gaze. With my lack of ability to read Bella's mind like I do with everyone else, I heavily relied on the emotions that always poured out of her eyes.
In a whisper she said, "so, you think you won't love me the same?" obvious hurt in her words.
"No, No. How could you think that? I'm worried that you won't need me as much." It seemed silly to feel that way, though I did, considering the level of our love. But tonight had given me a glimpse of a confident, womanly Bella that I had never seen before. What if it was just the tip of the iceberg and once she was comfortable in her new vampire skin she didn't need me around as much?
"How could you ever think that Edward?" She said stunned by my thoughts.
"How could you think that anything could change the way I love you? You are my soul. I cannot survive without you - as a human, vampire or any other sort of being." The fire in her eyes made me understand that she meant that with every once of her.
"I know. I just don't understand what the hurry is? You could take some more time to be human. We could do anything you want"
Bella's eyes flared up again with frustration. "How many times do we have to go through this Edward? I have decided the path for the rest of my life and it is by your side, as your equal, and I want that future to start as soon as possible. I know the beginning will be hard, but once we are past that, we have eternity together. And you won't have to worry any longer about how to keep me alive and whole. We can concrete on so many other things. We can travel and explore the world. We can do anything we want! We just can't do that now. I am too much of a liability to you and your family." She said with conviction. I knew she wasn't going to budge, the decision had been made months ago when Bella agreed to marry me, but I'm glad I gave it one last try.
I thought it all through one last time as we lay there entwined in each other arms, her still warm skin on my icy flesh. Carlisle has given me plenty of morphine to dull the pain. We had paid for the room for the entire week and had asked to not be disturbed by room service. I knew, as much as I begged, Bella was not going to give me any more time. I dreaded the thought of being the one that was going to cause her so much pain, but at the same time, I couldn't comprehend another one of us beside myself being responsible for this vile act. To steal her humanity, even if it was for love.
Bella's eyes were closed again and I could tell she was drifting into a deep sleep, her last ever. I enjoyed this time of the evening above all others, for this is when Bella's true thoughts came to light. Within minutes she began sighing and smiling. Then a small, "It's okay Edward…I'll be ok," slipped from her beautiful lips.
I lay very still gazing at her peaceful expression. Then without warning, she wrinkled her face up and seemed to wince in pain. The sudden tortured look that came across her features was excruciating to witness. What could she possibly be dreaming about that would seem to cause her such agony? She then cried out, "Stop the fire Edward! Please stop it!"
Bella had always put on a brave beautiful face whenever I reminded her how painful the transformation will be. She knew first hand the agonizing effects of our venom. Thankfully last time it had only radiated up her arm. How could she endure her entire body being engulfed in flames? I have few memories from that time in my existence, but those three days of terror have stayed with me through the century.
"Bella sweetheart, open your eyes" I gently shook her.
Bella's eyes opened and the look of despair and agony in them was hard to hide. She immediately looked away from me, casting her eyes to the foot of our bed, protecting me from her thoughts.
"Bella…you don't have to do this, you don't have to go through that pain," I murmured in her ear, pulling her closer to me, trying to protect her from what she wanted to become.
She looked up at me stunned, not realizing I had experienced her nightmare. The comprehension came over her face once she realized I was in on her ruse. "Yes I do Edward." She replied sternly.
"What is three days of agony, compared to a lifetime by your side? I can handle the pain. I know I can, as long as you are with me."
She continued, "Why can't you comprehend that this is no longer a choice? It is a necessary course. Especially given that fact that I want it to be a choice, not a remedy for the next time I am near-fatally injured." She said emphatically, willing me to understand her point of view.
"Of course there is a choice. You are not dying like the rest of us were. You have your hold life ahead of you!" I said trying to push away the multiple times that Bella's life had been in danger since we had met.
"But for how long? How long until I get fatally hurt or stricken with a terminal illness? Edward you never know what could come along and take me away from you.
"I am human and we die every minute of every day. You cannot always be there to save me. And I don't want you to live the rest of our time together worrying when we are apart what might happen to me and how you can protect me!" Her voice was slightly raised in frustration.
"Now, I held up my end of the deal and I couldn't be happier to be your wife. I don't even care how much gossip we caused" she smirked.
I weakly smiled back. I could see that there was no other acceptable path in her eyes. But why couldn't she understand that I found great meaning in being her protector? What would I do with my thoughts all day if I didn't concentrate on ways to keep her alive? Then my mind wandered back to the hours of ecstasy that we had just shared and a sly grin came over my face.
"What are you plotting now? Nothing you can say is going to change my mind." Bella said sternly.
"That's not what I was thinking about." I replied with her favorite crooked grin, looking down at her, the fire and lust instantly returning to my eyes.
"Then..." she paused; a look of comprehension and then desire flickered back at me.
"And you didn't even want to try while I was still human," she wickedly answered, lightly slapping me on the shoulder, locking her eyes with mine.
"Yes, but now that we have, and in my humble opinion, were successful," running my lips along her jaw line, "don't you think we should practice just a little more…just so we make sure it wasn't just a fluke," childishly grinned back at her, which she returned in agreement.
I gingerly reached my arm across her and pulled my stone body on to hers, being careful not to crush her. She eagerly responded by drawing her legs up to my sides, locking them behind me. The reconnection of our flesh sending waves of pleasure through me. I held her glorious face in my hands and kissed her gently, but with more passion than I thought possible, while still being careful with my venom-coated teeth near her delicate mouth. A feeling of desperation came over me. She responded in kind, both of us realizing this was the last time we would experience being together in this way, she a delicate human and I an unbreakable vampire, on unequal ground for the moment.