A/N: Hey everybody!I'd like everybody to know that my team did great at the dance competiton. Can you say three golds and one high-gold! Yay us! And when I heard one of the other teams do a routine to a song called Twilight I basically thought my obsession had gotten the best of me :) And, of course, I thought of you guys, which is why this chapter is finally finshed! Well, I hope you guys enjoy this one! Happy reading & happy reviews please :)
The bikini was gorgeous of course, and it fit perfectly. The entire thing was a deep sapphire blue that matched the approaching midnight sky. It was a halter top that tied in the back, and it was all pretty simple, so I think Alice is starting to come to terms with my plainness.
When I was done putting it on, I quickly put my clothes back over it and continued my rage down the stairs. I passed Emmett on the way down and he looked at me strangely.
"Got out of the wrong side of the bed Bella?" He grinned. I glared at him.
"Your brother is taking me for a late night swim," I replied icily.
Emmett laughed, his body shake the stairs and I clung to the railing until he was finished. "Well, have fun ," he smirked, it looked like he knew something I didn't.
I ignored it, groaned and continued my journey down the stairs. I don't know why Edward insisted that I wear a bikini. If he thought he was getting me into some body of water at twelve o'clock at night he had lost his mind. Just because my fiancée – I cringed slightly – was ice cold, it didn't mean I particularly a fan of cold water.
I opened the front door of the Cullen mansion and was on my way to the Volvo when suddenly my vision became black.
"What the –"
"Hello, Bella," a musical voice whispered close to my ear, his amusement palpable. He had covered my eyes with his hands so fast I had thought I had gone blind.
"Edward what are you –" I began to demand but he interrupted me.
"Shh," he soothed.
His voice made me lose my train of thought, though only for a second. I sighed, "What's going on?"
"Your reason, silly." He suddenly seemed more lighthearted and carefree. Who was I to ruin his happy-go-lucky feeling?
"This better be a good one," I teased, "So far I've looked like a drowned cat, a unique freak and have been diagnosed with the ability to frighten mythical creatures to death."
He laughed deeply, his chest was pressed against my back and I could feel the laughter shake through him. When he was finished he still didn't remove his hands from my eyes.
I heaved a sigh, "What, are you planning to blindfold me again?"
"Nope," I could hear the smile in his voice.
"Oh? Then what are you planning to do?"
"Well quite frankly Bella, last time I blindfolded you, I became relatively jealous of the ludicrous piece of cloth."
"You were jealous of –" I couldn't even bring myself to finish the sentence.
"I'm jealous of anything that gets to touch your beautiful face," he whispered. His fingers were still covering my eyes as his lips made gentle kisses down the side of my neck, so gentle that they felt like I was being tickled by the wings of butterfly, when in fact, it was actually the lips of an angel.
The blush was quickly dominating my cheeks so I tried to hide my embarrassment, "That's the forth reason why you love me? Because I can make you envy a rag?"
He chuckled, "I would never let a rag touch your face Bella, be reasonable."
I let out a soft snort and then continued to resemble a tomato.
"Regardless of my resentment," he murmured, smiling against my skin when I shivered, "that's not what I was planning to portray tonight."
"What are you planning to … portray?"
He laughed, "Shouldn't you know the answer to that already."
I took and deep breath and then let it out dramatically, "It's a surprise," I mimicked his velvet voice poorly and he chortled.
I pouted my lips and quicker then I thought possible, Edward was in front of me, though I still couldn't see, he kissed me, my pout disappearing beneath his lips. He kissed me for longer then he usually allowed, and I could feel him remove one hand from my eyes – though still able to cover both of my eyes with the other – and his fingers began to crawl tenderly up the nape of my neck, knotting lightly in my hair.
Eventually, when I was absolutely positive my lungs were on the verge of disintegrating, I pulled away, gasping for air, in return he pulled his hand away from my eyes. When I was done choking, Edward pressed his forehead against mine, a smile on his pallid lips.
"I'm sorry love," he muttered. "I often forget how breakable you are."
"And I often forget how kissable you are," I giggled, reaching up on my tiptoes slightly.
He chuckled and returned his lips to mine, but only for a second before he pulled away. "Ready for your surprise?"
I shuddered at the word 'surprise' and Edward laughed. "Don't tell me you don't like my reasons, Bella." He raised his eyebrow, like he really was considering that a possibility.
"No, Edward, of course I love your reasons. I'm just…scared," I admitted with a sigh.
He furrowed his brow, confusion played in his eyes. "Scared?" It only took a minuet for the word to sink in when the confusion in his eyes was replaced by pain.
"No!" I cried placing my palm on his cheek. "I'm not scared of you, silly vampire," I laughed.
The pain slowly subsided from his expression, but left over was the previous confusion. His head tilted to the side as he waited for me to elaborate.
I sighed. "I'm just scared that one of your reasons will result in you buying me something. I mean you already bought well over ten dozen roses. How do I know that tomorrow you won't go out and buy me a new car full of roses?"
His eyes sparkled at the idea. "Don't even think about it," I warned.
He laughed. "Bella, there's no need to be scared."
"So, you're not going to spend money on any of the reasons?" I clarified.
He pressed his lips into a hard line for a few moments before speaking. "Sorry, I can't promise you that."
"Edward," I complained.
"We'll make a deal."
I looked at him guardedly. "What kind of deal?"
He smiled. "I get to spend all the money I want on you, and you get to kiss me whenever you want." I was mesmerized momentarily by his smoldering ocher irises.
I finally laughed, "Edward is that really such a big sacrifice for you?"
"Immensely," he teased, a grin spread wide across his face. He bent down to kiss me put I slipped the back of my hand between my lips and his.
He looked back to my eyes with puzzlement. I stifled at laugh at his expression. "You said I was in charge of kissing from now on."
"Yes but –" I placed the same hand across Edward's mouth.
"You're not the only cheater Edward Cullen," I warned.
He ignored the fact that my hand was attempting to stop him from talking and began to kiss it softly. "Cheater?" He scoffed, meeting my eyes.
"Dazzling is a form of cheating."
"I guess I forgot to read the rule book."
We smiled at each other, my muscles refusing to relax from the ridiculous position my mouth was in. I couldn't stop myself from grinning stupidly.
"Surprise Bella," he whispered suddenly, breaking the comfortable silence.
What was he talking about? Out of instinct, I looked past his face, and then spun in a circle taking everything in. Edward and I were somehow on a hill overlooking a lake. I looked down on the glass lake and could see the reflection of the moon, ashen against the ebony water. The lake was large, and a little to the right of where we were standing, was an old wooden doc that extended passed the grassy shore. At the end of the little dock was a little row boat, it's oars prodding out made shadows opposite the milky moon.
In a split second, I was in front of the little boat, cradled in Edward's arms. Before I could utter a word he pressed his lips against mine. He pulled away a centimeter and whispered, almost mutely against my lips, "Far too desirable."
He pulled back even more and smiled crookedly. "Mrs. Soon-to-be-Cullen, would you honor me your presence on my midnight cruise?"
I giggled and glanced back down at the diminutive row boat. Mostly I had inverted my eyes so that he couldn't see the obvious sparkle they held when he addressed me as 'Mrs. Soon-to-be-Cullen.' He couldn't know how much I liked the sound of that, how very much I liked the sound of that.
Eventually I nodded, and his own eyes twinkled. He put me on my feet and gently laid the boat in the water. He came back and picked me up, carefully placing me on one of the two benches in the boat, and then flashing into the boat himself, sitting on the other bench. Facing me, he smiled, and without looking away from my face, picked up the oars and began to row.
Though rowing had the bare minimum of strength that Edward held, it was beautiful. I found my eyes roaming from his face to his sculpted arms. The rowing motion gave away the shape of his muscle as it flexed beneath his pallid skin. The muscles in his chest rippled from the motion and I had the strangest urge to run my fingers over it, memorizing ever bulge and flew ofthe muscle under his icy skin.
"What are you thinking about?" he asked me. I could hear the smile in his voice. It occurred to me that Edward was doing this on purpose. Of course he could have rowed to the middle of the lake in under five seconds flat, but he was moving at human speed to torture me with his beauty.
I blushed, the heat was fast approaching as it animated my cheeks. That just made him smile bigger. He knew that I was staring at him, or else he would have groaned and demanded to know what I was thinking.
"Sorry," I whispered.
He closed his eyes and softly shook his head, oddly, he was still beaming. When he opened his eyes, he motioned his head back, gesturing towards himself.
I gave him a questioning look, and he grinned, nodding his head.
I watched his eyes, warily, the entire time I creep towards him softly, unsure of how I was expected to walk across a moving boat when I couldn't even make it across flat land without tripping.
I eventually did, all two steps I took was quite an accomplishment. I immediately sat down on Edward's lap, not willing to risk falling into the water now.
I checked his eyes again carefully. He smiled and closed his eyes in response.
He was still rowing as I lightly ran my fingers over the length of his arm, from the crease in his elbow to his shoulder. From there I traced his collar bone, back and forth before outlining the muscles in his other arm. This time though, when I got to shoulder closest to me, I carefully scooped my arm under his and ran my fingertips down the length of his back. When I got to the small of his back, I turned back, up and down his muscular back. I should feel his shoulder blades rotate as he rowed, now excruciatingly slow. Excruciating because his boundaries were soon to come in anytime now.
I didn't feel like testing him, so I took my hands back and placed them on my lap.
"What's wrong?" I looked back up at Edward. He had opened his eyes and was staring at me puzzled.
"Nothing," I said a little too quickly. His puzzled expression didn't falter.
"Bella, tell me. Please?"
I sighed, I was a hopeless pushover. "I was just wondering…" I glanced at him quickly and he nodded, urging me to continue. I took a deep breath, wondering why I suddenly felt self conscious. "About that day in the meadow…" I paused again and he rolled his eyes.
"Bella," he sighed resting his forehead against my own. "You can tell me anything. You should know that by now."
I nodded and continued from where I left off. "You said that we could do it my way, you said that your way never works. And you said you were willing to try, right then and there." He was now looking at me warily.
"I was just wondering…" I paused, holding in a giggle when I heard him gulp. "If that means we could knock down a few of these boundaries that you have established."
Edward relaxed almost immediately. What gave him the idea that I was about to seduce him on a row boat in the middle of a lake was beyond me.
"Bella," he sighed in relief. "Have you not noticed that that plan has already been put into action?"
He kissed the top of my ear, and then put down the oars to wrap his stone arms around me. Through the mush he had just made my brain into, I could recall the way he held me when he found me in the abandoned hallway of the mall, when he kissed me before, and I had to pull away, and when he said I was in charge of the kissing.
I frowned. I should have noticed his change in approach, and gave him credit for it. I couldn't even fathom how hard it was for him, to have such an urge to kill me, and another urge fighting it, his love for me. It was a true rendition of an angel and devil perched on his shoulders. Luckily for both of us, the angel was clearly winning.
"Thank you," I whispered, leaning my head into his chest.
"Thank you," he smiled back.
After a long, comfortable silence, Edward finally spoke. "Ready to go swimming," he grinned.
"I am not going swimming," I told him sternly. He lowered his head to check my expression. The deathly gleam in my eye seemed to make him realize there was no dazzling his way out of this one.
"Alright," he amended. "I'll go swimming, and you can just dangle your feet in the water."
"Deal," I said quickly, finding this a pretty good compromise.
"But you still need to take off your top layer of clothes, Alice would try to kill you – not that I would let her – if you got those wet."
Okay, bad compromise. "I promise to not get them wet," I begged.
"Not my rules sweetheart," he smiled. I had a feeling that they were though.
I sighed and got off his lap to stand at the other side of boat. We stared at each other for a moment.
"Well, turn around," I commanded biting my lip.
He laughed, but eventually swiveled on the little bench to give me privacy. I took a deep breath and began to unbutton my shirt with shaking fingers. I got the first one undone pretty well, but the second was a challenge. I must have spent half a minuet trying to undo the same button, the entire time my hand shook like I was in the middle of an earthquake. Why in the world was I so nervous. I could feel my face redden as the seconds ticked by.
Finally I sighed. "I can't do it," I mumbled defeated. Edward turned back around and in a second he had both of my shaking hands in his. He kissed each one as it trembled in his grip.
"Close your eyes," he whispered. I gulped and followed his order. He began to hum my lullaby, instantly calming me. Though, I could soon feel his cold fingers undoing the buttons of my shirt, one by one, and I feel my nerves awaken again. "Breath, Bella." I took a deep gulp of air and let it out slowly. By the time I was done with my breathing exercises his hands had pulled away from me. I looked down, and there I was, sitting in the middle of a row boat in my bikini, feeling more exposed then I ever had in my life.
Not even risking a glance at Edward, I dropped my head into my hands, drowning in remorse as my cheeks flamed against my palms.
After a moment of sinking quickly into embarrassment, I felt a cool finger tip lift up my chin. I recoiled from looking at his eyes, but soon found myself with no choice. I looked at them quickly, ready to look away if he was humored in anyway, but found myself staring into the depths of golden passion.
"Reason number four why I love you," I could scarcely hear his words as my hearing – and every otherfunction of my body for that matter – was obscured by his avid stare. "Your sweet blush," he murmured. Reaching forward to skim my burning cheek with his fingertip. "Your beautiful, wonder, warm blush." He hesitated, furrowing his brow, as if he was worried if he was explaining it right, or maybe he was afraid his next line would upset me. "It's one of things I will miss most when you are no longer human."
We both let that soak in for a minute, the creamy moon sent a dull sparkle against Edward's skin and I was soon mesmerized, and I didn't want him thinking of things he would miss about me when I was changed.
"Edward, I do believe I was put in charge of kissing."
He grinned and nodded.
"Alright, then I hereby order you to kiss me now," I told him sternly, angling my head upwards.
I didn't need to tell Edward twice. Before I could even take a deep breath, I could feel his lips press into mine. The mixture of the warm and cold was something I would never get used to. I felt his hand knot in the back of my hair, quicker and with more force this time. Then I could feel it as his finger unknotted in my hair and traced slowly down my neck, following my bare spine all the way down to my lower back. Eventually he moved from my lips to my tepid cheeks. The entire time I fought down the shivers that erupted in my body like fireworks.
After a while he pulled away, resting his forehead against mine, as we both breathed hard, though his breathing was unnecessary. We waited, our breath mingling in the air, waiting for the other one to speak. But we didn't have anything to say, there was nothing to say.
Suddenly, faster then I could comprehend, Edward was standing up in the little boat, and I was in his arms.
I looked him over quickly, trying to find some kind of danger. What I found was him in swim trunks – deep sapphire, matching my bikini – and a huge grin on his face. He was standing dangerously close to the edge of the boat.
I put on a hard mask, "You wouldn't dare."
He grinned wider, "Watch me."
And with that, he clutched me even tighter to his chest, jumped off the boat, plummeting us both into the smooth black water.