Title: Only Human (1/27)
Author: Amethyst Jackson
Category: Drama, Angst, Romance
Summary: A wish sends Bella back in time to Chicago, 1918, and to a human Edward.
Disclaimer: All this genius belongs to Stephanie Meyer. I'm just having a little fun.
Edward pulled up the long drive, more slowly than he usually would have done. That alone alerted me that something was awaiting us at the house, but even if he'd sped through the trees as normal, I don't think the large banner across the house would have surprised me.
Happy Birthday, Bella!
Edward and I had been married exactly a month ago, in the Cullens' massive yard. Since, he'd taken me on the most ridiculously extravagant honeymoon possible, traveling from London to Istanbul and everywhere in between. He wanted me to see the world; I was happy to be with him.
Truly, it had been bliss. Edward had given me the one human experience I'd wanted more than anything – and he'd given it to me every day since, sometimes several times a day. A flood of heat spread through me at the memory of what we'd done just before we left from Paris...
"I can't believe it's been a month already," I sighed, trying to force a suitcase closed. Edward tugged my hand away and zipped it with ease.
"We can come back as many times as you like," he promised, pulling me into the circle of his arms. "Europe isn't going anywhere."
"It's not exactly Europe I'll miss," I said, burrowing closer. "But I'll miss us, like this, the way we are now…I don't want that to change."
"It won't change," he said, "If you think I'll ever be able to keep my hands off you, you're mad." As if to emphasize his point, his hands slid lower, cupping my bottom. His hardened length pressed into my hips and I groaned his name.
"Even when I'm not human?" I questioned breathlessly as he guided me back to the bed. He pushed the suitcase aside and I was suddenly in its place.
"Even then." His lips brushed my collarbone, exposed in the tank top I wore. "Especially then." His hands caressed my skin. "You can't imagine the things I want to do to you."
I laughed shakily while I fumbled at the hem of his polo. "I'm not that innocent. I think I can imagine a few."
The shirt landed audibly on the floor. His strong fingers easily rent my top in two.
"Must you keep doing that?" I asked, my voice comically weak as his lips closed around my nipple.
"You don't really mind," he murmured, and I was too busy touching him to argue. The ripples of muscle under his skin distracted me completely, and he took advantage of it, deftly undoing my jeans and tugging them off, my underwear going with them. Just three weeks ago I was still embarrassed to be this exposed in this face of all his perfection. Now I was finally getting used to it – being exposed, that is. I would never be immune to his beauty.
His hands were everywhere at once – my breasts, my hips, my thighs. I struggled to breathe with each slow, cool caress. He made my skin tingle. I fought to find enough presence of mind to move my hands to his waist where his jeans rode low on his hips. I traced the smooth lines of his exposed pelvic bone, excited at the prospect of where that line led. His response was a low purr in my ear that only served to make me want him more.
His lips grazed my neck and then reached my mouth. The taste of him under my tongue was enough to keep me from noticing when he shed his pants. I only noticed when I felt his naked hardness pressing against me. I gasped at the shock.
"Sorry," he murmured, backing away a fraction of an inch.
"Don't be," was my reply as I pressed my body into his once more. "I liked it."
He moaned quietly, holding me to him, allowing the head of his erection to brush tantalizingly against my center.
"Edward," I sighed, wrapping my legs around his waist, "Please…"
Usually, at this point, he would tease me for my impatience. This time – for once – he seemed as impatient as I was. He slid into me with one smooth stroke. This was my favorite moment when we made love, the moment of ultimate completion and that first burst of pleasure. I clung to his body, so solid and cold in such a strangely arousing way, as he stroked in an out. He moved in a maddeningly steady rhythm, perfectly controlled and perfectly calculated to drive me out of my senses. It was more than I could stand, the fire that consumed me from within as he gradually increased his tempo, until I was crying out and digging my fingers into his back. My muscles clenched forcefully around him, the better to feel every inch of him, and I was lost. His guttural groan in my ear was all I heard as I fell over the edge.
"Jesus, Bella," he breathed, barely holding his weight off me. "You're too much."
"So are you," I said as I struggled to catch my breath.
He nuzzled my throat and his cool skin felt wonderful against mine, overheated as I was.
"Damn," I muttered, remembering my torn shirt. "Now I have to unpack something."
He just laughed.
The more innocent parts of our honeymoon had been wonderful, too, seeing all the sights I'd only read about, with Edward by my side, explaining the history as he knew it from Carlisle's stories and his own experience. We'd held hands in Paris and cuddled in a gondola in Venice, and I'd eaten too many kinds of food to count while Edward looked on with distaste and amusement, and we'd bought too many souvenirs and more luggage to hold them all.
I could admit it now – I was glad for the experiences he'd given me, glad I hadn't rushed into the change, and glad most of all that he'd been by my side.
When we got out of the car, I found I didn't want to fight the party I knew I'd find inside. I didn't mind that I was nineteen years old today. Somewhere along the line, the numbers had ceased to matter as much, as long as Edward was happy and I would have an eternity with him.
"You don't mind?" he affirmed, his hand caressing my lower back as we paused at the door.
"No," I smiled. "I think it's a good time to start celebrating."
He smiled back and kissed me quickly before ushering me inside.
The entire family, even Rosalie, waited in the living room to greet us. I heard several exclamations of "welcome home" and "happy birthday" as Alice rushed to hug me.
"How was the honeymoon?" she asked gleefully. "Did you bring me presents?"
I laughed. "The honeymoon was wonderful, and yes, we did bring presents – but shouldn't I be asking that question?"
Emmett's laughed boomed beside me, closer than I expected. "What, all that time with Edward wasn't present enough?"
The wiggle of Emmett's eyebrows told me exactly what he was suggesting, and I blushed; Edward growled slightly beside me.
"Leave her alone, Emmett," he said, crossing his arms over his chest in a menacing stance.
Emmett laughed, unfazed. "I see finally getting laid hasn't loosened you up any. You need to keep working on him, Bella."
"Emmett! Don't embarrass her!" Esme chastised as I blushed furiously. Alice laughed and dragged me into the dining room, the others following behind us. I heard occasional thumps that suggested Emmett and Edward were still feuding behind me.
The dining room was decorated with relatively non-dangerous balloons and flowers, and I felt fairly confident that there would be no repeat of my last birthday party, or the consequences that followed. Edward and I were together for good now, and if Jasper happened to take a bite out of me…well, that would only hasten the inevitable.
Alice directed me into a chair at the head of the table. The others remained standing around the table, and I started to feel rather like the main course at a banquet. All that was missing was a silver platter and an apple stuffed in my mouth. Edward came up behind me, resting his hand on the back of my neck, and I relaxed instantly.
"Time for presents!" Alice cried gleefully, and she darted into the kitchen only to return a split-second later with a pile of packages. Some of them were absurdly large.
"Oh, really, now. What more could I possibly need?" I groaned in dismay as the pile landed in front of me. The wedding gifts had been bad enough. Obviously, we'd had no need for the appliances and furniture and kitchenware that generally appeared as wedding gifts, but that hadn't stopped Alice from registering us at several stores, much to my embarrassment.
"Don't be silly, Bella, it's your birthday," Alice argued. "It's not about what you need; it's about what you want."
"Although some of it is actually what you'll need when we unpack all your stuff," Emmett added before I could protest.
As it turned out, Emmett was right. Two of the gifts were shelves for my endless books and a wardrobe – a very lovely antique wardrobe, to be precise – that I would need for my clothes, given that Edward's closet was nearly full already with nearly a century's worth of clothing. Vampires, as it turned out, were horrible packrats. I would have to introduce the concept of cleaning things out once in a while to this household, clearly.
Carlisle and Esme gave us a simpler gift, a framed copy of our wedding photo. Looking upon it, I thought that I finally looked like I belonged by his side. That's not to say that I didn't still look ridiculously plain next to his godlike beauty, but it was as though his happiness radiated onto me. As though Edward loving me could make me beautiful.
Edward's lips touched behind my ear as if he had read my thoughts. "The camera doesn't do you justice," he murmured.
"Do you think so?" I said absently.
"The most beautiful thing I've ever seen is you on our wedding day," he said as he turned his head to kiss my temple. I melted. He deserved so much more than I could give, and yet he had given me so much… At least I had been able to give him a wedding. I was glad now that I hadn't pressed for an elopement when I could hear the joy in his voice at the memory.
"Enough of that, you two," Alice cut in. "It's time for the main event."
The lights abruptly went out, and I tensed. That didn't bode well, knowing Alice. But she merely appeared through the door from the kitchen, carrying a small cake, alight with candles. "19 Forever," the icing read. I had to laugh.
Alice set it neatly before me, far enough away that I was unlikely to singe anything.
"Make a wish," she demanded. I thought about that. I had everything I had ever wanted. If only I could make Edward so happy…
I wish I could give Edward all the human experiences he's given me.
I took a deep breath, blew out the candles, and then everything went black.