DISCLAIMER: These characters all belong to Stephenie Meyer. I'm just a creative fool who likes to borrow & play with them every once in a while!!

It took a moment for Edward's words to sink in. My reaction had frozen the moment Carlisle mentioned Italy, and now Edward's revelation about the Volturi… I felt like someone had just dunked me underwater and was holding me there, uncomfortably, for a long while.

And then I resurfaced.

"I don't understand," I hissed to Edward, stepping back quickly from him. His hand slipped from my cheek, falling helplessly to his side. A hopeless look permeated his features but I refused to falter. "Why do they want me?" He bit his lip and I could tell he was debating whether or not to tell me the truth. "Tell me," I snapped.

But Edward stood, silent before me. The look in his eyes was heartbreaking but I couldn't stand it anymore. I turned wildly to the rest of my family. "Can someone explain to me what's going on?" The words were harsh and cold coming out of my mouth but I was desperate.

"Bella…" I turned to see Carlisle moving slowly towards me. "Do you remember the three leaders of the Volturi?"

I nodded, impatient with this history lesson. "Of course," I said, the images of Marcus, Aro, and Caius flashing in my mind.

Carlisle's face hardened. "Caius never exposed his power to you, so there is no way you could know…" He paused for a moment, his eyes flashing towards Edward. I felt Edward standing close behind me now, his hand resting heavy on my shoulder. "Marcus wanted to keep you in Volterra, Bella. Not to change you. To keep you."

I vaguely remembered Caius being unhappy with Aro's decision to let us go, but I thought that was simply because they would be setting free a human who knew too much. Aro had been enthralled with the connections Alice and Edward had to me. I vaguely remembered being too terrified to focus much on Marcus; come to think of it, I couldn't remember if he had spoken a word. My eyes were narrowed to slits now. "That doesn't explain anything," I growled.

"I know," Carlisle admitted. "But the Volturi and I haven't been in contact in the past half a decade." His gaze shifted to Edward. "He has seen, even though he may not have liked what he saw."

"Again, not helpful," I whispered, turning to face Edward. I gripped his chin roughly in my hand and forced him to look me in the eyes. "Tell me."

Edward swallowed hard and pulled my hand off his chin. He glared at me, holding my wrist tightly. "They saw the power between us, Bella. Marcus saw the power of our relationship, remember?"

I nodded fiercely, the confusion still biting at my insides.

"They think… at least, they're assuming your mind blocking power to have strengthened with you transition," he said growling the last words. "That makes sense, of course. But Marcus," he shook his head in disgust. "That man sees in you… an image of the mate he lost." I waited for him to continue, to explain further. His eyes softened as he ran his cool fingertips down my face. "He believes claiming you will bring him back to life… in a sense. He's coming for you, Bella."

I shook for a moment, my head moving back and forth methodically. "No, that… that doesn't make any sense Edward. I can't… what am I supposed to do?"

Edward's arms wrapped around me and pulled me close. This time, I didn't resist; I buried my head against his chest and hoped that the tremors in my body would cease. But I felt the fear coursing through me and I knew it wouldn't be easy.

"We're not going to let them take you Bella," Emmett's voice muttered, angrily far off in the room. "We're all Cullens here. We fight for each other."

The words were fierce and protective, but I couldn't look at him. I couldn't smile through this confusion, this strange foreboding that had crept up too quickly on my new family. I felt another reassuring hand on my back, smaller and more soothing than Edward's wide grasp.

"This is new and confusing to us all," Esme said, her voice soft and motherly. "The only thing we can do is wait for them to come. We can work through this, I'm sure."

I pulled away from Edward, turning to stare at Esme. "How much time do we have?"

Esme turned to Alice; her eyes were slightly out of focus and Jasper stood by her side, his hand gently on her arm. She slid back into focus and a terrified expression took her vacant face. "They've left Italy… this time tomorrow."

Edward's hand closed firmly on my waist and I let my eyes slide close. This was a situation I had no control over… so why was I still feeling so guilty? The feeling sank through me like a lead weight and every bit of me felt responsible. I bit my lip, trying to prepare some sort of speech in my head for them. What would I say? 'This was fun, but there's no way I'm letting you fight the Volturi for me'? 'I'll visit as much as I can'?

Above all, in this moment, I wanted to cry. But human tears were part of my past. This gnawing pain in the hollow where my heart used to beat… that was my present and my future.

I opened my eyes and gasped; the family had disappeared. The living room was empty and I turned towards Edward. He was waiting patiently, eyes searching my face for some sort of response. I opened my mouth to speak and shut it mechanically. I couldn't think of a decent thing to say to him.

"Bella," he whispered, his hands twisting up in my hair. "Say something. You're reacting too calmly to this… on the outside." His one hand came down and pressed against my chest. "I want to know how you're feeling here."

I squinted at him, still trying to urge the nonexistent tears to fall. "Come with me upstairs," I whispered, placing my hand in his. He nodded quickly and followed close behind me. I took my time, meticulously placing one foot on each stair, wondering how many more times I'd get to climb these. Edward twitched at my side and I knew he wanted to scoop me up and run to his room, but I held my hand firm. I would take in every last bit I possibly could.

On the first landing, Edward turned to head up the second flight of stairs, but I jerked my hand to the right. He gazed at me, curious. "This way," I murmured.

The hallway was dark and I wasn't exactly sure where I was going. I had only been in this study once, and it had been daylight. But the large oak door was unmistakable, even in the dim hallway. I knocked first, hesitantly.

"He's not in there," Edward whispered, his lips near my neck.

I nodded and pushed the door open. Carlisle's study hadn't changed since the first time I was in it just over a year ago. There was a small lamp switched on by the desk, giving the room long shadows and dim lighting. Edward followed me in and I closed the door behind him. He stood, staring down at me, a dawning realization on his face as I turned to face the wall.

Here, along the many picture frames and paintings, was what I had to see. The painting of the three, the Volturi… a chill ran down my spine just looking at the interpretation of them. I took a step closer, reaching my hand out to run my fingertips over the black-haired vampire. So Marcus wanted to claim me as his new mate, because I reminded him of the mate he lost in battle… Aro and Caius would never refuse this; they would never argue against something this petty, especially if they were worried of ruining their balanced rule.

Edward's arms slipped around me from behind, his head leaning down and close to my neck. "This is what you wanted to see? Why Bella?" His voice was laced with sadness and it tore at my insides.

"I can't go to Volterra with them Edward," I whispered, letting my hand fall from the painting loosely to my side. "I can never live that kind of life." My voice broke on the last few words and Edward pressed his cool lips against my neck.

"And you'll never have to think of it," Edward murmured. "I'll protect you. I'll keep you safe. You belong here," he said growled softly. "You're mine."

I sighed and leaned back against his strong arms. I felt his hardness pressing against my lower back and suddenly, a fire lit inside me. I was a vampire now. There would be no fragile handlings or boundaries. And I was ready to mark what was mine. I moaned as Edward's tongue slid out and licked along the curve of my neck. He pushed my hair to the side and let his hands return to exploring the curves of my waist.

"Edward," I moaned again, this time twisting so we were face to face. My arousal grew at the sight of his smoldering stare; his ocher eyes were lighting me on fire. Suddenly, it didn't matter that malevolent vampires were on their way from Italy to claim me. It didn't matter that we really didn't have a plan. What mattered was getting Edward inside of me, as soon as vampirically possible.

Edward's hand found mine again and he turned to lead me towards the door.

"No!" I groaned, pulling back on his hand until he was close enough to kiss. I stood on my toes and pressed my mouth against his, willing his open with my tongue. We dueled for a moment, our lips mashing deliciously together, our tongues colliding in an erotic rhythm inside.

When he finally pulled back, his hands were on either side of my face. I panted for breath that I knew I didn't need. "Bella…" he whispered, licking his lips. I eyed Carlisle's desk out of the corner of my eye. Realization struck him hard and I could feel him pressing against my hip. I bit my lip and nodded. He grinned wickedly at me and began to walk forward, making me back up until my bottom reached the desk. "Naughty… Can't even wait to get upstairs, can you?"

I shook my head and sat myself up on the desk. There was too much talking; all I needed was Edward, his eyes on mine, his hands on my hips, and his length inside of me. Now. I growled and reached for the button on my pants. He moved forward to protest, but my hands were too quick. They were on a pile in the floor in less than a second, along with my underwear.

Edward stood in awe for a moment, drinking me in. I had to admit, having him stare at me like this was more of a turn on than I could have asked for. I slid my tongue out and licked my lips. "Are you going to join me?" I whispered darkly.

His mouth hung open for a second before his hands went to his pants, sliding them off and letting them join mine on the floor. Edward pulled his sweater off and threw it, standing naked before me faster than I could have hoped. His crooked grin stretched across his face as he walked closer to me. I spread my knees as he came to stand in front of me, his strong hands grabbing the hem of my shirt and shredding it to pieces. He let the scraps fall to the floor and stared into my eyes. He understood now. "No more boundaries," he whispered, his lips meeting mine again.

"No," I whispered as his lips moved to my neck. "No more. Thank god…"

Edward's lips came down my neck, tickled over my collar bone, then came to the cleavage that my bra created. He licked his way over the tops of my breasts and I arched forward towards him. Edward grinned, opening his mouth wide. I heard a tear and I glanced down; he had bit through the front part of my bra with his teeth. I gasped as he slid the straps from my shoulders, flinging the useless material into the darkness.

His mouth came back to mine and I wrapped my arms around his neck, as if it would draw him closer. The further his tongue probed my mouth, the wider my legs began to spread. I reached a hand down between us to stroke him; he groaned into our kiss and pulled away.

"Please," he panted. "Let me…" I stared at him, confused for a moment. Then he knelt down in front of me, hooking my legs over his shoulders. I tilted my head back, my hair falling tumbling down and brushing against Carlisle's papers, anticipating the moment Edward's lips would-

Oh, for the love of creation! Edward's lips slid over my core, brushing against my sweet spot. I bit my lip to keep from crying out loud; a faint part of me was still aware that the Cullen's had not vacated the house. As Edward's tongue stroked and licked me, his hands traveled up my hips, below my ribs, and finally towards my breasts. His strong hands massaged and teased my tips while his tongue worked me below. The double stimulation had me closing my eyes, ready to surrender to the wave of pleasure that was assaulting my body.

My release came fairly quickly; my hips twitched up towards his mouth and I cried out softly. Taking a deep breath, I shifted from my elbows to my hands on the desk. My lids felt heavy as I opened my eyes for a surprise; Edward wasn't giving me a break.

His gaze reignited the heat in me as he came back to standing. His hands gripped my waist and pulled my bottom to the very edge of the desk. "Are you ready for this?" he growled, his lips brushing just below my ear.

My arms wrapped around his neck again and I pulled him even closer. "Yes… I'm ready. Now… please," I murmured.

Edward didn't hesitate. Holding my hips firmly in his hands, he slid into me with one hard thrust. I moaned at the delicious friction our bodies allowed us. He pumped into me, bumping the desk with every thrust. The sound of his skin gently slapping against mine, the desk inching back with every thrust, and the growls I could hear emanating from his chest sent me swirling into ecstasy. I bit down on his shoulder to keep from screaming with pleasure, making Edward moan and pound harder.

I wasn't going to last much longer like this; I moved my arms from Edward's neck and wrapped them around his waist, pulling him closer with every thrust. My body was beginning to tremble again and I knew I was close to coming.

Then Edward's hands moved swiftly to my bottom, lifting me up off the desk. He held me in his arms as he continued to pull in and out of me. I had to put my arms around his neck to stable myself, burying my face there; the pleasure was almost too much.

"This…is how… it should… always be… Bella," he growled between thrusts.

"Forever," I whimpered. "No matter… what comes… our way."

"You're mine," Edward groaned again.

His final whisper coincided with his final thrust, pushing me far off the edge of sanity. I held on tightly to his shoulders and let the orgasm pummel through me, the pleasure more intense than anything I had imagined in my human life. My legs wrapped around his waist, holding him deep inside of me. I could tell by his groans and panting that he had come too. Together… with me.

Edward's lips were back by my ear, whispering again. "I love you so much."

I nodded weakly against his neck; the orgasm had apparently robbed me of forming coherent words. Without budging from his spot deep inside of me, Edward stole out of Carlisle's study, running up the second flight of stairs and into his room before I could blink. Thankfully, no one was in the hallway to see us running naked, like guilty vampires.

Edward lay down gently on the bed, pulling my body on top of his. He shifted slightly, as if to slide his length out of me. I whimpered, laying down against his chest and wrapping my arms around him as best I could. "Shhh…" he whispered. "I'll stay in you… if that's what you want."

I nodded softly, finally beginning to feel less shaky. "That's where I always want you," I murmured. "With you inside of me… I'm safe."

And I lay on top of him there, with him inside of me, for a long while. Safe as can be.

Note: Not so sure I like this new update. Sorry, I'm the worst updater EVER. I've been writing drabbles for all the Breaking Dawn quotes and the inspiration for this story started to dry up. LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK, K?! Or else... well, there may not be another part. Thanks guys!!