Note: Goddess divine Stephenie Meyer owns everything. I just borrow the characters. If I owned them, I'd never let Edward come out and play.

Choices

Chapter 1: A Nervous Reunion

I had made my choice months ago. It was what I wanted. What I needed. Above all else.

To be with Edward for all eternity. To never be parted from his side. To be his equal in every way. For him to be able to hold me and touch me in ways he never could while I was still a fragile, breakable human.

And yet every time I thought about my upcoming "renovations" as I had once termed them, my heart sped up and my palms started to sweat. It mostly happened in the car because it was one of the few situations when Edward wouldn't pry into my thoughts. But of course, he noticed. My traitorous body gave me away every time. Edward would turn his head and give me a sideways glance that only I would see, and I would mutter something about his "insane driving" instead of saying my real reason.

"Bella, love?" he asked tonight.

Gulp.

"I'm okay. Just nervous to see everybody," I lied.

He sighed. He knew I was lying. I was terrible at lying.

So here we were, driving back to his house, our house, after our week-long honeymoon. The wedding had been lovely, even if the idea of it was slightly torturous for me for months beforehand. For someone who had practically refused marriage, I had loved every second of it. Alice has truly done a wondrous job with it and I had openly admitted to her so.

After the ceremony, Edward had whisked me away on our honeymoon without telling me our destination. We had spent a week in Chicago, his hometown. He had reserved the honeymoon suite at the most expensive hotel in town even though I had extracted a promise from him not to spend massive amounts of money on me. All my protests had been wiped away, though, when I had seen our suite. Flowers everywhere. Silk sheets that were almost as smooth as Edward's marble skin. A view to rival any on the planet.

We had toured the city, stopping at all the appropriate sites. With Alice's help we'd managed to avoid the sunny moments and had ducked into various museums and indoor destinations. Edward was an expert at explaining history to me in a way I could understand it, mostly thanks to the fact that most of what he explained he'd been around for or had seen through Carlisle's memories.

But our stunning honeymoon, much like my life soon would, came to an end. I grudgingly repacked the bags Alice had so carefully packed and we made our way back to Forks.

So here I was now, arriving back at the house where my life had really begun (I considered that to be when I met Edward) and where it would end. Well, my human life at least.

Edward parked the car and before I could even unbuckle my seatbelt, he was already opening the door and helping me out of the car. I moved gingerly; I was still a little sore from all of our unvirtuous acts on our honeymoon and I blushed at the memories. I'm sure Edward could tell right away what I was thinking because he pulled me in for a deep kiss, wrapping his stone arms around me in the process.

His icy tongue ran along my upper lip, gently asking for permission even though I never denied him. It tangled with my own in my mouth and the taste of him saturated my brain. He had compared my blood to a fine spirit before, but his own taste was out of this world. There were simply no words to describe it. The best I ever came close to was "divine."

I arched my back into him and wanted him to take me right there, in plain site of his family that I'm sure were watching. I didn't care. I lost all sense of propriety when he kissed me like this. Like the time in the museum in Chicago. Or on the plane back home. Or in the bathroom at the airport.

My breathing became ragged all too quickly and Edward moved from my lips to kiss my jaw, slowly drawing his lips down my neck to my collarbone. It was his favorite place on me to kiss, after my lips of course.

"Ewwwww, you two. Get a room!" I heard Emmett's booming voice calling from the porch. Immediately I felt my cheeks turn a deep crimson and buried my face in Edward's chest, though the even closer proximity did little to cool my burning cheeks.

A growl rose in Edward's chest and I felt it ripple through his lungs and upward. It tickled my face and made me giggle.

"Like I haven't had to deal with listening to his lewd thoughts about Rosalie for decades," he said.

Emmett only roared in laughter at this comment. I couldn't help but join in and raised my hand to my mouth to stifle my own laughter.

Another low growl came from Edward.

"What's he thinking?" I whispered even though I knew the whole family probably heard me.

"He's congratulating me for finally 'growing a pair and being a man'," he whispered in my ear so that only I could hear. His cool breath on my neck sent shivers of delight down my body.

"Typical Emmett," I laughed.

"Savage," Edward hissed.

"Oh, hush, Mr. Cullen. You know you liked it," I swatted his chest playfully, trying to remember that while I could hurt myself, he couldn't.

"If I remember correctly, you seemed to enjoy yourself as well, Mrs. Cullen. Rather loudly, I might add," his voice was low and husky against my neck. Immediately, my legs felt like jelly and I wasn't sure I'd make it two more steps, much less into the house.

Oh, god. I love when he talks like that, I thought.

"Are you coming in or am I going to have to come out there and get you in myself?" I heard Alice's excited voice even though my lust-filled haze.

Not two seconds after she said that, she was right in front of me. Alice pulled me from Edward's strong arms and wrapped her own tiny arms around me, forgetting that I was still breakable.

"Uh, Alice …. can't …. breathe."

She immediately pulled away, and I knew if she could blush she's be red. She was always forgetting my condition in her fits of enthusiasm.

"Just think, Bella! In four days I can hug you as tightly as I want!" she was brimming with excitement and practically bouncing.

Without even having to look, I knew Edward had stiffened at the mention of my upcoming transformation. My own body stopped for just a second and I felt my pulse quicken. I pushed it off as quickly as it had come. Remember, you want this, I thought.

She pulled me into the house, with Edward quick on our heels. Everybody took their turns giving me hugs as tightly as they dared, with the exception of Jasper. I wasn't offended. He still kept a safe distance between us for both our sakes. That was something I certainly wouldn't miss: the always present uncomfortable moments.

Before I could catch my breath from the reunion, Alice was tugging at my arm.

"Bella! You have to tell me everything!" she gushed.

I turned around at looked at Edward, pleading him to save me with my eyes.

He laughed. "Go ahead. I have to talk to Carlisle about, uh, tomorrow." For a split second, I detected a note of sadness in his voice, but it was quickly washed away when he gave me my favorite crooked smile.

Edward had been hesitant to use the word "transformation" or "change" for awhile. He'd instead taken to calling it "the day" or "the time." I knew he'd accepted it as the only way we could be together forever, but also that it still made him upset, probably more than he let on.

"Come on, Bella!" Alice sighed, pulling me upstairs to her and Jasper's room.

Once safely inside, she threw us on the bed. I sat up and crossed my legs beneath me. She laid on her stomach with her chin in her hands.

"So? How was it?" her eyes were wide with curiosity.

"Well, Chicago was nice. Big. Really tall buildings. The hotel was really nice. You would have liked it, Alice. A lot of shopping!" I said.

"No, Bella! How was it?" she winked.

I immediately understood what she was asking and blushed even deeper than I had earlier.

"Alice! I'm not telling you that!"

"What? It's only natural that I'd be curious."

"I figured you'd know, what with the visions and all."

"I was expressly forbidden to look for that vision. Only that you made it out okay," she waved me off. "And really, I'm not sure I would have wanted to see my brother like that."

She scrunched her nose up in disgust.

I laughed at her face. Even with the wrinkly nose, she was still the most beautiful pixie I could ever imagine. It just made her more adorable.

"So are you nervous about tomorrow?" her tone was suddenly serious.

I froze. I didn't know what to say.

"It's okay. Everything will turn out well. I know," she tapped the side of her head then patted my hand to comfort me.

"I know. It's just … yeah, I'm nervous," I admitted.

"About what specifically?" she inquired.

"The pain mostly. For as many injuries as I've had over the years, I've never been one to rush into something painful. All those times have been accidents. But mostly, I'm nervous for Edward. I can deal with my suffering; I don't think I can deal with him suffering with me," I sighed.

"Oh, Bella," she crooned.

"I mean, it's the only way for us to really be together. I know that. But he's so hard on himself. I know he's going to blame himself for anything that goes wrong, big or small. He's always been so hesitant to agree to this. I don't want him to feel like I'm pressuring him into this."

"He doesn't. He wants this just as much as you do. He's just as scared as you are, though. You know he doesn't like seeing you in pain. For gosh sakes! He refuses to let you open your own mail anymore just in case you slice your finger. I can be there with you, if you want," Alice said comfortingly.

I shook my head. "Absolutely not. It's going to be tough enough for Edward. I don't want anybody else to suffer with him."

"Well, we'll certainly hear you well enough to make up for it."

"No, you won't."

"What do you mean?" Alice looked confused.

"I'm not going to scream. I've promised myself that. I won't let Edward hear me scream in pain. It would kill him," I stated firmly.

"Bella, it's not going to do you any good to hold it in," her voice was low, resigned almost.

"We'll see, Alice."

A light knock sounded at the door and I immediately knew who it was without getting up. Sometimes I felt like the prophetic one.

I rushed to the door, swung it open and found Edward leaning against the door frame with one arm up in the air.

He smiled and I just about melted right there. I wrapped my arms around his waist and let myself be pulled into his chest. He set his chin on my head, taking in the scent of my hair.

"I missed you," he whispered.

"I missed you too," I returned.

"Have a nice talk with Alice?" he asked.

"Of course she did!" Alice chimed from behind us.

I giggled. "Yes. Have a nice talk with Carlisle?"

"Yes. Just working out the details." He paused and pulled back from me. He took his hands and cupped both of my cheeks. His eyes, darkened from a week without hunting, pierced right into me. Moments like this made me think he really could read my mind.

"Are you sure you want this?" he asked.

My breath hitched in my throat. "Of course I do. You don't have to keep asking that. I'm just a little nervous, that's all."

His face was serious, and I could tell he was having an internal battle. He pulled me into a deep hug again and sighed into the crook of my neck where he'd nestled his face. After a moment, he pulled away. In barely a heartbeat, he had whisked me up in his arms and carried me down the hall and into our room, bridal style.

Once we were back in our room, he set me on the golden comforter of the bed. He fidgeted around the room, adjusting things here and there. He played with the stereo and stuck several CDs into it, promptly removing them as if he was trying to find the right music. Edward finally settled on something soft, classical piano, and came over to the bed again.

He settled in against me. My back was to his chest and he wrapped his arm around my waist in the indentation that seemed to fit him perfectly. There was no doubt that my body was made to fit his and vice versa. Two interlocking puzzle pieces that connected in all the right ways.

We stayed like that for awhile, probably longer than I realized. It was so comforting to be with him and be silent. Even though I'm sure it drove him crazy not hearing my thoughts, sometimes it felt like we didn't need to speak at all.

I fought against my heavy eyelids, not wanting the day to end. Today had been perfect and tomorrow would bring that perfection to an end. Three days. It's just three days, I thought. Then you can be with Edward for eternity. And pesky sleep won't ever have to get in the way.

As much as I tried to stifle it, a yawn escaped my lips.

"Bella, love. As much as I would like this moment to never end, you really need to sleep. It's been a long day. Tomorrow's going to be … tough for all of us," Edward whispered in my ear. There was that note of sadness again.

Edward extricated himself from my arms, much to my discontent. His eyes locked with my now sleepy ones. He pulled me vertical on the edge of the giant bed, stretching my arms upward. My heart rate sped up from the touch of his cool fingers despite my ever increasing weariness.

He slowly pulled my shirt off, then slid his hands down my arms. For as cold as they were, his fingers were leaving a trail of fire in their wake. The trailed down the sides of my torso, as delicately as butterfly wings. I was starting to breath quicker, more rugged breathes. I was having trouble forming thoughts, much less words.

Please keep going. Oh, god. Keep going.

His fingers tortured me all the way to the button on my jeans. The zipper was down in a blink and he carefully tugged them down. I lifted my hips slightly to help ease them off. He never once broke eye contact with me despite my now heaving chest. The jeans pooled on the floor beneath me.

Edward took a minute to look me over, head to toe. The first few times he'd seen me without clothes on I'd been embarrassed beyond words; now it just made my senses go into overdrive.

"You are the most gorgeous creature on this planet," he breathed huskily. "In this universe."

My eyes practically rolled to the back of my head. This was torture. I needed him, wanted him.

A chill crept through me, despite my seemingly increasing body temperature. I shivered.

Edward chuckled at the sight. "Well, we certainly can't let you sleep like that. You'll freeze to death before I have a chance to warm you."

My eyes shot open.

"What would you have me wear then?" I asked, suddenly wide awake. I tried to sound as seductive as I possibly could through my groggy state.

Edward pulled his face in tight to my neck, breathing his icy breath into the space right below my neck. It sent another shiver through me, but this time it wasn't from the cold.

"Truthfully, I'd have you wear nothing at all," lust covered each word he spoke. "But I'm not sure I could control myself seeing you like that all night. Naked. In our bed."

My eyes began to roll back again. His voice alone was dazzling me.

Oh god. Please.

"But you really should get your sleep," he quickly said. My eyes came open again to see him unbuttoning his shirt.

"I like it best when you sleep in this. Even with all the lovely lingerie that Alice packed for you, I still think you look best in just my shirt."

He slipped the shirt off and I couldn't help but stare at the perfection that was his gorgeous chest. Every muscle was defined. Every plane was smooth. I thought I would go over the edge just staring at him like that.

Edward lifted my arms up and deftly slid his shirt over them. He rebuttoned it, pausing at each button to place a kiss on my lips before continuing to the next. When he was finally done with the buttons, he gently pulled my legs up onto the bed and pushed me down. Edward tucked the sheet in around my body before he was swiftly on the other side, sliding under the sheet next to me.

I nestled into his chest, and he settled his face into my hair.

I could feel the slow creep of unconsciousness pulling me under, but I wanted to get one more thing out before I let it consume me.

"Edward?" I whispered.

"Yes, love?"

"I'm ready. I really am. I'm just a little bit nervous."

He sighed. "I am too, love. I am too." I heard resignation in his voice, barely detectable to anybody else, but I knew him better.

Okay, two more things.

"Edward?"

"Mmmmm?' he mumbled with his face pressed deep into my hair.

"I love you."

"I love you too, Isabella Cullen."

He began to hum my lullaby and I knew I didn't have much of a chance of lasting any longer. The blackness of sleep washed over me, overwhelming me.


A/N: This is the first fanfic I've written in awhile. Please review and let me know what you think, good or bad. And also let me know if you want me to continue. I'm willing to do so, if people want me to.