disclaimer: I'm not Stephanie Meyer, these are not my characters.

author's note: The minute I read this particular chapter of Breaking Dawn, I marveled at how tastefully Meyer treated the scene. But... I wanted to know what happened! Here's my own version of Edward and Bella's wedding night, made to fit in right where the scene leaves off. It's a bit long, I think, so try to bear with me. Reviews are love!

p.s. Thanks for the great reviews, everybody! My ego may never deflate again, haha. In case anyone is interested, I've posted The Second Night, which serves as a companion to this story, from Edward's POV, and Practice Makes Perfect (3rd time).

He stood, his back to me, waist deep in the midnight water, staring up at the oval moon. The pallid light of the moon turned his skin a perfect white, like the sand, like the moon itself, and made his wet hair black as the ocean…

I slipped the towel off without hesitation, leaving it on the tree with his clothes, and walked out into the white light; it made me pale as the snowy sand too… I stepped in, walking carefully across the invisible ocean floor, but my care was unnecessary; the sand continued perfectly smooth, sloping gently toward Edward. I waded through the weightless current till I was at his side, and then I placed my hand lightly over his cool hand lying in the water…

He shuddered the tiniest bit at my warm touch. His breath came rougher now. "I promised we would try," he whispered, suddenly tense. "If… if I do anything wrong, if I hurt you, you must tell me at once…"

"Don't be afraid," I murmured. "We belong together." I was abruptly overwhelmed by the truth of my own words. This moment was so perfect, so right, there was no way to doubt it.

His arms wrapped around mine, holding me against him, summer and winter. It felt like every nerve ending in my body was a live wire. "Forever," he agreed, and then pulled us gently into the deeper water.

Breaking Dawn, page 84-85

I followed easily, the slope of the soft sand continuing smoothly, evenly into the ocean. I kept my head on his chest as we walked, acutely aware of every point where our bodies touched, every place our bare chests moved against each other. I briefly wondered how my blazing body did not burn him. There existed no trace of my former insecurities; this man, my husband was gazing at me with such intensity that there was no room for anything other than love as I gazed back at him.

He moved slowly in the water, more for my benefit than his, I was sure. The warm water was beginning to lap gently against us when he finally paused. We weren't very far in, the shore still visible even to my weak human eyes, but the water was now a few inches below my collarbone, just barely covering the swell of my breasts, pale in the moonlight. His eyes did not break away from mine until he was leaning toward me, pressing his lips chastely against my mine. The kiss was soft and slow for a few moments, but quickly grew in intensity. I could feel Edward's need burning right alongside my own, his molten gold eyes darkening ever so slightly when he pulled away briefly.

"I love you, Bella," he breathed, his voice hoarse, as hoarse as possible for my angel. His lips were on mine before I could reply, feverishly kissing me and pulling me closer. The hands that had previously been locked around my waist now traveled over the curves of my body, gently gliding with the water. His right hand found its spot in the small of my back, pulling, curving me toward him. His left tangled in my hair, anchoring my face to his with an unbreakable hold. I lightly trailed my hands up his chest, one lingering there while the other locked around his neck.

My heart was racing, spluttering frantically when he broke away from my lips to trail hot kisses along my jaw line, down my throat, across my collarbone. A sharp gasping sound reached my ears, and I belatedly realized that it was my own breathing, coming in ragged gasps. A small part of my mind wondered why my reaction this time was so elevated, but then it occurred to me; he had kissed me a few times like this, but never with his naked body pressed against my own. That particular sensation was altogether new.

My scattered brain furtively sought to find the words I had meant to say before his second kiss, and it took a few moments to gather them together. "I love you too, Edward," I whispered, pressing soft kisses along his cheek and jaw, and forehead, whenever I could. I heard his breath hitch as he trailed his kisses lower down, across the curve of my left breast. His unnecessary breathing was growing rougher.

"Mmm…. your heart is humming," he mumbled against my skin, his lips curving upward as he placed a delicate kiss on the left side of my chest. I thought I felt him swallow, but he covered the action quickly by letting his lips skim along the top of my breasts, pausing to linger on them from time to time. I was aching for him to drift his mouth farther down, under the water. Instead he trailed softer kisses up my throat, along my jaw, finally coming to a short-lived stop at my lips. I was frustrated at the renewed chastity in the kiss, letting my air out – when did I start holding my breath? – in a sigh.

I heard his soft chuckle, a lovely sound that blended almost perfectly into the darkness. The hand that had been firmly holding me to him drifted away from the small of my back, coming around to my waist, then lower down to rest at my hip. My breath caught at the closeness of his fingers to my very core, which felt like it was burning along with every other inch of me. "Why are you stopping?" my voice was still breathless from his kissing, desperate for him to continue.

"I brought you out for a swim, didn't I?" Now that Edward's voice was louder, I realized that it wasn't nearly as collected as usual. His tone betrayed a touch of nervousness, although I could tell he was trying to hide it. "Unless you want to skip ahead… I just figured the water might help, uh," – he gestured at his body with his free hand – "warm me up a little," as he finished he flashed me a sheepish grin, shrugging.

Knowing my face would give away the reluctance in a heartbeat, I looked away from his eyes. I focused on my hands instead, which were now drawing idle patterns across his perfectly sculpted chest, white in the moonlight. I let another sigh, smaller and resigned, and nodded without a word.

Edward chuckled again, and I felt the hand that had been resting at my hip trail slowly up to my waist, then break away. I almost groaned at the lack of contact until I felt the same hand cupping my cheek, still cold but not icy as usual. "Oh," was all I could manage, finally meeting his eyes again. He was searching my face, his eyes suddenly silver in the moonlight. I could see traces of anxiety in them, but my small smile must have given him the reassurance he needed. "If you want to swim, then we can swim," I whispered, not trusting my voice with anything louder. My brain, becoming more unclouded as the moments passed, was already trying to figure out how this would even work. I doubted I could remain focused enough to go through the motions of swimming, and Edward playing lifeguard had not been in my original honeymoon plans.

I was rewarded with a dazzling crooked smile, and a quick kiss. The excitement glowed in his eyes, and in one smooth motion too fast for my human senses I was latched onto his back and almost completely submerged in water. "Just for a little while, love. Believe me, I'm as… anxious as you are, but I want this to be as comfortable as possible too." My only response was a soft kiss on his marble neck, which elicited a sigh of his own.

And then we were flying. Well… surfing was more like it. Edward's sleek body moved easily in the water, gliding soundlessly through the waves, deeper and deeper into the ocean. He kept his lower body at a downward angle as he kicked, his arms preoccupied with keeping me in place. My own body floated above surface up until the waist, the rest of me just beneath the water. I longed to be in complete contact, but he kept me locked securely where I was, chest pressed against his back, lower bodies separate. He was as euphoric swimming as he was running; I couldn't help but mirror his joy as we looped three times around the isle.

The night was incredibly still as we circled, and I was only aware that we had reached our starting point when he slowed and eventually stopped, treading water effortlessly. The silence was interrupted by his light humming as he slowly undid my arms, and brought me around to face him, crushing me close to his chest. I heard him exhale slowly, and kiss the top of my head. "Thank you, Bella, I needed that…" I was confused by his words, but didn't press it further. Instead I placed light kisses on throat, weaving my way down to his chest. His breath hitched, and before I knew what was really happening we were gliding towards the sandy shore, towards the house and huge white bed…

He lifted me up into his arms as soon as both our feet touched sand, and carried me wordlessly the rest of the way, up the path to the house. I blushed furiously as my pale body, unclothed, came fully into view, but his eyes stayed glued to mine, adoration pouring out of them. As we made our way swiftly through the sparse jungle I waited for my stage fright to return, waited desperately for the moment I would feel the need to turn away with embarrassment. As we crossed the threshold and maneuvered to the white room, I realized my fears would not make another appearance tonight. How could they, when the man – vampire – that carried me obviously loved me as thoroughly, completely, and irrevocably as I loved him?

The huge white bed was waiting for us, draped with an elegant canopy of mosquito netting. He carefully released my legs and lowered me to the ground, one arm sliding from my shoulders firmly down to my waist. With one smooth motion he swept the netting aside, somehow swung both of us onto the bed inside, and had the netting secure again. I blinked at the grace of his movements, but before I could say anything I was aware that he had suddenly become very silent, no longer humming. I glanced away from the netting to look at him, fearing there was something wrong.

Edward was no longer focused on my eyes. His gaze had dropped down to the rest of me, and he was frozen, a perfect marble statue of Adonis hovering over me. I lay on my back now, propped up against two large down pillows, my mahogany hair fanned out beneath me. I could feel my pulse thudding in my veins, the strong blood rush to my cheeks. I waited as the seconds ticked by, watching him carefully. He remained frozen over me, only his eyes traveling painstakingly slow over the length of my body. I took the moment to look over the perfect creature above me as well, a flash of familiar desperation reaching me when I took in his complete perfection.

There were his perfectly sculpted muscles all along his chest, his stomach, all along the arms that suspended his body above me. Perfect definition beneath his pale skin, still looking completely white in the moonlight that streamed through the window. His golden eyes were distracted, and I took advantage to look over the face I wanted to memorize for all of eternity. Perfectly straight nose, full lips, defined jaw line and cheekbones. Too perfect, much too perfect. And this divine creature was mine, and mine alone; the very thought had butterflies in my stomach. The purplish bruises beneath his eyes were hardly visible tonight, the only spot of color on his face besides his topaz eyes. I reached up to stroke underneath one of them softly, my voice finally breaking the silence. "Edward?"

My voice seemed to break his trance, and he suddenly melted, dragging his eyes, warm and intense, up to mine. "You are the most beautiful and exquisite creature I have ever laid eyes on, Mrs. Cullen," he breathed, a small smile playing on his lips. I didn't get a chance to answer before his lips were pressed against mine in a deep kiss. I was sure my whole body would burst into flames when I felt his hands caressing my waist, and then curving around to my stomach, along my arms, following a circuit that never touched the areas burning most.

It was I who had to break the kiss, gasping desperately for air, although I didn't need that as much as I needed Edward. Although I enjoyed the feel of his cool hands, I wanted more – I wanted all of him. His smooth lips never left me, instead shifting to my cheek, then dragging down my throat and across my collar bone. His hands, tentative at first, were becoming bolder in their ministrations. My breath caught sharply as he finally reached my breasts, tracing the outline before cupping one of them gently. He massaged them tenderly, clearly intent on making me combust there and then. And really, I could feel the fire all over my body funneling down to my core, the one spot he was apparently attending last.

The gentle massaging all over my body didn't stop until I heard a sort of whimper, which I realized came from my lips. I was trying so hard to be good, to make this easier for him, but I didn't think I could handle the gentleness much longer. His face immediately snapped up from where it had been buried between my neck and shoulder, and I noticed his voice was rough when he spoke. "Did I hurt you?" he asked frantically, lifting his glorious hands from me and eliciting another whimper. At the second one he all but lifted himself off of me, worry creasing his marble forehead.

"No, Edward, of course not," I started, my voice a strained, hushed whisper. "Please… more," I probably sounded like a whiny human, but after momentarily searching my face he must have found something to convince him otherwise. He dropped his lips to mine with renewed force, lacking the same restraint as before. With a soft groan he finally lowered his body to mine again, holding it over me as only he could, so that I felt him but none of his weight. The length of our naked bodies pressed together only intensified the burning, the contrast of his cool skin, the maddening desire I felt for him. It was close, but not close enough. I brought my arms up from his chest to lock around his neck, trying desperately to secure myself to him.

He alternated between hands, using one to hold himself up, letting the other travel over whatever part of my body was exposed, his caresses rougher than before. I could feel the self-control evaporating above me, noticed it in how he desperately broke away only to trail hot kisses down my throat, all the way to my breasts, which he peppered over and over with close mouthed kisses. The air felt heavier, silence broken over and over by soft moans and pants from both of us as we explored the other's body, low growls from him on occasion. His hands were less gentle now, grasping at every part of my delicate skin, but I didn't care - I just wanted more. Edward's wavering discipline was most evident, though, in the slight shift of his body, which placed one knee between my legs. He eased his knee up, trying to be gentle, but knocking against my sensitive skin more than once. Another minuscule shift brought him to my entrance, and suddenly I was very still.

His eyes locked with mine, and I could see the strain evident in his features. Wordlessly, he unraveled one hand from his hair, removed the other from his chest, and then lifted both up over my head quickly. I heard a small pop from my shoulder, but that hardly mattered. He held them there, crossed lightly, with one restraining hand on my forearm. And as much as I wanted to be touching him, basking in him, I understood why. We had agreed before the wedding that if we were to try, it would require control above all else, especially for Edward. His other hand slipped to my waist, and at that slight contact, I couldn't help but writhe under him. So close, but still not enough.

He seemed to understand, leaning down to kiss fiercely once more before starting to enter me, cool but not icy. And slow, much too slow. My whole body was pulsing, begging for him now. I tried to hold still, but my body betrayed me before he was halfway in, my hips bucking up to meet him. I gasped in response to the flood of pleasure, but this caused him to freeze, worry creasing his features yet again. How to tell him that pain was the very last thing on my mind? Before he could even ask I shook my head minutely, trying miserably to imitate his crooked smile. "I want you. I need you," I murmured. I thought I saw him nod, but couldn't be sure because the flood of pleasure when he completely entered me was blinding.

I ignored the momentary flash of real pain as he broke through my seal, closing my eyes and keeping my face as composed as possible. I doubt I fooled him, because he stilled inside of me, giving me time to adjust. As soon as I felt the initial pain ebbing away I started gently lifting my hips, encouraging him. When I didn't feel him move, I reluctantly opened my eyes. What I saw surprised me. Edward had his eyes closed above me, a look of complete concentration on his face mixed with something I could not comprehend. Guilt? As I watched his face softened, although the concentration never left, and he started to move slowly inside of me.

The sensation was incredible, utterly new, and even stronger because of the fact. I couldn't move my hands, so I settled with clenching and unclenching my fists, focusing on the fire, which –if possible – was growing even hotter, where we were joined. He continued moving in and out of me, and through half-closed eyes I saw that his concentration ebbed away with every thrust. I started lifting my hips up against him, matching his rhythm, and it earned me his uncharacteristic seductive growl. He began to move faster, feeding the tension I could feel building up. It wasn't long until I was overwhelmed by the pleasure, crying out and arching my back as the building tension inside me snapped. The last thing I was aware of before I went over the edge was Edward's face, his golden eyes fluttering open when my muscles clenched around him, his former concentration all but gone as he spilled inside of me.

I shuddered as wave after wave of pleasure rolled over me, completely undone. A sense of euphoria overtook me as I realized I had found heaven, found complete bliss. The feeling of this - of him - was divine, and made me feel... complete. Before I was really composed I felt a slump against me, the coolness informing me that Edward had collapsed heavily on top of me, for once letting me feel the weight of his marble body. I didn't mind, and now that my hands were free I wrapped them around his waist, reveling in his cool, stony feel. His head was buried in the pillows just above my left shoulder, and I dragged one hand up his back to run my hand soothingly through his damp bronze hair. A very distant corner of my mind wondered what the two small poofs had been just moments ago, or why my head seemed to be losing elevation, but I shrugged it off, closing my eyes and embracing the silent moment.

It took him longer to regain his composure, but when he finally lifted his head to face me, his carefully built self-control was back in place. The breathing that had been as erratic as mine was under control, my favorite smile in place under creases of worry. "Are you alright?" he asked in a hushed whisper, scrutinizing my reaction.

"Of course, Edward... of course," I replied quietly, for the first time hearing the huskiness in my own voice. I leaned up to kiss him softly, slowly, and he gladly reciprocated. His arms wrapped around my waist and rolled us over gently, so that I ended up curled against his chest, my only relief from the suffocating heat that surrounded us.

We lay together for an indefinite amount of time - minutes? hours? - until his voice broke the silence, released in a sigh. "I love you, Bella."

"I love you too," I breathed in response, already feeling the tug of unconsciousness. As I drifted to sleep I was faintly aware of a soft something tickling my skin, but Edward's humming distracted me as I faded into a deep slumber.