I don't own Twilight. Oh well, life goes on.
. . . Kinda.
Okay. So. Wow. I honestly never thought this day would come! (Insert all kinds of wiseass comments on my updating speeds here. lol.) And yet, here I am, bringing y'all the twentieth and final chapter of Warmth! Because I am a total sap, I have all kinds of things to say, but I will save them for the end in order to give you all a chance to escape the gushiness if you wish. ;)
Okay . . . here we go . . . last one . . .
With the sexiest smirk I had ever seen, Edward slid his hands upward, around the swells of my calves, under my knees, up the back of my thighs, until they finally settled . . . right on my -
I was jolted from the memory as two strong, masculine hands slapped against the back of my thighs, gripping me in the exact same place they had so many months ago.
"Oh, come on, Edward!" I giggled as my shield snapped firmly back into place. "That was a blurry human memory! And I hadn't even gotten to the good part yet!"
Edward grinned down at me as he pulled me close to him, his fingers wrapping firmly around my thighs. "Ah, but you must remember, love, that my memory is completely intact. And I can recall precisely what happens next."
I smiled widely at him as I let my hands slip from his face, sweeping them slowly down the clean cut of his jaw to trace the familiar lines of his throat. Silver moonlight filtered in through our bedroom window, illuminating my fingertips as they settled on Edward's strong shoulders. His arms encircled me as he kept his tight grip on my thighs, his body curling to surround mine in the most intimate and comforting of ways.
The night was quiet, but comfortingly so, as if Mother Nature herself was taking a deep breath after the near-battle she had borne witness to mere hours ago. I reveled in the peaceful silence as I took a moment to just feel. Relief that it was over, gratitude for our safety, the sensation of Edward pressed against me - I let it all sink into me, soaking through my stone skin like the rays of a warm, sunny day. But above it all, the feel of Edward seemed to prevail, demanding my attention as his hard body pressed against my gentle curves. It had been so long since I had felt him this way - since I had even dared to hope to feel him again this way - that even this simple embrace was enough to send a giddy sort of happiness spiraling through my veins.
With a deeply contented sigh, I closed my eyes, returning happily to the matter at hand. The memory of our first night together raced through me again, and I held on to his shoulders as I tilted my head back, waiting expectantly for him to recreate his perfect memory and slide his hands just half an inch upward . . . .
After waiting one moment too many, I snapped my eyes open, only to see Edward smirking down at me with one eyebrow suggestively raised.
Oh. So that was how we were going to play it.
From Edward's all-too eager expression, I could tell he was waiting for me to pick up exactly where my memory left off - to open my shield once again, just to take him back to the warm waters of Isle Esme and show him exactly how it had felt when his hands had finally curled around the curve of my ass.
Well, I thought with an extreme case of deja vu, two can play at that game.
Instead of thinking back to the lapping waves of the ocean, I lifted my hands and pressed them against the sides of his face. Closing my eyes, I envisioned a large, stately bed with crisp, white linens that felt soft beneath my skin. And just as the distant sound of the ocean began to rush back to me, I opened my mind, then thrust my shield outward . . .
Edward hissed frantically and bucked his hips into mine. The feel of his erection being pushed hard on my hot spot was delicious and I threw both my legs over his hips. I moaned into his mouth as I felt his hand sliding down my right hip. After only a moment's hesitation, he curved his trail backwards and his fingers splayed over my ass cheek. God, I loved it when he grabbed my ass. Everywhere he touched lit me on fire.
Edward let out a quick, soft groan as his hands swiftly hitched upward, cupping my ass and pulling my hips into his.
The action immediately distracted me, and I groaned from both the feel of his fingers wrapped around my flesh and the light pop that sounded in my head as my shield shrunk once again.
"Ungh, Edward!" I exclaimed, not quite sure whether it was the heat of his action or the frustration with my shield that had caused the outburst.
"Mmmm," he replied, simply. "I knew you liked that."
"Did you now?" I scoffed, even as the heat of his action continued to play across my skin. "Well, I guess it wouldn't take a mindreader to figure that one out."
Edward tilted his face to smirk at me while I grinned wryly.
"Indeed," he allowed as his lips curled wickedly, and he pulled me against him again, letting me feel the first stirrings of his arousal as he nipped lightly at my neck.
I gasped out loud, my teeth sinking excitedly into my lip. Arousal stirred inside me, as well; a soft echo of the hardness that was rapidly growing against my stomach. Edward chuckled deeply, the sound muffled against my throat, but I could tell from his haughty tone that he thought I was done for - that I would soon succumb to his teasingly sensual actions. And perhaps I would have - back on Isle Esme. But I had far too much experience under my belt - literally - to give in now.
With a cool grin, I slid my hands languidly down Edward's neck, then closed my eyes as I pushed my shield outward once again. My smile widened slightly as I caught hold of the invisible band and stretched it to include Edward with startling ease . . .
"I need you, Bella," he nearly moaned. "I have been thinking about you all day. I cannot stop fantasizing about you, cannot stop the constant lurid visions of you that have been assaulting my mind. Visions of your soft body, your full lips, your warmth, your wetness. . ."
Edward's head snapped up from my neck as his fingers tightened convulsively on my ass.
We stared at each other for the briefest of moments, Edward's eyes wide with realization while I grinned delightedly at him.
"That's what you dreamt?" he finally asked, looking slightly stunned.
"Mmm-hm," I answered casually, relishing the way his eyes widened even further and his jaw fell momentarily slack.
But before I could fully savor the moment, Edward suddenly regained his composure, smirking coyly as he leaned sharply forward, purposely bending me beneath him.
"Well, then," he murmured. "Why don't you show me what happened next?"
As he spoke, Edward swept one hand smoothly up my back while the other drifted steadily down my thigh. His touches were feather light, but so utterly suggestive that my eyelids fluttered shut as a deep, erotic thrill ran through me. My body melted instantly, and I could practically feel every fiber of my being gravitating toward him, pulling me into him as another part of my mind raced backward, replaying the vision my subconscious had cooked up so long ago . . .
"I'm going to make love to you, Bella," he crooned as his lips brushed my shoulder. My eyes rolled back and I held my breath as his fingers came to rest lightly on the black shoulder strap of my bikini. He gently hooked his finger under it, and started to drag it down. . .
As the memory faded, a small yet quite audible groan escaped me - a slip that immediately embarrassed me.
Or would have embarrassed me, had the sound not been almost completely masked by Edward's own low, throaty moan.
Confused, I opened my eyes.
And that was when I felt it.
The familiar sensation of my mental shield shrinking quickly and firmly back into place.
Startled, I flinched, then gasped with realization, overwhelmed with the possibilities of what I had just done.
Somehow, I had managed to push my shield out to share my thoughts with Edward . . . without giving a conscious order to do so.
Elated at my unwitting achievement, I lifted my eyes to Edward's, grinning widely as I practically bounced on the balls of my feet.
What I saw melted my expression into one of longing as my muscles clenched and my insides twisted deep within me.
Edward's expression was deliciously dark as he stared wryly down at me, his eyes smoldering with lusty delight as his lips stayed curled in a deep, knowing smirk. His deep gaze was glowing with pride, yet shadowed by mischief as he stared down at me, his beautiful, sly grin locked firmly in place.
"That was good," he whispered roughly as he tilted his head toward mine, the low timber of his voice sending an electric thrill shooting from my head all the way to my toes.
"Now show me more." The words seemed to drip from his lips, so blatantly suggestive that I could feel the erotic promise in them emanating outward, scorching my skin. As he spoke, his arm tightened around my back, pulling my breasts flush against the flat plane of chest. Caught up in his hot, golden gaze, I thrust my hips hard against his, wedging his now-solid erection tightly between us as I thought back to a bed that was not white, but a beautiful, rich shade of blue . . .
Edward held my hip firmly with one hand while the other trailed up my side and onto my back, coming to rest between my shoulder blades. With light but undeniable pressure, he pushed me down, bending me over at the waist.
"That's right, Bella. Stretch that fine ass of yours," he purred.
A rumbling groan erupted from Edward's chest, and I snapped my eyes open just in time to watch his fingers curl around the hem of my shirt.
Captivated, I watched the lean muscles in his forearm flex, his fist tightening for the briefest of moments. Then, with nothing but a simple twist of his wrist, he ripped the shirt from my shoulders, letting it fall in a useless puddle on the floor.
Another loud cry filled the air, this one fresh from my own lips as my skin tingled with want for the warmth of flesh against flesh. In no time at all, my own hands had made equally quick work of his shirt while his long, deft fingers unhinged my bra, catapulting it across the room and into the wall behind us. Our hard skin crashed as our bodies collided, the sound bouncing erotically around us. Our fingers flew into action, sliding and scratching across the treasures we had uncovered. And as our hands wandered, our mouths met once again, our tongues frantically exploring as our lips played against each other's.
Our kiss was so deeply sensual that I could feel it right down to my very core, and as a shudder tore through me, so did another memory. Holding onto it, I let the memory run rampant inside my mind, hoping that my shield would once again reach out to include Edward, to show him the intimate thoughts that were reeling behind my eyelids.
Edward's face was just inches from mine and he was staring at me, his eyes scorching my skin with heated passion and fiery need.
"Edward," I whispered.
And then I noticed the finger that he was slowly raising to my lips. It glistened strangely under the fluorescent kitchen lights, and I stared at it for a moment, wondering why it was sparkling that way. It almost looked as though it was -
Oh. My. God. . .Wet.
A fierce growl escaped Edward, the sound vibrating against my lips before he pulled slightly away to gaze down at me. As I watched, Edward's tongue swept languidly across his bottom lip, tasting my memory as his eyes grew dark with need. His fingers hooked harshly beneath the waistband of my jeans, and I bucked instinctively as my innermost places began to heat and smolder.
"God, Bella," he whispered as he leaned forward to press his lips desperately against my neck. "There was a time when I thought your scent alone would surely undo me . . ." he trailed off as his lips dipped to my chest, and my skin tingled wildly as his tongue came out to trace the curve of my flesh, just above my tight, pert tips.
"But it was nothing compared to your taste."
With that, he fell to his knees, lavishing my breasts with his mouth as his hands slid roughly down my sides. Fire washed through me, pounding through my veins like human blood, throbbing in the places I could feel most acutely. My fingers wound themselves in his hair, and I threw my head back, whimpering as his lips continued to work across my sensitive flesh. An unbidden memory lurched to the forefront of my mind, and I embraced it, taking care to concentrate on the lurid details . . .
"Edward," I panted, as I continued to squeeze my breasts with the rhythm of my vigorous thrusts.
"Pinch your tits, Bella," Edward demanded, his voice a low and sultry rumble.
I did. I immediately pinched down on my sensitive tips, then whimpered as a blissful shudder racked my body.
"Harder, Bella," he moaned deeply, "make it hurt."
A rumbling groan pulled me back to the present, and I shuddered as I felt his hands appear at my stomach, his fingers digging beneath the waistline of my jeans. With one harsh tug, he pulled my hips toward him, forcing me to arch backward as he curled his lips back to clench his teeth around my taught nipple - making it hurt.
"Edward!" I cried with a shuddering breath as I threw my head forward to look down at him. Edward released me immediately, though his smirk wasn't the least bit remorseful as his fingers tightened further around my jeans.
For the smallest fraction of a moment, our gazes locked - mine full of ardent anticipation, his full of dark promises that would soon be fulfilled.
Then, with a single flick of his thumb, the button of my jeans popped loose, allowing the material to fall open and slack around my hips.
And that was when all hell broke loose.
With a sudden, guttural growl, Edward yanked my jeans down to my ankles, taking my panties with them. An ecstatic purr escaped me as I dragged my fingers from his hair to his shoulders, then pulled him to his feet before hooking my fingers around his own waistline and tearing the jeans from his body. In a delicious flash, Edward's length sprang free, pointing rigidly up at me as his tip dripped and shimmered with arousal. Our ragged breaths echoed in my ears as a hot thrill ran through me, and I felt myself opening and moistening, preparing to take him in. Edward's erection throbbed heavily as my scent reached him, his eyes raking hungrily up and down my body.
For a split second we were still, feeling the lust charge the air, letting the moment of ardent anticipation escalate to soaring heights.
But as exciting as it was, there was no way we were waiting any longer.
With a crash, Edward and I came together, his arms clamping around me as I leaped to wrap my legs around his hips. Edward paced quickly backward until his back struck the wall behind him, and he leaned against it as he lifted me upward, bringing his tip to prod against my entrance. He teased me for a moment, letting his smooth head rub back and forth across my slick skin, grinning sinfully as I whimpered and writhed.
Then, in one smooth motion, Edward sank me down as he thrust upward, sheathing himself inside of me.
It was official. Never in a million years - or infinitely longer - would I ever get used to the hot, tingling rush of Edward sliding inside of me. He'd entered me countless times, and never once had I not been struck by the raw pleasure, the overwhelmingly full sensation, of being taken by him. And as I threw my head back and breathed his name, I knew right then and there that I never would.
With a throaty groan, Edward began to work his hips into a steady rhythm as he leaned his head forward to nip at my neck. I whimpered as heat smoldered in the pit of my stomach, fanning outward with every pump. And as his hips struck firmly against mine, I remembered the first time he'd pushed fully into me, without worry, without restraint . . .
"I love you, Bella," Edward whispered softly.
And then, he thrust himself swiftly into me, sinking himself into me until our hips met with a satisfying smack. Edward's head rolled forward as his eyes closed, and his forehead came to rest on my shoulder as he groaned.
"God, Bella. I've waited so long. . ."
He trailed off as he quickly reared back, then thrust himself into me again, more roughly than before.
"To do this," Edward grunted.
A base curse sounded in my ears, and I laughed breathlessly, then broke off with a moan as Edward bucked his hips sharply upward, ramming into me harder than before.
"Mmmm, that was quite a night, wasn't it?" Edward baited me, his words coming short between his heavy pants of pleasure. Even through the haze of bliss that had begun to descend upon me, I knew he was taunting me - provoking me to show him more of my most X-rated memories. And as Edward delivered another powerful thrust, hitting most sensitive places and making me cry out, I found that I was more than happy to oblige.
A whirlwind of heated moments immediately rose in my mind, and I quickly pulled the best ones forward, letting them consume my thoughts as I held tight to Edward's shoulders, my body bouncing rhythmically with every push of his hips.
The moment my lips began to move around him, Edward shoved one hand roughly onto my head, entwining his fingers in my hair. The gentle pull of his fingers in my hair caused me to moan softly, and I felt Edward's body shudder as his erection jerked inside my mouth. The movement of his dick against my tongue caused desire to flare inside me, and I immediately started to pump my lips up and down his length, pushing my tongue firmly up against his shaft. I could feel every band of muscle as it dragged against my lips, every delicious twitch his solid length made, and the erotic sensation of it caused the familiar flames of lust to leap high inside of me.
"Oh, God," Edward mumbled as he pulled me tight against him, then lifted his back off the wall to come fully to his feet. The movement caused his solid length to strike me at new angles, and I threw my head back, moaning deeply as my body shuddered beneath the delicious onslaught. And yet, my immortal mind continued to work, the descriptions of past rendezvous growing more vivid and wicked by the moment . . .
"Oh, God," I cried as his ruthless pump sent my body into a pleasured frenzy.
Edward didn't answer, but pulled back again, only to thrust even harder into my heated center. But this time, he didn't wait for my response. He pulled out immediately, then thrust back into me, setting a rhythm that was both faster and harder than ever before. I felt my wetness flood around his girth as he continued to pound me with wild abandon, and my arms automatically snapped upwards, allowing my fingers to weave through his auburn hair. With each harsh thrust of Edward's hips, my body grew hotter, causing me to moan and writhe beneath him as my grip steadily tightened around his silken locks.
"Bella," Edward exclaimed as I felt his body move slightly, his muscles shifting beneath me. My instincts kicked in automatically, my limbs tightening as I anticipated the descent I knew would follow. And less than a quarter of a second later, my back met silken sheets, and Edward was on top of me, his cock pushing even deeper into me than before.
"Oh, Edward!" I cried as he immediately began thrusting, pistoning into me with more sheer strength than any other creature could possibly possess. His body struck repeatedly against mine, every meet of our hips doing wondrous things to my swollen clit.
"Bella," he cried again, punctuating my name with a resounding slap of our skin. "You are so beautiful . . ." We both gasped as our bodies throbbed in unison, spreading the most lascivious heat across every inch of our skin. "So wonderful . . ." my toes tingled as I shuddered beneath him, the heat of lust leaping like fire inside my veins.
"And so, so damn naughty."
My entire body felt the impact of his wicked words, the heat behind them seeming to sink beneath my skin, making my muscles twist with white-hot intensity. As I reveled in the sensation, I suddenly remembered another time when Edward's words had struck me so deeply.
And I made sure the memory was so, so damn naughty.
"Bella," Edward nearly moaned as he pumped his fingers harder, reaching deeper inside of me as he explored my body freely for the very first time. "You're still so tight, God, so warm and wet. . ." he trailed off with a breathy moan as my purrs grew louder, melting smoothly into wordless cries of pleasure.
"You're still perfect, Bella," he groaned, "so perfect."
My eyes rolled back again as Edward's ardent praise intoxicated my senses, somehow managing to warm my body from the inside out.
"Edward!" I cried as the pace of his fingers quickened inside of me.
Edward's eyes closed for a moment as he continued thrusting into me, reveling in the vision I had shared with him. Of course, the nostalgic feel of his fingers was nothing compared to the relentless pounding he was currently delivering, and I was quickly pulled from the memory as my back arched off the floor, my legs hitching higher around his waist.
As if on cue, Edward suddenly reared backward, coming to rest on his knees as his fingers locked around my calf. Without missing a beat, he drove himself inside of me again, this time bringing my leg to rest high on his shoulder.
An incoherent slew of whimperings bubbled from my lips, and Edward smiled wickedly, then responded by shifting forward, hitting the one spot that was sure to undo me.
But I wasn't done yet.
Immediately, I called another memory to the forefront of my mind, then all but threw it at him as I writhed beneath his undulating form . . .
"Oh God," I cried as his hips began to slam wildly against mine, thrusting his iron shaft between my folds with staggering force. I automatically shifted my hips higher around his waist as he continued to pound into me, and I moaned loudly as heat surged through my body, demanding more. Without thought, my hands flew up Edward's arms until I was gripping his strong shoulder blades in a fervent attempt to hold him to me, to reassure me that he was here with me, making love to me, craving me.
"Fuck Bella," Edward panted as his hands swept frantically across my body, running up and down my legs, my back, my neck, "I'm here."
"Yes," I nearly screamed, not just from the pleasure of his eager thrusts, but from the reassurance in his words. Somehow, Edward knew what I needed, and he was giving himself willingly to me, filling me with his body, his comfort, his love.
"Yes, Bella!" Edward panted, delivering yet another powerful thrust, "I'm still here! Fuck, I'll always be here!" As if in emphasis, he drove down harder, burying himself in my sweetest of places as though he was there to stay.
"I need you," I moaned as I shuddered again, and we both instinctively knew that I wasn't just talking about the here and now. I did need him - desperately so. And the remembrance that we were safe, that Edward was indeed here to stay, sent a shock-wave of the deepest love and sweetest relief shooting down my spine, making my stomach clench as my muscles warmed dangerously.
As if I wasn't already lost to the highest of pleasures, again my thoughts ran rampant, and again I threw them outward, taking delight in the way Edward's eyes glazed over as he tuned into my licentious memories . . .
Please, please, please I began mentally chanting, already quivering from the intensity of my need. As if on cue, the sound of rustling clothing sounded once more around me, and a shaky moan escaped me as I felt my pants pool around my knees. Edward chuckled behind me, but the sound was dark and predatory as I felt his demanding fingers slide through my exposed slit. I melted into the sensation as my thighs clenched and shook, my eyes closing as I waited breathlessly for more.
The last thing I was expecting was Edward's palm, colliding in a piercing sting against my ass.
"You're mine, and I will have you," he snarled as the sound of his hand striking my skin bounced off the trees.
The moans that escaped both of us seemed to thicken the air with their heavy intensity. Edward's perfect face had taken on my most favorite expression, the one that sang of heavenly sin as he ascended to climax while his body continued to piston down into me. And just when I thought I was done for - the flames of passion rising in a final, ardent threat to consume me - I called on another memory, this one summoned to accompany us to the breaking point . . .
Just as I felt myself beginning to teeter on the brink, Edward's actions intensified, ricocheting me up and down his length so forcefully that every landing of his cock inside me was an individual shove toward ecstasy. Each and every muscle in my body began to quiver, then pulled together in that familiar, thrilling tightness as I swiftly approached my peak.
"Edward! Oh, God!" The frantic, throaty praises escaped my lips unbidden with every thrust, my pleasure brimming to the point of explosion.
"Oh, Bella!" Edward groaned shakily as his cock jerked, then stiffened for the final time. "Now!"
"Oh, fuck!" I heard him moan desperately as my mind raced onward, my body beginning to bear down for the final impact.
"Now!" Edward growled in synchronization with my recollected cry. And with just as much ferocity as memories past, I came, crying his name in ecstasy. My muscles clenched, my sweet spot throbbed, and my entire body seemed to pull together, then explode with total and complete euphoria. As I shook, Edward sucked in a harsh breath, then grunted and growled as the waves of release overtook him as well, his length pulsing and jerking inside me.
Our climaxes seemed never ending - propelled forward by the ultimate victories we had acheieved. Every pulse was cherished, every tremor treasured as we came together, loving and holding and never to part.
Eventually, our orgasms passed, yet the blissful sense of oneness refused to fade. Edward fell gently to my side, but we kept hold of each other, legs still tangled, arms stubbornly grasping each other's waists. But most importantly of all, our eyes remained steadfast, not-quite-so-red locked with stunning, glistening gold.
Now that my mind was not so consumed with . . . other matters, I mentally reached outward, testing my shield's boundaries. Much to my happy amusement, I found it cradled tightly around Edward and I, locked down on us as if we were a single being.
And that had been it, then. Edward was so much a part of me - especially while making love - that my shield had begun to automatically reach out to include him.
A happy smile swept across my lips as I snuggled closer to him, then let my mind wander aimlessly, knowing the happiness this would bring him. And sure enough, Edward's expression lit up as he quickly pecked me on the cheek, then smiled serenely as his eyes drifted shut, focusing on my thoughts with complete and utter contentment.
I thought of everything and nothing . . . marveling at how different the colors looked with my new vampire vision, wondering if I would ever be able to cook for Charlie again, quick run-throughs of poignant passages from my favorite books. I even thought of my to-do list for the morning. And Edward listened to it all, remaining still and quiet - despite the occasional low chuckle - with his gorgeous smile still in place.
Of course, I couldn't be distracted from thinking about Edward himself for too long.
And sure enough, eventually my thoughts melted into pictures of him - my favorite grin, those perfect hands, that velvet voice. Edward snickered again, but I ignored him, leaning into his chest as I took a deep, deliberate breath.
But as I breathed in his scent, I couldn't help one final memory from flooding forward, bearing a question that I had always asked myself, but had recently been forced to face head-on . . .
In the exact moment that we came together, a thousand memories hurdled through my mind - the earthy smell of our meadow, the thrill of our honeymoon, the feel of his cool fingers around mine. I saw our first dinner, our wedding, our honeymoon. And in every memory, Edward's face shone like a beacon: first frowning in concentration, then laughing heartily, then smiling with more adoration than I could ever hope to deserve. Ever since I'd met him, Edward had been the constant in my life - the one face I had longed to see, the only voice I'd ever needed to hear. And as quickly as the memories came, so did the pain, squeezing my silent heart until I thought it would surely burst. And for the first time that night, I allowed myself to think the one, horrifying question that I had so adamantly ignored.
How could I ever live without him?
"Oh, love," Edward murmured consolingly as he opened his eyes, bringing his hand up to sweep his thumb tenderly across my cheek. "It's over now. Please do not trouble yourself."
"I know, but what if -"
"Shhh," Edward coaxed as he pressed his fingers tenderly against my lips. "I learned long ago that no good can come from questioning fate." His eyes grew sad for a moment, and I knew he was thinking of the events prior to our trip to Italy. I swallowed, taking care to not think about that dark time too closely.
"Bella, there are hundreds upon thousands of questions we can ask ourselves at any given moment. But I truly believe that we are meant to be precisely where we are now."
Another beat passed before he added gently, "With each other."
His fingers played soothingly across my skin, and I nodded, my eyes stinging as my heart swelled.
"And I also believe," he continued softly, "that this moment is the first of many we are meant to share." He paused for a serious moment, then grinned as he added, "An eternity of them, in fact."
I smiled too, though if I could have, I would have been crying. I knew in my heart of hearts that he was right - that I had been made to be with him since the beginning, and was meant to stay with him for the rest of my infinite life.
"You're right," I nodded as I gazed at him, wondering for the hundredth, no, millionth time what I could have ever done to deserve him.
Edward leaned toward me then, peppering my face and neck with light, soothing kisses until my fears had dissipated, replaced with a happiness that seemed to spill from my heart and fill my entire being.
Completely satisfied and utterly in love, I turned around, pressing my back tightly to his chest. Edward draped his arm around me, pulling me close as he kissed my head, then buried his face in my hair. Sighing happily, I turned my attention toward the glass doors of our bedroom, looking out at the world beyond. As I watched, I noticed with delight the first hints of sun winking from behind the mountains, casting hues only mother nature could create across the land and sky.
"It rises for you," Edward whispered, sweeping his lips affectionately across my ear. "For there to be darkness, there must also be light. And in a world full of darkness, I have never met anyone so beautiful, so good, so full of light as you. Truly, my Bella, the sun rises to see you."
His words touched my very soul, and I breathed deeply as I looked across the painted landscape. And as I watched, I tried to picture it: a world where the sun rose only for me, to lighten my world and illuminate all that surrounded me.
It was beautiful, but it was wrong, and I shook my head softly.
Edward squeezed my waist in a silent question.
"It's for us," I whispered, just loud enough for him to hear.
"For us?" he echoed, curiously.
"Yes, for us," I answered, the confidence he'd instilled within me growing stronger by the second. "Since we first met, we've been fighting for everything that was right, everything that we needed, everything that was us."
I paused to admire the beauty spreading before us as the rare winter sun began its ascent above the treetops, creating a shining crescent of light that seemed to kiss everything below it.
"But today, everything is different. Today, we have no threats bearing down upon us. Today, we know that Renesmee will grow and live and lead a long, healthy life. Today, our families are safe and close around us. And today, you and I are together, whole, happy, and alive." I took a deep breath, laden with gratitude before adding, "Today is the day that the sun rises just for us. This is our sunrise. This is our breaking dawn."
Edward cradled me toward him, holding me so tightly, so affectionately, that I could feel the strength of his emotions warming my skin, caressing my soul.
"I believe that you are right, my love," he murmured, his voice thick with love as he pulled his arms tightly around me.
"This really is . . . our Breaking Dawn."
:Sniffles: I really hope you all enjoyed the final installment of Warmth! I wasn't lying when I said I never thought I would be here. When I wrote the first chapter, I was convinced that it was just some dumb drabble to get the first scene from BD out of my head. And then, to my total astonishment, I got like, thirteen reviews! lol. Like I said back then, it may not have been much, but it was enough to build my confidence and encourage me to carry on. And here I am today, twenty chapters in and over thirteen hundred reviews later! It boggles my mind!
From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all of you who took the time to read Warmth. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I truly have the best reviewers ever. You all have encouraged me, inspired me, driven me to achieve things I never even dreamed of attempting. I've been moved to tears on more than one occasion from the sheer kindness you all have shown me in your reviews and messages and have forged some of the best friendships I could ever ask for. I can't say it enough: thank you, thank you, thank you!
To vanillabeans, jewels622, Bri, and everyone else who has ever taken the time to fix my shit: I couldn't have gotten this far without your epic beta skills. You've all taught me so much. I owe you ladies and then some.
Well, I guess that about covers it. Thanks again guys. I'll miss this fic like crazy, but I want to assure you all that I am NOT done writing, and hope to be seeing all of you again very soon! :wink:wink:
Thanks again for reading Warmth. I will forever and ever appreciate it!