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

author's note: Another one-shot, of the second night Bella and Edward are together at Isle Esme, for their honeymoon. This was written to fit in after the scene on 107-108 of Breaking Dawn, but narrated from Edward's perspective. Some of the specific details will make more sense if you read Isle Esme, but this can also stand alone. Reviews are love!

p.s. The last scene I plan to do from the honeymoon - Practice Makes Perfect - is now up ;)

Edward's POV

It had been one week since our first night together, really together, and my mind remained as conflicted as that first morning after. There was a constant struggle within my thoughts, torn between the intense longing I felt towards Bella, and the crippling guilt of having hurt her. Seeing the bruises on her body everyday certainly did not help the matter, serving as a constant reminder of her fragility, her ability to break at my slightest touch.

But guilt and all, it took every ounce of self-control I had to say no to her demands, night after night. I managed to keep my facial expressions controlled, calm, but she could never know the raging battlefield deep inside of me. She could simply not see the horrific, deadly monster that craved her body even more than her blood. And my Bella certainly did not help matters with her lingerie, which seemed to get smaller every night. Stupid Alice. Luckily my wife was usually too tired to press her demands, falling asleep quickly.

That had been one of the plans I had concocted that first night, after she had drifted into unconsciousness, deliciously unclothed, in my arms. Unbeknownst to her, I had attempted to take inventory of how badly she was hurt as soon as she was in her deep slumber, trailing my fingers as lightly as I could against her skin. The feathers (a painful reminder all of their own) did not aid my attempts to see, and after three small, involuntary, flinches, I had had enough. I gave up my investigation and had settled in for hours of self-loathing.

Of course, there was more. When she was awake, uncovered in all of her bruised glory before me, I had desperately wanted to banish myself to the deepest crevices of hell. I caught every single one of her reactions, saw every action that caused her pain. There were the bruises I'd left when I pressed against her forearm too forcefully, in a desperate attempt to keep her from touching me too much. She flinched when she moved her shoulder, probably from the same quick movement to get her hands above her head before I caved. Purplish marks everywhere I had touched her in my final, reckless collapse, accompanied by the marks I had left in my rough roaming of her body before that. It was so painful to see, impossible to chance reliving.

Keep her moving; keep her tired enough so that she could not demand what I could not give. It was simple enough, in theory, and during that first week it worked fairly well. On the tenth day of our stay, we had gone hiking on the southern tip of the isle, where I wanted to show her a meadow similar to the one back in Forks. She had insisted on coming back early though, and when we were back in the house, insisted again on an immediate shower.

This was hardly different from the usual, except that it was earlier today. I shrugged the time off and went to change into swimming trunks. I always took a few quick laps around the isle as she showered, mostly to keep myself out of the house while she was unclothed… relaxed…. water trailing down—

I shook my head to clear away the thoughts as I headed outside, closing the door silently behind me. As soon as my feet touched water, I remembered the other reason I liked to go swimming at least once a day, alone. Not that I didn't love it when Bella came with me, but swimming alone gave me a chance to release all of my pent up energy, to truly release every excess my body accumulated from so much excruciating self-control. I could move under the water swiftly, indefinitely, using the chance to flex my vampire skills and keep my other needs in check.

After the twelfth lap, I heard the distinct sound of the faucet turning, distant but clear. I surfaced immediately, racing toward the shore, up through the path, and into the house before she had stepped out of the shower. I took a moment to compose myself, then dried off my hair (my body was mostly air dried from the run) and put on a comfortable pair of boxers and nothing else. I would have insisted on sleeping clothed, except that Bella had pleaded with me, telling me it was much too hot like that. She knew how hard it was to say no.

The next few hours were torture. First she came out of the bathroom wearing a tiny black number, a lovely blush on her cheeks, succeeding in breaking through my carefully constructed façade. Then she offered prolonged humanity for sex, – the nerve of the woman! – an offer I briefly considered before discarding it. It might have been harder had I not caught sight of her yellowish bruises, still covering so much of her skin. The sight of them had forced me to follow through my decision. I could not, would not, hurt her again. When she finally went to sleep, I allowed myself to sink into the familiar despair of having her in my arms.

It was impossibly difficult each and every night, and it never got any better. She would curl up against me, more and more skin showing every night, and sigh softly as she drifted to sleep. Her warmth pressed up against my bare chest felt so… amazing. Indescribably marvelous. I'd spend hours simply focusing on her breathing – in, out, in, out – to keep the painfully lustful thoughts out of my head. She was usually comatose now, so that made it slightly easier. I could not fathom resisting if she was moving against me, too.

It was because I was used to her stillness that the sudden gasp from her lips shocked me. The tears that followed were even more bewildering, and when combined with her fierce kiss and the heart wrenching pain her voice, agonizing.

That was all it took. Although I should not say that was all; it was quite a bit. My wavering self-control caved at the sight of her intolerable pain – pain caused not by me, but by a lack of me. It caved when her hot body crushed herself against me, forcefully awaking the fire below. It caved because I had not been prepared, because I had not had a chance to build up my disciplined calm charade. And... it caved because I wanted so desperately to give in.

I groaned, and caved in to her.

My lips crashed upon hers in a move so desperate, so needy, I had to remind myself that this was still my Bella, my very breakable Bella. I could not let the pent up emotions of over a week disable my concentration. I wrapped my arms around her waist as gently as I possibly could, pulling her whole body on top of my own.

Once I figured she was reasonably secure I let my hands slip under her open nightgown, a sigh escaping my lips as I came into contact with the soft skin of her stomach. I trailed my fingers up slowly to the black lacy bra, earning an irresistible little moan into my mouth as I traced the outline. Figuring she would need air soon I broke away the kiss, trailing hungrily down her throat and back up along her jaw line. I let my lips find their way to her burning cheeks, where I fervently kissed away her tears, relishing for a second the salty sweet essence of Bella.

I cupped her breast gently, fully determined to drag out this moment, when I felt her hot lips at the base of my neck. Normally this would not have interfered enough to distract me, but then she did something I had not expected. I could not stop the gasp escaping from my lips when I felt her tongue swirling at my neck in small circles, moving along slowly, tasting.

The soft, moist movement against my neck broke away any possibility of taking it slower. My hands immediately slid away, of their own accord, to the shoulders of her black satin nightgown. In one swift movement I had pulled it away, but was forced to stare at it for a millisecond in silence. I had originally intended to keep her clothing in one piece, but that was out the window. Instead of smoothly sliding the nightgown off her shoulders as planned, I had accidentally torn it off, and was left staring at the shreds of black satin in my hands.

I might have given it more thought had Bella not chosen that exact moment to suck the hollow beneath my ear, and with a groan I threw the shreds at the base of the bed and continued my exploration of her body. I briefly wondered why I had not let her be on top before, because this allowed me much more freedom. I could kiss her, touch her, feel her body pressing against mine without the worry of holding myself up or crushing her.

My hands ran over her delicate body on their own, tracing every delicious curve several times over. There was no doubt in my mind that I would never get enough of her absolute warmth, resolving to worship this woman every day I lived. I reluctantly dragged my fingers up the length of her arms, over her shoulders, finally cupping her face between my hands. I pulled her to face me, quite sure I was not able to withstand any more of her kisses, or her tongue for that matter. She closed her eyes and sighed, that soft human sigh that told me she was resolved to not get her way. Oh, if she only knew…

I kissed her eyelids lightly, and then trailed my lips tenderly down her cheek, lingering unbearably close to her lips for a moment. I wanted to let the mouthwatering floral scent of her fill my lungs, cloud my reasoning for a few moments, but my reluctance was apparently taken the wrong way. Just when she started to shift away from me, I breathed her name. "Bella, love, just where do you think you're going?" Her eyes fluttered open, a look of confusion on her face. I longed to tell her that I wanted this as much as she did, that the self-control was all an act, but decided instead to show her. My lips curved upwards against her skin, in anticipation more than anything.

When our lips met, the electricity could have brought someone back from the dead. It very nearly did. I poured my heart and – dare I say it – my soul into her, all of my love, desire, longing for her. She reciprocated equally, and I felt as though I would, as she had once put it, spontaneously burst into a million tiny, ecstatic, pieces. All too soon for me she broke away, gasping for air, her cheeks hot and rose tinted.

Normally I would have continued downwards, but this time I was as breathless as her. It was a heady feeling, and I let my head collapse back on the bed with a thud. When I opened my eyes again, my wife was gazing at me, a smile playing on the edge of her lips. I smiled back at her, crookedly as usual, and slithered my hands down until they were secure at her hips. She shifted as I did so, sliding one leg over my waist and effectively straddling me. I couldn't help but marvel at the furious blushing in her cheeks, hearing the strong pulsing of the blood beneath them, the frantic beating of her heart.

Once she appeared to be settled comfortably, she leaned forward and gave me another kiss, running her hands through my hair in an absolutely maddening way. I couldn't wait much longer. I let my hands trail up her spine, resting on the clasp of that damned black bra. I was determined not to tear it, because frankly, I liked it too much. But Bella's lips on my throat, together with her roaming hands and the heat radiating off of her made it near impossible to maneuver my fingers accurately. After a few moments of desperate fumbling I gave up with a growl, crushing the clasps between two fingers and then giving it a good tug, which effectively snapped it.

I heard a quiet chuckle vibrate against my skin, and then Bella sat up again, letting the torn garment slide off naturally. Bless her heart, she didn't say anything; just eyed me carefully as I threw it with the other shreds at the foot of the bed, never tearing my eyes away from her.

My memories, my fantasies, had not done her justice. Everything about this woman was perfect. I loved the gentle curve of her neck, the modest swell of her breasts, the way her slim waist gracefully widened into her hips. I especially loved the spectacular glow of her skin in the moonlight streaming in. So beautifully feminine. I could have stared for hours, but there was something else I wanted to do. Right now, I longed to hear her moan into my ear. That was one part I hadn't necessarily expected, and that no one had bothered to share, not that I blamed them.

I adored every small sound that came out of her mouth, whether intentional or not. Last time, her soft moans, pants, and gasps had nearly driven me over the edge on their own. They were so very much Bella. I slid my hands down to her hips again and gently pulled her body towards me, placing my lips right against her heart. It thudded anxiously beneath them, and I placed a small kiss there before weaving my way down to the newly revealed part of her skin. The new goal now was to kiss every new centimeter I exposed, and I set about just doing that. I trailed my lips slowly across her breasts, paying more attention whenever I heard a louder moan or gasp.

I was thoroughly enjoying myself when I felt her hips grind against my abdomen and froze. So overwhelmingly warm, irresistible. The fact that she momentarily stopped breathing told me that this had probably not been intentional, and I worked at regaining my composure. The desperate tone in her voice as she muttered my name told me she could not be made to wait much longer. I had no plans on it either.

Resigning myself that this particular outfit was wasted, I worked on getting off - tearing off, more like it - the panties as gently as I could; they ended up being thrown in pieces to the foot of the bed, to join the pitiful pile of black shreds. I did the same to my boxers, lifting up Bella for a moment so that she wouldn't get hurt in the process. When she settled back down again, I groaned at the contact.

As must as I thought I would be prepared for this, thinking it would affect me any less was lunacy. Still, I had a better idea of what to expect. Last time I had been forced to channel all of my concentration into controlling my thrusts, so that I would not… kill her. Unfortunately, I had let my hands roam over her body of their own accord, bruising her more than once. I would not let that happen this time. Fear of hurting her again, I hoped, would give me enough strength.

The feeling as she lowered herself onto me was indescribable, maddening. There were not enough words in existence to explain how amazing she felt around me. This second time was as potent as the first, and I couldn't stop the deep moan that escaped from me. I held her firmly by the waist, helping her keep her balance atop me. Her hands found their place resting at my navel, and I sighed at the contact. This was too perfect, and I briefly wondered how I could have denied her for so long.

I still wanted to drag this out, but Bella seemed to have other intentions. I could hear the need in her voice, felt it heavy in the air, felt it especially in how she was doing her best to move quickly and strongly on top of me. I tugged at her body, bringing her parallel to me so that she had to struggle a little less, then proceeded to quicken the pace for her. She did not last long. I struggled to keep myself still when I felt her muscles clenching around me, heard her cry out my name, although it was impossible to do.

Her face was glorious, her shuddering form heavenly as she let herself fall atop of me. I murmured, "I love you" in her ear a dozen times as I waited, tense, for her to regain composure. This was a whole new level of torture. I remained frozen inside of her, feeling her heat, her desire, but forced to wait for her readiness. Blissful, excruciating torture.

When I heard her heartbeats return to a somewhat normal – if still elevated – level, I kissed her shoulder softly. I heard a sigh in response, and took that as a sign of contentment, of well-being. Taking care to not jostle her, I rolled us over gently, until she lay beneath me. The expression on her face thrilled me; she had the look of someone who was on the most marvelous drug, enhanced a hundred times. It abruptly hit me that I was the drug, a thought that caused a conflicted reaction, one of both remorse and joy. But then her hands wove themselves in my hair, and she tugged my face down for a kiss. I happily obliged, lost in the sensation of her everywhere.

Her kiss started slowly, sweet, but wasn't chaste for very long. Our kiss soon deepened, refueling the fire where we were joined. I could not recall making the conscious decision to start thrusting again, but suddenly it was happening, and she was moving together with me. This time I was determined not to be caught off guard again by the excess of emotions, so I securely grabbed hold of the elegant oak headboard behind us, using my other hand to hold myself above her.

Unfortunately – fortunately – this allowed her hands free to roam over my torso, something she gladly did. This in itself nearly drove me over the edge. The feel of her soft fingers as they trailed down my stomach, curled up and over my chest, down my shoulders and arms… unimaginably pleasant. As I moved faster I could feel her movements becoming desperate again, our lips crashing in hot kisses from time to time, her nails feebly attempting to dig into the skin of my back.

It was in the heat of the moment that I heard a thundering splintering sound, and realized that I now had a piece of shattered headboard in my hand. I glanced down at Bella but she seemed oblivious, her eyes half closed, breathing raggedly. There was no time to concentrate on the destruction though, and instead of worrying I grabbed at another piece, glad to have found a good outlet for my strength. It made this so much easier.

We kept moving in perfect unison, occasionally interrupted by the loud breaking of the oak headboard, which only I noticed. We also went over the edge together, our moans and mumbles running together in a turbulent mix of emotion, pleasure, and bliss. I tensed as I spilled inside of her, drinking in the sight of her arched back, brilliant blush, and the frantic heart. Before I could lose myself completely, I pulled out and let myself collapse carefully to the side, taking one last moment of reason to make sure I didn't hurt her before letting the pleasure envelop me.

Our heavy breathing – panting, more like it – was the only thing that broke the silence for several long moments. It didn't take much longer for my Bella to turn onto her side and curl up against me, her tired body getting the best of her. I wrapped my arms around her tightly, waiting for the short time it would take for her to fall asleep, when I heard her very soft sigh, followed by a murmur. "I'm sorry Edward, I-"

"Shh, Bella. In the morning." I chuckled as she nodded and then drifted to sleep almost immediately, a languid smile on her face.

As soon as I heard her heartbeat slow into the familiar rhythm of her sleep, I let my free hand trail along her exposed skin lightly, checking for new bruises. The knot in the pit of my stomach was relieved when I saw that there was nothing new, except slight red where I had snapped off her clothing; this brought a smirk to my face. A quick glance around us told me that the only damage was the holes gouged forcefully from the headboard; I brushed off a few splinters of wood from my Bella's hair and that was that. I had managed to keep control much better this time around, and had also been able to concentrate as much on the feeling of her as on not hurting her.

With this very satisfied thought I settled back onto the pillows, intact this time, and started focusing on her steady heartbeat, the dependable whoosh of blood in her veins with every pump. There was no burning in my throat now. A part of me still couldn't believe that this creature, this fragile and delicate human so fully trusted her life in my hands. It was one of the many reasons I loved her so completely, with my entire being. I tried to feel guilt for this night, but couldn't find it in me. Shaking my head minutely I started trailing a finger lightly along her spine, waiting for my love, my life, to awaken.