A/N This was meant to be an M rated chapter but as usual I sat down and tried to write something a certain way and it didn't work out like I wanted. I may try my hand at writing another more M ratish one but no promises. This one kind of combines a few suggestions I had and also combines a little idea of my own (Alice visions - it'll make sense when you read it anyway.) Enjoy :)
Special mention to my BETA Lady Touniquet. :) She rocks!
In the Water
If I had had a heart, it would have been beating out of my chest.
The water seemed to be emulating the stillness of my immortal body; a stillness that didn't match my whirring thoughts. I gently dragged my arm through the water creating a quiet wave that lolled over the surface of the pool and rolled into the darkness.
I swallowed a fresh mouthful of venom.
I knew there was no way out of it now. Nothing could change her mind. And if I was being painfully honest there was a small part of me that didn't care for her safety. A small part of me that didn't want her to change her mind… A small part of me that…
I groaned. Venom filling my mouth again, fire raging in my throat. I could barely keep my nature in control now let alone when she came out…
I closed my eyes and tried to think of anything but her. It was pointless. Nothing distracted me. Her tranquil beauty that day… Nothing could shake that from my mind.
I tried to remember the advice Carlisle had given me when I'd first told him, despairing and desperate at the time.
We were sitting in his study. Me with my head in my hands and he with an infuriating thoughtfulness.
"Have you tried to talk her out of it?"
I snorted; "Of course I have. She won't listen. She doesn't understand this… this life. She won't understand until she's one of us sand she says then she'll be too focused on her thirst and she wants…"
I shook my head.
"She's right Edward." He said softly, "It won't be the same."
I groaned in frustration; "Is her pleasure worth the risk? I've been testing myself to the very limit but this is… Impossible."
"We don't know it's impossible…"
I stood up and kicked the chair aside. "You're agreeing with this craziness?" I shook my head and pinched the bridge of my nose, "I can't do this. I'd rather turn her now than do this!"
"Would you?" He asked sceptically.
I stopped stalking.
No. I wouldn't. Somewhere I wanted it, maybe even more than she did. But I wanted her safety more than that even. I wanted her life.
"Do you think its possible?" I asked through my teeth.
Oh God… Why was I even asking this? I was crazy. Selfish.
"Your self control is beyond anything any of us thought possible. In the beginning you could barely be in the same room as she could without wanting to kill her. Now, you have an almost human physical relationship."
"Almost…" I repeated.
"If you r control can evolve to allow for what you do now, why can't it evolve to allow this as well?"
Because, my logical side protested, this is the one thing that allows me no control.
I had been so focused on my own thoughts that I had barely noticed Carlisle's thoughts let alone Jasper's or Esme's who were both downstairs trying to give Carlisle and me some privacy. Rosalie - who was playing my piano (probably just to rile me up further) I was well used to blocking; her mind was an endless frustration of vanity. But I couldn't ignore Emmett's overly exuberant mind.
What's going on?
"What's going on?" He asked Jasper in a hushed voice.
Jasper and Esme suavely ignored his question.
"Bella convinced Edward to sleep with her before he changes her." Rosalie said smugly. If he goes through with it, she probably won't survive long enough for him to turn her.
Carlisle sighed, guessing at her smug thoughts; "She's just-"
"I know." I sighed hopelessly, "She's right."
I heard thunderous footsteps on the stairs as Emmett rushed to the office.
"Emmett go away." I growled.
"Aw come on! " He cried from behind the door, "This is not that bad!"
I wanted to smash through the door and tackle him down the stairs. As if he knew how bad it was. As if he knew how difficult it was to resist her blood when we were standing next to each other let alone…
I groaned. I was too tired from fighting with myself to fight with Emmett as well.
"Emmett now is not the time." Carlisle said softly.
I heard Emmett scoff and then reluctantly retreat back down the stairs and into the lounge room, muttering the whole way. He turned on the TV and absorbed himself in the football.
Melodramatic as usual. He thought as he watched the Demons score the fifth try for the match.
I snorted in a very unamused manner.
"Are you prepared to go through with this?" Carlisle asked, almost as if there had been no interruption.
"I have no choice." I said bleakly. "I promised her."
I winced at the memory of my reluctance. A reluctance that (though protested) was still very strong. I took a deep ineffectual breath and tried to block the thought of Bella. Anything but the picture of her walking down the stairs with Charlie at her side, her angel face radiant in its happiness, her wedding dress flowing down her body appreciatively.
I frowned. Perhaps I was going about this the wrong way.
I remembered some advice Jasper had given me shortly after my discussion with Carlisle. Unlike Emmett, he approached the subject with sensitivity and thoughtfulness and didn't come straight out with something along the lines of, "You're over ninety years old and still a virgin. You should be rejoicing that someone finally wants to sleep with you."
Jasper came to our conversation armed with some evidence that it was going to succeed. Evidence I argued was only valid up till the point I changed my mind and decided I wasn't strong enough not to kill Bella and lost control completely.
After all, Alice's vision weren't always accurate.
"Maybe you should just practise it." Jasper had suggested softly, "Lead up to it. The same way you learnt to resist her blood."
I resisted the urge to remind him that practise had still not made his transition to our vegetarian diet any easier.
"You're capable Edward. Just as long as you do things the way they work for you – systematically and with some sort of pre planned organisation. Practise."
I took another entirely ineffectual breath and did something I'd told myself I wasn't going to do from the moment the idea had first presented itself.
The mind was a funny thing, able to lock away memories that would inevitably be damaging to their holder.
I unlocked the memory carefully – the memory of Jasper's evidence. Of Alice's vision.
I clenched my fist.
At first I couldn't make out where we were. It was dark, but slightly less so than the darkness I was enveloped by. I realised suddenly that we were in one of the bedrooms inside. I couldn't make out which one from the darkness.
I swallowed, except there was no venom to swallow.
She was wearing a night gown I knew had been purchased by Alice. It wasn't likely that Bella would go looking for a piece of lingerie that revealing. We were kissing cautiously but there was an edge of danger to the grip I had on her arm. She was sitting on the bed and I was kneeling in front of her.
I locked the memory away again in a flash as the fire raged in my throat unbearably.
Why that night gown? Why did Alice have to make this harder than it already was? I swallowed the venom back, hoping the more I saw the easier it would be to stop the rush.
I ventured back through the door, less carefully than I had the first time.
I was hovering over her now and her legs were wrapped around my waist in a strong embrace – it probably felt quite light to me – and she was slipping the buttons on my shirt undone rather slowly. I froze suddenly and stopped kissing her to whisper in her ear; "Slowly."
It hurt to watch. As if she wasn't going slow enough already. I swallowed back another mouthful of venom and continued to watch as she undid the remaining buttons excruciatingly slow. Her breathing was amazingly less ragged than mine – determined almost. She shifted underneath me slightly and gained better access to my throat – the place where she leant up and placed a chaste kiss.
The door was locked again.
I shuddered at the memory. The image of me losing control completely. One soft kiss to the throat and I had simply ripped the gown from her skin and plunged back into total passionate surrender.
I went under the water now. Trying to soothe the raging fire that had now spread from my throat to the tips of my fingers and toes and everywhere in between. Could I possibly continue watching it now? Now that I had lost control in double the proportions?
Drowning for me was neither pleasant or unpleasant. For a moment it gave me some relief from the image of me tearing Bella's night gown. The rush of water in my useless lungs was a peculiar feeling.
But then, involuntarily, I entered the room again.
All the clothes were on the floor now, mine included. I shook my head and gulped water desperately. One of my hands was gripped tightly around one of the bed posts rendering it mangled. The other was tracing almost lightly down her soft porcelain body which was arched at my cold touch.
Had I been able to choke on the water I would have.
Trying to stop myself from looking was pointless. I was too far gone. I didn't even bother giving myself time to regain my composure. I simply charged on, fumbling through the image like a blind man.
I could see that I was breathing in her hair now – buried in it almost. My hand was still securely wrapped around the bed post, making it squeal loudly in protest. I wondered briefly how Bella hadn't noticed.
I felt my stomach tie itself into impossibly tight knots as I realised why she couldn't hear.
Her head was tilted slightly to the side, and her eyes were closed. Her face was torn in an expression I didn't understand – pain? Impossible pleasure? A mixture of the two? – And she was breathing louder than I was now. Breathing but still remaining comparatively quiet to what I had imagined unwillingly over the months. Perhaps I had requested it of her, to keep myself in control. Perhaps that was something I would have to ask of her in a few moments – Would her sounds send me dangerously over the edge?
Her hand was clutching my shoulder so tightly that her knuckles were almost luminous in the dark.
My noble side took over and demanded that I close the door again for a moment.
Only for a moment. My less noble side chanted teasingly – torturously.
The quantity of venom was not so dangerous now – perhaps a result of all the water I had been swallowing, but more I hoped the result of my practise. Practise. Had I been in anyway amused I might have laughed at myself. Would Bella have approved of this?
I sighed – taking in almost my body weight in water – and unlocked the door for the last time.
I didn't focus on specifics anymore. I couldn't afford to. Her hand clutched to my shoulder and my hand twisting the bed post were no longer sufficient images to produce the kind of experience I needed to be ready.
I gritted my teeth and tried to mentally take a step back.
Our movements were almost in synchronisation, but slightly out, as if she was trying to move in faster more shallow movements and I was trying to resist it.
I couldn't even concentrate on the idea that that would be different once she was a vampire and I didn't need to worry anymore.
It physically ached to watch the two of us moving like that; both moaning and gasping together (which unlike our movements were perfectly in sync). It ached to see the outline of her cream coloured body reacting to mine. It ached beyond description to see and hear without the sensation. I hardly noticed the missing bed post which was now forgotten and the shoulder though cement in its nature that looked like it was about to give way from the pressure on it. I could only ache at the inescapably raw image of my beautiful wife and the fact that together like this we looked almost natural. As natural as I had always wanted.
I clenched my hands as the fire rose past my throat into my head – pulsating like a heart beat. I forced it back down and refused to let it cloud my control and precision.
I knew I could do this. And I knew (despite my best efforts) that I wanted this more than anything. More now that I had scene it before my very eyes.
The image flitted back into the front of my mind – no longer needing a lock and key – and I was rendered motionless as a stone as I watched her arch backwards into the pillow with a gasp.
I waited for the inevitable.
The loss of control.
The monster reaction.
As I waited I sank deeper and deeper into the dark water. I knew the reaction would hit as shockingly as the hard sand floor.
But nothing happened. I continued to sink; losing sight of the faint moonlight as it and my control inched away from me.
No monster reaction.
No jolt of the bottom of the water.
Just motionlessness. And slow breathing. And one shoulder being released slightly. And one set of lips being captured by another. And the whispers of one husband to his wife. And the almost overwhelming love between them.
I held that image. I held it jubilantly, determinedly.
And then I rose; with a few strokes I propelled myself toward the moonlight, taking a gulp of air as I hit the surface.
And there she was… entering the light slowly.
I took a deep breath and knew I was ready.
So are there any reviewers who don't want a naked, water dwelling Edward? Didn't think so ;)