Disclaimer: Bella & Edward and their wonderful exploits all belong to Stephenie Meyer.
AN: I just gave this one-shot another run through my self-editing process to tighten it up. Please let me know if you spot any glaring typos or mistakes – enjoy!
It was nearing closing time when we reached the entrance to the coaster.
"Are you sure you want to ride on this?" Edward questioned, giving me an incredulous look. "You didn't fare so well on the Tilt-o-whirl. I'd hate for you to get sick again."
I snorted in retaliation. "I'm fine. I told you not to force those mini-donuts on me! Trust me, I won't get sick." I glared at him from the corner of my eye.
He fought back a smile and lightly squeezed my hand. "So explain to me if you will what makes this attraction so desirable?" His tone was light and curious, but I could sense something else hidden in his words.
"I'm not sure - maybe because it doesn't spin? I know I love the feeling of weightlessness when you go over the hills. There's just something about it…" I tried to explain, but it was difficult to describe exactly what I loved about coasters. All I knew was that they had been my favorite ride since I was a kid.
We had reached the entrance of the ride and I pulled him along with me, determined to get on before the park closed. Edward followed willingly, but continued to badger me with questions.
"So you like g-forces, but not spinning." He seemed to be deep in concentration, his brow knitted. "Exactly how does it make you feel?"
I rolled my eyes. What was his obsession with all of this? "I can't explain it. It makes me feel…giddy?" I tried out the word, but it wasn't quite right. We had caught up to the back of the line and were forced to slow our pace as we entered the loading platform.
He was lost in thought again when I glanced back at him. Then suddenly, he snapped out of it, dazzling me with his amber eyes. I reflexively gulped.
"I see. Well, let's enjoy the ride then." Again, I sensed some hidden agenda in his tone, but I couldn't seem to put my finger on what exactly he was getting at.
Edward stepped closer to me as we continued to walk out on the platform. There was no one behind us so he took full advantage and pulled me tightly against him, his arms wrapping around my waist and his chin resting on the top of my head. I sighed contently, momentarily forgetting his strange questions and purely enjoying his embrace.
The ride attendant directed the line in front of us to file two by two into the awaiting seats of the coaster, filling it front to back. As everyone else took their places, I noticed two rows of empty seats at the back of the coaster waiting for us.
"You're the last riders," said the attendant as he gestured to the back of the ride. "Take your pick."
I started towards the second to the last row of seats, but Edward quickly stepped around and pulled me into the back row. He smiled wickedly at me as he stepped into coaster, holding my hand tightly as I followed behind him. Someone obviously didn't trust my balance so soon after getting the walking cast removed. I tried to ignore his overprotective behavior.
"What is this all about?" I asked as we fastened our seatbelts. "Why did we have to sit in the last row?"
He smiled devilishly at me before answering. "Oh I don't know. More privacy? Besides, isn't the very back row the best for experiencing the g-forces?"
He was definitely up to something now. I gave him a disparaging look as the attendant ran down the length of the coaster, locking the safety bar that crossed our laps into place.
"More privacy? What, you think I'm going to throw up and you don't want me to hit the people in front of us?"
Edward threw his head back and laughed heartily.
"Welcome aboard folks." The attendant announced over the crackling loudspeaker. I waited for the usual speech about keeping our hands inside the ride while I continued to glare at Edward. He seemed oblivious to my annoyance, yet suddenly very interested in the attendant.
"Since the park is about to close and you're the last riders of the night, how about going around the track twice?" The riders in front of us cheered merrily. I had never been on a coaster twice around the track before, but I was pretty sure I could handle it. The remains of the mini-donuts in my stomach were long gone after the embarrassing Tilt-o-whirl incident.
"And since it's a moonless night, how about we turn the lights off and ride in the dark?" the attendance suggested, a hint of humor in his voice. This time the riders screamed in agreement, most of them pumping their hands in the air.
Edward leaned down and whispered in my ear. "This should be quite a ride, don't you think?" He squeezed my hand and let his cool breath wash over the side of my face. I turned to look at him again, and his eyes were smoldering. My heart skipped a beat.
"I can handle it," I replied, my voice faltering. It wasn't doubt that was racing through me, but rather the fleeting thrill I was getting from his hypnotizing eyes. It felt like the ride was already moving, yet we still hadn't left the platform.
"May I suggest an...enhancement to the experience." His voice was now tantalizingly husky, and I shivered despite the warm air. "Why don't you keep your eyes closed the entire ride?" he suggested. Again, his frosty breath ticked against my neck, and I almost began to swoon from the sweet smell that enveloped me.
I looked into his eyes, trying to decipher what he was up to, but I was instantly captivated by his sensuous gaze. I was barely able to speak, but somehow I forced the words out. "If it's dark and they're turning off all the lights off, what's the point of closing my eyes?"
He chuckled lightly. "Trust me."
Just then the coaster jerked once then began rolling down the slight decline away from the platform. I turned my head away and obediently closed my eyes. I felt him take my hand that he was holding and gently rest it on his knee, while my other hand tightly gripped the safety bar. Although I was confident I could handle the coaster without getting sick, the thought of not being able to see the upcoming hills made me edgier then I cared to admit, especially to Edward. But since I couldn't figure out what his devious plan was, I decided to play along and keep my eyes closed. After all, there wouldn't be much to see if the lights were off anyway.
"You know, I don't really see the point of killing the lights," I said sourly. "It's not like we're in the tunnel of love or something."
I could feel his weight next to me as he leaned in against the side of my face, speaking barely loud enough for me to hear. "Are you sure?" I felt one of his fingers lightly trace my jaw line, the coldness of his hand feeling like ice on my flushed skin. Again, I shivered in delight
"You're being silly," I protested, feeling the coaster starting its ascent up the first hill. I had no idea how much further we had to climb before the front of the coaster peaked the summit and pulled us forcefully up and over. I thoroughly loved that moment, the feeling of weightlessness so incredibly euphoric. But the anxiousness of not knowing when to expect the rush had butterflies flitting uncontrollably in my stomach. "I have no idea what you're up to, but if you're trying to make me sick, it isn't going to work."
"Trust me," he whispered again in my ear. "I just want to add to the experience." Just then, I felt a slight increase in our car's movement as we reached the top of the first hill. The people in front of us start to scream in excitement as they took the plunge first.
At the very moment I could feel our car lifting up and over the top of the hill, Edward glided his tongue over my earlobe. I instantly sucked in my breath; my body reacting abruptly to both his electrifying touch and the gravity that started to pull us back down to earth. My grip on his knee tightened unconsciously.
"I love you Bella," he murmured in my ear as his tongue continued to trace the sensitive skin behind my ear. Then I felt his hand against my jaw, tenderly tipping my face slightly away from his, exposing my neck to his covetous mouth.
The sensation of astounding pleasure from the force of the coaster reaching the bottom of the track and racing back up the second hill was amplified a hundredfold by Edward's delicate touch. The combination of the warm wind with Edward's cold touch had me shuddering every time his lips found a new part of my neck that had not been graced with his kisses. My entire body was on fire, scorching to new heights as the coaster crested hill after hill. As we climbed yet another peak, I felt my body suddenly jerked to the left as the coaster rounded a sharp corner stories above the ground, causing me to temporarily loose my grip on Edwards's knee as I slid closer to him.
The impact made me gasp in surprise; not in pain from hitting his marble body, but in delight at feeling him pressed against me. I instantly opened my eyes and tried to look over at him, my entire body tensed and ready to stay firmly nestled against his soft shirt.
But I couldn't make out his features in the absolute dark. We were high above the rest of the park, racing quickly around the corner to another plunge just seconds ahead. I felt his hand reach up and delicately brush the front of my face from my forehead down to my lips.
"No cheating," he mumbled, his lips back at my ear. I instinctively closed my eyes at his touch, and let out a low moan as his kisses rapidly became more urgent against my neck.
The coaster fell from our perch swiftly and without warning. I was so distracted from Edward's hungry lips that I let out a small cry of excitement that became lost amongst the screams of everyone in front of us.
Next I felt both of Edward's cool hands on my burning skin. The hand that had just seconds before stroked my face was now wrapped around my neck, tilting my head back towards him instead of away like before. His other hand was tracing a trail of shivers from my collarbone down the outside of my sleeveless arm. It moved around to the soft underside of my arm, lighting another inferno inside of me.
I was dangerously close to exploding. My heart was unsteady at the influx of sensations coming from the ride and Edward's caress, and each kiss threatened to make me completely come undone. I was frozen in my seat, unable to reach for him even I wanted to. My back arched as his lips found the hollow of my throat, the balmy wind forced into my lungs that were no longer breathing on their own.
"Edward," I groaned, the desire in my voice thick and palatable. This was it – I had reached the point where I was either going to burst into flames or have a heart attack from over-stimulation. The car beneath us took one final dip before jerking sharply to the left as it raced into the loading area and began slowing down.
His lips reluctantly left my throat, his hands still against my neck and arm. "Do you want me to stop?" he murmured softly in my ear. I could hear just the hint of sarcasm in his words – he was expecting me to say yes. I fought back the smile that threatened to overtake my face.
Keeping my eyes closed, I turned my head towards him, hoping he wasn't close enough that I'd clip my nose on his, though I was pretty sure he'd move quickly enough to prevent any accidental head smacking. My hand left his knee on its own power this time as we raced past the platform, heading towards the monstrously high first hill again. I reached up until I found his face just inches from mine. I cupped his jaw in my hand as I tried to steady my voice through the turmoil of sensations that raged inside of me.
"Absolutely not!" Then I ran my thumb over his full lips, making sure I knew exactly where they were. The tug of the car began pulling us back up the hill slowly. I took full advantage of the relative smoothness of the ascent, and pushed forward in my seat to kiss him fervently. He seemed to hesitate for just a second, but then he was rapidly kissing me back, his hands in my hair and pulling me even closer.
The fire inside of me blazed up again as his lips caressed mine with an undeniable urgency. The car was nearing the top of the hill now, and Edward's mouth reluctantly paused against mine.
"Bella," he began. I could hear the torment in his voice. "As much as I'd like to continue, I think it's better if you leave the kissing to me." His hands moved to delicately turn my head back away from him, and my body was forced to turn as well to its proper sitting position. A small part of me wanted to rebel against his gentle guidance, but deep down I understood what he was doing. Knowing my luck I'd get my head slammed into his once we started down the first hill, or, he'd become so engrossed in our heated make-out session that he'd accidentally break open the safety bar in an attempt to get closer to me. I inwardly smirked at the idea of finally getting him to give up some of his control and allowing one of these intense moments between us go as far as possible. But the terrifying thought of falling a dozen stories to the ground below quickly overruled my desires.
I sighed in resignation. I wanted him so badly; so completely that my soul ached in agony. I wondered time and time again if my heart wouldn't shatter into a million pieces from the intensity of the love I felt for him. Did he feel the same way?
Edward seemed to sense my frustration immediately. Although he continued to hold my head slightly away from him, he leaned in towards me, kissing my neck once again.
"Don't fret my love," I could feel his lips tugging at my ear. I began to shiver again. "You'll get your turn soon enough."
As the coaster peaked over the first hill for the second time, he began teasing his cold lips along my jaw and neck. I swear we were going even faster then before; the car seeming to shudder from the speed. I closed my eyes again, letting myself fall unabashedly with the car, and surrendering entirely to his kisses. My body melted at his touch, the overload of sensations drowning me repeatedly. I swore I was floating in mid-air, the euphoria of the entire experience providing such a gratifying high that I never wanted to return to earth as long as he was still touching me.
I was so completely lost in that moment that I didn't realize the coaster was slowing; coming up to the platform after its second run. Edward's lips returned to my ear once again, his hands soft against me.
"Bella, you can open your eyes now." He nuzzled my neck one final time as I slowly opened my eyes. We were gliding forward into the darkness of the platform; the riders in front of us hooting in celebration of the extended ride. I had completely forgotten they were there.
As my eyes adjusted to the glow of the other lights in the park, I turned to look at Edward. My favorite lopsided smile covered his face as he gazed at me lovingly. Once again the sight of him took my breath away.
"So, did you enjoy the ride?" he teased. My face flushed instantaneously at his words and his smile turned into a knowing smirk, but it was playful and sweet. The coaster jolted to a stop, the safety bar releasing us from our seats.
I didn't trust my voice to answer him immediately, so instead I just nodded in agreement. He reached for my hand as I started to stand up, but my knees started to buckle as I got a massive head rush from the sudden movement to my feet.
Edward was prepared as usual to save me from my clumsy self. His arm was around my waist instantly, stopping me from toppling over the back of the car and onto the track.
"Are you dizzy from the ride?" he jested softly, chuckling to himself. Before I could react he had pulled me out of the car and onto the platform next to him. "And here I believed you when you said that roller coasters didn't make you ill."
I scowled at him. "I'm not sick. Just a little…" I struggled to find the right word to describe the delicious haze that I continued to float in. I found my eyes glancing down at his lips again, envisioning them kissing me. I was completely out of my mind.
"Intoxicated?" he finished for me, as he led me towards the exit ramp. Most of the other riders had already skipped ahead, dancing off into the darkness.
I did my best to make my answer sound annoyed. But sadly my voice failed me again. "Yes, intoxicated. I'd like to see how well you would fare if the tables were turned," my answer was huskier then I would have liked. And he noticed.
Edward spun me around quickly, pushing me up against the wall of the dark deserted platform. He leaned towards me slowly, his tempting lips just inches from mine. I could detect a grin on his face even though I couldn't see it.
"So you liked it then?" Before I could answer, his lips were crushing mine, slightly painful, yet exactly what I had been craving. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't stop myself from flinging my arms around him, pulling him tightly against me as I kissed him back.
We were so lost in the moment that we didn't hear the attendant approach. Or at least, I didn't hear him approach. Edward must have heard but chose to ignore him, reveling in our sweet embrace.
"Hey kids, park's closing. You need to leave." The attendant did not sound amused to find us necking in the dark.
Edward reluctantly pulled away from me, sighing loudly. I stifled a giggle at his reaction to being so rudely interrupted. I waited for him to say something, but instead he put his arm around my shoulders and silently steered me down the exit ramp. The attendant was following behind us, so I forced myself to stay composed until we were safely away from the ride.
The lights of the park that greeted us below seemed strangely surreal as we stepped from the dark ramp onto the main walkway. We strolled slowly towards the park exit, our arms around one another. I gazed up at his flawless face, noticing for the first time how wild his hair looked. The wind from the coaster had obviously done a number on it, and a giggle escaped me as I reached up to smooth a piece.
His eyes danced as he looked down at me. "What?" I laughed harder at the confused look on his face.
"Honestly Bella, what are you thinking? One minute you're completely oblivious to everything around you. Then you're barely able to stand on your own power. Now you're giggling uncontrollably. I'm beginning to think you are drunk!"
I shook my head furiously, fighting back the onset of more laughter. His expressions were just so…hilarious. Maybe he really had no idea after all what his simple presence could do to me. But how could he not know?
I was feeling extremely brave as the adrenaline continued to pump through me. I threw myself forward, crushing my body into his and running my fingers through his wild hair. My lips made a beeline for his neck, unleashing some of the wild passion he had bestowed on me just moments before. He was caught completely off guard. I could feel his body tense as I launched myself into him, but then his hands reach behind my back to pull me closer as he realized what I was doing. My heart began its wild race again as one of his hands slid tighter around my waist, pulling me upwards and off my feet.
"Bella…" he sighed softly. I had worked my way up to his stone jaw, tracing it lightly with my tongue. I wasn't about to let him get away without some retribution for the plethora of wicked kisses he had unleashed on me earlier.
"As much as I'd love to stand here all night and let you have your way with me, I'm afraid we're going to get kicked out sooner then later." I had a sneaking suspicion from the way his hands were moving excitedly up and down my back that he was fighting the urge to kiss me back.
But then I felt him slowly stiffen, reigning himself in. That encouraged me to work harder, trying to burst through his self-control like he was always able to do with me. As my lips reached the bottom of his chin, he slowly extended himself upward, pulling away and letting me slide back down until my feet touched the ground. A wave of rejection swept through me so quickly that I had to blink back the tears that threatened to erupt at any moment. I stared at him dejectedly, wishing I could hear inside his head.
His facial expression changed swiftly from regret to horror as he looked down at me. The rapid change brought on the tears I'd been fighting to hold back.
"Bella no! What's wrong?" he hugged me to his chest, his breath in my hair as he pleaded with me. "I'm not pushing you away because I don't want you! We need to leave before they literally kick us out," he began to explain.
Somehow, his prior comment about getting kicked out had flown over my head completely. It wasn't until he said it the second time that my muddled brain finally made sense of the words.
"Oh," was all I was able to get out. I felt so stupid. Of course he wasn't pushing me away for that reason! He was right – I was acting intoxicated. "Sorry," I muttered into his chest.
He pulled away again, studying me for a moment with his ocher eyes. I gazed back, fighting not to get lost in his dazzling stare, but it was hopeless. My heart skipped a beat, then another as I felt my legs slowly give out. He looked away, rolling his eyes humorously.
"What am I going to do with you?" he chided, clucking his tongue. His arm was instantly around me again, supporting my unsteady weight and walking us briskly towards the exit. "You know I'd carry you and sprint you off as quickly as possible if I could," he muttered. I glanced up to see the hint of a smile playing at the corners of his mouth.
"So do I get my chance to get even?" I asked as coyly as possible, still wiping the silly tears off of my face. Variegated emotions had whipped through me so rapidly that I no longer trusted myself to do anything right.
He didn't answer me immediately. We had reached the exit to the park, and he led me silently through the gates and out towards the parking lot. I followed along behind him like an obedient pet. Once again I was desperately hoping that my intuition was right, that he was merely rushing us away to the privacy of his Volvo to continue the conversation. But the demons of doubt hid below the surface of my calm façade, waiting to spring at any moment again.
Finally arriving at the car, he hurried me over to the passenger side, unlocking the door and assisting me inside. I grimaced at the extra help he was providing. I knew I had been a bit of a basket case that night, but I was still capable of getting myself into the car. My eyes rolled in annoyance.
Edward was inside before I could blink, leaning dangerously close towards me, his eyes smoldering once again.
"Maybe." He smirked impishly.
It took me a minute to remember my last question, and I frowned once I realized it wasn't quite the answer I wanted.
"What do you mean, maybe? Don't I get a turn to at least try and turn you into a blubbering idiot? It's only fair," I trailed off, distracted by his wonderful smell that permeated the car.
"You haven't played fair since we boarded that coaster." He was slowly leaning closer to me, his lips now less then an inch away. "So let's see if you allow me to get you home on time, and we'll re-evaluate the situation after that." I was feeling faint as his sweet breath washed over me. The fire from the coaster ride ignited again, burning deep within me as I felt the electricity pulse between us.
He stayed in that precarious position for what seemed like eternity before he smiled and finally pulled away. My heart shuddered involuntarily as I worried about being the youngest person alive to have a heart attack from over-stimulation. He was simply driving me crazy.
Edward started the car and raced towards home at an alarming speed. My jaw dropped to protest, but he lifted a finger to my lips, shushing me.
"Do you want to get home before curfew?"
"Then let me drive my way," he said. I sighed loudly in protest.
Edward rolled his eyes. "Seriously Bella, when are you going to get over this fear of speed when I drive? You didn't seem to have any inhibitions about speed earlier this evening." Once again I caught the sarcasm in his tone.
"That was different. Roller coasters are supposed to go fast." Somehow my explanation didn't come out quite as planned.
"And why is that?"
"Well, they're on tracks. There's nothing like deer or cops or road debris to get in the way," I tried frantically to explain. I had a bad feeling he was leading me down a path that would destroy my logic with a staggering blow.
He tapped his head with the finger that had shushed me just seconds before. "Built in radar detector. Remember?"
I had a glorious revelation. "Since when do you hear the thoughts of deer or other animals wanting to run out in front of your speeding car? I thought your talents only worked on humans. And vampires," I added gleefully. I already knew the answer – he was busted.
"Exemplary reflexes, "he stated matter-of-factly. Darn it – not the response I was expecting. I tried a different approach.
"But what if your exemplary reflexes lead to the car spinning out of control and hitting a tree? Oh wait, that's right – you'll survive without a scratch. Would you care to refresh my memory of what will happen to poor, fragile Bella?" I was shooting for a light banter in my tone, yet again it didn't come out quite the way I had planned.
A dark shadow crossed his face as my words sunk in. "Bella, you know I'd never let that happen to you." His grip shook the steering wheel. Was he angry at me?
"But what if you weren't quite fast enough to save me from flying into a tree?" I honestly wasn't trying to upset him further, but I desperately wanted to make a point.
The jest in his words contradicted his tone. "And here I thought I'd never find a way to cool your raging desires."
I was speechless. What just happened? Once again I found myself completely lost in another tidal wave of unexpected emotions. Was he angry? Should I be angry? What happened to our unadulterated bliss just minutes before? I must be pre-menstrual to be this emotionally distraught I thought despondently.
I glanced away from him and noticed we were nearing my house. Everything was now in fast-motion; our passion, then our anger, and now my arrival home. A sinking feeling settled deep in my chest as I realized our night together was over. Judging by his last remark, he would be in no mood to sneak up to my bedroom tonight.
He pulled over in front of the house, throwing the car in park. He didn't look at me right away, and I took that as a bad sign. How had this perfect night gone south so quickly? I chewed my lip in frustration, watching him warily out of the corner of my eye. Was this our first fight?
Finally he turned to face me. His face was unreadable in the dim light of the dash. "Bella…" he began, but then stopped. His chin dropped dejectedly, and I suddenly wanted to reach out and pull him to me, but I resisted the temptation. His mood was dangerously indecipherable and I didn't want to assume wrong. My crestfallen heart was in a precarious place.
"Why don't you go inside so Charlie doesn't get worried," he said quietly. I waited with baited breath to see if he'd mention meeting in my room later that night. He glanced up at me, but didn't say anything else.
"Okay," I muttered, frustrated at how the evening appeared to be ending. How did we go from absolutely perfect to this? I had barely enough courage to hold off the tears as I pushed open the car door. I inadvertently slammed it shut behind me, refusing to look back to see if I had provoked any sort of reaction. My body screamed in protest; it didn't want to leave him this way. But my pride overruled my hormones, directing me inside where I could release my anguish in private.
I managed to slam the front door too as I entered the house. Charlie was on the couch, watching a baseball game. He jumped, startled by my loud entrance.
"Bells, what's wrong?" Charlie was always a little too perceptive when Edward was involved. I took a deep breath, debating the responses that flowed through my mind. I picked the one that would give me the quickest escape to my bedroom sanctuary.
"Nothing Dad. I spilled a drink on myself. I feel like an idiot." My shabby attempt at a lie was all I could muster. I prayed he didn't get off the couch and come into the kitchen to see that there was no stain anywhere on me.
"Oh. Everything else okay?" Obviously he wasn't entirely convinced. I'd have to work harder at this then I thought.
"Yeah, I'm okay. Just tired and still queasy from some of the rides." Hopefully the thought of a potentially ill daughter was enough for him to leave me alone. "I'm going to go upstairs and lie down."
"Sure, no problem. Call me if you need anything. I'll be to bed shortly." I sighed, relieved he had bought it. The tears were starting to well again, so I made a hasty retreat upstairs to my room, collapsing on the bed as the grief overtook me. I blamed myself for the miserable ending of our evening together - I should have controlled myself better. What was I thinking, throwing myself unabashedly at him on the coaster and on the walk to the car? Surely that was way too much for him to handle. I knew better then that. And why had I made such a big deal about him getting me home on time? Wasn't I the one who had stalled us as we exited the ride?
I felt so ashamed – my burning desire for Edward was pushing him away with every silly reaction that erupted out of me. How could he possibly want to put up with such a temperamental human? Another muffled sob escaped me as I buried my face in a pillow, hoping to cry myself to sleep.
I was barely aware of the noise from across the room. Was that my window opening? Did I dare peek to see? I was terrified that he was coming to tell me he couldn't deal with me any longer, didn't want me like I wanted him. It seemed safer to remain head down, consciously oblivious to his entrance.
A cool hand found my shoulder, and I felt his overwhelming presence lean down towards me. "Bella?" His voice shuddered with agony.
I sucked in a deep breath, and then spontaneously hiccupped as I tried to reign in my tears. It came out sounding like another cry of anguish.
"Bella, I'm so sorry! I'm not angry at you! Don't cry, please," he begged. Both of his hands were now on my shoulders, his weight carefully pressing down on me as he rested his head next to mine. "Bella please, will you look at me?" he pleaded desperately.
I hiccupped again, biting my lip in the process. I yielded to the gentle pressure of his hands, forcing my body to roll over and turn towards him. Yet I was terrified to look in his eyes. Did he really mean it? He wasn't mad at me?
The minute my face cleared the sanctuary of the pillow, his hands left my shoulders and cupped my chin, turning it so that I was forced to look at him. His amber eyes were filled with sorrow as he took in my puffy face. I sniffed and hiccupped again.
"I'm sorry," I began. "I…I…didn't mean to…" another hiccup erupted, turning into some sound a billy goat made. I smiled reflexively, trying not to laugh.
Edward's face struggled to read mine. "Are you okay?" he questioned, most likely referring to my hiccupping speech. I thought about answering, but was quickly persuaded not to when another hiccup escaped my lips. This time I giggled despite myself. I sounded so ridiculous.
My reaction softened him as he continued to watch my face. His gaze drifted to my torn lip, lingering there for a moment.
"Oops," I said, realizing how my bleeding lip might be tormenting him. I sucked the blood off of it quickly, hoping he wouldn't notice.
Edward rolled his eyes, obviously noticing my attempts to cover my self-inflicted wound. "Bella, do you honestly think one tiny drop of your blood is going to faze me after what we went through in Phoenix?" He shifted his position, this time straddling me with his knees as I continued to lie on my back. He sat up to study me, a glint of humor in his eyes as the mood between us shifted dynamically.
"I was just trying to help." I struggled slightly to sit up under his weight, but it was no use. He made no move to let me out from underneath him. Once again, I hiccupped.
This time he chuckled. "How did you ever get the hiccups?" he joked, but his smile betrayed him. I felt the warmth of his soul escaping his eyes as he continued to gaze at me.
"Why don't you help me get rid of them?" I had no idea how that would work, but it seemed like a good question.
His lopsided grin grew larger as he leaned down towards me. "And how do you propose I do that?"
The memory of the coaster ride came fluttering through my mind. "Well, you managed to take my breath away on the coaster," I began, trying not to hiccup again in mid-sentence. "We can always start there."
"You don't want your turn to seduce me first?" He had lowered his body back down so that his face was hovering dangerously close to mine.
"I don't know how I could possibly..." I hiccupped through the word and giggled uncontrollably. Before I could finish the sentence, Edward's lips were pressed to mine, working feverishly to cease my hiccups.
Again I let my body have it's own free will, shutting down my mind completely and allowing myself to get lost in the intoxication that was Edward. I reached up to pull him closer to me, my other hand racing down the side of his muscular torso. He broke away from my lips, laying butterfly kisses down my jaw line that made my back arch in pleasure. Yes, the hiccups were definitely gone now.
After a moment, he paused, his mouth pressed tenderly to my neck as his hand stroked the side of my face. "Better?" he whispered softly.
"Yes," I breathed. I pulled his head tightly against my shoulder and vowed never to let another misunderstanding like the one that made me cry earlier ever happen again. It wasn't worth it. I simply loved him too much.
He rolled over on his side, pulling me with him. "Am I forgiven?"
"Maybe," I teased, then kissed him quickly on the lips. He chucked lightly, his hand on my waist pulling me securely against him.
"My turn now?" It was only fair I get my shot at hopefully rendering him as helpless as he frequently rendered me.
"You really don't have any idea what you do to me, do you?"
He sighed softly, the grin returning. His fingers traced lazily along my arm. "It's your turn as long as you promise me you're not still upset."
"I'm the one who should be apologizing for my irrational behavior," I retorted. Although I appreciated his attempt to mend any hurt feelings between us, I was convinced the misunderstanding had been completely mine.
"Silly Bella," he chided. "Your irrational behavior is completely normal next to my own irrational behavior."
"Maybe our irrationalish belongs together," I suggested as I stroked his soft hair.
"Like two peas in a pod," he finished, his eyes searing with love. My breath hitched again as I stared longingly at him. The flames were starting to burn inside of me yet again. Would this ever stop?
Then he reached up to hold my face between his cool hands. "Are you ready?"
"You're seriously going to let me have my turn?"
"I promised, didn't I?" His face moved towards mine, tantalizingly clos as his warm breath washed over me, deluding my thoughts.
I thought for the briefest of seconds what would happen if he really did relinquish control and let me do to him what he had done to me. Would it all end badly, like he had feared when we first met? My mind answered that question quickly and without hesitation. It doesn't matter. I knew he'd never kill me. The worst thing that could possibly happen in his opinion was the best thing that could happen in mine. And if he slipped and gave me his venomous kiss?
Then I would be with him forever. I was ready to take that risk for the chance to give him even the smallest piece of ecstasy that he had given me that night.
I smiled at him ruefully. "I love you Edward." Then I rushed for his neck before he could respond. Little did he know that the pleasure was all mine.