(this is the time between the swim in the ocean, and waking in the morning…I think it's still PG-13)

After our swim, we sat on the beach, quiet for a very long time. It was not out of anxiety or nerves. We were just enjoying being there with each other. The moon was bright enough that it was casting hundreds of tiny little rainbows off of each droplet of water still clinging to Edward's skin. At this moment, he was the most beautiful that I had ever seen him. And he was all mine. Forever, and ever. Neither of us was in any rush for this night to come to an end. So, we sat there content, with the warm air blowing across our bodies, drying the water on our skin into little salt granules. I was snuggled into the space between Edward's knees with my back against his chest. It felt warm now, what with the bath-like water we had just left and the hot tropical breeze. Or it may have just been the growing electrical energy that was oozing through my naked back from his chest, so close to me.

He moved my almost dry hair, giving him a clear path to the side of my neck as he slowly leaned down to kiss me just under my right ear. I moaned softly.

He moaned in return and whispered "Oh Bella, you smell incredible!" growling out the last word.

I froze! I couldn't help it. The first thing I pictured was a grilled steak, rare of course, lightly coated with a sprinkling of salt. The thought just popped into my head because we had just come from the salty ocean.

I started giggling, and I could hear the smile in his voice as he asked, "Does that tickle?"

"Yes!" I lied.

The giggles didn't last long though as he began sliding his lips down my neck and kissing my shoulder. Small bumps quickly formed on my arm and continued down my right side, stopping at my hip. They lingered there as he brought his hand to my face, pulling my head around to give me a soft kiss on the full of my mouth.

The kiss continued, slowly growing in intensity as I began tracing patterns on his skin. Starting on the outside of his right arm, which was draped over my shoulder and resting on his knee, my fingers moved down his arm, from his elbow, down his thigh, and then back up to the top of his arm. I kept this pattern up, as the intensity of his kiss grew. I was trying to occupy my mind to keep me from doing what I usually did when Edward kissed me this way. My breathing increased in tempo and I had to fight very hard with every fiber of myself to keep up the pattern so that I did not turn, throwing my arms around his neck, forcing Edward to freeze in place and carefully, but firmly, peel me away from his body. That thought alone should have been enough to keep me from doing it, but I concentrated all of my efforts on my pattern. Keep up the pattern. The pattern…

Oh, but the KISS! This kiss was the kiss to end all kisses! I felt as if I were actually beginning to melt right down into the sand! I started to turn, losing my resolve, ready to throw my arms around him, but remembered my pattern just in time. The pattern! Right! Up the arm, down the arm, across the elbow, down the thigh and back up. Up the arm, down the arm, across the elbow, down…

…All thoughts ceased and it got very quiet as Edward slipped his right arm under my knees and quickly stood up, cradling me in his arms. The movement made me dizzy. I was looking at his beautiful face smiling down at me, but something was wrong. It was getting darker. I could barely see his face now. Did a cloud move over our perfect moon? I didn't remember seeing any clouds in the sky.

And then he spoke, so softly I could barely hear him, "Breathe Bella" chuckling as he said the words.

I gasped in a deep breath, filling my lungs, and I could see his face again, bright against the moonlight. No clouds. I just forgot to breathe. Again. I blushed, flooding my cheeks with the wine Edward had forced himself to taste once.

He leaned down and touched his nose to the side of my face. "Mmmm" he said, after he breathed in deeply. He kissed me lightly as he carried me inside.

He laid me down on the bed and he was quickly beside me. His hands and lips were all over me now, moving in places I had only dreamed of. His touch was not as gentle as before, and I liked it! I wanted to ask him to squeeze me harder, but I didn't want to make it more difficult for him. I was going to let him go at his own pace. He was doing this for me, and I knew how hard it was for him. But it seemed as if I did speak the words aloud, because each time I stopped myself from begging for something, he was doing it!

He rolled me onto my stomach and started kissing the back of my neck which made the goose bumps reappear, this time racing down my spine. He must have seen the path they took because his cool tongue traced the bumps right down the middle of my back. It felt as if he had laid a line of fire as he went! It did not burn. Instead, it sent a hot blanket of electrical pulses that slowly spread through my entire body. The feeling was unmatched with anything I had ever experienced before, and at that point, I didn't care if he did kill me.

Thankfully though, before I could scream "KILL ME NOW!" causing him, no doubt, to stop what he was doing in utter confusion, he rested his mouth on the small of my back, slowly breathing in and out.

Holding on to my hips now, he began kissing the dimples on either side of my spine, giving each one a turn. He could stay right there forever and it would not be long enough.

And then his touch was gone. My skin started buzzing. Waiting…anticipating. My body was aching for his touch, not knowing where it was going to come from next. Seconds seemed like hours and finally, I could stand it no longer. I peeked over my shoulder to see where his hand would land next. That's when I realized he truly was gone! I was alone on the bed. I turned the other way, anxious now and saw him there, in the corner of the room. He was standing as still as Michelangelo's, David, with his arms crossed over his chest, his chin resting on his tight fist. He saw my intention to come to him and put his palm out to me, stopping my train of thought.

"Just give me a moment, please!" his voice heavy with restraint.

"I'm sorry" I said. "Did I do something wrong?"

He looked at me. In his eyes I could see that he wanted to be right where he was just moments ago, but he was locked there by his feet.

"Bella, love, this is not your fault". He sighed, "I just need to make sure I have myself in complete control".

"I love you" I whispered, and laid my head back down.

"I love you, too" he said from the corner of the room.

I closed my eyes and waited as patiently as I could, at the same time feeling guilty for putting him in this position. This was the most selfish thing I had ever done. It was even worse than making him sit out of the fight with the newborns. If I loved him as much as I said I did, then how could I put him through this pain? This was the worst kind of torture there was. How could I do this to him? Was my pleasure really that important to me? Was I willing to make my husband (Ahhh…. that does sound nice!) suffer so, just to give me something that I could have--without restraint--in a year or so, after my newborn cravings subsided a little? This was silly! I could wait a stupid year! I could wait if it meant his sanity was left intact.

Just as I was about to speak the words that would end this…the best night of my entire life, I could feel the tip of his nose lightly caressing the divot right behind my ankle bone as he breathed in deeply. A moan slipped out of my mouth before I could stop it. At the same time, his hand was running slowly up and down the outside of my thigh. Then, very slowly, he traced the curve of my calf with his lips, and as he reached the back side of my knee, I thought I might faint.

I had to stop being selfish.

"Edward," I said. "This is too difficult for you, we don't have to…"

But before I could finish my thought he said, "Shhhh….Bella, love," his cold breath sending another wave of fiery pulses through my body. "I'm fine" he said as he kissed the tendon connecting my thigh to my calf. "This will work. I know that now. I can do this. I want to do this." He kissed my leg before speaking again. "I realized, while standing there, the feelings that I was having just now, were not coming from that side of me. I was feeling that I wanted to be even closer to you."

He opened his mouth wide, something he had never done so close to my skin, and ever so gently sucked on the goose bumps that had risen on my leg. My heart thudded quickly in my chest and my breathing became erratic. I could feel the front side of his razor sharp teeth slide against me as his mouth closed into a kiss.

I must have blacked out, because the next thing I knew I was on my back, and Edward was lying next to me, his hand resting lightly on my stomach.

"Are you okay, love?" he said smugly, smiling my favorite smile.

"Umm…I think so." I said, looking around, trying to get my bearings. "What happened?" I mumbled.

"Apparently, I can make you faint by kissing you… anywhere!" he smiled slyly, raising one eyebrow.

"I fainted?" I said, feeling very confused. "But I wasn't even standing up!" my voice raising an octave as I finished the words.

He shrugged, and smiled again.

I furrowed my brow trying to remember. After a minute my eyes flew open as the memory flooded back, and I blushed again. Edward laughed and caressed my hot cheek. This time, however, it was not a blush of embarrassment. Not only did my mind remember the cause, but my body remembered it too.

While trying to mimic his sly smile, I rolled onto my side, facing him. I slowly moved my hand down his left side. His breathing sped up as he closed his eyes. I couldn't quite reach his calf without sitting up, so I settled for his thigh. Flattening my palm firmly on his leg, I pulled him toward me with all of my strength. He moved easily and quickly, knowing what I wanted, and we rolled together, his mouth finding mine.

He was pressed up against me, his elbows resting on either side of my chest. His forearms were under my shoulders and his hands cradled my head as he kissed me with a passion I did not think possible up to now.

The pleasure we shared as our bodies were entwined together could not be described with mere words. We moved together, in this dance, like we had been together for a hundred years. There was no awkwardness, no--wondering what we were supposed to do next. Our bodies knew what to do. And so we just followed.

The only sounds outside the room were the waves breaking gently against the beach, and the wind rustling in the palm trees.

Inside, there was much more going on. Our breathing was coming out in gasps now, interrupted only by our moans, which were getting louder and more frequent.

"Edward" I breathed.

In response he roared, "Oh, BELLA!" As his breath escaped his lips, the sound coming out of him was like sheets being ripped apart.

We continued moving together, using every inch of the king sized bed. The growls and moans were quieter now, satiated. The hours moved by like minutes as our breathing slowly returned to a more normal pace.

I don't remember drifting off to sleep. One moment we were lying there together, our bodies one, breathing in sync. I remember thinking that if Edward had a heartbeat, it would be matched with mine, each beat connected, keeping cadence, as if there was no separation of skin and bones. And the next thing I knew, my back felt very warm….