Once Bitten

Disclaimer: I don't own Edward or Twilight. It kills me to say it.

Author's Note: I would be lost without my awesome editor, muse and friend, KlutzLikeBlella. She's incredible. If you haven't read her stories, do! Her story, Battle Wounds, is an awesome Jasper / Alice story and it made me fall in love with Jasper. Thank you, KLB – you rock!

Edward's POV

Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody played softly in the background while Bella lay in my arms on the couch in my room. Her legs were entwined with mine and her head rested on my chest. I played gently with her hair, stopping only to kiss her head or appreciate her scent.

Jasper and Emmett were downstairs, playing a massive chess game they'd put together using nine regular game boards and the pieces from fifteen different chess sets, which allowed them entire cavalry units and to introduce reinforcements throughout the game. Jasper loved a good cavalry. And that meshed nicely with Emmett's 'Go big or go home' philosophy towards everything in life, especially anything competitive. The game had been going on for three days and was nowhere near over. I could hear them trash talking each other loudly in the living room.

The rest of our family had gone out hunting tonight, saying they were tired of listening to the boys argue. Esme had invited me to join them as well, but I preferred to stay home with Bella. She couldn't hear my brothers downstairs and, when I was with her, nothing else mattered to me.

I wrapped a strand of Bella's dark, silky hair around my finger and let it slip gently off again. She shivered in my arms. Then she sighed deeply.

"What are you thinking?" I couldn't help but ask the question that was always on my mind around Bella. The silence of her mind was both a blessing and a curse to me. It was so entirely liberating to be in the presence of another being without being assaulted by the unending clamour of their thoughts. And yet the only thoughts I ever desired to hear were hers. "Bella?" I urged her impatiently when she didn't speak quickly enough.

Thankfully, she didn't keep me waiting much longer.

"I was thinking about the first day we met," she said softly while she played with the buttons of my shirt, deciding how to express her thoughts. She was editing again. I hated that.

I was just losing patience when she started speaking again.

"Actually, I was wondering what you were thinking. You know, on that first day in Biology – when you looked so angry?" she looked up at me hesitantly from under her lashes.

My chest constricted painfully at the memory. Why was she bringing this up? She knew what I had been thinking. I had wanted to kill her. And I had come so close to doing exactly that – to killing the reason for my existence. Why did she want me to say that again? Why did she want me to admit again that I had nearly made the worst mistake of my life?

The memory of what I had nearly done that day washed over me in an agonizing wave of guilt and shame. I felt the emotional pain of my memories twist my expression.

Bella was instantly sorry. She laid her hand against my cheek. "No, not that. Edward. I mean, yes that, but . . ." she drew a deep breath and closed her eyes while she collected her thoughts and decided how to word them. "What I meant was that sometimes I wonder exactly what you were thinking. In the meadow, you said you had thought of a hundred ways to get me alone. I've thought about that a lot. I was curious about what your plans were."

I felt the tightness in my chest loosen, as I forced myself to relax. Typical Bella. "You're always curious," I snorted.

Bella took that as her cue that she could continue. "I've been thinking how I would have lured you to a place alone, if I were the vampire and you were the human."

I grinned at that intriguing thought. "And what have you come up with?"

She hesitated. I felt the heat of her blush and she continued to pick self-consciously at my shirt. She was apparently having second thoughts about revealing her ideas. I wasn't about to let her off the hook. She had, after all, started this. I waited with growing amusement.

Finally she said, "Well, I actually have a few plans." She met my eyes, a timid smile playing at her lips.

I arched an eyebrow and silently begged her to continue.

"I would have introduced myself and offered to walk you to your next class, and then I would have claimed to have forgotten a book in my truck."

I chuckled appreciatively. "Yes, that was one of mine too."

It felt so strange to be laughing about this dark subject, yet it was also somehow healing. There was a strong catharsis in sharing this with her, as if I were putting down a heavy load I had grown weary of carrying.

Seeming to gain courage from my calm reaction, Bella leaned closer to me and whispered conspiratorially, "Or I could have flashed you some cleavage and a smile full of promises. I think you would have followed me if I were a vampire."

A vision of that flashed through my mind – my beautiful Bella bending down towards me, while the soft folds of her shirt clung to her curves; her innocent yet seductive smile. The way her long dark curls framed her face, her graceful neck and spilled lower still over her . . . My breathing hitched and I gasped, "Dear God, I'd follow you now and you know it."

She giggled.

I honestly tried to pull my thoughts away from the image of Bella seducing me, to turn the conversation to a lighter, less dangerous subject – but I wasn't strong enough. The wild addiction of her scent, her soft skin, her dark beauty and all the wonder that was my Bella overwhelmed me in an intoxicating rush. I couldn't push the forbidden excitement of Bella's seduction from my mind. Abandoning the struggle, I surrendered to the temptation, and I whispered huskily to her, "And what would you have done then, once you'd gotten me alone?"

Her eyes smoldered as she looked into mine. God help me, I recognized that I'd summoned the vixen – that side of Bella that I both desired and feared. I was weak to her and gloried in that weakness, unwilling and unable to fight against her power over me. My muscles clenched as I fought my desire to push her down and claim her in every way that mattered. The temptation was made a thousand times worse by the knowledge that she would welcome my possession of her.

She curled around slowly, sitting up next to me, drawing herself up against me. She leaned in closer and breathed in my ear, "I would have done this."

She slowly drew her nose from the hollow below my ear, down my neck to my collarbone as I had done to her a hundred times before. Her body was pressed tightly to mine, her soft breasts against my chest. I was held prisoner by her slight weight and the graceful curves of her body that molded against my hard planes. She breathed out slowly and her sweet scent rose around me in a hypnotic haze. I was paralyzed beneath her, unable to break the spell she cast over me. I fought to breathe, gasping as if the air had become thin.

She slowly unbuttoned my shirt.

A rational part of my brain cried out to me to make her stop, to end this before I lost all control and she was hurt. Yet I couldn't find the will to stop her. The emotional rollercoaster of the past few minutes – or was it the events of the past months? – held me captive. Mercifully, she stopped undressing me and laid her palm against my chest. I realized that she was feeling my heartbeat, if it had existed, as if I were the human. Playing out her fantasy. I fought to keep from shuddering beneath her warm caress.

She continued her assault on my weakening resistance.

She kissed me gently along the arteries in my neck, pausing to swirl her tongue over my pulse points. In that moment, it was easy to believe that I was human again and to imagine her as a vampire. My breathing was ragged; my control was nearly non-existent. I trembled beneath her, lost in the illusion she deliberately wove.

I struggled for control over both the man and the beast and to restore the air of calm that surely hung in tatters around me. Still, I was unable to say the words to ask her to back away, to retreat to safety.

Her tongue traced the path of my jugular vein to the base of my neck. Instinctively I arched my head back to allow her better access, while my mind screamed to stop this now. My traitorous fingers threaded into her hair and held her gently to me.

Then she bit me. Hard.

Shock held me frozen for a moment. Recovering a little from my surprise, I cried out, "Bella! You bit me!"

She hid her face in my shoulder and giggled a "Sorry". She sounded equal parts embarrassed and amused.

She hadn't hurt me of course, though I worried briefly about her teeth. But she had bitten me hard enough that, had I been human, she would have drawn blood.

"You would have bitten me?" I demanded, still shocked by her action, but also feeling the hilarity bubbling below the surface. I fought back my laughter as I waited for her answer.

"Well, of the two of us, you didn't think I was the one with any willpower, did you?" she retorted defensively.

I heard the shocked silence of my brothers downstairs – even their minds were briefly quiet. Then Emmett and Jasper started laughing uproariously. They'd heard enough of the last part of our conversation to piece it together.

I couldn't help but laugh too. Bella hid her face in my shoulder, but I could also feel her body shake from her own giggles.

Emmett and Jasper started speculating as to where Bella had bitten me. I ignored them and thanked God that Bella couldn't hear them.

Bella settled back into my arms and I focused on her, deliberately blocking out my brothers' verbal and mental commentaries.

She smiled a knowing smile and said, "See? God knew what he was doing when he made you a vampire first. The other way around would have been simply disastrous."

I went completely still. "What did you just say?"

Bella met my stunned eyes. "I said it would have been disastrous if I were the vampire first. I would have killed you in the first hour."

"No, before that," I clarified. "Do you really believe God made me a vampire?" I held my breath as I waited for her answer.

She looked at me as if I were missing something obvious. "Of course, Edward. How can anything so perfect as you not be a divine creation?"

I stared back at her, stunned. "I will never understand how you see me."

"I love you, Edward," she said simply.

I hugged her tightly and buried my face in her neck. Bella was both my sanctuary and my salvation. There was simply nothing without her.


Hours later, I was back in my room after driving Bella home. I was waiting for Charlie to go to bed, so I could return to Bella's side. The Mariners' game would be over at eleven and Charlie was nothing if not predictable. I planned to be back in Bella's room by 11:01.

I flipped impatiently from one music CD to another, none of them holding my attention. Time always seemed to crawl when I was away from her.

Eventually, I heard my family come home from hunting. They greeted Emmett and Jasper, who had long since resumed both their chess game and their trash talking. I was grateful for the distraction of my family's return. While I'd been able to ignore my brothers' annoyingly loud antics earlier when Bella was here, in her absence they seemed to be twice as loud and four times as irritating.

Through Emmett's eyes, I could see Rosalie cross the floor and throw herself into his lap. "What's going on?" she asked, clearly hoping to hear the chess game was nearly over.

It was Jasper who answered her. "Not much. Emmett's losing badly. His strategy sucks and over time he actually seems to be getting worse. Oh, and Bella bit Edward," he threw in casually as an afterthought.

"What?" Esme gasped.

"Edward bit Bella?" Carlisle demanded, concerned.

Emmett laughed, "No, Bella bit Edward."

There was a brief silence, before Esme admitted, "I'm confused."

"Apparently so are Bella and Edward," Jasper chuckled.

Alice giggled. I could tell that she'd seen this earlier this evening, probably while hunting.

Emmett's booming laugh reverberated through the house. "What we'd like to know is: what bit of Edward did Bella bite?"

Jasper choked a laugh. "I bet you can't say that a hundred times fast."

Not one to ever turn down a challenge, Emmett started to rattle off his question over and over.

Sighing, I went downstairs to join them. And to explain. In this family, there really are no secrets.

End Note: This is my first attempt at writing fluff. Please let me know what you thought.

Emmett and Jasper just elbowed their way into this story. Typical brothers. No respect! LOL