The morning sunlight poured through my bedroom window. I awoke to a familiar caress. Strong hands were stroking down my arms and rested firmly on my hips. He nuzzled against my neck and his tongue slowly glided up to my ear sending shivers down my spine. I smiled. I knew where this was going.
I turned to face the most exotic creature in the world. His beautiful eyes filled with love and lust were burning holes into my soul. My hands instinctively reached up to explore his shirtless body. His chest and abs were so hard and strong, like a Greek god. Every time I woke up to this gorgeous man in my bed, I wondered how anyone so beautiful could want me. I needed to show him how he made me feel. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled his lips to mine.
We didn't know how much time alone we would have. The sense of urgency electrified the room. He kissed me with passion and abandon. It was times like this that I hated the fact that I wore pajamas to bed, even if they were just a pair of his boxers and a flimsy tank top. Right now there was way too much clothing keeping me from the feel of his skin on mine. As if reading my mind, he slowly lifted my shirt up past my breasts and placed gentle kisses on them. I felt his teeth nip and tug at my nipples causing me to throw my head back in ecstasy. Encouraged by my reaction, he cupped my breasts in his massive hands and kneaded them. My skin was on fire. He began to devour my mouth as his right hand started tracing a line down my body towards my warm center. He grazed my mound and my hips bucked up to meet his hand. It had become painfully obvious how much I wanted him, how much I needed him.
Just then I heard a noise in the other room and knew our little stolen moment was over. I looked my husband in the eyes and said, "Jake, looks like we'll have to take a rain check. The kids are awake."
I woke up with a start. What was that? Edward's arms pulled me so that my back was placed firmly against his cold chest. I knew I was blushing uncontrollably. I squirmed against Edward's embrace hoping he couldn't sense my obvious arousal. "Bella, are you alright? Do you want to talk about last night?" Last night…the night I spent hours and hours crying in his arms over another man.
Just last night I told Jacob that I was in love with him. I was in love with him but it wasn't enough. He was still injured and recovering from the battle with the newborns. And wonderful, selfless me, decides that that was the best time to finish him off. I just had to break his heart on top of everything else he was going through. But, if loving Jacob wasn't enough, then why was I dreaming about a future with him?
Edward was staring intently at me as I realized I hadn't answered his question. "No, Edward. I'm fine. I just had a bad dream."
"Really, from what I could tell it didn't seem like a nightmare."
Oh God! What did I say in my sleep? What must he be thinking? If it was possible I turned a brighter shade of red.
"Edward, I just had a rough night. What's done is done and I'm ready to move on and not think about it anymore."
"Okay Bella. Well, you've been sleeping for quite a while. Charlie already left for the day. Would the human like some breakfast?" As if on queue, my stomach started growling. "Yes, Edward. Thank you."
I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash up while Edward made me breakfast. I looked in the mirror and hat to admit that I was a mess. My eyes were red and swollen from crying all night. There were dark circles under my eyes due to my lack of sleep. I was pale and wan. I needed a moment to collect my thoughts. I had been going through an emotional roller coaster for weeks. Living in fear of Victoria had taken a toll on my body. I had lost weight and become frail from the stress.
Edward was a constant source of love and support through it all. He wanted to marry me. And, he was willing to fulfill my wish of making love to me on our honeymoon, before he changed me. A part of me was on cloud nine at the prospect of eternity with Edward. That is, of course, until I realized there was a complication. I was in love with Jacob.
Jacob Black, my best friend, my sunshine in the darkness. I was in love with him. It was different from the way I loved Edward, but that didn't change the fact that the feelings were still there. I tried so long and so hard to deny it, but just like Sleeping Beauty, a kiss woke me up. Unfortunately, I woke up to a nightmare. Yes, I was in love with Jacob, but I was in love with Edward too. Hell, I was engaged to Edward. I already promised him my life and soul for eternity. Jacob was my sun, but Edward was my world.
I told Jacob all this and he said he understood. He said he could let me go. I cried all night over him, knowing that I was breaking his heart and a part of mine. But, I also knew that a clean break was better than leading him on.
But, why was I dreaming about him? Why did Jacob's caress feel so natural and familiar? Why were his burning eyes so intoxicating? Why was I wet just from the memory? Oh God, pull it together Bella!
The smell of cooked bacon brought me out of my reverie. I assessed my appearance in the mirror and thought that some peace and rest would do me a lot of good. I realized that I needed to be alone. I needed to figure out how I would accomplish that. I walked downstairs to the kitchen where Edward had laid out some bacon and eggs for me. I kissed him on the cheek and thanked him before sitting down. He replied, "Anything for you, love."
Edward stared at me while I ate. For the first time in a long while the silence was awkward between us. I knew he wanted to ask me about Jacob. I really didn't want to talk about what he may or may not have heard me say in my sleep. But, I certainly wasn't prepared for what he asked me. "Bella, I was wondering when we should tell everyone about the engagement? And, of course, when you would like to start wearing your ring?" Edward held out the beautiful gold and diamond ring with the sweetest smile on his face. He was so happy when I said yes to his proposal. But, I thought about what that ring represented, what it truly meant. I freaked. "Edward, I'm not…I don't know…I just…Oh God!"
I ran upstairs to my room and threw myself on the bed. I just sat there with my head in my hands. What have I done? What was wrong with me? Why after being so sure for so long, was I now having doubts?
"Bella, what's wrong? Is this about Jacob? Bella, I asked you last night if you thought you made the right decision. Bella, if it's him that you want, I won't stand in your way. I love you."
The look on his face broke my already shattered heart into tiny fragments. I was hurting him with my doubts. "Edward, I know I made the right decision. I love you. You are my life. I'm just really confused. With everything that's gone on over the past year, I'm surprised I know what's up and what's down. I mean, you left Edward. And I went through hell without you." At that, Edward looked as though I had just plunged a dagger in his heart. But he encouraged me to continue. "Then I found Jacob and he became this huge part of my life. He put the shattered pieces back together. He was the best friend I've never had. If it weren't for Jacob fixing me, I don't know what you would have found when you came home. But, then you came back. The impossible happened, and I forgot everything I went through, I forgot Jacob. I had you and that was all that mattered."
"Edward, I built my whole life around you and you left me. Jacob built his life around me and I left him. It was wrong. I'm wrong. I'm confused about who I am, what kind of person I've become."
"Bella, you're the most selfless, caring, and beautiful person I've met in a hundred years. If I have another hundred years to live, I wouldn't meet anyone else like you." I was blushing like crazy. "Tell me what you need from me Bella."
"Oh Edward, I can't believe I'm saying this. I need some time, some space to sort through all of this. I'm only 18 years old and it just feels like everything is going too fast."
Edward crouched on his knees so quickly I didn't even see him move. We were at eye level now and I could see the effect my words had on him. If a vampire could cry, his eyes would be wet with tears. "Bella, have I in any way pressured you into anything? I want to marry you, you know that. Do you want out of our arrangement? I'll do whatever you want. I just want you to be happy with me."
"Edward, this isn't about you, and it's not about us. I just need some time for myself to think about what I'm doing and the kind of person I want to be."
Edward was speechless. He looked as confused as I felt. I could tell I was hurting him, but I was hurting myself more by trying to spare his feelings. "I'm sorry to spring this on you, but I think that I should spend a couple of weeks with Renee in Florida. Let's face it once I'm changed I'm going to have to cut her out of my life. I guess I haven't really thought everything through. I might as well spend some alone time with her while I get myself together, right?"
Edward took my hands in his and said, "Bella, whatever you need to do, do it. I love you. I'll be right here waiting." He gave me a reassuring nod to emphasize the truth of his words. What did I do to deserve this wonderful man? "Bella, may I ask when you are planning on leaving?"
Huh, I hadn't even thought about that. I suppose the sooner the better. I need to get out of this town, out of this self-imposed chaos. "Well, I guess I'd like to leave tomorrow actually. That is, if I can get a flight."
Edward seemed startled by my response but he still managed to flash me that crooked grin that always made me melt. "Well, Bella, that doesn't leave me with much time to give you a proper goodbye." At that, Edward leaned in and kissed me so fiercely and passionately that I forgot why I wanted to leave in the first place.