Perhaps it was a foolish idea. No, he knew it was a foolish idea. A very bad, very dangerous idea. But, after a day of testing new waters, of pushing against his own boundaries, he couldn't seem to deter himself from making what could possibly be a very large mistake. He was a selfish creature, and he wanted… He wanted to feel her lips. To taste her, not just her blood.

Carefully, Edward cupped his hands on Bella's warm, soft cheeks, framing her lovely, fragile face with his palms. He could feel her catch her breath. He could feel—though he didn't need to breathe at all—his own breath catch in his lungs expectantly. She stood so still, so obedient. So perfect.

Slowly, so slowly, he ducked his head, moving in a tortoise pace as his lips dared to inch slowly toward hers. Her scent grew stronger the closer he became, though she mercifully had caught her breath and saved him from having it exhaled in his face, into his own hungry senses. He paused, only a breath away, his own anticipation swelling to an unbearable peek as he kept his eyes, dark and open wide, focused on her face.

Once he'd braced himself, checked himself, he closed that final sliver of distance and pressed his mouth softly against hers. Her full, soft lips took him by pleasant surprise as he tasted her. Gently, cautiously, he kept his lips pressed against the swell of hers, unbearably lost in this long forgotten, glorious human experience. Something warm and full and powerful swelled in his chest, something quiet and strong whispered through his mind.

"Mine." His thoughts seemed to purr. Could such a gift truly be his?

Edward wasn't certain, and he didn't have time to decide. Abruptly and without warning, the human pressed against him came alive under his careful grip. He felt and tasted the change in atmosphere at precisely the same time. A breathless gasp choked out against his lips, and her hands suddenly found their way into his hair, clenching possessively. Her lips parted, and he breathed her in, felt and tasted her need. He nearly groaned, nearly lost himself, as Bella suddenly became very needy against him.

His own words from earlier echoed in his mind, fighting through the deafening roar in his head, the pulsating throb of desire. They weren't words of comfort, they weren't words that encompassed the depths of his ever-growing feelings for Bella, they were words from a predator, words from the monster he truly was deep down inside.

Everything about him did invite her in. He'd told her no less than the truth. His voice, his face, his smell. They were all lethal, deadly weapons at his disposal, and the sudden burning in his throat that tore through the thick, lovely haze of desire reminded him of that. As if she could outrun him. As if she could fight him off. He could have her right now. He could tighten his hands on her face, he could hold her still. He could force her head to the side. He could drink her blood right now. Right now. He could finally taste the blood that had such a powerful scent that it curled into his nostrils like the most powerful and intoxicating drug. Right now.

The terrifying image of Bella's drained, pale body lying on the ground before him had Edward snapping painfully back to his senses. Despite the ferocious predator desire clenching at his throat, Edward carefully, but firmly, forced Bella's face away from his own. Though her scent was still an intoxicating aroma in the air, the small blast of clean, fresh air that blew in his face helped him stand on steadier feet.

"Oops," was her only apology.

Despite how close they'd come to danger, Edward very nearly grinned. That could have very possibly been the understatement of the year.