A vast array of colors splayed across the sky, each pigment carried on the last surviving rays of daylight. Much of this radiance was caught and held by the clouds that hid the departing orb.
The scene was fading fast, though, and those fiery hues were chasing the day to the other side of the globe, briefly replaced by twilight before the full, shadowy tones of evening took over.
It was to this that Edward and I now looked from the stillness and tranquil splendor of our meadow.
I knew that it was, in a way, a forecast of my future; I had a few more bright moments of humanity, three days of unmitigated agony, then an eternity of keeping to the shadows of public attention. This was life I had chosen, laid out for all to see in a celestial display of light and color.
I think that Edward saw this, too, for just then he pulled me closer to him, my back to his chest, and I felt his lips move from where it had rested against my hair to my ear so that he could whisper, "You don't have to do this, you know."
I opened my mouth to protest, but he cut me off.
"No, I know you've made your choice, but I want to be certain that you've thought it through completely." He took a breath, turned me gently to face him, and then continued.
"Becoming one of us means that you won't be able to remain attached to the human world; we have to relocate every five to seven years, and that can be extremely difficult if you've formed human friendships. Most of the time that doesn't happen anyway, but, obviously, there are exceptions." He smiled pointedly at me, and then went on.
"Carlisle has the most difficulty with that part, as his line of work requires him to be the most interactive of any of us. It's not just that, though; we have to keep a low profile. We live in apprehension at times, and are often forced to be under public scrutiny, which is why we tend to detach ourselves from the communities we live in as soon as possible."
He paused, possibly steeling himself for something he wanted to say, and, having listened politely for quite long enough, I took advantage of that.
"Edward, look," I said, and I shifted to look at him squarely. For a moment I was a bit dazzled, but I blinked and recovered quickly. "Edward, I already know all that, and I'm ready. I want this life; it'll be hard, I know, especially in the beginning, but I'm more than willing to make the adjustment. And besides," I said, cracking a smile, "I've never been what you would call a social butterfly."
Edward smiled half-heartedly, then looked down, and I knew that there was a point to this conversation that he had not yet come to. I touched his cheek with the tips of my fingers, then spoke softly.
"What else is bothering you?"
He inhaled, slowly, and then his eyes flashed upward to hold mine in a captivating stare. For a moment my attention was diverted by the familiar current of electricity that had halted my succession of thought so many times before--although, electric impulses are supposed to be what make your brain function in the first place. Hm.
Then, I noticed his tortured expression; hesitant, worried, and shadowed—the way he always looked when he was concerned about my feelings.
"Bella," he said finally, "you know that we won't be able to have children."
At first, I was completely shocked by his statement; then, as his words sunk in, I realized that I should have recognized this topic as a potential issue on Edward's part, if only because he would think it would be in issue on mine.
"Now, I don't know how much you've thought about this, but if it's a problem-"
I pressed my lips to his as quickly as I could to stop the anxious flow of words that tore at me. How could he possibly think that that would make a difference to me? How could he question himself so?
But, as I gripped myself to him even more tightly, as I felt the uneasy, desperate way his mouth moved against mine, I realized he did question himself; here was something he could never give me, something that many people, human people, already had or looked forward to or took for granted, and he felt excruciatingly inadequate.
When I broke the kiss, his breath was unsteady and came almost in gasps.
"Edward," I said earnestly, struggling to make him understand, "I love you. You're everything I could ever ask for and so much more. Look at what you've given me already: Alice, Esme, Carlisle, the others- they're all the family I need!"
He relaxed somewhat, but there were still traces of anxiety on his faultless, angelic face.
"Are you sure?"
"Edward, if I wanted children so badly, I would have said something to you by now. Besides, I already told Renee and Charlie not to expect any grandkids."
He looked a trifle shocked at that last bit.
I watched him warily as he absorbed what I had just told him .It didn't take long; his intellect made him a quick study, as was made painfully clear on a daily basis.
"…How did they take it?"
I grimaced. "They were relieved, actually. Especially Charlie; I don't think he likes the idea of you getting me pregnant."
He laughed at that, and I did, too, and I felt relaxed now that all tension had been banished from his glorious face.
Then he brought his lips to my ear again, eyes bright with anticipation.
"Just seven more days," he breathed, and I grinned in spite of myself; now that I had decided it was something that I wanted, marriage seemed considerably less daunting. Well, that, and Alice and Edward's enthusiasm was catching.
I leaned back slightly, still keeping our faces close, so that our noses touched, and murmured, "Six and a half days, and then I'm yours. Forever."
Edward smirked. "Keeping track, now, are we?"
I smiled back, blushing. "Just a little."
He chuckled and leaned forward to press his lips just under the corner of my jaw. The way my pulse quickened was embarrassingly perceptible, especially to his highly developed senses.
Then, he said, "You are the best thing that ever happened to me, did you know that? Or have I already told you?"
I giggled. "Probably. But if you want to explain it to me again-"
That won me another round of very sweet kisses, filled with innocent abandon and eagerness. Finally, he pulled away—at least, he started to; as soon as I felt the beginnings of distance, I leaned forward to compensate. But, alas, it bought me only a few more moments of indulgence on his part before he made a second attempt, which (unfortunately) was successful.
"Sorry, love, but we should probably leave. Charlie wanted you home by seven tonight, remember?"
I grumbled incoherently to myself, and he laughed at me.
Then he scooped me up with his incredible strength as if I were a small child--only, when you're holding small children, you don't normally caress them lovingly and murmur sweet nothings into their ear—and sped away from our meadow, to the road where the Volvo was parked.
I noted, distractedly, that Edward's 'sweet nothings' were more like 'divine somethings,' as the feelings they invoked were quite too substantial to be dubbed 'nothings'.
When we reached the car, Edward brought me to the passenger side and let me slide to the ground, pulling me around to face him as he did so.
I tilted my face upward for another kiss, wishing with everything I had within me that this perfect evening could last just a few lifetimes longer. Edward's satin-smooth lips lingered hungrily on mine, and it seemed that he wanted the same thing.
I was getting breathless.
His mouth drifted across my jaw and down my neck. He was working his way toward my shoulder when a faint and vexing echo of responsibility tugged at my mind.
A breath of air worked its way into my lungs.
"…Edward…" I asked, sounding dazed. I was in heaven.
He sounded quite intent on his current occupation, and I really didn't want to disturb him…but then that same, perturbing nag gave another tug, harder this time.
"Um…do we…have to—" huge intake of breath "—have to be somewhere?"
One of his hands moved from my waist to my cradle my head as the gentled touch of his lips met mine, thoroughly capturing every sensation I had. I could hardly recall my own name, let alone any hazy memory of some unimportant destination.
Slowly, reluctantly, Edward retreated from his assault, and then he sighed.
"Yes, we do," he murmured regretfully.
He chuckled, and I could feel the pleasant vibrations emanating from his chest.
"Have to be somewhere. Charlie's waiting, and we're cutting it just a tad close," he explained.
Ah, that's what it was. Bummer.
I didn't move, and neither did he.
A sigh escaped my lips, and I let my head fall to rest against him.
"I think he can stand waiting a bit longer," I mumbled mournfully, knowing that, no matter what I did, Edward wouldn't delay much longer.
he stroked my hair for a moment, then pulled away, grasping my shoulders gently.
"It's time to go," he said softly, smiling a little at my glum expression. "Come on. Soon, we'll have forever and a day to be together."
"But not alone," I returned, whining just a tad.
He laughed softly, teasingly.
"Oh, I think I can safely promise that we'll be very much alone on our honeymoons, at least," he said, his eyes dancing.
I began blushing furiously, but then became distracted by what he'd said...
"Honeymoons?" I repeated, clarifying his use of the plural. Now that was an idea that would always make me smile.
Please tell me if you think this is utterly lame, because I would like to know.
I started writing this long before BD came out, so if it seems less entertaining than my other fics, that's why. I mean, I re-edited it and everything, but it's essentially how it was when I wrote the first draft, and I like to think I've improved a lot since then.
P.S. Thanks to irunwithvampires3, who caught a simply horrid grammatical error! XD