"Bella?" His voice was soft as he trailed his fingertips lightly over my collarbone.

"Mmmmm?" I gave him the best reply I could manage.

"What would you say if…if I told you that we were going to go on a short vacation soon, just the two of us?" His eyes were closed and his long eyelashes, which traced across my skin, made it feel like my skin was on fire. Even though it had been a while since I'd joined him and his family physically, when he did that, he still had that same effect on me that made me feel like I was human all over again.

"That would be great," I replied.

I thought about Renesmee – Nessie – sound asleep in the room next to ours. Edward and I were lying across the larger-than-ordinary bed in the middle of our bedroom in the little cottage. We were still fully clothed, at least for the moment, but that might change in the next few minutes….

"Good." His lips touched mine ever so slightly and he drew away, his eyes still closed.

"Uh…why are we leaving, and where are we going?" I had to ask.

His eyes opened. They were a lovely shade of dark gold, and I could never get used to their beauty, their heat – even though I knew that my eyes were the same color. All of the Cullens' eyes were usually like that.

"Bella," he whispered. "Do you know what the date is?"

Right. He expected me to remember the date when I could barely remember my own name?

"No," I answered. My breathing edged toward hyperventilation, even though I didn't have to breathe, technically.

"It is the eleventh of August," he murmured. "You know what's coming up, right?"


He sighed an exaggerated sigh. "When did we get married?" His fingers brushed against the ring on my finger.

I looked at it, trying to gather my thoughts. "August thirteenth."

"Our anniversary is in two days," he whispered intently, pressing his lips to mine.


He looked up, concern in his eyes. "Is that okay, Bella? You don't have any…plans, do you? Did Alice miss something?"

"No, no, I'm fine with that…where will we be going?"

My angel relaxed, holding me against him again. "The same place we went after our wedding."

At that, my dead heart sent a thrill of joy through me. Being completely alone with Edward was a rare luxury. Of course, we had the cottage, but any of the others could make it here from the house in less than half a minute. In Isle Esme, however, we would be countries away from them…I sighed in happiness.

"Alice packed your bag already."

I jumped up from his grip. It still amazed me that I could now break his iron hold on me whenever I wanted, that he felt so human, at least to me. I couldn't get used to it.

"I better go check to make sure she's got everything," I muttered. "Wait…right now it's the eleventh. In about half an hour it'll be the twelfth. When are we leaving for Rio?"

He smiled his crooked smile and pulled me back down with him. "The twelfth. And don't worry, Alice decided to see what you would do if she didn't pack any of your clothes for you. She saw what you'd want. Don't worry, she packed it all."

I glanced skeptically toward the general direction of the main house. "Jeans?" I asked, doubtfully. "T-shirts? Shorts?"

"Yep. She packed it all, sweetheart. Don't worry about it."

I groaned. "I know she'd never stop there, Edward. What else did she pack?"

He grinned. "She packed a few dresses, of course – don't worry," he added, seeing the expression on my face, "I told her to make them all cotton. No silk or satin."

"Anything else?" I demanded.

He pulled me on top of him. "Of course, you know what I told her to pack instead of your pajamas," he teased, stroking my hair.

I groaned quietly. He seemed to be strangely attracted to my wearing lingerie – especially black ones, since they stood out against my white skin. "Well, that's just great."

"What?" He feigned offense. "What's so bad about wearing that, when you're going to sleep with me anyways?" He ran his hands across my body. I leaned toward his lips, and his arms encircled me and held me tight against him.

I raised an eyebrow when his words registered in my head. "Remember what you said before? That technically, you can't ever sleep with me?"

Laughter rose from his lips. "Of course, Bella. You are so absurd," he murmured.

His hands held the fabric of my shirt, and he tugged it off gently….

That was the end of the conversation.