Thanks to Shwriteme for her Beta skills. And to anniej13 & mommyofboth for pre-reading

Chapter 20


The bed dipping down behind me followed by the sensation of Edward's warm body pressed against mine woke me from my sleep. I didn't open my eyes. Instead I enjoyed the first few silent moments of the early morning—those first few minutes when everything is warm and comfortable—when the room is light and golden from the morning sun—those moments where things almost seem surreal until your brain can process that you aren't actually dreaming and everything is, in fact, real.

It had been four days since Edward asked me to stay with him and each day had been better than the last. His schedule was so busy with filming that we didn't have a lot of free time, but we made the most of what we did have. I visited him on set whenever I could, just to be near him. We ate together and talked and laughed and kissed. No matter what time he finished on set, he crawled into bed next to me and pulled me close. I felt closer to him than ever and I didn't even want to think about what would happen once he was done filming. So I didn't.

We were enclosed in our own little bubble and it was perfect. Every morning I woke up next to him and it was exactly as I imagined it would be. Though sleeping beside him had taken a little more of an adjustment. As it turned out Edward didn't have a side of the bed—probably because he liked to roll over the entire bed while he slept. He also didn't like to sleep under the blankets. Instead he kind of tucked one leg under and leaves the other one out, making it almost impossible for me to pull the covers completely up. After waking up freezing three nights in a row, I decided last night that I'd use a separate blanket. It worked.

Smiling at my small victory, I nuzzled deeper under the warm covers, purposefully shifting so I could get closer to Edward. His arm draped over my waist and tugged me closer.

"Morning." His voice was deep and scratchy from sleep. I loved it. Not necessarily the way it sounded, though it was nice, but I loved that I got to hear it-that I knew what his voice sounded like first thing in the morning.

Over the past few days I'd been soaking up all the little things that were Edward. Things that other people wouldn't ever know about him unless they spent real time with him and knew him the way I did. I already knew most of the big stuff about him—all of his favorites, his likes his dislikes, and all the stories of his childhood. It was the small details and habits I kept noticing that made a difference.

As ridiculous as it seemed, I craved those little things. Like knowing that he squeezed the toothpaste from the middle of the tube and that he was meticulous about flossing his teeth. That he prefered the bathroom to be full of steam and warm before he actually got in the shower. Or that he absolutely hated shaving and that he happened to only own grey or black underwear. They were all small details that didn't mean much but were important to me. Since certain aspects of Edward's life were so public it was nice knowing that I knew parts of him that no one else did.

Of course there was still a certain part of him that I didn't know yet and it was driving me crazy. Especially when he insisted on waking me up every morning withit pressed into my back. Since my first night staying over in Edward's room we continued to make out like crazy teenagers. It had been amazing. His kisses made my entire body hot and his touch—well, I definitely developed a whole new appreciation for his hands and the things he could do with them. The only problem was I wanted more. I knew there was a natural physical progression that took place in relationships, but with Edward it felt different.Everythingwith Edward felt different. I felt like I'd been waiting for him my whole life and now that I had him I wanted to have all of him. But every time things started to get too heavy, he hesitated. At first I wondered if maybe it was me. Maybe he didn't want me that way. But I quickly pushed that doubt aside. The look on his face whenever we were together, the way he kissed me, touched me. Even the things he told me. It was veryclear that he wanted me. I just didn't understand what was holding him back.

When I spoke with Alice yesterday there was no way I could hide my frustrations. She seemed suspicious that something was on my mind and once I told her about my sleeping arrangements with Edward everything else just sort of spilled out.

"Well," I had hesitated. "We haven't really doneit yet."

"Wait a minute. You mean to tell me you've been sleeping in the same bed with him and you guys have only been touchingeach other?" Her voice had been so high pitch I had to hold the phone away from my ear.

"You make it sound so—innocent. Believe me Alice, it's anything but innocent."

"Oh I believe you. I've seen pictures of his hands. I bet his fingers-"


"Okay, okay," she said quickly. We were both silent for a beat and then she hummed softly. I knew that sound. It was the sound Alice made whenever she was deep in thought and ready to give advice. "Honestly, he's probably just worried about rushing you. This means you're going to have to talk to him. Or you could showhim. Make it clear to him that you want more-that you're ready."

"Okay." I nodded but felt the nerves set in. How was I supposed to bring it up in conversation? Before I could even voice my concerns to Alice she started speaking again.

"Sure fire way is to give him a B.J. No guy in his right mind can confuse that."

I almost laughed, but didn't because well—she might be right. "You really think that will work?" I asked, doubtfully.

"Trust me, nothing says 'I'm ready to have sex with you' like puttin' it in your mouth."

This time I did laugh. Alice definitely had a way of saying things and she wasn't always subtle. "Alright, well. I'll think about it."

"Uh, huh." She had giggled in a way that said she knewI wouldn't be able to stop thinking about it.

And she had been right. After I hung up with Alice I had attempted to get some writing done but it was useless. My mind was too preoccupied thinking about her suggestion and what it could lead to if it actually worked.

And now as I lay in bed with Edward pressed flush against me it was stillall I could think about. What it would be like to do that to him. And then, if it worked, to finally feel his entire body completely naked against mine. How the weight of him would feel on top of me as he slipped inside.

My body instantly flashed warm at the thoughts running through my mind. Sighing in frustration I kicked off the covers and rolled onto my stomach, attempting to clear my head and cool off.

"I told you that being completely buried under the covers is too hot."

I turned my head and was greeted with Edward's lazy smirk. "It's better than freezing."

"You're bloods too thin. It's all that Arizona heat. You're getting soft."

I raised my brows. "This coming from the man who lives in sunny California."

"It's not as hot as Arizona."

"Yeah, but it's warmer than Forks."

"That's true. But then again, a lot of places are warmer than Forks."

I agreed and moved closer to him, tucking my head against his shoulder. His arm wrapped around me as he traced lazy patterns on my back.

"When do you think you'll get home again to visit?" I asked. "I know your mom missed you at Christmas."

"Only my mom?"

"I don't know. I'm sure your dad and Emmett missed you too." I held back my smirk. Ever since we finally admitted to having feelings for each other Edward loved teasing me and hearing about the things I used think or feel. Admissions from our high school days were his favorite and I had to admit. I loved hearing it too. Especially when he'd whisper them my ear and tell me how badly he wanted me or what he imagined doing to me.

"So that's it, no one else missed me?"

He shifted under me so I lifted my head to meet his eyes. "Alright, maybe I missed you a little," I confessed, "or—a lot."

He smiled at me and I felt the familiar fluttering in my stomach that I always got around him. Even in the morning he was gorgeous.

"I wish I'd been there for Christmas," he said, "especially since I have no idea when I'll get back." He looked up at the ceiling and sighed. "My schedule is all over the place. Right after we wrap up here I've got to start the promotional tour from my last film."

I ignored the unease I felt whenever he mentioned anything occurring afterour time together here and focused instead on the conversation. "Well, you're a busy person. Your family knows that."

"I know."

"Besides," I continued. "I'm pretty sure your mom wouldn't let you miss another Christmas with the family. Even if she has to fly everyone half way around the world to wherever you're filming, she'll make sure you're there.

He laughed, his body shaking the bed beneath us.

I rolled from my stomach to my side so I could face him. His eyes met mine and then dropped down to my body. A soft humming sound rumbled in his chest. "I really like this."


In answer he reached out and tugged on the tee shirt I was wearing. "You all twisted up in my shirt." His fingers ran down and across my exposed strip of stomach.

His shirt, which I'd been sleeping in at night, was exactly like he'd said. It was twisted around me—the neck stretched out and pulled low from all the tossing and turning I'd done through the night.

"Did you sleep well?" He asked, not taking his hands off me.

I nodded and released a shaky breath. Looking down, I watched him trace along my ribs and down to my hip bone. He tickled the skin along the line of my underwear, gently slipping the tips of his fingers under the band, teasing me.

Before Edward I didn't know it was possible to feel so relaxed and yet wired at the same time. My body melted whenever he touched me but my heart raced and I was acutely aware of everything he did to me. My skin felt alive. It was deliciously intoxicating.

The slow pass of his fingers over my waist, my hip and thigh was torturous and slow, tooslow. I wanted more. Lifting my knee I hooked it over his hip and pushed him back-rolling on top of him. My hair was wild and all over the place.

Before I could move my hands Edward reached up and pushed it back, attempting to tuck some behind my ears. "There you are," he said.

I looked down at him and smiled. He smirked back, his bright green eyes still a little sleepy. His copper hair stood out against the white of the pillow case. It was messy and perfect. I leaned forward so I could run my fingers through his hair.

In an instant, his hands flew out and gripped my hips, holding me still. I froze. "Bella," he half-moaned half-sighed.

I opened my mouth to ask what was wrong but then—I felt him. His was hard and pressed right against me—right there. Biting back a moan I stayed still, prolonging the moment until I couldn't take it any longer and had to move. Keeping my eyes locked with his I placed both my hands on his chest then very slowly I pushed down, grinding into him.

"Does that feel good?" I asked, even though I knew it did. His answering groan and the look on his face told me as much.

Without taking his hands from my hips he pulled me forward again, and lifted his hips slightly-rubbing me along the length of him.

"Yeah, right there," he said under his breath, pulling his bottom lip into his mouth.

Moving against him, I focused on his chest and matched my movements with his breathing-in and up, out and down. There was only the thin material of our underwear between us and I wanted more than anything to just push it aside so I could feel him bare. Instead I pushed the fabric of his shirt up and ran my fingers over his stomach and chest, feeling the dips and tight muscles beneath his smooth skin. His hands mirrored my own, slowly working their way higher up my shirt until he finally reached my breasts.

I shivered. It felt so good when he touched me like that. Wanting more, I sat back and yanked my shirt over my head, tossing it to the side. I heard Edward's reaction before I saw it.

He took a sharp breath. "I know I said I liked you in my shirt. But this," he reached up and ran his finger down the slope of my breast, just barely brushing my nipple, "this—is even better. Damn you're beautiful."

I moved my hair out of my face and looked down at him. It wasn't the first time he'd told me that he thought I was beautiful but after waiting so long to hear it, I almost couldn't believe it. Yet, by the way he looked at me; I knew he was telling me the truth.

Edward's eyes were heavy, but not with sleep, as they took me in, naked and straddled over him. He'd seen me without my shirt before but never this bare and open in the light of day. My cheeks flushed.

He reached up, cupping my face in his palms. "You're warm too."

"So are you." I ran my fingers up over his shoulders while leaning in to kiss him. Our bare chests pressed together, my nipples sensitive to the soft brush of him against me. It felt wonderful. To feel his skin, warm and flush against mine.

He kissed my lips sweetly, nibbling and taking his time while his hands ran over my body-trailing along my back, tracing up to the sides of my breasts and then palming me completely. I sat back, enjoying the feel of his fingers and eventually his hot tongue and then mouth. Everything was so sensitive and he knew just how to work me up—how to pinch and squeeze and suck until I was almost coming undone.

Each roll of my hips and every touch of his hands pushed me closer to the edge. Looking down at Edward, I felt caught in his gaze. The intense way he looked up at me made my insides warm and the feelings that bloomed in my chest were like nothing I've ever felt before. It was almost overwhelming. The desire to tell him what he stirred within me was so strong that it stole my words.

At that moment Alice's advice flitted through my mind and I knew what I had to do. What I wantedto do. Quickly shifting, I moved down his body and rolled to my side. Running my fingers along the band of his boxers I took a calming breath and started to pull them down. I had them over his hips when the shrill ring of the phone sliced through the air and shocked me to stillness.

Edward groaned. "Stupid wake up call."

I couldn't suppress my laugh. Reaching over to the nightstand I lifted the phone to my ear, fully expecting to hear the professional tone from an employee at the front desk. I didn't.

"Edward honey is that you?" Her sweet motherly tone was distinctly recognizable.

I froze, and then panicked. There was no way I could carry on a conversation with Esme while laying half naked I bed with her son.

"Who is it?" Edward asked, propping himself up on his shoulders while taking in my shocked expression.

I quickly covered the receiver and passed him the phone. "It's your mother," I whispered.

His eyes widened slightly and then a wide grin stretched across his face. He reached for the phone. "Hi, Mom," he said, still smiling.

I shook my head, silently telling him not to mention me. It's not that I didn't want Esme knowing we were together but this wasn't the way I wanted her to find out. Surely she'd lose some respect for me if she found out I was sleeping with her son every night since I'd arrived. Even if we were only technically sleeping together.

Pulling the sheets up around me I flopped back on the pillows and half listened to their one sided conversation. The other part of me couldn't stop thinking about the opportunity I missed out on to finally take the next step with Edward. There had been no hesitation on his part, no stilled moments. It was the perfect time and I missed out on it. Stupid phone.

Before I could lament further, Edward nudged me with his foot, drawing my attention to him. His brows pulled together in question while he studied my face. I quickly smiled back to let him know everything was fine. There was no way I was explaining the thoughts running through my mind.

He moved closer and pulled me to him, until I was tucked into his side. The sound of his voice vibrated through his chest and it was surprisingly soothing. I closed my eyes and absorbed everything. The feel of his hands as they brushed over the expanse of my back and the warmth of his body flush against mine, the rough texture from the hair on his legs against my bare feet.

After a few minutes it was clear that Edward was trying to end the call. The frustration was evident in his voice but so was the love. I always thought that Edward was a mama's boy but now I knewit. Of course, with a mom like Esme it was easy to see how that would happen. It seemed she was just as doting now as she was when he was in high school. He kept promising that "no he didn't need anything" and "yes, he'd make sure that he told Emmett to call home."

I giggled quietly to myself but Edward's tight squeeze told me he heard me.

"You know what, Mom, there issomething I need." He paused. "My old football jersey."

I looked up at him quickly and was met with a mischievous smirk. Instantly my cheeks went red and the warmth spread through my body.

"Yeah the one from senior year, it should still be in the box in my closet." He looked down at me and winked before thanking his mom.

After making another promise he'd call her later in the week, he said good bye and moved to hang up, but then paused with the receiver still held to his ear.

His eyes caught mine and didn't look away. He cleared his throat. "Okay yeah, I'll tell her. I know." He mumbled another goodbye then reached over me to hang up the phone.

"My mom says hi," he said, rolling back into position.

"What?" I sat up, pulling the blankets with me and stared at him with wide eyes. "What did she say?"

He shrugged. "Just that she knew you were here and to tell you she said hi."

"Oh my gosh." I flopped back onto the bed and hid my face in the pillows.

"Come on, it's not that bad."

I groaned and buried myself deeper under the plush cotton comforter.

"Besides she knows how I feel about you." His voice was soft but honest.

"Really?" I asked. His words made me warm all over. He wasn't making any serious declarations but knowing that he'd talked to his mom about me felt like a big deal. Enough of a big deal that I felt the need to say something back. "Well, she knows how I feel about you too."

His answering smile was wide and lit up his entire face. "Oh yeah?

I nodded, loving the way he was looking at me.

"What did you tell her?" He smirked, all playful and sexy. He lay down beside me and propped himself up on his elbow.

I scoffed. "Nice try. I'm not spilling all my secrets."

He looked at me with narrowed eyes for a minute before reaching out and pulling the blankets down, exposing the lower half of my body. Cool air swept over my skin causing me to jerk in surprise. Before I could protest, the warmth of his hands ran up the back of my leg, heating me with just a touch. The tips of his fingers swirled their way higher, tickling the inside of my thigh. "Please," he asked softly.

I swallowed and tried to control the shivers that rolled through me.

"Nope. Not gonna happen," I said, trying to sound firm.

"Please," he whispered again—closer now that I could feel the heat of his body. He ran his nose along the line of my neck and up behind my ear. My eyelids fluttered closed and my body went soft, like melted wax.

I rolled onto my side, offering him more skin to touch and kiss which he willingly took. With every kiss he pleaded with me, asking me to tell him my secrets. My mind was foggy and I struggled to keep my thoughts in order. The rational part of my brain told me to stay silent and not tell him a thing in risk of embarrassing myself. The other part of me that didn't want him to stop touching me was willing to do anything so he'd continue.

"I just said that—that my feelings never really went away." My voice was breathy and weak but I couldn't bring myself to care. When his lips found my neck, I fisted my fingers through his hair, pulling and holding him to me as he kissed down to my shoulder and collar bone.

"I wish I'd known," he said against my skin.

It was the first time Edward had voiced his regrets at our lost opportunities. Up to this point I'd been the only one to mention any regrets and he was the one to remind me not to focus on the what ifs.

"Doesn't matter. You know now." I assured him before finally pressing my mouth to his.

He kissed me back-his bottom lip fitting perfectly between my lips, his tongue sliding along mine. Reaching out, he placed his hand on my lower back and, in one quick move, pulled me against him. His body was warm and his skin was soft, but everything else about him was hard.

My heart raced. I wanted him so badly. Without a second thought I dropped my hands to his stomach before slipping them beneath the waistband of his boxers. It wasn't the first time I touched him but my stomach fluttered as though it was. Feeling him hard, and knowing that he wanted me, was such a turn on. It made me want him even more.

I closed my hand around him, squeezing slightly as I stroked his length, up and down then up again. When his hips pushed forward into my hand I pulled away from his lips and looked him in the eyes. He gazed back at me, his mouth open slightly and his breathing heavy. He was beautiful.

Using my one free hand I quickly pushed his boxers down past his thighs. I leaned in, kissing his chest, then worked my way lower-down to his stomach and along the toned muscle at his hip. It took Edward a second to register what I was doing but I felt it the moment he did.

His entire body froze. "Bella," he breathed. "You don't' have to..."

He was hesitating again and I didn't want him too. I shook my head slightly, brushing my lips against his hip bone. "I want to.Let me…" I looked up at him. "Let me show you."

Without saying a word he reached down and brushed his fingers over my forehead and into my hair. He looked at me for another second before silently giving me permission by rolling onto his back. My heart pounded in my chest but I didn't take my eyes from his as I kissed his hip again and situated myself fully between his legs.

As much as I thought about taking my time and prolonging the moment I didn't. I gave him one tentative lick before closing my lips around him fully. He was thick and hard yet so smooth against my tongue.

Edward groaned above me-his voice rough and sexy as hell. With my hand around the base I sucked and licked, working him in and out of my mouth. I used my tongue and tried to read his reactions, wanting to learn his body and know what he liked. His hands gripped the sheets beneath him, twisting them in his fists. When he started cursing loud enough that I could hear him I knew he was close. I looked up at him. He was watching me and the moment our eyes met his jaw clenched tight and his eyes squeezed shut.

"Bella I'm gonna—" His voice was strained, like something had a hold of his throat.

I sucked him in as deep as I could while his hips thrust forward once, and then he let go.

Edward lay still, breathing heavy and looking completely satisfied. I was so turned on but I ignored the ache between my legs and watched him for a minute, just kind of absorbing the moment. When his eyes finally fluttered opened, they found mine.

"Come here." He reached his hand out to me.

I crawled up to his side while he grabbed a tee-shirt and cleaned himself off. As soon as I was close enough he grasped me by the back of my neck and pulled me in for a kiss. He held me to him and rolled us both so he was settled on top of me.

I thought I'd seen Edward happy but the wide smile on his face was like nothing I'd seen before. Oh the power of a blow job.

"What are you laughing at?" he asked.

I shook my head not even aware that I had been laughing. "Nothing."

He raised an eyebrow and looked at me skeptically. I knew that look. He wasn't going to let me off that easily. Thankfully his cell phone started ringing and vibrating along the bedside table.

His eyes narrowed. "We're always being interrupted by the damn phone."

I couldn't help but smile at his frustrated expression. "So I've noticed."

Reaching over to the table he picked up his cell but didn't answer it. He simply looked at it, then at me with a thoughtful expression on his face. "What do you say we get away for a day and leave the phones here?"

My stomach fluttered. "What?"

"You heard me." He smirked, hovering over me. "Let me take you somewhere." His phone was still ringing loudly in his hand but his eyes hadn't left mine.

"Are you going to answer that?" I asked.

"Are you going to answer me?"

I nodded. "Yes."

"Yes you're going to answer, or yes, that isyour answer."

I rolled my eyes. As if there would ever be a time I didn't want to be alone with Edward. "Yes. I'll go with you. Now answer your phone."

After giving me a quick wink he answered. "Hi Kate. I told you I could wake up on my own." He smirked down at me and shifted to his side, pulling me close. I could just barely hear Kate's voice on the other end but it sounded like she was going over a schedule or something.

He carried on his conversation while absently running his hand over my back, my side, my hip, my stomach and eventually to my breasts. My breath caught when he circled my nipple once, then twice before pinching gently. Instantly, my eyes snapped to his.

Without saying a word he placed a finger to my mouth, silently telling me to be quiet. I nodded-not sure what he was planning but more than willing to trust him. Any hesitation I might have felt was pushed aside as soon as I felt his fingers tease my nipples again. I bit down on my lip and swallowed back a soft moan—afraid that if I was too loud he'd stop touching me.

He didn't stop. He continued talking on his phone, having a conversation about who knows what, while his fingers explored my body. They moved from one breast to the other, then slowly down to my stomach until finally slipping underneath my underwear. He rubbed me gently, his fingers driving me crazy with slow circles—pressing just enough but never entering me.

I arched my back, bringing myself even closer to him, hoping he'd give me more. Pushing my underwear down, I freed my legs and opened my thighs, not caring about how exposed I was.

Edward swore under his breath and I looked up at him just as he tilted his head to the side so he could get a better view. I wanted to look down and watch but knowing Edward was watching, was enough. Instead I looked his face, the line of his nose, the curve of his jaw right beside his ear and his full lips that parted as he spoke on the phone. Everything was focused on Edward, his touch, and the way his fingers felt when they finally slid inside me.

Heat licked up my spine and spread down my arms and legs. I was close. My hips lifted as I writhed against his hand, wanting more, needing to just—get there. Then his rhythm picked up and I came so hard I couldn't keep quiet.

"Oh shit," Edward groaned. The phone dropped from his shoulder and landed between us on the bed. He scrambled and brought it back to his ear, clearing his throat. "No, no, I'm good." He assured Kate. "Sorry about that."

I giggled quietly and blinked slowly as I looked up at him—smiling lazily.

He smirked and shook his head at me before leaning down to press a kiss to my forehead. My body felt heavy and light at the same time-like I could float away if I weren't so exhausted. I closed my eyes and zoned out, while Edward wrapped up his call. As soon he was finished he tossed his phone aside and he rolled over top of me.

"Are you really gonna let me take you somewhere?" he asked.

"Mmhmm," I mumbled.

"Good," he smiled. "I think I have a free day coming up soon, maybe this weekend. I'll check with Kate later."

"What, you didn't think to ask her a minute ago when you were talking?" I teased.

"My mind was on—something else." He smirked and pushed my hair off my forehead. "That was incredibly hot by the way."

I felt my cheeks warm, but didn't say anything, hoping my returning smile let him know I thought it was hot as well.

"So, what time do you have to be on set?" I asked—after a moment of silence.

"Soon, I should probably get going." He rolled out of bed and pulled on a pair of jeans that were draped over the chair before heading into the bathroom.

Sighing, I pulled the blankets up. I knew he had to leave and I knew I'd see him in a few hours but I still hated it. I just wanted to stay in bed with him all day. As soon as the thought passed through my mind I realized that that's exactly what we'd be able to do when we went away together. And hopefully we'd be doing more than just cuddling. I couldn't wait.

Minutes later, Edward emerged from the bathroom with a freshly shaved face and slightly damp hair. "Are you still up for having dinner with Rosalie and Emmett tonight? It'll be late."

I nodded. "Just let me know where and what time. I'll be there."

He smiled and sat down beside me, leaning in for a kiss. I could smell the fresh mint of his breath and the clean scent of his shirt. Desperate to be closer I rose up to meet him. He teased my lips with his tongue until I kissed him back deeply, giving him all I could.

With quick ease he moved his body until he was hovering above me, holding himself up on his arms. I lost focus of everything except for him. The way he felt when he kissed me and the weight of his body as it pressed against mine. Wanting to be even closer I lifted my hips up and moaned when I felt how hard he was.

"Damn it," he groaned and buried his face into the crook of neck.

I knew he had to get to work and I wasn't making things any easier on him. Dropping my legs I gave him a quick kiss before telling him to go. He seemed reluctant but rolled off of me anyway. Sitting up, I watched from the warm comfort of bed as he moved around the room, gathering the stuff he needed.

"I'll call you later," he said, before opening the door.

"Okay," I nodded.

He stepped through the doorway but then paused. "Oh and by the way," he turned around to look at me, "don't think I didn't notice."

"Notice what?"

He smirked at my confusion. "I didn't get a taste."

A taste? Oh—Oh. My mouth opened but I couldn't speak.

"Don't worry. I plan on getting one later." He winked and then turned, pulling the door shut behind him.

I sat, staring at the closed door for probably a full minute, replaying his words over in my mind. Just thinking about him actually doing thatto me made me squirm.I half-groaned, half-sighed as I collapsed back on the bed, saying a prayer that our trip away together would be sooner rather than later.

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