Eventually, I nodded off to sleep. Soon, though, I was awoken by the feel of cold hands on my arms. I opened my eyes and rolled over. Edward was leaning over me, pain and sorrow deep in his auburn eyes. "I'm sorry," he whispered musically. "So very sorry."

"No," I murmured sleepily. "I should have told you sooner, but I was afraid-"

"…that it wouldn't be safe for me," he finished. I nodded silently. He sighed and looked out the window pensively. "It's the pattern of our lives. Always hiding for each other's safety…" He looked back at me. "This has always been so confusing," he said. "Love. But not bad." He smiled. "If you only knew how baffled I feel when I try to make sense of it all."

"That's how I feel, too," I confessed.

"Aggravating and wonderful," he mused. "But I never feel aggravated when I'm with you." Cautiously, as if waiting to make sure that he was forgiven for taking my "condition" so badly earlier, he leaned down and pressed his icy lips to mine. A bubble of panic rose within me as I kissed him back: I still had not told him about the man I had murdered. However, in the kiss, I realized that there would be a time for confessions, for grief, for apologies, but now was a time of ecstasy and togetherness. This moment belonged to love. I broke away, though, when I realized something.

"I still don't know why, though," I told him. "Why I'm like this. Or how." He cupped his hand around my cheek.

"It doesn't matter to me, Bella," he insisted. "And it shouldn't matter to you. The past is gone. Right now, I'm here, and I love you, and we're together." I nodded again. This was who I was, and it didn't matter what had happened or what would come. Without hesitation, Edward kissed me once again, holding me here, in the beautiful present.