31

For three days Edward and I had been on our private beach in Cancun, or somewhere just like it. The sand was white like sugar, the water a bright turquoise that you could see right through to the bottom, and there wasn't another person within a million miles of us.

Edward glowed and sparkled like a god, but to me, even in rain he had that same light and magic.

I laid back on my towel and closed my eyes as Edward laid on his stomach next to me, placing a wet salty kiss on my arm, smiling at me with that playful crooked smile I loved. The one that was mine alone.

"Mmmm." Edward purred, loving the heat of the sun on his skin, "This is paradise."

"I know." I kept my eyes closed, hoping the sun would tan my pale skin, "The sun and the water…is so incredible."

"I wasn't talking about where we are, Bella." Edward nuzzled my arm with his face, resting his wet cheek on my arm, "We could be at a bus stop in the pouring rain in New Jersey and it would be paradise."

"Awww." I felt tears come to my eyes as my arms curled around him, loving the feel of his warm muscled back against my hand, "I love you. You always say things that boys never say. Things you'd only read in romance books."

Edward chuckled. "I'm not a boy, Bella. I'm a man."

Oh. My. God.

"Well, you don't HAVE to tell me that, Mr. Cullen." I stroked his hair, not able to see his devilish little grin I was sure was splashed across those perfect lips of his.

"But you are, sadly, still a very young girl…" he was teasing me now and I grinned, waiting for his punch line, "And I think I've spoiled you enough for the last three days. I think, as much as I hate to say it, it's time you came back now."

Then I heard beautiful piano music playing softly behind me and my body seemed to float out of my beach chair and towards it, through a dark tunnel, sunlight at the other end…as my eyes opened, I was laying in a giant, soft bed, covered with the most beautiful white sheets and blankets I had ever seen.

Like a vision from a dream, I saw Edward a few feet away, sitting at a white piano, playing it with a master's touch, and this beautiful, haunting melody reached out and wrapped its arms around me, almost real enough for me to FEEL on my skin.

Edward gave me a small smirk as he saw me waking up. I was already in a sitting up position so I didn't have to try and move. I didn't want to move, I felt so comfortable here.

Then it dawned on me. This was too surreal to be real life. Everything was too pain free and lovely, perfect.

With tears in my eyes, I whispered to Edward, "Edward…are we dead?"

He stopped playing and gave a soft chuckle, coming slowly over to me, sitting on the bed at my side with care.

"Well, I am." He smiled, stroking my hair with his icy fingers, "But you…no. You are very much alive, thank God."

"I thank YOU." I gave him the credit here, looking into his eyes, "You saved me. I've always dreamt of Hero Edward, but seeing the real thing was just…better than my fantasies, even. You got there just in the nick of time. You were perfect, Edward."

I knew I sounded like a ten year old girl talking to Superman but I didn't care. It was the truth.

"Yea, I'm a real hero." He muttered, "You nearly died because of me. You suffered 14 breaks in your leg…because of me. Not to mention the terror of being locked into a room with a psychotic vampire out to torture you to death before my eyes. And the—"

"Oh, shut up." I almost whined, "You're ruining this perfect moment. Please, no more angst. I'm too tired…"

Edward frowned and looked down at my legs that were covered with thick, plush blankets.

"You saved me." I repeated, "Again. Just say you're welcome, kiss me, and we can celebrate. That's how Xena always ends, isn't it?"

"Damn." Edward muttered, "I forgot to do the Xena cry when I was coming back to break through the window!"

I giggled. "Yea, you screw-up. Now we have to go back and do it all over again."

"No thank you." He said, looking more serious now, straightening my covers a bit.

"So, what happened…to James?" I asked, all kidding aside.

"Dead." Edward put my mind at rest with this one word, "We didn't find the woman, she ran off. You're safe, Bella. For now."

"For now?" I asked, a bit of panic beginning to rise up in me, "What? Who else is coming after me?"

Edward winced. "No one." He took a breath and looked at me, a sad and serious look in his eyes, "Bella…"

I frowned back at him, knowing whatever he was about to say next would not be good.

"You are my very best friend. And being yours, I need to tell you what's best for you, even if it hurts. I am so bad for you, Bella. I should leave town…tonight," he began, "I already packed. And you should stay away from us…all of us. It's too dangerous…you and me. No matter what we try, it always ends with you in a hospital bed, broken and…"

"NO!" I yelled, tears glazing over both my eyes, my fists clenched in protest, "NO! NO! You promised – not to do this again!! You SWORE to me! You said no one would take me from you ! You promised!! EDWARD!!"

During my little tirade, Edward's face twisted into heartbreak and pain. I was hoping my pleas WERE hurting him…enough to make him change his mind and stop this bullshit! He put a hand on my arm, trying to calm me and quiet me, but I was having none of it.

"You can't leave me again…" I began to lose my voice in the tears, "We can't be apart!"

"Please don't cry." He looked in physical pain himself.

"I'm NOT crying!" I shouted, and then burst out sobbing, the tears blinding me as they ran down my face.

Quick as a flash, Edward tore Kleenexes out of his pocket and handed them to me. I ripped them from his hand and kept sobbing into my tissues.

"You know I hate to see you cry, Bella." He almost scolded me, like I was doing it on purpose.

"Then say you'll stay with me." I cried, not quieting down at all.

A minute went by and then finally Edward cracked.

"ALRIGHT!" he almost shouted, then instantly calmed his voice, "I'll stay with you. Please stop crying now. Please, Bella?"

He was rubbing his hand along my arm, worrying about me as I tried to calm myself down now, wiping my eyes timidly.

I sniffed a few times, whispering, "You…can't say things like that to me anymore, ever."

"I won't."

"EVER." I repeated, demanding.

"I won't." he repeated too, softer, "I knew I wouldn't be able to, once I told you and looked into your eyes. I'm far too selfish to do what I should when it comes to you. It seems I'm still your slave, trapped in your little web, you know."

"Did I hear a complaint?" I asked, using therapy guy's words.

He smiled and I felt like a ton of bricks was just lifted from my shoulders. He was staying. Why did he keep doing this to me?

"No complaints." He said, "Well, except for you are far too breakable and stubborn to go on any more undercover vampire operations."

"I know." I cringed, "I screwed up so bad. One phone call and I run over there, like an idiot. I even knew at the time, I was being so…Gabrielle…or Joxer."

I waited for him to chew me out, as he should, for being so dumb and almost getting myself killed, not to mention him, too. I almost wished therapy guy would come out and tell me off properly. But he didn't.

"Gabrielle." Edward decided, with a nod, "She is the most loving, caring, self sacrificing little soul. And she would even give her own life for the greater good. Be proud to be Gabrielle. She's you. And I would never change it. I love you for it. But, if we're going to stay together, from now on, there must be some new ground rules."

"Now who's making lists?" I raised a brow at him, grinning.

Edward got up and went to get a notebook from his backpack, clicking a pen and smirking sexily, coming back to the bed and sitting, writing quickly.

"Alright…let's see…" he looked at the notebook then to me, "Rule number one: Bella will never meet with demented vampires in secret ever, ever again."

"That's a good one." I agreed as he wrote, "Does that include you?"

Edward chuckled and said, "No. You can meet me in secret anytime you like."

"Yay!" I clapped.

"Rule number two:" Edward tapped the pen to his notebook, thinking, "Do not say fuck you to twisted vampires when there's no one there to protect you."

I gave a little laugh at that one as he wrote and added, "Hey, I was being a bad ass, I thought that was pretty damn good."

"Yes and that's why your leg is broken in 14 places." Edward reminded, motioning towards my leg with the pen, shaking his head, muttering, "Bad ass."

"Can I put some rules in?" I asked.

"You may." Edward agreed.

My evil side sprang forward and said, "Edward must only wear bikini bottoms in my presence."

"That's not a rule, Naughty Bella." Edward scowled.

"Well, it should be."

"Bella, we have school together…and physical therapy." Edward informed, "I can not wear only bikini bottoms. Rule # 3: Bella will take self defense lessons."

"Hey!" I squeaked, "That would not have helped me in there with James."

"True, but it still wouldn't hurt you in the future." Edward was writing, "You never know what's going to happen to you NEXT. Which is another reason I can't leave you."

"Rule number 4:" I spoke up, "Edward will stop scaring Bella with threats of leaving all the time."

Now Edward stopped smiling and put the book down, looking at me solemnly.

"I'm sorry I scare you, Bella." He said with a tender voice, tracing his fingers over my palm, at the tattoo where he wrote Be Safe, "I love you more than anything and I don't want to leave. Please know that. But I always hear that voice in my head, telling me I don't deserve you. Telling me you'd be better off without me."

"Well, tell that little voice to shut the hell up." I said firmly back at him, looking right into his eyes, "I know what I want and I'm not a child. I want you. I love you. And even if you snuck out in the middle of the night, I'd find you. You are never getting rid of me. Face it…and live with it. Got that?"

He gave a little smile, "Got it."

"Do you…" he began, "still feel that way about me?"

He always asks this. He's so silly. Silly Vampire Edward.

"You tell me." I grabbed his face and brought my lips to his, digging my fingers into his shirt as he moaned, opening his mouth and letting me in, our kiss rough and passionate…and exhilarating.

I went to move back a bit to get some air but he moaned "No!" into my tongue, holding me to him a couple seconds longer. Finally I was allowed air and I panted, dizzy and gloriously happy as he held me, my cheek against his black sweater, a stupid long smile on my face.

"I think you might still kinda like me after all." He teased as I sighed, loving his arms around me.

"I love you, you dope." I grinned, holding him so hard I nearly hurt my own fingers.

He gave a soft laugh. "What am I going to do with you, Bella?"

"Love me…and stay." I whispered. This was all I wanted.

"Yes, Bella." He kissed my head, stroking my hair, "Your wish is my command."

"Ooooh." I cooed, "How many wishes do I get ?"

"What else do you want, you greedy little thing?" his voice sounded playful.

"Fanta." I said, waiting for his fury.

"FANTA?!" he shouted, "You said never again! You swore!"

"Ahh, see how it feels now, Edward?" I giggled.

"Why you little…." He laughed with me, "Alright, touché."

"That song I was just playing…" Edward stroked my cheek with the back of his hand, looking down into my eyes, "I wrote that for you. It's your lullaby."

And just like that, I was with sweet Music Edward.

"Really?" I cried, "I loved that! I was wondering what music that was. I thought I'd get in trouble for not knowing it."

Smiling at me, he stroked my hair affectionately.

"Well, you are in trouble, sweet Bella." His voice took a turn for the sinister, "Once again, your leg is of no use to you….and you are trapped here with me."

I just breathed out a short ball of air, wondering what he was planning on doing. I was still recovering from a vampire attack, after all.

"Perhaps if you are good and please me properly, I might let you have a prize – Leo." He toyed with me.

"You monsters never get enough, do you?" I asked as he smiled at me, shaking his head. It was only a day and a half ago we spent the whole day together, playing.

"What would please you?" I asked, still teasing with my joking voice.

"I want to brush your hair." Hairstylist Edward walked in.

"You whore." I laughed hard at his reaction. His eyes were so shocked.

"My hair is yours, Vidal Cullen." I smiled as he got my brush and jumped into bed with me, getting behind me again.

He was so cute, like a little kid. "I want to make a braid." He announced.

"Whatever your sick, twisted desires dictate…" I joked.

"Be good." Edward tapped my head with the brush.

"So…" I asked while he brushed my hair gently, his other hand playing with it too, "Where exactly did you go when you said I'll be right back?"

"I had to feed the parking meter." He joked back, "I didn't want my car towed."

Laughing, I tapped his leg and wished I hadn't. Damn, he is made of marble!

"No, really." I probed.

"Alright." He replied, "I saw this cute nurse walk by and went to grab her phone number real quick."

He giggled as I tried to beat him.

"Rule number 5:" I added one on the list, "Edward will stop making bad jokes."

"Alright, the truth." Edward confessed, "I saw a cute doctor go by and went to get his phone number real quick."

He thought that one was particularly funny but I grabbed the notebook and began to cover my hair with it, not letting him brush until he gave me a straight answer. And I meant straight in every conceivable way.

"Okay!" Edward said, "I just needed some spinach."

"What does that mean?"

"You don't know Popeye the Sailor?"

EPOV

It's funny how in moments we could go right back to being buddies, arguing like an old married couple over silly, fun things.

"I know you're really old, Edward," Bella informed, "but don't get mad at ME for being only 17 for real, okay?"

"I just asked…" I pretended to be insulted, "Popeye is a cartoon, you could've seen it!"

"No." Bella snapped back, "I watched Rugrats and Spongebob, and a lot of Disney tapes! I loved DISNEY!"

"Well, Disney goes back all the way to 1930, BELLA!" I informed, sounding like a put out five year old boy.

"Well, POPEYE wasn't big on my list of shows, I'm a GIRL!" she argued.

"It had a girl in it!" I pointed out, being a brat now, "Olive Oil!"

"That is not a girl, it's a cooking product." She came back with. She's a good opponent in an argument. I enjoy this so much, our little banter.

Eventually, after our infantile debate, we decided that Popeye was a great cartoon (no matter what Bella tells you) and then I told her the whole story of my "spinach", my serum. She was furious with me, too, for nearly killing myself to save her, I think she even topped Carlisle's reaction.

But she was very pleased when I told her that her blood plus the melted gold in the necklace she gave me saved my life. Carlisle took Bella out to pay for a new necklace and let her pick it out. So I was glad to be reimbursed of my Christmas gift.

Then I told her the whole story of James and Tanya and of course, she gave me her full support that I had done all I could and it was not my fault. She was so easy to forgive me, to believe in me, to see me as good. I wished she could teach me to see myself that way.

Bella was trapped in a full leg cast for six weeks after that, and she needed Leo once more to get around school. It killed me to see Bella using the cane again but at least I knew she'd walk without it again very soon. Instead, though, of seeing her as handicapped in that cast, I could only see the bravest person in my world, risking everything to save a friend, trying to protect my family and myself from evil, choosing to have her bones broken instead of my heart.

Therapy guy almost had an aneurysm when Bella hobbled back into his gym, three days late and with a broken leg to boot. It must've taken a lot of guts for Bella to walk through that door.

Let's just say that Bella now has the most strong, muscled, toned arms ever. After the cast finally came off, now therapy guy is now giving Bella self defense lessons. She can't kick my ass, but, she can kick a human man's ass if she ever had to. I almost wish she would beat up Newton. And her Xena cry is better and louder now than ever.

On the night of the prom, we were all dressed to kill and Bella looked so insanely beautiful in one of Alice's blue dresses that I fantasized about taking her right on Sue's steps.

We were on the way when my cell phone rang. It was Angela and this was it. The baby was coming!

We flew to the hospital and Bella was Angela's coach, helping her all the way through her delivery.

25 hours later, Angela gave birth to a perfect baby boy, 7lbs. 8 oz.

I had to admire Bella as well as Angela. Bella never took a nap or a break that whole time. Angela chose her coach perfectly.

Angela didn't give the baby a name yet at the time of its birth. She said she wanted to think about it more. She looked a little sad for a minute, perhaps thinking of the boy who walked away from being a father, until they handed her the baby, all cleaned up and wearing a little blue hat over his bald, soft head.

Angela was so tired when we got her back to her room that she fell asleep while talking to us. We tiptoed out of her room and took a seat in the hallway, on a bench together.

Emmett was standing there, with Alice, holding a diamond tiara and wand and Emmett held a gold crown made of plastic.

"Are you and Rosalie playing dress up, again?" I asked him, smiling, taking Bella's hand in mine, kissing it as she closed her eyes, already feeling the exhaustion coming on.

"No, this is yours." Emmett informed, a glint of amusement in his eyes.

He put the crown on my head a bit roughly as I pushed him off me, too tired for his games right now.

"You guys were voted Prom King and Queen!" Alice jumped up and down, as if this honor came with 3 billion dollars.

But then, as I was about to roll my eyes, Bella went, "AWWWW!! Really?!"

Oh god, women!

"YES!" Alice placed the crown on Bella's head and even I had to look at what a beautiful queen she made, taking the wand into her little hand.

"I made sure everyone remembered what a great couple you were!" Alice beamed, "And without Jessica and Mike there, the only other couple was Tyler and Lauren – and YUK!! No one likes them."

"I'm sure Bella feels a lot better now that you explained it that way, thanks Alice." I said with a light glare and attitude in my voice, not removing my crown yet.

"I also announced that you two missed the prom because you were helping Angela deliver her baby and that also shot you guys to the top!", Alice continued as I took a heavy breath.

"And guess what else happened?" Emmett's eyes turned mischievous, "Jessica Stanley's parents bought her a brand new car, a red Porsche for her birthday!"

"Ukkkk.." Bella frowned, "Typical."

"Yea, only this morning, when she went to drive it, someone filled her car with all those stolen, dead frogs from Banner's class! They were all rotten and gross and shit!! She's still in a coma over it!! " Emmett was almost on the floor belly laughing.

"God!" I widened my eyes at him, "I wonder who could've done THAT?! That's terrible!!"

Shut up, Emmett, you ass HAT! If Bella finds out it was us, I'll tear your ass off your shoulders!!

"It's too bad you couldn't be there to accept your crown and dance together." Alice cut in, changing the subject. Thank God for Alice.

Emmett grinned, getting a nod from Alice.

"But we didn't want you guys to miss your prom completely, so, we kinda brought the prom to you." Emmett informed, taking out his ipod and speaker.

"Oh no." I said, not liking the looks of this, "What are you doing?"

"King Edward and Queen Bella…" Alice announced, "This is your dance."

Emmett hit the button on his ipod and "Blue Moon" began to play.

Bella and I looked at each other, laughing a little, maybe still giddy from the birthing experience. But I had to stand up and offer my hand to her.

"Your highness…" I bowed with a smile, "May I have this dance?"

Her smile grew like a magical garden of roses across her lips as she took my hand.

"Always, your majesty." She cooed like royalty.

"God you guys are corny!" Emmett groaned, getting an elbow to the gut from me as I twirled Bella around, holding her as she returned to my arms again.

Alice looked around, seeing no one, and flicked the lights in the hall off, giving us a little touch of romance.

"Blue moon…you saw me standing alone…." I sang to her as we danced slow, her hand in mine.

"Without a dream in my heart." She sang to me now, "Without a love of my own."

We sang the rest of the song to each other in soft voices, Bella's eyes wet and sparkling like raindrops in the night.

Emmett and Alice began to walk away, letting us have our moment in privacy.

"I am choking on their corn!" Emmett commented again, getting a tap on the arm from Alice as they turned the corner.

I closed my eyes and danced with my Queen.

"Edward?" she asked with a hesitant voice.

"King Edward." I corrected, a new Edward born in that moment. How many Edwards are there now? I so lost track.

She smiled, "King Edward!"

"Yes, Queen Bella?" I grinned, giving her a small spin around and taking her into both my arms again, placing a little kiss to her nose.

"I've been wanting to ask something…but I don't want you to get…the way you get." She said.

"What's wrong, love?" I asked, moving slowly, cradling her.

"I never thought of it before, but…" she swallowed, "This…turning a person…into…a vampire…"

I stiffened and I felt my eyes harden instantly at her.

"No, no…" she saw this and tried to ease me, "No…don't do that. Just listen. Please?"

Without changing my expression I said, in a dead, dull voice, "I am listening."

"Well," she began, "I was thinking…if we love each other and want to be together…forever…you do want me forever, don't you?"

"Yes." I said, not dancing anymore.

"Well, I want you forever, too." She took a breath, "And after James said what he said…(she closed her eyes and opened them again)…I was wondering…if and when…I could be…changed. To be like you."

"Never, Bella." I stated firmly, not even entertaining this notion.

"Never?" she looked sad, rejected.

"Bella, in case you weren't paying attention, I was trying to SAVE your life back there, not end it! How could you ask me something like that?"

"But…" she almost wept, "The years will keep rolling by, and I'll keep getting older and older, weaker…while you stay seventeen!"

"Older doesn't mean weaker, Bella." I informed her sternly, "It means experience. It means life. It's supposed to be that way. Just because I'm stuck, trapped in this teenage hell doesn't mean you should sit here with me. It's not fair to you. You should grow and blossom and have all the human experiences you should have. That's why you've overcome so much…why you've struggled and worked and sweated…and BLED to have! And you finally have it now. And because of me, you just want to throw it all away now?"

"I know what you're saying, Edward, but how can we ever work if I'm old and you're still young?" she let a tear fall from her eyes as I stroked it away with my thumb, "Don't you know how that would KILL me?"

"It's only appearances again, Bella." I pointed out, "To me, you will always look beautiful, will always BE beautiful. I am not bothered by what things LOOK like. I just want you to be happy – and safe."

"But it would break my heart to keep getting older – to be pulled away from you…every day I get closer and closer to the end of my life….I am dieing…and moving further away from you. What happens when I do die?" she wondered aloud.

"This is ridiculous, Bella, you're seventeen years old!" I sneered, not wanting to think about this now. Damn you, James. You had to plant that little seed of fear into my Bella before you went and now she is playing right into your hands!

"I won't always be seventeen!" she argued, "Before you know it, I'll be 18! Then 25, then 33, then 39!! I saw how fast my Dad aged and then BANG – he was gone! I know how fast a human life goes by, Edward! I don't want that, I want to have forever with you. Just as we are now, for all eternity. Maybe it's selfish, but, I want it. I don't want to get old and wrinkled and die while you watch me with your teenage eyes! What happens to you, then, after I'm gone? You still have hundreds of years left then, after that."

Not exactly, but I couldn't tell her that. I had already planned to die after she went, but I would never tell her my plans of that.

Then she stuck a knife in my heart.

"Will you find someone else after I'm dead?" she asked in a breath, tears in her eyes.

I flinched back as if she slapped me across the face.

"I'm sorry." She cried, "I shouldn't have said that. I know you---"

"If you really believe I'm that cold and heartless, and that you're something temporary and disposable for me, then we can say goodbye NOW!" I unleashed my anger at her…and I didn't want to do that. Things were so nice a minute ago.

I grabbed the crown off my head and threw it into the wall, taking a few steps away from her. I needed to cool off, I was not really mad at her, only that she was pushing me to do this terrible thing to her. As if I wasn't tempted enough everyday to make Alice's visions come true.

And I was mad at James. He gave her this fucking idea, before him she never even considered this. I figured after she almost died at his hands, she now wanted to be indestructible and I understood that part of it.

Where am I going without her? I can't live without her. Stop walking, STUPID, I internally screamed at myself.

"Edward, WAIT!" she sobbed, coming after me. I stopped, letting her put her arms around me, kissing me while I stood there, numb.

"Please…don't…" she cried, shaking as my aching eyes opened and drank her lovely solemn face in.

"I love you…" she said, "I know you're not like that. I'm sorry I said that. I didn't mean it."

"You…" I almost sobbed as my voice cracked, "Are the only woman I have ever loved, Bella. The only one I will ever love. I want you forever, too. But I can't…I won't end your life for you. Think of therapy guy…look at all he's done to make you strong so you'll be able to live. Look at all you've done! Don't throw it away, Bella, please? I beg you. Once it's gone, it's gone. There's no going back. Trust me on this, I know what I'm talking about. You don't know…what you're asking. You don't want this."

"I just know I want to be with you always." She let another tear fall.

"Always…" I said the word out loud.

Mortals loved words like always and forever, but they constantly changed their minds and hearts. I was so afraid that Bella would change her mind about loving me, at the same time, hoping she would. I couldn't change her now and then a year from now have her tell me she didn't love me anymore and missed being human. I would truly be dead then.

A cynical part of me wanted to test her to see how serious about this she was. Maybe if I scared her a little, she'd retreat.

"And you're ready…" I widened my eyes, hoping to make myself look dark and sinister as I asked, "right NOW?"

To my amazement, she blinked her eyes, clearing the tears out, and swallowed bravely, laying her head back, looking up to the ceiling, whispering, "Yes."

My God.

After all the tragedy of this girl's life, her family, the accident, the years without her legs and arm, the cruelty of others, she had overcome it all. And she was walking now, running, whole and complete. She is so full of life. And because of me, someone she hasn't even known a year, she says yes and lays her head back, exposing her throat to me, the one who longs most to sink my teeth into it!

She couldn't possibly love me that much. I didn't want to believe her love for me was this powerful that she would just shrug and toss me her life like it was a sweat jacket. Of course, I knew that I would give my life for her, and nearly did, but I had no idea there was a human this brave and true and fierce with her love as any vampire.

And human teenagers…their loves change every week!

Humans are supposed to change…always! That's why I was once so jealous of them. Their loves wane and fade and then new loves enter…vampires don't work that way. Our love is concrete, everlasting.

So is hers. Again, I am reminded of how special and unique my Bella is.

I looked down at her jugular vein, the line pulsing, begging for my caress. I want her. I DO want to take her…forever…mine. Everything in me was crying YES YES YES…and even love was on my side, cheering me on to do it.

I parted my lips and bent down slowly, at an excruciating pace and still she waited, closing her eyes, frozen, wanting me to claim her as my own, ready for that pain…that inescapable, unendurable damned pain.

My lips finally got to her soft, creamy flesh and the moment they made contact there, I could not do it.

Bella, I adore you. I love you above all others. That is why…I cannot kill you. Even if you beg me to. I can't destroy something…this perfect…this beautiful…this special.

My open mouth could only turn into a gentle, deep kiss, right on the spot that I so longed to taste, but refused to. Finally, I understood Carlisle's lessons about willpower. Resistance. Strength. Mind over matter.

I can not do it. I will not do it.

I quickly straightened up, wondering if Bella knew how hard it was for me to do so, to say no to what would make MY life paradise, giving it up for the good of her life. Finally, I could do the right thing for her, the selfless thing.

Her eyes opened as she straightened in my arm and I took her back into our dance, calming my breathing, my voice still sounding shaky and emotional as I asked her, hoping for the right answer, "Is it NOT enough….just to have a long and happy life with me?"

Please say yes, Bella, please…just love me and stay with me…that's all I want, too.

I almost trembled as she gave me this sad look. I thought maybe she'd say no and walk away from me, wanting the immortality more than my love.

She leaned in and kissed my lips softly, touching my hair.

"Yes, King Edward." She said and I let my breath come out, relaxing me a bit.

Then I held her close and kissed her neck again, burying my eyes into the space there. I heard her add something else then.

"For now." She breathed, tightening her embrace around me.

I knew she was a stubborn one and would not give in so easily. I knew we weren't finished talking about this subject and that her arguments would get better and better in time.

I also knew I loved her and wanted to keep watching her grow and thrive, enjoying time I never got the chance to have. I was living through her and I wanted more life…wanted more of her. I wasn't ready to say goodbye to it yet. I am greedy, too.

Maybe, by the time she talks me into this crazy idea, she'll be mature enough and wise enough to see what a mistake it would be to become a monster like I am. I prayed for that, hoping it wouldn't tear our relationship apart, another plan of James', I was sure, when he brought up the threat of changing her.

I wish I could get my hands on him wherever his damned crying soul is now and have another round with him. I felt robbed and cheated that I didn't get to tear his body parts off myself.

We were at an impasse and for now, it would have to stay this way. I just let it go and danced with my Queen, turning off that anger I had been surprised to feel so fast.

All I could do now was love her, as best I could, for as long as I could, before she came to her senses and told me to leave her alone.

I kissed her, closing my eyes and trying to convey all my emotion for her into my lips, knowing I needed no words to tell my Bella that I loved her with everything I had.

Blue moon…now I'm no longer alone. Without a dream in my heart. Without a love of my own.

THE END.

Love WinndSinger

I hope you guys liked that!

It has been so fun and challenging to write this and I really appreciate all your great reviews!

I might, in the future, do a sequel because I loved the way Bella and Edward came out in my version of Twilight. Thanks again to all of you!

Love you!!

PS The next idea for a story I want to do is a human story of Ed and Bella, with Edward being an exotic male dancer and Bella paying him for 2 weeks to "be her personal dancer" so she can get insight into a psych thesis she has to write for college, the assignment: getting into the mind of someone different from "normal" people, analyzing them. And things soon get very interesting between them.

That will be coming on soon, probably next week if that sounds interesting to you.

Love you guys!

See you soon!

WinndSinger