Intimacy

A "Twilight" One-shot

Ranma15177

AN:

This is a "little" story that I've been working on for a few weeks. I wanted to get the essence of this down on paper in a "one-shot" since I've been writing it in the perspective of a much longer piece with "Escaping Sol." This takes place between "Eclipse" and "Breaking Dawn."

When I speak of intimacy it isn't intended to mean sex exactly, although it can mean that, and it will be included, hence the M for mature. Intimacy is described as familiarity or closeness and that is what I'm describing here… hopefully. LOL!

I'm dedicating this one completely to my beta, Cullenista, for all of her help and understanding through the last year. She's an incredible beta, friend, and person. She helped me enormously through some rough patches and she described this story as "angel food cake" and made my day. Go read "Blue Moon Over Manka's" and give her reviews!

I don't own Twilight, but I am borrowing its characters and I promise to put them back in their shiny vampire boxes, no coffins or moats, when I'm done.

On with the story!

+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_

The Living Room:

The evening at the Cullen house was winding down, and the heart of the home seemed to call them all in one by one. Night was approaching on this late July evening, the sun spilling relentlessly in shocks of pink, red, purple, and orange through the wall of windows in the old Victorian. Pair by pair they were drawn together, until there was no one left alone.

Bella and Edward were watching a movie in the living room. Their bodies sprawled across the couch under a blanket together with Bella's head tucked neatly under her fiancé's. They were watching something foreign, without subtitles. Edward would whisper the dialogue in Bella's ear and she would laugh and sigh and cry in all the right places. This was her favorite way to watch anything. It was also Edward's, although he paid more attention to his future bride than anything that might be on the screen. She was a much more suitable form of entertainment for him.

Rosalie and Emmett had walked through the back doors and settled silently on the oversized chair. Watching the movie and the end of the sunset as twilight quickly approached. Rosalie would whisper a comment from time to time in vampire speed on the plans she wanted to make for the next day… hopefully going away for the weekend to some kind of antique auction. She and Emmett had volunteered themselves to go furniture shopping for Bella's wedding slash birthday gift from Esme. If there was one thing that the two prided themselves on it was good taste in sturdy furniture.

Jasper and Alice walked through the front door in the last fifteen minutes of the film just as the last of the violet kissed the tips of the trees. Both glided silently as ghosts to the opposite end of the couch just next to Edward and Bella's feet. They sat quietly on the floor, Jasper radiating a light hearted feeling of quiet calm. The room felt strangely warmer and friendlier in their presence. Alice radiated light… and Jasper radiated Alice.

Esme sat down, pencil tucked behind her ear with a stack of blue prints to the left of the coffee table needing no extra light despite the darkness that now quickly swallowed the ambient light from outside. Her attentions divided between the work at her fingertips, the movie, and the newest couple in the room. She was incandescent over Edward's new situation. Her oldest son, not to mention that he was Carlisle's first companion, was happy. It had been a long time in coming. Esme was content with the way things were building now. All of the pain and misunderstandings were behind them. Nothing could ruin this contentment. They were a family complete in theory.

Only one person was missing…

Carlisle finally walked through the door just as the credits began to roll and the room fell into complete darkness save the white points of light that danced up the screen. The patriarch quickly settled his belongings and came over to kiss his loving wife's forehead before settling down behind her and pulling her against his chest into the cage of his arms.

When the screen finally faded completely to black Emmett grabbed for the remote and turned off the DVD which bathed the room in an unnatural blue light.

"I've missed all the fun once again. Remind me why you keep me around," Carlisle spoke amused into the silence.

Edward glanced over the top of Bella's head and quipped back, "You're married to Esme, and lawfully she has to keep you. As to us, how would we explain this ridiculous group of barely legal married people otherwise?"

"You aren't married yet, Edward," Esme smiled a sweet smile over at her son. "One more month… Carlisle, it looks like you're needed after all my love. If Edward's assumption is correct you are the lynchpin to this difficult to clarify situation." The young Doctor's head rested against Esme's shoulder and she kissed him on his temple. "Oh, and Edward's right, I'm ecstatically and mostly law abidingly married to you."

"Job security is such a relief," Carlisle chuckled under his breath while he breathed in the scent of his wife's hair.

"We could be some kind of hippies," Emmett suggested with a smirk.

Jasper snickered and shot a look at his brother. "You don't like hippies Emmett. Remember that month you and Rose spent in upper-state New York back in the Sixties?"

"Did you go to Woodstock?" Bella questioned from the safety of her Edward and Bella blanket burrito.

"Well… not exactly, we didn't see much of the festival," Rosalie giggled. "Alice has more against hippies than Emmett does. She's not into free love."

"I never said that! When did I say that? I'm all about love!" Alice interrupted. "I just think hippies are dirty… and they are. I was so disappointed when Grunge came back in the Nineties. It was like the unwashed masses came back out from their underpasses like underfed unfashionable zombies."

Bella and Edward looked over at Alice with identical looks of disbelief. One eyebrow raised on their forehead.

"Look! It's like he was cloned, but came out cute this time," Emmett pointed at the lovers on the couch and one of them blushed. "Okay, that kills the clone theory. Bella, be less red."

Bella looked over at Emmett with the desire to take the focus away from herself and spoke askance, "Hippies?"

"Right! Okay, so I decided that we were going to go to Bethel and check out Woodstock, but we could only go at night and be sure that we weren't going to be caught in the sunlight because this was, as you know, before the cell phone and our resident psychic couldn't call to warn us. That wasn't much of a problem because a bunch of the acts were at night, and our resident psychic did tell us that it was going to rain a lot before she sent us on our way. Alice wouldn't go with us because hippies are grubby, and Edward can only tell us after the fact what people think of how neat and sparkly we are… so that wasn't much help."

"You went to Woodstock?" Bella interrupted, and craned her neck to look up at Edward.

"I was the only one going because I wanted to experience the music," Edward droned.

Bella's face screwed up in confusion, "What else could there possibly be? Bears maybe, farm land, and big expensive houses?"

Everyone in the house looked between Emmett and Bella for a second with a lame gaze.

"You're kidding right?" Bella quickly caught on and looked at Emmett with an equally lame stare.

"Emmett spent a week sitting in a room with a bunch of unwashed humans trying to get high. I could have told him it wasn't going to work," Alice complained. "He didn't ask though… so I let him suffer."

"Suffer?" Bella questioned Alice further, "How would sitting around really be suffering?"

"Sitting in a room full of sweating humans who smell very strongly because they haven't bathed in days… if not months… is just asking for trouble," Rosalie answered in Alice's place. "I told him to just buy the stuff and experiment on his own… but Emmett insisted that it was the experience he was after. Black lights, free love, and passing the doobie down the line." Rosalie rolled her eyes at the same time as everyone else.

"Free love?" Bella questioned.

"Not over my cold, dead, incredible body," Rosalie corrected.

Edward intoned, "The entire thing was a wash, and a big waste of his time. He didn't even need to ask Alice. Carlisle could have told him… hell, I could have told him. I got to see Hendrix, Joplin, Baez, The Who, CCR, The Band, Ravi Shankar… rained the whole time. The Sixties didn't have my favorite music, but at least I got to enjoy the atmosphere. Emmett just looked like an idiot. "

"What?" Emmett contested. "I got an amazing ending to the "Age of Aquarius" experience out of it regardless."

Rosalie smiled indulgently, "I know sweetie. You got to meet some interesting dirty people."

"What Emmett didn't think about at the time was that black lights affect our skin like any other kind of ambient light," Edward spoke clinically. "The humans were a little too lost in their heads to notice at the time… but I blame Emmett for the later horror of the Seventies… disco."

"Hey now, back off of the Seventies, they were actually kinda' fun," Jasper interrupted his brother's involuntary shiver. "We got married for the second time in the Seventies."

Alice smiled and took Jasper's hand before answering, "Don't I know it. Jasper and I went on this amazing honeymoon… which I won't go into details about. That's right! Oh, Bella, I have to show you my pictures! You wouldn't believe how gorgeous they turned out!"

"No way! You're gorgeous? I never would have guessed," Bella's whispered lame comment went unanswered by the pixie, but Edward let out an undignified snort.

"Twiggy gave me a reason to wear ultra mini skirts," Rosalie pointed out. "I loved the styles and fashions that came out of the great fashion houses in the Fifties and Sixties."

"I acquired the Dixmouth property in the fall of Sixty-Five. It always has the most beautiful gardens in spring. I'll have to take you there, Bella. The house is very Art Nouveau," Esme explained enthusiastically.

"I'm guessing that's going to need a bit of an explanation," Edward prompted.

"Art Nouveau or Jugendstil, is an international movement and style of art, architecture, and decorative art at the turn of the 20th century. It is characterized by organic, especially floral and other plant-inspired motifs, as well as highly-stylized, flowing curvilinear forms. The idea is an approach to design according to which artists should work on everything from buildings to furniture, making art part of everyday life," Bella recited with quiet certainty.

"That was almost not creepy," Alice ventured slowly.

"What? I had to pay attention to something while you were all out of town," Bella mumbled.

"I love you," Edward whispered sincerely with a pained look.

Bella smiled again and whispered, "I know... me too. Not your fault."

"Absurdly enough… it is actually," Edward spoke with a forlorn expression.

"Doesn't anyone want to know what I was up to in the Sixties and Seventies?" Carlisle prompted.

Everyone laughed… except Bella, "What?"

"Carlisle went back to college in Sixty-Five, all the boys did. We knew the Vietnam War was going to continue, and we had to dodge the draft." Esme explained. "It was the first time in many years that he would have had the opportunity to relax… but of course he didn't..."

Carlisle interrupted his wife with a cough, "Excuse me, my love! I did spend quite a bit more time at home than usual. I was very attentive… it's hard to run a house full of young vampires and come out looking this good. If there were a way for our kind to get grey hair, your children would be the cause of it."

"Don't look at me… I was an ovum," Bella shrugged and smiled innocently.

"That's a technicality Bella," Carlisle argued. "Edward is your problem now. I leave him in your capable hands."

At that moment Bella was about to re-buff the notion that she was in any way responsible for Edward before her birth and their involvement, but instead her body chose to let a huge yawn crack.

"Bedtime for the human," Edward whispered gently into his future wife's ear.

"How long do you think he's been waiting for an excuse to run out of here and do something a little more rated R for adult content?" Emmett challenged the room at large.

"It's nice that you're thinking of me Emmett, but things are the way they are, and we never get anywhere beyond a firm PG-13. My mom could even watch. Creepy, but nothing shocking enough to hide," Bella stretched out as she spoke and every joint seemed to pop in protest while Edward crawled over her to stand with a crooked grin plastered on his face.

"Hmmm… Bella. Are you challenging your mate?" Alice looked up at Edward with a very knowing grin.

"Nope, just stating facts," Bella unwrapped herself completely from the blanket and Edward picked her up and with a small gasp of fear from the young woman, he slung her gently over his shoulder and turned toward the stairs. Bella used her hands on Edward's lower back to prop herself up for a second so that she could look up at the people in the living room and shrugged. Seconds later Edward swatted gently at her butt and she went limp with a small giggle.

"Very caveman," Rosalie commented dryly. "Don't do anything I wouldn't do."

"This is Rose, don't do anything she would do either," Emmett chastised as his wife gave him a small shove. "What? If they even did a little of what we do she'd break!"

"Stop there!" Jasper complained as he jumped to his feet and offered Alice a hand. He continued, "I already have to feel it, I don't want to know the specifics."

"We'll see you in the morning. Don't bother us… Bella needs her rest," Edward admonished.

The younger couples in the room let out a small catcall at the affianced pair as Edward flew up the stairs. Carlisle and Esme simply shook their heads in mock exasperation.

"Please excuse my children's manners Bella, I didn't raise them in a barn." Esme called up after the absent couple.

"Well… speaking of things you do in a barn, I think that's our cue to go as well," Alice giggled as her brother disappeared from sight.

"Isn't young love grand?" Jasper asked the room at large with an amused look.

"If you mean, is feeding off the wanton and completely unsatisfied lust of our emotionally stunted brother and his hormonally charged wife-to-be fun? Well, then yes," Alice's twinkling laugh filled the room joined by the others.

Jasper gave his mate a wicked grin and he too flung his wife over his shoulder, but in a completely different and not careful way. "We should build a barn."

Alice swatted his rear with a resounding smack. "Save a horse, ride a cowboy!" Alice giggled as they flew up the stairs.

"Everyone in this house is so undignified!" Emmett taunted with a wry grin. "Can you believe the nerve of those four?"

Esme, Carlisle, and Rosalie looked at Emmett with equally disbelieving levels of sobriety.

"Can these truly be the words of someone that has destroyed homes in complete repair?" Carlisle admonished.

Emmett stood and offered his hand to Rosalie to aid her rise from the oversized chair and he immediately held her to his side. "I'm a gentleman; I don't have to explain my art to you."

"Yes, Emmett. Please continue your unparalleled manners and spare us the details," Edward's voice called from the location of his room.

Laughter erupted from the various rooms in the house for a time, and then Rosalie threw Emmett over her shoulder. She beamed a wide and completely unabashed grin and spoke, "I'm not a gentleman, or a cowboy, so this should be just fine for everyone." The beautiful blonde skipped up the stairs as if she held nothing at all.

Emmett playfully kicked and pried at his mate's hands. "Help! Save me! She's trying to do unspeakable things to me."

"If you're lucky," Rosalie whispered theatrically.

"Eww," Alice giggled loudly from her bedroom. "T.M.I. Rosalie! You're poor brother's virgin ears are bleeding."

"Leave me out of this." Edward spoke again from his third floor sanctuary.

"Actually I was speaking of Jasper, but if you want to call Bella's attention to your virgin ears…" Alice's laughing voice taunted very loudly so that her new best friend and non vampire could hear.

"I like his virgin ears, Alice. They are attached to the rest of him," Bella yelled back.

"Say it loud, say it proud," Alice yelled back.

Edward's amused taunt was laced with finality, "Leave my poor tired fiancé alone now, Alice." Edward turned music on abruptly afterward. It would do little to drown out the acute hearing of the other couples in the house, but there would be a sense of quiet and intimacy for them.

Carlisle and Esme shared a significant look which was amused and content. The father figure rose from his place behind his wife and turned off the unnecessary glow of the television. Walking back to her seated form, he took the pencil from behind his mate's ear.

"It seems we are alone now, you and I. What would you like to do, my pet?" Carlisle's accent became comfortably obvious, "The sky is the limit."

"I'm a simple woman, with simple needs. The sky is its own reward. Tell me about your day, Love. A to Z," Esme gently stroked her fingers across Carlisle's knuckles as they twined fingers and palms met together.

"Some of those letters are going to be harder to work in," Carlisle spoke with a quiet grin as he led her to the stairs.

"Don't worry, Carlisle. I'll help you find the words," His wife breathed back with a gentle sigh born of happiness.

Darkness and absence descended on the living room of the Cullen mansion, but there is no true end of the day in a house full of vampires, the night was only beginning.

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Edward's Room:

"I'm going to go have my human minute, I'll be right back," Bella took her overnight bag into the bathroom down the hall, leaving the quiet sounds of Bach behind. She quickly used the facilities, brushed her hair and teeth, and put on her bedclothes. She had taken to a pair of shorts in the summer months instead of her ratty sweats, and a tank top.

Edward was dressed in a pair of flannel pajama bottoms and a tee shirt when she returned. It was a kind gesture, an attempt to keep them as even as possible when she was with him in his home. She would be sleeping, and so he would at least go through the motions of what the hours would usually entail if he could only sleep.

This was a suggestion that Alice had made, and it really did seem like an excellent idea, not to mention its subtle hint of what was quickly becoming their reality. Marriage is a meeting of two individuals made one. A compromise and a blending of life, although Edward suspected his sister's involvement had little to do with Bella's level of comfort and more to do with Alice's love of shopping.

"You look good in those," Bella spoke quietly with a blush. "I mean, you look good in everything, but you look nice in sleepwear. I should have guessed."

"You're adorable in everything too, so I'll concede the flattering remark," Edward quietly complimented.

Bella climbed into Edward's waiting embrace and under the soft gold cover that he held up for her as she spoke, "I'm not complaining, believe me. So, this is what it's like to live without privacy. Not too bad." The remark was said with a smile, but he could see the strain in his fiancé's eyes. "You could hear everything they said downstairs, so even with the music on…"

"They could listen in on our conversation if they were so inclined, yes," Edward continued her sentence although he couldn't hear her thoughts. "However, you'd be surprised how compartmentalized our minds can be. You can shut out something if you try hard enough."

"So, right now…" Bella interrupted.

"Right now, for example, I could tell you what Jasper is thinking, or what Carlisle is saying, but I don't want to be in Jasper's head or have my father's words in my ear. I'm focused on you and you alone," the bronze haired young man whispered gently, caressing his fingers up her spine through the material of the tank top, but despite his low body temperature the shiver that shot through the young woman's back had nothing to do with cold.

"What about them?" The vampire's lover asked with genuine worry.

"They are similarly distracted now my love, and don't particularly want to hear anyone but each other. I'll let you divine what you will from that," Edward stated, embarrassed.

The kiss that followed his admonition was slow and chaste. It held regard, and care. He understood her fear however ridiculous it might be, that someone would make fun of her later for an intimate personal moment. Eventually she would fully understand the family that she was going to be a part of, especially when she was like them.

Cold. Dead. Edward's concession, his nightmare. Bella's only desire... her only demand, beyond higher intimacy than has ever been shared inside his family with any human. The mind reader's other fear, that he would hurt her during intercourse.

Now though, Edward would have to admit in his heart a begrudging desire building for her to be more like himself. Bella was never big on admitting fear, but she was certainly afraid of the pain ahead of her. Both had been honest about their worries on some level, and they had approached the subject more than once.

Being an honorable man, Mr. Masen's only son turned vampire had insisted on full disclosure in their relationship and Charlie Swan's daughter had agreed, but neither of them had, as of yet, crossed into unknown territory. Bella had suggested that practice was in order. Edward had thus far been very nervous, and therefore in opposition of, such activities.

He had planned to let things progress more naturally tonight and see what ground could be gained in their physical relationship while her father was spending the weekend fishing with a high school buddy… and most probably moping about his daughter's wedding.

"Edward… Jasper never said anything about the trip to Woodstock. Was he invited to come as well?" The human woman beside the vampire whispered almost inaudibly.

"If you are very quiet I will tell you." Edward whispered like a breath of wind. "No one beyond Alice and I know this, so I tell you in confidence. Alice had a vision of Jasper losing his resolve. He would have slaughtered innocent people if he had come, so Alice told a little white lie. She was actually quite fond of the hippie movement. They were very natural people, and she liked that."

"That's very sad." Bella whispered. "Edward… you will tell me. I don't want you to hide the truth from me ever again. If I'm going to hurt people, I want you to just tell me. Alice too, I want her to be honest and share anything that might happen with me."

Edward's voice took on a more normal tone. "I want to say that I will always share every part of myself with you. As your husband it's my duty to protect you though… and if I see myself plainly taking care of you by not telling you something like that, I won't."

"You're such a martyr." The child-woman whispered gently kissing the column of her lover's neck.

It was now or never… this was a perfect opportunity to cross the lines. "You have no idea," Edward breathed over her ear as he pulled her closer.

_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_

Jasper and Alice's room:

"So, after all this time, you're still sticking to the "Hippies are dirty defense?" Jasper questioned his wife dropping her on the mattress. It bounced with her weight and then dipped under his body.

Alice gave her husband a wide grin. "So dirty. Speaking of things we haven't talked about in a while… a barn huh?"

"I have some of my favorite memories in barns. Some of my only memories," Jasper conceded. "I love the way you look with hay in your hair."

The small woman raised her eyebrows up and down. "I'll buy a few bails. I'm sure Esme wouldn't mind as long as we cleaned up afterward."

"You know I'm all about cleanup." The scarred vampire brooded lightly.

The little psychic vampire would not be swayed by her husband's comment. "You aren't talking about hay… you want to move for a while."

"Don't get me wrong Alice. I want to be here for the first few months after Bella's change. I want to be a good brother, but newborns are still hard for me to be around. I don't want to accidentally corral her like I did with Maria's coven. I don't want to steer her… and I'm not sure I know another way," Jasper's voice was honest and Alice kissed his forehead as she curled her body close to his.

"You'll be fine Jazzy." Alice assured.

"I worry about myself," Jasper insisted.

The small black haired woman lying next to the lanky blonde man crawled over onto his stomach and whispered, "This is exactly why you're going to be the best brother she can have. You two have a lot in common you know. You're going to be great friends."

"Sometimes I wonder if it's best to keep the future to yourself Alice." Her husband admonished her. "You know… find things out for yourself."

"That wasn't me seeing the future, Jasper. You both love me. You're both into books. Bella likes history. You enjoy a lot of the same things." The pixie sized woman stated as she ran her fingers over her husband's chest.

The civil war veteran gave his wife a lopsided grin, and whispered, "That had better be an observation that I don't have to worry about."

"Meaning?" Alice gave him a wicked grin and rose up to begin working the shirt off of her lover.

"Meaning, I had better not have to worry you're going to run off with our brother's wife in some lesbian tryst," her husband tore off his shirt and then hers before sitting up and pulling her against his chest.

His small wife rolled her eyes, "When did you turn into Emmett? That's it; you and Edward are going to spend more time together." She ran her fingers over her mate's back paying extra attention to his beautiful scars, their mouths suddenly too busy for speech as they met in a searing kiss.

"Well… I worry about you too." Jasper spoke with a drawl when they pulled apart.

Alice caught his ear with her teeth and bit gently until she heard his answering moan. "I'll warn you first."

"That wasn't a no, Alice is there something I should hear?" Her southern gentleman teased lightly.

"Nope. I'm not a gender specific kind of girl… I'm Jasper-sexual." The psychic girl confided with an answering grind of hips against hips.

The Major growled deep in his chest and threw his wife to the mattress while stripping her pants from her, leaving her in an almost scandalous lone piece of fabric.

"I love getting caught up in you Alice. Every time is just like the first. I feel so lucky to have found you. I couldn't stand being without you," Alice's husband confided with shaking hands that drew the little panties down her marble legs. "I didn't mean to question your loyalty. I'm sorry."

"Believe me you have nothing to be sorry for. Do you feel me here with you Jasper?" The little pixie concentrated on her love for her husband.

The old soldier gave an answering shudder of passion that he shared with his wife as he whispered, "I'll never feel like I deserve you."

"You know it isn't like that. I want you to be happy Jasper. That's all I'll ever want. You and I have destiny on our side. I was made for you, meant for you, we were given to each other," Alice spoke quickly as she tore at his remaining clothes.

"I love you, Alice. Always," The older vampire spoke with a reverence reserved for his own personal deity, his hope, his Alice.

"If I told you that tonight is going to be excellent, would you hold it against me for looking?" The little smile on the psychic's face was taunting and sexy.

"Not at all, in fact I'll make a prediction of my own," Jasper spoke with a sly answering smile. "If I don't have you soon I'm going to be very frustrated."

"We can't have that," Alice groaned as he stroked the inside of her thighs with expert fingers that despite everything feeling new, understood just how to please her.

+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_

Edward's room:

A wave of passion surged over the human and the vampire in his third floor retreat. They had only been taking the slowest of steps, but things had been progressing. Edward had just slid his fingers slowly down Bella's arms when the raw animal desire shot through them.

Edward tried to pull back immediately despite his earlier decision to show his fiancé more of himself physically. This was not a safe feeling. This was reckless and driven, and although he himself felt this way for his future wife… he knew that the emotion wasn't specifically his. It was spontaneous and too unrestrained.

Bella had the opposite reaction and followed his body as if she were magnetically drawn to him. She always felt this almost violent draw to be with her Edward, in whatever way she could have him. The feeling was compounded by the lust that hung over them now. Although they had decided to wait for the wedding if it had been his desire to make love she would never turn him away.

The young woman's leg was now thrown haphazardly over her lover's hip, and she ground against him with a small moan. A shiver of pleasure rocked them both at the foreign contact.

"Shhh. Don't love," Edward held her waist and pushed her away while he kissed her forehead.

"Why not?" Bella's head ducked down and she ran her lips and teeth over his collar bones. "Can't you even pretend that you can feel it?"

The resulting hiss turned moan wasn't exactly proof of a desire to stop. The young amber eyed vampire pulled his fiancé hard against his chest while he rolled her gently on top of himself. Their bodies flush together; he let the obvious show of his arousal press against her intimately while trailing his lips over the shell of her ear and then drew his tongue lightly over the same path.

"Edward…" it was a plea, a question, and a statement in one sound. They both knew that if she went on to ask for his body, he would give it. As it was, his hands traveled up and down her back in an unabashed circle that glided over the swell of hips and up the sides of her rib cage.

The vampire looked sternly but still with the unmistakable lust filled gaze that had made the moment more heated, "I do feel it Bella. It is sharp, and quick to burn, and it is unbridled lust… and it is not ours."

Bella looked at Edward confused for a second and then pinked to her ears. "Alice… and Jasper," She continued as though she didn't want to even whisper what she had discovered.

"Now you really understand what it is like to live in this house," The man smiled roughly at his fiancé. "When I said there were no secrets, I forgot to mention that there was also no privacy. I'm accidentally reading your thoughts, Alice is seeing your future, and Jasper is steeping in your emotions… or accidentally sharing his."

Bella smiled weakly at her soon to be husband. "You can't read my thoughts. Alice sees what she sees accidentally without reason. Jasper isn't doing it to ruin the mood or something. If anything, he's helping out. You need to look at this in a more half-full kind of way."

"Ah, My Bella the optimist! Whatever would I do without you to steer my course?" Edward questioned with a crooked grin while brushing the hair back from her face.

Bella blushed to the roots of her hair and stated very quietly in the barest of whispers, "I hope that's not just Jasper."

"God, no! That has absolutely nothing to do with Jasper," Edward whispered fiercely while rolling them over, placing her beneath him. "Believe me, you are the only being on the face of this planet that has the power to do this to me."

The admission left both of them staggering for breath, one completely unnecessary. His lips descended onto hers… and there was nothing more to be said for the moment.

+_+_+_+_+_+_

Rosalie and Emmett's Room:

"If you ask me, both of them are nuts," Rosalie gasped as Emmett nipped the flesh on her inner calf.

Emmett looked up from between his wife's milky thighs and rolled his eyes. "Are we really going to talk about this now? We both just want them to be happy, just let it go alright baby?" The look on his face was earnest.

The tall blonde woman smiled genuinely into her husband's stare and agreed, "Of course, you're right Emmett. I need to just mind my own business."

The large man again began to trail kisses over his mate's knees and up to her thighs. "You're gorgeous," he stated with a quiet reverence. He knew his wife was feeling vulnerable. He could fix those feelings though. He could touch her and kiss her and worship her, and Rose would know that there was nothing but her inside his heart.

Rosalie wanted the center of attention pointed directly onto her, and she deserved the attention, goodness knew. Bella didn't want his wife's place in the sun though, and he knew it, so it was easy to adopt her as the little sister she was. The difference between them was staggering. Bella was a girl, innocent and sweet. Rosalie was a strong and independent and sexy woman.

He ran his tongue lazily along the crease where leg met lower torso and couldn't help the growl of desire he felt in her response. Her hips rose up to meet his gentle nips and licks while shuddering growls and moans erupted from her rosy lips. Her head was thrown back in ecstasy, rolling loosely on her shoulders when he met with her most sensitive of flesh.

Eyes met, and the world stood still.

The woman felt every bit of undirected jealousy leak away at her Emmett's gaze. He was in awe of her beauty, of her. She knew he loved her. Edward was just another incompetent man with no taste. Her husband knew the true face of desire. He would, she just knew, always be a superior lover compared to the sexless eunuch brother of theirs. She pitied Bella her future sex life.

"I'm just saying… he's going to all the trouble of this elaborate wedding, and then he's going to tear her into tiny pieces on their wedding night," Rosalie continued despite her earlier statement. "I remember that first night with you… all of that unrestrained enthusiasm."

The admission made his eyes dark with lust, and Emmett spoke in a harsh whisper, "did you want me to illustrate just how passionate we are?"

"However you want it my strapping, forceful, sexy," but the buxom vampire never got to say more because her mate sealed his lips onto hers and searching hands became insistent and tearing. Clothing was destroyed, and the bed creaked under the onslaught of their combined weight and activities.

Their lips met and crushed together over and over again as Emmett threw his wife's legs over his shoulders and buried himself deeply into her core. The resulting moan from both of them resounding through the room with little question as to the complexity of their desire.

"I think this one would be pretty safe… you know… with a little restraint, and the help of your well picked out sturdy furniture," Emmett declared with a sexy smirk.

"You are such a giver Emmy. Let's focus on the important stuff for now though. Make love to me," Rosalie whimpered as her lover began to take her body in earnest.

+_+_+_+_+_+_+_

Edward's Room:

"Wait for just a moment." Edward threw his head back and closed his eyes as his future wife collected herself. They had been kissing for the last few minutes in what could almost be considered a passionate yet innocent kiss when he drew away.

Bella lowered her head to his chest and whispered, "Edward, what…"

"I'm just trying to get a disturbing image out of my head. It will pass," the young man consoled his lover.

"Whatever happened to compartmentalizing?" The young woman asked with a smirk.

His golden eyes sparkled in the moonlight as he gave back a crooked grin, "There are some things in this world that blindside you no matter how well you're able to disassociate."

"I can only imagine," Bella rolled her eyes with a full smile.

Edward gave her a mock glare, and then tried for wounded as he spoke, "You injure me. Are you mocking me?"

His future mate winked and pretended to mull it over. "Um, yes."

His fingers, made to play the piano, long and dexterous, danced along her ribcage. The human began to shake with laughter, her vampire fiancé delighting in her reaction to his gentle tickling.

Tears leaked from the sides of her eyes and she gasped for breath while trying desperately to get away. In the end she realized that there was very little that she could do to get away, so she went the other direction entirely and grasped onto him for dear life.

Her squirming and laughing were beautiful to him. He'd never seen anything more striking and alluring. As he stopped the attack and allowed Bella to come to her senses he couldn't help but to stare at the exposed skin of her stomach where the fabric from her shirt had ridden up.

"Do you have any idea how completely beautiful you are?" Edward demanded in a breathless voice. "Can you try to see in you what I do?"

Bella smiled wanly and responded quietly, "I've never understood. I'll never get it, Edward. Not if I live to be a thousand years old… but I'll try." She paused for only a second before asking quickly, "Are you ticklish?"

"I never know what you're thinking," the vampire stated as he smoothed her hair back from her face.

"You don't have to know what I'm thinking… answer the question. That seemed like avoidance," Bella stated with a look of questioning. "Are you, or aren't you?"

The man looked down at his lover and breathed deeply before responding, "I'm not entirely sure. I doubt it."

The young woman pulled her shirt down covering the creamy expanse of skin that Edward had been so intent on, and sat up on her elbows. "You have got to be kidding me," she intoned. "Are you telling me that in over one hundred years no one has tried to tickle you?"

"Not without me threatening to tear their arms off. Although I might make an exception for you," The vampire smiled crookedly at the human and she giggled.

"You're kidding right?" Bella asked with a concerned look, "About both things?"

"I love you…" Edward sighed.

"Oh. My. God! Edward, if you tear off my arms you'll only be hurting yourself." The vampire's mate stated as she sat forward and started skimming her hands up and down his body over his light tee shirt and in some moments toward the flannel pants that did little to contain the evidence of his arousal.

He lay there with a content look on his face as his lover's hands did the most incredible things to his insides. He thought that combustion was a probable outcome. How could she not notice that the ministrations of her fingers were eliciting a response of a much less playful sort? His erection was very obvious and it was almost unnerving that she seemed complacent to ignore it.

Bella gave Edward a very puzzled look probably because he had an almost pained expression on his own face, and then she took a breath as if she'd had some sort of epiphany. These sorts of moments had a tendency to be hazardous to someone's health as a general rule, and so Edward was about to stop her when he felt her hands dance along his stomach. Hot little fingers sliding over cold flesh… meant to be teasing… intended to be innocent.

Desire lanced through the young man, he felt every bit the seventeen year old now. Before he could think properly on his actions he threw the shirt over his head and sat up while he pulled the young woman to his body taking her lips in a searing almost over the line kiss. Her hands began to explore the contours of his chest, his sides, his back, in a much less playful way.

Somehow in trying to be innocent Bella had arrived at sexy. She somehow always did. Edward had known this even before letting his love start this physical demonstration, but he'd never guessed the power she held over his body.

Bella was grateful that she'd asked the question. How many times in lame television shows and movies had she seen tickling end in sex? It couldn't possibly be true, right?

Except, now that she could breath again the young woman was certain that only seconds ago her fiancée had been mostly clothed and lying away from her, now… not so much.

He was obviously enjoying their evening, and the part of him that defined his as male stood almost painfully obviously rigid under his clothes. Bella was working overtime to NOT stare at his erection. It was a little too tempting to touch… even if she was nervous.

Now, he was shirtless and only just letting her move away from him, and as she grabbed at the hem of her own tank top she wondered if it was possible that the movies had finally gotten something right?

Doubt swirled her stomach, they had never even tried to be together like this before, and it was a little scary.

Edward, for his part, felt a twisting of desire and fear that he wondered about. Could they be like this together? Was this a forbidden aspect of pre-marital relations? Was nakedness not allowed only when a man was with his wife?

"Bella… wait!" His fingers stopped her own, and the man and woman stared into each others eyes for a full minute; the man with a look of clear lust in his eyes, and a rampant erection. The woman knelt with a feeling of rejection boiling in her beating heart, and the scent of her reciprocation perfuming the air for her almost lover. They said nothing, the only other sound from the stereo that played a light almost playful etude.

They knelt, his hands holding hers at the top of her motion. He hadn't quite reached her hands in time for anything useful to happen. Her breasts were exposed and her skin was almost translucent in the moonlight. A blush shot down her alabaster body… and now he knew that it colored her beautiful chest as well.

"Slowly…" Bella's whisper lanced the almost silence of the room.

"Slowly…" Edward agreed as he tossed away her top into the uncertain night.

+_+_+_+_+_+_+

Carlisle and Esme's room:

Esme giggled and spoke in mock anger, "Why, Carlisle we're only getting to the letter C!"

"Can't we just do our favorite letters? I'm anxious to find out what happens when we get through," Carlisle traced a lone finger down the ribs of his loving wife.

They lay naked and sated on their bed, the first of many joinings over since their ascension of the stairs. They hadn't even truly waited to divest themselves of their clothing. Carlisle had taken hold of her shirt and torn it from her form somewhere in the hall, and she had done the same seconds afterward. They had stumbled mostly naked into their room.

The four poster bed was large and with the curtains drawn it was quiet and intimate despite the activities they knew were going on all over the house. They had heard what they knew to be Emmett and Rosalie breaking more furniture. They even heard Jasper and Alice promising each other to go on a holiday to somewhere with a barn… and hay. Lastly, they had slowed just in time to hear a whisper that filled them with equal parts joy and dread.

"Slowly…" Edward's voice sounded guarded, strained, and excited. Carlisle and Esme both knew that their son and his bride were still waiting to divest themselves of their purity. It was something they had agreed on. It was a known fact inside the house, but no one seemed to want to mention it, like the elephant in the room. Emmett had tried to make light of the situation, but those comments were deflected. Usually, according to Jasper those remarks had the added effect of making Edward extremely stressed out, which was not the intention, but it was injurious all the same.

"Actually… I wanted to kind of pause for a second to ask you a question," The matronly vampire admitted. "I know that you and Edward… and even Bella, have been talking intently about their after wedding plans."

"Yes, Bella's objective is on becoming one of us." The young doctor said with a small measure of worry that was laced with pride. "She wants to be a part of his life; he wants to be with her. They understand that there is no way to go backward for Edward's sake, so they will go forward for Bella's."

The two looked into each other's eyes. Amber met amber, and they both smiled. "That's not what you wanted to know about though… is it?" Carlisle questioned with a look of seriousness.

"No, not exactly," confessed the smaller woman. "I know about their deep feelings. I would never question Bella's commitment to my son; she's been such a comfort to him. I want her to be a part of this family… but Carlisle, the level of intimacy that they are going to attempt. You have to know it isn't safe. There is a reason that we don't couple with humans. Bella is so breakable. His passion for her is like yours for me. You two are so much alike despite your lack of true familial ties. I'm worried for her safety."

The young man looked at his mate and sighed as he ran his fingers through his hair in a nervous habit, "I know, Esme. However, we have to respect what they want. Edward wants to give her the consummation of their marriage before she is lost to the hunger that she will invariably fall into when she is a newborn. He is doing it for her. I know what that is like as well my love."

Carlisle put his hands against his lover's cheeks and pushed her hair back from her face. His absolute adoration clear in his eyes as he closed the distance between them once again to kiss her beautiful lips.

"I will never get used to the way you look at me Carlisle. It isn't even possible," the vampire woman admitted to her husband. "It defies all reason that you would love a nobody from Ohio."

"You aren't a nobody, Esme. You're my most important somebody. Watching Edward fall in love has only served to remind every couple in this house how lucky we truly all are. We all have our regrets, but they pale in comparison to the things that we all have together," the blonde man said with an obvious passion.

"What about Rosalie," Esme questioned with the intent to continue.

Carlisle gave his wife an ironic smile and interrupted, "Quite. She's also been thrown off her game. I'm never sure what my daughter is thinking, and if she's forced to see something other than her relationship then I think that's a positive experience."

"True, but that isn't entirely what I was talking about. She has a laundry list of reasons that Edward's fiancée shouldn't embrace this life. What if the realization that she'll be left without certain… opportunities, is only reached too late," the matriarch worried aloud.

"You are speaking of the children that I cannot give you," the man whispered brokenly.

His lover immediately drew herself into her husband's arms and whispered in an equally wrecked tone, "I would never say that you and I are incomplete together… I have my children. Please Carlisle…"

With a sad look on his face he continued, "Instead you refer to the feeling that you will never get to rest… and the endlessness that you feel closing in on you from time to time."

"Carlisle, no! I…" Esme hugged herself closer still to her husband and stroked his hair.

"It's alright Esme, I understand. I have given all of you what I can. I have done my best, and honestly since I have had you in my life I've felt complete, so I cannot complain," The young doctor spoke with the barest of whispers. "We have what we have, and Edward is now complete in his life too… so I feel even more complacent to allow this.

"Maybe I am being too accommodating to Bella's desires for the sake of my son," Carlisle continued. "I admit that I would change her myself if I believed that it would bring him happiness and he was unwilling to do it himself. In fact that is the reason for his accommodation."

"Yes… I can see that. Bella asked for something, and then Edward, and then Bella," Carlisle's mate concluded. "That is the face of marriage. Adoration, belief, compromise, diligence, encouragement, fulfillment, give and take…"

"Ah, we're back to the alphabet once again?" Carlisle sighed. "Well, then let me show you my favorite word that starts with the letter C…"

Esme gave into her mate quickly lying prone to his form, waiting and willing to supply him with anything that he would want. Her whisper surprised him though when it reached his ears, "Thank you for my new daughter Carlisle. I will pray for them."

"That is all we can do. I believe in our son, now let's get back to the letter C…" Carlisle kissed down from his wife's unbeating full heart and toward her womanhood. "C…"

+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+

Edward's room:

Bella's back arched off the bed as her lover palmed the soft curve of her breast, her breath coming in pants, moans, and gasps now that he was touching her more freely. He lay beside her, his leg caught between her own.

"Breath, darling," Edward cautioned. "Look how beautiful you are!"

"Edward…" Her eyes were half-lidded and her lips were swollen. She had never felt more loved and at the same time so completely and utterly debauched. It was a perfect feeling. It was headed in exactly the right direction. They were going to have the best sex ever in a month… if they didn't fall right into sin and temptation now.

Unfortunately, Bella had also never been so completely incapable of speech. Her beautiful amber eyed god however seemed to be in a particularly poetic mood.

"Your skin, it's so soft, so warm. I have this memory of drinking hot tea after coming in from a bitter cold… it's just like that. You have the single most beautiful nipples on the planet. Did you know? They are like perfect pink buds," His voice wavered as she brushed her hand against his hip and he hissed involuntarily when that same hand purposefully brushed his arousal.

"Edward?" The poor human woman was stuck with one word per sentence, but fortunately for her Edward spoke incoherent Bella.

"Bella! Please. I don't have the restraint of a monk, and if you touch me there again I'm going to do something completely ungentlemanly," The young man admitted rather loudly.

"What if I want you to?" Bella found her voice and wished that she hadn't. What an embarrassing thing to say… especially with six other people in the house that can hear you!

Edward shivered and held her very close to his own bare chest for a second before allowing himself to speak. They had never been allowed to touch each other so unconstrained before. He had to gather his thoughts. In over eighty years he'd never had to collect himself as often as he had to have done in the last two years. It was a staggering number for a vampire.

"We promised each other our purity on our wedding… and it is as important to me as it is to you," The vampire smiled at his future wife for the space of a second and continued, "For the sake of each other's souls, and I can't possibly take any bit of a chance at heaven from you, we're going to keep that promise."

Bella nodded her head and laid it back against the pillows amidst the completely ransacked coverlet and sheets and blankets on Edward's large completely necessary bed. They had officially rolled to every point on the soft surface of the bed in their passion.

"We've been farther than we've ever attempted before. I'm happy with this. I can't believe we've come this far," the woman admitted in her lover's frigid embrace.

"I'm feeling pretty accomplished. I haven't hurt you at all have I?" The question was a quiet and fumbling admonition of her fiancé's still endless supply of worry. He ran his hand over the apple of her cheek while staring seriously into her brown eyes.

Her sigh was audible, but his lover decided to play with him instead of being short, "I think I lost a few brain cells. You know that a shortness of breath can cause brain damage."

"After your stunning come back I'm convinced that you don't suffer too greatly from that particular malady," the vampire in her arms conceded. "I assume that you don't feel discomfort anywhere else?"

The human's heart betrayed her when it thrummed quickly to double its normal speed and her voice faltered because she couldn't be sure if Edward had meant to make his double entendre or not, "I'm fine."

"If we're dedicated to figuring out what is suitable behavior and what is not, we're going to have to do some serious scientific research," Edward suggested with a lustful gleam in his eye.

Edward's amber eyes met with Bella's chocolate as she spoke quietly, "As long as it's in the name of science."

"Science is important," Edward concluded with a small smirk as he descended once again to kiss the valley between her breasts.

+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_

The Living Room:

The dimness still cloaked the empty room, but there was unquestionably life in the darkened house. Lights in some rooms were on. Voices debated and questioned each other, small whispers and even the light sound of sleeping permeated the darkness. Life went on in a place where it was supposed to be long gone.

Unquestionably the house was filled with love. It was a feeling that permeated the floors and the ceilings. Different relationships went on in the dwelling, brothers, sisters, lovers, and friends. A family lived in this home.

One lone heart beat in a house where seven existed. Soon that heart too would be silent, if everything went according to plan. Seven would become eight if everything went like it should. Nothing ever did. Alice always said that life was what happened when you make plans and she was just better at rolling with the punches.

Light would soon dawn again for the Cullen family in their forever night, but the serenity of this evening would always shine bright destroying that supposed darkness. Father to Son. Mother to Daughter. Sister to Brother. Husband to Wife. Lover to Lover. Heart to Heart. A loving family sharing together, forever in what can only be described as intimacy.