A/N: this is an extended scene from chapter 6 (Distractions) in Breaking Dawn from Edward's POV. Plot-wise, it's set right after Bella says she wants to try college after all. This is what happens before she wakes up crying later that night. It's a sort of a companion to my other Breaking Dawn oneshot, Belong Together, but it'll make sense even if you haven't read that other piece. Spoilers to everything up to chapter 6 in Breaking Dawn.
She was finally asleep.
I was somewhat relieved by this revelation. One distraction less. Not that the heat radiating from her body was not a distraction, but there was something impossibly more distracting about her while wide awake. At least, I thought so, until our conversation began replaying itself mercilessly in my mind. She wanted to torment me. I was becoming certain of it. As if those flimsy lingerie were not enough of a torture, she was now willing to give me what I most wanted, she was willing to give me time –
I let my gaze linger for a bit too long on the dark negligee she had on, trying to ignore the way it clung to her curves so perfectly, the way her breasts were just barely visible beneath the see-through lacey front, the way the tips of her hair drooped into her cleavage. She snuggled closer to me in her sleep. I shivered as the soft material momentarily brushed against my skin.
Yes, it was torture, but I secretly admired my willpower. I would be stronger than her impatient human hormones. I was intent on keeping my word. I would never hurt her again, no matter the price. Nothing she said would convince me otherwise. She was barely coherent enough to remember the way she cried out when I first entered her, the way her face contorted in pain whenever I groped her flesh just a bit too carelessly. She wasn't awake to watch the bruises form against her ivory skin. She was in too human a bliss the next morning to be bothered by them, by what they meant.
I guessed I should be somewhat thankful – it could have been worse. One wrong move and I could crush her bones, cause some serious injury… Luckily I was too self-conscious, too intent on not killing her, so it didn't come to that. I was so sick with myself when at some point I got carried away; it was almost impossible not to when she overtook me so completely. But at the time, I was too absorbed to feel selfish. That didn't last long, though. The sight of the first bruise brought me violently back to the ground.
My attempts to distract her were pathetic to say the least, and she obviously realized what I was doing. I should have known she would come up with her own means of distraction sooner or later. My eyes narrowed as I stole another glance at the lacey material. It left very little room to imagination. I looked away with a weary sigh.
What was I supposed to do with this new request? Did she really want to go to college now, or was she so desperate she was willing to compromise again? My thoughts wandered to the further information our conversation had provided me with, those dreams that scared her. I looked down at her. Her expression was peaceful and calm, not the tortured ones I'd witnessed those first nights in her bedroom. I wished she wouldn't be so afraid. She was mine now, forever. I wouldn't let anyone harm her, let alone the Volturi.
Let alone myself.
Suddenly she jolted, gasping.
"Bella?" I whispered, just in case she had done it in her sleep. She went rigid in my arms, unmoving. She stared into the darkness, as if uncertain where she was. "Are you alright, sweetheart?"
"Oh," was all she said, breathlessly, almost as if she had just emerged from underwater.
I looked at her tenderly; then did a double take. To my horror, tears were staining her cheeks. "Bella!" I said again, louder, hoping she would snap out of it. "What's wrong?" I asked, my thoughts frantic, as I wiped as much of her tears as I could. What on earth brought on this? She was sleeping so soundly a moment ago.
"It was only a dream," she said brokenly as a sob escaped her, and the silent tears turned into an actual crying.
I tightened my arms around her, rocking her gently, soothingly, although my mind was still racing. "It's okay, love, you're fine. I'm here." I was reassuring myself more than her. "Did you have another nightmare? It wasn't real," I murmured lowly in her ear, frustrated that there wasn't more I could do to soothe her. "It wasn't real…"
"Not a nightmare," she shook her head. Her eyes sparkled with tears. "It was a good dream."
She wasn't making any sense. "Then why are you crying?"
"Because I woke up!" she rationalized brokenly before she burst into fresh sobs.
I mentally braced myself just in time, for a second later her scent washed over me as she pressed her tear-stained face to my chest. I laughed, and I hoped the nervous edge in it was inaudible to her. All this panic, for nothing! That was so… well, Bella. But she was still shaken, and literally shaking now. I stroked her hair slowly. "Everything's alright, Bella. Take deep breaths."
All of which was futile. She was still sobbing uncontrollably. "It was so real… I wanted it to be real…"
"Tell me about it," I commanded softly, somewhat unwillingly, half-dreading what else I might uncover tonight with her reply. "Maybe it will help."
She tore her face from my chest, letting her eyes meet mine. I had never seen her more vulnerable. "We were on the beach…"
I waited. She said nothing further. "And…?"
But instead of speaking, she broke down again. "Oh, Edward…"
I couldn't take it. There was so much anguish in her voice, in her expression, in the way she was clinging to me. If those were not unbearable enough, it pained me even more to know that it was me who was somehow inflicting it. "Tell me, Bella."
I saw the answer in her eyes mil-second before her lips crushed against mine.
There was a certain edge to that kiss, new and yet not entirely unfamiliar. There was no desire there, or lust, just pure need. Her arms locked around my neck in a desperate way I had never thought her capable of before. I struggled to maintain every bit of my crumbling willpower as her lips continued their determined assault on mine. I wanted this too, more desperately than I cared to admit. She was driving me mad by simply leaning so close. The lace of her nightgown grazed against my skin ever so slightly over and over again. This was how drunkenness felt like; I was certain. Never in my life had I felt so lightheaded, so intoxicated. Her blood rushed through her veins, distracting me further. It was so easy to just give in and kiss her back… But I had to be stronger than that. I had to resist this, to resist her. I would never hurt her again.
Hating myself for inflicting impossibly greater pain by rejecting her, I pushed her off. "No, Bella," I said, grabbing a handful of the sheets with my fist, resisting her with all my might. A memory of another night flashed through me, not too long ago, when she had finally agreed to be my wife. I remembered it fondly now; her attempt to seduce me then was innocent, endearing, somewhat ironic even. But now was different. We were married. It shouldn't have come to this. I was her husband. I shouldn't deny this from her. It wasn't right.
She stared at me silently, those horrible tears spilling uncontrollably now. This was worst yet – consciously causing her pain, and having to watch as it happened. This was agony.
"I'm sorry," she mumbled brokenly.
I held back an incredulous laughter. She was sorry! I pressed her to my chest again, holding my breath as her scent hit my nostrils full force. I wasn't as equally immune to her heat. No, it would take more than holding my breath against that. And as if to prove my point, the tips of her hair brushed against my bare arms just then, sending light electric jolts through me. I held back a moan. My entire body was on edge. Every tiny bit of the situation was about to set me off; I was ready to lose it, but I couldn't. This was hell. "I can't, Bella, I can't."
"Please?" she asked, raising her eyes to meet mine again. Hers were smoldering, liquid chocolate, glossy with tears. It was that old trick, one I was initially accused of. I wondered how quickly we switched roles. Things went incredibly wrong. Somehow she was dazzling me. "Please, Edward?"
I didn't know if it was the tremble in her voice, or those horrible tears, or that tone I was always at loss against. Perhaps I just needed it as much as she did. Suddenly, I didn't want to resist her anymore; I was weary of fighting off my instincts. I brought her face closer to mine almost aggressively, kissing her hard. She gasped into the kiss, as if she was caught off-guard, but she didn't pull away. Her arms slipped from my neck; her fingers tangled in my hair, locking me in place. She shifted a bit so she was straddling me, practically sitting on my lap.
I didn't recognize the groan as my own. But once I did, I knew that there was no going back.
I slid my hands up her legs, along her thighs, her sides, her breasts, stopping at none. She pressed herself against my hands without breaking the kiss, releasing my hair as her own hands traced a dangerous path down my chest. I pulled away then just to press my lips against her collarbone. Her pulse was running wild, and despite the steady burn down my throat, there were greater needs to be fulfilled at the moment, hunger of a different sort. I traced kisses to her shoulder, biting the thin strap of her dark negligee, resisting the urge to tear it off altogether with my teeth. Instead, I brought my hands to her hips and grabbed a handful of lace. A ripping noise disrupted the tensed silence in the room; the material fell silently to the floor. My lips crashed against hers again. I ignored the alarm bells in my head as I let my hands roam across every bit of exposed skin. I made up my mind, and there was no stopping me now. I was able to keep this up without hurting her. I would hurt her further by denying this from her, from myself.
The remainder of our clothes soon met a similar destiny to her discarded nightgown. She was now lying against the pillows. I tore my eyes away from the yellowing bruises and set them on her face. Her eyes – no longer tearful – were gazing at me with wonder.
"I'll never make you unhappy again," I vowed, leaning towards her.
This time made all the difference in the world.
There was no dread on first contact, but that was half cheating on my side because I covered her lips with mine when I thrust myself into her, swallowing any possible outcry. The tiniest notion of pain on her side would make me stop, but there was none. And now when I was somewhat reassured I wasn't hurting her, it was easier to understand why she had wanted it so desperately.
The feeling was indescribable.
She whimpered when I pulled out slowly, teasingly, only to bury myself deeper within her. I didn't trust myself not to leave bruises on her already bruised skin, so I grabbed the bed-board over her head, only to hear it snap a while later. She didn't even seem to notice. Her eyes were clouded with desire, darker than I had ever seen them before, as she begged me to never stop, to go faster. All the while I felt her tightening around me, coming closer. I tried to delay my own release although it was coming fast, remembering all too well how incredible it felt when we got there together.
This way, with her body wrapped around me, her hips meeting each of my thrusts, her lips colliding against mine, strange serenity washed over me, catching me somewhat off-guard in the intensity of the moment. Was that how completion felt? If not, I guessed it came fairly close. I wasn't used to not getting things my way, especially not in matters where Bella was concerned, but I didn't dwell on it now because I didn't care. If I surrendered now it was because I couldn't lie to myself any longer, couldn't deny the yearn that surged through me. Yes, it was surrender, but one which I embraced because it brought me closer to the girl – the woman – I so desperately loved.
It was easy now, when I knew what to expect. I wouldn't last much longer. I glanced down at Bella, kissing her almost apologetically as I thrust harder into her, my lips leaving hers only to cry out her name as we exploded.
My body went rigid, and for a long moment I kept my eyes closed and just reveled at her closeness, fire against ice, as I listened to our ragged breath, slowly steadying. Then, reluctantly, I slowly opened my eyes to assess the damage. She was still sweaty and shaking, but her dazed eyes were searching mine. She didn't look hurt, or in pain. And still I couldn't help questioning her. "Are you alright?"
She seemed to have a difficulty in getting her breathing under control, but when she did, she flashed a weary grin at me. "Are you kidding me?"
I smiled. That was all I needed to know.