I was like a child unable to settle down on Christmas Eve. Edward had done so much for me. Saved my life, of course, but lots of people would have done the same if they'd had the chance. It was the love that he showered me with that meant the most to me. I'd finally figured out something special that I could do for him, to show him my love, and even more amazing, I'd persuaded him to allow it. I was quivering with anticipation. But I wanted to be in top form the next day. I concentrated on relaxing and on the sound of his voice softly singing in my ear, and suddenly it was morning.
Edward wasn't in bed with me. He was sitting in the rocking chair.
"Good morning." His greeting was pleasant but nothing more.
"Good morning," I said warily. "You haven't changed your mind, have you?"
"Have you changed yours?"
He smiled at my enthusiasm. "If you're sure, then OK. But I want you to have breakfast first."
I rushed through the morning routine. Edward watched me closely. I tried to calm down. This was an important moment for us. I should show that I took it seriously.
A thought struck me. "You… know how, don't you?" I asked.
He laughed. "You're blushing. So beautiful. Yes, I think I learned something about it in medical school. Maybe not the first time through, but certainly the second." I rolled my eyes at him.
Finally, we were upstairs again, on my bed. "I'm ready," I declared.
He looked straight into my eyes. "Bella," he breathed. "I want you to know that I never expected or hoped you would do this. It honestly never crossed my mind as a possibility. And you don't have to do it again. We're trying it once, and then we'll talk it over." I nodded. My mind was beginning to float away on his scent and his gaze and his voice. "I love you."
"Wait!" He froze. "Kiss me first." A slow smile spread over his face and he leaned in. His cold mouth was electrifying. I wrapped my arms around him and tried to explore the whole surface of his satiny marble lips with my mouth. When I felt completely overflowing with warmth and satisfaction, I released him. "Now I'm really ready."
His hand slid up my arm to the inside of my elbow. He was numbing my skin.
"You're sure?" he asked again. I nodded eagerly. He pressed a quick, soft kiss on my lips and turned away to concentrate on his task. "Don't look. It will hurt a little bit." He slid the needle in. "A vein. On my first try. I must have a knack for this."
Having the needle in really didn't hurt, but I was tense. I could feel the heat of my own blood flowing through the thin tube lying on my arm. "Distract me," I demanded. "Kiss me some more."
He hesitated. "You have to stay still. You don't want to jostle the needle. That will hurt and—"
"Just be careful. I won't move." He kissed my other hand, my wrist, my arm and my neck. It was extremely distracting. If only I'd had him with me at the doctor's office all those times. He glanced at the collection bag.
"That's enough," he announced. Swiftly and gently he removed the needle, taped a bandage in place and folded my arm up.
"Drink it," I urged. "Before it cools off."
He kissed me again. Then he sliced a corner of the bag so that the blood poured into the metal cup he'd brought. He lifted it to his face and inhaled deeply. Then he drank it.
I was riveted as he fell back on the bed with an expression of joy and wonder on his face. He looked glorious, fierce, angelic, heart-stoppingly beautiful. I felt ecstatic. I'd made him feel that elation.
He opened his eyes. "I have to have more," he growled. In an instant he had grabbed my shoulders and bent his head to my neck. I started laughing as I felt his lips move in a kiss.
"You didn't even tense up," he accused. "Your heart didn't accelerate at all."
"Sorry," I giggled. "Still not afraid of you."
"I am a very deadly predator," he informed me.
"I'm sure you are."
"Absolutely lethal," he stated.
"Absolutely adorable," I replied. We grinned at each other. "Did you like it?"
"Did I like it? How can you even ask?" He took a deep breath. "It's beyond words." Suddenly he looked at me anxiously. "How do you feel?"
"You're not faint or dizzy? You should drink fluids. Here—" As soon as the word was out of his mouth he'd flown through the door and returned only a bit more slowly, with a cup of juice. To mollify him, I chugged it.
"I feel perfectly fine. I feel wonderful. You had a great experience, and I made it happen."
"It was all you, Bella. Pure you. That's what makes it so wonderful." He lay back on the bed again. "I wish I could make you feel that good."
"Well, you know you could, anytime, if you didn't have those turn-of-the-previous-century ideals," I teased him.
He chuckled. "I didn't make the rules. I just try to follow the ones I haven't already shattered."
"Is it..uncomfortable for you now? Because you had some?"
"Yes," he admitted. "And no. It's hard to describe. It's many things at once. I feel satisfied, because nothing could be more fulfilling. And I want more, because it's so delicious. But I always want it, at some level. And yet at the same time, I don't feel any temptation, because I know that taking more now would hurt you, and my mind and body utterly reject that."
"Edward, I am so happy to see you like this! Please say we can do it again."
"If you are willing, I can't see why not."
"We should wait thirty days." He nodded. I guessed he had also looked up the Red Cross guidelines. A person can donate a pint every 56 days, but I'd given him just half a pint. Not enough to affect my energy level or taint his eyes.
"And as long as I want more, you'll stay human for thirty more days?"
"For a while, anyway." He pulled me into his arms.
"I'm going to hunt before I go home. Just to make sure they can't tell. OK?"
"OK," I said dreamily, relaxing against him. "You know what else makes me really happy about today?"
"I love that we have a secret."
Author's Note: This story was inspired by the song "Bleeding Love." I couldn't use that as the title because it would give too much away. I don't think Edward would really agree to this, although if I were Bella, I would have offered! I don't know if that's a sign of my love for him or my seriously twisted mind. Stephenie Meyer has explained that they can't do this because it would undermine his discipline and resolve. But I emphasized the exuberant, slightly reckless teenage boy in Edward, the one we saw in the meadow, over the controlled, serious, conscientious, mature man in Eclipse. I figure teenagers do all sorts of ill-advised things behind the backs of their elders. Maybe they did it without telling Stephenie because they knew she'd disapprove.
Please let me know what you think. It might be a little out-of-character for Edward but I hope you enjoyed it anyway.