I don't know if I'd ever been more nervous in my life as I was now. At least not about talking to Carlisle. He and I had always had a close relationship. He was my father. And he was my friend. He'd helped me get through many struggles through the last ninety years and had given me a flawless example.
I stopped outside his office door. We were alone in the house, which was rare. The girls, including Esme, had all gone shopping with Bella. Jasper and Emmett were out hunting. They'd asked me to go with them but I said no. I'd hunt later. I was still in control. I could wait. I needed to talk to Carlisle. I needed to talk to my father. I needed his advice, his help.
He could hear me. I knew. I heard him close the book he'd been reading as I approached. He was waiting. I could hear his thoughts. They were curious. Taking a breath I didn't need, I knocked.
Come in Edward.
I opened the door. He sat at his desk with his legs crossed, his book lying closed on the desk beside him. I took two steps into the room without bothering to close the door behind me. We were alone, not that a closed door would matter in a house full of vampires.
He didn't say anything as he waited for me to speak. I could hear the question in his thoughts, the concern. I could see the reflection of my distraught face through his mind. Still he waited, his mind open, blank. Carlisle was the most patient person I knew.
After several minutes I spoke. "Bella has agreed to marry me."
"I know." Carlisle said with a little smile. "Congratulations." When I remained silent he became concerned and spoke again, "That is the right sentiment is it not?"
"Yes." I quickly agreed. "Thank you," I said more quietly. Then I grew silent again and this time he asked in his mind, What's wrong Edward? Is Bella…?
I took another deep breath I didn't need. "It's both of us actually." He waited for me to explain. "I told you about our deal. That I agreed to be the one to change her if…if she married me." He nodded.
This was much harder than I ever dreamed it would be. How did you talk to your father about your sex life? But I trusted Carlisle and I knew he would be honest with me. He'd tell me the truth even if it wasn't something I wanted to hear.
"Bella wants to do something before her change." I paused. "And I have agreed." He continued to wait. I couldn't put it off any longer. "Bella wants us to try to be…intimate."
As soon as the words left my mouth I heard his intake of breath and his thoughts started to race. She wants to have sex Edward?
While she's still human?
I nodded again. His thoughts were much calmer than my own. There were so many at once but one stood out, Dangerous for her. "I know," I said and he refocused on me once again, controlling his thoughts.
"Yes," I said simply. It was all I could say. I was still having trouble believing I'd agree to this myself. I wanted her more than anything but I was scared to death I would hurt her. That wasn't exactly accurate. I would die if I hurt her.
After another minute of silence he asked. "What can I help you with Edward? I'm sure you already know the dangers…"
"Yes I know. I have thought of that. It's been on my mind ever since I agreed." I paused again. "I need to know what to expect Carlisle. I need to be prepared as best I can." I looked him directly in the eye now. "I don't want to hurt her. I can't hurt her."
"Edward," Carlisle began. If anyone can do this, you can. "As for what you should expect…well…it is a very powerful thing. It is like nothing else, very powerful. Physical love is not something you should treat lightly." Out of habit he shifted in his chair. Carlisle acted so human. It had become so natural to him, he didn't even think about it anymore. "As you know, as vampires, our temperaments rarely change. Strong emotions can alter us in permanent ways." He paused for a second and a small smile crossed his face as he continued. "Of course you do not have to worry about that. Bella has already altered you so completely."
Neither of us said anything for a long time. Finally I asked, "So you think this is possible? That I can do this without hurting her, killing her?"
Yes. "As I said, it will not be easy for you to control yourself, Edward but… What you have already overcome with Bella is amazing. Hold on to the control you've gained over the past two years and you will be fine." I have faith in you.
I nodded. "Thank you Carlisle."
Carlisle nodded back. You're welcome son.
I turned and left the room, closing the door behind me. I heard Carlisle pick up his book again and his thoughts turned back to the words on the page. My thoughts were on Bella, only Bella. Could we do this and her not get hurt? I hoped so. I want to be with her as much as she wants to be with me. Please let Carlisle be right.