Written for the Love Bites challenge at part_of_him on Livejournal

The way that she bit her lower lip was positively infuriating.

Always to be blocked, not having access to her every thought, was something that he had learned to deal with, as it was something that was beyond either of their controls. She couldn't let him hear her mind just as he couldn't stop himself from hearing everybody else's. It was a cruel joke that fate played with him, not to hear the one person's voice that he most wanted; part of his debt and repayment to be certain. Just like the mythic Tantalus he was always to be within reach but unable to touch of what he desired most.

But when she did that – biting her lip – that was when the missing thoughts most bothered him. To be that close, just a whisper away from knowing what just behind her heavenly brown eyes was torment; much like the rest of her. Those were the thoughts she was purposely hiding from him making everything all the more frustrating.

With one bite of that lip he could become undone.

Seeing her make that motion was her tell, her most human tic, giving away her cards at the table. The moment the he saw that look cross her face, he knew that it was all over for both of them.

The thoughts always tumbled out eventually, and whatever it was that she was to ask for, to suggest, she would get, unequivocally. When she bit that bottom lip, Edward knew he would lose. Or win. He really was never quite sure which one, even after an answer had been given. Either way, it was never something that he thought was a good idea.

She knew it, too.

Sometimes the thoughts were silly, and she was embarrassed by her own foolishness. These were the easiest to answer, but he didn't like them as they often represented just another barrier that stood between them. Things that one vampire wouldn't need to ask another, things that wouldn't have needed to be asked if he too were a typical 17 year old high school student.

Right at the beginning of their relationship, it all came crashing down, clear as day, the vastness of their differences appeared as something small. She didn't know that his kind didn't sleep. A vampire wouldn't have needed to ask, because of course they didn't and a human wouldn't have asked, because of course they did. The biological differences between them should have been enough to keep him away from her.

They never were.

All of their differences just kept pulling him closer to her, wanting to keep her safe from his world and still let him be a part of hers.

It was an hourly battle of the impossible.

Sometimes the thoughts were about Jacob. Those thoughts she hid in attempt to keep him from being upset, but that upset him further. After the night he had spent with her in his arms, shedding tear after tear over Jacob Black there was nothing he wanted more then to alleviate any emotional pain that he could. He knew that she was concerned about his whereabouts and his well being since he had escaped from La Push, but she continued to pretend that she wasn't, trapping those thoughts behind those lips.

That bitten lip showed her pain, her mourning. She loved him and she missed him, the Jacob that she had known, and now even the Jacob that he had become and she still loved had gone away and left.

Just like he had.

Seeing that lip, seeing how much the loss of the dog had affected her simply reminded him even further that he was the cause, the entire reason that it had all happened, the mess that they all had become. Even with Bella safe and happy, betrothed with the wedding on its way, he couldn't help but think about what her life could have been like had he never crossed her path, spinning her into the supernatural.

She would have probably been better off, and he would have never known any different.

Sometimes the thoughts were about her becoming like him and these were the most painful for him to think about. The wedding was slowly edging closer, and her self imposed deadline of her humanity was almost up. He knew that he would have to live up to his end of the arrangement eventually, whether he would be able to persuade her to extend her time as a human or not. It was inevitable, and nothing frightened him more. The possibilities of disaster were endless. Killing her was actually the least of his concerns. Despite what she said, he constantly worried about after. All the 'what ifs' plagued him endlessly through the night as he watched her sleep. What if she regretted her choice, blaming him and hated him for what she had become? What if when she really understood what they were she would want nothing to do with him?

Forever was an inconceivable amount of time for a human. Committing to it wasn't something she could truly guarantee. She worried about him not liking her the same way, about him not finding her attractive once the scent of her blood dissipated. She didn't consider what his greatest fear was. What if she no longer wanted him?

He was terrified of his world falling off its axis.

And sometimes the thoughts were more… intimate in nature. Those were growing ever more frequent and were the hardest to push away, as there was nothing that he wanted to fulfill more, yet was unable to give her fully. Simply seeing her trap her lip between her teeth made him lust for her further, only emphasizing another thing which he wanted and could not have. Such a sensuous action made him want to replace her teeth with his own lips, caress that lower lip and tug her closer into him. It is then that he finds it difficult to reign in his control and not to throw her down and have his way with her, to finally please them both. The biting of that lip made him yearn for her uncontrollably.

He was quickly turning into Pavlov's dog. He began to ache with want of seeing her bite that lip.

Edward had grown use to the battle between the man and the beast, but this was different. Now he was trying to sedate the struggle between the physical man and the mental man, and he never thought that the physical man would put up such a valiant fight, tossing the vampire in him aside like it was an unwanted toy. That lip made him crave her body far more then he ever wanted her blood.

And he couldn't give in to either tempting desire.

He thought about it most when she was sleeping, when her thoughts cascaded from her lips uncensored. They weren't always complete, but the message behind them was clear, and when she was sleeping, she didn't bite down on that infernal lip. She wanted him. Badly. Not as much as he wanted her, Edward was sure, but it was strong for a human. Hearing her moans, smelling her desire, it was overwhelming. He often found himself having to detangle himself from her arms and leave the room, prowling the Swan house in the dark, like the creature of the night that he was.

It was too much to handle.

He just wanted to take her as his.

He wondered what would happen when she was like him. As a vampire, she wouldn't feel the need to make such an action, no reflex to do something so small and pointless would exist, she would have to make the conscious decision to do the movement. Would he be less able to read her moods and expressions? So much of how they related was based on his ability to watch her face and decipher what he was missing behind her eyes, search out the missing puzzle piece.

He'd figure her out again, relearning her piece by piece.

Then he would take her as his.

As much as it drove him crazy, he hoped it lingered behind. It made him frustrated, hate her and love her all at once. It was what made her Bella, and that was what he wanted most.

Forever was a long time, but without her it all seemed rather pointless.