A/N Thanks to all of you who came back to this story and read part one of the epilogue. Your support and readership means the world to me, your forgiveness for having the story on hiatus for such a long time, even more.

Are you ready for part 2?

Good. I'll let you read and tell you what I have planned at the end.


Warning: This story contains material meant for adult readers only. This chapter has not been beta'd. I'm flying solo and as such there are most likely errors. Please forgive the small ones, but feel free to point out any large ones. Thank you.

Defrosting Edward

Honeymoon Epilogue Part 2


. . . . . .

It was the perfect honeymoon. Was. Past tense. It doesn't feel perfect now. I don't feel perfect now. In fact, I feel pretty awful.

Wandering into the living room, I straighten colourful couch cushions that don't need straightening and refold an already flawlessly folded blanket.

I look at the clock on the wall. Edward has been gone for three hours, and in that time I've tidied, straightened, and scrubbed clean every surface in every room. Not one thing I did was necessary, and the beach house looks the same now as it did before I went on a scouring rampage.

I'm hot and sweaty, and I need a shower. Instead, I make my way outside and down to the beach, picking my way carefully around washed up shells and stones. The sand is hot and burns the bottoms of my bare feet. I take the punishment as my due, blinking back tears that have nothing to do with the searing sensation and everything to do with what happened three hours ago.

Cooling my toes in the wet sand closer to the water's edge, I take a deep breath and dig my fingernails into my palms. The little sting grounds me and helps me get my emotions under control. I will not cry like a child, I tell myself. I just...won't.

What I will do is accept responsibility for my actions like an adult and figure out the best way to apologize to my husband.

Closing my eyes against endless blue skies and blue water, I breathe slowly. The air I draw in smells like salt and fish, the clean unmistakable scent of ocean mingling with the remnants of coconut-papaya sunscreen and...sex.

I smell like sex, or more accurately sex with Edward. I should shower. When he comes back—and I know he will come back, no matter how upset he is—it might be better if I don't smell like a reminder of something that upset him enough to make him leave in the first place.

Spinning on my heel, I choose to head away from the house and the shower I really should take, needing time to get my thoughts in order.

I'm so...torn.

My mind replays events as I move through the lapping edges of small waves, ignoring the way the wet sand sucks at my toes and heels.

The last three days have been so wonderful. Even Edward's insistence that I rest and take it easy after our wedding night and subsequent morning hasn't put a complete damper on things. He declared a moratorium on sex, wanting me to—in his words—'heal.' Luckily though, his ban only applied to actual intercourse. That left enough wiggle room for plenty of toe-curling, breath-stealing orgasms, for both of us, though as usual he's been generous to a fault and mine have definitely outnumbered his.

We've also lounged on the beach, gone for short walks to see sea turtles and island flora and fauna, swam and snorkeled and took the boat to the other side of the island to see a gorgeous waterfall and pristine lagoon.

Edward's cooked, and I've eaten. We've played chess and checkers and endless card games I inevitably lost, though I did best him once at Go Fish. There have been late night movies that we only half-watched—somewhere in the first half hour one of us always lost interest, and a soft touch or kiss would lead to more touches, more kisses. Pretty soon, clothes were scattered on the floor, and Edward would show me creative new ways to touch me and make my toes curl.

I wanted more, and so did he. It was impossible to be fully satisfied now that we knew what it was like to be together completely. I wanted more of that, and I knew he did, too. I never pushed, though. I understood the validity of his ban. The sooner I healed, the sooner we could be together again. I was so curious and excited to experience fully making love with Edward without any discomfort, I found the patience to wait.

It was all perfect, that is until I decided we waited long enough. My mind drifts back. Though a part of me doesn't want to think about it, I can't help it...

I woke up this morning, feeling good. The stiffness in my muscles was gone, the few small bruises on my skin faded and yellowy. The insides of my thighs did not ache, and the soreness between them was a thing of the past. I wanted my husband. but I knew he would want to err on the side of caution and wait a few more days. So I set out to seduce him.

I took extra time in the shower and shaved carefully and thoroughly. I fixed my hair and braided it, because I knew he wouldn't be able to resist taking it back out, preferring my hair loose and free. Then I dug through my suitcase until I found the smallest, most scandalous bikini Alice had packed for me, and I put it on. A see-through gauzy white cover-up finished it off before I went out to meet Edward on the beach.

It seemed to go well. His eyes widened when he saw me, then he smirked and shook his head. I tried to play innocent, but he just laughed and drew me close, kissing that place beneath my ear that always makes me shiver before whispering, "You're beautiful, little temptress, but you have to be patient."

I pouted at the rebuff, then simply upped my game, asking for sunscreen application and dropping the cover-up that covered nothing. His eyes darkened, and I felt powerful.

It went to my head.

I never should have let it go to my head, but how could I not?

I stood there, feeling his hands on me, and I'd remembered every minute of what it had been like to have him inside of me. I remembered how he'd breathed and groaned. I remembered how he'd said my name like a prayer, like a benediction. I remembered that I'd made him come undone, completely, utterly, and I was high on that memory.

Maybe Edward remembered, too. He definitely reacted to me, and with the very physical encouragement tenting the thin fabric of his swim shorts, I only got higher.

I watched his jaw clench and those dark eyes take in every inch of my body, lingering on the small triangle that barely covered the swell of my sex, the thin strip of fabric he couldn't see that ran between the cheeks of my bottom, baring me completely for his eyes and his hands. I moaned like a wanton when he touched me, smoothing lotion over my skin and over my bare ass, and then, I went too far.

I looked at him over my shoulder. I smiled. And then...I ran.

I felt the wind in my face and the sun on my skin, and I laughed as I headed for the jungle's edge that began at the left side of the beach house. There was a path there that led into thicker and thicker growth. I looked back over my shoulder expecting to see Edward behind me, smiling, ready to catch me with too-fast ease. Instead, I saw him frozen where I left him.

I should have known. I realize now, that his posture was anything except playful, but I didn't.

Caught up in the teasing game, I turned back and ran faster, wondering if maybe it would be possible to put enough distance between us that he might actually have to put effort into finding me. I could see a tight grouping of tangled brush and exotic bushes dotted with little purple and white flowers, and I thought I could hide. I thought about the laughter and hot wet kisses that would follow him finding me. I nearly tripped, and then...

I felt air under my feet, forward motion that was too fast and sucked the breath out of my lungs in a squeal of surprise. I was still laughing, even when I felt myself spinning in mid-air, then coming to a sudden stop, my back against a tree. The last of my air came out, this time in a squeak of discomfort as the force made me exhale hard in a whoosh.

Edward wasn't laughing, and he didn't look playful. He looked dark, predatory. He pinned me to that tree with the weight of his body and growled. I should have tried to soothe him. I should have said...something, but I was mesmerized as he dropped his head to my neck and bared his teeth with a hiss. I remembered too late the warnings.

Never run from a predator. It triggers their instinct to hunt and kill.

"Edward." My mouth was dry, and I swallowed, managing to say his name quietly, striving to sound calm though my heart was racing out of control. His head snapped up, and I saw him fighting. I should've tried to reason with him. I knew I needed to apologize for running. I thought to calm him with light touches and soft reasoning, but I didn't. Instead, ruled by some instinct of my own, excited by the short chase and the thrill that made me run in the first place, I reached up, tangled my fingers in the hair at the nape of his neck, pushed up on tiptoe, rubbing our oh-so-close bodies together in the action. I kissed him, hard, with tongue, darting it out to lick along the tight seal of his mouth.

I expected him to pull away, but he surprised me. Hard cold hands, less than gentle, gripped my waist and yanked me up and closer. Off my feet it was instinct to wrap my legs around him as he suddenly kissed me back, roughly. I felt his mouth grind against mine. I felt his tongue lick past my lips and flick like a small sweet-stinging whip over my teeth and palate. His cold breath swamped my airways and made my head spin. I still felt the bikini shred.

The g-string dug into tender flesh, a little bite of pain that should have scared me yet somehow did the opposite.

This is Edward losing control, I thought to myself, and I wanted it. I wanted him, like this, even though a part of me knew this was dangerous. I was willing to risk it. I was willing to risk everything...

And then, he was inside of me. It was abrupt, hard, and it hurt. For a second it shocked me, made me come back to my senses enough to realize he wasn't breathing, wasn't touching me in any way except where our bodies connected, inside and out. His jaw was clenched iron tight, and I could hear his teeth grinding, like metal plates. It made a sound; a quiet muffled screech that made me blink. The tree supported my weight, and the bark was rough on my skin. I heard it cracking and snapping, and I realized Edward's clawed fingers were burrowing into it. I heard the pattering sound of chips of wood falling onto the ground.

I grabbed Edward's biceps, curling my fingers around them hard, though my hands made no impression on his skin or on his mood. His eyes snapped open, centered on mine. They were black, completely. I should have been terrified, or at least repentant. Instead, I melted, around him, over him. Liquid heat bloomed where we joined, and I softened, molded. Pain faded and the bite of pleasure reared its presence.

Oh, God, I wanted him. To move, to take, to have all of me. I shouldn't have, I know now, but then, in that moment, I couldn't help myself...

My hips flexed, and though I didn't have any real room to move, Edward felt it. We both did.

Heat flared between us. The sweat on my skin and the warmth of my body warmed him, especially where he was inside of me. He still wasn't breathing, but he made a noise with whatever air he had left and then he moved, inside of me, against me. It was hard, punishing, though I recognized that some part of him had control because otherwise he would have done real damage. As it was, all I truly felt was a dull ache as he found the end of me and butted the head of his erection against it, then the harsh fast drag as he pulled back, almost all the way. My body, my sex, clutched, trying not to lose him. The sound I made was desperate and needy.

He pushed back in, fast and hard. Then out, then in, then out... Dragging, fast-paced, hard, almost punishing thrusts that pushed my back into the tree and stretched the muscles in my thighs and calves till they burned as I tried to hold onto him. And through it all, I felt the most incredible heat and pleasure. The little bites of discomfort couldn't stop it. In fact, it seemed to make it better in some weird way. I wanted more, and I arched as my nails tried to dig into him.

His lips twisted in a tight grimace while the pleasure swarmed me. It made me want to close my eyes. Something warned me against being that vulnerable, and God, I wanted to watch him.

"More," I heard myself say, though the voice didn't really sound like me. Needy, my throat parched, it sounded deeper, huskier.

He gave me more, and I should have regretted asking except the new pace and harder thrusts just fuelled the fire raging in me. Something big began to build, my stomach clenching, my tight, burning thighs shaking. Every time Edward pushed in, he drove against a spot inside that made me see stars. Every time he pulled back, he hit that spot again and again. I couldn't think, though I could hear a keening sound, like a cry, only longer, sharper.

I didn't realize it was me until now...

Edward's hands stayed on the tree.

I didn't realize that until now either. All I knew, all I felt, was him...and us...

My heart pounded. I felt myself racing towards something. I thought maybe I was going to come, something that had eluded me the first few times we made love, but it felt too big, too dangerous. It ached and it burned and it was so damn good I could barely stand it. I arched my back again and lifted my hips. The movement aligned me closer with Edward so that every thrust of his pelvis hit mine, ground against it, against that spot that throbbed and ached for touch, and suddenly I didn't think I might come, I knew I would.

The pleasure pulsed, and I needed it, the release, or I was going to combust, go up in flames and turn to dust because it wasn't possible to sustain this much sensation. I didn't know how much of it hurt and how much felt good. I thought maybe it was equal. Maybe...

Edward snarled, but the sound was soft, lost, because I knew he didn't have any more air. He still wasn't breathing. It didn't stop him from moving, from continuing to take me. And that's what it was. A taking. It wasn't making love. It was something darker, more primal. I knew he was fighting instincts that went beyond what I could understand fully.

I should've cared, but I didn't, and he didn't stop. He didn't pull away. I knew he felt what I felt, though even then while my mind was disintegrating under the force of my impending release, I knew he didn't want it the way I did.

I tried to stop myself from coming. Some sane part of my mind told me I would regret it later, but it was too late, and Edward was pushing me, taking me higher and higher until I shattered like a sun gone supernova.

It was bliss and pain mixed. Sharp sensation so raw and forced it made me scream even as it spilled the hottest bliss through my veins. I pulsed around him, squeezing hard, and through the haze my eyes fell closed. I heard Edward drag in air and curse. I felt him shake. I heard him say my name, and it was rough but no less sweet than the way he'd said it last time he had been inside of me, every time he'd been inside of me...

I felt him come. Felt the way he throbbed inside me, the way he went still and the pulsing coolness that filled me, coinciding perfectly with the sharp crunching of wood.

Behind me, the tree fell and only Edward's arms and speed saved us both from being crushed by the massive weight that toppled forwards.

I blink and focus back on what's currently around me. I watch waves curl. I've drifted far down the beach and can't see the house anymore. I sit in the wet sand, feeling the water soak my shorts and underwear as I curl my arms around my lower legs and put my head down, resting my hot forehead against the knobby bones of my knees.

The sting of tears presses hard against my eyelids. I push them back, remembering how Edward put me down at the edge of the tree line, close to the beach house...

He took off his shirt, the one I then realized he never took off, and pulled it roughly over my head, covering my nakedness. I reached for him but he stepped back. His eyes were still dark, though not as much as before. He growled a sound that I took as a warning, making me drop my hands to my side.

"Are you hurt?" It was a sharp-voiced question, angry as much as it was inquisitive.

I tried to take stock of the little aches and pains, the dull but insistent throb between my legs in my most tender place. I was still scattered, still feeling the last little pulses of my pleasure, but no, I managed to say. "I'm not hurt."

I tried to take a step closer. In response, he took one back and glared at me. "Don't," he snapped, and it was quiet but brittle with fury. "Bella do you have any idea...any idea at all how stupid you just were." He said 'stupid' with sneering inflection, and his disdain made me wince.

"You're upset," I replied dumbly. "Don't be, I'm fi..."

"If you value my sanity, do not say the word fine to me."


He reached out and grasped my shoulders. His grip was tight and almost punishing. I knew he wanted to shake me, though I knew just as well that he wouldn't.

"I'm sorry," I started to say, though I was still flustered and reeling and not entirely sure what I was sorry for.

He cut me off. "You have no idea how sorry you should be." He stepped back again, dropping his hands that despite the cold hardness of his grip I instantly missed. "Go in the house. Get dressed in something that actually covers you."

I blushed and started to protest, despite the sting of that order. Edward spun me around in the direction he wanted me to go. I felt banished. Pushed away. Worse yet, I felt ashamed. I tried one last time to talk to him, but when I turned around, he was gone.

I was alone. No sign of him anywhere, not even footprints in the sand leading away from me.

Lifting my head from my knees, I look around again and see that I'm still alone. Only my footprints mar the pristine beach.

Maybe I deserve to be alone right now, I'm not sure. The small rush of shame I felt when Edward left, has grown. All the pleasure I felt is gone. Now I just feel raw and sad and exactly what he called me. 'Stupid.' I trek slowly back to the house and find it still empty.

In the shower I scrub until my skin is pink, tender and thin feeling, then I dress in clothes too hot for this weather. Baggy sweat pants and a big t-shirt that Alice somehow knew to put in the bottom of the suitcase. The fabric swallows me up and hides me, a stark contrast to the outfit I wore earlier. I yank out the braid I took such care with, not minding at all that my scalp hurts when I'm done. Then I make my way to the living room and sit in the corner, curling up in a chair to wait for Edward to come home to me so I can try and make things right again.

. . . . . .

I can't get far enough away. I race to the east side of the island and scale the cliffs to the highest peak, then I dive down to the thick, near-violent cresting waves crashing against the bluff and swim to the west side. The island isn't big enough to run away from myself. Neither is the world or the Universe. If I thought it would be, I might leave the island all together.

Ire at Bella has given way to my true feelings; rage at myself. Not just for what I did to her against that tree, taking her like an animal, nearly losing myself to an ingrained monstrous instinct to drink from her, but also for the way I spoke and behaved after.

When she needed comfort and care, I gave her the sharp side of my tongue and the brunt of my blame, foisting it on her when she deserved so little of it.

I think about the way she came out of the house, looking so incredibly sexy and sweet, smiling and confident and playful, so beautiful she took my breath away. And I think about the way she moved, sure and sultry and with only the tiniest trace of the under confident, clumsy girl who stole my heart. I was awed by her, proud of her, even as I tried to steal myself against what I could clearly see was an attempt at seducing me into breaking my no intercourse edict until she was fully healed from the loss of her innocence.

I was caving anyway. I wanted it as much as she did. Still, I was determined to last twenty-four more hours—one more day to allow her to recover, one more day to watch the small bruises fade and see her walk with less care for sore muscles and sorer, tender, feminine insides. Her sweetest place had accepted me, but at a cost. I vowed the next time I made love to her would be pain free.

I was holding my own, enjoying her teasing seduction as I applied sunscreen to her soft curves and sweet crevices. I was thinking that I was prepared to give her something more. I'd made the decision to give her time to heal not only in deference to her soreness, but also out of fear that her impossibly tender sex could have abrasions and tears that could spell disaster if they came in contact with my venom. I knew my ejaculate contained only trace elements that were most likely too weak to envenomate her and change her, but I wasn't prepared to take chances. Likewise, I pleasured her in these last three days only with my hands, knowing that the venom in my mouth if it were to come in contact with even the tiniest of abrasions would instantly guarantee a painful transition that would end this honeymoon on a disastrous note.

I was confident though that today I could make love to her with my mouth without fear. I was looking forward to laying her out in the sun and warmth on the blanket I brought and sating myself, gorging myself, on her sweetness and pleasure. I was hard at the very idea, as I'd missed the way she writhed under my lips and tongue, the singular way she trembled and cried out my name when I brought her to climax against my mouth. I craved the erotic, sweet-slippery taste of her pleasure, her hands that would clench in my hair so hard. I wanted her thighs trembling against my cheeks and jaw as she rode out her climaxes, lifting her pretty hips and ass, rubbing herself against me, lost as she comes for me, repetitively...

And then Bella did something I never expected. She looked at me, eyes dancing with mischief, and then...she ran.

Perhaps if I hadn't been fantasizing about laying her out and devouring her with my mouth, I might have resisted the impulse that screamed at me to chase and catch what was mine.

Perhaps if I didn't have her remembered flavor teasing my mind with memories so strong of other times I'd loved her that way, so that I swore I could actually taste her, I might have resisted.

Perhaps if I wasn't so starved for her, so wanting of what she was trying to coax from me, maybe...

But I was all of those things, and above all else, I'm cursed. I am a predator, and she is—despite all my love and utter adoration—my natural prey.

She ran.

I chased.

I heard her laugh and felt her excitement in the air she displaced to lash back against me. I sucked it up as I ran and it fueled me. I tasted her arousal, hot and musk-earth-freesia, and I wanted her.

She was mine and instinct roared at me. I battled it as I ran. I battled it as I caught. I battled it as her startled eyes looked at me from her pinned-to-a-tree position and her heart raced sending surprise and newer, sharper, arousal-laced pheromones swirling around us.

It was sex and the raw need I felt to stake a claim as her mate that saved her—us—from the darker side of my nature, and I used it like an anchor in my storm of insanity.

I used it, and I used her. It was all I could do to temper my strength, to keep from driving into her so deep I could have split her in half. If she'd fought me, if she'd struggled...

But no, I can't think of that. She didn't fight me. Of course she didn't. She opened herself, and I buried deep, and she took, and I gave. She accepted, I demanded more.

I hate what I did, and yet... I can still feel her. Her heat, her silky wet sex so tight like a vise around me, her acceptance, her love, her shocking, sexy, panting cry for more. She should have been terrified. I know what I look like in that frame of mind. Dark eyes, darker soul peering out at the world from its encasement of white, cold flesh.

She didn't fear me, she wanted me. She held me and gave me herself even though I was as far from tender or loving as a male can get. I was brutal, and I took, and she not only let me but accepted me, gave back to me, responded to me.

She came for me. Her first release with me inside of her and I did nothing to deserve it. I did nothing to praise her for the gift of it that allowed me to hold onto my control even through my own roaring release.

And what did I leave her with afterwards? Sneering accusation and insults.

Deeply ashamed, I hang my head and roar my regrets until the ground beneath me vibrates and the trees above me rattle and drop green life-filled leaves that don't deserve the early death I give them.

When my throat feels rough, I stop and heave out a last hiss. With a heavy heart, I head back to my reason for existing, hoping she'll accept my apologies and let me earn her forgiveness.

. . . . . .

I keep thinking about the last three days as I sit and watch out the windows, hoping for Edward, needing Edward.

He's been so generous. He could have said no sex and cut me off entirely, but he didn't. Instead, he's touched me and cherished me, showing me how much he loves me and my body, over and over.

I think about our second night on the island, remembering the bath Edward and I took together.

He ran the water for me, and then brought me a glass of white wine. It was perfectly chilled and tasted so good.

"Come in with me?" I asked, trying to be seductive. I wanted to make love with him. Though I was sore, I thought I didn't care.

"Can you behave if I do?" he asked teasingly.

I glowered at him. "Don't tell me you were serious about the no sex thing, Edward. It's our honeymoon!" I say the last part with a full on whine in my tone, and he chuckles a bit.

"Totally serious," he answered, his laugh fading away to be replaced with gentle concern. "You can't tell me you're not sore, love."

It was true, I couldn't. I also knew he'd noticed that even walking made me move a little too gingerly. It was useless to try and lie about it, not to mention the little hissing cry he heard me make when I'd gotten in the water. "I'm not that sore," I say instead. Which wasn't a lie, at least not in the technical sense. I was 'that' sore, but I was willing to ignore it.

"You're a lousy liar, Bella," he replied, shaking his head, amused. Still, he stood up and removed his shirt and shorts, sliding into the water behind me. I nestled against him, stifling the little cry of shock at how cold he felt in contrast to the hot water. He'd put some kind of oil in the water and we both felt slippery. I thought that might make things interesting, but Edward locked me into place, my back against his chest, and I subsided in my attempt to turn around, tired and happy enough to be held.

"So no sex at all?" I asked for clarification purposes, unable and unwilling to hold back the despondency in my tone at the thought.

He nuzzled my neck, and his hands slid over my ribs and teased the undersides of my breasts. I felt my nipples harden, the tight nubs sending sensation and alertness straight down between my legs. I pressed my thighs together and felt the ache and burn leftover from where he'd been. He was probably right. I didn't think I could actually take him inside of me, but still...

"Insatiable little thing," he teased. "Aren't you tired? You should be exhausted. Jet lag, all the activity of the last few days, the fresh air and sun and heat-none of this is affecting you?"

I yawned, my jaw cracking providing his answer. I felt him smile against the back of my shoulder.

"That's what I thought," he gloated as I relaxed further against him, pliant yet still achy. The little burn between my legs only seemed to make it worse, drawing attention to the fact I was empty there when I really wanted and needed him.

His thumb stroked the inside curve of my left breast, so close to my achy nipple. If he'd just stretch the joint of his thumb a little more, I thought. His mouth brushed over the place my neck ends and shoulder begins, back and forth, the same way his teasing thumb moved. I arched my back a little, wanting him to touch me there so badly...

"Do you want the jets on?" The question was so out of context to what I truly wanted, I only blinked.

"Bella?" His thumb stopped moving entirely and I wanted to pout. I was sure he knew what he was doing to me.

"Sure, jets, fine," I muttered in answer, totally lacklustre. He reached out with the hand not currently torturing me by not touching where I needed and turned on the Jacuzzi. It was a quiet system but I felt the pulse of the water all around me, showing that the quiet motor didn't lack power. The swirl and push of the water made me more aroused, not less.

"So, no sex at all then," I muttered grumpily, answering my own question since he seemed intent on making me realize he was serious without answering me himself.

His lips pressed back against my shoulder, soft, cool, moist kisses that made me feverish. His thumb finally connected with my nipple, the smooth pad slipping over the tip until I moaned.

"I think, under the circumstances, love, no penetrative sex until you heal is best." He emphasized 'penetrative.' "But, we can be creative."

"Creative?" I asked, breathlessly.

"Do you trust me?"


"Do you trust me?"

He pinched my nipple lightly between his thumb and forefinger, rolling it gently. My back arched, wanting more of the sensation.

"You know I do," I answered, panting as his tongue, flickered over my pulse, his lips closing softly over my ear lobe in a cool sucking little kiss as he kept caressing my breast.

He turned us slightly then moved us forward. "Put your leg up here," he urged, touching the right side of the tub where a small indent created a thin shelf. I did as he asked, wondering what he had planned, yet trusting him as I said I did.

"Good, girl. Now, bend your left leg up towards me." He captured the leg I bent just behind my knee and forced it up further, then suddenly turned me a little more, and oh... The force of one of the jets rippled through the water and touched me where Edward had me open and exposed. I jolted. Water sloshed over the side as I suddenly moaned, my head falling back. I wasn't expecting it, but that didn't make the feeling any less decadent. Warm water raced against me, right there, between my legs. A concentrated rush and hum and vibration that made goosebumbs rash out all over my skin. It was...different, in a very good way.

"Relax," Edward urged. "Lean back against me. There you go, love. Just feel." He kept caressing my nipple and every tug and stroke and soft tweak sent electric darts of sensation down to where the water rushed and danced. He stopped for a minute but before I could complain, I heard a louder hum from the Jacuzzi motor and the pressure of the jet increased. My back arched, and I cried out, a sharp little exclamation of intense pleasure.

"Good girl," Edward praised again as my hips rocked. He makes another adjustment of our position and suddenly the jet began pulsing directly on my clit. I heard more water slosh over the edges but didn't care. "Tell me if you want it harder," he urged, his voice warm, seductive velvet as he turned my head gently and kissed me. The taste of him was so good, so sweet, the feel of his lips and tongue touching mine set me off, ensuring I definitely didn't need the jet to pulse any harder.

"Edward," I gasped against his lips. "Oh, god...I'm going to come, I'm going to..."

He growled a yes, against my open mouth. I lost myself to the touch of the jet, but mostly to him and the way he held me and kept me centered with the pulsing of water even when I lost muscle control and couldn't hold myself up anymore. He held me all the way through an intense release, then slowed the jets by increments until the water was still around us again.

When I could breathe normally, I sighed, slumping fully against him as he moved us back to the end of the tub, letting me stretch out fully, a completely sated, exhausted mess.

"Well, that was definitely creative." I blushed to the roots of my hair and Edward chuckled, handing me my glass of wine which somehow survived the sloshing water and vibration.

"I aim to please, wife."

. . . . . .

The light is fading. I wonder if Edward went to hunt. I wonder if he'll be back at all tonight. I should eat. Or go to bed. I don't. I just sit and wait.

And I remember.

I remember our third night on the island... My hands buried in warm soapy water as I washed my few dishes from the dinner Edward made. He came up behind me on silent feet and enfolded me in his arms. Soft kisses up the top half of my back, my loose fitting sleeveless top exposing an expanse of easily reachable bare skin. Cool hands slid under the fabric to find my breasts, also bare for his touch. I'd never bothered to put my bra back on after he took it off that afternoon... Edward groaned, though I knew he noticed I wasn't wearing a bra all through dinner.

I attempted to turn but he stilled me. "Stay," he murmured, kissing the curve of my ear, the place beneath, making me shiver in the best way. "I've been dying to touch you for hours. I thought you'd never finish your meal."

I laughed a little, because he'd made me gelato for dessert and I'd enjoyed it so much I couldn't help the little moans I'd made while eating. I'd noticed it affected him.

His hands moved down, and my breasts and nipples ache at the loss. Then he undid the button on my shorts, then the zipper, and I whimpered because other parts of me wanted his attention just as much.

He didn't make me wait. One hand tugged my shorts lower, the other slid into the gap left by the undone closure and stroked me softly over my panties.

My head fell back on his shoulder and sudsy water sloshed over the side of the sink when I dragged my hands out to grab the edge, bracing myself against the pleasure his touch evoked.

He caressed and slid, and it all felt so good. Warm pleasure rippled into a little hot ache, right there. My clit started to feel tight, and I whimpered as he brushed over it, teasingly.

"Don't tease," I begged, and he laughed.

"What do you want, love?"

"Touch me for real," I moaned, needy and not caring about pride. I'd beg if he wanted me to.

"Like this?" he asked, as his fingers moved up and then under the elastic at the leg of panties. Past damp fabric to the exact place I needed him.

"Yes, there, oh, God, Edward, ummm..."

"You feel so good," he praised. "So warm and swollen for me, right here." His clever finger slid over my clit, circled it, dragged wetness up from my still slightly tender opening. He used it to add glide to his touch. My knees buckled. He easily held me up. "I want to feel you come, Bella. Right here, just like this, all over my fingers."

And I did, and he made me feel like the sexiest thing on the planet as he praised me for what he gave me.

Later, when I could function again, he let me touch him, and when it was my turn to say, "I want to feel you come, Edward. Right here, just like this, all over my fingers," he did, and I understood why he praised me because watching him come apart felt like a gift.

I stare out the window, waiting for him to come back, needing him.

. . . . . .

Before I go back to Bella, I decide it would be prudent to hunt. I slip into the water and flex my arms, allowing my full strength to reign. Slicing through the water, over ten feet under the surface, I take no time at all to reach the small uninhabited island adjacent to Isle Esme. Carlisle and Esme own this island as well and they stocked it with small game decades ago. The wildlife has prospered, and I know I'll find a quick easy meal. Nothing as appetizing as what I could find on the mainland of course, but I'm not searching for appetizing, merely something to slake my thirst so I'm safe to be around Bella. I make my way up the beach and into the thick jungle, eager to feed so I can get back to her.

It's easy to find what I need, and I make quick work of it, leaving the carcass for other predators. Back in the water, I swim slower now, letting my mind wander back over the past few days.

My thoughts fall upon the moments Bella and I spent together just last night... Bella, high on her accomplishment of besting me at a silly game of Go Fish, did a little dance around the living room. Outside, a soft rain fell and a moist breeze fluttered the flames on the candles I'd lit on the table.

Laughing, she tackled me where I sat on the couch, displacing the pile of cards, sending them to the floor. I allowed her weight to push me backward and she stretched out over top of me, kissing my chest. She was breathless and exhilarated, and I laughed.

"So, what do I get for winning?" she asked playfully, smiling up at me, her chin resting in her hands which she'd crossed over my sternum.

"What do you want?"

"Hm...well, that's a loaded question." She waggled her eyebrows in an imitation of suggestiveness, and I tapped her nose.

"Within reason and limitations taking your safety, health and wellbeing in consideration..."

She stopped me from talking by pushing up my shirt, running her hands along my chest, dropping her head to place warm, wet kisses along my stomach. The feel of her lips on my skin, her hands, made me groan.

Lifting her head, she met my eyes. "Is this within reason of my safety, health and wellbeing?" she asked playfully, her hands skimming lower to tease along the waistband of my shorts.

I was about to take control and roll her under me, when she shook her head, as though she knew what I was about to do.

"My turn," she insisted gently. "I won. I should get to choose my prize."

"Bella..." I swallowed as I felt her small hands deftly undo the button on my shorts, followed by the sound and feel of her pulling down the zipper.

"My turn," she repeated, reminding me that she is as entitled to my body as I am to hers. Equals, partnership, husband and wife, love and sex, give and take. I curse mentally, even as I moaned out loud at the way her hand felt moving lower over my abdomen, sliding into the gap she made undoing my shorts. I wasn't wearing underwear, making it all too easy for her to slide her hand over me where I was so eagerly jutting upwards. I groaned then hissed at her touch, yanking my hands away from her as I tried to find a safer place to put them. Realizing there was nothing to anchor myself to here, I moved quickly, sitting up, securing my arms around her waist and rising, carrying her swiftly to the bedroom. Her safety was my first concern, but wrecking anymore of Esme's furniture was a distant second.

In the bedroom, I laid her out on the bed and came over her. I wasn't averse to turning the tables if she would allow it. She didn't. She wiggled out from under me and urged me back to the mattress, coming over me again. I should have known she would insist.

"Something wrong with the couch?" she asked, sliding those wicked warm hands back under my shirt again, pushing it up under my arms, urging me to lift my head so she could pull it all the way off.

"I figured it might be best to keep the damage confined to one room."

"Is there going to be damage?" she asked playfully, letting her hands wander down to the tops of my thighs then back up again to pull my shorts down and off. I watched the way she admired my body, her skin flushing with pinks that were softer in hue than the way she appears when she blushes. Her hands glided back up my thighs, fingertips trailing over my erection which held her fascination.

I gritted my teeth tightly together on a hiss as the pleasure of that light touch hit me. Reaching up behind me, I grabbed the splintered headboard. It gave an ominous creak that made her gaze dart up to where my hands clenched.

"If you keep touching me like that," I replied through clenched teeth, "then yes, there is going to be damage."

"Oh," she said. A little sexy smile pulled her lips up at the edges. "And if I do this?"

She lowered her head and kissed the tip of me, then her tongue flickered out. I groan as the headboard cracked a little, realigning my hands to a more secure spot. When her mouth opened and she took me inside, the headboard cracked a lot, saving me from replying what was a very obvious answer.

I move out of the water and onto the beach. The daylight is fading as I shake water from my hair and begin to make my way to the beach house. Remembering the way Bella's mouth felt on me, the way her hands stroked me that day, has me hard. The erection fades as I get to the door, not because I don't want her, but because I have much to do to deserve her touch again.

The house is quiet, but I can hear her heart beat. It's faster now as she sees me enter. She's in a chair in the living room, curled up. She doesn't look comfortable. She does look worried.

I stop, not wanting to frighten her. "Bella, love..." I swallow, hating this, hating that I spoiled our perfect days with the reaction I had to her running from me. My body physically seems to hurt with how much I want to hold her, kiss her, tell her a million times over how sorry I am, but I don't move, not certain if she wants me to touch her. She's so still, her eyes too big, her hair tousled and tangled down her back. Perspiration glistens on her forehead and forearms. She's hot and most likely miserable with it. Her clothes swallow her up, too big, just like her eyes. I smell her tears before I see them.

Suddenly she lurches up out of the chair and runs across the room. I catch her easily and pull her close and tight, and God, she feels so good in my arms. I feel her sob.

"I'm sorry. Please, don't be mad, Edward. I didn't think. I just...I should have known better. You're right. You're right, I was so stupid. I did know, I just, I was...Edward, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." Her disjointed apologies spill against my neck with her tears, and I loathe myself.

"Hush, hush, baby, love, hush." I tell her. She tries to burrow deeper. "No, stop." I pull her away from me enough so that I can see her face, push the sweat damp hair from her skin. Her cheeks are very warm as I cup her face. "Listen to me," I demand, using my thumbs to wipe away tears that come too fast. I made her cry, and I cannot hate myself more.

She shakes her head. "Edward, no, I have to tell you..."

"You have to tell me nothing," I say quickly. "You did nothing wrong. I was angry at myself. I lashed out at you in retaliation, and I was an...asshole."

She blinks at my uncustomary use of foul language. Grateful for her attention, still aware of how overheated she feels to me, I lift her into my arms and carry her outside where it's a little cooler than in the house. I carry her to the beach and set her feet in the sand. With quick movements, I reach for her shirt, attempting to lift it off her. She tries to stop me.

"Let me, love," I insist gently. "You're too hot. Why are you wearing this?" I strip the heavy shirt from her sweat soaked skin and toss it aside. She's wearing a white cotton tank top underneath and it's soaked through. Her skin feels clammy, her body trying too hard to cool itself. I feel like an even bigger asshole.

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have left you alone. I should at least have a damn air conditioner in the house for you."

"I'm fine," she lies, eyes wet and red, still too large in her pale face as she watches me. Her sadness tears at me. I'd rather her anger. I deserve her anger.

"It's not fine," I growl, then tug the drawstring to the ridiculous sweat pants and push them down to her feet. I lift her from the pool of fabric and carry her once again in my arms down to the water's edge. I settle us both in the wet cool sand, placing her between my splayed legs so the water can lap at her feet and ankles. She leans heavily against my chest, and I can feel the heat radiating off her skin. She's cooling already, though, and some of my anxiety fades. Both because of that and the way she melts against me, letting me know she isn't afraid of me at least. The rest, well...

"You don't need to apologize to me," I tell her a moment later. "It's me who needs to do that."

She starts to shake her head, but I silence her with a soft kiss on her neck and the tightening of my arms around her waist.

"Bella, what happened, we do need to talk about it, we do need to have clear...boundaries, but what I said to you after, it was wrong. You are not stupid, and what you did, running from me, while it wasn't a good thing to do, it was hardly a crime or a lack of intelligence."

"I didn't think," she answers, her voice slightly rough and thick from crying. "But Edward? I do know better, and I put you in a bad place. I did that."

I tighten my arms again in a gentle hug, sighing against her cheek. "You were teasing your husband, Bella. Playing a game. It shouldn't have put me in a bad place!" I can't keep the vehemence from my voice.

No longer complacent to stay where she is, Bella struggles out of my arms and turns to face me on her knees, her expression livid. "Don't you dare do that, Edward Cullen. Don't start with the self-hate." Her face softens, her features smoothing out into a look of adoration and understanding. "You are what you are. I love you. I knew what I was getting myself into when I married you."

"Did you expect your husband to turn into a beast and take you roughly against a tree in the jungle?" I ask angrily.

Bella shakes her head at me, looking exasperated. "I didn't expect, but I...hoped."

I blink at her, lost for words as the meaning sinks in.

"You didn't hurt me, Edward. I know you're freaked out. I know you scared yourself, and I'm sorry I did what I did, but only because it upset you and made you feel that you lost control. Not because of what actually happened. Not the act itself, only the way it came to happen."

Reaching out, I grab her and pull her close, lifting her until she's straddling my lap. Her legs go around my waist and I hold her tightly, breathing in her scent. "You don't know, Bella. You don't know how close I came...to biting you."

"But you didn't," she assured me, her hands running over my back, her lips against my neck. "You didn't even really try."

It's true, I didn't. My teeth only came close to her neck only once and only to get her scent, but that didn't mean I wasn't thinking about it, battling the urge the entire time.

"It was in my head," I growl. "Bella, it was in my head and I...I would die if I hurt you, don't you understand? What happened, it was so reckless, so dangerous. It can't happen again, not while you're still human!"

Leaning back, Bella rests her hands on my shoulders and meets my eyes. "I know," she whispers. "I know it can't, and I'm sorry I ran. I swear to you, I'll be more careful."

I hate hearing those words and I tell her so. "I hate that, Bella. I don't want you to have to be more careful, but it is what it is, love. I am what I am, and you can't take risks like that again. You can't challenge me, please," I beg. "Please, promise me you won't."

She nods, solemn and beautiful in the growing moonlight. "I promise and I'm so so sor..."

"Hush," I tell her against her lips, brushing them with my own, taking her by the hips and pulling her closer to me, gathering her tight and pressing my lips next to her throat, all around the soft column, all over her lovely, living, pulse. "No more apologies, love. No more."

She nods, and I move my mouth back to hers, kissing her slow while the water laps at our legs, the tide coming in. My hands move to the back of her head, cradling her skull and tangling in her hair to deepen our kiss, filling myself with her taste and the reassurance that we can overcome this.

I give her a moment to breathe, my mind busy working its way through all that has happened. "You liked what happened, the act?" I ask her quietly.

I feel her blush and the way she goes so very still in my arms. She nods, tentatively, and I groan, kissing her again and again, because a part of me liked it as well.

"When you're changed," I tell her in between deep dragging kisses. "When you're less fragile, I promise you a thousand moments like that, only better." I pull back, my hands still in her hair, help keep her angled so I can drag my eyes over her face, see her and let her see me as I impart importance and resolve. "But for now, love, boundaries, okay?"

She nods, breathless from my kisses, cheeks still flushed with heat, though she's thankfully much cooler now. I untangle one hand to brush one of the dark circles defined under her tired eyes. She's exhausted and needs every ounce of my reassurance and comfort, but we have to establish our boundaries.

"Never run from me," I reiterate. "Not ever. Never take me unaware or surprise me with your actions. Don't initiate or do unexpected things, Bella. I'm sorry, I don't mean to be harsh," I tell her when I see her face pale slightly. "For now, I need to have the control, okay?"

She bites her lips but nods, and I soothe her with light kisses.

"I love making love to you, Bella. So much. More than I can express with words. What we share, it's perfect, and I want to explore our intimacy with you, learn with you, but above our desires your safety has to come first. Promise me," I breathe, gathering her closer.

"I promise, Edward."

I hold her while the water moves closer with the rising tide, then stand in the glow from a very full moon and carry her into the house. She lets me take her into the bedroom and lay her on the bed, lets me gather towels to dry her feet and calves, lets me kiss her and tell her how much I love her.

I peel off the rest of her clothes and move down her body, inspecting her skin carefully under the guise of soft touches and caresses. Her eyes on me let me know the guise is useless, she knows what I'm doing.

I find a few fresh bruises on the inside of her thighs where she clung so tight to my hips. I find a few light scratches on her back from the tree and a small welt on her arm. I can't identify the maker of that mark, but I kiss it anyway, unspoken apology all over my lips.

Lastly, giving her a firm look to let her know she must not fight me, I gently part her legs and run my hands up, parting them more. My eyes inspect, but oh, yes, they admire as well. The flower of her sex is closed tight in its unaroused state, and I skim my fingers up the seam of her, gentle, so gentle. Her hands touch my hair, run through it, letting me know it's okay. She knows I need to do this, must get my reassurance or be driven mad. She lets me part her, open her.

I kiss her knee, then her leg, then move down to kiss the Venus mound covered in the tight silky curls of her small pubic triangle. She's shaved herself closer than normal. I let her know I notice by kissing the skin on either side, then I open her more and take a second to ensure she's not been harmed by the roughness I used on her.

Assured, that at least physically, she bears no wounds beyond a darkening of the normal bloom of colour she bears here, I let my kisses linger, move lower.

My inspection turns to worship. Soft opening touches turn to soft, questing flicks of my tongue, cool open-mouthed kisses, the most careful of suckling, guarding her against my teeth at all times.

Her response, her soft moans and pants, the circling of her hips, the clutch of her hands in my hair, they're all markers of my forgiveness. I drink them in greedily and take her over the edge again and again, repeated apologies uttered with touch instead of words, cherishing her and giving her pleasure until she's spent and quivering and unable to rise and crest any longer.

Cradling her close, I draw a sheet over her and urge her to sleep. Her exhaustion draws her away from me, and I settle myself close, ready as always to wait out the night for her to return to me when she wakes.

For now, dreams I can't read, thoughts and feelings I can't be a part of, claim her attention. I'm patient and willing as always to hold vigil, to keep her close and safe until morning.

We've weathered another storm together, and we're stronger for it.

. . . . . .

A/N Some of you who are also reading my fic Prey for the Wicked may notice a similarity to Prey's last chapter here in the tree action. ;) It was unintentional and coincidental, but it was still fun to write what felt like 2 sides to the popular sex against a tree scene. Though it kinda feels like the tree action here would have been more fitting to Preyward then Defrostedward... lol. (If you're not reading Prey for the Wicked and you enjoy a darker, dominant, take-what-he-wants, no apologies, Darkward, you might want to join us. We are having loads of fun - oh, well, I am anyway - with Preyward.) :) *shameless self-pimping is shameless, I know.*

Anyway, I digress. I just wanted to remind those who haven't read recently that in chapter 24 I did have sex against a tree in the jungle as an option for action in the honeymoon epilogue when I asked for readers to vote on what they wanted to read. Again, non-canon won, but I couldn't resist putting this in here as well. I actually originally planned to have it be an event that would not cause drama. Then, as I began to write it, I realized (imo) it wouldn't fit canon Edward to engage in sex like this without angst or regret. At least not while Bella was still human. I hope you all agree. Plus, I also realistically feel that these two have to find their way to making this work, and bumps are inevitable. To me that they can find ways to overcome and deal with issues makes the read all that much sweeter. Feel free to disagree, I love to hear your opinions.

Finally (sorry for being long-winded but readers familiar with me must be used to that by now) I'm sure you guys noticed the ending isn't exactly a good one. That's cause it's not the end, yet. This ended up so long, the epi will now have a part 3. (Yes, I have issues. Both in letting go of this story, and in doing anything short. You guys should be used to that as well, lol.)

Part 3 will be the final part. (Apologies to those that find that sad, and you're welcome to those who think I should have ended this ages ago but hung on to see the train wreck, lol.) Oh ugh, I hope this isn't a train wreck...

Anyway, see you all in about 2 weeks. Thank you for reading. Know that I value and use your reviews as inspiration, even if I sometimes fail at replying.

Feed the lemon trees, pretty please.