Full disclaimer - I make no money, just friends from my writing. My plot is my own, the names and similarities belong to the lucky duck, Mrs. Meyer.

Announcements and the coup de grâce at the end.

The Checkered Flag

The grief that struck us deep

was the one who tore them all,

Now forever in history's keep

when the car slammed against the wall.

Tire tread and asphalt embrace,

the pit crew worries and waits.

Sweet, sweet sad sigh of the race

once the car reaches the pearly gates.


"What do we have here?" I asked more to myself than to the owner. The thick coverlet hung over my head like a tent, hot carbon dioxide replacing oxygen with every breath I took. Air didn't matter, my eyes were on the prize - Edward's trophy, stick shift, shifter knob, screw gun, the list was endless. And right now, it was nestled snug, pointing down, atop his sac.

"Are you talking to my dick or to me?"

"There's a difference?" I snorted at my joke and pulled the covers back onto my head like a nun's veil. Batting my eyelashes at him, I made some kissy noises then headed back down for some oxygen deprivation.

I teased and eased my way around his hips, firmly ignoring the cock in front of me filling up like one of those wacky waving inflatable men a business would put in their parking lots to get your attention. It began to fill, move to the left, then completely point due North. Then he flexed it. And a fresh fit of giggles took over.

"Can you hand me the hair tie on the bedside table, please?"

A hand quickly shoved my the elastic tie under the covers, stirring up a wave of fresh air at me. I banded my hair up to keep it out of the way, and out of my mouth, and went to work on just the top of Edward's dick. Just the top so he would squirm. And squirm he did; growled, flexed his hips, tried several maneuvers a male stripper would be proud to use, then finally settled on grabbing my pony tail and guiding me slowly. With every movement, my nipples glided over the tops of his thighs, earning more delectable sounds falling from his very talented mouth.

"Enough, Bella. I want to be in you, now."

He didn't stop the bunching of his hips immediately and went for a few more passes before releasing his hold on my pony tail. Already turned on from my undercover blow job, I shimmied up his body, out of the covers, and impaled myself all the way to the hair line. I rode him, slamming myself down over and over while he worked one nipple with his mouth, sucking me in ever so carefully. The magical cords of pleasure shot keenly from my boobs to where we were joined, and my clit did a twitch rivaling a triple-air somersault with an Olympic landing.Ooh, it wouldn't be long now. Edward raised his lips to mine while I clutched the sides of his face and kissed him back with with every ounce of lust I was feeling, hoping he would fathom my desperate need to come right now. He understood my urgency and shifted his hips just perfectly so I hit his pubic bone.


Right on the enchanted spot.

I fell over the edge riding him, never stopping at the cliff's edge, grinding until I felt the ripest, brightest bloom of my orgasm fade. But wait, what was this? Another began to rise on the heels of the first one. Edward held me to him while telling me all sorts of bawdy, naughty things he could be doing to me, and how much he would like me to wrap my pretty lips back around his cock and finish him off.

I'd like that, wouldn't I?

"Yes, please," I whispered, "may I have another?" Then orgasmed again so hard I saw stars. Edward lifted us and laid me on my back none too gently, rearing up on his knees. I had the magnificent view of a lifetime. His powerful chest, the flexing of his abs, his arms straining with thinly controlled effort at my sides. I circled his hips with my legs and met him stroke for stroke until he held me still and plunged deep as his cock nudged up and swelled . He was amazingly beautiful when he came, his head tilted forward in concentration, eyebrows drawn together, lips tight until his body came to a halt.

Edward leaned down to give me a kiss and pulled me on top of him along with the sheets over us. I sighed contentedly while he stroked my hair and snuggled in for a cat nap before having to get up.


"No, no, no, no!" Pushing the covers off and grabbing my robe, I ran to the window. "This is bad!" Clouds loomed fat with the blustery threat of rain. They appeared low and so close, I could have reached through the glass and ran my fingers through them.


I jumped back from the window and hugged the lapels of my robe closer to my neck and face. Another retina searing zig of light fragmented the air. I felt the ozone charge, and the hairs stood up on my arms as the rumbles followed on the heels of the light show. Today was going to be a bad hair day, or maybe just a bad day.

"Damn it! Didn't anyone check the weather? It was fine yesterday."

Edward recovered the remote from across the room where I'd thrown it last night. He tuned it to the local news just as some bouncy brunette named Kari Ann was announcing the forecast.

There's an eighty-percent chance of rain with a high of a stifling ninety degrees. With those heavy thunder clouds hanging over Vegas, you're going to feel the high humidity, maybe even a little electricity. It's unusual weather out there, folks; be sure to grab your umbrella before leaving your house today.

Thank you, Kari Ann. Would you say those clouds might make for an interesting day at the Las Vegas Speedway?

"I would say so, Bob. Yes, racing fans, what you thought were tickets for a oval track race just might turn into tickets for a drift show."

Oh no, she just didn't. Kari Ann would have to die.

"I would say so, Bob," I snidely mimicked the clearly high weather bunny. "Did she just compare my American steel to some imported rice-burner of a car?"

"It will be fine, Bella." Edward came out of the next room wheeling a dining cart. "I called room service before we, uh, had the morning were still asleep." He lifted the lids on the various silver service platters. Bacon, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, croissants, and lots of fresh fruits all crooked their little glut fingers at me. And, a ornate, shiny silver, halo-ringed, coffee pot shone like the missing sun.

My nose twitched. I hadn't even noticed him leave the room, let alone heard the knock of the bellman. But who cares?

Coffee? You have... coffee? Will this love affair with burnt beans ever end?

"I hope you're right. Can we call Alice?" I asked, hopeful while I grabbed some bacon. Extra crispy-before-ashes, just the way I liked it.

"I already did. She says her thinker's broken and blames the dogs. She says they're too close to you, which makes it impossible to see much."

"She can't even predict the weather right now? What's wrong with her?"

Edward made a snorting sound in the back of his throat, and he grinned again. "Bella, we don't know what's wrong with her."

Dejected, I sat down and half drank, half dialysized the coffee Edward poured for me.

Edward sighed, sat next to me, and looked into my eyes, once he could see them over the ceramic rim. "It's really going to be okay."

"The Volturi are coming. I can't shake the feeling."

"Maybe we should call off the race. We could use the weather as an excuse."

"No." I set my mostly finished coffee on its paper coaster, and turned to him. "I'm not trying to go all Alice fortune-cookie about this, but whatever will be, will be. I feel I have to meet it head on."

The unsaid Jane-word hung like a fat, suspended rain drop waiting to be unleashed on the world.

"The saving grace will be the Volturi's need for secrecy. For them to publicly show themselves, or cause a scene, would go against everything they've fought for to keep peace and order in vampire society. They would appear hypocritical; one thing Aro would never stand for no matter Jane's status with him. Unless she's gone rogue, nothing's going to happen. Plus with your crew there today, they wouldn't dare risk it."

"Speaking of Jane, we need to talk about what happened in Sonoma. You were obviously being baked to a crispy, crackly crunch, but when I touched you, everything changed. Am I going all Vishous?"

Edward's head did a double-snap back, his eyebrows slashing low. "Are you talking about that faggotty vampire with the glowing hand?"

Edward just said faggotty - which earned him a chuckle. Except, you don't mess with the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Just. Don't.

"I knew it! You've been sneaking peeks at Rosie's smut books! I saw them on the bookshelves back in Forks."

"Well, jeez, Bella. I do have an inordinate amount of time on my hands."

I waved my hand limply and lisped, "Girlfriend, we'll have to start an Oprah book club!"

As I dissolved in another fit of giggles, Edward grabbed my hand and put it to his crotch. "Does this feel like your girlfriend?"

Ghostly fingers made a fist low in my belly. "No, feels all boyfriend." I kept my hand over his swelling fly, mouth suddenly dry.

Don't look him in the eyes. Don't look him in the eyes.

Dammit! I looked.

Edward's eyes were darkening as he swooped in for a kiss. "Mmm... masticated pork and coffee," he said when he pulled back.

"What? That's where you draw the line?" I laughed good-naturedly, but the mood was effectively broken.

A stray thought entered my mind. "Do you think the Volturi might want to collect me? You said they collect people with talents."

Edward didn't speak for a moment as if collecting his thoughts. "Carlisle wants to consult with Eleazar, a vampire who can sense what powers people possess, both mortal and immortal alike. We're pretty sure you are some kind of shield." He stopped to gauge my reaction. I waited patiently for him to go on. "When you touched me, Jane's ability to cause pain stopped. Thank you for that, by the way. And, the bonus is her powers don't seem to work on you or the wolves."

"But who's going to stop Aro if he finds out about me? Isn't he like your king or something? I know the wolves have to listen to Jacob since he's the Alpha of the pack. Is it the same for you guys?"

He hugged me to him. "For one thing, honey, you are way too public for him to snatch you away. It would be like kidnapping the Lincoln Memorial, someone's bound to notice. And, two, no we aren't compelled by him to do what he says; however, Aro has plenty of mental-muscle for just making us heel, namely Chelsea, and lots of monkey-muscle where the brains fall short. Chelsea can manipulate the mind of the victims to do whatever Aro wants them to. But, I doubt she can control the masses on a full scale."

"Did you just compare me to a man with a beard and huge face blemish?"

"Glad to see you can keep a sense of humor about you." Edward drew his eyebrows together, in his adorable way, then smiled. "I tell you Aro has minions to do his bidding, and all you hear is Old Honest Abe's facial road-bumps?"

"Well, it's a laugh or cry situation, and I don't feel like crying. So, what about the other two, Marco and Polo, or whoever?"

"Marcus and Caius. They are indifferent to just about everyone; seen it all, done it all, and so old, nothing holds any interest for them anymore. Aro still retains his unrelenting fascination with anything out of the ordinary. He seems to never have lost the drive to seek out entertainment."

"Okay, got it. Mariachi and Crockett fart dust," I ticked off on my fingers, "and Aro-gant gets off on any persons of interest."

"Yes," Edward's lips twitched to keep from smiling, "I suppose if they could fart, it would be dust."

"Ha! All you heard was fart?" I turned the tables on him.

"Touché, brat."

I heard the vibration of an incoming text buried somewhere in my bag. "It's going to be Jake." I moved off the couch and got the phone. Quickly scanning the message to get my ass in gear, I texted back letting him know I'd be about fifteen minutes. "I've got to get a quick shower and get out of here."

"You know, 'Jake' is the most used name for a dog."

"Well, maybe you should tell him the next time you see him."

Edward actually looked like he relished the thought before composing himself into his rigid vampire-boy persona.

"I suppose I should call Carl..." His cell went off. We looked at each other with a nervous laugh. Then the smiles faded as realization reared its ugly viper head and struck.

We took a deep breath, tossed our phones and met in the middle of the suite. Edward put his hands on the side of my face as I wrapped my arms around his waist. The kiss was searing, if not desperate.

"Bella, I love you so very much," Edward breathed into my mouth.

I disentangled from Edward with a laugh, wiggled my fingers at him all hoo-doo style and headed for the shower, but before I got to the door, I looked over my shoulder, winked and asked, "You coming?"

He was already shooing me into the bathroom.

Let the good times roll.

So far the sky held tight, the air charged and thick with precipitation, but still nothing. I was thankful. Looking up at the gunnite sky and taking in a lungful of pungent, water-laden air, I pulled the cowl over my head before securing my helmet. Leah led me into the car through the window and helped me strap my body into the harness system. She handed me my steering wheel to put on the column, smacked me on the helmet and gave me the thumbs up. I flicked the button ignitions and felt the power thrum and rumble straight into my chest and thighs, trip down my spine and out through my toes. With this much torque grumbling and begging me to put the pedal to the metal, I was hard pressed to not do exactly what the 700 horses were whinnying at me to do.

We began our jockey to the starting line, with the teams pushing the race cars in to position. With sweat already dripping in between my remarkably strapped-in armored boobs, I waited for the flag.

There it was, the green flag waving like a giant dollar bill. Lots of dollar bills, in fact. Lots and lots.

"Go, go, go!" Jake yelled into the com. No need to bark at me three times, pooch. I smashed on the gas, shifted and was off.

The race began smoothly while the Vegas crowd went berserk. Brilliant flashes glittered and winked, creeping along the crowd in a wave, as every possible type of camera shuttered and clicked away.

Almost immediately the heat coming through the alloy of the fire-wall began to warm through my heavy Nomex suit, bringing the temperature closer to a nasty one hundred degrees. Thrills coiled and laced through my bottomed-out stomach as I negotiated the many twists and turns of the speedway. The thrust pulled at my limbs, flattening my body into the seat with a constant two-G push, making them feel as if they weighed six hundred pounds.

Fifty laps in, I noticed one certain car stayed immediately behind me, never trying to pass. It stayed in my draft, but didn't ever try to sling-shot around me. A feeling of dread washed through my already battered brain and body. Constantly thinking ahead around the next turn, discarding and deciding on possible tactics, I concluded it was time for some evasive maneuvers.

My chance came when I saw a part in the sea of bumpers in front of me. I'd been chasing Edward's car for several laps now, always keeping him in my sights. I checked my rear view mirror for a fraction of a second noting the position of the peculiar acting car.

"Bella, watch # 20. He's right up your ass!" Jake warned.

I felt the distinctive thump as the son of a bitch pushed against my back bumper causing my front end to go loose on me suddenly.

What the fuck is this guy's problem?

It's not racing unless you're rubbing... my ass!

"I don't think so, asshole!" I righted my car by turning into the slide, remembering not to oversteer; I straightened just in time as another bump-n-rub hit me again. The bank loomed tall and greeted me like a giant cementious grim reaper ready to swaddle my car in chunks of concrete and heavy iron re-bar.

Hello, wall.

I braced for the inevitable, but nothing could prepare me for the force of the crash. Thank God for all my gear. But, it didn't stop all the damage. I felt the bones of my legs snap and separate, before the pain actually hit, then nothing as the car tangled and twisted, the sound of the body rending too horrible to imagine. Powerless to stop, the framework buckled under the horrendous pressure of flipping end over end, pinning me, crushing me until I couldn't breath. In rapid succession, I saw my crazy mother, my kind-hearted, soft-spoken dad, my crew, then Edward.


I fought to hold on to consciousness, but my lungs weren't working properly. I briefly saw the clouds open up and begin their watery assault as I was hauled out of the wreckage by Edward. He drew my helmet off as my field of vision began to narrow just before someone turned out the lights.

Well, at least I missed the rain.

I woke in a drugged haze, machines pumping and whirring beside my bed. I tried to lift an arm, but it felt full of sand. Fresh pain burst in my skull when I tried to move my head to look around. I tried to breath through the pain but only wheezed. Edward was there in an instant holding my hand, but I couldn't feel him. I couldn't feel any of my extremities. I couldn't speak because of the breathing tube in my throat. Beginning to panic, my eyes welled up in pure confusion. Why couldn't I feel anything?

"Bella, honey, it's okay. You were in a crash at the speedway, and now you're in Summerlin hospital."

What? I don't remember a crash.

"Don't try to move; you can't talk because you have a breathing tube in to help with your oxygen intake." Edward moved closer. The look on his face wasn't very telling. He gave nothing away. "We want you to conserve your energy right now." Still no emotion. Dead. That was telling.

An RN, who introduced herself as Angela, told me she was my primary nurse and I was her only patient. She instructed me to take deeper and longer breaths so my blood oxygen level could get high enough to take out the breathing tube. Edward gave me words of encouragement to keep inhaling deeper while minding the screen showing my progress. I struggled to take the necessary breaths and would have laughed at the absurdity of the situation if I could. He sounded more like he was some kind of Lamaze coach telling me to breathe. Machines monitoring my heart and blood pressure continued to blip and beep away at their tune while Angela adjusted the array of hanging bags drip-dripping medicine into yards of clear silicone vines feeding into my skin and veins. There were so many.

"Your dad and mom have already been here today to see you, as well as the your crew and my family. Carlisle is consulting with your doctor right now." Now Edward did frown.

I tried to talk to him with my eyes, let him know I was scared, but I was beginning to feel the pull of oblivion and had no energy left to fight. I'd just take a little nap and feel better when I woke up again.

I was sure.

One day later.

I was wrong.

One week later.

Not much progress, but at least they'd taken the damned breathing tube out. Edward was still at my side; his hair a mess and not in the good way. He'd leave long enough to change clothing to appear normal and pretend to sleep in the bed the staff set up next to mine. I knew he'd need to hunt soon, but he refused to leave, so Alice brought him animal blood they'd hunted disguised in a thermal coffee mug. I had a hard time speaking at first because my ribs were still healing, so he told me about the crash since I couldn't remember any part of it. Missing a memory was an odd sensation, quite like a CD with a deep scratch causing it to skip the bad parts. My doctor, as well as Carlisle, confirmed the recollections might never come back, and from the sound of it, I wasn't so sure I wanted to re-live the wreck anyway.

Edward told me Jane had Demetri kill and pose as the driver of car #20 so he could come after me. In his racing suit and helmet, no one was the wiser until it was too late. The local police chalked the episode up to poor security and a fanatical man stalking me. They couldn't figure out how the murderer had gotten away, and a manhunt was still on. Jane and Demetri were pursued by Edward's family and the wolves when it was safe to do outside of prying eyes and both were executed. Felix had excused himself and gone back to Italy before any of this happened, but he was unable to roust any support from Aro to come back and get the rogue vampires under control. They had messed in their nest one too may times.

The Cullens falsified evidence and thought of everything down to the last hair left for the Las Vegas CSI team to puzzle over. Charlie also believed the whole fabrication as well since there was no other valid explanation. I hated the deception played on him, but he didn't need to know the real truth, at least not right now.

Thankful the threat of Jane was finally gone after weeks of terror, I had other issues to contend with now.

"Tell me the truth, Speed. I'm not going to get better, am I?"

Edward's brave mask fell. "No, not without divine intervention. Or..." I knew he was alluding towards changing me.

My legs were battered beyond much repair, and my cervical spine had severe trauma. I was looking at many, many surgeries with no guarantee of any kind. I would never race again.

Who was I kidding, I'd never walk again.

I thought hard about it, but not for long. "You could be my miracle."

"Are you sure?" He looked hopeful, the first real sign of emotion. "We've cleared it with the wolves. They want you better and back with them despite what you'd become. We promised we'd take you far away for a while for a prolonged recovery while you adjust to the newborn life."

"Will it hurt much?" I wasn't going to lie, I was frightened of the pain. "Will it fix me?"

"Yes on both counts, and we will do everything we can to make you comfortable. Carlisle is arranging for you to be transported to Anchorage Regional Hospital, where we can have you discharged into our care for rehabilitation."

Edward lifted my useless hands and kissed them. "I thought I was going to lose you. It was more than I could bear. I couldn't stop Jane from hurting you."

He blamed himself for everything. My heart broke for him.

"Edward, I don't think anyone could have stopped her. She played dirty, but in the end, she lost. I'm still breathing." I chuckled. He didn't see the humor in it.

The next day, I was transported by helicopter all the way to Alaska, paid for by the Cullen Trust. Events flew by in a flash until I was in the Cullens' home, snug in a hospital bed set up for my comfort.

I never felt the bite.

Not until a few minutes later when fire and swords rained down on me as Edward's venom raced along my veins repairing me, killing me.

I blinked my eyes, wiggled my fingers and toes then sat straight up. Everyone was staring at me expectantly, including Jacob and the rest of the pack. The Cullens weren't afraid of me going all newborn on them; this was old hat to them, but, to be on the safe side, they hovered for a while. Still, Edward's family respectfully hung back so my best friend could have first dibs. Jake sidled up to gave me a huge hug, then I waited patiently while every pack and family member took their turn checking me out or hugging me. Paul and Sam held back, clearly at odds with the situation. When Leah came up she stared at me for a while before wrinkling her nose.

"You smell," she smiled, "but, I'd rather have you back and stinky than watch you dry up in a wheel chair. I wasn't about to cart your ass around."

I playfully smacked her in the shoulder and sent her flying back a couple of feet. She growled at me but came right back. We hugged tightly, sisterly, very carefully.

I had yet to stand as everyone kept me from getting out of bed. Edward disappeared for a moment then brought back blood to help ease me. He was sure I must be starving, but I wasn't. Not really. It was a little discomfiting to have someone bring me blood in a thermal cup, but at the same time, it didn't seem unnatural either. The pack said their goodbyes with the promise to keep in touch. They didn't want to see me drink blood for the first time, or anytime for that matter, as opposed to Emmett who wanted to stay and watch me guzzle. Edward growled at him, and Em put his hands up in mock defeat. Grabbing Rosalie up, they left along the rest of the family to give us some privacy.

"Sheez, breakfast in bed! How do I rate?" I teased putting the cup to my lips. The taste was incredible. The delicacy hung heavy on my tongue, coating my palate with bittersweet flavors. I tasted the outdoors, the wind, the water; savored every last drop and almost licked the sides of the metal cup until I remembered my manners. At least I didn't feel any sort of crazed frenzy like Edward had described.

"You rate at the top of my list." Edward kissed my forehead. "Shall we get you dressed and out and about?"

"Sounds wonderful to me." The gown I was wearing was less than pristine, and I needed to move. I hadn't been out of a hospital bed for a long time.

Edward brought a change of clothes for me get in to. I moved off the bed and felt my feet hit the floor, solidly. Oh my God - I felt like jumping, like flying, like floating. I could walk and swing my arms... right into an expensive wooden wall.

Oops. "Sorry."

A chuckle came from the corner of the room where Edward retreated. "It's nothing, love."

The rush of power was intoxicating, colors were in high definition, scant scents became pungent; the easy distraction of particles floating in the air. I held my hands up to inspect my new skin. Edward came to stand in front of me and took my hands in his and kissed them like he had in the hospital before we left for Alaska. His fingers slid up my arms, and he snuggled me into his frame. I was positively humming with excitement when he let go. An energy settled in and itched up my spine; I needed something.

Recognizing my growing agitation, he made tatters of the offensive gown, rending the thin fabric easily, greedily. I was bare to his darkening gaze, and a fire kindled in my belly as I watched him stride around me, inspecting as he went. Leonine. His grace stunned me into silence.

His hands, now warm to the touch, hurtled me into arousal.

Dropping to his knees in front of me, he reverently traced each faint, silver-skin scar now flat with healing on my legs; kissed every inch until he reached the vee in between. I cried out with unrestrained pleasure when he dropped his lips to the very top of my pubic bone, then parted the lips there and touched his tongue, just the tip of it, against my clit. I fragmented in an instant, holding onto his hair for dear life while he licked every nook and fold. Raw power surged, igniting every cell of my body into an inferno until the climax quickened, then receded. Edward continued to rub his face along the inside of my thighs, breathing deeply, enjoying himself for a few minutes before untangling my fingers from his fire-burn locks and leaning back to look up at me with his crooked little grin.

"Let's get you into those clothes." Edward began to dress me in a pair of skimpy - thank you, Rosalie - panties, but decided to forego the pretty bra, almost to his dismay. He wanted to be quick and efficient, but I kept foiling him at each turn when he tried to help me zip the jeans up. They were artificially worn and so comfy, I couldn't stop running my palms along the tops of my thighs relishing the cottony softness. The muscles underneath weren't too bad either. He had a hard time getting me to lift my arms long enough to put my t-shirt on because I couldn't stop feeling my own legs up. Once the shirt was on, I looked down at the thin fabric and read it. Oh, my, God! It had to be Emmett. The shirt was white with artfully placed blood splatters across the front and read, "Don't Worry. It's Not My Blood."

Look Ma, no nipples. I laughed out loud. "I told you I wouldn't need that contraption binding me." Em was so sweet to think of me. Last touch was putting socks and shoes on, which I was compliant for, except when Edward pulled the socks up. It tickled. Oh, and when he put the shoes on. And, when he double-knotted them...

Edward wore a look of exasperation but smiled over my silliness. Jesus, if I thought Edward could be any more sexy than that moment, I would have keeled over. I suddenly wanted him all over again. Compulsive much?

A predatory need suddenly infiltrated my senses, overriding even my lust. I felt the overwhelming urge to hunt as a tickle simmered in my throat and tingled on the sides of my jaw and tongue, not unlike eating a sour candy or licking a nine-volt battery.

"Can we go outside now?" I nearly snarled. My hands flew over my mouth in shock. Was that my voice?

Again, he flashed me his grin and held his hand out. "Do you mean you want to go and play outdoors?"

I grabbed onto his hand pulling him out to the backyard, and we took off at a dead run. As corny as it sounds, running felt therapeutic, very freeing, and Edward kept time with me easily. After many, many miles I began to feel just like I did when I was hungry as a human, and I almost expected my tummy to start growling.

The forest was vast and thick enough to get lost in forever, or until I smelled something delicious and began running in its direction. I found I lacked the heart to kill. Edward had to open the buck's warm throat for me, peeling back the hide. The call of his blood was as heady as the majestic Sitka trees. Weird part was I didn't mind sinking my now blade-sharp teeth into its neck, but I didn't have a killer's instinct. I held the animal tight in my grip, one hand over its chest, feeling the heartbeat stutter and wane.

When I finished, I found Edward sitting close by against a tree with his wrists crossed over a propped knee. His face was ramped and feral, his jaw clenched and ticking, and I swear his entire frame seemed to grow larger. The scent he threw captivated and thrilled me, and the way he was watching me, his serpentine eyes tracking my every move like a cobra, was a loud-and-clear indication of how turned on he was. That, and the growing hill in his pants.

God help me. His scent, his strength, his beauty, his huge... capacity to love me and my quirks sent me spinning. My body thrilled to the thought of how we could make love with no boundaries, no holding back, no hiding of his teeth. I suddenly wanted, needed his teeth deep in my skin, lips moving over me, his hips driving between my thighs, his body pinning mine to the earth.

Coyly, I asked, "aren't you going to hunt?"

He moved to stand, swatting absently at his backside to dust off the dirt with both hands. Leisurely strolling, swaggering, stalking toward me, head tilted down in a seductively dangerous stare, he said one word.


The Checkered Flag

My race has come to an end and I have a tractor bucket load of thank you's to dole out.

To all my reviewers, Thank you so much for sticking this out with me! I know I updated so sporadically it's ridiculous, I'm lucky to have all of you! Much smooshy kisses to you all.

EJ Santry. Without her, I never would have started this. Her subtle pushes and help were immeasurable. I appreciate the help you gave me in the beginning.

Viola Cornuta. Your grace with the red pen, your unconditional love and friendship, and your uncontrolled love for these characters have helped to make me see this out when it would have been easier to just stop. You deserve all of the beta awards as far as I'm concerned. Thank you for your ability to corral the commas, slap the sillies, paddle the 'thats' out of me, and grapple my grammar.

Rowan Moon. Your gorgeous words of encouragement, your feeding of my ego, your loving friendship have carried me over many a days. I find it is hard for me to word everything I need to say to you. Thank you for being my damsel in shining armor.

Merf. You beautiful woman. Thank you for your encouragement. I'm sorry to see you less in the fandom, but huge understanding abounds! You , are so loved!

Winterstale. I'm so proud to know you. Your words, your actions, your willingness to make me rake and cactus banners are proof of how much you love me and keep me laughing. Hold true to your own beliefs in this fandom.

RosaBella75. You stunning, giggling woman you. You are such a bright spot in my life, always!

TwiliteAddict. Thank you for not letting me dance alone. You are awesome and have a beautiful view on Carlisle and Esme. I value our friendship so much and the pictures posted on Twilighted.

TwifanUK. My partner in crimes yet to be discovered. My Giggle/Snorter friend and love. I have all the confidence in the world in your talents. Huge smooches to your apple cheeks!


Goldenmeadow. What to say? Without you and your Deddie, I wouldn't know any of these beautiful women, let alone meet them. Thank you so much for your in-your-face kindness/honesty, ability to make me strive to be better, and always telling me to dew eet! I love you more and more with every breath.