EPOV

I watched her sleep that night. The only time I left her side was to wait outside her window for a few minutes when Charlie came in to check on her that evening. I'd had the presence of mind to dress her while she slept, my speed and accuracy never nudging her awake. As soon as Charlie had grumbled something about having to make his own dinner, he disappeared back downstairs and I could resume my previous position next to her warm body.

I loved how she unconsciously curled tighter into my body as she slept, and how sometimes in her sleep she would softly sigh. It made me wish once again that I could read her mind and see what she was dreaming of, or if she was dreaming of me. I gently played with her hair while she slept peacefully, watching her chest rise and fall with each breath.

I could see her pulse gently hammering away underneath her snow white skin, and I could smell the sweet sugary scent of her blood. But I no longer had the urge to bite her. Maybe I had vented all my desires those few days ago when I had nearly killed her. All I felt was love for the delicate creature next to me who was too trusting for her own good.

She stirred slightly in her sleep and pulled my arm tighter around her waist, murmuring incoherently. I seriously doubted that the desire I felt for my Bella would ever diminish. She would always be beautiful, even if she stayed human forever. I would always want her. Even now, just watching the simple motion of sleep was having me wishing she'd wake up so we could make love again. I was fighting the urge to let my fingers disappear up her cotton t-shirt, to stroke her bare skin reverently as I admired her. But I wasn't sure if I had redeemed myself enough to touch her while she was most vulnerable. I didn't want to push my luck.

I could feel the sun rising slowly now, its luminous glow filling the room with rays of light which hit my bare skin, making it sparkle as if there were a million diamonds inset. As the light fell across her face, she slowly awoke, registering the cool touch of my arms around her waist.

"Good morning," she whispered sleepily, her eyes still not opening.

"Dawn's barely broke, Bella. Go back to sleep," I replied, softly kissing her cheek. She shook her head.

"I've been sleeping since two o'clock, silly!" she scolded playfully, wriggling around so that she was on her back, still enclosed in my stony embrace.

"Whatever you say..." I teased. But really I was waiting for her permission to kiss her. Her eyes widened with delight when she saw the stripes of glitter across my face from the pattern her blinds were throwing. She slowly reached up her hand to place it carefully on my face and giggled as the lights rays transferred onto the back of her hand.

"You're beautiful, Edward," she sighed, slowly trailing her hand down from my face and my neck, resting on my shoulder.

"Not in comparison to you," I quipped, and before she could argue I silenced her lips with a kiss. It was more passionate than I had intended, maybe because a lot of my desire had built up from watching her sleeping. Her arms linked around mine as she effortlessly pulled me on top of her. I wasn't one to resist what my Bella wanted. I settled comfortably in between her thighs, letting her wrap her legs around my waist as I continued to rain kiss upon kiss on her fragile skin.

"You've got your clothes on. I've got my clothes on," she said the latter with a great amount of surprise in her voice and I had to suppress a laugh.

"You dressed me?" she asked.

"Yes," I murmured into the hollow of her neck.

"Oh," she said softly. There was a trace of disappointment in her voice, and I knew what she was thinking even without the gift of reading her mind.

"You don't think Charlie would have gotten the shock of his life?" I quickly responded.

"Charlie? Oh, right. I completely forgot," she sighed, realization dawning upon her face. Her fingers tangled in my hair as I returned to her lips. I knew that Charlie wouldn't be up for a while, so I took my time with her. She was responding to my kisses eagerly, pulling me down to her and arching herself towards me if I left a bare inch of space between our bodies.

I groaned as she suddenly bucked upwards with her hips, making our bodies rub against each other in the most enticing of ways. I slid her shirt up and over her head, almost crying out as her hot skin came into full contact with mine once more. I would never get tired of this, of Bella. Her lips were frantic against mine as lust overwhelmed a lot of other human senses she possessed.

But I refused to let this happen as fast and furious as the last two times had been. I wanted this to last for as long as possible. I pulled back from her, assessing the situation from a more professional point of view. She certainly didn't look as if she had any regrets from yesterday afternoon, from the way she was glaring at me for pulling away from her. Her hands went to self-consciously cover her chest, but I linked my fingers through hers and pulled them gently away. I was amused to see that after our furious love-making the day before she would be embarrassed in front of me.

"Don't hide yourself," I chided gently as I let her wrap her arms around my torso, caressing my cold skin.

And so we lay there for hours, just kissing and holding each other. Neither of us made the move to initiate sex, and I suspected that she was trying to suppress that urge as at times she clung to me a little too hard, almost as if she was trying to get under my skin. When I finally glanced at my watch I jumped up suddenly, as if I had been bitten.

"What's the matter?" Bella asked, her eyes scanning to room as if another vampire might have materialized in front of us. Her eyes were still a little unfocused, and a few stray strands of hair were sticking up from where I had been running my fingers through it. She looked like the definition of adorable.

"It's 7:00, Bella! Charlie will be getting up any moment now," I explained as I searched feverishly for her shirt among the rumpled sheets. Locating it, I tossed it in her direction and she grumbled as she pulled it over her head while eyeing me seductively as if she could lure me into the ripping it off of her again. The idea was tempting, but I suddenly heard Charlie's bedroom door swing open and his out-of-tune humming as he filled the kettle.

"I'll be back as soon as he's left for work, I promise," I whispered as she slipped back under the covers and adjusted her pillows to make it look as if she had been sleeping.

She merely shrugged, but I knew that she was slightly more desperate than that.

"I feel like a monster for leaving you like this, you know that right?" I added, watching her fight a small smile.

"You should," she grumbled as she buried her face in her pillow.

"I love you!" I chanted in an annoyingly sing-song voice, but was cut off when she gave me the finger, still refusing to look at me.

"Wow Bella, I am so hurt by that!" I feigned disappointment and saw her tilt her head towards me and roll her eyes as her hand reached out for mine.

"Just come back soon, okay?" she mumbled as I interlaced our fingers. I nodded. It was beyond my power to leave her here for very long at all. It was getting harder by the second to just leap out the window as her little hand squeezed mine. I managed – somehow – to pull away and the next thing I knew I was walking across a field a mile or so behind her house.

I knew from venturing into her father's mind that he was on edge about being late for work. A few bodies had washed up in a local river, and there was a lot of speculation as a major investigation took place. I already knew the killer: another nomadic vampire. The identities of the bodies proved to be nobodies, just homeless drunks who wondered around late at night in dark alleyways. They didn't have much to lose in the first place.

Even though I was a fair distance away, I was careful to keep them within my hearing range. I didn't want to leave Bella alone for any longer than I needed to. I heard Charlie eating breakfast, having a shower, talking to himself as he brushed his hair. And I heard Bella singing softly to herself as she wondered around her room, making her bed and tidying up the little bits of mess here and there.

Her sweet voice filled my ears and made me forget all my troubles at once.

"Closed off from love, I didn't need the pain

Once or twice was enough and it was all in vain

Time starts to pass before you know if you're frozen

But something happened for the very first time with you

My heart melted to the ground, found something true

And everyone's lookin' round thinking I'm going crazy

But I don't care what they say, I'm in love with you

They try to pull me away but they don't know the truth

My heart's crippled by the vein that I keep on closing

You cut me open and I keep bleeding

I keep, keep bleeding love

I keep bleeding

I keep, keep bleeding love

I keep bleeding

I keep, keep bleeding love

You cut me open

Trying hard not to hear, but they talk so loud

Their piercing sounds fill my ears, try to fill me with doubt

Yet I know that the goal is to keep me from falling

But nothings greater than the rush that comes with your embrace

And in this world of loneliness I see your face

Yet everyone around me thinks that I'm going crazy

Maybe, maybe

But I don't care what they say, I'm in love with you

They try to pull me away but they don't know the truth

My heart's crippled by the vein that I keep on closing

You cut me open and I keep bleeding

I keep, keep bleeding love

I keep bleeding

I keep, keep bleeding love

I keep bleeding

I keep, keep bleeding love

You cut me open

And it's draining all of me

Oh they find it hard to believe

I'll be wearing these scars for everyone to see

But I don't care what they say, I'm in love with you

They try to pull me away but they don't know the truth

My heart's crippled by the vein that I keep on closing

You cut me open and I keep bleeding

I keep, keep bleeding love

I keep bleeding

I keep, keep bleeding love

I keep bleeding

I keep, keep bleeding love

You cut me open and I keep bleeding

I keep, keep bleeding love

I keep bleeding

I keep, keep bleeding love

I keep bleeding

I keep, keep bleeding love

You cut me open and I keep bleeding

I keep, keep bleeding love"

*~*~*~*

The moment the sound of the front door closing as Charlie departed the house I started to run. I had to get to her as soon as possible, to show her how much I loved her in return, and that she didn't have to keep hurting herself for me anymore. I reached the house just as the car was pulling out of the drive, and I hid in the shadows for a while until it had disappeared down the road before I hoisted myself up to her window.

She wasn't in her bedroom like earlier, and I slid open the window easily as I climbed in and poked my head out the doorway of her bedroom, tracing her unmistakable scent to the kitchen where she was humming the tune to the song she had only recently finished singing. She had the ear-buds of her iPod in her ears, and she was oblivious to the fact that I was now standing directly behind her.

She had tied her hair up with a ribbon, letting those few loose tendrils escape and fall across her face and down her neck once more. I was overwhelmed with the desire to touch her, so strong I didn't see the point in resisting them any longer.

She stiffened when she felt my cold arms wrap protectively around her waist, pulling her against my front, before she melted into me. I growled somewhere in my chest as I ran through a mental checklist of all the things I planned to do with her today, and by the way she tilted her head to the side so that I could place soft kisses on her neck made me think that she'd be a willing participant in those activities.

"What are you going to do?" she asked wearily as my fingers started to pull at her t-shirt.

"I'm going to make love to you the way I should have all those nights ago," I growled. I felt her shudder slightly under my arms but I knew that this time it wasn't from fear or hesitation, it was from lust and anticipation.

She took my hands in hers, and began walking backwards towards the stairs so as to never break eye contact.

But we never made it to the bedroom.

We spent that long day in the best way possible, just exploring each other's bodies and minds. When we weren't making love, we were talking quietly to each other before the urge to make love again arose. And it never took long. I found myself a little concerned for Bella's comfort the next day. But then I was reminded of the Paracetamol that Jasper had provided her with a few nights ago and relaxed.

She certainly never seemed to give up, and I couldn't blame her. I wanted to be with her every single moment of every day although we both knew that was impossible. And as I heard Charlie's Cruiser pulling off of the freeway, I knew that it was time to leave her until tomorrow.

But tomorrow would come, as all days eventually did. And I would make sure I would make good on my promise to her as I left.

"See you tomorrow?" she had asked, breathless as I kissed her goodbye.

"I promise. And if you want, we can do it all over again."