Title: A Madman's Mercy (Ch 13)

Authors: Amethyst Jackson and Jacyevans

Rating: M/NC-17

Category: Angst, Drama

Pairing: Edward/Bella

Summary: New Moon AU - After leaving Bella, Edward gradually loses control of his ability. When he is led to believe that she is dead, Edward cracks, leaving Bella as the only one who can pick up the pieces.

Disclaimer: Everything belongs to Stephenie Meyer. We're just playing in her sandbox.

Chapter 13

The days following my breakthrough were a fine balance. Edward and I both agreed that it was important to continue moving forward with my gift, though Edward insisted I not push myself beyond my limits for his sake. So it was that we spent our days training – or goofing off – and spent our nights fighting a growing desire for more than we'd had thus far.

It was difficult for me to be patient, though I knew it was for the best. We were both emotionally raw, and if I was completely honest, I enjoyed seeing Edward sweat a little. Every time I pulled away from a kiss now, I could see his restraint and hunger. It was nice to feel I wasn't the only one having to hold back.

Edward, for his part, was keeping his promise not to hide his feelings or suppress his affection.

"You know, I'm very fond of that bathing suit," Edward told me one morning when I walked out of the house to join him on the beach. We'd planned to swim again after some practice with my shield.

"Alice packed it," I told him, looking down at the skimpy polka-dot monstrosity that I'd learned to live with. "I would have preferred a one-piece."

Edward smiled. "You would have preferred to hide yourself away," he said, and I couldn't argue. "I hope one day you're sufficiently convinced of your own beauty that you won't attempt to keep it concealed."

I shrugged uncomfortably. "You know I don't love attention."

He laughed and held out his hand to me. "Yes, I know."

I took his hand and walked down the beach with him. We settled in a sunny spot just out of reach of the water's edge. Edward knelt facing me, and I tucked my legs beneath me.

"Will you try to show me something else today? You promised me a happy memory."

"I'll try," I swallowed, made unaccountably nervous by the hopeful gleam in his eyes. So far, I'd been unable to push away my shield for sustained periods of time. In the one instance that I had completely lifted my shield, it had felt easy to let it fall – but outside the emotionally charged atmosphere of that day, I couldn't do it. I felt naked every time I let the shield go and had to work hard to keep it from snapping back into place.

I focused first on what I wanted to show him. There were so many memories from the summer we spent together before he left, but some of them were horribly fuzzy after my change, and it was hard to choose from among the clear ones.

Eventually, I settled on one. "Okay," I breathed.

With my eyes closed, I tried first to get the shield to drop. Some days, I couldn't do it at all. Some days I could only nudge it. When I felt it go, I heard Edward's quiet exhale. It still baffled me that he loved my mind as much as he did. Surely my thoughts weren't that interesting.

"They are," he chuckled. I winced. I always forgot to filter my thoughts once I let him in.

"A memory," he reminded me gently. The shield was fighting me, trying to clamp back down. I clenched my fists. This time, I would win.

I cast my mind to the day I wanted to show him. The mild, overcast day in June had felt like paradise. We'd driven to Pike's Place Market in Seattle, Edward's idea once he found out I'd never been. We'd wandered hand-in-hand through stalls and stalls of produce. Edward had me sampling everything, wanting to know what I liked and why, what I didn't like and why. It didn't take me long to realize that Edward intended to buy at least a pound of everything I said I liked, and I'd started to lie. I had to say I disliked some things just to keep from having more food than I could possibly eat. After produce, it was artisan cheeses and freshly baked bread, smoked meats and chocolate candies, and I remembered thinking he must have been trying to fatten me up before he ate me.

"That's terrible," Edward chastised, but he was chuckling. My concentration wavered and my shield almost snapped back, but I held it off.

"Sorry," Edward murmured.

I returned to the memory. Edward had been delightfully carefree as we toted our purchases to the Volvo where he had a cooler waiting. He'd teased me about the cherry juice around my lips until I reached to swat at him, and he'd caught me and kissed me fervently. I'd been dazed as we returned to the market to look at antiques and used books and delicate handmade trinkets. Edward found an old gramophone that he swore had once sat in his father's study. I made him tell me as much as he could remember. My heart had been so full as I learned about Edward as a boy. His exuberance in telling me about his past made me love him even more, something I'd thought impossible. And when he told me how much he would have liked to take me out to a silent movie, how he might have even dared to steal a kiss once the lights went down, I felt sure that he really did love me enough for forever.

Suddenly Edward's lips crashed against mine, and my eyes flew open as I lost my tenuous control over my shield. Edward retreated just enough to look into my eyes, his hands cradling my face.

"I love you, sweet girl," he said and pressed his forehead to mine. "I love you so much."

"I love you, too," I laughed breathlessly, "But you probably figured that out."

Edward sighed. "I hate that there was ever a time when you could doubt that I absolutely adored you – but I'm glad to learn I didn't always fail in showing you how I felt. Thank you for sharing that with me."

"You're welcome," I whispered. "I really was happy then."

"I know...I felt it," he smiled wistfully. "Do you think...could you be that happy with me again?"

"Yes," I told him without hesitation. It was all too easy to picture the two of us at Pike's Place now – not so much in the produce section, but enjoying the market, teasing one another, holding hands and engaging in shameless public displays of affection. It would be even better now that I knew there was no expiration date on our relationship, nor reason for restraint.

"I wish I could have heard your thoughts just now," Edward said, carefully watching my expression. "What's going through your mind?"

I grinned at him. "Maybe I'll tell you later, if you're good today."

He laughed at that. "Not fair, Bella. I find it impossible to behave myself with you."

The predatory glint in his amber eyes had me hoping he'd behave very badly indeed.

The days ticked by. Every night seemed to go the same way these days. Edward and I would shower to wash away the day – separately, though the thought of asking him to scrub my back had occurred a time or two – and then we would go to the den or the living room or the bedroom. We would watch a movie or read together or play a board game. Any board game save Monopoly, that is – I refused to play with him anymore now that I knew he'd figured out years ago how to toss the dice to get just the number he wanted. I'd ended up bankrupt in less than twenty minutes when we'd played. It sucked.

But whether we played Monopoly or watched re-runs, I always found myself too distracted by Edward to be an active participant – but Edward was always staring at me anyway, so we generally ended up making out like horny teenagers...which I suppose, in a way, we were. Sometimes we brought each other to climax with eager touches in the dark, but we never went further.

Tonight, I suspected things would be different. I'd been especially preoccupied with Edward all day. Anything he did drove me to distraction, from the slightest hand gesture to the softest word from his lips. I'd been aroused all day, and I knew by the looks he gave me that he could tell.

I'd never felt so completely overcome before.

Maybe it was a vampire thing that I didn't know, or maybe it was just a human thing I'd never experienced. Either way, I could only listen to Edward reading E.M. Forster for ten minutes before I had to wrench the book out of his hands and claim his lips.

I let my kisses do the talking. My tongue tangled up with his, and the next thing I knew, Edward's right hand was up my shirt and his left was gripping my behind. Every movement of my hips brought me into renewed contact with his arousal, which only reminded me how he'd felt in my hand – that soft, smooth skin that surely would feel magical inside me...

"Bella," Edward panted, "I think –"

But whatever he thought was cut off by the shrill ringing of his phone. Knowing the call was likely a Cullen, I reluctantly moved off Edward's lap so he could fish his phone out of his pocket. I saw Alice's name on the screen before he answered.

"This has got to be the most astonishingly bad timing you've ever had," Edward growled. The sound made my legs feel wobbly.

"Well, I'm sorry, Edward. I still can't see you all the time," Alice snapped back. "I just wanted to check on you and Bella and see if Jasper and I could visit tomorrow."

Edward glanced at me. I nodded.

"Sure, Alice. Will you let us know when you're on your way?"

"Why?" Alice asked slyly. "Is there something we might interrupt?"

Edward rubbed a hand over his face, too much of a gentleman to admit to anything. I snatched the phone from him, much to his bemusement.

"Yes, Alice, there are things you might interrupt," I told her. "And you seriously interrupted just now."

"Oh, really?" Alice sang. "Should we delay our visit? If you and Edward are finally relieving some sexual tension, I'd hate to disrupt you."

"Could you just give us until nine in the morning before you come to the island?" I asked. I bit my lip and met Edward's eyes. His eyebrows were raised at me.

"Nine!" Alice all but crowed. "Jasper, Bella's planning to do the dirty with Edward until nine in the morning!"

"Yes, I gathered that," Jasper said in the background. I covered my face in mortification.

"Alice, we're not – we're just getting comfortable with each other again, okay?"

"Sure," Alice said skeptically. "Fine, we'll give you your space. But I want a big update on how things are going tomorrow, okay?"

Her genuine concern for us was evident in her tone, and I felt guilty for getting so absorbed in Edward that I'd forgotten to talk to my best friend. "Of course, Alice. We'll have a nice long talk tomorrow."

We said goodbye, and I returned the phone to Edward.

"Just getting comfortable, huh?" he said with a smirk. I felt an answering smile tugging at my lips. We'd definitely gotten more than comfortable.

"What were you going to say before she called?" I asked. "Were you going to say we should stop?"

"No," he laughed, rubbing the back of his neck. "Actually, I was going to say it was time to take your shirt off. But Alice -"

I pulled my shirt over my head, and he stopped speaking abruptly.

"You were saying?" I prompted as his eyes trained on my bare breasts. I was growing addicted to the way he looked at my body – raw lust tinged with wonder. I probably looked at him the same way.

Edward shook his head and beckoned me closer. "Never mind – it wasn't important."

I found my way back into his lap and watched Edward wet his lips, his eyes locked with mine. I leaned in to kiss him, pressing my bare body into his clothed one. My nipples hardened at the contact and the desire I'd fought all day overcame me again.

My hands clenched around the hem of his T-shirt and pulled. The fabric ripped, and Edward's breath hitched.

"Whoops," I mumbled against his mouth. He laughed while I pulled off the scraps of his shirt, and he drew me to him. I let out a breath at the glorious sensation of skin on skin. The sparks that had always flown between us at the merest touch were firing off by the thousands now. My body felt flushed all over, even though that was impossible now, and I felt his chest lifting with each heavy breath he took. His palms flattened against my back and I whimpered at the look in his eyes.

"Edward...I want more tonight."

"More than what?" His hands slid to my ass, drawing me closer.

"You're going to make me say it?" I complained.

"No, that wouldn't be very gentlemanly," he smiled. "I'll tell you what I want, then. I want to put my mouth on you."

His mouth on me...I had a feeling he wasn't talking about kissing my elbows. I thought about his mouth down there, his beautiful lips closing around my clit...

"You really want to do that?" I asked breathlessly.

In answer, he flipped me to my back on the couch. "It's been one of my most frequent fantasies since I met you," he admitted. I tried to wrap my head around his words as he unburdened me of my shorts.

"I can't even fathom that," I told him. His hands crept up my thighs toward the hem of my panties.

"Is it so surprising?" he asked, catching the lace at my hips. He slowly began to pull, sinking to his knees on the floor beside the couch. "As delectable as your blood once seemed to me, your arousal always smelled even better. Still does."

My panties hit the floor and his hands were immediately on my ankles, spreading my legs as they slid upward. I'd never felt more exposed, but I found I liked this kind of exposure. I liked him seeking out the most secret part of me.

He was almost there. My thighs quivered with my anticipation.

"I've thought about putting my mouth on you, too," I blurted out. His hands gripped my thighs and his eyes shot up to mine. Looking down my naked body at him made me shiver.

"You have?"

I nodded and his hands moved up to the apex of my thighs. I watched his fingers part me, watched his gaze turn rapt as his thumb stroked lightly down my slit. I couldn't tear my eyes away, but oh, how I wanted to close them at the pleasure.

"I'd heard all kinds of stories," I told him as he teased me with his fingers. "You know the things you hear in high school. They made it sound awful, but – oh!" I gasped. His lips pressed wetly against my inner thigh and crept inward with small kisses. "But I thought you would probably taste pretty wonderful."

He groaned and touched his lips to my clit. My legs jerked in reaction.

"Oh, wow," I breathed, still struggling to watch him. The way he looked crouched between my legs ought to be photographed and framed: his long fingers curled around my thighs, his hair brushing against my skin, the cut of his jaw as it flexed.

His mouth opened and his tongue flattened against me, wet and warm and velvety. My fingers punctured the arm of the couch as I cried out.

Edward pulled away minutely. "Maybe you should hold onto me instead," he suggested as he pulled my hands away from the upholstery. I buried my fingers in his hair and held on tight as his lips and tongue began to explore.

I realized he hadn't been exaggerating – he really wanted this. Edward's mouth moved continuously, hungrily against me. Lapping. Sucking. Nipping. Trying to get his tongue deeper inside. I writhed absolutely wantonly against the couch. The feeling of his tongue laving my clit had me rocketing toward orgasm. The feeling of being voraciously desired had me ready to weep.

I felt his fingers at my entrance, pushing inside. My muscles clamped around him instantly and I arched into his touch. He thrust his fingers in and out of me and there was no way I would last long with him doing that and licking me at the same time – but I wasn't ready for it to be over.

"Just let go," he murmured against me, then sucked my clit between his lips. The pressure built up quite suddenly, approaching an unbearable singularity until finally, it burst into a thousand points of beautiful, glorious light radiating outward from my overstimulated sex.

I knew I'd cried out his name because I heard it echoing in the room. I knew I'd thrown back my head because I couldn't see him anymore. I knew he hadn't stopped because it was still happening, wave after wave of pulsing sensation.

I remained on that heavenly plateau for God-knows-how-long until Edward finally began to ease.

After bringing me down slowly, Edward pulled away. I tried to wrap my mind around the fact that I was naked on a couch on an island off the coast of Brazil with Edward, coming down from a sexual high.

I let out a giggle and turned my eyes to Edward. He watched me worriedly as I giggled again. It couldn't be helped. Edward looked an absolute mess.

"What is so funny?" Edward demanded even as his lips started to twitch. I let an all-out laugh escape and Edward laughed at me in turn. I sat up, still laughing, and snatched my T-shirt from the floor.

"Seriously, Bella, what?" Edward urged, joining me on the couch. I wriggled into my shirt and peeked over at him. His shorts were tented. Seeing the perfect outline of him, I suddenly wasn't so amused...but I was turned on again.

"I just – I can't believe we just did...that. I can't believe you just did that. It's so surreal."

Edward pursed his lips thoughtfully. "Is it surreal because you never thought it would happen, or surreal because it still seems strange for it to happen now?"

"A little bit of both, I guess," I said, tugging down the hem of my shirt. It barely reached my thighs. His eyes followed my fingers, his gaze hot on my skin, and I tingled with the knowledge of his desire. He'd never shown that to me when I was human, and in all my fantasies, I'd never comprehended just how exhilarating sexual exploration might be. "It's not just surreal because it's you and me doing these things – it's surreal because I've never done anything like this before. And just because it's surreal doesn't mean I'm not ecstatic about it."

Edward smiled at that. "I loved doing that to you. I've seen the act in so many minds over my lifetime, but I never really got it until now. Already I can't wait to taste you again."

My breath hitched. There were no words for how much I already wanted his mouth on me again...but instead, I slipped to the floor and knelt in front of him.

Edward's eyes widened and he ran his tongue over his lower lip while he watched me settle between my legs. "You're right...it's surreal," he murmured, watching my every move.

"Yeah," I agreed, placing my hands on his knees. "It is."

Suddenly, I felt unsure. I'd never done this before, after all, and it wasn't like we were in the heat of the moment with him touching and me responding. I could very well make a fool of myself.

"Bella...whatever you do or don't want to do is fine by me. I mean, whatever you do will be perfect. There's no pressure."

I met his tender gaze and I understood that he really expected nothing from me now.

I bit my lip, battling back all the insecurities. There was so much about all of this that I just didn't know – sex was foreign to me. And even though he was a virgin too, he'd accumulated a lifetime of knowledge from others' minds.

"Bella, there is nothing you can do that will make me stop loving you," he swore.

His haunted expression told me he'd already considered every single horrible thing I could do, and none of those things would make the slightest difference.

It made me want to give him everything.

I ran my hands up his firm thighs and hooked my fingers into the elastic waistband of his gray cotton sweatpants. He lifted his hips slightly, and I slowly pulled them away. As usual, he hadn't bothered with underwear. I wondered if he only did that while on isolated tropical islands or what.

I tossed his pants behind me. It was sort of ridiculous how beautiful he was naked. He was all long and lean from broad shoulders down to well-defined arms, from a solid chest down to washboard abs and a perfect V between his thighs pointing to a masterpiece that ought to be rendered in marble and displayed in the Louvre.

I looked up his body to his darkening eyes. "Tell me if I do anything...wrong."

Edward huffed out a laugh. "Impossible."

Impossible had never been so impossible for me, but I hoped he was right. I took a deep breath and started with what I already knew. I grasped him in my hands and simply touched, studying and exploring. Most of our touching had happened beneath clothing, so I'd never really seen him before. His...cock...was sort of pretty, though I'd never say that to him, and I found to my surprise that I felt no aversion whatsoever to putting it in my mouth. I wanted it, even.

With his gaze burning down on me, I braced my arms on his thighs and leaned in to take the tip into my mouth.

Edward's hips jerked, and I reared back. "Sorry," he hastily apologized. "I wasn't prepared for how it would feel."

I smiled at that and lowered my mouth again, taking him in further this time. I'd been right in my speculations. The smooth skin under my tongue was sweet as his mouth with a hint of saltiness. Enjoying this was a relief to me, but even better were his reactions. I pressed my tongue against him and he moaned. I sucked and he groaned. I let him touch the back of my throat and he whimpered.

His fingers grazed my cheek and I looked up at him. His eyes watched me reverently, and I felt like sex incarnate.

"You are," Edward breathed, and I pulled away abruptly. I knew for certain I hadn't said that out loud – my mouth had been otherwise occupied, after all.

"Can you hear me right now?" I demanded.

"Um, you just closed off again," he said, looking dazed. "But I've heard you a few times tonight. You let your guard down some when you're..." he hesitated. "Aroused, I suppose."

"Is it...okay?" I asked, not sure what I could do about it if it weren't. "Do you mind hearing me while we're...?"

His hand cupped my cheek. "Your thoughts are the sexiest thing about you."

I raised an eyebrow. "The sexiest?" I mean, I'd always been a little insecure about my breasts, but I felt a little offended on their behalf – they ought to trump my brain in the sexy department, surely?

Edward gave a lopsided grin. "I said one of the things. There are many," he said, and his eyes lingered on my chest.

Well, that was better.

"Come here, Bella," Edward said huskily, beckoning me into his lap. I crawled up, though I felt a little hurt that he didn't want me to finish. Edward pulled me against his body and I gasped when the head of his cock brushed against my clit.

"You...you are the sexiest creature in the world," he told me, shifting enough to create friction between us. I whimpered.

"Edward..." I began uncertainly. The way he was moving was awfully close to doing it, and I didn't think we were ready for that.

"Just this for tonight," he said, brushing his lips against mine. "Feeling you against me...that's enough. That's what I want right now," he breathed, and he rubbed against me again. I closed my eyes. Yes, feeling him sliding against my wet sex and rubbing against my clit was more than enough – enough to make my eyes cross, and enough to make me come again.

"You're so beautiful...so sensual," he moaned as his hips lifted again and again, constantly stimulating us both. "Do you have any idea? Do you know how hard it was not to come the instant you put your mouth on me? Can you ever comprehend how it turned me on to taste you and know all that arousal was for me?"

His questions were rhetorical, but I hissed out a long, "Yes," just the same. His body moved with such power and purpose beneath mine, and heaven help me if I didn't want to shift just a bit and take him inside.

When his hands came up to knead at my breasts beneath my shirt, I opened his eyes. Edward watched me intently, and beneath his feral gaze, my orgasm began to build. I writhed against him, seeking just the right pressure to put me over the edge.

"I'll get you there," he promised, sitting up straighter. The new angle was exactly what I needed, and his arms closed around me, holding me in place as he pressed harder and harder. My legs started to tingle, and it was too much for me to arch into his thrusts, so I let him take over completely.

"Oh, God," I breathed, tense all over and so, so close.

"Bella – I'm gonna – fuck -" he grunted, throwing his head back against the couch, and between that word from his lips and his release against my stomach, I snapped.

"Edward," I gasped as a wave of heat swept over my body, my hips jerking to find more of the too-hot ecstasy. All my nerve-endings came to life and seized with pleasure. Edward held me clutched to him as I rode it out, grinding against his still-hard cock while he moaned in my ear. When it became too much sensation, when I thought my body would simply implode with any more pleasure, I slumped against him, feeling his chest rise and fall with heavy breaths.

It was the first time I'd felt sort of worn out as a vampire.

I buried my face in the crook of Edward's shoulder and nuzzled his neck. I never wanted to move.

"We should get cleaned up," Edward whispered. He sounded as reluctant to interrupt the moment as I felt. "Would you like to shower with me?"

It was ridiculous that the thought of showering with Edward put butterflies in my stomach after all we'd just done, but I'd come to the conclusion that I was pretty ridiculous most of the time. I nodded, and Edward stood with me still cradled in his arms and carried us both to the bathroom.

A/N: So, this one was a little longer for you, and hopefully fulfilling. Making better time, too!