A/N: Twilight belongs to Stephanie Meyer.

Chapter 24: Under The Sea


"I heard you. You said something about mermaids and wanting to hold my hand while we swam."

I looked at him, studying his puzzled expression. I had never even opened my mouth while we were underwater; the idea of accidentally ingesting water was disgusting. Then I had an idea.

Edward, I thought, the Volvo was all my idea.

He shook his head. "Bella, I don't care about the car anymore, I…" And then he abruptly shut his mouth. "Did you just? How did you? I just…"

"You heard my thoughts?"

He moved his head up and down, wordlessly.

"Okay, let's try this," I said and thought to myself, I wonder what color your eyes were when you were human. After a few seconds without an answer I asked if he heard me.

"No. Just silence, like always. What did you do differently?"

"I'm not sure. Let me try again." I tried to think the statement a few different ways

I wonder what color his eyes were. Nothing.

More specific. I wonder what color Edward's eyes were. Nothing.

Phrased as a question. What color were your eyes, Edward? Still nothing.

It was like I'd held the key for one brief second and all of the sudden it had slipped out of my hand.

I concentrated deeply, thinking of a barrier between us, like when he was behind me in the water and I couldn't communicate with him. I built the invisible barrier and then tried to sneak past it. Edward, I want to ask you what color your eyes used to be when you were human without speaking.

He smiled. "Green. My eyes were green."

I closed my eyes, focusing on his light, and spoke to him again without words. I just have to send it to you, like I'm opening a portal to your mind.

I wonder if it's still open? Edward asked, and my eyes shot open. It was Edward's voice but it was different; with a tint, like it was coming through a tin can.

"Did you just respond?" I practically squealed. "Can I hear you too?"

I think so, tin can Edward responded, while his mouth, set in a huge grin remained unmoving.

I shook my head in disbelief. It was too much to process. I could open my mind to Edward. Not only could I send him my thoughts, but I could hear his as well. I would have been very pissed indeed to have learned this before today, before I had accepted the fate Edward set in motion that day in the meadow. We were made for each other in everyway. I was his silence. His only peace of mind. Except for when I chose not to be. I thought of all the ways this could come in handy. On a hunt. In a fight. During sex.

Oh, shit. How many times have I thanked God Edward couldn't read my thoughts? How many times have I thought something I wouldn't really want him to hear? Is he listening right now?

I studied Edward's face, his smile still fully intact, no hint of confusion. He could only hear what I wanted him to hear. Could I only hear if I set my mind to it? Only one way to know for sure.

"Think something, I mean, uh, you know, send me something right now," I said out loud.

Seconds passed and I heard nothing. Edward's eyebrows furrowed.

"Okay," I told him, "now think the same thing, the same way." And this time I focused on that barrier, putting a little mental crack in it.

I want to take you, Bella, right here in this river. I want to fuck you underwater without coming up for air.

That came through loud and clear. He was totally unsure if I had heard him or not and once again, he was ambushed. I pounced him.

At first it was difficult, finding a way to put friction between us with nothing to brace ourselves against. As we kissed, the last of the oxygen left our bodies, and with no air in our lungs we sunk to the bottom of the river like dead weight.

We are dead weight, love, Edward reminded me.

I could feel the current dragging us slowly through the silt until Edward's back drifted into a large rock, and there I pinned his body against my own. And for the first time, we made love with no words, and yet with no boundaries. There were no thoughts in each other's minds that went unheard. In his mind, I saw myself the way he saw me, and I really was beautiful.

I want to show you something, I told him silently.

I closed my eyes to see his soul, and then I opened my mind so he could see it too.

I could tell he was smiling, from the tenor of his thoughts. You didn't have to prove it, you know. You've given me the strength to believe in things I cannot see.

I just wanted to make sure you knew.

It's funny though, he thought, you didn't tell me it was like two lights.

What? I opened my eyes so that in front of me I saw only his watery form, and in his mind, the memory of the light he had just seen. There were two there, partially connected, but clearly individual. Soul mates.

My own soul, it seemed, I was only able to see through his eyes…

"So, I guess this means I'll have to be the one guarding my thoughts for a change."

"How so?" Now that we were finally above water, it was time to flesh out this portal thing.

"Well," he said, swinging me gently around in circles as my legs remained tightly wrapped around his thighs as he stood in the waist high water, "it seems as though only you can open the portal that connects our minds. I have tried and tried a million times to read your mind to no avail. I am only capable of hearing you when you make the conscious decision to open yourself to me."

"Ahh," I said, understanding, "so you're worried because I'll be able to peep in on your dirty mind whenever I want, but if you want to see inside my head, you have to have permission."

"Yes. Like asking for a hall pass," he said with a laugh.

"So, basically, I'll always have to initiate mental contact, or just open my mind at the right time, if you want to send me something."

He shook his head affirmatively.

"So we should have some sort of password, you know?"

Edward cocked an eyebrow. Password? What are we, in third grade? he thought, unaware that the portal was open.

"Yes, like in third grade," I snapped back with a playful sneer.

Dammit. That's going to take some getting used to, he thought.

"Look, if we're ever in a situation where you want to say something to me without actually, you know, saying something, then you need a way to let me to open my mind."

How 'bout pussy? His expression was all mischief and amusement. That's a great password.

I cleared my throat verbally for effect, since I wasn't quite sure how to think the gesture, and responded in like kind. Something you can say out loud, Edward. In front of others, if need be.

Right. Right, he thought, as he pulled my body closer to his. He shimmied my legs a little higher up his body so our eyes met and foreheads touched. But that's a password that, maybe, we could use for something…else?

I put my hand on his chest to push myself away from him, but Edward held me firmly against him. As much as I'd like to, Alice is still waiting… My thoughts became a jumbled mess as I ran my hand up and down his chest, the hard point of his nipple tickling my palm over and over. Target…corkboard…password…pussy…

I thought so, tin can Edward said, and I could hear the smirk in his inner voice as he plunged me back into the rushing water...

I had lost all track of time, not easy for a vampire constantly aware of everything around her.

We found ourselves lying on the bank, my back to Edward's stomach, my head resting underneath his chin. We were about two miles from home, in soaking-wet clothes, soaking up each other's minds. At my request, Edward was showing me flashes of his blurred human memories. His family's apartment in Chicago. His father under the hood of a piece of automobile history. A mental picture of his mother, her piercing emerald eyes staring back at me.

"That's why my eyes looked like," he said aloud, and then proceeded to show me an image of his human self in the mirror. Aside from the blurry edges, he looked exactly the same in his memory as he did in that very moment on the bank. He was sharper now, more chiseled and defined, but still seventeen. He heard my comments, as the portal was still open, our thoughts flowing freely between each other's minds. "That was right before the flu hit," he whispered into my ear.

I sighed both internally and aloud, thinking of us both being seventeen forever.

"I'm grateful though, you know," he told me, "even if you can read me like a book whenever you want, I'm glad that I can't hear you all the time."

"I understand," I said, and closed my mind. "We'll be careful with it. I don't want to wear it out; it will just be for special times."

I felt him nod, unsure what his thoughts were as I had already closed the portal, but glad to be in the dark. "Plus," I added, "I know how obnoxious it is to watch you and Alice have a practically silent conversation. We'd drive the whole family crazy communicating in our heads all the time."

"Obnoxious?" he sounded offended.

"Come on, Edward, I can't even begin to imagine all the secrets you share with Alice." There was a silence, and I felt selfish for saying it. It wasn't fair to him; he couldn't change the past just because I wasn't in it. I focused on the future. "But it doesn't matter, we'll have our own secrets now," I stood, turning around to grab his hand and pull him with me toward the water, "secrets about fair mermaids and dashing mermen."

With that I dove into the water and heard Edward's splash behind me. He swam up beside me grabbing my hand. I smiled. Let's go home.

Home to our castle on land. The beautiful mermaid who gave up her fins to be with her prince and tried very hard not to look back to the sea.

We approached the house soaking wet, but quite clean, at least, compared to last time. Will we tell them? I asked Edward.

Before he could even think an answer, Alice sprung out the back door and onto the patio. "This sure is an interesting development!"

"You saw?" Edward asked her.

"Of course I did, silly. Bella, who knows how much of your shielding powers are still untapped! This is so exciting! Try sending me a message!"

"Alice, I don't think…"

"I knew you'd say that. Come on, try!"

I really didn't think it would work. This connection, I hoped, was for Edward and me alone. So I just let my thoughts flow, figuring I'd prove her wrong.

Dammit, Alice. I adore you. You're wonderful. But I wish you couldn't see it every time your brother and I have sex! Her expression remained unchanged, and I knew it wasn't working. I kept going. I don't want you to see my future.

Alice gasped. Her eyes slammed shut and her hands shot to her forehead like she was in pain. She stumbled. Vampire…stumbled. That was a first.

"Alice," Edward rushed to her side, "you heard that?"

"What are you doing to me, Bella?" Alice asked, her eyes still closed, her fingers rubbing her temples, as her body leaned against Edward for support.

"I…I don't know. I just…I thought about how…" How could I say this without hurting Alice's feelings? "I thought about how I didn't want you to see my future…you know, for…privacy."

"What is this, Alice, why are you in pain?" Edward asked.

"Her future. It just disappeared." Alice spoke through gritted teeth. "A few minutes ago…she was going to go upstairs and change. I could see what she would wear. And now. Nothing."

"Can you make it stop, Bella?" Edward asked, concern in his face. "I can hear it in her head, it's like white noise, it's giving her a migraine."

Oh, God. I panicked. I was hurting Alice. What am I going to do, Alice? What will I wear? Tell me my future, I begged. And I felt the tension releasing, like my mind was snapping back into place, no longer intruding on Alice's will.

Alice's face relaxed, her eyes opened, she could stand on her own. "Well, that's not what I expected!" she said with a faint smile.

"Are you kidding me, Alice? I just…I just fucking tortured you with your own gift or something! I'm so sorry."

She held out her arms and I rushed up to embrace her, mumbling apologies over and over.

Edward looked on from a distance of a few feet, arms folded across his chest, simply observing.

"You're just strong, Bella. You're a newborn, remember? Like everything else, you'll learn to control this," she said, pushing me away from her slightly so she could look up into my eyes, "and the good news is, maybe someday you'll be able to block my powers and I won't have to see you and Edward getting it on!"

"But then we'll be walking home naked, won't we?" I asked, trying to force a smile. I still felt horrible for the pain I had caused her, though she was clearly trying to pretend like it was a faint memory.

"Go on upstairs and change, you two. I don't think we'll be doing any shopping today."

"Thanks, Alice." I fought the urge to apologize yet again as Edward opened the back door I walked through it.

What the fuck was that, Edward? I asked him as we headed through the living room and up the stairs.

It's funny, actually.

What part of that, I pointed back down stairs, was funny?

No. Not that. That was some freaky shit. But what's funny is that…a lot of the time, when I'm with you, just the two of us, I can't hear other thoughts. Even just Alice downstairs or Emmett in the garage. I'm starting to think this whole time, it's been a part of your latent powers. And I thought…

I nodded for him to continue as he opened the bedroom door and waved me in ahead of him.

Well, honestly, I thought it was just because I was so obsessed with you. Thoughts and images flashed through his mind. Naked Bella. Bella's ass bending over in the garden. Naked Bella. Bella's cleavage, red bra showing.

I couldn't help but laugh, as I watched him struggle to control the images.

"All right. That's it. Close it now, Swan."

No way. This is too good. Keep going, perv, I thought as we began to undress ourselves.

Immediately Edward's thoughts shot to a fantasy of me in the shower. I was human. He was lathering the soap all over my body, not unlike the actual shower we had shared earlier that morning. I could feel him trying to stop it. Stop thinking about it. Stop me from seeing it. Bella, please, don't listen to this. In the fantasy, he touched me, and his memory recalled the imaginary secretion of my human body as he rubbed it between his fingers.

I was so turned on, seeing this side of him, his voyeuristic nature. Realizing he was thinking these thoughts about me before he even knew me, that he was so drawn to me even then, it made me crave him so strongly in the present. He slammed me against the shower wall and forced himself inside of me with one thrust. Nothing like the true Edward, really, who was so concerned with hurting me the first time.

And then in his mind, as his dick was fully consumed by me, and our pelvises met, his teeth sank into my neck and I watched the blood pour out from my body. Dark red as it flowed from the wound, the color became increasingly diluted as it ran down my body and mixed with the shower's spray, until it was just a light pink as it entered the drain. I tried to focus on that, the blood wasted, and not the blood consumed.

In the end, I don't know who stopped the vision. The memory. The fantasy. Whatever it was. That might have been where it ended for Edward. Or he might have reigned in control of his thoughts. Or maybe I had snapped the portal shut, clutching my shield tightly around me.

The sex. The bite. The blood. It scared the living hell out of me…because it excited me.

"Bella, I…I'm so embarrassed. I'm ashamed. I know what you must think…what this looks like to you."

"It's my own fault," I said diplomatically. "If I'm going to go traipsing around in your head, I need to know that I may not like what I see." The truth was that I wanted to be self-righteous. I wanted to scream. I wanted to pound my fists against his chest. I wanted to demand, how could you?

How could you fantasize about fucking me and biting me and drinking the life out of me?

But I couldn't do that, because, I feared, if the roles were reversed, maybe I would have done the same thing.

And maybe I would have done it slower so I could savor the taste.

And maybe I would have made it more painful so I could hear him beg for mercy.

I shook my head, trying to clear the images from my mind. The lust and bloodlust so intermingled I couldn't tell up from down or right from wrong.

I hoped maybe hearing Edward's thoughts would soothe me. I opened the portal just a hair, so tentatively. The way a human lifts just one eyelid just a little bit from behind slightly parted fingers during a scary movie.

Bella, I'm sorry. I never meant to. I was so sure I could control it. Edward went on in his mind, begging me, hoping I was listening.

You idiot! I screamed inside. Shut up! Shut up!

Edward tensed, fear contorting his face. He tried to silence his mind but his thoughts rambled on without his control. What did I do? How do I fix this? Oh, God, she's so angry.

And I felt it. I felt angry. I felt vengeful and wrathful and fucking powerful.

And I felt good.

I wasn't angry at Edward. Truthfully, in that moment, I couldn't give a shit about Edward. I didn't even attempt to close the portal back up. I let all my angry, power-drunk thoughts flow freely.

I. Need. To. Hunt.

And then there was a flicker of recognition in his eyes. No, Bella. No. I won't let you.

"Stop me, Edward," I whispered, and I wasn't sure if it was a plea or a challenge. My mind reeled with blood and gore and thirst extinguished. I headed for the door, but Edward was in the way. I turned for the window. He was there too.

Let me go, Edward. Let me out of here!

"No, Bella." He grabbed my wrist and twisted my arm behind me in some kind of karate move. His other hand came up from behind me and clasped my throat. "No."

In a move so quick I could hardly register, he flung me around and onto the bed, jumping on top of me and pinning me between his legs.

"Get off of me," I growled, surprised at the feral sound coming from my body. I kicked my legs and beat his chest and tried to scratch him with my nails.

"It's no use Bella. Your nails cannot break my skin." In a flash, his teeth were at my throat. But my teeth will break yours. And it will hurt. I continued to struggle against him. I was relentless. I had teeth just as strong as his. I could bite him just as easily.

And then I felt his teeth pressing into my skin. Not hard enough to puncture. But hard enough to threaten.

I decided to switch tactics. I went from bloodthirsty bitch to starving dependant with the snap of my fingers.

"Edward, baby, I just need to feed." He chuckled that dark, doubting chuckle I was getting to know so well. "Come on, let's go hunting…in the woods. It'll be safe." Please baby, don't you love me?

My voice was full of cunning, but my thoughts were still dripping with red.

"God, Bella," Edward huffed as he sat up, removing his teeth from my neck and straddling me. He pinned both of my arms above my head, and I let him, because I was confident enough to think I might be tricking him.

No, love, you're not tricking me. But I will do whatever it takes to stop you.

He used his free hand to pull down his boxer briefs; his rock hard dick springing free of its confines. The sight of it confused me further. I wanted Edward inside of me. I also wanted Edward off of me. I wanted my teeth in something.

I wanted my teeth in someone.

Edward shoved my panties to the side, and thrust into me quickly, binding me the only way he knew how. Ropes and chains and cells could not hold me, but he could.

I thought we had had some passionate sex before. On the ground. Underwater. Dirty words flying left and right. That was nothing compared to the fucking Edward gave me to save me from myself.

All I could feel was rage as Edward tried to distract me from my thirst over and over again, but every time I turned to his thoughts, all I heard was love.


I was so excited by the new revelations about Bella's shield. We could share thoughts when she chose. For the first time I could hear her voice in my mind and it was like solving a puzzle, the last piece finally in place. But I didn't have to sacrifice the peace her silent mind provided me either. She could close her mind to me as easily as she could open it. The fact that this connection wasn't made clear to us until we had consummated our relationship was not lost on me.

That wasn't all. When we were together, it was like I was under her spell. Bella's shield covered me and I was unable to hear the thoughts surrounding me. The silence I experienced when I was with her was no coincidence; it was just one small facet of her gift. Her ability to inhibit Alice's power with a single command amazed me. There was no denying it, Bella could be dangerous. Control lay at the heart of her powers, and too much control can always lead to corruption. However, at the time, I wrote it off, as Alice had. She was young; she just didn't know the strength of her powers.

But then she looked in my head, and she saw things she should never have to see. It was just one of many, many images that I never wanted Bella subjected to. In all of them I was a bloodthirsty monster. In any one of them Bella would experience a rush she had never fathomed—the thrill of the chase through deserted streets and dark alleys, the burning of the thirst just on the cusp of being quenched, the aroma and flavor of blood so sweet it could not be resisted.

I didn't immediately realize what was rising up in her. She was angry. What she had seen in that fantasy was my desire to use her, to consume her in everyway, and leave her dead in her shower. But then I saw the look in her eyes. It was the same look, in the same terrifying red eyes, that I had seen reflected in the minds of my victims time and time again. It was the same way I looked when I killed.

Bella couldn't just see inside my head, she could feel what I had felt in that moment. She watched it happen in my mind, and it was like she was there; a full sensory experience. She had experienced the sound of teeth breaking skin, the scent of blood filling the air, the taste of it, thick and warm, filling her mouth, and all of the intense emotions that went with biting and killing.

For the first time I saw darkness in Bella. It was there, in all of us, dormant as long as we suppressed it, but stirred as easily as a child awakened on Christmas morning. Admittedly, it stung to see Bella that way. This was not as the angelic soul that she embodied, the perfection I strove to come close to; this was the fiend she could so undoubtedly be, the monster I had created.

Bone of my bones. Flesh of my flesh. She was too much like me for her own good.

There was only one thing I had ever wanted as much as I had wanted her blood. That one thing was her body. And so I gave her mine.

I put myself inside her, and I held her so tightly that I thought I might combust from being so attached to her in every way.

A/N: Tell me what you thought of this one, bbs! Since the circumstances of Bella's transformation were different (she was changed without prior knowledge of vampires and has no child to protect) her powers are more offensive rather than defensive. Discuss.

Thank you for reading and reviewing, my dears! I hope you all see yourselves as Edward & I see you—beautiful :)