Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight's characters nor do I own any songs mentioned in this story. Links to songs can be found on my profile.

Author's Note: This was originally an entry for the Age of Edward one shot contest, and was the featured one shot on cullenboysanonymous(dot)com in January of 2010. After much encouragement from sixty reviewers, and some pretty great ideas brewing in my noggin, I've decided to continue the story of shy, innocent wallflower Bella and sexy, Navy flyboy Edward in this story of love and strife in World War II America. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review.

Another small note, this chapter contains a lemon that is very tame in comparison to many found in this fandom, but is still somewhat graphic. Due to the fact that much of this story will take place with Edward at war, there won't be many lemons, but when I do include them, I will indicate they are coming with (o~O~o) to warn you one is coming, since not everyone appreciates the smut. I'm truly not expecting another full on lemon until the end of the story, unless I feel we need a nice citrus flashback or something. LOL

*Please Note that in accordance with following the TOS, I have revised this chapter of the bits of lemon that were too graphic for fanfictions current rating guidelines. If you wish to read the unedited version, please seek out this story on twclibrary dot com. Flyboy was never going to have copious amounts of foul language or smut, so I don't mind adjusting the story to fit the TOS. Since the guidelines are very loosely defined, I hope that what I have done is non-explicit enough to meet muster.

The Perfect Beginning

I awoke to find the bright light of the sun streaming across my face through the small slit between the two panels of the hotel curtains. I groaned and shifted to shield my eyes from the bright intruder into my peaceful slumber, bumping into a warm mass of muscle stretched out beside me in the large, pillow soft bed.

I turned to gaze at the face of the Greek god lying next to me in the bed. An uncontrollable smile spread across my face as I remembered the events of the past few weeks. I sat and stared at his eyelids, excited for the moment that they would flutter open to reveal the beautiful green irises burning brightly beneath. As I surveyed the perfection of the man beside me, I sighed in contentment.P

Two and a half weeks ago, I didn't even know this beautiful piece of heaven and now, he was my everything.

I couldn't help but thank the good Lord for giving my two best friends an indomitable tenacity to force me to go to the USO dance that night. Why should I? I usually spent the whole night being ignored by the beautiful officers. Instead, I was often begged into working the concessions table. Worse yet, I might end up spending the entire night hiding from the greasy, pimple faced privates, who had zero tact and even less of a grasp on the meaning of the word no.

Finally, after an hour of them begging and nagging me to go, I begrudgingly allowed Alice to drag me into the restroom where she forced me to wash my hair and spent the next several hours setting it in curlers. We had no place to go today. The dance wasn't until the evening, but Alice and Rose would be spending the rest of the day shaping me into the closest resemblance to Betty Boop that they could manage with the material they had to work with.

By the time we needed to leave to make our way to the dance, I was finally allowed to look at the results of my full day of torture. My dark brown hair had been molded and shaped into a Rita Hayworth do, pinned into perfect curls framing my face and cascading down my back. My makeup was borderline obscene with the bright red lipstick they plastered on my lips to match the red hooker pumps. To top it off, they put me in a white swing dress boasting a slightly low neckline and cute little capsleeves. The dress' flouncy skirt was adorned with little pairs of bright red cherries connected by tiny green stems.

If my conservative, Bible belt mother saw me right now, she would yell for me to go back to my room and change immediately, insisting that any daughter of hers would not leave the house looking like a common lady of the night. Thankfully, though, my mother lived three thousand miles away from here. I looked in the mirror a long moment, trying to shake the disdain of my mother's opinions and attempted to look at myself from a more modern point of view. Once I was able to do that, I found that I actually looked rather nice. It may have been more revealing and bright than I typically chose to dress, but in comparison to what Rosalie and half the other more obvious girls who would be adorned in, flaunting their wares in hopes of snagging a rich handsome officer that would be there tonight, I would not appear inappropriate.

I carefully slid my calf length wool dress coat over my shoulders, attempting not to wrinkle the dress, before following Rose and Alice out to our car. Our 1935 Packard that we all three saved and scrimped to pool our resources together to buy, sat gleaming in the parking space in front of our apartment. It was a beautiful blue color with a convertible top, which Rosalie maintained to perfection.

Looking at Rosie, you would never suspect she would know anything about cars. A female mechanic was completely unheard of, but her father was one of the best restorers of damaged vehicles in the tri state area back home. Since he only had daughters, he pulled all three eagerly into the garage to help him most weekends. Rose's sisters, Lily and Daisy, constantly complained and whined to be let out to go do other 'more feminine' pursuits, but Rose, she relished the time with her father and the feel of cool machinery coming together under her fingertips.

We pulled in front of the USO, getting out of the car carefully, in order to keep ourselves looking just right. The sounds of the brass section of the band floated all the way out to our car as we closed the doors and made our way into the building.

We went in and checked our coats before Rose and Alice pulled me immediately to our favorite table on the raised platform at the back of the room. They preferred this place because it allowed them the best birds eye view to spot the cutest hunks of the night. I liked it because I usually took the corner seat and found that I could often hide there the rest of the night and watch them dance and swing on the floor in relative peace.

I wished more than anything that I could dance like them. It was amazing to watch them spin and twirl on the floor in a cloud of swirling skirts and bouncing hair. Alice was the queen of swing since she was so tiny that the guys had no problem tossing her in the air like a rag doll. Her bouncy personality and unending energy made her cute little body bounce and flounce all over the floor all night without an end in sight.

Rose had her own style of dance, which was much more sexy and seductive, but never whorish. She usually had her dance card full within minutes of walking in the door and would be in the arm of one unbelievably handsome flyboy after another all night long.

I, however, had never managed to learn to do a basic two step without obliterating my partner's feet, much less swing dance, and I couldn't do sexy and seductive if my life depended on it.

As soon as we were seated, Rose and Alice were immediately asked to dance. They both threw furtive glances at me before declining, stating that they wanted to get something to drink before they began to dance tonight. Three declines later, they were beginning to look antsy.

"Girls, it's fine. Please just go dance and give those boys one last good memory before they have to go off to Germany or Japan. This is what you're here for. You need to go boost some of that morale out there. I'll be fine."

"No, Bella, I have a feeling about tonight," Alice chirped next to me with a wide knowing smile. Alice always fancied herself a clairvoyant. I just rolled my eyes and sighed.

"Trust me, Bella. Tonight you are going to meet someone special, and if Rose and I stick with you, we will too. If we leave, then you're going to get all of the fun, and we'll end the night the same way we do every night. This is for us as much as you."

I sighed at Alice's lame attempt to make me feel better for being a damper on their social calendar for the evening.

The band continued playing energetically as Rose and Alice continued to decline male after male. The night was nearly half over when the doors opened and my heart stopped. Three Navy flyboys walked in, the buttons of their uniforms sparkling in the dim light of the dance hall. They were all handsome, but the one in the middle with reddish brown hair and the most amazing green eyes I had ever seen absolutely took my breath away.

I watched intently as they crossed the room to the bar and stood in a threesome, chatting as they ordered drinks and laughed together. It only took seconds before they were flanked by the trashy trio, Tanya, Lauren, and Jessica. Of all the girls who came to the USO nights, they were the most well known and most ill reputed. I groaned and dropped my head back against the booth behind me with a sigh.

Of course, the most gorgeous man you've ever seen will most likely end up with Tanya Denali. That's how it always works, and even if he didn't, there are about three dozen other girls more likely to draw his attention than you. Silly Bella.

I opened my eyes to see Alice and Rose looking at me in confusion. I nodded toward the trio of pilot perfection talking politely to the trashy triplets. They nodded in understanding before Alice started bouncing excitedly. I looked at her confused as she winked.

I shrugged and looked back toward the man who would most definitely star in my dreams every night from here on out, unable to avoid watching him disappear from the realm of possibility with morbid curiosity.

I expected to see him with Tanya laced around his neck, as he would whisper in her ear or worse, but instead, I saw him shake his head. The three girls looked confused before walking away. stunned.

Then the beautiful green irises glanced in my direction. His gaze locked with mine, and neither of us looked away. After what seemed like an eternity of being lost in his eyes, I felt Alice's hand on mine. I looked over at her in a daze as she laughed.

"I said that he's cute, Bella. You should see if you can get him to ask you to dance."

My face tinted scarlet as I stared at my pixie friend in dismay. "Alice, he'd never dance with me. Even if he wanted to, you know I can't dance. I'll just make a fool out of myself."

She shook her head, "Oh come on, Bella, you have to have seen that look. He looks at you as if you are the last piece of apple pie. You haven't tried dancing in a really long time, and only with that dork Eric Yorkie. That boy couldn't dance his way out of a paper bag….but that cool drink of water over there looks like he knows his way across the dance floor."

I shook my head at Alice in denial just in time to hear a voice that sounded smooth as velvet across the table from me.

"Hello, ladies," the voice wafted through the air. My eyes shot up to lock with the beautiful green ones I had been watching across the room. He looked intently at me as he spoke. "Do you mind if we join you?"

My mouth dropped open as I managed to mumble 'sure' slightly incoherently, as he shot me the most amazing crooked smile I had ever seen. He took off his hat and ran his hand through his regulation cut hair before Alice stood up allowing him to slide into the booth next to me. My mouth felt dry as the desert as I struggled to come up with words to speak, but the handsome pilot next to me removed the need.

He held his hand out to me. I reached up to place my hand in his staring in awe as he held it gingerly.

"I'm Lieutenant Edward Cullen. These two gentleman here are Lieutenant Jasper Whitlock," He gestured toward a tall slender blonde man who greeted us with an appealing southern accent. The tall blonde southern gentleman glanced at us politely with a nod before his gaze returned to Alice's face.

"And Lieutenant Emmett McCarty." He gestured this time at the large behemoth of a man with black curly hair, blue eyes, and dimples so deep when he smiled, that if you got lost in them, it would take a week to navigate your way back out again…and smiling he was. He reached out to take Rosalie's hand, lifting it gallantly to his lips where he placed a kiss on the back, never letting his eyes wander from Rose's face. Rose was staring back with equal interest.

I smiled shyly at the amazingly handsome man holding my hand and forced my mouth to form words. "How do you do? I'm Bella Swan, and these are my friends and roommates, Alice Brandon and Rosalie Hale."

Edward nodded in their directions. Before much more conversation could be had, both girls were being whisked away to the dance floor by their prospective new suitors.

Edward glanced at me apologetically a moment before offering to buy me a drink. I declined and we sat, carrying on a shy conversation for a few minutes. As we talked, I learned that he and his friends were part of a unit set to ship out for the Eastern front in a little more than two weeks. Jasper was a farm boy from Texas, Emmett was a good ole boy from Tennessee, and he was the son of a doctor from Washington State. As our conversation began, I had been timid and shy, but the more we talked, the more comfortable I became with Edward. He was easy to talk to, and for once, I managed to find someone at one of these things that actually seemed to find me, Bella Swan, interesting and worth the time and effort to get to know.

We sat glancing down occasionally from our perch to watch our friends dance. Jasper and Alice were amazing as they twirled along the floor in a blur of Alice's red halter dress. Emmett and Rose were a close second on the impressiveness scale. The entire dance floor had pretty much cleared as everyone watched the two couples dance in their own little world. I looked over at Edward and couldn't hold back the sigh that escaped my mouth as I wished I could dance like that with him. Unfortunately, he heard me and turned to look at me.

"What's wrong, Bella?"

I sighed again. "Unfortunately, I was born with two left feet. I so wish I could dance like that, but I am hopeless."

Edward smiled that amazing crooked smile that made my heart melt every time it broke across his face during our last hour of conversation. "I don't believe that, Bella. Besides, it's all in the leading."

Just as he said this, the brass section of the band stood and let out the first few notes of Glenn Miller's In the Mood. Edward's smile grew wide and bright as he stood up, holding his hand out to me in offering. I shook my head and shrunk into the corner of the booth. "NO, Edward, I will seriously injure you if I try to dance like that."

His beautiful smile melted into the most adorable pout I had ever seen as his eyes burrowed into mine. "Please, Bella. I love this song and I won't get many more chances to dance to it before I ship out. I promise, if I'm wrong and my leading doesn't solve your dancing issues, then I will lead you straight back up here and sit talking with you the rest of the night and not try to get you to fast dance with me again."

My brows pulled together as the images of me trampling the feet of this gorgeous man as I made a complete and total fool of myself kept skimming through my head. I finally, reluctantly, reached my hand out for him to take. He carefully led me out to the dance floor and tipped my face up to look in his instead of focusing on my feet.

"Trust me, Bella. Just feel the music and follow my lead." He started off slow, moving me back and forth to the beat of the music as it flowed over us on the dance floor. After a few seconds of me actually managing to not impale his foot with my heel, I felt a slow smile cross my face as he smiled back down at me. "See…all in the leading."

Slowly he increased our speed until we were spinning on the floor nearly as quickly as Alice and Jasper had been. Soon, he spun me out, and I noticed we were alone on the dance floor. I locked eyes for a split second with a beaming Rose and Alice, hanging on the arms of their fellas.

Edward quickly pulled me back in before yelling, "Trust me, Bella."

We spun twice more before he pushed me back slightly with both his hands on my hips. An instant later, he lifted me up in the air, swooping me to one side of his body, and then back up and past the other before lifting me nearly straight above him. I felt myself start to panic as my momentum paused with my body stretched out above the crowd before gravity took over and Edward directed it with ease, bringing me to slide under him between his spread legs so that I was stretched out behind him, nearly laying on the ground, and yet fully supported by his strength. He released his right hand from my wrist and quickly spun around, spinning me at the same time. He lifted me to stand so that I was facing him a split second before dipping me as the song ended.

We both stared at each other, out of breath, as he held me in the dip. Both of us were smiling like we had just won the lottery. He slowly pulled me up to stand in front of him, lifting my hands to his lips and kissing the back gently. "Miss Bella Swan, I do believe you fibbed."

My mouth opened in shock. "I most certainly did not. Ask Alice and Rose, I've never been able to dance like that in my life. You must be one amazing leader, because I have never done that before, and will probably never be able to do it again!"

He smirked at me and winked. "Oh yes you will, because I plan on dancing with you every chance I get." I smiled and blushed. His smile widened in response as we simply stood there, green eyes meeting brown, as the band began their next song.

Edward motioned to ask me to dance. I nodded as he took my right hand in his left and wrapped his other hand around my waist, pulling me close as the singer began to croon.

You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.

Edward shifted our embrace so that we were now dancing cheek to cheek. I felt a surge of excitement and electricity course through my body from the place where we exchanged body heat. I could feel his breath brush past my ear as he sang along with the singer.

And when two lovers woo
They still say, "I love you."
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by.

Moonlight and love songs
Never out of date.
Hearts full of passion
Jealousy and hate.
Woman needs man
And man must have his mate
That no one can deny.

It's still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die.
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by.

The lyrics ceased for a moment as the band played the bridge. My breath hitched in my chest as I heard Edward's velvet soft voice in my ear. "Bella, please tell me that I can see you again after tonight. I can't bear the thought of never seeing you again."

I leaned back to look at his face, which appeared somewhat pained as he released my hand to run his thumb along the apple of my cheek. "Please, Bella. What I feel for you is too special for you to just be an amazing girl I danced with one night in New York. You are without a doubt the most beautiful, intelligent, sweet, and amazing woman I have ever met. I will kick myself for the rest of my life if I let this end with the conclusion of this dance tonight. So please, Bella, promise to see me again."

I blinked and swallowed before I whispered, "I promise." His sad expression dissolved into the most radiant smile I had ever seen before he wrapped both hands around my waist, lifting me up into the air. He twirled me in circles, yelling Thank you as I laughed. After a few seconds, he finally brought me back to the floor and tipped forward to place a gentle kiss on my cheek.

I couldn't help but shake the feeling that the whole night was nothing more than the most amazing dream I had ever had as I spent the rest of the night next to Edward. If we weren't slow dancing, we were back in our booth talking animatedly about our families and our lives. He even managed to get me back on the dance floor to dance with him for Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree to be expertly twirled and whirled around him before the night was over.

As the lights began to be shut off and the last of the dance participants slowly straggled out of the double doors to the community building, Rosalie, Alice, and I reluctantly made our way outside in the embrace of the amazing men we had met that night. We each took our time saying goodnight as we held tight to the guys, each of us fearing that they would disappear in a cloud of smoke the second we released them. Finally, after half an hour of sad goodbyes, the exchanging of phone numbers, and plans for a triple date for dinner and a movie the next night, we parted ways with our flyboys to drive home together.

Once we were home, the three of us sat up half the night sharing our stories about how amazing and perfect each of our guys were as we washed and reset our hair so it would be ready the next afternoon for our triple date.

And so it continued. Night after night, we would make plans with our boys as we painted the town red as a group of six.

Edward was every inch the gentleman. After our first group date, I received another hug and a chaste kiss on the cheek, as did I after our second date as well. After our third date, my stomach jumped in my abdomen as he leaned in and instead of dodging for my cheek, he placed a soft chaste kiss on my lips. My god, his lips were like the most amazing silk ever, soft, smooth, and luxurious. I swore on all I owned that if I died that night, I would die a happy woman.

Over the course of one short week, our lives had completely shifted on axis. We still went about the business of surviving. Getting up every morning and going to our office jobs where we dealt with the untoward advances of our misogynistic bosses, but we put up with it as we walked around in clouded daydreams of our nights with our men.

By the end of the first week, we agreed as a group that the time had come for each couple to fend for themselves. It had been fun to do things as a group. It was great getting to know quiet calm Jasper and boisterous funny Emmett better as we all formed a bond and learned more about our friends significant others, but I quickly learned that solo dates were far superior to group outings.

I loved every minute I spent with my sweet, gentlemanly Edward. There was never a moment I felt uncomfortable or endangered. Matter of fact, I often found myself fighting off the instinct to progress our relationship as we would dance together on a darkened dance floor, or sit side by side holding hands in the pitch black movie theater, but I was a well brought up lady. I wasn't going to do anything so forward. It just wasn't done unless you were a woman of less than upstanding repute like Tanya and her loose friends.

No I was a good girl…a good girl who was recently discovering that keeping her thoughts pure was not always as easy as the minister at church tried to make it sound. It was just so hard when I would think about how soft his lips were and how much softer they would feel on other parts of my body. Of course, my imagination was all I had to go on since I'd never been any further with a boy than I had already been with Edward. We had already crossed barriers together that I had never experienced before, and yet, here I was jumping WAY ahead of myself.

It was nearing the end of our second week together. Edward once again took me out on the town for an amazing night of fine dining and dancing as he twirled me around the floor of the Copacabana once the paid acts of the night were done. It was like magic being in Edward's arms. The thought of having to let him go in less than a week was heartbreaking.

When we had first met the boys, they had a loose timeframe of when to expect to ship out. Two days ago, we were given a date that was looming over our heads like the blade of a guillotine, just waiting to fall and sever us from our hearts forever. Next Wednesday evening, less than six full days from the moment we were dancing in at that time, I would have to say goodbye to my sweet, wonderful Edward, the man who had stolen my heart forever in just twelve short days. Honestly, he stole my heart almost the moment I saw him, and held it safely in his strong capable hands for twelve days. How is it possible that I can't imagine living the rest of my life without an individual I had only known for less than two full weeks?

I tried to push the thoughts out of my mind as I buried my nose in the fragrant neck of my love. I wanted to cherish every moment I had with my own personal miracle, not wallow in the pain that was inevitable when he had to leave. I prayed that his feelings for me mirrored my own. I prayed that he wouldn't go off to war and come back having given his heart to another, that I owned his heart as completely as he owned mine, but I had no guarantees. He hadn't even told me he loved me. Worse yet was the thought that he might not come back at all.

As the thought hit me, I couldn't suppress my sobs any longer. I melted into his chest as the tears flowed from my face, streaking my mascara in their wake. Edward leaned back with a concerned look on his face. He gently tipped my chin to look at me before freezing and moving his hands to cradle my face between his warm palms.

"What's wrong, my beautiful Bella? What's the matter, my love?"

My breath hitched at his last words. "D…d…do you?"

He looked confused, "Do I what, love?"

"L..L…Love me, Edward? Do you really, or is it just a nickname?"

His brow furrowed and his eyes burned fiercely in his face as he pulled my face to his, crushing the most passionate kiss we had ever shared on my mouth. As he grazed my lips with his tongue, I gasped at the sensation, giving him access to dip is tongue into my mouth with a moan. His tongue grazed my teeth and gently caressed my tongue as he tipped our faces to provide better access. My hands involuntarily snaked into his hair, pulling him closer. His hands drifted from my face to clutch my lower back, completely closing the distance between our bodies. Our actions were completely inappropriate for such a public venue, but in that moment, neither of us cared.

After an eternity in the heaven of Edward's kiss, he pulled away as we panted in each other's faces.

"Oh, my beautiful, wonderful Bella. I haven't done my job well enough if you even begin to question just how much I love you. Words cannot express the depth of the feelings I have for you. In my whole life I have never wanted another human being so much and in so many wonderful and terrifying ways."

"I dream of you every day and every night, the feel of your hand in mine…" He reached down and grasped both of my hands in his, bringing them to his mouth to place spine tingling, open mouthed kisses on the backs.

"The feel of your lips on mine…" He leaned forward, brushing a feather light kiss across my lips.

"The smell of your skin that lingers on my clothes when I leave you at night to go back to my barracks alone…" He pulled me close, nuzzling his nose into my neck, taking a deep breath before placing a heavy kiss on my jugular and darting out his tongue to quickly lick where he had kissed. I squeaked in surprise, not only at the forward actions of my gentleman, but also the foreign tingles his actions enticed in my abdomen and thighs. My legs trembled slightly as he continued to graze his nose up and down the column of my neck before his mouth found my ear and he continued to whisper.

"Oh, my beautiful Bella…I dream, waking and sleeping, of making you mine forever in every way. The word 'love' doesn't even begin to cover the subject."

He pulled back to lock his green eyes with mine and I gasped at the intense gaze I found there.

"I always swore that I would never leave a woman in the precarious position of marrying her and leaving her behind while I went off to war. I've watched men all around me doing it for months now and I constantly argued with them that it was the wrong thing to do. I never understood the impulse until I found you, Bella, and now I understand. When you find your soul mate, you have to hold onto them, to make them yours so you have one thing above all else to live for and make it back home alive for."

He stepped back and reached into his jacket pocket where the pulled out a small ring box from Tiffany's. He knelt down in front of me, cracking open the box to reveal the most beautiful sparkling diamond on a shiny silver band. "Isabella Marie Swan, please make me the happiest man on this planet and agree to be my wife."

I was speechless as the tears once again flowed down my face in zigzagging streaks of black. My voice failed me but my smile didn't. I opened my mouth and rasped out a quiet "yes." Edward beamed as he quickly yanked the ring from the box, tossing it aside, and gingerly sliding it onto my finger. He stood up and grabbed my waist, lifting me into the air and spinning me. After a few revolutions, he slowly slid me back down his body, letting every inch of me graze past every inch of him as I went, until my feet were back on the ground and his mouth was once more attached eagerly to mine.

After taking ample time to celebrate our new engagement by dancing close and remaining attached at the mouth, we finally left and walked down the New York streets arm in arm. I stretched my hand out in front of me, admiring the rather large and amazingly impressive piece of jewelry that now rested on my hand, shouting to the world that I belonged to Lieutenant Edward Cullen. Then a thought crossed my mind and I froze.

"Edward, Tiffany's is extremely expensive, how can you afford this ring?"

He chuckled as he turned to me, cupping my cheeks in his hands. "Oh, my beautiful love, I had a feeling you never connected the dots. Do you not recognize my last name?"

I frowned and then my eyes popped open as wide as saucers. "Cullen…as in Cullen Steel? As in the number one company in charge of metallurgy and construction of all military equipment being made for both fronts Cullen Steel?"

He laughed and leaned forward to kiss my forehead. "Yes, soon to be Bella Cullen. So don't worry about how much that ring cost, because I can more than afford it."

I shook my head in shock a moment as I gazed at the amused eyes of my fiancé before finally sighing and wrapping my arms around his again. I rested my head on his shoulder as we continued making our way back toward the apartment I shared with Rose and Alice.

When we reached the door, I found that the apartment was empty, so I invited Edward in. He sighed, running his hand through his hair before he refused, insisting on talking to me in the doorway.

"Why won't you come in, Edward? We can sit and talk, it would be much more comfortable."

He blushed from his place across from me. "Bella, I know you think highly of me, but I'm still a man, and I have to say that being alone with you would be more than my self control can withstand. I want everything with us to be special."

I blushed scarlet and nodded in understanding. The tingle in my thighs increased at the idea that he was struggling so much with his impulses in regards to me. It thrilled me and made me want to cast away my upbringing and drag him into the apartment, locking the world behind it, and falling into his embrace, losing myself in his touch.

I sighed and he reached forward to gently caress my cheek. "I don't want to wait much longer for you. I want you to become my wife as soon as possible. Do you think that we can get a license and get married tomorrow? I don't want to wait a second longer than we have to."

I smiled and nibbled on my lower lip in anticipation. "I can call off sick from work tomorrow and we can go to the court house. GI weddings are pretty common lately, I'm sure they have a process. I just hope they let me off of work. If I were to lose my job, I'm not sure if I could find another one. There aren't many jobs out there for women."

Edward took a deep breath and stepped forward, pulling me flush with his body, his breath wafting across my face. "Tomorrow you will be Mrs. Edward Cullen. You won't need a job unless you just want to have one. Once you're my wife, I get to take care of you and spoil you in every way I want."

I stiffened and frowned. "I don't want to be spoiled. I just want you."

He smiled a devastating smile before crashing his lips to mine. After a few seconds, he mumbled with his lips still brushing mine as he spoke. "I know, love, and that's just one of a thousand reasons why I love you and can't wait for you to be my wife."

He kissed me a few more minutes before pulling away and taking a step back. "I'll pick you up tomorrow. What time does the courthouse open?"

"Nine, I think."

He smiled his crooked smile. "I'll be here at eight thirty then. We'll be standing at the doors to be let in as soon as they are open."

I giggled and waved as he backed down the hallway, unwilling to break our gaze, and yet knowing he had to leave.

Finally, he reached the stairwell and disappeared behind the doorway. I sighed turning to close the door behind me just as I heard two voices squeal behind me. I jumped and turned back around to see Rose and Alice running toward me from the back bedroom with their arms hanging open to hug me.

"We heard the whole thing. Congratulations!" Alice chirped.

Rose looked a tad disappointed as she looked down at her unadorned hand, but then grabbed my hand and whistled loudly. "Holy smokes, Alice, did you see this rock?"

Alice grabbed my hand quickly from Rose and turned it roughly this way and that before rattling off in an official voice, "Tiffany, VVS1 at the very least, two carat brilliant cut marquis shaped solitaire set in platinum with at least a half carat of trilliant cut accents. This is a high dollar ring, Bella. Where did he ever get the money?"

"Uh…um…" I didn't know if I should tell. He didn't seem ashamed of his background, but he didn't share the information for a reason right? I finally decided that they would eventually find out anyway. "I actually just found this out tonight. You know his last name is Cullen right?" They both nodded looking confused and then their mouths dropped in unison.

"You mean?" Alice stuttered.

"Cullen Steel," I answered quietly as Rose whistled and Alice's smile grew wide.

"Well I'll be," Rose whispered shaking her head as she once again examined my ring. "So you're calling off tomorrow to marry a Steel magnate."

I nodded and blushed as I pulled my hand from hers and stared at the glinting gemstone as it refracted the dim light of the living room and sparkled brilliantly.

"Well, we're taking off and coming with you. There is no way you are getting married at a courthouse without us with you. Oh, Bella…What are you going to wear?" Alice shrieked as she dashed off toward my bedroom closet.

Three hours later, we had scavenged through every article of clothing I owned, finding nothing suitable for marrying my own personal Greek god. We were just about to give up when Rose got up and walked out of the room to return a few minutes later with a long black garment bag zipped tightly closed. She brought it in with a funny expression on her face and laid it on my bed, slowly unzipping it and revealing a beautiful white lace dress with a tea length skirt and short cap sleeves.

"This was what I was supposed to wear when I married Royce. It cost so much, I couldn't bear to part with it, but I'll never bring myself to wear it either. Would you please wear it instead, Bella? It would make me happy to know that it provided some bride with a happy wedding day in the end."

My eyes filled with tears as I jumped off the bed and threw my arms around Rosalie's neck. That bastard had really damaged Rose with the way he treated her. It took a very long time for her to recover from the physical assault he and his friends unleashed on her young body. Thanks to their evil ways, Rose, who adored children more than anything, would never be able to have any of her own. I knew it had to be painful to bring up all of those memories by giving me this dress, but I suspected it was healing in a way as well.

"Oh thank you, Rose. You and Alice are the best friends I could ever hope for. I love you both so much. Thank you."

She smiled and squeezed me around the waist once more for good measure before stepping back and lifting the dress from the bag.

"Well let's try this on and make sure it fits. Alice may have to pull out her sewing machine and make a few alterations since you have a little less up top than I do."

I scoffed, "A little? Try two whole cup sizes, toots!"

We all laughed before Rose helped me step into the dress and slowly pulled the zipper up my back. I turned and looked in the mirror. The reflection looking back at me blurred as the tears filled my eyes. It was so much more than I ever could have hoped for, and thanks to the general design of the dress, there was very little alterations needed, surprisingly enough.

By the time Alice put me through the rigors of washing my hair and setting it once more in rollers so it would be perfect for the next day, we turned off the lights and settled into our beds sometime around four in the morning. Alice had the alarm set to wake us back up at seven so we would have an hour and a half to get me styled and ready for Edward's arrival. The dress was once again safely tucked in the garment bag for me to take along and change in the restroom so that I could at least manage to get the effect of the groom not seeing the bride in her dress before the wedding. I didn't get a wink of sleep though, as I tossed and turned and daydreamed about becoming Mrs. Edward Cullen.

The morning came in a chaos of make up and bobby pins as Alice made me up bridal style. pinning a halo of white freesias in my hair from the flower store down the street. She just finished the final touches when the knock at the door indicated that Edward had arrived.

We all squealed as I ran to throw open the door to find not only Edward, but Jasper and Emmett standing there as well. I jumped into Edward's arms and he held me and kissed me deeply as our audience chuckled at our antics. A round of greetings later, and quick trip to my bedroom to grab the garment bag containing the dress, and we were off.

We arrived to find that we were the fifth couple in line to get through the doors. All of the grooms clad in various forms of fancy dress uniforms for their various divisions of service, and the girls all dressed in a wide variety of classic dresses of their own, many wearing flowers in their hair or holding a bundle of flowers as a bouquet.

Within a half hour of arriving, we had our license in hand and were waiting for our turn to go in. While we were waiting, Alice and Rose helped me change in the ladies room while the boys sat patiently on the benches outside. Rose kept me company inside the room while Alice stood at the door to listen for our name to be called.

It seemed like an eternity before Alice stuck her tiny head with her short hair pinned in a cute little bob through the door. "It's time to make you Bella Cullen."

I took a deep breath and stepped through the door to come face to face with the love of my life. It made my heart jump in my chest when I heard him audibly suck in a breath when he saw me. He stared in stunned silence for a moment before crossing the space between us in four long strides and taking my hands lifting them to his lips.

"You are a vision; now let's go make this official." He winked and I smiled as he pulled my hand through his arm and escorted me through the large double wooden doors that led to the courtroom.

The ceremony was short, but so beautiful because all I did was gaze into the eyes of my future, the eyes that would hopefully, some day, also be reflected in our children and grandchildren. We answered the judge's questions and responded when we were supposed to, but I really don't think either of us remembered one word because all we heard and saw were each other. When the judge announced we were husband and wife, Edward closed the space between us instantly before the judge even told him he could kiss me and swept me into a dip as he kissed me passionately.

Afterward, we went for a fancy lunch with our friends before parting ways with them as he practically ran us toward a large fancy hotel that I had only seen in passing but never dreamed I would ever actually stay in.

He pulled me through the doors of the Waldorf Astoria and quickly tugged me with a wide eager smile to the front desk. The receptionist looked me up and down and smiled a bit condescendingly before asking rather haughtily if she could help us.

Edward didn't skip a beat as he blurted. "CULLEN, reservations for Mr. and Mrs. Cullen for the honeymoon suite."

The receptionist's eyes widened at the name and then quickly changed her tune to one of absolute sweetness and reverence as she hurriedly tried to check us in while Edward impatiently tapped his wallet on the counter top. Finally having no more patience, he sighed.

"Just give us the room key and bill everything to the family's private account." She nodded quickly looking quite intimidated and then handed over the room keys with wide eyes.

Edward turned to me with a bright smile as he immediately dipped down and slid his arms behind my knees, sweeping me up bridal style. I squeaked in surprise and then giggled throwing my arms around his neck. "Come on, Mrs. Cullen, let's go see our room."

He turned and made straight for the elevator doors that were already open with an attendant waiting for us with smiling eyes. Edward stepped in and nodded to the attendant. "To the honeymoon suite, my good man, and make it snappy."

The attendant chuckled as he closed the gates and pushed the lever to make us ascend to the indicated floor. "As you wish, sir."

Edward held me for the entire elevator ride as we stole a few kisses behind the attendant's back. Once we reached the floor, Edward told me to reach into his breast pocket and to give the man a ten. I did so obediently, as the attendant thanked us profusely and wished us happy honeymooning. Edward laughed and carried me in a quick jog down the long hallway toward the door to our honeymoon oasis.

When we reached the door, he bent his knees to align the key with the lock and shoved the key in, ignoring my suggestion that putting me down would make it much easier. Within seconds, the door was swung open. He stepped through, slamming it behind him with his foot, as he kissed me passionately, striding directly toward the bedroom where a massive king side bed took up the middle of the large room.

An instant later, he was laying me gently on the bed as he hovered above me, lavishing my mouth with deep probing kisses. He slowly began to move across to my ear, and then my neck, sucking excitedly on the flesh as he worked his way down the column to the juncture where my neck met my shoulders. I moaned and ran my fingers through his hair and down his back as he continued to suck and lick at the flesh of my neck and shoulders, and then moved his attentions to my collarbone.

"Oh, Bella….FINALLY…Finally, you are mine. We can do whatever we want…no more barriers, no more propriety, no more damn moral code of conduct. You are mine and I am yours."

I moaned grabbing his hair tightly in my hands and pulled his head to crash my lips into his. He moaned as he finally rested his weight on my body. His hands began to roam up and down the sides of my dress drifting lower and lower with each pass. We finally broke away, panting as I gasped. "I love you, Edward. I am yours for always!

I reached forward and slid his dress jacket off of his shoulders, tossing it behind him on the floor before beginning to unbutton his shirt button, running my hands up and down his flawless chest. I had never been alone with a shirtless man before who wasn't my father or my brother, and even then, I only saw their bare chests while they were working hard on the farm. I explored the sharp lanes of his chest with my fingers as he hissed at my touch.

A few seconds later, he rolled us over so that I was lying on top of him. I felt his hands move up to the zipper of my dress. He lowered it unbearably slowly, and I could have sworn I could hear each tooth as they slowly released from one another. Fire spread down my back as his fingers grazed the newly exposed flesh behind the lowering toggle of the zipper.

When the zipper was finally completely down, he sat us up so we faced one another with me straddling his legs. He slowly reached one hand up and gently pushed one sleeve of the dress off my shoulder, leaving it bare. He gently reached forward and worshipped the newly exposed skin there with his mouth before moving to the other shoulder and doing the same. He moved the neckline of the dress down my body as he followed closely behind with his lips kissing and caressing tenderly until he was nestled in the valley between the swell of my breasts.


I felt his cool nose grazed across my chest and I hissed at the new sensation at the same time that he sighed contentedly. He released the top of my dress, letting it fall to my waist, as his hands slowly slid up my sides and around my back to carefully unhook the fasteners of my bra and then brought his hands up my back to my shoulders where he pulled the straps down my arms freeing myself to him for the first time.

His eyes grew wide as he looked at me. "My God, Bella, you're perfect." I blushed only a second before he leaned forward and placed delicate kisses across the newly exposed flesh. I gasped at the amazing sensation, as gooseflesh spread across my body. I sucked in a long unsteady breath and felt my body instinctually arch into him.

I felt his mouth smile against me as he continued to worship my chest. I felt the bulge underneath me grow more prominent we continued. Finally, his mouth left my chest and consumed my mouth again as his hands grasped my hips tightly, shifting my hips to rub against the bulge a bit more forcefully.

The sensations ripping through my body were amazing. I couldn't believe the things my body was doing of its own accord, simply in reaction to his body. I had no clue what I was doing at all. It seemed that whatever it was, he was enjoying it immensely as he moaned oaths of love and lust in my ear while nibbling my earlobes.

After a while, I knew I needed more and I needed it now. I reached my hands between our bodies and began to unbutton his trousers. I squeaked when I felt my hand come in contact with a his flesh. He hissed and jerked his hips at the contact and my mouth dropped open when I realized that I had just encountered his arousal. I felt panic grip my body as I started to understand just how uncomfortable our first union would be for my never before seen nether regions.

I jerked my hand away and froze. He looked at me with concern for a moment before understanding graced his features. He lifted his hands to my face and stroked my cheeks soothingly. "It's okay, love. We can take things as slowly as you need to. I don't want you to do anything you aren't ready for, but we can do lots of other things besides that until you are ready." He smiled his irresistible crooked smile. I smiled back as I reached my hands to cup his cheeks and pounced on him with another fully passionate kiss.

Edward gently rolled me back underneath him. He sat back on his knees next to me and lowered the dress the rest of the way from my body, tossing it gently on the chair next to the bed. Part of me felt the instinct to cover myself as I lay before him in nothing more than my underwear, garter belt, and stockings, but a greater part of me felt excited as he hungrily took me in with his eyes. His hands slowly and lovingly caressed my body, beginning with my arms and torso, drifting over my chest, down my stomach, circling my belly button, and then over my garter belt to the tops of my legs where my stockings attached to the straps of the belt.

He gingerly slid his hand around my leg, releasing the straps one by one and then doing the same on the other leg. He crawled to the end of the bed between my legs and grasped the top of one of my right stocking, rolling it slowly down my leg, over my calf and past my foot where he began to kiss, working his way up to my knee. He set my freshly freed leg down before picking up the other, repeating the process.

When my legs were free of the stockings, he reached up and hooked his fingers under my garter belt and underwear, gently tugging them off of my hips and down my legs as he locked his gaze with mine. I was enraptured by the look of love shining from his emerald irises. Once the last of my clothing had been removed, he slid back up my body to kiss me gently as his hands roamed the now unencumbered landscape of my body.

"Bella, you don't have to do anything, but will you please let me worship your body. If anything I do makes you uncomfortable, you just have to say so and I'll stop, but I would like permission to make you feel things you have never even imagined. Can I please do that for you, my love?"

I nodded and pulled his face to mine as I plundered his mouth greedily with my tongue. The simple fact that he was being so gentle and understanding with me, made me feel empowered. His selfless attitude made me want to do anything and everything I could to make him happy. Maybe if he was capable of doing the things he suggested, then I could work up the courage to do everything else.

His lips moved across my body slowly, each butterfly soft caress warming my heart and making it speed anxiously. I stiffened as I realized what he was most likely going to do next and he looked up at me with pleading eyes. "Please, my love, trust me. I would never hurt you. I want to make you feel good."

He began doing things to my body that shocked and amazed me as feelings I had never experienced before. Never in all of my life had I ever felt that kind of bodily pleasure.

He lifted his face to look at me with his beautiful crooked smile. "Want me to keep going?"

I pleaded that he continue, earning a smile as his caresses and kisses grew more fervent.

The sensations rocking my body were unbelievable. I wasn't sure what was happening to me, but it was the most amazing thing I had ever felt in my life. I opened my eyes again and Edward was staring at me as he continued to play my body like an instrument.

He stopped for only a second to say, "Let go, sweetheart. Trust me and let go."

Bright lights flashed in my eyes as waves of euphoria rippled and collided throughout my body. I screamed Edward's name collapsing against the bed in astonishment. I never knew that things like these were possible. The only thing my mother ever told me was that sex was the duty of a wife and that it was not something I would enjoy. All of a sudden I felt very sorry for her.

Once my body began to quiet, he slowly crawled back up and lay down next to me on his side. His hands traced shapes on my still heaving chest and stomach.

"Oh my god, Edward! That was amazing!" I pulled him over and kissed him deeply. He stiffened a bit, not sure what my reaction really meant.

I rolled him to his back, suddenly emboldened by all he had done. I had no clue what I was doing, but I was just going to go with it and hope it turned out okay. I did my best to return the favor, completely clueless and surprised by the new things I was learning in the arms of my husband.

Soon, he was moaning my name between giving thanks to God for my existence, making me feel like I was doing a good job attempting to do my wifely duties. After a time, he grabbed my arms, pulling me on top of him as he sat up and devoured my mouth with his.

After many long minutes of kisses as our bodies caressed desperately, I found myself panting. "I want you, Edward. I want us to be together in every way a man and wife should be. I'm ready and I want you. Please make love to me, Edward."

He kissed me hard before pulling away again. "Are you sure, Love. I don't want to push you and it's going to hurt at first."

I nodded as I kissed his forehead, his eyes, his nose, his cheeks, and his lips before he wrapped me tightly in his arms and rolled me over to lie beneath him. He worshipped me all over once more, bringing for the amazing and unexpected sensations once more. When he finally made our union complete, I tensed at the painful, slightly burning intrusion. He stopped for a moment every time he would sense that the pain was bothering me, so caring and considerate as he caressed my face and kissed my lips apologizing repeatedly for the pain I was having to endure. The pain during the process of getting there brought tears to my eyes, but once we were completely united, it felt sort of good. I felt...complete. It was as if finally two pieces were brought together to create a whole.

We began moving together as a single entity, losing all concept of where one of us began and the other ended. We were both sticky with sweat as we moved as one, moaned each other's names in the darkness of our honeymoon suite. We whispered vows of love and devotion as he loved me, leaving me panting and moaning as I felt my muscles tensing in reaction to his actions.

Eventually our actions reached a fever pitch sending us both spiraling in euphoria. Blood rushed to my head and I could hear my heartbeat rushing in my ears at the utter unexpectedness of our completion.

We collapsed together as we held each other close on our wedding bed. I was now his, legally, emotionally, and physically. I would spend the rest of my life loving every inch of him every single day that I could.


We fell asleep wrapped in each other's arms and that is how we were when I woke up to the bright sun streaming through the slit of the curtain. I sighed again and trailed my hand down his body, enjoying the landscape of his well defined body. I saw his mouth break into my crooked grin before his eyes opened up to meet mine.

"Good morning, Mrs. Cullen."

"Good morning, Mr. Cullen."

"Did you sleep well?"

I sighed, "Best night of my life, before and after I actually fell asleep."

He smiled as he pulled me on top of him, running his hands up and down my body as I rocked against the rock hard muscle that belonged to me and only me. I had five days to spend with him in our honeymoon suite, trying not to think of the inevitable goodbye we faced before us, but I had the love of my life. I was his and he was mine, and I knew he was coming back to me. God wouldn't give him to me now just to snatch him away. Surely, God wouldn't be that cruel.

I settled onto his chest, kissing his lips, before diving in to explore him with my tongue. I pulled away when my lungs started to burn.

"I love you, my wonderful husband."

"I love YOU, my beautiful wife."

I gasped as he entered me and so we began the first day of the rest of our lives.

Author's Note: I did a little revising and fixing of the errors I found. I didn't have a beta for this, so I had a lot to fix. Anyway, I hope you all stick with me through this, even if it won't be quite the smut-filled romp that my last story was. LOL. I have some pretty good ideas, and if this works like I expect it to, it will be a very emotional rollercoaster with a few twists and turns with a touch of feminist chutzpa to go with it, but I can't bear to end a story without some sort of pleasant resolution. I hope you stick with me and see where we end up going!