disclaimer: I am not Stephenie Meyer, these are not my characters.
author's note: This story takes place in the summer after Twilight, before New Moon. It is different from my other stories, and because of the subject matter, OOCish. You'll see why. Please read and review, let me know what you think :)

Forbidden Addiction

I'm still not sure what possessed me to agree to it. It was much too horrific, too inhuman, too savage. That's what it must have been, some sort of demonic possession. Nothing else would have made me accept this.

Unless I was the demon.

Yes, that made much more sense. I was the terrifying demon sent to corrupt and drain Bella until she was nothing but a weak shadow of her former self. I was the demon, sent to take advantage of her loving and giving and innocent nature. To take her perpetual goodness and twist it in such a way that it would be her own downfall. There was absolutely no reason why I shouldn't burn for all eternity in the deepest level of hell for this.

Because the worst part was – I enjoyed it.

"Edward, love, it really is okay." Her sweet voice sounded tired, probably from repeating the same thing over and over for the last half hour.

We were both lying on her bed in the dead heat of summer, the sun filtering in the window from time to time, rays bouncing off my skin. Her father was gone fishing for the day, and we were taking advantage of the time alone. Bella was nearly lying on top of me, her fragile body pressed against me. She claimed it was to help with the heat, but would never allow me to fix the house's air conditioning. To be honest, I didn't mind too much.

"Dangerous. So dangerous," I managed to get in between pressing light butterfly kisses along her cheeks, jaw, eyelids – anywhere I could easily reach. "I swear, I will never understand you," I added for good measure, pressing my face against the crook of her neck with a sigh. It was times like these I would give anything to be able to read her mind, to know why she insisted so much. But no matter how hard I tried, her mind remained shrouded in mystery.

Bella lifted herself so that she could see me, her warm hand cupping my cheek tenderly. "I only want to make you happy. Is that so difficult to understand?"

I turned to press my lips to the palm of her hand, taking in her absolutely intoxicating scent at the same time. My throat had already burst into flames hours ago, so I figured a little more couldn't hurt. "Not this way. I'm happy just being here with you. Your mere presence is more than enough."

She wrinkled her nose in the most adorable way, and then sighed theatrically. "It doesn't have to be this way every time. Honestly, you make life so difficult." There was no anger, no annoyance in her voice, and I wasn't sure what to make of it. Sometimes, I wanted her to be angry with me. My mind longed for her to stop giving, to shove me away like the monster that I was. She desperately needed to see that I was so very wrong for her.

Before I had a decent chance to build up my already weak argument she leaned down, concentrating her scent that much more. Her full lips pressed against mine, and I gave up fighting her. I raised both of my hands to hold her head steady against me, one cupping her cheek and the other burying itself in her hair. The saturation of her tantalizing scent in moments like this was almost too much. She was everywhere; I could feel her, smell her, taste her. My throat was searingly painful, and my whole body wanted nothing more than to attack, but I forced myself to just kiss her. The dictionary definitely needed a new entry for masochism.

We only separated when Bella broke away, gasping for air. I immediately dropped my lips to her neck, hoping she would forget, fervently wishing she hadn't. Wishing was stronger than hoping. Her breathless voice broke the silence of the room. "Do it, Edward." Reluctantly I stopped kissing her, raising my eyes to meet her steady gaze.

I would never forget the first time. Three weeks after prom we had traveled to the meadow, and it was then that she had brought it up. My argument had been much stronger then – I had come so close to losing her that there was no way I would risk her life again so soon. That day I had completely shot down the idea, and she had quietly let it go. But Bella was persistent over the following weeks. She kept bringing it up suddenly, trying to catch me off guard. At first I wouldn't even allow discussion of the topic. It was utterly unimaginable... or so I thought.

Slowly but surely, the idea became embedded in my mind. Despite myself, I started thinking about it frequently whenever I was alone. I would toy with the idea for a short while before sternly telling myself to let it go. I would remind myself of how sweet and tender Bella was, how she deserved more.

And then I would remember her scent, how unforgettable the taste of her blood was. I was too weak, and eventually I caved.

The first time we were in her room. I had taken precautions – bandages, special medications, a cell phone with Carlisle's number already dialed. She was so good and forgiving to me that day, much more than I deserved. And it was been so, so very sweet, absolutely intoxicating. Impossible to stop. But somehow amidst the frenzy, I had managed. After all, I still loved Bella more than my own life.

"Are you ready?" My voice was barely a whisper, shaking as I realized the futility of resisting any longer. I took her arm very gently in my hand, moving her so that the crease of her elbow was before my face. The tip of my nose skimmed along the soft flesh there, down her forearm and back up again. I could smell the blood pulsing just underneath her porcelain skin, waiting for me. My mouth was already overflowing with venom in anticipation.

Bella had shifted her body to give me better access, so that now she was only halfway atop me. She was supporting herself with her free arm, the bed creaking as she fidgeted slightly. "Yes," she replied, with more calm than the situation warranted. I found it eerie, that this didn't scare her as it should, but I didn't want to think about that now. If I was taking the risk, like the sick animal that I was, I wanted to enjoy it.

No matter how many times we did this, it always took me a few moments to build up the nerve. Precious seconds ticked by, and I could tell Bella was doing her best not to tremble. Her heart was racing, faster than was healthy, but it just whetted my thirst all the more. It meant the blood would rush out all the faster. I leaned down, pressing a soft kiss right over the vein before opening my mouth.

One of the scary things was how easy it was. There was no resistance whatsoever. My teeth cut through her skin effortlessly, creating a tiny incision less than a centimeter across. I never bit her properly, not only because of scarring, but because I was terrified of allowing too much blood to flow. It was already so difficult to stop.

I did my best to keep venom out of the wound, but it hopeless. My poison flowed into her body and her blood flowed out to me. The initial rush was heady, maddening. It gave me the ultimate sense of primal ownership – like drinking her blood made her mine and mine alone. But that wasn't all of it.

Bella's tantalizing scent was nothing compared to the taste of her sweet blood. It was so delicious, delectable, amazing, fantastic – in short, indescribable. Tasting it made me nearly delirious, a sensation a thousand times better – worse? – than being drunk or high. I lost all sense of space and time and reason. Her marvelous blood flooded my mouth and suddenly I forgot about everything except getting more and more and more.

My lips closed around the wound, preventing any outside air from tampering with the wondrous taste. I suckled the incision carefully, sure to savor every last drop my tongue came in contact with. Eventually the dizzying taste of her blood came back mingled with my own venom, but I didn't care. If I was careful I could ignore the taste of my venom, focus only on the sweet blood. In that moment, nothing else existed, and I wanted so badly for this to last forever.

"Edward." Her voice, so quiet, abruptly interrupted my frenzy. I was suddenly overwhelmed with crushing guilt. It wasn't until then that I realized I had made the wound bigger, was drinking more than was safe. Even now her voice was weak, sounding almost broken. I gripped Bella's arm, tighter than I should have. My eyes were clenched tight, refusing to believe I had to stop so soon. It couldn't be that I was only able to feed my addiction for so little time.

It never became any easier to stop. Each and every time was like the first in that respect – it took every single ounce of my self control and then some. Oftentimes it was only her voice that could pull me back, but I still struggled so much to pull my lips away and seal the wound. I wondered sometimes whether that's what Bella planned. Whether she hoped that one day I wouldn't have the self control to cleanse her body of the venom, and that it would turn her. She should have known I would never allow that. I always made sure to wipe away all traces of what had happened.

But sometimes I wondered how I could dare toy with Fate so much. Alice's visions of a red-eyed vampire Bella were occurring much more often now, almost as solid as visions of a human Bella. They scared me too, almost as much as thoughts of draining her dry. I couldn't help but wonder whether my sister's more frequent visions were connected to my new dangerous addiction.

That was the only way to describe it – an addiction. I was utterly hooked to my personal brand of heroin, but it was so much worse than any other drug. My loving Bella risked so much every time I took a 'hit.' She risked her life, her humanity, and in turn, her soul. All to please me.

I truly deserved hell.

Bella's gasp of pain broke through the fog of my feeding. I groaned at the noise, knowing my blood fix was coming to an end. Soon I would no longer be able to taste this blood, the sweetest of nectars. My body utterly rejected the idea, coaxing me to drink more. I frantically tried to gather my wits about me, but the taste of her blood had completely taken over my ability to think. Just a little more...

And she'll die. Another gasp of pain, and suddenly my mind was crystal clear. I can't be doing this to her. I forced my eyes open, choking back a muffled sob when I saw Bella's limp body nearly collapsed on top of me. With as much care as I was able to manage, I slowed my drinking down to a trickle. My only purpose now was to drain her body of any lingering venom, stop the intense burning I was sure she was feeling. Only when her blood tasted clean did I slowly drag my lips away from the open wound. A quick run of my tongue over the incision sealed the flow of blood, and with a shaking hand I finally released her arm from my tight grasp. By the time I let her go I was gasping from the effort.

A few moments passed in silence. Then I carefully sat up against the headboard and drew Bella into my arms. Her eyes drooped shut and she curled up against me, her face white as a sheet, her heart thrumming like a hummingbird's wings. These moments were the worst. The guilt was overwhelming, clashing greatly with the residual effects of my high. I hated myself, hated the demon that I was to take advantage of my love this way. "Bella, Bella love, I'm so sorry. So very sorry," I mumbled against her hair, cradling her to me.

I didn't dare kiss her with the taste of her blood fresh in my mouth, so I settled for stroking her hair and face. She seemed to understand, letting me console her in silence for a few moments. When she did speak up her voice was even weaker than before. "I'm alright." I didn't believe her; I knew I had taken too much blood this time, more than was healthy. And what was worse – it would take her longer to recover, longer until I could take my next hit... I desperately tried to stop my train of thought, but her trusting voice did it for me. "I love you Edward."

She was too much, infinitely more than I deserved. "You silly, silly girl." I kissed the top of her head with tightly closed lips, sighing against her sweet scent. "I love you, so much."

I was always most desperate after drinking her blood. It never satiated the extreme craving, just made it worse. I could never face my family afterwards. After making sure Bella was strong enough to resist my absence, I would run away as quickly as possible. Sometimes to the coast, to the mountains – anywhere where my family wouldn't be. Once I was alone I would gorge on animal blood, until I was utterly sick of it. It was like a punishment, I suppose. Allow myself to merely taste the sweetest of nectars, only to wash it down with repugnant animal blood.

Every time I swore it would be the last. I swore that I was in control, that I could stop drinking her blood whenever I truly wanted. That was how an addiction worked, I guess. You always think you're in control, when really, the addiction controls you.

I know this, and yet I do nothing to stop it. Bella's blood remains an addiction so sweet, so horrifying. So forbidden.