The Age of Edward Contest

Title: Scenes of Sirens

Pen Name: rain (dot) soaked (dot) hello

Type of Edward: Turn-of-century/WWI-ward


I have waited 22 years, 7 months and 16 days for this moment.

I had fought 6 months and 22 days to get here.

I have spent far too much time counting days to make it to this single, perfect moment.

This is my first taste of freedom.

~.~

We left port just several hours before. This ship—the Lusitania—was the vessel of my future. Never would I guess that future would take on such different look from my dreams, but one cannot plan for everything.

~.~

And now smile a smile for me.

Her voice; a siren of the night. It cut through the smoke and haze and buzz of voices in the room drawing my attention. My eyes searched the crowd to find the beautiful melody.

Her beauty was as radiant as her voice. Mahogany hair framed the most delicate features of an angel clothed in blue. A light danced in her chocolate eyes giving them a life of their own. Her hand gently rested upon the sleek cover of the piano as her voice rang as pure bells.

When Irish eyes are smiling, sure it's like a morn in spring.

In the lilt of Irish laughter, you can hear the angels sing.

When Irish hearts are happy, all the world seems bright and gay,

And when Irish eyes are smiling, sure they steal your heart away.

I was mesmerized, staring unabashed at the mysterious siren. She captivated every nerve and fiber of my being in that moment.

For your smile is a part of the love in your heart,

And it makes even sunshine more bright…

Her eyes watched mine as her voice gently slid between notes, looking far deeper into my soul than I could ever imagine. It was as if she were singing just for me, knowing more of my life than most are privy to know.

I am Edward Cullen, illegitimate heir to more money and American notoriety than I care to be tied to. I'm the bastard son of Esme Cullen, calling the good doctor, Carlisle, my father for all intensive purposes. However, the bronze hair and green eyes point the ugly truth that no one outwardly questions—my honest roots leads straight to my family's stable hand, Joseph O'Callah.

I know the truth.

Carlisle knows the truth. However, in our lives, it's better to pretend we know no different than to deal with the noses of high society on the boardwalks of New York.

So here I am, smiling to the snooty elite with their noses upturned to the sky as they smoke their cigars and drink their cognac and scotch, trying to separate themselves from what they deem the scourge just floors below. I hate this life.

I want so much more than this.

"Ah, Mr. Cullen, it's so good to see you. I was just conversing with your father before we left the pier. Seems you're finally back on your feet. You gave everyone a scare. How was that boy?" a squat man spoke, rather loudly considering I could smell the cognac rolling off his breath he was standing so close. Graying and aged, Mr. Haddock, one of my father's slightly less-illustrious business partners, had a way of making you listen. His boisterous voice forced you to, whether you were willing or not.

"It was an experience to say the least sir. Not one I'd like to repeat," I responded rather dryly. I was already sick of talking.

Mr. Haddock smiled a toothy grin and clapped me on the back. "Well it's good to see you up and well. I hear you have a permanent memento of the whole affair."

"I do sir. The scar runs across my left side of my chest and over my shoulder. Looks like more damage was done though sir."

"I see. Well at least your healed and ready to take on your true duties as a Cullen I'm sure." Mr. Haddock just kept talking, those fat lips moving incessantly. I lost track of what he was saying, just nodding and smiling as seemed fit. It mattered little to me as my mind was still captivated by the nameless goddess though her voice had silenced.

"Uncle Geoffrey?"

A female voice sounded, lost somewhere within the smoke and crowd. It was musical and pure, reverberating deep within my bones. How could such a simple action, mere melodic words, rock the very core of my being? I was at a loss, composing myself against my body's response.

Mr. Haddock turned his body obviously recognizing the sweet voice. "My dear! You were simply wonderful. You're voice was beautiful in that last song," he raved as he pulled a petite beauty into his thick arms.

"Oh, I must introduce you to someone dear," Mr. Haddock rattled on. "He is a very special young man."

As he released his hold, Mr. Haddock twirled the woman forward. Before me stood the siren from the stage, in all of her ethereal glory. My breath stilled deep in my lungs. A creature so beautiful is surely not real. Yet, my eyes were not deceiving me as she stood there and I suddenly found my heart thundering in my ears.

"This is young Mr. Cullen," Mr. Haddock motioned towards me, "His father is one of my most trusted friends from boyhood. Saved my hide a time or two in our younger years of mischief." His hearty laughter echoed around the smoke as he drank down more of his cognac.

"Edward, please let me introduce my niece Isabella Swan. She is traveling with me for a short time, singing her way across the Atlantic. Time for her to see the reaches of the world, you understand. She is rather a free spirit I might add." Again, the squat man chuckled, clearly entertaining himself.

I paid little attention to him however. I was enraptured by this Isabella Swan. Swan—how fitting a name. She was delicate and had a soft grace about her that rendered me absolutely speechless.

"It is a pleasure Mr. Cullen," she spoke, curtsying in the most delicate action.

Her voice rang of bells so sweet and soft, making my head spin wildly away. This woman was a goddess walking among us mere mortals. Delicate and lithe, she embodied the purest of perfection.

"Edward, please." I extended my hand, desperate to touch the woman before me. The most magnificent sensation, a fire igniting in my veins, coursed through me as Isabella slid her slender hand into my awaiting palm. My hand dwarfed hers, but nothing had ever felt so real, so perfect.

Bringing her hand to my lips, I gently placed a gossamer kiss across her knuckles. Isabella tasted as sweet as her voiced teased. I wanted more. Another taste. Another touch. Another whiff. Just one more, so to guard her within all my senses forever.

A beautiful blush painted across her cheeks as I released my hold. "It is very much my pleasure Isabella. Your voice puts the sweetest of songbirds to shame. Truly magical."

"Thank you Edward," she quietly replied, holding my gaze with her chocolate pools. I found myself lost in their endless depths.

We stayed still, our eyes locked as if nothing else existed. If I was certain about anything in my life, it is that this woman—Isabella—has stolen my heart with her voice, her beauty and her exceptional warmth. I have never found myself so enamored by another woman, but Isabella was nothing short of extraordinary. She had hold of my soul before I ever found her face.

"Would you like to get some air Isabella? I was about to step out myself," I found myself asking, desperate for her answer to be yes. I wanted nothing more than to steal her away so we could be alone.

Her beautiful blush returned in the most charming manner, flushing her ivory complexion. "I'd like that. Thank you."

I fought my smile spreading, allowing it to settle on a slightly crooked grin I only ever felt when I was truly happy.

"Splendid dear!" Mr. Haddock bellowed. "I'm sure Mr. Cullen will be better company than myself. Have a wonderful evening my dear." He pulled Isabella into a quick embrace before waddling off into the throngs of the privileged elite.

"Shall we?" I ask, extending my hand to Isabella once more.

Her eyes sparkled bright in the light, a coy and completely adorable smile playing upon her lips. "We shall."

The electric pull was there again as Isabella slid her hand into mine, reigniting the fire deep within my veins. Her simple touch sent my soul aflame. She was magical—an enchantress—and I was falling deep under her spell, its willing captive.

We wove our way through the crowd of bodies and smoke. Honestly, I was only aware of Isabella at my side, her tiny hand resting in my own. Nothing else mattered. Not the noise. Not these people. Not their high society talk. Nothing.

The air was tepid as we found our way through the doors onto the empty deck. Pale moonlight lit a path to the horizon against the water, a trail towards the heavens. My thumb stroked gentle circles on the back of Isabella's hand just to relishing in the tender contact. She didn't pull away, but allowed her hand to relax farther into mine, and for that I more than pleased. I couldn't help feel that Isabella felt the same unimaginable pull as I.

"So Isabella, may I ask why you are traveling with Mr. Haddock so far from the mainland?" I asked as we paused against the railing.

"Bella please," she smiled. "Only my family calls me Isabella. And in answer of your question, I'm traveling with my Uncle Geoffrey because my mother would never allow me escape from home without a proper escort. It's silly really. My mother keeps trying to take it upon herself to form me into the perfect model of a potential young wife when my heart lacks the desire to settle down just yet. I want to see the great works of art by the masters and to hear an organ resonate in the chambers of a centuries old cathedral. I want…I want to simply live."

Her words entranced me. They were spoken very candidly and I found it a rather welcome surprise. Bella was unlike any other woman I had ever met, allowing herself to simply be as she was. Everything about her captivated me—mind, body and soul. I stared at her, unable to look away.

"I apologize for my frankness. I never learned how to hold my tongue properly," Bella spoke, softer than before. Her cheeks flushed deep red as her eyes darted away from mine in embarrassment I'm sure.

"Bella." I reached my hand out to turn her face back to mine. Her deep chocolate eyes looked almost defeated as she gazed back at me. "Never apologize for being you. I would never ask your thoughts if I didn't want to hear exactly how you feel." My fingers brushed her cheek as I smiled a smile I am sure reached clear to my eyes, just to reassure her of my sincerity.

"To be honest, I find your frank nature rather attractive."

As if on cue, her blush returned, but Bella never released her eyes from mine. "Beautiful," I found myself whispering. My fingers stroked her flushed cheek again, tucking a stray strand of hair safely behind her ear.

"Well Mr. Cullen," Bella said with a coy smile playing on her lips, "what's your story? If I may ask of course."

"Ah, my story. Simply enough, I am chasing my freedom. I suppose we are akin in that respect."

"How so?" Bella asked as her body relaxed closer into mine. My hands ran themselves up and down her arms on their own accord, finding comfort in her skin.

A deep sigh escaped me. My life and my past were not something I looked upon as my most shining moments. "My name comes with a lot of prestige and a fat purse. I hate it. My father has spent my entire life molding me into his perfect heir—someone he can be proud to look upon as carrying the Cullen name." I took a deep breath before continuing. "For the longest time I thought that was the life I wanted, simply because it was all I had ever known. All it took was an accident to put my life in my own perspective. I was traveling to one of my father's conferences in upstate New York when our driver lost control of the car, plunging down an embankment. Our driver never made it and I was brought to the hospital with serious injuries. I'll spare your ears the painful details."

I paused to find my words again. "I spent several months healing, but that allowed me a chance to view my world differently. It was as if I were looking through new eyes for the first time. I finally realized I want to experience life for myself. My future is not my father's and I refuse to live in his shadow. I am supposed to sit in on a conference in London, but I plan to never make it there. I plan to go to Paris and study sculpture and find my muse to compose in Rome. I plan on creating my own history."

My story kept falling from my lips. "It's quite ironic actually. My father tries to make me his perfect heir when I only carry his name by default." A sardonic laugh escaped me as Bella's eyes questioned my comment. "In all honesty, I am not his son, but no one knows that fact. It would not look good for such a high society man to acknowledge the bastard son of his wife and stable hand as such."

I have never told anyone that fact, but something about Bella made me want her to know everything about me and I her. Her presence gave me comfort to embrace the baser levels of my being.

Bella ran her delicate fingers through my hair before moving to trace my jaw line with feather light touches. Her path moved about my face, trailing down my nose and finally ending with a gentle ghosting over my lips. "It's a good thing I'm partial to green eyes then," she spoke. Her coy smile played upon her lips in a way that I have already come to enjoy.

We stayed standing against the railing, wrapped in our own little world. The electric current between our bodies was intoxicating, drawing us closer as the minutes passed. My thumbs rubbed gentle circles upon Bella's hands and she held my gaze in return. Her eyes spoke volumes of her soul—deep and pure—and she was allowing me a glimpse within her.

Bella shivered slightly as a gentle breeze ruffled her hair. The simple action brought me out of my dream state. I realized I was unready to part with her presence, but standing in the growing cold would do no one any good.

"Shall we head inside? The air is starting to chill and it wouldn't be right of me to allow you to catch ill."

Bella grasped my hand in the most perfect of gestures, leaning her body into mine. "That sounds perfect." If I were sure of anything right now, it would be that I have never felt as complete and alive as when Bella is in my grasp.

We walked silently, reveling in the simple companionship until we reached my door. I was suddenly very aware of how presumptuous I was and a sort of panic set into my veins. "Uh…is this…um, I hope you don't mind." The words rolled off my tongue in a jumbled mess. "I can walk you to your room if you wish."

Bells tinkled as Bella laughed, her eyes shining and simply laughing along with her. My cheeks heated, as I'm sure a blush overcame them. Before I could process much else surrounding us, Bella released my hand and instead captured my face gently in her palms. Drawing my face near, she placed the softest of kisses upon my nose. She repeated the action against both eyelids that had fluttered shut in the most sensual manner.

"This is more than perfect," Bella whispered against my skin before grasping my hand once more.

~.~

Bella walked around the drawing room, trailing her hands over the soft curves of the furniture. Her eyes took in everything surrounding her. I was captivated by her lithe movements and the way her eyes held a sense of childlike innocence and wonder in their depths.

The more I gaze upon her, the more I want to know about her. Her every curve. Her every expression. Her every thought and hope and desire. I want to know the depths of this goddess walking before me.

Bella faced the balcony, her petite body glowing in the gentle moonlight. In that instance, she looked like an angel hovering in the delicate balance between reality and dream. My pants tightened in the most uncomfortable pleasure as my eyes took in every perfect curve of her body outlined by the tight fabric of her dress. This woman would be the end of me, killing me slowly with her intoxicating presence.

She looked so much at peace in the moonlight, as if she could just float away on a gentle gust of wind. Bella was ethereal. There was no other way to describe her simple presence. Her eyes continued to trace the night. It was as if she was seeing something that no one else could. I wished to simply witness the world as she was. I wanted to see what was captivating her attention so.

"When I was little, I thought all the stars in the sky were millions of fireflies. It didn't matter that they didn't move; I just always saw them as alive. I wanted to reach out and catch one, so I could have this little magical light all the time. I tried and tried to reach just one, but I never could," Bella spoke quietly, answering my unasked question. "As I grew older, I learned that stars aren't fireflies like I spent so long believing. Yet, they still held this magical quality for me. I still feel it. I look into the sky and feel like anything is possible."

I was simply mesmerized.

Bella's movements were slow and delicate. Her hand ran over her exposed arm, trailing ever so slowly to her shoulder. Her fingers played with the soft edges of the fabric before inching it over the curve of her shoulders down her ivory arm. Each moment was precise and purely erotic in its shy innocence. Bella repeated the action upon her other side, allowing the silky fabric to finally puddle around her feet.

Her small form was still covered by a tight corset and white slip and yet radiant as the moonlight bathed against her milky skin. Nothing could be more perfect.

I needed to touch her, to feel the silk of her body against mine. My feet crossed the short expanse of the room until I was able to run my palms along her exposed flesh. Bella shivered slightly at the electric current coursing between our bodies in the simple touch. It was magnetic.

I found my fingers tracing their way over the tight laces of the corset, drawing invisible designs against the fabric.

"Edward. Please," Bella breathed out just above a whisper, her breath low and deep.

"Yes love?" Love. That is all I can assume this is. This magnetic pull. This fire deep within from her single touch. All of this—this is purely love.

"Please undo the ties."

Such a simple command, and yet I found my fingers trembling as the soft laces rested in my palms. I leaned forward, nuzzling my nose in her hair, letting her scent calm my entire being. "Whatever you wish." The words fell from my lips and I knew right there was my one of my purest of convictions. I'd do anything for Bella.

The ties loosened as my fingers worked against them until I was able to pull the damned corset from Bella's body. Before me, my goddess was left in nothing more than a simple slip that hugged her tantalizing curves in the most innocent ways. I pressed an open mouth kiss to her shoulder just to taste her sweetness again. Her intricate flavor simply rolled over my tongue.

With her back still towards me, I allowed my hands to slip the thin fabric over the curves of Bella's breasts and delicate waist until it pooled around her ankles as her dressed had. Finally, Bella stood before me in all her ethereal glory, glowing in the pale moonlight.

"Beautiful," I whispered, hovering just above her ear. My hands found their way to her petite hips where I allowed them to rest and to simply feel. Her curves fit my hands as if she were designed for me. We were two puzzle pieces come perfectly together.

I placed gossamer kisses along her shoulders before guiding her to face me. Bella's signature blush painted her cheeks, but her eyes were alive with a look akin to passion and lust. My arousal became more evident as I looked upon my love. No woman has ever elicited such reaction from my body before, but Bella need only walk in the room to make my body yearn for hers.

She took her bottom lip between her teeth, sucking on it gently. I would give anything to be doing the same. Bella's small hands found their way over my chest, tracing the contours hidden below my shirt. A shudder raked through my body from the electric pulse of her touch.

Bella took her sweet time loosening my tie before pulling it from my neck, her ministration then focusing on the buttons of my shirt. I found a pleasurable torture in the slow pace of her work. Yet, having my Bella be so near to me, but not have more physical contact than my hands holding firm to her hips was simply maddening.

She made it to the last button and slid the fabric from my torso, making me release my hold of her for a brief moment. With the most tender of touches, Bella traced the jagged pink line that marred my chest and shoulder as if trying to heal me. She leaned in, placing the sweetest of kisses on the scar. I felt as if she were finding perfection in my imperfections.

A fiery trail was left on my flesh as her hands trailed across my now exposed chest and abdomen as Bella made her descent to my trousers. She made quick work of the button and zipper before sliding them over my hips along with my briefs. My arousal sprang to life, throbbing and free from its confines.

I took a step back and finally was able to take in all of the beautiful woman standing before me. Her plump lips were parted slightly as each breath made her chest gently rise and fall. Her breasts were perfect and full, tipped with the pinkest pearls. Her waist was small and her hips were wide, giving my palms the perfect resting spot. Everything about her was utter perfection only belong to the heavens.

I may have been brought up a gentleman, but I desire nothing more than to ravish her body. I could smell her sweet arousal and could see the hooded lust in her eyes, telling me she felt the same.

The pull was there again, drawing me to close the distance between our naked bodies. I crashed my mouth against hers in a desperate attempt to quell the need I felt for her. Bella responded, melting into my touch and parting her lips to grant me entrance. I slipped my tongue in, letting her sweetness overtake me—intoxicate my soul. Our tongues danced together in a perfected rhythm.

Bella's breathing was deep, pressing her breasts against my chest more and more. I groaned deep from my throat only to have it silenced by Bella's mouth. We were in perfect sync, our bodies molded together as we stood in the middle of the drawing room.

"Take me Edward," a husky edge evident in her voice as she pulled back to breathe. "Make me yours."

Her every wish was my command. A low growl ripped from my chest as I lead Bella towards the comfort of the chaise in corner, never letting out bodies lose their connection. Our tongues fought for dominance in a futile battle. My hands gripped her small waist, allowing Bella to be my anchor to this world. Her hands pressed firmly against my chest, her nails digging in with unmatched fervor.

Our movements were clumsy as we moved towards the chaise, lost in the world created between us. I finally felt Bella's legs hit the resistance of the chair and I laid her petite form down against the soft fabric. I kissed her deeply once again, my tongue exploring the depths of her warm mouth. Pulling my body back, I allowed myself to gaze upon the beauty that was Bella. Her cheeks were flushed and her breast rose and fell in a fast rhythm. Her lips were still swollen and red from my kisses and I doubted any creature this beautiful has ever graced the earth before.

The world could surely crumble away and I would be none the wiser. Every attention was placed upon worshiping the goddess spread before me. Nothing could ever look so perfect.

I allowed my nose to trace the delicate contours of my love's body, committing every simple dip and curve and bump to memory. Her nose. Her swollen lips. Her jaw line. Her collarbones and that ever-so-tantalizing hollow of her neck. I trailed the valley between her perfect breasts to her belly button, tracing a slow circle around the indent. Farther down I traced, over the slight contours of her hipbones, my nose assaulted by her heavenly essence awaiting just inches lower.

Returning to the matter at hand, my tongue darted out upon my ascent, desperate and yearning for whatever taste of Bella I could find. I licked a trail up the middle of her stomach, stopping between her breasts, leaving behind a chaste kiss. Her tiny body shuddered and rocked under me as I blew a gentle gust of air over my wet trail, the most musical whimper escaping from her lips.

My arousal throbbed to the rhythm of her tiny pants. Bella's hands danced over my flesh, leaving a path of fire in their wake. She traced the contours of my chest, following the soft line of hair on my stomach to where my body yearned for her touch the most. With almost hesitant hands, she ran her fingers over my arousal eliciting a guttural moan from deep in my lungs. The touch was electric and magical and something I could never even conjure up in my dreams.

She continued to stroke me, her actions becoming more sure with each pass as she drew me towards the greatest plane of pleasure. My body hummed with adrenaline and passion and pure lust for the woman cradled beneath me. I leaned down, peppering her delicate collarbones with kisses and swift licks of my tongue. Her sweet flavor was heightened by the salty taste of her already heated skin creating the essence of pure ecstasy. Bella surround all my senses in that moment.

I brought my mouth to hers, hovering my weight just above. My prominent erection pressed to Bella's soft stomach was as maddening as it was pleasurable. I needed friction. I needed release. I needed my Bella.

"Bella…" I struggled against my primal urge to take her without warning. My eyes looked into hers, begging her say yes or to give me a sign, a simple nod. She did, nodding as her eyes flashed wild with lust and passion.

Leaning down, I captured her lips with my own again and sucked gently on her lower lip that teased me so often. I maneuvered by body, positioning myself against her entrance. My Bella was already so wet that I almost lost my control then and there. Releasing her lips, I nuzzled my nose in her neck finding strength.

I thrust in deep, whispering "My Bella. My love," in her ear like a broken record. We both moaned out at the complete connection between us, my actions stalling as I fell victim to the overwhelming sensation. Her core was so tight and hot around me that I was nearing the brink of ecstasy quickly. Bella's hips moved as she locked her legs around my waist, begging me to move. I was only too willing to oblige. Our movements were set to a near-perfect rhythm, each meeting the others actions.

I was determined to make this slow and sensual; to worship Bella as a goddess should be worshipped. My hand roamed her naked form, kneading the soft peaks of her breasts and rolling her perfect pearls between my fingers as the other held my body hovering above her. Bella made the most heavenly sounds; soft whimpers and deep moans in time with my ministrations.

Her tiny hands fisted in my hair, drawing my face to hers. She took my lips against hers, sucking on them with wild abandon. The actions were urgent and sending my body into overdrive, as my thrust began to mirror her urgency. She was pushing me closer to edge.

I was close, but I refused to let my inner coil snap before Bella. I wanted this to be for her. I wanted everything to be for her.

She finally paused her assault on my lips giving me my opportunity to capture her a perfect pearl between my teeth. I rolled and licked and nibbled on the sensitive bud until Bella was arching her body farther and farther into mine in pleasure. Her whimpers increased with each pass of my tongue and her grip in my hair became more and more taut. No words we spoken, only grunts and moans and whimpers sounded through the air.

My thrusts were wild as Bella grew closer and closer. Our heated skin slapped against the other creating the most sinful sound echoing through the room. Bella's legs tightened, drawing me in deeper as her heals dug into my flesh. The pressure was overwhelming.

I snaked a hand between our bodies and began rubbing slow circles over her sensitive bundle of nerves. My only desire was for Bella to feel pleasure and I wanted to be the man bringing her over the brink. I wanted to hear me name fall from her parted lips.

Bella's walls clamped down against me, her body arched firmly against mine as she found her release. Her voice cried "Edward" as she muffled her face in the crook of my neck. That single word sent my body flying over the edge of release with my love, whispering her name over and over in her ear.

We finally both came down, our breathing slowly regulated into a slow and steady rhythm. I release myself from Bella and instantly felt a loss. It was in that moment, I knew Bella was the completion of myself. The soft whimper and slight pout of her lips reflected my own thoughts.

Standing, I picked up Bella, cradling her gently in my arms. She leaned in and kissed my scar again, causing a thrill to course through my being. With her in my arms, I realized that everything has happened in my life, good and bad, has all brought closer me to her.

I walked the short distance to my sleeping quarters, lying Bella down amongst the drawn covers. She looked so peaceful and beautiful and I have no clue what I did to deserve to be graced by her presence. I lay down besides Bella, pulling her body close. Her every curve fit perfectly with my own and I decided in that moment that this is where I always want to be.

I allowed my hands to gently glide through her hair, feeling the silk of the strands. Her intoxicating scent assaulted me with each pass and I fell further and further under her spell. I wish I could pause this moment, stop time and keep it forever.

"Edward," Bella whispered, her eyelids heavy from exhaustion. "I think I love you."

My heart and veins erupted in a fire from her simple confession. Those were the words my soul was waiting for without knowing it. They simply mended the frayed edges of my world in the most perfect fashion.

"I love you too. So much, my Bella." Bella 'mmhhmm' quietly as she slipped farther into dream, nuzzling her face in my neck. I kissed her forehead gently allowing sleeping beauty to sleep. My world took a turn and I couldn't help but feel alive at the change.

Days and nights passed. Not much mattered or held great purchase of my memory expect for the woman gracing me with her mere presence. Bella and I rarely separated. I felt a physical pain every moment she was from me. I need her more than I need air to breathe. Without her, I am incomplete and have little hope in this world.

We spent many moments wrapped in each other's naked limbs, molding ourselves into one complete being. There was nothing more perfect and no hope of a better moment then when I lay as one with my love.

I know for sure that this is love. There is no questioning the concept or the truth of my heart. I feel nothing less than pure, unadulterated love for this woman. I felt it that first night as I told her. And somehow, she felt it for me too.

We found ourselves hand in hand walking along the deck as usual. We rarely spoke during these times, but found the greatest of comfort in simply the other's presence. I took every available moment to glance upon the woman I love. Her beauty always radiated from her—her smile, her graceful movements, the life dancing in her eyes.

At times, Bella would meet my gaze and we's both find ourselves lost in the moment. Every time I looked into her deep eyes, I found my world. Nothing in this life matters without her. I may be quick to make that judgment, but nothing has ever felt this right and this complete.

Other times, she would simply be lost in all that surrounded her. Her eyes held that same innocent wonder as the first night and I was sure that Bella truly saw the world differently. She was captivated by the simplest things and I had to smile at how unaware she was of the power she held in her carefree nature. Bella had no clue of her own beauty.

Our time together on this ship was coming to a close, but out time together in this world was just beginning. That was one thing I could truly promise.

"Edward," her voice broke through my thoughts. "Do you think we can visit the Eiffel Tower when we get to Paris. I've heard it's one of the most beautiful sights at sunset." Bella's face held that childlike fascination again as she looked to the horizon. There was no way I could deny her any wish.

"My love, we can do anything. This is just a start of all we can see." I leaned down, capturing her lips with mine for a chaste kiss. I wished to linger there longer, but there was no need to create a spectacle of ourselves.

We continued our walk, watching nothing in particular. We passed many couples walking together, whispering quietly back and forth. I couldn't help but smile, realizing Bella and I looked the same. We were in love and I knew it shone from us.

A sickening crunch and the violent rocking of the entire ship jolted those happy thoughts. Bella lost her footing, falling against the deck as I fought to keep my balance over the tremors. Screams and cries surrounded us before the panic set in among the passengers. I scooped Bella in my arms, wiping away the lone tear that escaped her eyes.

People were running, not knowing what was happening or what to do. The same panic coursed through my veins, but Bella's grip of my hand kept my sanity grounded. I looked back and forth, trying to find the answers written upon anyone's face. All I found were the same feelings I felt carved into the features of everyone that passed—confusion and utter fear.

One of the ship workers ran into my field of vision. My heart jumped because I knew he held the answers and by the drawn look he held, I understood those answers were not good. I ran forward towards the man, towing Bella behind me, but never loosening my grasp. I could not lose her now.

"Sir! Sir!" I yelled at the man. I kept yelling until I was upon him. "Sir! What is going on? What has happened?" My voice was loud, trying to overpower the screams around me.

The man looked back and forth between Bella and I, a solemn look to his gaze. "Sir, please tell me," I nearly begged. Bella was tucked close into my side and I could feel the slight tremors of her frightened body.

"I'm not sure sir. All I know, is that we are taking on water. I was instructed to start evacuating the ship." The man held a worried appearance, aging him far beyond his years. "Please sir, get your lady and yourself in the boat."

"Thank you," I told the man with complete sincerity before lifting Bella into the small boat. I followed closely behind my love.

More people began to fill in around us. Some were crying. Some were screaming. Some were eerily silent. I held Bella tight to my body, fearing that even now I'd lose her if I let go. Tears streaked her face as she held tightly to my shirt, her small body trembling with each cry. I did my best to calm her, but my efforts were futile. There is no place for peace in the panic.

Within minutes our boat was lowered to the water where we sat to watch the terror unfold before us. Other boats joined ours amongst the calm ocean waves. Here we were left to wait. But wait for what, no one was certain.

Another boat neared ours and we learned the awful truth. This magnificent beast upon the ocean was struck down without warning. Speculative whispers erupted, but we all knew the truth deep down. We were just unwillingly thrown into the war.

Not ten minutes after we last were on her deck, the ship before us was swallowed by the silent water. Now all we could do was sit and wait for whatever was coming next.

~.~

In times of war there is little hope and when war knocks down your door like this, there is little hope of anything.

We were part of the lucky ones saved by the gods. We were 761 weak, listening to the growing silence of the others. Bella's every curve was still molded into my side; our hands intertwined anchoring our bodies and souls together. There was nothing left for us except for each other. The suffocating silence attested to that.

Hours passed and the silence was deafening as it hung in the air. No one talked. No one knew what to say with the weight of our circumstances. We were the living dead, merely existing atop the ocean.

But I had Bella and she had me. Apart from that, we had little. We had our lives. We had our love. Looking back, that's all we need. Everything else will fall into place when it will, but until then we have our love and faith safely in the heart of another.

This. This is what I have waited all this time for.