Title: Lithium
Author: sullencullen/edwardcullen at livejournal dot com
Characters/Pairing: Edward/Bella
Rating: NC-17
Author's Note: This one-shot deals with Edward's masturbatory fantasies surrounding Bella. Of course, since he is a vampire, I wanted to explore the aspect of what would happen if Bella was on her period around him. If the idea of sexual activity during one's period bothers you, don't read this – although many people have told me that they expected to be grossed out by the subject matter and weren't. This was written for the lovely lambiekins, who has been my Bella for over a year and has provided incredibly useful insight into the character's mind.

Before I met Bella Swan, I thought I knew all there was to know about the definition of "power."

After all, vampires are innately powerful creatures; enhanced speed, enormous strength, acute vision, and the time to highly educate ourselves sets us apart from humans. Interacting with humans and striving not to move too quickly, or respond to a thought as though it had been said aloud, is an endless reminder that the balance of power is, and likely always will be, weighted heavily in my favour.

As someone with an unnaturally long lifespan, I've both witnessed utter destruction and had a hand in its creation. I've watched as America went to war on seven separate occasions; observed the struggles of countless politicians; heard the internal monologues of people fighting for survival, or forgiveness, or acceptance. I've battled my own desire for the taste of human blood; struggled to come to terms with the fact that I'm damned, soulless; attempted to appear and act human when I'm anything but. I thought there was nothing I could learn about sheer will, influence and control that I hadn't already experienced or observed.

And yet despite everything I've seen, heard, and felt, the scent of Bella Swan's blood is easily the most powerful thing I've ever encountered.

The way she consumed my thoughts was bizarre; even now, as my fingers swept deftly over the keys of my piano, it was her face I saw, rather than the sheet music before my eyes. It was her scent that perfumed the air, rather than the more familiar ones of the family that surrounded me; it was the silken expanse of her skin I felt beneath my hands, rather than the ivory I touched. In my mind's eye she stood before me in the sunlight, her hair cascading over her shoulders in thick tendrils; a small, enticing smile played across her lips, and she reached her hand out to me, seeming to beckon me closer. I took a tentative step toward her, although my every instinct was to dash to her side with otherworldly grace. It was necessary to be cautious, however; even from where I stood I could see the blood throbbing beneath her nearly translucent skin, its intoxicating scent cascading from her veins and setting my throat ablaze.

"I want you, Edward," she announced coquettishly, drawing the hand she'd summoned me with to the buttons of her shirt. She began at the bottom, parting the gauzy white fabric away from her skin, and I stared – utterly transfixed – as she revealed the slip of her midriff. Venom – saccharine in its sweetness – flooded my mouth, and I stood rooted in place – my brain screaming at me to claim her as mine – as I watched her uncover every tantalizing inch of skin. My eyes trailed from her navel up the alabaster curves of her waist, settling firmly upon the soft swell of her cleavage. She kept the fabric of her shirt draped over her breasts as if to torment me; her hands hovered against its folds, and that alluring smile never left her lips.

"God, Bella," I managed to breathlessly choke, my eyes widening as she peeled the shirt slowly from her supple breasts and allowed it to drop to the grass beneath her feet. "It's almost sinful how badly I –"

Alice's sudden giggle broke through my reverie and my fingers came down hard on the piano, forcing a strangled, discordant sound from its keys. Her natural disposition was bubbly and open, and her thoughts – and the access to her mind – were no different; while she was not as easy to read as Emmett was, as he tended to project loudly, her thoughts were very clear when I allowed myself to listen to them. This was a moment that I should have left a thin barrier between us: as soon as I cast my eyes toward Alice with my lips twisted into a scowl, the perfunctory shield I had erected to protect her privacy seemed to dissolve. In an instant, my own thoughts of Bella Swan were forced from my mind as the source of Alice's girlish laughter flooded it: a vision that seemed to snake from her brain to mine, as if a pathway had been formed from the remnants of my mental block.

In an instant, my sight was overtaken; I no longer saw my family around me, nor did I feel the piano keys beneath my fingers. I saw myself in my own darkened bedroom, the space illuminated only by the thin, silver strip of moonlight that filtered weakly through the curtains. I sat on the edge of my chaise lounge, which was situated beneath the window; I had never had a practical use for a bed, and thus, I had never owned one. The moon's rays cast an ethereal glow against my skin wherever it was exposed: it played across the contours of my cheeks; the hard edge of my jaw; my left hand, as it slid smoothly up and down the shaft of my cock...

That certainly couldn't be right.

I shook my head immediately to rid myself of Alice's vision, and for a moment, I could see myself in her mind's eye as I was: sitting rigidly at the piano with my hands now balled into fists at my sides, my eyes wide with shock. She grinned innocently, and Jasper – who sat beside her, his arm strewn casually over her shoulders – smiled faintly. He had obviously felt my mood shift from arousal – a rarity for me, and something that was more commonly observed by me in our household – to sheer mortification. If I was capable of blushing, my face would surely have been scarlet.

Seems like you've got quite the night planned, Alice observed, her internal tone teasing despite our usual camaraderie. It was clear that she spoke more out of amusement than cruelty, and possibly even out of relief; Esme had long expressed concern that I was perhaps incapable of loving or desiring a mate, and Alice had silently echoed her sentiment. Regardless of her intentions, I hardly needed her foreseeing her something like that; it was utterly embarrassing. Of course, I had masturbated in the past – frequently, actually, since I had met and fallen in love with Bella – but it had never been something I had planned to do, consciously or otherwise. Thus, Alice had never had reason to detect it. But had I planned to? I couldn't recall making such a decision, even if I had been thinking of Bella in various states of undress.

Ah, but apparently it wasn't my mind that needed to decide; to my horror, I came to the slow realization that my cock was straining uncomfortably against the zipper of my pants. Jasper couldn't seem to help but snicker as my humiliation spiked considerably, and I set my jaw in a taut line of displeasure. Only moments had passed since I had stopped playing, but it was a long enough period of silence that I could feel Esme peering at me with concern from where she sat.

"Is everything alright, Edward?" she asked softly, and I scrupulously avoided her gaze.

"I'm fine," I muttered in response, forcing my lips to part with what was surely an unconvincing smile. I rose quickly to my feet, strategically angling my body toward the piano so that no one would be subjected to the sight of my erection as I stalked past them. I nearly sidled along its length, attempting to be as inconspicuous as I possibly could be in my movements. "I'm going to go to my room and... listen to some music."

"Have fun, dear," Esme called after me as I headed quickly toward the stairs. I could hear Alice tittering as easily as if she had been beside me, and I knew that the news of her vision wouldn't be contained for long; the curiousity of Rosalie and Emmett had undoubtedly been piqued, and although Carlisle was far too polite to ask questions, Alice's laughter and my subsequent behaviour had surely roused his suspicions.

Just wait until Emmett hears about this. You're never going to hear the end of it, Jasper announced, and I could hear his laughter even within his internal dialogue. I couldn't help but scowl as I bounded up the stairs, and Rosalie's voice trailed behind me even as I entered my bedroom.

"What was that all about?" she demanded, and I shut the door hard in an effort to seal her – and the rest of them, for that matter – out. I would never be able to stifle the sounds of their voices completely, given the enhanced senses that were characteristic of our kind, but that knowledge didn't stop me from making an attempt. My bedroom was exactly as it had appeared in Alice's vision: mildly lit by the glow of the moon, which cast long, deep shadows over some of my possessions and illuminated others. The chaise that I often lounged in was strewn with books I had abandoned in favour of spending much of my time with Bella, and I strode toward it, pushing the books aside.

Escaping from Alice's giggles and Jasper's knowing stares had been relatively easy – if not mortifying – but escaping my own desire was rather difficult by comparison. How was it possible that after what I had seen in Alice's mind, I still had an erection? More importantly, how was it possible when I knew that she had seen it, as well, and knew exactly what I intended to do? It was a testament toward Bella's power over me: no matter where I was, I would always be able to taste her scent at the back of my throat and envision the steady rush of blood through her veins. No matter where I was, I would always be able to imagine the soft rise and fall of her breasts as she slept and the gentle – if not infuriatingly arousing – way she would curl against me in slumber, her cheek pressed softly to my chest. No matter where I was, it would always feel as though flames lapped at my veins; for although I fed frequently in an attempt to keep her safe, it would never be enough to satiate my desire for both her blood and her body.

And yet, I was allegedly the one with all of the power.

Even as I began to hurriedly unbuckle my belt, it didn't seem quite right for me to do so. I held Bella at arm's length physically, although God knows I desired her – was it fair of me, then, to use the thought of her for my own pleasure? Often during the night my name would pass softly through her lips, more of a moan than a whisper, and she would arch her hips against my side as if instinctively. Was it selfish to make her wait, no matter how sound my reasoning, when her longing was evident even in her sleep? Was there a way to be intimately close to her that I had dismissed entirely as a precaution?

"No," I declared very softly as I unzipped my jeans, and saying the word aloud seemed to steel my resolve. It was better this way, safer; it would help to prevent me from losing control with her, particularly when she would begin to kiss me with a certain urgency that I couldn't match for her own sake. I lowered my pants quickly and hooked my fingers into the waist of my boxers, pulling them down with my eyes fixated upon the opposite wall. My left hand closed firmly around my cock with a certain sort of familiarity; while I had managed to live for decades without feeling the need or desire to masturbate, it had become a common occurrence seemingly from the moment Bella entered my life.

It was best to close my eyes as my hand slid slowly up and down the length of my cock; it was easier to imagine Bella with her small fingers against its shaft that way. Even as I moaned almost inaudibly, the tips of my fingers brushing softly against the underside of the head, I felt guilty for objectifying her in such a manner. Was this something she would even be interested in doing in reality? Could I even ask her to do such a thing?

Wrong; it was so wrong to think this way, and yet, that was partially what made it so pleasurable.

The black and red haze behind my eyelids seemed to grow grainy and dissolve; I was no longer within the confines of my bedroom, at least within my own mind. I was perched outside of Bella's window, peering into her darkened bedroom through the pane; the moon was high overhead, and its silver rays lit a preternatural flame against her skin. She lay tangled within her sheets, which had shifted to expose a slip of her bare leg. Her expression was utterly peaceful, and her hair fanned haphazardly about her pillow, delicately framing her face.

I eased the window open silently, and even in my fantasies I could smell the agonizingly sweet perfume of her blood and hear its warm pulse within her veins. The atmosphere in her bedroom was saturated with it; I could nearly taste it on the air and feel the agonizing fire it ignited within my throat. It was the price I paid in order to be close to her, and I paid it even now as I slipped into her bedroom in my mind's eye, landing soundlessly on her bedroom floor. And immediately, I could almost feel the golden colour draining from my eyes; venom pooled insistently in my mouth, far more quickly than I could swallow it back, and I bore my teeth in predatory fashion. My hands curled into feral claws, and a low growl hissed from between my lips in lieu of words. The scent of Bella's blood permeated the room, and the oxygen molecules in the air seemed fat and saturated with it; but this wasn't merely the blood that flowed within her veins. This was fresh and exposed to the air, as though she had punctured a vein in her sleep, and I stood coiled as if to strike. If my heart had been functional, its beating would have been rapid and erratic, betraying my presence as easily as my animalistic growling was likely to.

Ah; I had admirable self control in my fantasies. Could I have resisted Bella's freshly spilled blood in actuality?

The girl I love stirred in her sleep and rubbed blindly at her eyes before opening them, blinking slowly with confusion. "Edward?" she managed to whisper, her vocal cords strangled with hours of disuse. If she felt any fear as she watched me – would she finally learn to fear me, if she ever saw me acting in such a manner? – she didn't show it. "What's the matter?"

I couldn't answer, for a moment; I opted to stop breathing, instead, sealing the aroma of her blood out of my lungs. It was far too late, however; it seemed to cling to the back of my throat, stoking the flames that had been lit there, and I could feel my eyes burning blackly within their sockets. Everything within my body seemed to be burning, as it had when I had woken as a vampire, and I had assumed I was in Hell then. Was burning at Bella's hands meant to be my form of absolution?

"Edward?" she repeated when I didn't respond, and she sat up slowly, casting her blanket aside. She wore a tank top that clung tightly to her every curve, its thin straps slipping carelessly off of her shoulders, and for a moment all I could see was the gentle rise and fall of her breasts beneath the fabric. Her hair, which had been splayed across the pillow moments before, cascaded down her back and framed her face in tangled waves. Her pajama pants – which were riddled with holes and the legs of which had bunched in her sleep, exposing her pale skin – were stained darkly at the crotch. The smell of blood had amplified considerably when she tossed the blanket aside, and now, it was quite easy to determine why.

Bella had gotten her period.

"Bella, you're bleeding," I choked out, taking a tentative step toward her when I should have taken a decisive one back. Her eyes immediately widened with horror, and she glanced quickly down at her pants, her cheeks seeming to explode with heat as she blushed. I bit subconsciously at my lip, drawn to the blood blooming against her skin even now, when I had so much of it before me. I took another step toward her, edging toward the end of her bed, and she gazed at me with her brows furrowed with embarrassment.

"Oh, God," she groaned, reaching to draw the blanket back around her, as though it could mask her scent. "This is so humiliating. I'm so sorry."

"Don't be," I assured her huskily as I crawled onto the bed, grasping onto the edge of her blanket and inching it away from her body. She stared at me curiously, her face a mixture of confusion and mortification. She managed to flush even deeper as I tossed the blanket to the floor, and it, too, was stained with blood.

"How can you stand it?" she asked, her heart thudding more violently against her rib cage the closer I got. I seemed drawn to her through some force of magnetism, and my cock pressed insistently against my pants despite myself. It was utterly arousing to think of tasting the blood between her legs, rather than allowing it to go to waste... and tasting her. "Your eyes are completely black, Edward. I'm going to go change."

"Don't," I replied fervently, shaking my head as I did so. She had been prepared to slide from the bed, and she froze when I protested, raising her eyebrows curiously. "I... need this, Bella."

"What do you mean?" she asked, her voice straining mildly with alarm for the first time. She still didn't fear me; that much was obvious, despite my feral demeanor. She was still merely embarrassed, as though having me see her bleed – rather than being unable to resist me as I sank my teeth into her throat – was the worst case scenario. I crawled closer, and she sank submissively into the bed as I hovered over her, staring up at me with bewilderment. I had never allowed myself to be this close to her before, and that fact was not lost upon her; her heart seemed capable of breaking free of her chest as I touched my lips softly to hers, murmuring persuasively against her lips.

"You have no idea how utterly appealing you are, Bella," I sighed softly, and I kissed her as deeply as I could allow myself to, being sure to keep my lips sealed as I did so in an effort to keep the venom from flowing into her mouth. She responded immediately, threading her arms around my neck in an attempt to draw me closer, and kissed me back with a sense of urgency. "There is... really no need for you to change your clothing or shower, you know. I've longed to taste your blood since the moment I met you, and this... seems like a rather opportune moment."

She gasped quietly, her lips a perfect formation of shock against my own. She was doe-eyed in her surprise and her cheeks were crimson now. Was she embarrassed because of my suggestion, or was she embarrassed because she was actually considering my proposal?

"Edward, I..." she faltered, and although she couldn't seem to formulate words, her arms tightened possessively around my neck.

"Is that a no?" I pressed, and she stared at me for a moment before firmly shaking her head, her first truly decisive action since I had arrived. Not a no.

She had given her consent.

I kissed her again, unable to contain my excitement as I trailed my lips from her mouth to the soft curve of her jaw. She sighed softly with desire, seeming to sink into the mattress beneath us, and tilted her head back to expose the expanse of her throat to me. Her jugular throbbed insistently against her skin, and I pressed my lips gently to it as if to test my resolve. I could feel its intense heat as I traced my lips against its length, and she shivered as I laid a kiss against the hollow of her throat. Immediately her fingers were in my hair, tugging insistently at the roots in an effort to coax me to touch her harder, but I continued to feather kisses across her clavicle; the curves of her shoulders; the soft swell of her breasts.

"You're a complete tease," she informed me breathlessly, clutching harder at my hair, which I barely felt. I cast my eyes up at her for a long moment, observing her as she was: her eyes pleasurably drifting shut, although by her estimation, I was barely touching her; her hair fanned about her head with tendrils strewn across her forehead, slick with perspiration; her lips full and slightly parted in anticipation. Even fully clothed as she was, she was utterly erotic.

"Am I?" I responded silkily, and she arched her back dramatically as I touched my lips to one of her nipples through the thin fabric of her tank top. The small peak was taut, and a moan hit the back of her throat as I rolled my tongue softly against it, leaving a small damp spot against her shirt.

"Yes," she gasped as I kissed a fervent line between her breasts, and she released my hair, reaching frantically for the hem of her shirt in an attempt to raise it over her head.

"Patience, Bella," I scolded her gently, brushing her hands aside so that my own could take their place. I lifted her shirt agonizingly slowly, revealing a supple, pale slip of skin an inch at a time: first the flat planes of her stomach, which I couldn't help but lay my lips against; then the soft curves of her waist; then her small, pert breasts, her nipples growing harder as I exposed them to the air. My cock seemed to throb within the confines of my pants as I watched her arch her back insistently again, craving the contact I had given her mere moments ago, and I lowered my mouth tentatively toward one of her nipples, cupping her breasts within the palms of my hands. They were incredibly soft, and an audible moan slipped from my throat as I flicked my tongue lightly against her nipple, reveling in the taste of her skin.

The scent of Bella's arousal, enticingly sweet, competed with the perfume of her blood; both seemed to be calling to me as I trailed my lips hurriedly from her breasts toward her stomach, eliciting a groan of protest on her part. Her chest rose and fell with laboured gasps, and she bit hard at her lip in a failed attempt to stifle them.

"Don't worry, love," I assured her in a near whisper as I slid my fingers into the waist of her pajama pants. I eased them slowly down her legs and tossed them carelessly toward the floor, leaving her to lie before me in a pair of blue cotton panties, the crotch of which were heavily stained with blood. For a moment, venom pooled so heavily within my mouth that it was difficult to speak without appearing as though I was salivating – which I suppose I was. "I can assure you that you'll enjoy this much, much more."

Slowly – so slowly that Bella seemed liable to shriek with frustration – I hooked my hands behind her knees and parted her legs. There was darkly-coloured blood on the inside of each of her thighs, and I lowered my mouth tentatively to one, swiping my tongue slowly across the vital fluid that had dried there. I had fantasized about this from the very moment I had met her, and yet I never could have imagined what it would be like to actually taste her: her blood pleasurably scalded the back of my throat as I lapped further up her thigh, entirely consumed with its sweet flavour and metallic undertones. I was painfully aware of her femoral artery, which jutted against her skin in tantalizing fashion, and yet I found myself sliding my tongue directly over it and managing to maintain my composure. She moaned as loudly as she dared to as I inched closer toward the hem of her panties, and the scent of her arousal was as powerful as that of her blood as I carefully pulled her panties down.

They were likely ruined beyond repair; my exploration of her body had given her time to continue to bleed freely, and it took all of my resolve not to lick her panties before discarding them. Bella locked her heavily lidded eyes – which blazed with anticipation – on me as I slid my hands beneath her thighs, drawing her closer. Her skin was streaked with crimson fluid, and I was not beyond staring appreciatively at her in an attempt to commit the sight to memory.

"Your beauty is absolutely unparalleled," I murmured as I pressed my lips against her, delicately darting my tongue out to lap at the blood on her flesh. She seemed to freeze beneath me for a moment before releasing a small, strangled moan, her hips rising almost immediately in an effort to press closer to me. She squeezed me gently with her thighs to further coax me, and I traced the tip of my tongue slowly toward her clit. I could feel her blood against my lips, my chin, and most importantly, within my mouth; I swallowed it eagerly as she writhed beneath me, her fingers snaking into my hair to grasp it hard.

"Edward," she moaned almost pleadingly, her hips rocking softly against me as I began to teasingly caress her clit with my tongue. I circled idly around it, rather than touch her directly; her rocking grew harder, more insistent, as I rolled my tongue softly against her again and again. The taste of her fluids mingled with her blood, and I found myself closing my mouth greedily around her clit, my tongue pulsing against it rhythmically.

"Edward," she repeated again, her voice growing higher as her hips rose sharply off of the bed, her hold on my hair tightening. "Oh, God, I'm going to –"

I gasped hard as I came, reaching quickly for the box of tissues next to the chaise in an attempt to reduce the mess I had created. My image of Bella had dissolved instantaneously; rather than the enticing way she called my name and her hips rocking against me over and over again as she orgasmed, I was left with a soiled tissue that I had used to mop semen off of my thighs. I sighed heavily, tossing it toward the nearby waste basket.

One of many, it landed with a soft thud.