Age of Edward Contest

Title: The Shot Heard 'Round the World

By: Isannah

Type of Edward: American Revolution Edward

If you would like to see all the stories that are a part of this contest visit: The Age of Edward C2 Community:

AN: This contest caught my eye and I had a lot of fun writing this. Thank you to those who came up with such a good idea.

The story takes place during the months prior to and on the eve of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. I must admit I am a lemon writing virgin, this is my first time, which is appropriate considering it is Edward and Bella's first time as well. Please be easy on us.


"It's bloody hotter than hell. How do these people stand it?" I looked over to see that Jasper was wiping his brow with the sleeve of his jacket. The way he said these people told me that he did not consider himself one of them.

"It isn't any hotter here than it is in London, and these people are our brethren. We're here to keep the peace and show them that they are very much an important part of Mother England. Try to be nice." Jasper just rolled his eyes. We didn't exactly see eye to eye on the point of us being here, but were the best of chaps, had been since we were kids. We attended school together and joined the King's army together. It was just luck that we were both sent to America to put down this "insurrection" as most people called it, at the same time.

It was early September, 1774. We had been in America, Boston, Massachusetts, to be exact for about two months. His Majesty had started sending regiment after regiment overseas in an effort to enforce the Coercive Acts. I learned real quickly that they weren't very popular over here.

Not popular at all. In fact, detested would be a better word. The colonists had actually renamed them the Intolerable Acts, and tolerate them they did not.

But what other choice did our dear king have? After that little stunt they pulled last December. Granted, it was very clever, but purposely dumping 342 chests of perfectly good tea into the harbor did seem a little excessive. Not only was there the financial loss, but it was a direct slap in the face of King George III. Instead of giving the colonists the representation in Parliament they so desperately wanted, he decided to punish them, ruthlessly. He closed their harbor, forced them to house his troops, only allowed them to have one town meeting a year, and allowed the trials of British officials accused of wrong-doing to be held in England where punishment would almost never follow.

Most of the residents of Boston hated us. We represented the tyranny they felt was thrust down upon them. And in case we forgot, they had no trouble reminding us of how our being here just confirmed their suspicions that the King was determined to force them into doing his will. Redcoats, lobsterbacks, those were mild insults. I couldn't bring myself to repeat some of the others.

Most of the British military took offense to it. I saw it as years of frustration on the part of Boston's inhabitants. I truly believed that it each side could listen to the other that England and her colonies could reconcile and benefit from a long lasting relationship built on tradition, loyalty, and of course, trade. But right now, Boston was suffering. Closing the port crippled Boston's economy and everyone in the town was feeling it in someway. It just made them angrier.

So here we were. I was anxious coming over here because I didn't know what to expect. I did, however, expect more than this. We spent most the day doing a variety of activities that didn't involve much of anything. We drilled on the Common, practicing for what I have no idea. We cleaned or muskets, again and again. We went on patrol to keep the peace and to keep an eye on those devious Sons of Liberty who were always planning something.

Today Jasper and I were on patrol in North Square. There wasn't really much for us to do. The townspeople were going about their usual business not giving either of us a second glance. British regulars were common place these days.

"Come on, Edward. There is nothing going on here. Let's go patrol the tavern. I sure there's trouble brewing there." I knew what Jasper was alluding to but I wasn't about to disobey the orders given to us.

"No, Jasper. We're here for the duration." I was about to go on about our duty to England when something, rather someone, caught my eye.

There, at the town pump, was a girl fetching water and not having a very good go at it I might add. I silently chuckled as I watched her struggle with the buckets. The way she bit her lower lip and how the stray hair that escaped her cap swirled around her face was breathtaking. After lifting both buckets over the side of the well and sitting them on the ground, she stood up and straightened her apron by smoothing it down with her hands. She then attempted to put her hair back into place. Once she felt that the evidence of her struggles were no longer apparent, she proceeded to put the yolk over her shoulders, bend down and attach the buckets, and slowly stood up. She was shaking under the weight of the full buckets, but managed to take a few steps before she stepped on her skirt and fell forward to the ground. I didn't even think. I just left Jasper's side and ran to her.

"Are you okay, Miss? Let me help you with that?" I asked her as I began to take the yolk off of her thin, frail shoulders.

"Thank you, I'm fine. This is a daily event for me." She chuckled as she stood up. Up until this point she had her back to me. Once she was upright and turned around to face me, the pleasant smile that had been on her face quickly fell as she narrowed her eyes.

"I'll take that back now, thank you." She snatched the yolk out of my hand before I had a chance to protest. "You can go back to whatever it was that you were doing." She bent down and placed the yolk back on her shoulders and tried to look like lifting the buckets wasn't difficult. The beautiful blush that came to her face gave her away.

"Please, let me help you. I will carry the water for you."

"I don't accept help from the likes of you." She said the words like she was reciting what she had been told, not what she truly believed. As quickly as she was able, she headed down the street and into the crowd. I watched until I could no longer see her. I realized the reason for her actions and harsh words. She was a Patriot, in other words, the enemy.

In that moment, my whole purpose for living changed. I was supposed to be here in America proving my loyalty to my king and preparing to fight the enemy. How was I supposed to do that when the potential enemy included that exquisite creature?

As I stood at the water pump dumbfounded, Jasper strolled over to me. No doubt he had witness the entire horrendous scene. "May I ask what that was all about?"

"I don't know. I was just drawn to her. I couldn't help it. Did you see the way she looked at me, like I was the devil himself?"

"I did notice that. Forget her, Edward. Maybe if it were a different time, a different place, it could work. The truth is that even if her feelings were mutual you wouldn't be able to act on them. She's a colonist and you're a private in the army. You could end up on the gallows for a relationship like that."

I knew he was right. The current situation and the fact that I did not even know her name put an end to my hope that I had found everything that I didn't even know I was looking for.

"I know what would make you feel better…a tankard of ale at the tavern." I didn't argue. I didn't care about our orders anymore and the thought of quenching my thirst did sound good.

We made our way to a tavern just down the street from North Square just in case we had to leave in a hurry. Most businesses in Boston were suffering greatly from the closing of the harbor. It was a chain reaction. First it was the dockworkers and the ship builders who were thrown out of work. Then merchants had to close their counting houses and fire all of their employees. People had to focus on feeding their families and could no longer afford any luxuries. Silversmiths, clothiers, and other business quickly fell into hard times due to lack of business. The only business that seemed to do well despite the economic crisis were taverns and that was because the British regulars arrived as the colonial patrons began to drop off. We, as a group, loved taverns and had money to spend. Even though most tavern owners hated serving us, they wouldn't turn us or our money away. They recognized how lucky they were and weren't about to be foolish.

The Black Swan Tavern was one that Jasper and I had never frequented before, but it looked inviting enough. Once inside, we were summoned over to a table that had a few other privates from our regiment. They invited us to join them and we obliged. I felt odd being in a tavern while on duty.

"The serving girl was just here. I'm sure she'll be back soon. She's a pretty little thing. One thing I can say about America, they aren't lacking for fine looking women. I think I just might need to show her my musket." James was the known womanizer of our group. His crude behavior was not something I admired. In fact, his lack of respect for women was not how I was brought up at all. I mean, where was his decency?

I ignored his comments and concentrated on the décor of the room. There were about ten tables that were set up in almost a semi-circle around a large fireplace. Being mid-summer there wasn't any fire going in it now, however, in the winter the arrangement would allow for all the tables to benefit from the heat. The most interesting part of the whole place was the dozen or so swans that were hand-carved into the face of the mantle. Whoever had carved them truly had a gift. Once could not help but notice the intricate detail that went into those graceful birds.

I was brought out of my concentration by the voice that I would remember until the end of time. Her voice. Granted, once again it was on the verge of being annoyed, but it sang to me. I looked up to see that she was staring at me with the same expression she had by the town pump.

"Look, may I take your order or not? I have five other tables to attend to." She said in an impatient tone.

"Excuse me, what?" I was really confused. Had she asked me something?

"Edward, snap out of it. Tell the girl what you want." Jasper was trying to help me.

"Oh, yes, what I want." What did I want? An opportunity to learn everything about you because I think I'm in love with you. "I'll have a tankard of ale, please." I said stiffly.

"About time" she muttered as she stormed off to another table. I also thought I heard her grumble something under her breath like "who does he think his is, bloody redcoat."

"She sure doesn't like you. What did you do to her?" James was grinning like a cat that caught a mouse.

"Nothing. I just offered to carry her water for her. I think it's more like she doesn't like us." I motioned my hand in a circle to indicate that I meant our entire group. "It's not a secret that the colonists don't want us here." That spurred on a conversation about the current situation here in the colonies and the exact purpose of our mission.

I had no interest in participating in that conversation. Talking about it wasn't going to change it and I, at the moment, had more important things on my mind. I watched the girl move from one table to another gathering orders. I could see the frustration on her face as the rest of the soldiers tried to make small talk with her. She was obviously not in the mood to humor them at all. She started to head towards a room in the back and I saw my chance. I discreetly removed myself from the table and cut her off before she could enter.

"Hi again, miss. Please accept my apology for my lapse of coherency back there." She looked at me with the most beautiful chocolate brown eyes. I could get lost in those eyes.

"Never mind. Now if you will excuse me." She tried to get past me but I wasn't ready to let her go.

"Wait. May I please ask you your name?" I asked with desperation that rang clearly in my voice.

Before she could answer we were interrupted. "Bella, is everything okay?" A boy who looked a few years younger had come over and placed himself between me and the girl whose name I now knew as Bella. He was looking at me with threatening eyes.

"Um, yes Jacob. Everything is fine. I was just talking to...I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name." Both Bella and Jacob were now looking at me.

"Edward, my name is Edward Cullen." I was looking right at her excited that I had the opportunity to tell her my name.

"I was just talking to Mr. Cullen, and now he is leaving. Good day." She turned and went into the back room without a second glance, leaving Jacob and myself alone together. I was just about to rejoin my party when Jacob spoke.

"If you know what is good for you, you'll leave her alone." His words were harsh and his tone was menacing. He looked very dangerous despite his age.

"I'm sorry?"

"She's not interested in courting a damn redcoat." Jacob had stepped closer so that there were only inches separating us. Seeing that technically I was still on patrol, the last thing I wanted was to get into an altercation with this child.

"We'll see about that, Jacob." I said and then walked back to my table. "Let's go Jasper. We need to get back to the Common and report in." He nodded and we both walked out together.

Bella, her name tumbled in my head like the breeze. I hadn't been looking, but I had found the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life making happy. I couldn't even bring myself to think about the insurmountable odds we were facing, the biggest being her lack of mutual feelings toward me. I sighed. It did seem quite impossible.


Why did he have to come here? I knew it was wrong to fancy him. I had heard my father go on and on about the injustices King George III had handed down to us and how sending troops over to control us was just one of his attempts at trickery. He insulted the soldiers behind their backs every chance he got, yet he never failed to serve them and take their money. He was a proud man and would never admit it, but we needed their patronage and we were lucky to have it.

My brother, Emmett, would be horrified to know that I was even thinking this way. If he were here he would see it written all over my face. However, he spent most of his time drilling with the Minutemen out in Lexington. His help around the tavern was sorely missed, but my father was adamant that Emmett was doing God's work in preparing to fight for the colonial cause. It just meant that my sister, Alice, and I would have to work that much harder.

Due to Emmett's absence, one of my newly added responsibilities was to fetch fresh water from the town pump everyday. The heaviness of the full buckets made them quite difficult to manage. Add that to my clumsy predisposition and more often then not, I had to make two trips to the pump because I had spilt most of the water on my way back home.

On that day, things were going especially bad when I stepped on my dress with the buckets causing me to immediately fall. This time, however, I heard someone behind me offer help. When I heard his smooth, velvety voice I thought the heavens had opened up and sent me an angel. To my surprise, he was exactly that: an angel with the greenest eyes I had ever seen, but dressed in a British uniform. God had decided to have a little fun at my expense. I would have to thank him for that at Sunday service.

My father and brother's voice resonated in my head as I fought with myself not to accept his help or anything else he was offering. As a result, I was extremely rude to him and stormed off before my emotions could betray me. Secretly, there was a part of me that had hoped he would follow, but he did not. I shrugged it off convinced he was just being a gentleman by offering a girl help and nothing more.

When I got back to the tavern, it was swimming in British soldiers. Right away I started moving from table to table to take orders. I really thought my encounter with the green-eyed angel was a thing in the past until I saw him sitting at a table with a rather large group of soldiers. Once again I found myself being rude to him just to keep from doing something unladylike. I had been raised to be a proper young lady, but my thoughts at that moment were far from innocent. Just his mere presence made my whole body warm with desire from the inside out. I just needed to get out of there before he figured out that my behavior was just a façade, but I had five more tables to wait to.

Once all the orders were taken, I hastily ran towards the kitchen in an attempt to get away. Before I could get there my path was cut off and he was apologizing to me and asking my name. The eyes, the voice, the fact that he was only inches from my throbbing body were just too much. I physically ached for him. I knew it was wrong, that he was wrong, for my father would never approve of him. Still, I wanted so badly to give him my name and anything else he wanted.

I was just about to, when Jacob interrupted.

Ah, Jacob. He was one of my best friends from our childhood. I always knew that when he finished up his apprenticeship with Mr. Alterra, the blacksmith, he planned on asking my father for my hand in marriage. I never discussed this with Jacob because the thought of marrying him was quite terrifying. I loved him as a friend, but I didn't have the heart to tell him that I was not in love with him. Since business at the blacksmith shop was slow, Jacob had a lot of time to hang around the tavern. When Emmett left, Jacob took it upon himself to watch over me. It made me feel uncomfortable but I let it continue by trying to ignore it.

I used Jacob's interruption to get out from Edward's piercing stare and into the kitchen. I took a minute to catch my breath. We both knew each other's names now, but that didn't change anything. He was still forbidden to me and I'm sure the British army wouldn't take too kindly to one of its soldiers pursuing a civilian.

You are being silly, Bella. What would he ever see in you?

I was shaking with nervousness as I made my way back out of the kitchen to serve some of the orders. I quickly glanced around to see that Edward had apparently left. I sighed in relief but part of me already missed him.

The days started to blend together. The odd fall heat endured and it made everyone uncomfortable. The only relief one could get was to go down to the wharf and catch the breeze coming off the ocean. I didn't have time for that leisure; I had to fetch the water.

Slowly I walked down the street and headed for the town pump. The yolk wasn't very heavy but I wasn't in any rush to fill the buckets and make the treacherous trip back to the tavern. The sun blazed down and I could feel the beads of sweat dripping down the side of my face. Whoever thought it was a good idea for women to wear so many layers ought to get their head examined. It was downright cruel on a day like today.

I could faintly hear a commotion coming from down the street behind me. It seemed so far away and carrying the yolk made it difficult to turn around and see what the fuss was all about. As usual, I had been caught up in my thoughts about Edward and how I wished to see him again. Whatever it was that was going on didn't interest me enough to turn around and find out. All I could think of was those eyes and that voice.

The sound that brought me back to reality was not the voice I longed to hear, but a more panicked one. "Outta the way! Runaway horse!" The commotion that had at one point sounded so far away was now upon me and there was no where for me to go.

I dropped the yolk and turned around to see a horse and carriage barreling down the street. The horse, obviously spooked by something, was crazed and there was no stopping him. The carriage was at the mercy of the horse. It awkwardly bucked from side to side as the wild animal dragged it down the street without a driver. There was absolutely no way I was going to escape this. It was too close. I just closed my eyes and waited for death to come.

The impact came from a different direction than I anticipated and it didn't hurt as much as I thought being trampled by a two ton animal would have. It must have happened so quick that I didn't have time to feel the pain. Was I in heaven?

"Bella, are you hurt?" The velvety voice that I longed for asked. It was just as I remembered except for the tone of dread that accompanied it.

I must be dead. Heaven is too glorious for words. Wait, if I'm dead, why would I be hurt?

I slowly opened my eyes to see that Edward was lying on top of me. He had one hand behind my head and the other supporting his weight so that he wouldn't crush me. There were also about fifteen other people surrounding us. I realized then that I was not dead, just very, very unlucky.

"No, I think I'm okay. Did I almost get run over by a horse?" I started to sit up and Edward moved away so that I could. He kept his arm behind my back for support.

"You sure did, Miss Swan. Good thing this young man was here to push you out of the way." I saw that Mr. Revere, the silversmith and supposedly one of the leaders of the Sons of Liberty, was eyeing Edward as he said the word man. The British soldiers were not welcome here in Boston, but even Mr. Revere couldn't deny that one of them had saved my life without any thought of his own. "We should probably bring you to see Doctor Warren and send for your father."

"No, no, I'm fine. Just a little dusty is all." I quickly rose to my feet. The last thing I wanted was to go through the embarrassment of another trip to Doctor Warren's. I was there for one reason or another almost every week. I also didn't want my father to hear about this. He would give me another lecture about how I should be more careful.

The crowd rapidly dissipated when it became apparent that I was not hurt. The only people who were left were Edward, another extremely handsome soldier, and I. What exactly were they feeding these boys in England?

Before I could say thank you, I heard a shrieking coming down the street. "Bella! Are you okay? I just heard what happened and I came as fast as I….could." She stopped dead in her tracks as she came face to face with the soldier standing next to Edward.

"I'm fine, Alice." Since she didn't answer me I turned to Edward. "Thank you, Mr. Cullen for saving my life. This is my sister, Alice."

"It was my pleasure. Please call me Edward. Let me introduce you to Jasper Whitlock. Jasper, this is Miss Bella Swan, and her sister, Alice." Jasper just stood there with his mouth open, staring at Alice who was staring right back at him. Finally, his jaw snapped shut and he remembered his manners.

"It is an honor to meet both of you fine ladies." He still had his eyes locked on Alice.

"The honor, I'm sure, is all mine, Mr. Whitlock. Would you be as so kind to walk me home?" Alice batted her lashes at him.

"It would be my pleasure." Alice threaded her arm around Jasper's and they were off whispering God knows what to each other.

Edward took Jasper's lead and held out his arm. "May I?" I nodded and took his arm graciously. As we walked down the street our family's tavern, I became more and more aware of the stares we had been getting. Surely my father would here about this and he would not be happy, but I did not care.

We arrived at the tavern and Edward spoke. "Bella, is there a chance that I might be able to see you again?" He wants to see me…again. My heart was beating so hard I thought it might jump out of my chest.

"I think I would like that. Except, can we meet somewhere else? We won't be able to get a bit of privacy here." I said as I looked around to the people pretending to be doing something else while trying to listen to our conversation. I brought my voice down to a whisper. "I need to collect apples tomorrow. Could you meet me at the orchard on Beacon Hill at noon?"

"That would be fine. I am looking quite forward to it, Bella. Enjoy the rest of your day and try not to get in the way of any horses." He smiled a perfect crooked smile as he took my hand and kissed it.

"I'll see what I can do. And thank you again, Edward." He nodded and began to pry Jasper away from Alice. We watched them walk down the street until we could no longer see them. Alice and I looked at each other knowing that we were getting ourselves into some trouble.


I couldn't sleep as I waited for the next day to come. I kept replaying in my head the events that lead me to this moment. I had been watching Bella from afar as she made her daily trip to the town pump. I knew that even watching her was dangerous for both of us, but I physically couldn't keep myself from doing it. Fetching the water was not a task that I would have bestowed on a woman, but I knew that with her brother away, it was something she was unable to escape. Bella was doing what she needed to do to help her family. Her dedication and perseverance made her even that more appealing.

Be honest, Edward. That isn't the main reason she appeals to you.

As a result of watching her so much, I had memorized everything about her body. Her face was heart shaped and had these plump, pink lips that just begged to have the tenderest kiss placed upon them. The way she would bite the lower one when she was mad or concentrating made my heart skip a beat. Her neck was slender and it gracefully melted into the length of her collar bone. The way the swell of her breasts peered ever so slightly over the edge of her dress enticed me to dream about how wonderful her body was underneath.

At times I felt embarrassed thinking of her in that way. There had never been another girl who had ever come close to making me feel this way. My parents taught me that women were to be revered and that feelings of lust were not ones that should be acted on casually. As a result of my upbringing, I had little to no experience when it came to these new emotions that made my heart feel like it was being squeezed and my body to react in such strange ways. I had no control over it, but I had grown to learn that Bella was the cause.

When Bella was almost trampled to death by that runaway horse, my emotions changed so fast from one moment to the next that I felt like was going to explode. It started out with sheer panic as I realized what was about to happen, but quickly changed to unwavering determination as I ran to save her. The adrenaline pumped through my veins as I crashed into her and we both fell to the ground. I had saved her from the horse, but at what expense? When she didn't open her eyes, pain spread throughout my body at the thought she had been hurt because of me. Then, when it was apparent that she was indeed all right, I felt overpowering love. She was in my arms, and even though England was thousands of miles away, I felt home.

To think that I could have lost her before I ever had her was unbearable. She was the one. Nothing else mattered; not the army, not King George III, not the reason that had brought me to America in the first place. Nothing mattered except my Bella.

I found the apple orchard fairly easily and saw that Bella was already there. She had her back to me and she was up on her toes, straining to reach an apple on a branch above her. She was so tempting. I just wanted to go up behind her, put my arms around her waist, and make her mine.

Be a gentleman, be a gentleman.

I walked over to her and whispered in her ear, trying not to startle her. "Here, allow me to help you." I reached over her and picked the apple she was trying to reach. She stiffened and then turned around so that her face was in direct line with my chest. She had taken off her cap and I could smell the freshness of her recently washed hair. It was like breathing in the sunshine.

"Thank you." She said as she looked down at her feet. She was obviously as nervous as I was.

I put my finger under her chin and lifted her face so that I could see her eyes. I saw fear deep inside and suddenly I was scared. "Are you afraid of me?"

"Yes." My heart deflated. I quickly moved my hand away from her face and stepped back. It was not the answer I expected, nor hoped for.

"I won't hurt you, I promise. Please, don't go." I started to sound like a drowning man desperately trying to stay afloat.

"No, you don't understand. I know you won't hurt me. I trust you." A wave of relief washed over me, but it was only temporary. She was assured that I wouldn't physically harm her, but still I frightened her.

"Then what is it? Why do you look so scared?" She hesitated and took a deep breath. Tears were welling up in her eyes and threatening to spill over.

"Edward, I am terrified. I'm afraid of how my father and brother would react if they even knew I was here with you. I'm afraid of where this conflict is going and what the future will bring. I'm afraid of how you make me feel when you are close to me. Most of all, I am afraid that I will lose you and never know what could have been."

My Bella was so brave. She put all her faith and trust into me and admitted things that I only dared to think. I made it my solemn vow that I would never betray her trust, ever.

"Bella…" She raised her face and looked at me out from under her long lashes. The tears were still fresh in her eyes. I couldn't hold back any longer. I slowly moved closer to her, enough so that we were almost touching. I brought my hand up to her face and gently tucked behind her ear a stray piece of hair. I moved my hand and lightly traced the outsides of her lips and down to the bottom of her chin. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. I placed my other hand on the small of her back and pulled her slightly closer. She didn't resist, but I could feel her tremble under my touch.

With my fingers still under her chin, I brought my lips down to hers and tenderly brushed across them. With a little more pressure, I took her lower lip in mine and sucked on it until I felt her open her mouth, allowing me go further. My tongue dipped in between her lips and softly massaged her own tongue. We were like a symphony as we moved in time with each other. It was like her mouth was made only for me.

We both pulled back at the same time, breathless and flustered. Once again, Bella stirred something in me that made my body intensely react. I was suddenly uncomfortable in my breeches as my arousal strained to get free. I was just hoping Bella wouldn't notice.

"Edward?" She had wrapped her arms around my waist and rested her head against my chest.

"Yes, my beautiful Bella?" I also had my arms around her as I stroked the back of her hair.

"What do we do now?" Worry had crept into her voice. I wanted nothing more to ease her concern.

"Well, I think it might be nice if we got to know each other. Don't you?"

"I would love nothing more." She relaxed and let me just hold her.

When it was time for her to leave, we decided that we would try to meet in the orchard every day. For the most part, we could be alone and not have to worry about her father or the British army finding out about us.

The next day, Bella brought a blanket and a picnic basket filled with cheese and bread. We talked about our families and the differences between growing up in England and growing up in the Colonies. I told her about how I missed being able to play the piano since I arrived in America. She recited her favorite poems to me as I lay with my head in her lap while she absentmindedly ran her fingers in my disheveled hair. It felt so good; her touch was something I craved. When we said our goodbyes, I kissed her again with all the passion I felt for her.

We ended all our rendezvous' in the orchard with a kiss. We met almost every day and fell more and more in love with each other as time went on. We learned everything we could about each other. We were addicted to each other.

The weather quickly turned more seasonable for fall and soon winter was ushered in with the first snow fall. We still met in the orchard, but our time was shortened due to the harsh conditions. The only one I told about Bella was Jasper. When I finally confided in him, he in return admitted that he had fallen in love with Alice. We frequented the tavern often. Speaking to them was out of the question, but just being close in proximity was comforting to both of us.

When spring arrived, Bella and I resumed our meetings in the orchard. Things, however, around Boston were different and we discussed this at length. The atmosphere of the town was tense and everyone was on edge. The conflict between England and its colonies was growing and soon it would be beyond repair.

Bella had heard from her brother that the Minutemen were confident the British would soon strike out to the countryside. I, myself, had learned that General Gage was at his wits end. On multiple occasions, rumors about the Minutemen storing large amounts of arms in nearby towns had forced Gage to send out groups of infantry to find them. The Sons of Liberty were always two steps ahead of him and the attempts to seize the weapons failed. General Gage did not like to be made a fool of and he was out for revenge.

When the latest rumor of munitions being stored in a town called Concord came to light in April of 1775, General Gage took no chances. We were told by our commanding officer that our regiment would be participating in the expedition but that our orders would be given to us immediately prior to ensure that the plans were kept secret. Most everyone was taken off their normal duties and told to be ready to go at any time.

On the morning of April 18th, the word was that we would be moving out late that night.

By noon, everyone else in Boston knew there was going to be expedition with the target being weapons and gunpowder stored in Concord. The question on everyone's mind, including my own, was when exactly we would be leaving Boston and what our route would be. No doubt there would be fighting this time. The Minutemen would see to that. It was quite possible that I would have to face off with Bella's brother…and one of us might die.

I had to see Bella before I left Boston. I impatiently waited around North Square until I saw her walking down the street towards the town pump. When she got to the top of the street, she saw me and fear briefly flashed across her face. She shook her head, calmed her face, and continued to the pump. I casually walked close behind her as not to draw any attention. "Orchard at sun down. Please be there." I said it so softly it was barely audible, but a quick glance over her shoulder let me know that she had indeed heard me. I knew she would come.

My breathing was heavy as I literally ran to the orchard and waited for Bella. Twilight had descended upon the apple trees and the only light was the fading sunset.

"Edward." I turned around to see my Bella glowing in the rays of the disappearing sun. She was spectacular and I immediately ran to her and embraced her in a loving kiss. The urgency of it informed her of what I was afraid to tell her.

"It's true, then. You're leaving?"

"Yes, love. My orders from General Gage are to be ready in full battle gear tonight. I couldn't leave without seeing you and telling you how much I love you." She started to cry.

"Please don't cry, my Bella. I can't bear this to be my last memory of you. Let us just enjoy each other for the rest of the time before I have to go." At that moment, the tears stopped. She wiped her eyes and attempted to put a smile on her face. Even now, she wanted to put her own emotions aside and grant me my wish.

"Edward, I love you. I don't want to think that this may be the last time I ever see you." Her lip began to quiver, but she took a breath and regained her composure. "I want to have this one last night to hold in our memories until we see each other again. I want, no I need to be one with you." Even in the fading light I could see her blush and I realized what she was saying. She was giving herself to me. A precious gift that I wasn't sure I deserved.

"Bella, are you sure? Please don't feel like you are obligated in any way. I would never ask you…" She cut me off.

"I know you are not asking and I don't feel obligated. I never intended to become intimate with a man before he was my husband, but I love you and that will never change for me. I can't let you leave with out knowing what it is like to feel you. Please, Edward, I am asking you."

I crushed my lips to her as I spoke. "Bella, if there was time, I would ask for your hand in marriage right now. Do believe me when I tell you that as soon as this whole thing is over, I am coming back for you and I will make you my wife." We both knew that it was a promise that I may not be able to keep, but I was going to try my hardest to stay alive and come back to her.

Our kisses deepened and I began to run my hands all over her body. She in turn grabbed my hair in an attempt to close the distance between us. The desperation we both felt was like a dam that broke. We were both drowning in the raging river that was our passion. To say we were both nervous was an understatement. Neither one of us had ever done this before and was unsure of how to proceed. I believed, though, that we were in this together, not just tonight, but for the rest of our lives.

She pulled away from me and I whimpered as her heat left my body. She took my hand and led me to the back of the orchard. This time of year there really wasn't any reason to believe that anyone would interrupt us, but we both felt a little more secure in the shadows of the trees. The blossoms were in full bloom and their fragrant scent was intoxicating.

Bella laid the blanket that she always brought for us down between two trees and knelt down. She had me kneel down on it as well and began undoing the buttons on my coat. Never breaking my gaze, she used both hands to slowly slide the coat down my shoulders. I helped discard it and she was on to the buttons of my shirt. In the same fashion as the coat, she slid my shirt down until it was completely off revealing my bare chest underneath. I wasn't sure if it was the cool April air or Bella's eyes on my naked torso that made me shiver. She took her delicate fingers and started tracing the defined muscles of my chest and stomach. Her touch made my skin tingle and I felt myself becoming instantaneously aroused.

I needed to touch her. I brought my hand up and took off her cap. Her hair was partially pulled back. With one tug, the blue ribbon holding her hair released and her brown wavy locks fanned out around her shoulders. I ran my fingers through it from her forehead down to the middle of her back. With both of my hands behind her now, I carefully undid one of the buttons on the back of her dress. I asked with my eyes if I could continue. She nodded and I proceeded to undo each button one by one, all the way down.

With all the buttons free, she stepped back and took over probably knowing that I had no idea how to even begin taking the dress off. She slipped out of it along with her petticoat leaving her with just her shift. By now the moonlight was beginning to consume the sky and it shined behind her revealing her beautiful silhouette beneath her undergarment. The sight of her made me swallow hard and I knew I was coming undone.

I stepped towards her and she lifted her arms above her head indicating that she wanted me to disrobe her. We were both shaking as I slipped my hands under the shift and guided it up over her head brushing against her skin all the way up. I dropped it to the side and just stared at her. My dreams about her did not do her any justice. Embarrassed by my gawking, she tried to cover herself with her arms. I grabbed both of her wrists.

"No, Bella. There isn't any reason to be shy. You are perfect in every way. I love you." With that she seemed to relax and I guided her to laying on the blanket so that she was on display to me. I stood up and undid my breeches and took off the rest of my clothing. She watched me intently and when my erection was released, she gasped a little. She had never seen a man in this way before and suddenly my own self-consciousness made me worry that she was disappointed. My concern was alleviated when I saw that she was biting her bottom lip and her eyes were full of excitement.

"Bella, my sweet, would you allow me to explore you? I want commit every detail of your body to memory." She nodded. Before I brought my body down to hers, I picked one of the apple blossoms off the tree and smelled it. It was beautiful and soft, just like my Bella. I wanted to share it with her.

"Close your eyes, love." She complied and I softly brought the apple blossom to her faced and stroked her jaw line with it from her ear down to her chin. "It's soft, isn't it? But it doesn't compare to the softness of your lips." I grazed her lips with mine and was pleasantly surprised when I felt her tongue enter my mouth to intensify the kiss.

I continued to make my way down her neck and over the curve of her collar bone with the blossom. I followed the trail with gentle kisses that allowed my tongue to taste her skin. It tasted deliciously sweet with a hint of the salt air from the ocean. I was enjoying it so much that I didn't realized I had made it down to the swell of her breasts until I felt her breathing hitch.

"You are absolutely breathtaking." I murmured as I circled the apple blossom around her nipple making it erect. I stroked her other breast and swirled my tongue around her nipple making it have the same reaction as the first. I placed tender kisses on both of her breasts before moving my way down her stomach. I grazed her skin with the flower causing her to shudder. I licked my way down until I found her navel. She giggled a little as I found one of her ticklish spots. I reveled in the fact that I had learned something new about her and it made me smile too.

I took the opportunity to make sure that this is what she still wanted. I made my way back up to her face placing kisses on her skin all the way up until I reached her mouth. "Bella, are you absolutely positive that is what you want? You have already given me more than I could ever hope for. We don't have to continue." There was nothing that I wanted to do more than to make Bella mine at that moment, but I also didn't want to take from her something she was uncomfortable giving.

"Edward, I couldn't stop now if I wanted to. Please, Edward, I need you." She had lust in her eyes and I knew right then that she spoke the truth. I quickly made my way back down her splendid body and continued where I left off. I traced the outside of her hip with the flower, down to her knee and back up to her thigh leaving goose pimples where ever I touched.

I was eye level with her womanly area and I was immediately drawn to a sweet, floral, mouth-watering smell. Her inner thigh was wet with juices that had seeped down from her beautiful folds and instinctually I wanted to taste my Bella and enjoy the delicacies her body had to offer.

Not wanting to startle her, I used the lightest touch I could to explore her delicate areas. She was slick and swollen. She moaned as I slipped one of my fingers over her sensitive bundle of nerves and into her dripping, warm center. I moved my finger in and out and eventually added another. I started to kiss her inner thigh, licking her excess wetness, but it wasn't enough to satisfy the craving inside me. My tongue moved to where my fingers had been working her over and plunged into her.

"Ugghh…Edward….please." She reacted in a way I didn't expect. She bucked wildly under me and grabbed my hair as she tried to get even closer than we were. My sweet, innocent Bella had a fire burning inside of her. She was hungry for me as much as I was for her.

I watched her as her body writhed out of control in reaction to my movements. I could sense that something was building up inside her, but I had no idea what to expect. I continued to lavish her with my fingers and tongue working her into a frenzy.

"Edward…I can't…I …ahhh." She screamed as her insides clamped down around my fingers, pulsing violently. She quivered as she rode out her feelings of ecstasy and then fell limp against the blanket. It was the most erotic thing I had ever witnessed and it made me want her all the more.

I rested my face on Bella's stomach. My manhood was fully erect and I'm sure she could feel it. She brought her hands down to my hair and began to twirl it with her fingers. "Edward?"

"Yes, my love?"

"It is time. I want to be yours and only yours. Take me, now." The forcefulness in her voice was something I had never heard before. She commanded me and I followed. I hovered over her and kissed her with every emotion I was feeling at that moment.

The tip of my erection was positioned to enter her. I once again asked permission with my eyes and she let me know she was ready with an affectionate kiss to my chin. Slowly I pushed into her so that my entire length was engulfed. My primal instinct was to start thrusting deeper into her, but I could tell by the look on her face that she was in pain. I had heard that a woman's first time could be painful at first, but that it could be overcome through patience.

She took a moment to allow herself to adjust to me. A slight nod told me that she was ready to carry on. I started moving in and out of her, slowly at first. She was tight all around me and the pressure building inside of me was not going to last long. She grinded her legs into my buttocks and I responded by driving into her faster and harder.

"Edward…I'm…I'm…ughh…I'm yours." Her core started to pulsate around me as she declared my possession of her. That was enough to drive me over the edge as I spilled my seed into her and I rode out the waves of my climax.

We embraced each other tightly not wanting to ever let the other go. We laid in silence until I felt the overwhelming need to tell her that she had it all wrong.

"No, love…I'm yours." She had my heart forever.

The time came for me to leave her and return to Boston Common in order to prepare to serve my country. The danger of this expedition to Concord was weighing heavy on Bella's mind. Not only did she fear for my safety, but the safety of her brother as well. I knew she was suffering inside, but she didn't show it in her face. She shed no tears as she helped me get dressed, because that is what I had asked of her.

"I love you. When this is all over, we will start our life together." I said as I held her, breathing in her scent. I never wanted to forget what she smelled like.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something on the ground, threatening to blow away in the wind. It was Bella's blue ribbon; the one I had pulled out to let her hair down. I walked over to pick it up. "Would you mind if I kept this?"

"Of course, but I'm only going to let you borrow it." She stood up on the tops of her toes and brought her lips to mine. "I fully expect you to return it to me. Be safe, my love." She kissed me like she would never get the chance again, and then she turned away from me. She couldn't hide her sadness anymore. She didn't want me to see her cry, so I decided it was time for me to leave.

"Wait for me. I'll be back for you." I turned and started running out of the orchard as my own tears began to fall. I turned around one last time just to get one last look. She still had her back to me, but then she spotted something. She reached down to the blanket in front of her and picked up our apple blossom. I watched her as she looked at it for a moment and then placed it her hair behind her ear.

"I will be back." I said to myself and then sprinted down the hill to where my regiment was waiting for me.