Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. all Stephenie Meyer.

Age of Edward Contest

Title: The Secret Overheard

Your pen name: magan bagan

Type of Edward: WWII Edward

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


December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—

Franklin D. Roosevelt

December 5, 1941, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

Edward POV

When the war began, every male who was eighteen or older was encouraged to enlist. Posters with Uncle Sam's face that said 'I want you…' were posted everywhere to capture our attention, encouraging us to do our duty for this country and experience the grandeur and glory of battle.

A few months shy of turning eighteen, I found myself falling victim to the advertisements and ideals of being a soldier. How could going off to battle and then returning home to my girl not sound appealing to a young man? So, I joined the army.

In reality, it was anything but glorious. Leaving my girlfriend was probably the worst part of it all. Sure I knew that it wasn't going to be easy, especially when my mother and twin sister learned of my intentions, but when it came down to leaving my Bella behind, I couldn't have imagined anything more painful.

These past three years have been extremely difficult; with only letters and the lingering scent of her perfume to pacify me.

My best friend, Jasper Hale, and I grew up together. He was more like a brother to me than anything else. We played together, trained together, and fought together when we joined the army. It got to the point that we were so evenly matched that neither one of us could one-up the other.

Before we were stationed in Pearl Harbor, Jasper married my sister Alice. So, he was one of the few people that understood the difficulty of leaving a girl behind. And with our free weekend coming up he had been encouraging me to finally propose to Bella.

She and Alice were flying down to visit us for a week. I had been dreaming about her beautiful dark brown eyes and luscious lavender scent for longer than I cared to admit. Having her petite body back in my arms again was more than I could have hoped for.

"Edward, I'm telling you, this would be the perfect time to do it. You couldn't ask for a more romantic atmosphere. Make it an early Christmas present." Jasper winked, running his fingers through his blonde hair as he stared at his reflection in the mirror, a hint of a Southern drawl filtering through his words.

I actually wanted to propose to Bella when we were eighteen, before joining the Army, but I thought that she deserved better from me. The moment had to be just right, and not because I was afraid of losing her. "Don't you think that I considered that, Jasper? I want to make her my wife more than anything." Bella was perfect for me; I knew that there was no one else I could want that way.

"Then why don't you already?" He turned around so that he was facing me and leaned back on the sink. "Bella is coming to see you for a week. You'll be able to find the right time in there."

"Why are you so concerned about my relationship?" I glared at him as I finished buttoning my shirt, leaving it untucked. "Don't you have a girl you should be focusing on?" The idea of him with my sister still made me uncomfortable, but I needed the topic of conversation to switch.

He smirked, a mischievous gleam in his eyes. "That's right. I do have a rather amazing girl. Some might prefer to call her my wife."

Shaking my head, I put my wallet and keys in the pockets of my khaki shorts and headed out of our room. My body was already responding to Bella coming to the island, I could feel it deep in my bones. I needed her.

Jasper caught up to me as I walked down the street toward the dock. "Do you remember when we were twelve and you saw that grand piano in the window of Mr. Varner's store?"

I nodded my head.

"It was quite possibly the most beautiful musical instrument we had ever seen and I could tell that it had caught your eye right away. Carlisle asked if you wanted him to get it for you," Jasper recounted, his hand on my shoulder as we walked. "Everyone could tell that you did, but for some reason you told him no."

"What's your point, Jasper?" I felt my annoyance with him growing by the second.

He sighed. "My point, brother, is that you spend so much of your time passing on things that are really important to you because you're afraid. Don't do that with Bella, she's a really special girl."

After saying my goodbyes to Carlisle and Esme, I turned to Alice and gave her a quick hug. She was already in tears and I knew she wanted as much as possible to say goodbye to Jasper.

Off to my right stood Bella, her chestnut locks pinned on top of her head, a few stray tendrils dancing in the wind. Tears streamed down her face, causing her eyes and cheeks to be red and slightly puffy.

She didn't protest when I pulled her into my arms, wrapping them around her shoulders. A small sniffle came from her as she tugged on the jacket of my uniform. Neither of us said a word, we just held onto each other until the final boarding call for our train was announced. Pulling back slightly, Bella lifted her eyes so that they met mine.

I could read every emotion on her face as though I was reading her mind. She was like an open book, everything that she thought or felt could be seen so clearly. In that moment she was feeling pain and hurt.

More than anything I wanted to be able to assure her that everything was going to be alright, to wipe away those tears that fell in a steady stream. I wanted to promise that I would serve my term and then come back to her, but I wasn't sure that I could.

The possibility of us joining in the war was becoming more and more prevalent every day. I didn't want to make her a promise that I might eventually have to break.

Doing what I could to hold myself together, I took Bella's face in my hands and stroked her cheeks gently with my thumbs. "I love you." Those were the only words I could manage to say, my voice breaking as they came out.

A small smile spread across her lips, through the tears. "I love you, too."

I pressed my lips to hers in a delicate kiss. Part of me wanted to deepen the kiss, to show her how much I would miss her, but that was hardly a polite thing to be doing in public.

She pouted when I pulled back, obviously just as upset at the loss of contact as I had been.

Releasing my hold on her I stepped back slightly and picked up my bags. Kissing her one last time on the forehead, I forced myself to walk away. If I didn't do it then, I was never going to.

Jasper came up behind me to put his hand on my shoulder and we walked side by side to the train doors. I showed my ticket to the conductor after Jasper had and then climbed on board. Before heading all of the way in I turned back around to wave to my family and Bella, promising myself that no matter what happened I would return home to her.

Bella POV

It was only a matter of minutes now. Ten more minutes and I would be with my Edward again. I could hardly believe that after all of this time I was finally going to be able to hug him and kiss him, to be in his protective embrace again.

Alice Hale, my best friend, sat beside me as we rode the ferryboat to Pearl Harbor. She was probably even giddier than I was to be making this trip. Three months before finding out Jasper and Edward were being sent to Pearl Harbor, Alice and Jasper got married.

No expense was spared on the wedding either. Her mother, Esme, wanted it to be the social event of the season. I wasn't sure if it was or not, but I did know that it was beautiful and romantic.

They had only a short time together once they were married, but I don't think either of them regretted it. Unlike most they were not as flamboyant with their relationship, but I could see how deeply they felt for each other. The silent conversations, the longing looks, it was beautiful to see.

This trip was a much needed occasion, for the both of us.

So as we got nearer to the dock, I found myself bouncing with excitement in my seat, the anticipation of being reunited with Edward flowing all throughout me. It had been so long since I had seen him; it was almost as though my body could sense that he was near.

"What are you smiling about?" Alice asked, bumping her shoulder lightly against mine.

Blushing, I ducked my head down.

"Ah." She grinned, a hint of amusement behind her words. "Thinking about my dear brother again?"

I chewed on my bottom lip shyly. "May I ask you something, Alice?"

"Of course, you know that you can ask me anything." Her short black hair was in a fun spiky do, the type of look that not just anybody could pull off. Her gray eyes were bright and seemed to just pop out at you, most likely the result of her carefully applied eye makeup.

My gaze stayed carefully trained in front of me, looking out over the beautiful blue water. "When you and Jasper were engaged, were you ever nervous about what it would be like? Being a good wife to him?"

She was thoughtful for a moment. "At first, I suppose that I was." Her foot began tapping on the bottom of the boat. "You know how I like to have everything planned out, lists made for every last detail. With Jasper all of that changed. It was frightening at first, but I wouldn't change my life for anything.

"It was possibly the scariest thing I had ever done, but I have never felt more fulfilled. Having him gone has not been easy, as you know, but it's made our relationship stronger. It's helped us to understand our roles as husband and wife."

I understood what she meant. Everything that I had once been so sure about changed the moment Edward became a part of my life. The things I had once fought so hard to keep from happening, I now found myself longing for. He had changed me, utterly and completely.

"You don't have to answer if you don't want to, but that first night, what was it like?" I couldn't expound my inquiry without becoming redder than a cherry tomato.

Thankfully, Alice understood what I meant, answering discreetly. "It was beautiful, nothing like I had imagined it would be. There isn't any other way to describe it, to be that close to another person." She spoke softly, in case anyone else could overhear us.

At some point during her answer I had turned my attention to her, watching her response as she spoke. The look of pure love and joy on her features told me everything that I needed to know.

Nearing the port, Alice grabbed a hold of my hand and squeezed. We were almost there. I barely paid attention as we docked and stepped off of the boat, my focus intent on finding Edward in the crowd.

When I heard a screech come from Alice and then saw her running, I knew that they must have been near.

That's when I saw him. A flash of bronze hair at first, but then he came entirely into view. I could hardly contain myself as a screech came from my lips as well and I sped as quickly as I could toward him, taking care so as not to trip. "Edward!"

He glanced toward me after hearing his name, and he smiled a crooked smile. It was my favorite, the one that I hadn't seen in so long. "Bella."

I launched myself into his arms when I got close enough, not even giving it a second thought. My legs automatically wrapped around his waist and I buried my face in his neck, holding myself as tightly to him as possible. The fact that I was wearing a skirt made no difference to me. I was finally in his arms.

Chuckling, Edward tightened his grip on me as well when he caught his balance. The force of my jumping into him nearly knocked him over. He ran his nose along the skin of my neck, breathing me in, before he placed a delicate kiss on my shoulder. "I've missed you," the velvety richness of his voice made me melt.

"So have I." I blushed, pulling back so that I could see his face.

He had definitely grown up since the last time I had seen him. The roundness in his face was gone, leaving well defined, high cheekbones. He was certainly a lot stronger than I had remembered, the muscles in his chest and arms becoming more prominent to me now.

I almost forgot to breathe as our eyes locked.

The beautiful golden flecks in his eyes, the thick bronze locks on top of his head, my dreams had not done this man justice. He was beautiful inside and out.

Edward set me back down on my feet, his hands remaining firmly around my waist. He kept his eyes on mine as he leaned forward, creating an almost unbearable anticipation with each inch that he moved.

When he was finally close enough to kiss me, he held his lips against mine, but didn't press them in firmly. I needed that connection, to feel that he was really there and not just a dream, but he seemed determined to just stand there.

"Bella, what is your hurry?" His lips grazed mine, lightly touching.

Finally I pouted, ready to groan in frustration. "Please, just… why won't you kiss me?" I cried.

He sighed, his sweet breath washing over me. "That's all that I wanted."

I couldn't help but gasp as he finally kissed me, moving his lips with mine as he pulled me close against him. Everything else around us blurred and I melted into him, finally home.

December 6, 1941, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

Edward POV

"Can I speak with you for a moment, sweetheart?" Esme, my mother, called from her bedroom.

Leaning against the doorframe that led to my parents' room, I grinned as my mother opened a few drawers. She was obviously in search of something. "Is something wrong, Mom?" I asked her.

She stood up, turning toward the direction of my voice. "Not at all, Edward. I just want to have a little mother/son chat." She moved over to her bed once she had what she had been looking for and sat on the edge.

I went over to her, stooping down so that I was eye level with her. "Of course."

Esme brought her hand up to my cheek, a look of pure adoration in her eyes. "Do you have any idea how proud your father and I are of you, Edward? You have grown into such a commendable young man and now…" she broke off for a moment.

Tears filled her eyes and I tried to say speak, but she stopped me. "I want you to take care of yourself. Not just for me and your sister, but for Bella as well. She loves you so much."

I shook my head in agreement; words were beyond me as I realized how difficult this must have been on her.

We stayed that way for quite some time, her hands in mine and our foreheads pressed together. I hated upsetting my mother; she was too good and loving to be put through such things.

After she released me, I realized that she had placed something in my hand. It was a small box, one that I had recognized from my grandmother. "It's your Grandmother Masen's engagement ring. For someday."

That ring had been carefully tucked away in my underwear drawer for months and now with Bella here, I couldn't wait to have it on her finger. Jasper had been right about one thing, I would be hard pressed to find a more perfect setting. My original intention had not been to ask for her hand during this trip, but now I couldn't stop the excitement I felt at the idea.

Having her near put some of my concerns into perspective as well.

Leaving Bella at her hotel that night was extremely difficult. There weren't enough hours in the day to satisfy my need for her and I had just gotten her back. But, I was first and foremost a gentleman. I would never put Bella's reputation on the line just to satisfy my own desires.

So, I walked her to her hotel room and kissed her goodnight.

We had breakfast with Alice and Jasper, my grandmother's engagement ring taking up a permanent residence in my pants pocket now. I needed to try to get her alone.

But that was obviously not going to happen any time too soon. Alice insisted that we needed to spend the day at the beach, and what Alice wanted Alice got.

It took some time for everyone to get ready, but we eventually made our way to the perfect spot, a private stretch of beach that was very rarely occupied.

Natural boulders formed a bridge that allowed onlookers to better watch the waves, the sand was billowy and soft, the water crystal clear and just the right temperature.

Jasper had thought ahead and brought a baseball and some gloves with him, and he and I were playing catch when Alice and Bella revealed their bathing suits.

I could barely breathe after catching the ball, taking in the site of Bella's creamy white skin and luscious curves. The bikini that she had decided on was dark blue, a perfect contrast to her light skin, and fit her beautifully. My hands became a little sweaty and I could feel my shorts getting tighter as I continued to watch her. She was trying to kill me.

Hearing a chuckle to my left, I turned to see Jasper shaking his head at me. "And it doesn't get any easier."

Tossing the ball back to him, I cleared my throat. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Uh huh," Jasper nodded his head. "Slow deep breaths."

Alice and Bella spent most of their time in the water, splashing and playing around, while Jasper and I boxed a little once we got bored playing catch.

We were wrestling in the sand when the girls came back up on the beach and settled onto their towels. Once again, I was completely transfixed by Bella, her skin glistening from the water and the bright smile on her face, drawing me toward her.

Ignoring Jasper's jibes at my being hopeless, I made my way to Bella. She was sprawled out on a towel, her legs crossed at the ankles and her eyes closed, allowing the sun to warm her. Pushing my luck a little, I lay down beside her and pressed a kiss into her thick chestnut hair. Breathing in her natural scent and the smell of sea water caused me to groan. She smelled so good.

She smiled at me after I leaned back, opening her eyes slightly. "Are you having a good time, Edward?" Her soft voice was music to my ears.

"Very much so," I assured her, resting back on my arm. "Are you?"

Biting her lip shyly, she nodded her head.

There was something about the way she could be shy and timid one second and then strong and confident in the next. I was always on my toes with her. "What do you think about the four of us going out dancing tonight? There's a pretty good band at one of the local bars."

"Will you promise not to let me fall?" Bella averted her eyes from me.

I tucked my forefinger under her chin and lifted it so that her eyes met mine. "Of course, I won't let go of you for a moment if you would like."

A small giggle escaped her lips. "I think I can handle that."

Leaning down again, I pressed my lips to her forehead, nearly groaning again. She smelled so delectable. "Wonderful." It was strange how we seemed to have picked up right where we left off, almost as though no time had passed since we were last together.

Our relationship felt natural, as easy as breathing.

I continued to lie beside her, lightly running my fingers up and down her arm and taking in everything about her. The dusting of freckles on her stomach, the pure sparkle in her eyes as we spoke, the way she bit her lip and turned bright red when she was nervous, I wanted to remember everything about her in that moment, during a time that our lives were filled with wondrous possibilities.

Alice and Jasper were sitting a little farther away from us, whispering quietly together. I smirked at her when I was sure that she saw me, letting her know that I was coming around. We had a special connection, something that only seemed accessible for twins, not needing words most of the time to be able to communicate with each other.

The afternoon was spent soaking up the sun and enjoying the heat that it provided. Our home of Forks offered very little in the way of heat and sun visibility. It was considered the wettest place in the continental U.S.

When I noticed the sun beginning its descent, I glanced over at Jasper to see if he was ready to pack up and head back to the base. Catching his eye though, I saw that he had other plans.

Grinning mischievously, he motioned to Alice and Bella and then to the water, barely moving his head so as not to alert them.

I ran my hand through my hair to let him know that I agreed. Turning my attention back to Bella, I pulled her against my chest and rubbed her back gingerly. "Are you ready to head back now, love?" I whispered in her ear.

She groaned her displeasure, squirming against me as she stretched and tried to push back from me. "Do we have to? It's been such a lovely day."

Pressing a kiss against her skin, to the juncture where her neck and shoulder met, I chuckled. "We can certainly come back again. I'm sure that Alice will insist on that." I reminded her.

"Okay," she sighed, "I guess we can go now."

I got to my feet in record time and then held my hand out to help Bella up. Once she had her feet firmly planted on the ground, I slid my arm underneath them and scooped her up in my arms.

She shrieked with surprise at the same time that Alice did. "Edward, what on Earth are doing? Put me down right now," she huffed.

Tightening my arms around her so that she wouldn't be able to move, I shook my head. "I don't think that I will." Then I leaned in close to her ear and murmured, "Hold on tight, love."

Jasper and I ran toward the water, both of the girls screaming as we neared the cool ocean.

Bella buried her face in my neck, her arms wrapped around me tightly.

When we were in deep enough, I told Bella to hold her breath, and I took us under the water, pointing out some of the beautiful fish that swam by us.

I worried when we got back to the surface that Bella was going to be angry with me, but one look at her expression told me that everything was fine. She playfully hit my shoulder and stuck her tongue out at me, trying to act as though she really was upset, but gave in after I apologized.

Eventually we made it back to the beach and dried off. We agreed to meet up for dinner after dropping them off at their hotel, reminding them to dress up to go dancing.


I sipped on my drink that I had purchased from the bar, enjoying the way the whiskey warmed my throat on the way down. A hiss escaped my mouth at the burn the alcohol induced.

"A bit nervous are we?" Alice giggled, her tiny feet dancing her body toward me.

"Why would I be nervous?" I asked her, trying to sound nonchalant.

She narrowed her eyes as she sat in the open chair next to me. "Well, I noticed that you have Grandma Masen's engagement ring on you."

"Alice-" I began.

Nothing else registered as she squealed and hugged me close, her little arms gripping my back with a brute force I wouldn't have thought possible for someone of her stature.

"Please don't say anything, Alice. I don't know exactly when I'm going to and I want it to be a surprise." I told her firmly, trying desperately to impress my feelings on this matter to her.

The wheels in her head were already turning, working out the best place for the ceremony and the perfect wedding dress. "You better do it soon, Edward. I don't know how long I can keep this sort of thing quiet."

I was about to reply back with something sarcastic when I noticed Bella walking up to the table and everything else was forgotten.

Her cheeks were flushed from dancing as she sat on my lap.

"You know, I wasn't able to keep my promise tonight," I told her, leaning in close so that she could hear me over the music.

She tilted her head furrowed her brows in confusion. "What promise?"

"To not let you go for a moment. It's all Jasper's fault," I teased.

"Well, I guess we'll just have to make sure that it doesn't happen again." She played along.

"I can pretty much guarantee it on my part." I assured her, pressing my lips to her temple. Not having her in my arms seemed ludicrous at this point in time, I didn't want to waste a second with her.

"Do you boys have anything planned for us tomorrow?" Alice looked at Jasper.

He shrugged his shoulders. "Umm… not exactly." He kicked my chair.

Jumping slightly from the impact, I scrambled around to think of what we could do the next day. It didn't help matters that I was slightly inebriated, only slightly, but it still made it somewhat difficult. "Uh, well, there's always the main plane hangar. We can always show you our planes and get permission to take you up." I finally suggested.

"Are you sure that will be okay?" Bella chewed on her lip, thoughtfully. "We don't want to get you in trouble."

"It will be fine, love." I grinned; she was always worrying about others. That's one of the things I loved most about her.

She turned to Alice, and after a few minutes discussion, they both agreed. It was a good plan and we could show them what we had been doing while away.

The evening was starting to get late, and soon I would have to say goodnight to Bella. "May I have the last dance of the evening?"

The beautiful blush that made my stomach clench graced over her cheeks and I knew that her answer was yes. So I rose to my feet and carefully slid her down so that she could gracefully stand up.

Leading her out to the floor, I searched for an open section. Once I had secured our spot, I wrapped my arms around her waist and pulled her to me as close as I possibly could. There wasn't a breath of air between us.

She laid her head down on my chest and closed her eyes.

I listened to the song that we began swaying to. It seemed to be just right, the melody a gentle tune that described the progression of our relationship. It didn't compare to the song I had been writing for her, but it was right for this moment.

As the scent of lavender and orange blossoms wafted up to me, I found my thoughts drifting. I imagined how beautiful she would look on our wedding day, the gloriousness of waking up next to her every morning, the swell of her stomach when she was pregnant with my child. The flow of images felt so real, I wanted to do everything that I could to make them happen.

Her soft lips pressed gentle kisses against my clothed chest, inhaling my scent as well, little reminders that she felt the same way that I did.

Eventually the song ended, meaning that our time together that night was coming to a close. I tried my best to drag out our arrival at their hotel, but arrive we did.

Bella and Alice got the keys to their rooms from the front desk and we went to take the elevators up. I suggested that Jasper and Alice take a separate one and they agreed. When ours arrived I pulled Bella inside and stood with her in the back corner.

Perhaps tonight would be the right time. When we got up to her room I would ask her if I could join her for a few minutes and that would be my opening. That thought made me smile, to finally have my ring on her finger.

My lips were just about to graze over hers when I heard two other people enter. I adjusted our bodies so that my arm was resting on her waist and she had her head on my shoulder.

"What time will it start? We must be not be here when it does," one of the gentlemen that had gotten on the elevator asked the other.

"Early in the morning, none of them will be expecting it," the other man responded. "There will be submarines, fighter jets, enough to wreak havoc on the entire naval fleet at Pearl Harbor."

I glanced down at Bella, her eyes filled with concern.

"Admiral Isoroku's plan cannot fail. We have the perfect advantage." Then there was a ding, announcing the arrival to their floor. Obviously having not seen us, they climbed off of the elevator and made their way down the hall.

The doors closed once again and we finished our ride in complete silence. I led Bella to her room once we finally got off on her floor and took the room key from her. She seemed to be in a state of shock, putting up no protest with me.

Once in the room I brought her to the bed and sat down with her in my lap. "Please say something, Bella. You're starting to worry me."

That's when the flood gates opened up and she began sobbing into my neck and clinging to my shirt. "How could this…how…?" She broke, too upset to continue.

"I don't know." I rubbed her back in a soothing motion, rocking her slowly.

"They're…they're… oh god." Tears continued to stream down her face, drenching my shirt in the process. "Edward… we… Edward."

I rocked her a little more, trying to soothe her despair. My thoughts had been running rampant with protocols I needed to follow. I had to warn my superiors so that they could take the necessary actions. But none of that mattered at the moment. Bella was my main concern.

Her sniffles and whimpers were breaking my heart as I kissed her hair and gently hummed, "Shh's," to her. When her sobs eventually began to subside and her grip on my shirt loosened, I whispered in her ear, "I have to get Jasper. Can you wait for me?"

Shaking her head, she pulled back to look into my eyes. "Don't leave."

"Alright, I'll call his room and have him meet us here." I reached for the receiver and got the operator. Once I was connected to Alice's room I waited anxiously for one of them to answer. Thankfully it was Jasper.

"Edward, if this isn't a life or death situation I'm going to have to call you back in the morning," Jasper sounded winded as he attempted to growl at me.

With Bella curled against me I quickly explained what we had overheard. He agreed that we needed to alert our superiors as quickly as possible, and even offered to come to Bella's room.

I figured that it would be a good idea to keep the girls together and told him to come on up.

Holding Bella, I tried to formulate a plan for us to follow when Jasper got to the room. We needed to act fast.

Five minutes later he and Alice came into the room. We spoke quietly, giving the girls time to comfort each other, and then began making our calls.

Taking turns on the phone we did our best to get a hold of somebody. We even resorted to sending telegrams. Anything and everything that we could think of to warn our superiors and the naval officers.

But our actions came to no avail. We received no responses, returned calls, or anything to let us know that someone had received our messages of warning. They were all in meetings or out; reaching them was next to impossible.

I was unsure of how to proceed. Someone needed to know, if what those men were saying was true. My duty was to my country, to my men, but I couldn't leave Bella in the state that she was in. So, my only hope now was to pray that one of the men we had tried to reach would receive the warning in time.

Once Bella had changed her clothes, I crawled into the bed with her and waited as she snuggled close, burying her face in the crook of my neck. All I could do was press kisses into her hair and whisper words of love into her ear.

Alice curled up with Jasper on the other side of the bed.

The very thought of my twin and the love of my life possibly being in danger drove me crazy. Watching their innocent faces as Jasper and I both tried to comfort them made my stomach churn. No one deserved this, least of all them.

For Bella's sake I fought back the anger and bile that threatened to rise the more I thought on it. Tonight was about us, taking comfort in the time that we had together and enjoying each other.

I stroked Bella's back and hummed in her ear until I eventually heard her breathing even out. My slumber followed soon after, not deep, but restful enough.

December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

Bella POV

After hearing those men in the elevator, I didn't know how to react. The crying seemed a bit irrational, but if what they had been saying turned out to be true, we were all in trouble.

My concern at that time was for the others. Edward and Jasper would be risking their lives not only to protect me and Alice, but everyone else on this island as well. The idea that something could happen to any of them was too much to bear.

Curling up against Edward that night, I held onto him with all of my strength and tried to focus on his heart beat. The steady thumping against my ear calmed me, helping to lull me into sleep and the safety of his arms encompassed me in an assurance that nothing would happen to me with him near.

In the morning, I was woken up by a loud explosion. Those men were right.

Edward wasn't beside me, so I searched around the room and found him scrambling to get his clothes on. He must have removed them after I had fallen asleep. "What's going on?"

He came over to me, his shirt partially buttoned and the rest of his clothes barely thrown on, and wrapped his arms around me. "Jasper and I have to go out there and fight now, love. I need you to stay where it's safe," Edward whispered against my ear. "If you are asked to hide in the basement or anything like that, please do it."

I tried to answer him, to tell him that I would, but the only thing that managed to escape my mouth was a strangled sob. I knew that he had to leave, but it still frightened me all the same.

"You and Alice will be just fine as long as you stay together. Don't leave this room unless it absolutely necessary," he instructed, never loosening his hold on me.

Biting my lip in an attempt to get myself together, I tried to answer him. "I'm not worried about me, Edward," I finally managed.

He chuckled darkly, kissing just below my ear and along my jaw. "Bella, I will come back to you. I promise."

"Edward, you can't always make that kind of promise." I hiccupped, trying to hold back the sobs that were threatening to overtake me. All I could do now was worry.

Pulling back slightly, Edward grabbed a hold of my chin and lifted it until our eyes met. "I can and I will make this promise to you, Isabella Marie Swan. No matter what happens today, I will return for you."

With that he pressed his lips to mine and deepened the kiss right away. There was no pretense of being coy or seductive, he just kissed me with all of the longing and love that he possessed, playing his lips over mine as he nibbled and licked. Nothing about the kiss could be considered gentle or tender, but that was exactly what we needed in that moment.

I moaned into his mouth, winding my fingers through his hair and tugging on the strands as the kiss continued. When he picked me up, I wrapped my legs around his waist to maintain the contact between us.

Alice and Jasper had been forgotten as we reveled in that moment, telling each other goodbye in our own ways.

Eventually he pulled his lips from mine and kissed a trail to my other ear, blowing his warm breath against my skin as he panted for air. "I love you, and I promise to come back so that I can make you mine."

I gasped as his statement sunk in. It wasn't a proposal, but a pledge that he would when he could ask properly. My heart gave an elaborate thump, and I buried my face in the crook of his neck. "I love you, too. I'll be waiting." With one last kiss, Edward set me back on my feet.

He finished getting ready and then said goodbye to his sister. I hugged Jasper and made him promise to come back as well.

Then as both guys made their way to the door, I felt Alice's hand grip mine. I looked down at her and saw tears streaming down her face and realized that I probably looked no better than she did.

Before they left, Edward and Jasper waved to us one last time.

Neither Alice nor I moved from our spots for about ten minutes. I know that at least for me I was holding on to the hope that Edward would come back and tell me that he couldn't leave me behind. That didn't happen though.

When we realized that they weren't coming back, we both fell to the floor in tears. Clinging to each other, I didn't see an end in sight for our breakdowns.

For minutes or hours, I wasn't entirely sure, we cried. It was a cleansing of sorts as we waited for news, any news of the two men that had captured our hearts.

As the bombing and explosions continued, our anxiousness did as well.

I think Alice ordered food at one point, but I didn't really pay attention. Keeping any food down would be an interesting task.

"Do you have any playing cards, Bella?" Alice's tiny voice asked me.

"Cards, ummm… I don't know. Why?" All I wanted to do was crawl under the covers of my bed and not come out until Edward came back.

She fidgeted with her fingers, glancing toward the door every few seconds in anticipation. "We need to find a way to distract ourselves and so far nothing else is working."

"Okay, well you can check my bag. I know you packed some things in there after me." I found myself pinching the bridge of my nose the same way I had seen Edward do so many times before. Without even realizing it, I had picked up some of his habits over the years, little things that seemed somewhat insignificant.

Eventually Alice returned with a stack of cards, and we played a few rounds of all the games we could think of. Neither of us really kept score, rendering the games pointless.

The sounds indicating an attack stopped nearly as quickly as they had started, no more than an hour and half later, but we were left waiting. Listening to the radio only got us so far, letting us know about the threat and the overall casualties. We needed to know about our casualties though.

Late evening soon approached, and Alice and I still had not received a word. From what they had been saying on the news, cleaning up the destruction and looking after the wounded was taking them time. The attack had been catastrophic.

We had no choice but to go to bed as the time kept getting later and later. I slipped on the undershirt Edward had left behind in his haste to get ready and then climbed into the bed.

A silent prayer came from my lips in the dark room, requesting that both men be alright, that all of our worrying would be for nothing.


"Bella love, I'm back," a velvety voice whispered low and husky in my ear. "Wake up, sweetheart." A gentle pressure, soft grazing of lips, played across my collarbone.

It took a few minutes for my mind to register what was happening. My eyes slowly creaked open and took in the most glorious sight before me.

Edward knelt beside the bed, leaning over me with my favorite crooked smile across his lips. Not single strand of bronze hair was out of place; he looked perfect.

Unable to hold back any longer, I flung myself into his arms, wrapping my own around his neck and climbing into his lap. "Oh you're back." Any trace of exhaustion in my body vanished.

Hissing in pain, Edward gently tugged my arms from around him. "I'm just a little sore. A few bullets and such grazed me, but only grazed," he explained.

"Oh, Edward. I was so worried about you." I pressed my forehead to his, breathing in his wonderful smell. It was a mixture of sweat and musk and something else that was just naturally Edward, sweet and delicious.

He kissed the tip of my nose, taking in a deep breath as well. "I'm here now, love." Neither of us moved, either too afraid or just unwilling to allow the smallest space between us.

After a while, I leaned back so that I could get a closer look at Edward. He gently wiped the tears from my cheeks with his thumbs and then kissed the last few stragglers away. It was so loving and tender, I nearly melted.

I blushed as I realized that he was rememorizing me, tracing my face with his fingertips, going over every plane, freckle and scar with the finest detail.

Vaguely I was aware that Alice was no longer in the room. Jasper must have come to get her while I was still asleep.

Setting me down on the bed, Edward slid down to the floor. He fumbled around in his trouser pocket and eventually brought out a small black box.

Biting my lip in anticipation, I felt tears well up in my eyes and slightly blur Edward from my vision.

Kneeling in front of me again, this time bending down on one knee, Edward looked on the brink of tears as well. A ring rested in the palm of his right hand. "Isabella Marie Swan, you are my everything. I can't imagine living a day without you and want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?"

As tears ran unheeded down my cheeks, I nodded my head and barely managed to whisper, "Yes."

Grinning, Edward slid the beautiful diamond ring onto the third finger of my left hand. He placed a feather light kiss on that finger before he pulled me down to press his lips to mine.

I felt like weeping. Holding my Edward again, seeing with my own eyes that he was physically alright and safe was what I had been longing for, I couldn't ask for anything better.

Edward sat on the bed with me, pulling me into his embrace, cupping my cheek with one of his hands. "I love you." He trailed his nose along my throat and collarbone, making coherent speech all but impossible.

"I… love you… too." I gasped, the feel of his breath on my skin making me tingle all over.

He was driving me crazy, creating an air of expectancy and tension that grew thicker with each graze of his nose or lips along my sensitive flesh. A low groan began deep in his chest, his grip on my waist tightening.

My mind was an incoherent, jumbled mess. Every touch, each wave of his warm breath, and every delicate kiss from his soft lips seemed to pull me further and further down the rabbit hole.

I worked the buttons on his shirt until his well-muscled chest and stomach were exposed to me. Helping him slip the shirt off, I placed kisses along his neck and collarbone, drinking him in as his shirt landed on the floor.

The wounds he had received along his arms and sides were minor, but still caused me to wince as I took them in. I surveyed each cut and bruised area of his skin, pressing my lips as gently possible to them in an attempt to show my devotion to him as well as emphasize the fact that any pain he suffers, I suffer as well.

He hummed in pleasure, closing his eyes as he allowed himself to relax.

Breathing heavier than usual, Edward brought his hands to the hem of my shirt, asking with his eyes if he could proceed. When I nodded, he lifted it up slowly, trailing his fingers across my skin as he went. My blouse soon joined his on the floor and he took in the site of me.

Instinctually, I wanted to cover myself; revealing myself to him for the first time was nerve-racking. I could feel my cheeks flushing deep crimson.

"You are perfect, Bella." Edward's voice was low and husky, the sexiest I had ever heard it, as he grinned my favorite crooked smile.

After that we removed each other's clothing piece by piece, until we were bare before each other. Our hands were used at first to shyly explore the new found territory of flesh, with light grazes and slow caresses.

With every kiss and touch, I felt his adoration, his need, for it was my own adoration and need for him reflected back.

I blushed when he ran his finger around the rim of my naval, blowing lightly on it as well. My body shivered with pleasure at the sensation.

He then began kissing his way up my stomach to my chest, his lips licking and nipping the underside of my breast. A gasp escaped my lips when he finally took one of my nipples into his mouth, sucking and licking the tender bud. Once he had finished paying homage to that breast, he glided his lips over to the other and began the delicious torture all over again.

Moaning and writhing beneath him at the onslaught of sensations, I grasped around me to find a place for my hands. Finally I settled for resting my arms around Edward's back as he continued his exploration of my skin. I wanted to discover Edward as well, but any thoughts beyond the pleasure that I was feeling were lost.

"Bella, do you want this?" Edward asked, out of breath.

With his arousal pressed against me I forced my brain to take in the situation. Never had I felt more beautiful or loved as Edward worshipped my body with sweet kisses and tender caresses, and even the obvious effect I was having on him proved that he really did want me the same way that I wanted him.

I knew that this moment hadn't been planned; it was spontaneous and perfect.

How could I not want to give myself completely to him? We had been through so much together, especially over the past three years. Our connection was one that I couldn't fully comprehend but was finished fighting.

After the horrendous day of worrying if he would be coming back to me, I saw no need to wait in fear. I was going to be his wife; his ring rested on my finger and sparkled beautifully in the moon light. Tying myself to him in this way would give us that connection that I had been hoping for, satisfying the overwhelming need I had for him.

Taking a few seconds to get my butterfly-filled stomach under control, I trailed my nails along Edward's back, scratching and massaging him in a soothing manner. "I want this, to share this experience with you. I want to make myself yours in every way."

His eyes darkened, letting my words sink in. "Oh, Bella," he pressed his lips to mine, delving his tongue into my mouth.

I moaned, feeling my body relax before he began sliding into me. It was slightly uncomfortable at first, but nothing I couldn't handle. As he continued to enter me inch by inch, I found myself wondering why my mother had said a woman's first time was painful. Maybe I was immune to pain after all of the accidents and spills I had incurred over the years.

Then Edward pushed in completely. I tensed immediately, squeezing my eyes shut to stop the tears as the pain intensified. Okay, Renee had been right.

"You have to relax, love," Edward whispered in my ear. He kissed along the shell of the lobe and massaged my hips in gentle circles. "I am so sorry. It will be over soon," he said in between peppering kisses.

When the pain finally did subside, I looked up at Edward. His arms trembled as he held himself still, waiting for me. I lifted my hips a couple of times to let him know that I was alright, and so began our sensuous dance.

Our hips circled and thrust together, creating glorious sensations with each movement. Each kiss and touch, each joining of our hips making the rest of the world completely melt away.

He took such care with me, being gentle and slow, whatever I needed.

I was completely lost in Edward, not even noticing the light on the horizon as our lovemaking came to an end. Not caring that our bodies were drenched with sweat, Edward wrapped his arm around me, tucking me into his side.

Exhausted and satiated, I burrowed against his neck and breathed him in. The scent of our joining together was all over him, adding to his already incredible smell. I yawned, drifting off to sleep. "I love you, Edward."

With a gentle kiss to my temple, I felt him murmur, "I love you too, Bella," before consciousness slipped from me.

August 13, 1942, Forks, Washington

Edward POV

I could not get over how beautiful she was. Dark brown curls flowing down her back, her makeup perfect yet understated, she was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen.

And she was all mine. Isabella Marie Cullen. My wife.

How could I have ended up so lucky?

I was so lost in thought that I didn't even realize Bella was trying to get my attention. "I'm sorry, love. What did you say?"

She smiled. "It's time for our first dance."

"Doth my ear deceive me? Are you actually excited to dance?" I teased her.

Her cheeks turned a light shade of pink and she bit her lip. "I just… I would hate to upset tradition." She shrugged her shoulders.

I held my arm out for her to take. "Well, when you put it that way."

Everyone cleared the dance floor as I led Bella to the center of it, pulling her in close. Her head lay against my chest and I took her left hand in mine, holding it close to my chest as well.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Jasper and I learned we were being sent on a secret mission. Our superiors learned of our knowledge about the attacks and thought that we handled the situation the best way that we could.

Some of our fellow soldiers, brothers in arms, got the warning in time and were able to prepare for the attack. But, most did not and the overall casualties were devastating.

Jasper and I were extremely lucky that we survived unscathed, both the attack on Pearl Harbor and the retaliation against the Japanese. It could have gone the other way.

I don't think either of us had ever been so glad to see dreary Forks in our lives.

Once I had Bella safely in my arms again, I refused to let her go unless it was absolutely necessary.

"What are you thinking about?" Bella whispered her ear close to my rapidly beating heart.

I kissed her forehead, internally groaning as her scent of lavender and orange blossoms filtered through my senses. "Just how lucky I am." I responded, leaning down and pressing my lips to hers. This was how I planned to spend the rest of my life, loving the woman of my dreams.

The scene in which Edward and Bella overhear the two Japanese men talking on the elevator, actually happened to my grandmother. She was on a cruise ship and overheard a couple of men discussing that very thing. I'm not sure exactly what was said, but yeah she was completely freaked out. Crazy huh?

A million and one thanks to the amazing SorceressCirce for beta-ing this story for me on such short notice. You are such a lifesaver and I can't wait for JOotG now (the fort)! Thanks to StarlightSuccubus for talking me through this story as well. I couldn't have gotten through it without you.

Thank you guys so much for reading this story and if you like this one or The Mayan Priestess, please vote for them after July 15th. Be sure to check the Age of Edward Contest page to make sure you know when the voting begins.

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