Chapter 8: Traitorous Nirvana

A/N: So there are a ton of reasons, but no excuses for how long it's been. I'll settle for thanking any of you who are still hanging in with me on this smut-tastic adventure. ;D I promised I hadn't flounced the fic completely, but I really will try to do better than updating once per season! :S

With no more further ado – here's a bit of what some of you have been waiting for. Hope it was worth the wait…

Last Time in EPOV:

(Sitting against the stone wall outside Bella's room – touching himself as he listens to her.)

In desperation I grasped myself through the cloth of my tunic.

"Yes, I'm here." I hissed to her in a desperate whispered response.

Touching myself had never felt so good. The sound of her voice calling for me, husky with need and fully laced with desire bathed me in a sensation I had never before experienced. As her sounds grew more fevered, my movements became more frantic. I resisted the urge to release, unwilling to let the moment end an instant too soon. I found my hand under my clothes after the first few strokes, my body's preliminary emissions providing the necessary lubrication.

I dared not imagine her hand touching me or I would be done for. Instead I imagined pinning her beneath me, our hips melding into one. I would press my need tightly between us, our strident flesh rubbing together in just the right ways to bring us both to satisfaction.

All too soon, my muscles were burning from the effort of remaining still and silent while stroking myself toward a peak of explosive pleasure. Her voice rose to a new pitch and I could hear the bed creak as her body went rigid. Picturing her thus, and imagining her body clamping down on me if I were buried inside her did me in. I came, great jets of my seed spurting outward in glorious release. Not a moment later I heard her cry out a long strangled moan as her own release found her as well.

Panting as quietly as possible, I laid the side of my head against the cool stone wall of her room, wishing with all my heart I could push the bead curtain aside, cross to her bed and hold her securely in my arms.


It was him.

My personal Adonis.


I wished to run - no to fly - across the grassy expanse of the meadow, but my feet felt mired in an invisible force making it impossible. The sensation was oddly acceptable and absolutely intolerable all at once as it allowed me to savor every second I was permitted to drink in his beautiful countenance. Yet, I longed to run my hands over his form and through his fingers before leaning in to inhale his scent. Looking around the glen a part of me realized I must be dreaming. This level of clarity, feeling of connectedness and understanding just wasn't found in the waking world. But I didn't care. The dream had me fully in its clutches, and it felt too good, too right to abandon my goal by waking. Maybe I could find in this world what had been eluding me in the waking world. Even if this was indeed a dream, surely I couldn't deny myself the illicitness of this pleasure.

The very air thrummed with the sensation of an impending electrical storm. I felt invigorated and utterly sensitized to his presence. I craved more.

Suddenly the scene blinked, and I found myself nestled in the grass deliciously pressed down into the fragrant turf by the long lines of his body. We were both gloriously nude, panting breaths streaming against one another's skin.

I turned my head into his flesh, immediately inhaling deeply, literally drinking in the warm nectar of his masculine scent. My hands slid over the sides of his ribs to the center of his back pulling him ever more firmly against me, eliciting a long sound of blissful satisfaction from my throat.

My lips were immediately locked in the deepest, most intense kiss of my life. I stomped firmly on the more rational part of my brain that remained outside of the dream that tried to point out I hadn't had many passionate kisses in my life seeing as I'd spent the entirely of my majority as an Innocent in order to focus all my attention on savoring the moment. The hot flesh against my palms begged me to caress it, so I did, in long sweeping, incoherent passes up and down the curving planes of his back.

His hands rose up to cup my cheek and caress below my ear with one hand, the heat from which made me gasp. The other slid into the tresses at the base of my skull, sending tingles shooting even more intensely to my very toes as the position gave him the ability to pull me closer still while tilting my head as he wished to further plumb the depths of my mouth with his tongue. It was bliss, perfection of wild, wanton need - all lips and tongues and synchronized chaotic movements of delight. I would have expected a surplus of moisture to be a problem, but it was not. I had seen such kisses before and thought them sloppy and unappealing, but no longer. Or at least not with Edward.

I needed more. Allowing my leg to caress a path up the back of his calf, and over his thigh, to hook my own calf around the slim bulge of his luscious buttocks, I opened myself to him and firmly pulled him in toward the center of my need. The moment his erection ground into my nether lips, I gasped and moaned loudly, my back arching and breaking the kiss as I tossed my head back, exclaiming my delight. We moved together for several minutes his hand having detached from my cheek to grasp the back of my knee pulling my leg higher still on his hip. I could hardly breathe for gasping and panting my reaction to the magic his lips were working on my neck and upper chest, and by nipping at hollows above my collar bones.

My own hands clutched and rubbed at his shoulders, occasionally sweeping down to his elbows as I fought the urge to wind my fingers into the silken hair on the back of his head. The struggle was made easier by the knowledge that lifting my arms so would limit his access to my skin, something I found completely intolerable at the moment.

Soon it became almost too much. I needed more. I needed all of him.

"Eee…Eeedwaard. Oh yes, Edward!" I moaned, my voice low and husky with my intense need of him.

"Yes, I'm here," he responded, though part of me noted his mouth did not move and the sound seemed to come from all around us –though I did not dwell on this oddity for long.

Responding to my exclamation he suddenly rolled onto his back, pulling me with him until he lay in a new sun-warmed patch of grass with me draped across his chest. I delighted in the feel of the sun on my shoulder blades, buttocks and legs. The intense burning stare I was treated to by my intrepid lover stoked the fire in my belly and made me bold. Sitting up I rocked back, dragging my hands down his chest before bracing myself on his hip bones and resting on his thighs.

I had to admit I delighted in feeling him trapped below me, even if it was an illusory sensation. Mentally diving fully back into the experience before me, my satisfaction quickly turned to shocked desire as he returned the favor of lifting his hands to run the tips of his fingers from my neck just under my jaw, over my collarbones, around my breasts making me gasp inward before bringing all ten fingers into teasing contact down my abdomen to swirl repeatedly above my feminine curls. My mouth fell open as I panted and mewled my delight at the powerful surge of sensation his hands below my belly button sent surging through my body. I could feel the tingles in all the internal organs of my body, but liquid heat seemed to have pooled like lava in the pit of my belly the full tension making me grind my pelvis against the firmness between my legs. He locked his jaw, thrust his head back and moaned, a long low sound that shot to the core of my being.

I ground out my pleasure sliding back and forth on his firm length as it teased me with its perfection but did not enter. I could feel my panting breaths streaming from my open mouth, both in reality and in my dream. I tried to push the awareness away and savor every moment. Right now reality was the last thing I wanted to be aware of!

My hips took on a life of their own rolling and swaying to a tempo dictated by which motions evoked the biggest spikes of tension in my belly toward its volcanic release. His hands gripped my knees, thumbs moving in circles on their sides, marking a counterpoint to my rhythm before slowly climbing them up my thighs, torturously slow as his eyes soaked in every detail of my pleasure and our connection, searing me with their heated gaze.

His eyes finally ceased their journey and landed upon the area where his tip could just be seen intermittently emerging from my curls as I thrust and writhed my pleasure along his length. Immediately, his hands rose to my hips, lightly scratching and circling in scorching paths of stimulation as they traveled tauntingly closer to the center of my desire.

At last his sensuous fingers closed in from opposing sides on the silky forest between my legs, slipping through the lush foliage to part the canyon screened beyond and delve deeply through the swollen, moist external folds.

"So lovely," he murmured, his eyes still riveted on the exposed place of our sliding flesh making me ache even more deeply. I could only imagine the pleasure he would bring to me once he entered my body.

What before was a many fingered stimulating contact was now condensed into one searing point under his index finger, as it began slipping and gliding over me in the way I had done for others but never before experienced for myself from another's hand.

It was too much.

My back arched sharply, my head fell back and I shattered.

The pulsating waves of my climax vaulted me out of my dream fantasy and I woke disoriented, naked and alone under the sheet of my bed.

The images were so vivid in my mind haunting me making it difficult to tell where reality began and dream ended. My thighs were still trembling and jolts of residual sensation coursing through my bucking hips.

Feeling full ruthless grip of reality trying to set in, I grieved to find myself alone in my bed. I couldn't face it. Not again. Desperately clinging to the in between of wakefulness and sleep, I consciously dove back into the dream desperate to re-find any scrap of the connection I so recently discovered and now craved like pure opium from the East.

But it wasn't the same. The moment was lost even as I felt the last residual pulses of release leave me in this place of semi-somnolence as my mind floated for a time. Oddly, I now realized I didn't feel as alone as I had expected. I didn't feel connected either, but it was strange. It was like I could almost reach out in the darkness and touch what I sought lingering just out of sight.

As the darkness lifted I found myself in the forest, the afternoon light warmly filtered by the screening leaves above my favorite meadow. The air was fragrant and moist with an underlying warmth that spoke of rain in the night put to good use by the heat of the day. It was an area not far from the close encounter with a chariot on the road which still left me reeling inside. Slowly I descended deeper into this new dream, the part of me that knew it was not reality becoming increasingly distant and quiet as I wandered the somewhat familiar paths.

The path suddenly opened up into a very inviting grassy glade. As I wandered my feeling of aimlessness faded, when without warning I was suddenly filled with a certainty that my heart's desire was nearby - within my grasp even… if I could but find the right path.

Immediately I was no longer wandering. I was urgently searching with no clear idea of exactly what I sought. My only certainty was in knowing my future happiness depended entirely the success of my quest. There were layers to the feeling, a sense of impending completeness that I could go on as I had and be fine, productive - even happy if my search were to fail, however success would equate to something more. Should I fail, something immense would lie fallow to wither from neglect. Whereas I sensed success would equate to a level of fulfillment and shared happiness that lent a level of frantic energy to the questing thoughts behind the calm of my façade.

What abruptly appeared like an apparition before me, froze me in my tracks.

There, across the glen, partially obscured by the slanting light and gentle mist rising in a haze from the turf stood a figure. The skin of his bare back glistened tantalizingly as my yearning intensified. I had to know who this person was; to see his face. I felt certain this was who I sought! My feet felt mired by an unseen force, and my desperation to race to him intensified as my eyes strove to drink in every detail from afar.

Just as I reached the center of the field, exhausted from trying to force my seemingly quicksand-laden feet to move faster, I decided to call out to this stranger since I was failing to reach him as the distance between us increased. Fortune smiled on me though – as I was about to part my lips to call to him, he turned. My breath caught.

My heart rejoiced!

It was my rescuer, my erstwhile lover. It was Edward!

He was even more gorgeous than in the waking world. His pale flesh glimmered with an iridescent glow; every curve of his masculine figure was perfected in more than human beauty. The blaze of his eyes was even more intense than I had remembered. How I longed to be in his arms, to feel the breadth of his chest under my hands again… to at last, experience his lips descending to taste my own. I quivered, ever more eager to span the distance that lie between us.

A noise to the right near the trees regretfully pulled my eyes from their eager perusal.

It was Jacob.

Why would Jake be here and why did he look so furious? My mind whirled in confusion taking in his details. He was dressed in his guard's uniform, and a stricken, fearful and resigned look was upon his face as he steadied his spear…and prepared to throw it.

At Edward.

I screamed. My strident terror lacing through every fiber of my being as it tightened - expelling all of my breath.


The intensity of my 'shared' sexual experience with Bella had sapped all my energy leaving me more relaxed than I could ever remember being, and I must have immediately fallen asleep against the wall of the courtyard outside her window. I was jolted out of blissful oblivion, instantly wide awake, as my befuddled mind was assaulted by the most terrifying sound I had ever heard: Bella shrieking in bloodcurdling terror.

My stiff joints and sore neck could not slow my response as I leapt up to dash headlong through the curtained doorway, and race across her room to her bed even before I had a chance to remotely consider the possible folly of my actions. A small oil night light burned on an undersized stone table in the corner of the room. It gave just enough light for me to see the bed with its gauzy netting, and discern Bella's distressed form thrashing and tossing in the center.

Charging to her side and whisking aside the netting, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. There was no threat. The room was empty, save for us. I felt more than a bit weak in the knees as the un-needed boost the jolt of fear had given me still coursed through my veins. She was unharmed - merely dreaming.

Standing there staring at her sleeping form I resisted the return of rational consideration. Instead I froze like a statue, my heart breaking to see her so obviously terrified when her dreams had been so pleasant just recently. Pushing aside any thought of future consequences, I allowed myself to simply act on instinct. Pushing the gauze of the mosquito netting aside further, I knelt on the edge of the bed.

She was a vision in the soft light, even with her hair completely mussed and dampened from tossing and turning in response to her distressing dreams. Her brow was furrowed and her mouth drawn into a grimace of fear and pain, small whimpers escaping from between her parted lips. I couldn't allow her to remain in fear when it was in my power to soothe her.

I crawled across the expanse of her bed, and lying on my side next to her, reached out to lightly caress her hair.

"Shhhhh, Bella. It's okay. You're safe. Shhhh," I breathed.

I could feel my own brow furrow in overt expression of my concern. Inwardly I was delighting in the soft silk of her hair against my palm. The desire to press my lips against her brow as a prelude to covering her whole face, neck and chest in fervent kisses was overwhelming. I could taste her scent as I succumbed to the urge to breathe her in with greedy open-mouthed breaths. A distant part of me marveled that no one else had come in response to her scream, but was too grateful to truly question why.

She calmed almost immediately, much to my satisfaction, turning her face toward me. Her breathing was still slightly elevated, but her expression had completely relaxed. My eyes drank her in just as deeply as my lungs had, savoring the opportunity to at last not just be in her presence, but to actually touch her as I desired. Even if I had not exactly been invited in, I could not in all conscience leave her alone. What if whatever had terrified her in her dreams were to haunt her again? Besides, I was not over stepping propriety - I had not taken her into my arms as much as it nearly killed me to be so close and not do so.

I steadfastly ignored the little voice in the back of my head that whispered such distinctions would matter little to Aro.

And so I remained, but soon my muscles began to protest the awkward angle at which I was forced to hold my head. Finally, I allowed myself to lay it down upon my arm, content enough with merely stroking the hair covering her shoulder and feasting upon her luminous skin with my eyes. I told my conscience it would be just for a few moments…

Again my mind was befuddled as I began to slowly ascend from my deep slumber. Though this time it was a much softer waking – a gentle rising to the surface of consciousness as opposed to the sudden jerk I had experienced earlier, yet it was no less perplexing. My thumb was languidly trailing back and forth on the soft silken-suede of my pillow. I lay for a time idly contemplating the sensation though I lacked sufficient alertness to discern what material could possibly feel so right.

Though I knew I had begun to wake, my consternation deepened when I felt myself warm and content in a way oddly reminiscent of the excellent dream I had been having just moments before. In it, I held her in my arms, my fingers sweeping long pleasurable trails across the satin of her skin, while my other hand was firmly cupped around the moist heat between her succulent thighs. Groaning minutely I pulled my pillow more firmly to my chest and breathed in deeply, trying to deny that the dream had been interrupted.

My eyes snapped open.

My breath caught in shock.

The night before came back to me in a rush. I exhaled in a gust as my heart clenched and the realization of exactly where my hands were so comfortably resting crashed in on me.

Nestled deeply in my arms was none other than Bella!

She was resting snuggly in the well of my shoulder, her head tucked under my chin filling my nose with her exhilarating sweet scent. We were on our sides my lower arm under her shoulders and curved up to encase the soft pertness of her upmost breast, the tight nub of the nipple a hard point against the curve of my palm. My other arm was draped over her ribs with my hand wrapped around the curve of her body and my fingers tightly nestled between her legs. Her bottom was pressed quite firmly against my groin, minutely flexing against the solid rod of my own straining flesh.

She was breathing somewhat rapidly through her nose, her head turned in toward my arm, the occasional soft moan breathlessly escaping her lightly parted lips.

My own responding moan caught mercifully in my throat as fear of discovery ripped through me.

If I'd thought I was hard before it was as nothing compared to what I was now! I had never been as aroused as I was at that very moment. My straining phallus was still nestled tauntingly between the firm cheeks of her backside, separated only by the scant layers of cloth encasing my own body.

It was bliss.

It was torture.

Without a doubt only the restraint I'd developed in the last few years under Carlisle's tutelage kept me from tearing the bit of offensive cloth away and wakening her with deep suckling kisses before fully sheathing my masculine dagger deep in her warm female recesses. I wanted nothing more than to stay right where I was and explore my deepest desires with her. Repeatedly.

Reality came crashing in: not merely desires - forbidden desires.

If she woke and called the guard, we'd both pay with our lives! Yet even worse, I'd never be given the chance to earn her trust and love. I had to escape undetected or I'd never have the chance to touch her openly and with her consent; nor to see hear her moan with abandon and to fall apart at my touch. I would never learn the mysteries of her mind nor share with her my own. I silently cursed myself a fool; the thought making the bottom fall out of my belly as reality further pressed in on me.

All we would need would be for someone to walk in and find me wrapped around her, fondling her, having very apparently been here all night – and I had, so it's not like I could legitimately claim any innocence. I silently groaned. They'd have me on a spit for roasting as soon as Aro could arrive to pass judgment and watch the "fun."

As much as it killed me to leave her, I absolutely couldn't risk staying. I had been a complete fool to think I could linger for merely a moment the night before. I had put her at risk with my very presence. If I couldn't control my illicit urges I would have to leave the Villa completely. I couldn't be the cause of her beautiful young life being cut short.

Just as I began to gently extract my arm from beneath her to attempt to silently flee the room, she gave another little moan and pushed her hips against me. My middle finger slid between the warm, wet folds my hand was so tenderly cupping, dipping my digit into her sultry ambrosia. I sucked a deep breath in past my teeth and froze resisting the crushing need to curl my fingers more deeply into her; to learn what exactly would make her scream with passion. I had to get out of here!

With a jerk and a gasp she awoke and her head whipped back to meet my shocked and guilty expression. Voices in the hallway silenced the words of apology ready on my tongue. Sucking in a sharp bite of air I all but flew out of the bed and across the room to pause by the door to the courtyard.

My apology and promise to explain again died in my throat when the door began to slowly creak open.

"I'll be sure to tell you for her Jake. Yeah, yeah…" the voice said loudly, giggling.

I darted through the curtain and into the courtyard diving swiftly between the plants, as to not risk being seen leaving. My heart was pounding in my throat. Popping my head up, I looked quickly around before straightening up and striding purposefully back to my quarters to finish going out of my mind in seclusion.


I was experiencing the best dream, having at last left the terror of my nightmare behind me when a sudden sense of security washed over me, melting the horrifying images away and allowing me to slip into a deeper, more peaceful sleep. This dream, though, felt impossibly more real than the previous ones. I felt I had come home at last, like there was nowhere else in the universe I was supposed to be. It filled me with a delicious tingling from head to toe.

I was in his arms at last, breathing deeply of his scent, feeling so protected, loved, safe… and aroused. He was cupping my sex and caressing my breast as he pressed against my back. I felt so warm. I moaned and tried to tilt my hips to bring him closer and felt him slip oh so close…

And awoke - both alarmed and confused, yet oddly disappointed.

Wait. It was too real.

Realization struck - someone really was in my bed with me!

My head whipped around of its own volition.

I was shocked to meet equally wide and guilty verdant eyes.

His eyes!

He was here!

My breath caught in my throat, my previous burgeoning inclination to scream dying in my throat. Just as I was about to question him, voices in the hallway made me stop, fear instantly coursing through my body anew –and far more forcefully than before.

My legs were tangled in my sheets, limiting my ability to move. Not so for him. He was up off the bed, flying across the room like a human arrow. My skin instantly missed his warm presence, my feminine self giving a harsh spasm with need denied. I bit my lip thinking about how closely he'd been nestled against me, touching me so intimately... Wait, I should be furious that he'd presumed to endanger us both with such an asinine stunt as to climb into my bed – an Innocent's bed for the gods' sake! Yet, the feeling I experienced in my dream and upon waking had felt like home. Was it him? My head spun.

I saw his lips part as though to speak when my door began to slowly creak open and I heard Brie laughingly comment to Jake that she would tell me something as she giggled and blew off some comment of his I couldn't quite hear.

My eyes snapped to the door, widening as I realized I was about to be caught with a man in my room - in my bed- without the symbolic protection of my panties! For the first time, I regretted my desire to flaunt the rules and habitiually sleep naked. Struggling to rise, I was about to frantically shoo him out the door when I saw he had already fled through the curtain, the beads fortunately heavy enough to not flutter long.

"Morning, Bella!" Brie chirped from the doorway, arms laden with a morning tray of food.

I collapsed back against my still warm sheets, the breath I'd been holding fleeing out in a rushing gust and my eyes dropping shut in absolute relief.

Not ready to face her since my own face would surely reveal the guilt I couldn't help but feel, I flopped over onto my stomach – right into the spot he had just vacated so abruptly. The spot was rapidly cooling, though still warm enough to savor, and better yet: it still smelled like him.

Pushing aside my confusion and residual anger, I drank the aroma in through my nose, luxuriating in his scent, stretching my lungs to their limit to fully embrace his aroma. I knew it well from my dream and our encounter at the side of the road, but had not realized just much I had longed to savor it anew. It made me positively giddy.

My recent gloom vanished. In its place I felt… hope? Despite my uncertainty it filled me with new purpose. I had to see him… to speak to him, to define this feeling into something real.

Sitting up purposefully, I was a woman on a mission. I would find Edward Cullen and uncover what had brought him to my room. In doing so I would hopefully end his haunting of my dreams and most importantly, discover exactly what this thing between us was.

I was beginning to be frustrated. I had searched all day, endured two interminable meals in the Dining Hall and still had not found a single sign of him. He apparently had vanished.

I'd managed to remain calm enough to suffer through my morning routine without alerting Brie to the fact that I had not been alone, though she had commented how glad she was to see my mood so vastly improved. I'd hardly sampled the food from her tray, but knew she wouldn't let me go without eating at least a few bites. I couldn't honestly say what I ended up putting in my mouth - my thoughts were so completely elsewhere.

Presently, I was leaving the bathing room once again, still having found no sign of my quarry. The steam in the large room only served to moisten my brow and leave me overheated, sticky and even more frustrated than before.

I had searched the whole Villa - too fearful of raising suspicion to risk asking after him. He had not been in the library, nor the courtyard, nor with the other Cullens in the main Hall. Finally in desperation, I had risked passing his chamber, though no one appeared to be in residence.

Sue had looked at me oddly when I had swiftly passed through the kitchens I had wondered if he would be bold enough to go there to secure a tray for himself. I had stanchly avoided all my friends, knowing I would be worthless for conversation and afraid I would miss my opportunity should I let my attention falter.

He was nowhere to be found. Nearly defeated I resolved at last to check the gardens a final time before I would succumb to my tears of disappointment and retreat to my favorite forest trails for some much needed solitude.

Part of me feared he'd left the Villa entirely, the thought alone making my stomach flip and clench painfully, but I reassured myself such an abrupt occurrence would have been news on the lips of every other person I passed, or so I assured myself. I needed some time completely alone to try to sort out my confused thoughts and emotions.

Having found the gardens similarly vacant of the piercing green-eyed stare I craved and sought, I reluctantly crossed the road and entered the deepening shade of the forest, feeling welcomed by the solitude of the dusk shrouded trees even as the tears began to flow. I walked aimlessly for some time, freely giving vent to my emotions when suddenly I was drawn out of my sorrow by a voice from the dim shadows beyond the trees surrounding my favorite meadow. Rather than being startled, I found myself captivated by the warm and lilting cadence. The caressing words instantly put me at ease.

Curiosity was always my undoing, and I did briefly consider my next actions. I was out here to be alone after all, but the pull of this voice was too inviting to resist. I was drawn like a moth to a flame to discover who spoke with such an eloquent and reverent tone, so different from what I was used to hearing.

Stealthily, I moved from the path into the untamed growth. I followed the melodic trail of sound through the trees and between clumps of thick brush. Finally, I was close enough for his words to become clearer, his utterances no longer a mere ephemeral voice in the dark, and I paused in my pursuit to listen closely. I was delighted to find the mystery voice was speaking eloquent words of deepest love in the romantic cadences of the scholarly language of Rome, imbuing the sonorous phrases with such depth and devotion; I was swiftly swept away on the current flowing through the air...

"sic erit; haeserunt tenues in corde sagittae,
et possessa ferus pectora versat Amor.
Cedimus, an subitum luctando accendimus ignem?
cedamus! leve fit, quod bene fertur, onus."

(Thus it will be; slender arrows are lodged in my heart,
and Love vexes the chest that it has seized
Shall I surrender or stir up the sudden flame by fighting it?
I will surrender - a burden becomes light when it is carried willingly.)

I moved closer, pulled not as much by curiosity now, as by the desire these disembodied phrases were stirring inside of me. Such words I had never heard delivered in such a manner! Would he speak those words to me in the same way were I were to be with him bringing him pleasure? My heart told me no, but my mind had no experience to make me certain.

"More, my love, your verses entrance me and your voice caresses my ears."

A rich, sultry female voice filtered through the blackness and above the night sounds of the burbling frogs and chirping crickets. She was the object of his desire…

I was surprisingly disappointed to find he uttered the words not just aloud, but to a partner.

The voices were now very close and I stopped to crouch in the lush, screening greenery, slowly reaching out to part the leaves blocking my view of the couple whose voices I could hear and increasingly longed to see.

A throaty baritone laugh startled me as they came into view, "Patience, my dearest, I will give you your fill."

The caressing intimacy of his words sent a thrill down my spine. For the first time in my life I began to feel like an intruder on an intimate moment, though my unquenched curiosity held me rooted to the spot. My eyes were at first dazzled by the gently flickering brightness pooled in the center of the meadow. After a few brief moments I was able to make out the presence of the two forms I had heard speaking. Their shadowed outlines soon became clearly visible to me as they sat in the gentle illumination of a half-dozen candles whose dancing light bathed the lovers' secluded patch of paradise with a warm, intimate glow.

"Carlisle, I could never have my fill of you, although I would gladly empty all that I am in an attempt…"

Carlisle – the name was surprisingly familiar. I was quite shocked to find the voice belonged to the philosopher who had come to the villa a few days ago. The one who brought him

A shiver ran down my spine thinking of being in his arms once again. The sensation heighted further as I recalled a much different but no less intense display of physical love I had encountered between Carlisle's other followers, Rosalie and Emmett in the Bathing Pool.

As my vision became accustomed to the low light, I could see the form of the man, Carlisle. He read from a parchment as he lay outstretched on a blanket, his head in the woman's lap. Esme's lap. She gently stroked his forehead for several moments before running her fingers slowly through his hair, gazing deeply into his eyes. She appeared to be oblivious to anything but him, lost in him and their shared moment.

Setting the parchment aside, he reached up to caress her cheek. Seeing something in her eyes, he sprang to his knees before her, and upon taking her hands in his, more glorious prose began tumbling past his lips in low strident tones,

"My Esme,

Ama me fideliter,
fidem meam nota,
de corde totaliter
et ex mente tota,
sum presentialiter
alens in remota…".

(Love me faithfully,
Taking heed of my loyalty,
With all your heart,
With all your mind.
I am closest to you
When I am far away…)

Enraptured by his words, Esme threw her arms around his neck and attacked his mouth with her lips powerfully. He responded to her passion by molding himself around her, before guiding them to the ground and covering her with his body eagerly.

I felt my breathing speed as I watched their abandon. I was held utterly captive by my illicit observation, knowing I should leave, but unable to make myself move.

"I am yours, now and forever. You carry my heart," she breathed between their unrestrained kisses. Her declaration fueled his fire, and his movements upon her became more urgent.

Inspired by their passion, I inched forward. Their love was so glorious, I felt moved to add to the beauty I saw before me. I wanted to give them both pleasure to equal what their words had given to me.

Just as I was about to move from behind the cover of the trees, my mind brought forth the mocking sound of Aro's words from the day the Cullens arrived at the Villa: "Amusing aren't they?" he purred, condescension dripping from his tone.

"Carlisle and his fanatical band of deviants. So beautiful. So Proud… and such a waste!" He seemed to lose himself in his rant, becoming unusally animated in his outburst.

"Why deny what comes naturally? Our bodies have been given to us by the gods to be used to explore all the delights and pleasures they make available to us. What is to be gained by limiting yourself to one partner? The thought is…abhorrent."

One partner.

I leaned back on my heels. Maybe my advances would not be welcomed? My doubt kept me frozen while I considered.

Was there something to be sought and found in devoting your whole self to one person? Pushing back my need while I considered, his voice once again drew my attention…

"My dear, your lips seem a bit dry, do you thirst?" Carlisle asked, tenderly pulling away from his wife.

Without waiting for her reply, he swiftly moved to a parcel not far from where they lay. He deftly removed a wine-skin and a small cloth wrapped bundle from the larger package.

"Wine and grapes," he announced returning to recline at her side, the candlelight gleaming in his eyes reflected his eagerness to please her.

She sat up quickly, her arms braced behind her, indicating her delight with her eager expression. He unwrapped the cloth with hasty grace, before extracting a large, juicy grape from the bunch. Taking it in his hand, he held it to her lips. As she bit down, a small stream of succulent juice ran down from her mouth to her chin making her giggle lightly in embarrassment.

But he stared fixedly at her… and something wordless, yet so intense I could sense the edges of it from my hiding spot, passed between them. Slowly he leaned toward her. I held my breath as his tongue licked the juice from her skin with one sensuous, lingering swipe.

Esme sucked in a breath and moaned out her pleasure before words of love to equal his own spilled past her lips:

"Karissima, noli tardare
studeamus nos nunc amare
sine te non potero vivere
iam decet amorem perficere."

(My dearest, do not hesitate!
Let us now study the art of love.
Without you I cannot live
Now is the time to perfect our love!)

She trembled and their eyes locked. But instead of taking her in the heat of the moment as I fully expected, he whispered more romantic words of poetic devotion as he brought his hands to her face, caressing it and her neck before moving to slide out the pins that held her hair atop her head. Her freed tresses fell around her face and shoulders in a flowing cascade of golden caramel – I could hear him as he drank in her released scent and trembled.

Reverently he removed the bindings from around her torso where they held her tunic in place, before sliding the cloth from her body as carefully as one would unwrap a most precious gift. When he finished, she did the same to him, removing his tunic while speaking hushed words of loving worship.

"I give myself, my whole self, to you and you alone. You are all I need. All I want," he declared with such conviction my heart leapt and then stilled. Suddenly I felt ashamed to be viewing this private expression of love, of giving… of bonding.

In complete trust, she gave herself to him, but this time as he eased them to the ground, he rolled and moved her over him. She straddled his hips, placing her hands on the rippling muscles of his abdomen before sliding them up his broad chest. Following the path her hands had just taken, she bent to place open-mouthed kisses over the sumptuous plains of his torso, moving gently upward toward the line of his jaw, then back to his ears. Suckling his earlobe momentarily, she reached behind her to stroke his firm length with long caressing motions, before languidly guiding it in toward her waiting heat. Finally, sitting upright over him, she gazed intently into his sultry eyes before slowly filling herself with his engorged, twitching shaft. With each rise and fall of her hips, their bodies inched closer toward the complete contact they sought with such passionate restraint.

When their bodies finally met, their moans blended into a perfect harmony of deep fulfillment. He gripped her hips firmly in his hands and together they created a rhythm to which I found my own heart beating. While each took pleasure from their sensual connection, their eyes remained locked, silently communicating an additional wealth of fathomless emotion that left me breathless and aching.

Her pace soon quickened - her hips thrusting against him with greater alacrity, and her hands flew to his shoulders for leverage - seeking to bring her rapture to full fruition. Sensing her need, he quickly slid his hand along the heated flesh of her hip and belly to slip it between them and firmly press her swollen nub. She cried out in ecstasy and I felt my own body seize in sympathetic response.

Almost immediately their rhythm became disjointed as they tumbled over the edge together. What I saw in Esme's eyes was the physical embodiment of what I felt upon waking wrapped in Edward's embrace, the realization riveted me to my spot even more than I had been before. Just before she climaxed, Esme brought her face within an inch of Carlisle's and steadfastly keeping their eyes open, they drank in the ecstasy flowing through each other's gaze as their voices cried out with glorious mutual release.

Drained and unable to support herself any longer, Esme draped her glistening body over his, their chests heaving in time together. He folded his arms protectively around her, tenderly kissing her hair and nuzzling his nose deep into her shoulder.

"I love you," she whispered.

Carlisle reached over and tenderly pulled his unwrapped tunic over their cooling bodies, rolling Esme on her side before conforming his body to the back of hers like a spoon.

"Carlisle," she spoke quietly, "When can we leave this place? All around us are expressions of physical love, yet their eyes and the sexual acts are so vigorously empty. It makes me sad and I pity them."

"I know, Love, our journey was long, and we could not refuse Aro's invitation to break our journey here. Doing so would have been too politically dangerous. But we will only remain as long as courtesy requires, I promise."

Satisfied with his answer, she reached to draw his arm around her and they drifted off to sleep.

The candles blinking out of existence brought me back to reality. I turned to head back through the deep dark of the night to my room in the villa feeling more conflicted than ever.

Yet, upon reflection, I realized my hope could be a reality! I now felt certain my dream had not been a lie, it was possible to find in reality what I had felt that night. How could I doubt any longer? I had just seen it displayed plainly in Esme's eyes.

But I still had to wonder: could anyone love me this way? Could he love me this way?

I felt a new determination to find out… and to settle for no less. I at last felt like I was gaining the upper hand on my confusion – my emptiness and longing were now defined, yet the one critical piece to the puzzle that was still missing was the key to the whole thing – and he was nowhere to be found.


Poem credits (in order):

Ovid, Amores 1, 2

Carmina Burana

The Cambridge Songs

RosaBella75/IslandWoman221: So, TwiliteAddict! Thanks for writing up some of your oh so fabulous and tender Carlisle and Esme loving out for us! Bella certainly enjoyed how… informative it was. *mwha*

TwiliteAddict: No, thank you for allowing me to feature my favorite classic loving couple in your story!

RosaBella75/IslandWoman221: You are most welcome! I was delighted when you accepted my invite to come play – and even more delighted with what you produced for our consumption! ;D

Adore the poetry! *melts* Something tells me Carlisle and Esme follow the Greek view of love rather than the Roman one for all they spoke in Latin. ;D

TwiliteAddict: Yes, I do believe Esme and Carlisle have explored and partake in all the forms of love.

And it seems they have sparked something in Bella too (other than a twitching between the legs!).

RosaBella75/IslandWoman221: I do believe they have! *mwaha* They seem to have unknowingly gained another convert! ;P

*turns to readers* So what did you all think? Leave us a review and let us know! I found the reviews when we did TFICF to be tremendously motivating! :D