Patience and Practice explores the intimate evolution of the relationship between Edward Masen and Bella Swan characterized in the Twilight fanfiction story Black and White, published from September 2008 - April 2009.

The Black and White story you all alerted for updates on the Patience and Practice series has been removed. The pulled content contained my author's note and apology regarding the removal of the story from the web. Please see my profile page for a more detailed explanation.

As a result, the review history, alerts for the story and all links from outside sources are no longer active. Most alerted this story and requested that I continue to update on Patience and Practice through the Black and White story, and unfortunately, that is no longer possible. If you are receiving this, it is because you have me on author alert, however I cannot control communication with interested readers through this venue, so to be safe, please take a moment to register your e-mail address on my website www{dot}vixenstories{net}.

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In addition, although I never updated the progress of the novel via this venue, if you do desire to stay up to date with the progress of Black and White (because you are as excited as I am!), that registration is necessary.

Nevertheless, due to other issues that I cannot focus on given that my energies are wholeheartedly directed to the novel, I will now release the Patience and Practice series via posts on this site. All additions can still be located on my website. For a synopsis of the story, which is recommended for any new readers, please see my profile page.

The series consists of four consecutive chapters (Cotton, Dirty, Vino Veritas, and Divide (part of Smut Mondays to be released 9.28.09), and two stand-alone A/U chapters (Saturday, Sunday), as well as one forthcoming. All were written based on reader requests via popular vote. Please read in order. Thank you to all of the positive women in this community for your support. Without you, I wouldn't have the courage to do any of this. I hope you enjoy this offer of resolution.

Reading without the playlist is enjoying half the story. You may log-in to read this same chapter and access the playlist here: www{dot}vixenstories{dot}net/stories/cotton

For this chapter, I outlined and wrote through a scene from the actual novel. The back story enriches the tone of desperation and need for both characters, including Edward. This takes place one month into their relationship and the next three scenes are built from this chapter.

They see each other either in Seattle on Wednesdays and at his house Friday afternoon through Sunday. He's only slept in bed with her once for a full night and is humiliated by the prospect of having an attack anywhere near her. Because he is proud and slowly healing, he considers his exile from their bed necessary until he can make more progress. The further he goes into his therapy, the more he recovers, and yet by this stage, he's still in limbo as to whether his progress is enough. He's still protecting her.

He is also still in a place of partial denial psychologically, because although they are together and both aware that he has problems, there are concerns. There are no instant fixes in anything. There is bitterness attached, but this frustration only motivates him.

The rest is the evolution of their intimacy. Proceed with caution, the male mind is fantastic, honest, imaginative, and instinctual. Enjoy.

Cotton. Edward.

Without her, the living room was too quiet and cold. I wanted to go back to her, to hold her warm, soft body, to feel her breathing align with my own...

She'd been so stressed this week over her classes that we'd cancelled our usual Wednesday date. It was just one blip in our schedule, but I'd missed her so much. The drive and all-day wait in Seattle were hell. Our time together was already limited.

Once I finally had her home with me, we'd settled down for a movie and talked and relaxed. Seven minutes after the introduction, she was asleep. Exhaustion from her studies had taken a toll on her, and despite our mutual excitement to be together again, she was so tired. While she slept, I watched three films back-to-back, holding her close and smelling her hair. I finally took her to my bed a few hours ago, but she hardly stirred through all of that movement.

I groaned in frustration, thinking of waking her tomorrow. I would let her sleep for as long as she needed to, but if her rest continued into the afternoon, I could give her a nice wake-up. I imagined kissing her throat and the spot behind her ear until she opened her eyes, the sunlight hopefully streaming into my room, warming everything. My cock twitched at the thought of how she would react to me... She loved it when I touched her, kissed her, and held her... and I wanted to do those things right now... but I was out here again. Sleeping alone and miserable... pretending to watch television... fucking hiding...

I didn't like it, but I wasn't sure what my big fucking complaint was either; there was simply no other choice. I'd already learned I was incapable of refusing her, having given in to her the weekend before last. As I'd tried honestly to excuse myself from the bed, she'd pouted and reminded me of her trust in me, begging me to stay, wrapping her warm body around mine, disabling my will to leave with soft, sweet kisses and reassuring touches. I stayed and after she fell asleep, I tried so hard to stay awake, but she relaxed me and I'd slipped.

Thankfully, I awoke only sweating and breathing heavily, the nightmare retreating before I could wake her.

I wanted her to be happy with me and I wanted her to trust me, but after that night, my sleeping restrictions were crucial to maintain. I was still a risk to her.

My fist clenched around the stopwatch, my reassurance that the alarm would sound, that I would rise before dawn, before she woke. Turning into the blanket again, I sighed in frustration, picturing her discovering me out here anyway. She would be upset, she would worry, and I didn't want her to, because she had enough on her mind with school and other obligations. With me, I wanted her to be happy. If she does come downstairs, you'll hear...

That was true. I was vigilant. I had no reason to be anxious she would discover me, and once the night passed, I could work out, read and wait for her to wake up...

Suddenly I heard... a sound... from my room…

The noise diverted my attention, my shoulders snapping tight as adrenaline burst through my veins. Alert now, I sat up completely and shrugged off the blanket, reaching for the remote.

The volume was set on two and she wouldn't hear me gradually turn it up. I hit the button then, shrugging the blanket aside as if I wasn't trying to sleep. The quiet murmur of the television filled the room was barely audible as I strained to hear the sound again. But only silence set in. It must have been Bella... Is she awake?

Staring at the television, I formulated my excuse in case she were to emerge: I couldn't sleep. Easy enough... I raised the volume again, still listening hard, training my hearing to the stairs but getting nothing. I heard a soft noise again... She does talk in her sleep... Oh...

If she was talking and dreaming, I wanted to watch and listen. Hopping up, taking the steps three at a time, my heart raced with sudden exertion and the prospect of seeing her. Last time she'd giggled in her sleep, and if she did so again, I could and would lie down with her for that, knowing sleep wouldn't take me. And I wasn't looking for an excuse to go in there either; these moments were special and I wanted to appreciate them.

Hitting the landing, I stopped before quietly tiptoeing in, grinning at the sight before me. Her back was to the door, and I caught a full view of her little cotton tank top and shorts bunched from rowdy sleep, revealing slivers of the curves I wanted to touch. The room was cold, but she'd kicked off the comforter. Rounding the bed in six steps, I stared at her sleeping figure. One soft leg was exposed, wrapped partially in a tangle of white sheets. She was spread out all over the bed, her face peaceful, tranquil, beautiful.

I wondered how she would react if I slipped underneath the stack of covers, sliding straight to her. The bed would be so warm. Licking my lips, thinking of kissing that soft, full mouth again... I pictured her riding me sleepily, moaning and whimpering for me, her little fingers on my chest for support, her long hair bouncing over her breasts. Oh fuck... I wanted her on top of me so badly and I wondered what she'd do if I shifted her in that position. I wanted to feel her, to have her now.

I could slide in next to her so quickly; she would feel instantly just how hard I was for her. How would she wake up? Would she be surprised and shy, or playful and sexy? She sighed then, her lips parting slightly with the sound. She looked so pretty and sounded so peaceful. Did I really want to disturb her for sex?

And wait...what did Bella want?

I wasn't sure, but I realized that once again my selfishness quickly overlooked her needs. She was so tired earlier, exhausted was two in the morning… And was I just looking for an excuse to be with her in the warm bed? I wanted her to be comfortable in my house, and now it seemed inconsiderate to rouse her, especially after the long week she'd had. When had I become so dependent on her? Since the beginning... my mind whispered. That was possibly true, but what would any man do? I loved her.

Maybe I could just lie down…

If you lie down, you'll end up waking her... Enough, go back to sleep.

I groaned quietly in resignation. I wouldn't disturb her; that was the right thing to do. Imagining doing anything else was just self-torture.

With my mind made up, I forced my feet towards the door, but as I began to shut it, the sound of shifting blankets captured my attention. Glancing back, I watched her with renewed want as she turned her body towards the middle of the bed, seeking comfort from a new sleeping position, sending those shorts up higher…

"Edward…" she sighed softly as I stood listening. Edward?

She was thinking of me, dreaming of me?... As I crossed the room, coming closer to the bed, my hand twitched to touch her. She really would be so warm, so soft… and she was dreaming of me.

Memories of our last night at her dorm came forward as I clutched myself in restraint. I'd waited with her in my arms until she'd fallen asleep, planning on reading one of her books, but she began murmuring my name. Her hands had roamed my body and watching her was the most erotic thing I'd ever seen. When I woke her, we'd started all over again.

"Mmmm..." she moaned quietly. Fuck...

I groaned back, clutching myself hard as I watched her. Again, I pictured her riding me deep, her thighs against my hips, wondering if she'd start off slow and shy, gradually working for her orgasm, or if she'd open up instead? I wanted to lie back and let her take over. Oh God... she would be so tight and wet.

The state of the precarious fucking hem on her shorts tore at my resolve to return to the living room, and suddenly the idea seemed impossible to entertain. I stared for a few more seconds, picturing slipping off her shorts and taking her like this, from behind... we'd never been together that way yet... Would it feel good for her? Of course it would...

She raised the leg draped over the comforter then, and I watched, rapt, as she shifted forward, arching her hips into the bunched-up blankets. She moaned quietly again. She was having a sex dream...

And just like that, the battle was over.

I quit.

I would try once; if she was too tired or not interested, I would stop.

I made my way to her, sliding into bed, keeping distance between her and my aching erection. Her ass was right there, supple and half covered. The sheets were warm and I smelled her soft scent as I slid my arm under her pillow. Leaning into her slowly, I kissed her neck upwards before licking and sucking my spot at her shoulder. She loved it when I did that, perhaps she'd even dreamed of this?

Her shoulder shifted forward and she moaned softly as I kissed the spot again, tasting her skin, moving my mouth to the top of her neck. I closed my eyes and savored the feeling of her skin as she moaned once more, waking slowly.

"Hi..." she whispered sleepily. From my position at her shoulder, I could see her eyes flutter open briefly.

"Hi," I whispered back, still kissing her. I wasn't going to waste any time. She needed to know my intentions.

"I want you, but I know you're tired. Do you want me to stop?" I asked her seriously, fairness and complete compliance in my voice.

"No..." she whispered shakily. I loved her sounds, so sweet and sexy... Yes...she wants me.

"Then I won't," I groaned quietly against her ear, feeling so close to her, happy she wanted this too.

I slid my hand to the curve of her waist, up her shirt to her soft breasts, causing a moan. She filled my hand and I squeezed lightly... Fuck...warm skin...soft...

"Did you have good dreams?..." I asked between soft kisses. She sighed as I continued to touch her nipples the way she liked.

"Yes..." she breathed back, admitting what we both knew. I wanted to ask her what she dreamed of specifically, but I knew she would be shy. Patience... these things require patience...

Her leg shifted against the sheets and I moved my hips parallel to hers then, my hard-on pressing into her supple ass.

"Of me?" I asked, determined lust clouding my word filter, knowing her answer.

"Yes..." she breathed again, shuddering as she felt how hard I was for her. What were you dreaming of? I silently wondered. I would ask her soon enough... I groaned considering her possible answers, sucking and licking her earlobe.

"God..." I whispered, arching my hips into her. I needed her to know what she did to me. "Do you feel that?"

She whimpered and my eyes closed at the sound. Fuck...

I wanted to touch her where it counted and neither of us wanted to go slowly. She shifted her hips back into me as I made my way down the middle of her stomach before turning my wrist, spreading my fingers out, feeling every inch of her.

She moaned again and shifted her arm underneath her side, sliding it up to meet mine under the pillow. Our fingers locked together then in the sweetest fucking gesture. Without much thought, my hand continued lower, wanting to know how wet she was for me, how good her dreams were...

I passed her belly button as her shoulder tensed against my chest and our breaths spasmed together in the silence. Softly, I slid one finger down against her soaked clit. So wet... She gasped as I moaned. Oh...

"You like that?" I asked, blurting my familiar question without thinking.

"Yes..." she moaned.

Dipping my finger lower and sucking the skin of her shoulder, I started a rhythm, touching her in small circles, shifting my hips into her. I couldn't wait to be inside.

She moaned so prettily as I breathed hard against her shoulder, my cock throbbing and anxious for entrance and friction.

The movement of her other arm caught my attention and I froze as small, warm fingers slid under her shorts, ghosting from my forearm to the top of my hand. When they settled on top of mine, the meaning clicked. She wanted to show me? Oh yes...

I wanted her to guide and my hand instantly relaxed as we stilled, only she hesitated to lead. I waited for a second; our breathing ragged as the tension thickened, wondering what she would do. Did my stopping make her nervous? up... relax and let go...

"Show me..." I whispered encouragingly against her skin. "Please..." Give me your secrets… show me how to touch you... I begged her silently.

Another second passed, so I started again, softly stroking her in light circles with the tip of my finger, barely enough, hoping she needed more. Her hand lay still and light against mine as I continued though, methodical and gentle, listening to her breathing stutter with mine.

My imagination and questions quickly hit overdrive. I pictured her, alone in her dorm and comfortable in her bed, innocently touching herself, imagining my hands in place of her own. Did she like touching herself when she was alone? Did she play with her body and think of me? How did she do it, what made her feel good?

I couldn't help but fucking whimper roughly at the thought as she shifted her hips against mine to open her legs a little more. I wanted to ask her, but knew that I couldn't. I had to be tactful and consider these moves thoroughly. Drawing attention to her discomfort wasn't wise. She was my shy girl, and lust or no that might embarrass her.

All my senses trained on her as she pressed my fingers into her skin before gradually taking control. I let her lead, sucking and nibbling all over her neck, careful not to disturb her instruction with unnecessary movement. A soft hiss left her lips as she pressed further, showing me she wanted more.

After a moment, we were both so fucking turned on, and her fingers grew more insistent as her hips shifted harder into our hands. I tried to see, but I wasn't going to move from my spot at her neck. She was enjoying this and her sweet moans filled my head...

But, fuck, I was beginning to really need her... the urge, the push to have her was growing stronger by the minute. Brushing her clit worked her up so nicely, and she was so wet for me... I could only imagine how badly she wanted me inside...

On the next stroke, I decided to find out. As we made our way down, I slipped two fingers inside of her to see how she liked that.

She moaned, feeling my fingers reach as far as they could. Tight...wet... Oh fuck yes... I pulled out and met her hand again, shuddering against her shoulder as my mind buzzed, intent on doing that again when we stroked back down. We slipped up and then back again, and my fingers found her once more.

"Mmm..." she moaned deeply again, a sound of permission. I groaned at that hot shit as I slid out and then in again and again, forgetting our process from a moment ago. My breathing was deep and hard, and I was so fucking excited to feel her, to be with her again, to please her. I was ready...

"I need you..." I whispered familiar words again, slipping in repeatedly, absorbing her whimpers, and imagining having her right here, right now.

"Me too..." she whimpered needily in return.

Her agreement only made me harder. Quickly, my hand moved to her hips as my fingers found the elastic of her shorts. I pulled, but her hand met mine then as she helped me. I watched in a daze, panting with want as she pulled the cloth from her hips, shimmying out of them. Her blue tank-top was the only clothing she had on, and I wanted to take it off, but it was cold in the room...

With that consideration, I reached up and grabbed the comforter, spreading it over us with a snap of my wrist. She tucked the cloth under her arm, waiting for me. With one quick slip, my sleep pants were gone and she was there, warm and silky, ready. I could make her feel good... make the worries of her week disappear for just a little while...

"You're so soft..." I whispered, sliding my hand down her hips to her knee. Her hand clutched mine underneath the pillow as our fingers laced tighter. I kissed her neck as I palmed the back of her thigh, sliding her forward for me a little more. Yes... inside...

Groaning in anticipation, I angled my hips downward, leaning in to her body as my knee settled against the inside of her thigh, the other bent forward a little more. I was so fucking hard for her, and I slipped between her legs easily, sliding the swollen tip of my cock in first before thrusting, filling her perfectly. I was in. My thoughts escaped all rational placement as hot pleasure left me speechless and immobile. Raw... Perfect. I groaned low again and so did she. Fucking unreal...

I raised my head from her shoulder then and watched her mouth part as I pulled back and slid in again, my hips meeting her ass softly as I filled her once more. I settled my head behind hers and relaxed then, trailing my fingers down her stomach again as I pulled back and thrust gently.

My breath hitched as she keened that pretty sound of pleasure once more. Motion caught my eye and I raised my head, looking down at her soft skin shaking against my hips again. I'd not pulled the blanket high enough and it was slipping, revealing more of her as I continued. I shifted once and thrust again, watching. Fuck... I can't handle all of this at once...

"Mmmm..." she moaned back as I slipped in and out, firm and slow but so fucking tight.

I wanted to finger her again, to touch her, to please her, to make her come for me. My hand slid from her hip to her clit again. Wet... I groaned in lust the moment my fingers made contact. Fuck... fight back... not yet...

I steeled my resolve, continuing slowly with a smooth rhythm, closing my eyes, burying my head into her neck. I continued my rubbing and shifting, licking the taste of skin from her shoulder, her hips rocking into my hand. So good…

My mind blanked as I drove my hips forward again and again. I let myself go and no worry I had could break through this...

She moaned my name, already anxious for more of her clit, I panted against her neck and sped up slightly, wanting more already too. Satisfaction ran through me on a deeper level and I wanted to hear my name on her lips again, expressing her pleasure. Yes...say it again... I prayed silently, thrusting slightly harder then. The covers slid down further as we continued, revealing all of her skin, her hips and thighs, pale and glowing against the white sheets.

"Say my name again..." I begged her shamelessly, staring down at our connection, seeing myself slip in and out of her now. "Please..." I shuddered, still watching.

"Edward..." she moaned, feeling my lengthened stride and the depth I could reach this way. I moaned back in satisfaction, watching her soft ass shake as I continued, the raw feeling consuming me as her wetness made it so easy for me to move...

She moaned as I touched her, pulling and pinching the soaked skin of her clit.

"So...deep..." she whimpered, sending me into her even deeper, just a little harder. I continued with my sucking, growling at the taste of her sweat and shampoo.

The itch to come hit me all at once again and I knew I wouldn't last much longer. Her bent knee slipped forward more as I leaned my chest into her back then, pressing her into the bed to tap every bit of her, filling her completely, deeply, absolutely. Leaning her onto her stomach, just enough that her breasts were visible from the side as they pressed against the bed, I thrust faster and longer. Her mouth was open as she stuttered breathless moans for me. I was making her feel good. Only me.

I looked down again, watching myself slide in and out harder now, grasping the edge of her hip again to angle her forward a little more. Keep her happy...

"Come for me tonight…" I moaned into her ear, thrusting hard.

She gasped and then moaned back, shifting her hips with me.

"I might..." she whimpered. "It feels..."

I huffed, shivering at her words and the hot friction as I continued shifting into her. I wanted her to keep talking.

"Tell me..." I whispered raggedly, my mind barely able to form words. I always wanted to know, and rarely could she tell me.

"It's..." she tried, stuttering a breath each time I thrust, getting deeper and deeper. The end was already close. There was too much build up, too many stimuli, too much of her. Make it good while it lasts...

I shifted my hips upward then, hoping to coax the words out of her, thrusting into her at a slight angle. I growled in pleasure as several consecutive whimpers from her pushed me to continue moving hard and fast. "Talk to me..." I whispered.

She moaned desperately again at my words. Suddenly, her palm met my hand as she shifted me to play with her again, pushing my fingers roughly against her clit.

"Want me to touch you again?" I groaned, verbalizing her gestures, teasing her as she gasped and moaned in agreement.

I was beginning to speak my mind freely, touching her with desperation and she needed to hurry.

I was already speeding towards release and each time she shifted back, intensifying the tight angle we had together, my resistance grew weaker. The absolute pleasure that she brought me on every possible level felt magnified in this moment. This was the height of it, the perfect physical expression of what I felt for her.

"Can't last long..." I managed as I pinched and pulled her clit hard, rubbing her roughly as she cried out in pleasure. I continued relentlessly as she gasped and moaned sweet simpers.

I dug deep then, groaning against her skin as I hit the end of her over and over.

And with that, her body stiffened and her hips locked, the stability increasing my pleasure two-fold, and I drove harder and deeper, feeling the tightness of her as she clenched around me. She came for me then and I watched her soft skin slap hard against my hips as she moaned in time with my thrusts. Her sweet sounds filled the room; the heat of her was intense and the realization I'd pleased her again swelled everything, crumbling my ability to hold back.

Mine... I thrust in... always... I pulled out... Continuing to pinch her as she whimpered in satisfaction, shivering and clutching my hands tightly, still riding out her orgasm.

I was drunk on her and us, thrusting wildly, consumed with the sensation of her wet heat, the shock of euphoria sweeping through me... Without thinking, I sped up even further, swiftly seeking more friction, more heat... more of her... and that was the end.

Digging my head into her hair, I managed a warning.

"Oh..." I stuttered, unfathomable pleasure ripping through me. "I'm coming..." I moaned in relief, holding her hands tight.

She moaned at my words and pressed her hips back into me, still giving me what I wanted. Everything spun quickly, and I came then, groaning against her shoulder as her body stuck to mine. Her hips were locked tightly in place, and I hit her deep, repeatedly, thrusting hard, and coming inside of her. Overwhelming satisfaction occupied my senses as I shuddered, coming a little more as the high of her sex left me breathless and content.

It was over then, and too quickly the silence of my room was filled only with our breathing. Relief and love for her rose in my chest and I held her to me, kissing her neck and the back of her shoulders. My arm wrapped around her waist as I pulled her in my grasp. She snuggled back, and we calmed and lay together quietly, still connected and catching our breath.

We relaxed and I slipped out of her, groaning at the loss before rolling to my back, pulling her to lie against my chest. She came to me, wrapping her body around mine and dragging the thick down over us completely. Closing my eyes, I sighed, feeling free and happy. Warmed and loved by her. She sighed too before giggling breathlessly against my chest.

Looking down, I chuckled at the sight before me. Her hair was ridiculous and tangled. Her lips were swollen and her eyes sleepy; she looked beautiful.

"What?" I asked eagerly, slightly tired now. I'd missed her company.

"How did you know I was dreaming about you?" she asked shyly.

"You were talking a little in your sleep, but you only whispered my name," I whispered, pushing away the collection of dark strands covering my special spot on her shoulder. "I liked it."

She groaned into my chest, embarrassed and I laughed.

"There's no reason to be shy..." I dream about you, I wanted to say. Only you... always... "I liked it...obviously..."

She groaned again before sighing once in embarrassment. I kept my mouth shut as she settled against me further, burrowing her head against my chest until she was comfortable. I touched her slowly, feeling the soft skin and silky texture of her hair as my fingertips slid up the side of her neck, and back down again. Her eyes were heavy and fluttering closed, so I assumed she was going back to sleep.

The couch...

I wanted to lie here and sleep with her until morning, but I knew that I couldn't. Ten minutes, I told myself. I would go back and bring her something for our mess before leaving, but for now I would stay for a little longer. Lying with her like this was too warm and comfortable. With that thought, I nudged her closer and she complied, wrapping her arms and legs even tighter around mine.

"I love sleeping here..." she whispered after a few seconds of silence. I smiled and my heart swelled at her admission. "I love sleeping here..." She'd never said that to me before and her words made me fucking happy. That was all that I wanted, for her to be happy with me, in the home I would share with her when she was ready. She squeezed my chest with her arm then, hugging me.

I held her back, feeling the peace and happiness that only she could bring me.

"I love when you're here too..."I murmured that understatement, playing with the long hair against her shoulder.

As she got more comfortable, I relaxed completely, feeling her comfort take over as our skin stuck together under the covers. Everything was warm and soft, and touching her soothed me. For just a moment, the haze of relaxation took over and I settled into the bed with her, my mind clear of worries, my body completely hers.

Before long, I began to drift off to sleep...

Suddenly, her head popped up from my chest, her eyes meeting mine with a quizzical look.

"What?" I asked, immediately awake and concerned. You were falling again... Shit. I needed to get up, but not yet. She needed to fall back asleep first...

"Do you hear that?" she asked, listening carefully.

"Hear what?" I asked again, distracted. Her lidded eyes looked confused.

"Is the television on downstairs?" she whispered curiously.

Busted, Edward. :) I wish I would have known I would be able to take this series so far into resolution. I would have simply told you all this from the beginning. I will post the remaining chapters as time permits. Thank you for reading.

As always, thank you to Cicada, my editor. Without her, my nonsensical drivel would be less presentable. Thank you to Stacy Bumblebee and Dollegirl for reading and critiquing.