Divide, divide et impera, (divide and conquer)

Divide is the final installment of the Patience and Practice Series, written to resolve plot elements for Black and White readers as published online from August 2008-April 2009, removed for original publication. For a very brief synopsis, please see my profile.

Originally part of Chapter 34: Sunrise. Edward., Divide takes place the morning after Edward and Bella's playful night of drinking in Vino Veritas, a recommended read prior to proceeding. On new ground, firmly rooted in their mutual love for one another, the last existing barriers of her confidence and his self-censoring crumble further as their intimacy transforms into something deeper and more profound. In this final transition of their sexual relationship, his careful protection of her sensibilities and desperation for acceptance gives way to strong, comfortable love, while her eagerness to love and please him sheds more of her shyness. Finally just giving in to what they feel allows both to experience the joy and satisfaction of a closeness yet to be experienced.

As the last in a four-part sequential series (Saturday is AU and down for rewriting, Sunday is AU and available at my website), this will conclude the story of Edward Masen and Bella Swan from Black and White by vixen1836.

The early spring light filtered through my window, lighting the floor and the western wall with yellow sunbeams. Lying still and comfortable, I closed my eyes, the world still tilting from too much drinking last night. My head was pounding, but the acetaminophen was slowly taking effect. In a few minutes, I would feel better.

For now, I was doing just fine with her so near, a little bored and wanting to play with her, but patient, too. Tightening my grip on her waist, I pulled her closer, though. She was so warm under my blankets, just inches away from my morning erection. I really did want her to wake up and she had to have a hangover, too—which meant prime opportunity teasing.

Oh yes… it was time to get up.

Opening my eyes, I lifted the corner of the blanket subtly, sighing at the sight before me. I was a fucking lucky man.

She was breathtaking this way, naked in my sheets. Underneath the thick wool blanket, soft cotton bunched low around her waist, urging me to slip my hand underneath, to feel her nice little ass. I wanted to kiss her, suck her, feel her warmth against my skin and tongue.

But I stayed back, privately admiring the thousands of brown strands scattered across my sheets, her skin, and the pillow. The bare skin of her back looked so soft and I ached to kiss it. So I did.

One thing was certain: nights didn't belong to me, but mornings like this made up for every hour I slept on the couch. I sighed and moved a little closer, keeping my hips back while tracing her shoulder blades under the covers now. Her skin was so warm and silky, and she had three consecutive freckles on the corner of her shoulder. I traced them and she moaned. My fingers probably felt cold to her.

"Good morning," I whispered, leaning closer on my elbow, trailing a few small kisses on the little dots. She sighed, wiggling her hips once as my stubble scraped her back. "I know you're awake," I pressed, a little louder now. "It's time to get up…"

"No…" she whined, rubbing her face on the pillow. I chuckled. She was stubborn in the mornings, and a little bratty, but I wouldn't give up. She would be cranky at first, once she woke up, I'd make her feel better.

"I'll make you breakfast…" I tempted.

Another whine.

"I'm not stopping until you're up…" I assured against the skin of her back, tracing the long line of her spine. She shivered and rolled slightly onto her stomach, taking the blankets with her. But I moved closer, sliding next to her now, my hard-on pressing right against her sheet-covered ass.

"Edward…" she moaned pitifully, turning her face deeper into the pillow.

"Umm…" I hummed against her shoulder blade, my hand slipping over the curve drawn just for my hand. "You smell so good. Like sex… and shampoo, and… you…" I murmured, bringing my tongue to her shoulder for a little taste.

She groaned, stronger, but more alert now. I was still pretty fucked-up, so she had to be in bad shape.

"Do you feel okay?" I asked her quietly, leaning over to inspect her pouty profile.

"My head's spinning," she whispered. Given that response, I was being pushy, but I wouldn't retreat. She was so soft and warm, and I missed her.

"Do you feel sick?" I asked, assessing her condition. I left medicine for her head and some water by the nightstand, but that wouldn't help nausea.

"No…" she assured—too quickly—her eyes still closed.

"Would you tell me if you did?"

"Yes," she whispered. "I wouldn't lie to you," she promised. I groaned roughly at her words, my love for her growing in that moment. She really wouldn't lie to me.

"I love you," I whispered into her hair, nuzzling my face into the mess. She snuggled into the blankets, getting more comfortable. If I didn't get her out of bed, she'd stay here all day.

Quickly, I ran through possible methods of luring her awake. If her head was hurting and she was as drunk as I was, maybe she wouldn't want to eat, but I could try getting her in a hot shower. Our progress last night was undeniable; we had so much fun together. Now that her walls had fallen, she might follow on her own if I led the way. And if last night was any testament to her desire to please me, she wouldn't resist if I was waiting for her.

"Hey…" I whispered.

"What?" she asked, her voice dry and rough.

"I have an idea to make us both feel better…"

"What is it?"

"Will you meet me in the shower?" I asked, picturing her there with me, wet and in my arms. I had wanted that for so fucking long. She didn't answer at first, so I kissed her neck before sliding across the bed. The room was cold and I knew she'd immediately miss my warmth.

"Where're you going?" she mumbled, lifting her head from the pillow, her eyes squinting.

"To wait for you… my head hurts and hot showers help. Take that medicine on the nightstand and come in…" I grinned, hoping she wouldn't see through my tactic.

I tossed off the blankets and the sheet, walking naked to the shower without looking back, the lingering alcohol fueling my excitement.

I started the water and stepped in, confident she wouldn't be long. So I waited. The searing water sprayed sharply over the back of my neck, easing my headache. The heating element was old, so the water was always scalding at first, but I didn't mind. Under the spray, I tried to focus beyond the pounding in my head, hoping to hear little feet approaching.

I soaped up and rinsed quickly so my attention could be on her. Once finished, I relaxed against the wall, still listening, wondering if she'd be wearing the sheet or be completely naked.

"Will you keep your eyes closed?" she called quietly from the doorway.

"Yes." And on my honor, I did, smiling with my head down. Fuck yes… she'd come to me, just as I knew she would.

I heard her move and my heart raced in anticipation, the rustling of the falling sheet discernable over the sound of the water.

"Can I open them now?" I asked anxiously, sensing her forward movement. The shower curtain was pulled back only halfway.

"Yes…" she conceded, as if her initial request was ridiculous. I turned to see her standing naked and pretty in my bathroom like this. She was a mess, her fucking hair sticking up everywhere and spread all over her shoulders. I groaned, grinning as she rolled her eyes at my reaction, covering her breasts and that little patch of hair. Modest after all this sex—I loved it.

I laughed at her cute fucking everything. "Come here, but be careful. The water's hot and it's slippery in here." Holding out my arms to help her enter, she stopped covering her breasts to take my hand, her little red toes stepping carefully over the shallow divide.

Though out of the direct stream, she was in the shower with me. Finally.

Pulling her close in silent thanks, she snuggled right in to me, wrapping her arms around my waist, dry against wet. I was hard against her stomach, but she didn't seem to mind. I couldn't focus on that anyway; before anything else, I needed to fulfill my promise to make her feel better.

"I like this already…" I whispered as she closed her eyes, laying her head on my chest.

I shifted on my feet and the hot water hit my back at an angle, sending little droplets splashing against her pretty face. They lingered on her lashes, a few on her lip. She shivered from the cold air against her back and snuggled closer, blinking to clear the water as she glanced up at me the way I liked.

"I'll ease you in, okay?" I whispered, kissing the top of her nose.

"My head really hurts…" she mumbled against my chest.

The water hit us both, cascading in little streams from her ears to her neck, over that spot on her shoulder, to her breasts crushed against me. I wanted so badly to follow the trails with my tongue.

Fuck. My cock began to throb, imagining pinning her against the shower wall. I was tipsy, but I could hold her…

"I'm sorry," I murmured into her hair, breaking from that vision. A twinge of guilt nagged at my conscience. We had already been together so much this weekend, and she had to be sore. Being fucking greedy was unacceptable. Still aching against her stomach, I tried to focus on anything else.

With a sigh, I decided an innocent massage of her head would be best. Grabbing the shampoo, I poured some on top of her hair without warning, surprising her as the cool gel touched her scalp.

She giggled with a lazy smile. "That tickles…"

Spreading the shampoo further, I lathered the strands from top to bottom. The hair underneath was barely wet, though. We needed more water.

Tilting her shoulders, I leaned her head further into the spray. The stream splashed her directly and she winced at the heat, but stayed under, hugging me to her. My hands began to work, loving the feel of the soap and her thick hair sliding between my fingers. She sighed, enjoying it, too.

After a few more rinses than necessary, the shampoo was finally gone. I wondered if she would let me bathe her, but thought better of asking. Touching her with soap and water and having her naked and in my arms like this would be too much.

"Edward?" she murmured.


"You know what?"


"I just realized… I really don't remember everything… from last night…"

"You don't?" Had she been that drunk? "I'm sorry." I whispered, kissing her forehead. I suddenly felt guilty for allowing her to drink so much. No wonder she had a headache.

"It's not your fault… I should know my limits."

I laughed, remembering her saying those exact words to me, giggling in my arms in those sexy purple long johns. They were still on the floor of my grandfather's office. Around midnight, she had wrapped herself in the sheet and come to sleep in this bed, so drunk and happy, falling asleep instantly while I slipped away until dawn. Did she not remember laughing with me all night, or our sex? Did she not remember opening up to me like that?

Normally, I would have wondered if her lapse in memory meant she'd backslide into shyness, but this morning was proof to the contrary. She was naked and in the shower with me, letting me wash her hair, my cock hard against her stomach. All without blushing once. This was progress…

I sighed, happy over what this could mean. All of my patience was coming to fruition—I had always known it would just take practice. She wasn't completely open with me yet, but I wasn't sure I wanted her to be. I rather liked the occasional blush—just in moderation, and not in response to our intimacy, or to telling me how she felt.

"What?" She looked up, dark eyes lidded from sleep and alcohol, wondering why I was smiling.

"Nothing… you said those words to me last night…"

"I did?" Her big, curious eyes made it kind of cute that she couldn't remember.

"Yes." I chuckled. Her nose was adorable from up here and I wanted to bite it, but I didn't. "I was drunk… and you said I should know my limits."

"Oh no… this is so stupid! I can't believe I don't remember!" she pouted, more dramatic than usual.

"Are you still drunk?" I asked, trying not to laugh.

"A little," she admitted, looking embarrassed.

"Hey… don't get shy. We had fun last night, being together… it's okay. I shouldn't have let you drink so much."

She blinked, seeming to absorb my words, resting her head on my chest once more.

"What did we do?" she asked, her voice unusually small.

"What do you want to know?" I played with her hair, wondering how to explain the sweet way she sucked my cock, and took her pleasure on top of me.

"The truth..."

"What do you remember?"

"I remember changing into pajamas, coming downstairs, playing the game and drinking a glass of wine..." she answered certainly.

"Do you remember kissing me?" I asked, trailing my other hand down her spine now.


"Do you remember asking me those questions?"

She thought for a moment, blinking erratically, a droplet from her lash falling to her cheek. "No…"

Fuck… I wanted to remind her.

"What?" she whined anxiously, reading my face now.

I grinned. "Well…" I leaned in close, pecking her chin. "First…" I kissed her lips, touching her cheek with my other thumb. "You asked me why I get aroused when we touch… "

"And what did you say?" she breathed, curious all over again.

"That I can't help it."

"And then what…" she whispered, swallowing hard.

"Then…" I said, tracing a drop of water down her neck with my finger now, over her collarbone, ending at her nipple. I rubbed with my thumb and she moaned, closing her eyes. "You asked if mine was bigger than… others…"

"What did you say?" she asked simply.

"What do you think I said?"

"Tell me…" she insisted sweetly, looking up at me now, her lips so full and pink and plump and... I couldn't think when she was like this—so innocent and genuinely wondering.

Then she glanced down, seeing my cock hard between us. "Oh!" she remembered, and then giggled again, digging her forehead into my chest. "I remember now… I tried to…-"

"You didn't try," I corrected, leaning down to kiss her. "You did…"

She laughed again, the sound so sweet in the small shower.

"Why's that funny?"

"No… no… I just remember… you know…"

Sucking my cock. "No… I don't know." I lied. "What do you remember? Tell me… or you can show me…" I suggested, normalizing that right off the bat, growing freer with my words now. There was nothing to be ashamed of.

"Do you want me to?" she asked, eyes even bigger. Would she? I didn't answer, wondering what to say. "You do want that…" she accused playfully, sort of teasing me, but definitely… comfortable. A little confident, even.

"Of course I do. You expect me to say no?" I laughed, deciding to be honest.

"No…" she blushed.

"Good, cause I won't… ever…" I promised honestly.

"That's okay. I want you, too… always…" she said sweetly.

Even now? I wondered. But wait… I just decided not even five minutes ago to give her the space she needed. Why was she so ready now when we'd had so much sex this weekend? Taking me in her mouth would only tease me, and she had to be sore.

"Don't you need time to recover?" I asked, a little suspicious.

"No. Do you?" she teased again, her eyes on my mouth.

I looked down at my ready cock between us and she followed my eyes again, laughing before blushing for the second time. I wasn't sure why my erection wasn't embarrassing her, but that meant only good things. She didn't mind that I was always ready for her, in fact, she seemed to like it. I kissed her once more, happy she was being so open and free with me.

"So…" she ventured. "Was it okay?"

"Okay? We need to remove that word from your vocabulary. More like wonderful… sexy… perfect…" I said, kissing between descriptions.

She blushed again, and before my imagination could stop, considerations formulated. Before last night, we had so many boundaries, but it seemed like new possibilities were open now. There were so many things we could try. Last night was a huge step for her, but so was this moment. She was wet and naked, and I could easily return the favor. I decided to take advantage of this opportunity.

"I want to try something…" I hinted, kissing her ear, my hands falling to her hips.

"What?" she replied softly, her breathing already a notch faster. Did she sense what I would ask?

"Can I show you?" I asked, searching her eyes, hoping she'd just say 'yes'. I was fairly sure she would.

"Yes…" she whispered, still curious and anxious.

Yes. The tension between us surged before either of us realized it. Locked into her gaze, I placed my hand on her ass, both of us exhaling in response as I backed her up to the tile. It was cooler out of the stream of hot water, its spray barely reaching my legs now. We both shivered as I pressed against her, her skin soft in my firm grasp.

In one movement, I slipped down her stomach, kissing her as I settled in front of her on my knees. With one hand on her hip, the other sliding up her thighs, I slowly made my way to the middle. She trimmed a little trail for me, and I fucking loved that. Staring up at her, I saw the lust in her eyes, but her legs were closed and she was standing as if unsure what to do. Still holding her hip, I moved my thumb straight to her clit, touching her, softly circling. She gasped, her face apprehensive, but eager, wanting to know what this would feel like.

Her legs were still pressed together though, and I needed her to let me in. She knew what I wanted, so was this a game we were playing? Would surrendering make her feel dirty? Did she want me to work my way in? She was breathing erratically, her little belly button rising and falling. I kissed it. "Open your legs for me…" I whispered, letting her know she didn't have to be nervous. She slid one foot to the side, granting me access.

Slowly, I pressed my mouth to her little clit, licking and sucking just once, tasting the soap and salt of her skin.

She gasped, feeling my tongue against her before I returned my full mouth to that sweet spot. Her fingers threaded in my hair as she relaxed. Closing my eyes to concentrate, I went at her, moaning at her reactions, sliding my thumb to her clit, rubbing, sucking in its wake.

"Oh… my god…" she breathed, a sound of pure pleasure that made me shiver. Motivated, I continued nibbling her, eliciting more sweet moans and yanks of my hair. She whimpered each time I licked her, shifting her hips softly into my mouth. I did it again and again, working her up, wanting her to come for me this way.

Trembling and gasping, her knees bent as she weakened, pulling my hair hard. She was tipsy and couldn't stand.

"Oh... God..." she moaned again, sliding down the shower wall. Fuck… I was weakening her knees. Screw the acetaminophen; I was making her feel better.

After a moment, her panting grew heavier as her hips shifted against my mouth. She wanted more. Without warning, I slid two fingers inside her, teasing the rough wetness of her special spot. She gasped as I thrust firmly, tickling her inside.

"I… can't… handle it…" she gasped, her hips bucking now. In all the times we'd been together... she'd never been so... desperate. She was so fucking wet and I needed to be inside.

Not yet, though. Maybe she couldn't handle it, but she loved it. This was practice. I wasn't going to let her quit on me. I just needed to be patient; she would come soon…

I growled, anxious and determined now. Sucking and nibbling, I thrust my fingers deeper, desperate to make her come for me like this. I loved feeling her this way when it happened. I clutched her tighter, restraining the consistent rhythm of her hips as she shifted against the penetration and my mouth.

Less than a minute passed before I felt her tension increase. She tightened around my fingers intermittently, the spasm of her stomach muscles against my thumb telling me she was close.

In the meantime, she was weakening, leaning almost completely against the wall, her head thrown back, dark hair clinging to the tile, fingers pulling my hair. My knees burned, grinding into the grout as I worked her over, sucking and fingering, my neck beginning to ache. Intensifying my grip to steady her once more, I pressed her against the wall for stability, but it was too slick, and she was too weak.

Moaning and tightening her little hands in my hair, she slid further, her skin squeaking as she tried to stand. We needed the bed, but I wanted her to come first. I sucked her hard then, bringing her skin into my mouth, pulling gently but insistently at the sensitive spot with my lips and teeth.

Finally, she came, pulling my hair and crying out so fucking loud... The sound bounced off the shower walls, echoing in the small space. Holy fuck… I couldn't believe her reaction, but I had little time to focus. I caught her as she slid down with a whimper, her tiny waist in my hand. I stood, kissing her instantly, letting her taste herself, and still rubbing her swollen clit. My body pressed her into the wall and she straightened, dazed and breathless, but kissing me back.

"I want you…" I whispered hoarsely, staring at her perky little nipples as they heaved against my chest. Small drops of water still peppered her skin.

Shaking and still trying to catch her breath, she nodded, feeling my cock against her stomach. We would go, but neither of us moved just yet. Nothing else compared to having her vulnerable and wet in my arms like this, so small and pretty and mine, glowing from her orgasm, high from the pleasure I gave her. Slowly, I slipped my hand up her body, rubbing her nipples and kissing her, helping her calm as we stood staring at each other.

After a moment, she closed her eyes to feel, not ready for me to stop kissing or touching her. Finally, her breathing settled.

"Please… take me to your bed…" she whispered, opening her eyes and leaning forward, ready to go. In my mind, it wasour bed, but I didn't correct her. The lust and the desire in her expression lit a fire inside me, causing a rush of blood to my cock. It had been painfully hard before, but now we really needed to move.

Slipping my hands to her ass, I lifted her light body, steadying my feet on the wet tile as she followed my strength, wrapping her legs around my waist, her little hands around my neck. Her body pressed against me, and I groaned as my cock brushed against her wetness.

Turning, I peered around her face as she kissed my neck, fixed on the path ahead, so anxious to be inside of her now.

But I needed to focus. I would never fucking drop her, but I was dizzy, my heart racing from the lust, the alcohol, and the hot water. The thumping reverberated through my head, fucking with my equilibrium and blurring my thoughts.

"Hold on tight," I said, taking the cold tile one step at a time. Once my feet touched the hardwood of the bedroom floor, I knew I'd make it. The bed was just a few feet away. Greedily, I afforded myself the opportunity to attack her mouth then, thrusting my tongue against hers, the taste of her mixing with the sweetness of her mouth. She moaned and I groaned back as my knees hit the bed.

"Let go," I whispered, leaning, bracing my hand to lower her weight.

Bouncing slightly on our tangled sheets, her hands unraveled from my neck. She scooted up the bed, her body fucking bare for me, legs relaxed and open this time as I crawled to her. My cock was aching, brushing against her thigh as I scaled her. Her arm rose, beckoning me, the loose cotton sticking to her skin.

Rolling quickly, I lay next to her on my side, pulling her close by her ass. And she came right to me, kissing, wrapping her arms around me. It was cold in this room, but I was warmed already by her.

"That was amazing, but I want you now… you…" she said.

Glancing between us, she reached for my cock, erect and throbbing against her stomach again. I shuddered, breathing hard as I waited for her to touch me, anticipation and suspense occupying all my thoughts. She kissed me again, distracting me until her fingertips met the soft skin of my head.

Groaning against her bottom lip, feeling her slide down my shaft slowly, I kissed her mouth in sensory overload. The tension between us doubled, the silk of her fingers circling, gripping firm, before stroking from base to tip.

"Fuck, yes..." I whispered, my word filter nonexistent, loving that she was seducing me like this. Her gaze was heavy with lust and want, eyes fixed on my lips. "You're so good at that..."

The corner of her mouth twitched and I kissed her again. Bolder now, she wrapped her full hand around me, pulling me impossibly closer. Leading me… by my cock.

"You're a good teacher..." she whispered.

I moaned, her words coinciding with an upward slip of her thigh before she rested her knee on my hip. Sliding against the sheets, I shifted into her grip, closer to where I wanted to be. Inside...

"Am I?" I breathed, wanting her to say it again. Did she really think that? I tried... always to make her comfortable here, and happy with me...

"Yes..." Her leg slipped higher, wrapping around me now. With a slight wet sound, the skin of her lips parted, holding my attention as she rubbed my tip against her warm entrance. Unable to stop myself, I pushed immediately, so eager to get in. She closed her eyes and moaned at the feeling.

I lost traction halfway as her tightness closed around me. Fuck… she was so small. Pulling back for my first solid shift, the weightless buzz of sex and alcohol blurred everything.

"Oh…" I stuttered weakly. "You feel… so good…"

My head collapsed against the pillow as she kissed and sucked my neck, sparking chills and shivers as she nibbled my ear the way I liked. I moved in deeper, so fucking ready to feel her, to be with her, to have her until I couldn't anymore.

My thoughts were scattered, but appreciative. She was wet because she loved the way I touched her, kissed her, made her mine. I moaned into her mouth as I pulled back and slid inside again, wrapping her leg higher on my hip, feeling her soft skin in my hands, changing our angle.

"Yes…" she whimpered, her hips grinding into mine already. Her hands were all over my hair, and her leg dug into the back of my thigh. We moved together, so deep, quickly breathless, and moaning at the intensity. I was hardly pulling out, just filling her over and over again.

"Don't stop...." she whispered, speaking her thoughts aloud.

"I won't…" I breathed into her ear, shifting firmly and repeatedly. "I don't want to…"

"Feels so good…" Her whimper was a plea for more.

I breathed unstably, completely lost in her sweet words. She was perfect, and I just wanted to feel her now, so connected and close. I rolled her slightly, clutching her knee, fucking needing more as our wet skin stuck together. Every stroke pushed me further into euphoria. It was so much to handle… the tight heat of her, the way she was moaning.

"Edward…" she whimpered, my head pressed against her shoulder now. Groaning at the way she said my name, my cock slid in and out of her wetness faster, my mind and body in a vacuum of pleasure, pure sensation with no rhyme or reason, no beginning or end. Just me and her…

"I love you," I whispered, raising my head to see her lidded eyes fixed on my face.

"I love you," she replied, kissing me, pulling my neck close and absorbing my next few thrusts with tiny moans. Slipping my hand between us, I touched her clit, playing now.

"Do you know what else you said last night?" I whispered.

She gasped as I touched her wet skin more firmly, unable to remember.

"You said… only I can make you come… not even when you touch yourself…"

She moaned in agreement, grasping my shoulders tighter, pulling my hair slightly. Her leg wrapped firmer, latching on, pulling herself into me for even more.

"Is that true?" I asked, wanting her confirmation.

"Yes…" she whimpered, so sexy, turning her head into the pillow, biting her lip.

I moaned, gritty and unstable. The reminder of last night sparked new need as I thrust deeper, longer, more completely, giving her what she needed as I played between her legs. And I was struck by her. The way she looked with the fire behind her last night, seeing her sexy and bare for me, ready and mine—that was one thing, but this… this was us. Her shyness wasn't completely gone, but this was close enough for now. And… something was different about this moment, about the way she felt to me.

"I can't… believe how good you feel… can you go harder?" she moaned softly, solidifying my thoughts. She was asking me for what she needed as her nails scratched my neck, gasping consistently as I touched her. I groaned again, thrusting hard and swift now, bouncing her against the slack of the bed with the power of my legs. The headboard began tapping the wall.

I growled in satisfaction, feeling her clench wet and hot over and over. The closer she got, the more she was losing herself for me, the harder she would come. I loved that part, seeing her let go for me, in my arms.

She moaned a guttural 'yes' and I stroked her harder and faster, feeling the shock of bliss and sex as her fingers pulled my hair again. I continued to thrust and feel, touching her little clit, wanting to make her feel good for me again.

"Oh..." she tried to speak, closing her eyes tight, her words pretty moans now, her nipples bouncing against my chest. I was going to come soon, and I could bring her, too. But she was holding out on me.

"Come for me, again," I pleaded, wanting to watch her come apart, so open and free, high on being with me. "Please…"

"Yes..." she cried urgently, desperate again, clutching my shoulder and hair. "I will."

Our wet skin smacked and I wasn't going to last long with her whimpering that way.

"You're so beautiful," I told her, whispering breathlessly against her mouth. "You're mine and I'll always love you. This…" I rambled, but stopped. My chest suddenly constricted with the heat of telling her how I felt.

"Edward…" she breathed against my lips, so loving and reverent, her voice strained. Needing me to give her more. Only me.

And then something changed as her tone struck me again, leaving me reeling. Opening my eyes, I watched her face relax, sliding in and out faster now as my throat tightened. The sensation and constriction was shocking, but not in a bad way... in a deeper way. A new way.

She was all I wanted and I knew that— during every single moment we were apart and every single moment we were together – but, feeling it now was different. She gave me love always, but it was more than that now. Something morepowerful, unstoppable and indefinable, something just… more. I needed her.

The tightness hit me again, and I tried to control it, ducking my head down to her shoulder, clenching my eyes tight, unable to focus on anything but the… emotion.

"I need you, too…" she whispered, running her hands through my hair, and I loved that. But I was saying something without realizing I was speaking.

With only seconds of warning, and one thrust deep inside of her later, I came hard. Shuddering a long moan of relief, I twitched inside of her before pure release swarmed, the strength of pleasure ordinarily rendering me incapacitated cowered in the face of this stronger… feeling.

Momentarily overwhelmed, I breathed against her shoulder before slipping out of her, lying back to catch my breath, trying to clear my mind. Where was this coming from? My chest swelled, but my heavy exhale couldn't push it away.

She was by my side then, so warm and soft, wrapping her arms and legs around me, cuddling against my neck. She pulled the blankets over us as I took another deep, staggered breath. The tension released slightly as she pressed her body against my side completely. Then her mouth met my ear.

"Edward…" she whispered calmly between sweet kisses, running her hands through my wet hair. I closed my eyes for a second, loving the way she touched me. "I love you more than I've ever loved anything, ever," she whispered, as if sensing my thoughts.

At her words, I opened my eyes, feeling her pure love for me in her tone and words. From the corner of my vision, I saw her wet hair sticking to my chest, splayed out across the pillow and the bed. My face was hot, and I was ridiculous, but I couldn't look at her yet, so I swallowed away the lump in my throat and listened.

"If I couldn't have you, I wouldn't want anyone else. I wouldn't be happy," she said. I moved the bunched strands from her shoulder, tracing her neck and her collarbones with my finger to avoid her eyes. "I need you, too… so much…" she finished in a small voice. "You're everything to me… and… I want forever with you..."

Forever. I knew what that meant. She wasn't ready yet, but she would be one day. When she finished school, and when everything was better.

Finally looking into her dark eyes as her words rang around my head, I understood that she knew what I was feeling. She needed me, too. I had slipped and spoken my thoughts aloud, but she had felt it, as well, and probably before this moment.

Everything between us was mutual, and that meant we shared the best kind of need … the kind I would never lose nor give away, because she needed me just as much as I needed her.

I had to wonder: what had I ever done to deserve her? To deserve this? No deed, no act of mine had ever rendered me worthy of her, save my decision to try to get better. To be with her in the right way. I had to believe that was it, but regardless, I had her now. Through some strange stroke of luck—maybe even through some act of God. And I would hold on to her, cherish her, like no one else ever could.

"Good… because I'm keeping you." I kissed her, playing it off as best I could, so grateful for the chance to love her, to need her. Pressing her soft lips against mine a second time, she hugged me tight, settling her chin on my chest.

Her eyes shone brighter when she looked up that way again, with all the feeling she had in her strong little heart. I touched her beautiful face, flushed not from shyness, but from feeling good with me. She was so small and soft, and my scarred hands were rough against her fine skin, but she didn't care.

And although she already knew, one day—when she was ready to be my wife—I would tell her everything I had ever felt for her. But for now, this was enough for us. She was mine, and I was hers, and neither of us would ever let go. Always. Forever.

Thank you to all of you for your constant support for this story and the continuation. I wish I would have know I would be able to carry this so far into resolution, but I hope this resolves the sexual tension for those of you emotionally invested in Black and White. I will be completing one final one-shot as promised to readers when the story was removed, but that will be posted separately as this final installation concludes the sexual relationship for Edward and Bella for me.

Thank you to wickedcicada, Stacy Bumblebee, Rochelle Allison, MaganBagan and Nicnicd for their beta love and support.