I really don't know why you guys put up with me and my updating-fail. You are all wonderful, wonderful creatures.

Undying gratitude to bouncy 72 and IcelandGirl812 for their invaluable input and beta'ing. I love you, guys.

Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight, etc etc.

Chapter 14: It's the small things



I stopped for a few seconds, staring around the hotel lounge.

Staying in hotels was such a novelty to me that I couldn't help but love it; I didn't have the opportunity to do it very often, so it always felt like something extra special.

And this place was special.

It wasn't the fanciest hotel in the world, by all means, but it was much fancier and more luxurious than my apartment back in Seattle, that was for sure.

Edward wasn't prepared for my slightly-awestruck-moment; he stopped a few paces ahead, turning halfway to see what I was doing. He grinned when he took in my expression.

"You going to stand there for long? I thought you wanted to take a nap."

I made a face at him.

"Just enjoying the splendour," I said, falling into step beside him again as we walked over to the front desk.

"Splendour?" He looked amused at my word choice.

I shrugged. "It's better than my apartment. I love staying in hotels."

It was his time to make a face now. "You get tired of it, trust me. Even 'splendid' ones like this."

"Good thing I don't have to travel that much with my job then."

After he'd given his name to the desk clerk, he threw me a sideways glance and a teasing smile. "Some people are lucky."

I rolled my eyes and let the subject drop. I did want a nap and was almost too tired to think properly – making conversation was slowly sapping me of the energy I had left, and I desperately needed all of it just to keep myself standing.

I'd been forced to get up at the crack of dawn for Edward to pick Jake and me up. We'd dropped him and Maddie off at Esme and Carlisle's before heading to the airport, and Edward had been just as bleary-eyed as me. He had wordlessly accepted a refill of coffee in his travel-mug from Carlisle, who – equally speechless – had shuffled his way to us clutching the coffee pot as if his life depended on it.

The flight itself was shockingly uneventful, but the crying baby in the seat in front of us ensured that I couldn't sleep my way through it. Edward was more sympathetic than me about the baby, since he had been in the same situation when Maddie was that young. I still kind of wanted to irrationally resent the child just a little bit, but I felt guilty just thinking about it. I couldn't blame the kid for crying – the flight was long, loud and mind numbingly boring.

I yawned hugely once we got into the elevator, leaning against Edward's shoulder. He chuckled softly.

"I wish I had time to sleep with you right now," he said in a wistful tone.

I snorted; I knew what he meant, and he'd probably missed his unintentional double meaning, but it was funny nonetheless.

"Oh, I'm sure we can fit a quickie in if you're really desperate, baby," I said in a slightly ridiculous voice. I was aiming for flirty and seductive, but I think I did it wrong.

"Wha-... oh, shut up," he said, "that's not what I meant. But now I wish I had time for that, too."

I hummed in agreement, pressing myself closer to his side. "You know what I think?"

"No, what?" he asked against my hair, placing a soft kiss there.

"Business meetings are overrated."

He laughed down his nose. "Sometimes, yes. Other times they're a necessary evil. Like this one."

I sighed despondently. I may have hammed it up a bit. "I don't think the bed is going to feel as amazing without you in it, too."

"You'll just fall asleep – you won't realise I'm gone."

I slapped his chest lightly, straightening up when the elevator came to a stop on our floor.

"Of course I'll notice. You're my personal toe-heater – my feet will be ice cold without you."

"I'm glad I make such a great impression on you in bed," he said, laughing to himself as he grabbed our bags.

"Oh, believe me, Edward... you make a huge impression."

I may or may not have pinched his ass as I walked past, moving quickly; all I could think about now was the bed, and I wanted to assess it for comfyness.

And the sturdiness of its springs.

I opened our door eagerly once I reached it, letting out a soft sigh when I saw how lovely our room was. An open and spacious area stretched out before us, with a large couch in a warm brown being the main focus point. Beyond it, and directly facing the door, a large window let in the late-morning light and offered a wonderful view of downtown Chicago. It even had a wide window-seat, and I immediately knew I'd be spending my time alone there, writing and looking out over the city.

I turned to the right, where two open doorways on either side of the flat screen led into the bedroom. I could only glimpse the bed from my place at the door, but even from there, it looked amazing.

I barely paused to hold the door open for Edward before walking over to investigate it further.

It was magnificent. It was the kind of bed my own one wanted to be when it grew up. It was a thing of beauty.

My admiration for it may have been exaggerated by how tired I was, but at the moment, I didn't care. It was a spectacular bed.

I felt no shame as I toed off my shoes, shrugged out of my jacket and then crawled onto it slowly, groaning as my hands and knees sunk into its heavenly softness. Edward laughed at me when I flopped down on my back, spreading my arms and legs to each corner.

"Oh my god..." I stretched my muscles, feeling the four-hour flights' strain slowly melting away. "Edward, if you get on this bed with me right now, I'm not going to let you leave. I'm telling you this as a warning, since you seem so stubborn about going to that meeting and whatever."

"I appreciate your concern."

"You're welcome..." My voice was laughably breathy as I let myself completely relax into the warm hug this bed was giving me.

"I'll bring in our bags," Edward said with another laugh, leaving me to nurture my budding romance with the soft sheets, heavenly pillows and luxurious mattress.

I started falling asleep without even realising it. The sounds in the room became all the more distant as the fog in my mind grew thicker and thicker. It took me ages to connect the rustling sound I could hear to its most probable source, and even longer to remember why Edward was changing his clothes.

I could only respond with a sleepy groan when he leaned over the bed, tracing my cheek with his fingers.

"I'm going to my meeting now, baby. I'll be back in a few hours, okay?"

Groaning involved too much effort. I exhaled a little louder than usual instead.

I thought I heard a soft chuckle emanate from his general direction, but with sleep so close to overpowering my entire being, I had the attention span of a goldfish. If he did chuckle, I'd forgotten about it a second later.

Edward's soft, lingering kiss to my temple, however, was the only sensation strong enough to shoot through my half-unconscious mind with perfect clarity. My skin tingled, warm and aware of his touch. The last thing I noticed was the strange silence that took over the room after he left, tingeing my dreams with longing.

The fact that his kiss was the only thing I could clearly remember after waking up definitely gave me something to think about.


Writing proved almost impossible. I couldn't get my mind to focus, despite the new environment I was in, despite the solitude of having the hotel room to myself, and despite sitting in the extremely comfortable window seat. My laptop served no other purpose than heating my thighs as I stared out at the city, watching everything down below.

I had some things to consider, apparently. That's what I assumed anyway, seeing as my brain wouldn't let me think of anything else.

I had a sneaky suspicion that, somewhere along the way, I'd fallen in love with Edward. It felt strange, trying to accept this suspicion as reality, because I couldn't pin-point when it had happened and it didn't seem like me to completely miss something so huge.

As it was, I felt like a walking cliché – love had completely snuck up on me, latching onto my back like a monkey with otherworldly ninja-skills. I hadn't seen it coming, until it just suddenly dawned on me after I woke up from my nap.

I turned away from the view of the city, re-directing my attention to the actual work I had set out to do. Staring at the blinking black line – disrupting an otherwise blank page – for about ten minutes did nothing but frustrate me. I put the computer away with a huff; there was no use. I knew that when my brain felt like a bowl of spaghetti dropped on the floor, I had no chance in hell of writing something even remotely readable.

I tapped my fingers restlessly against my thigh, staring aimlessly at the room. It was so silent. Empty. It was a little oppressive, the way the room suddenly seemed so lifeless. Like not even my presence could make it feel less cold and lonely. It was utterly ridiculous for me to feel this way, since it was probably one of my favourite hotel rooms I'd ever stayed in. As I looked around though, it just felt like one of those set-ups you saw in furniture stores – a show room. Something told me this weird feeling had to do with Edward's absence, but I couldn't be sure. All I knew was that it didn't feel right without him here, too.

My eyes were drawn to the clock on the wall; I had no idea how long Edward's meeting might take, but he'd been gone for three hours already. Granted, I'd been asleep for about half of that time, but it was still too long.

I knew he was here on business, but somehow the majority of my mind couldn't get with the program. It kept insisting that this was a mini-vacation that was supposed to be filled with uninterrupted sexy-times. Edward being away on business meetings did not mesh well with uninterrupted sexy-times.

I started glaring at the room. It seemed like a slightly more efficient way to spend my time, rather than just mindlessly giving the sofa a moping face.

Abruptly, I stood from my seat, stomping slightly as I circumvented the space. I was getting more and more frustrated with the whole situation. The realisation that I'd fallen in love, being left alone but not actually enjoying it like I usually would, and my inability to write were all messing with my mind and mood.

The 'falling in love' thing was mostly to blame, though.

I stopped stomping in front of the mirror hanging opposite the TV. I didn't look any different than I had this morning, before I was aware of my obvious emotional refurbishment. Should I look different? I'd been in love before, obviously, but now I couldn't seem to remember how it had felt, how I had realised it.

Dammit, was I always this slow on the uptake? My emotions should come with a huge, blinking neon sign, just so I'd actually be more aware of any changes.

I leaned towards the mirror, staring into my own eyes. Was I really in love with Edward?

I was, wasn't I?

I think you are. It might just be possible.

My eyes held no concrete answers. I just looked back at myself, the frustration I felt visible in the slight tightening of skin, the tiny downward pull of my eyebrows.

Nothing made sense. But then again, love didn't really make sense, did it? Not in the way sense was supposed to be made. Love could just possibly be the most irrationally rational thing in the world.

And now, I was probably afflicted by it again. Probably. Most likely.

Okay, definitely.

All because of that tiny little kiss. The skin on my temple tingled slightly, as if to remind me exactly how it had felt to have his lips there, so warm and soft. He had shaved that morning, so his chin had been smooth as it brushed against my jaw. I could still smell his aftershave as clearly as if I was holding the bottle under my nose.

I was acutely aware of my heart as I remembered that tiny kiss. A phantom squeeze and increased pulse rattled my emotions; looked like my neon sign was blinking to life, finally plugged in. Maybe the maintenance guy had fallen asleep on the job and only just woke up, but it was working now. There was no mistaking the huge, shiny message. This really was love. Quite intense love, too. I groaned when my heart squeezed a little more, raising my hand to rub over the spot on my chest. I really wanted Edward to come back now so I could just touch him.

Or see him, even. I just wanted to see his face.

"You're so screwed, Swan."

I nodded at myself in the mirror. I was right about that. Totally screwed. I didn't have a great track record for falling in love, after all.

Or staying that way.

Maybe that's why it was so difficult to remember what I'd felt like when I'd been in love before. All three previous attempts had definitely ended on sour notes.

Especially the last time.

My face crinkled at the thought of Demetri, drawing up as if I'd just smelled dog poo on my shoe. Which, in a way, was a pretty accurate description of him.

Thankfully, the dog poo analogy reminded me about Jake, and my mind grabbed this new distraction with a grateful sigh. Thinking about Demetri on my uninterrupted sexy-times vacation wasn't really how I'd pictured these two days going.

Just as I had turned away from the mirror, intent on giving Esme a call to check up on Jake, the door gave off a promising sound. Muted through the wood, I could hear a plastic key card against metal, followed by a deep click. I stopped in my tracks, eyes stuck on the door.

Excitement flashed through my stomach when it pushed open, a pure bolt of tickling anticipation.

Edward was back.

He blinked a few times when he saw me, seeming surprised to find me there. Then again, I was just standing still in the middle of the room, so maybe his surprise was to be expected.

"Hi," he said, shutting the door behind him.

He sounded completely normal. I sounded like an overenthusiastic spaz.

"Edward! Hi! You're back!"

I practically skipped towards him, unable to restrain myself.

He laughed at me, lightly dropping his suitcase on the floor. With his arms free, he held them wide open for me; I tried my best not to literally jump into them, but it was difficult to resist.

I bounced up on my toes so I could hug him properly. His arms wrapped tightly around my waist, steadying me against him.

"I think I'll need to take you on more business trips from now on – I wouldn't mind being greeted like this after a meeting all the time," he said, burying his face against my neck for a few seconds.

"Maybe this is a one-time thing?" I said, teasing him. I don't know where I got the mental capacity to do such a simple task as even that, though, seeing as his smell was overloading my olfactory system and melting my brain.

"A one-time thing? I think not. As if you could resist my charms, woman."

Oh, you have no idea, buddy.

"Shut up, I so could," I mumbled against his shoulder. Would it be weird if I started biting his neck? It was just so tantalisingly close. Right there, in front of my face.

Bite it.

"I think that's a theory we need to pass through some vigorous testing – it'll never hold up unless we've got the evidence to support it." He drew away, just far enough back that he could look into my eyes. His unrestrained grin did seriously strange things to me.

"Oh yeah? And how do you suppose we do these tests?"

"I'll bring you with me on all my business trips, obviously."

"Ah, I see. And then I just sit around in hotel rooms, waiting for you to come back?"

"Yes, exactly." He wagged his eyebrows, slyly sliding his hands down my back. If I didn't know him so well, I'd think he'd missed his mark by quite a few inches, since he proceeded to slide his fingers into the back-pockets of my jeans. "And so as to test all possible outcomes and reactions, just to ensure that our hypothesis is correctly examined, I think you should do the waiting-part in varying degrees of undress."

"Oh really?" I asked, trying not to laugh. Or moan, for that matter.

His hands were on my ass, after all.

"Yes, really. I think it could be interesting to see if your level of nakedness has some correlation to your ability to resist my charms."

"So would my being more naked than dressed mean I can resist you better or worse?"

"Worse," he said immediately, pulling me a little tighter against him. "Which is good, since the more naked you are, the more I really, really don't want you to resist me." He leaned in a little closer, his nose grazing my cheek. "In fact, I think you should start taking some of those clothes off now, because we're doing an awful lot of talking when we could be doing things that are a bit more... naughty."

I laughed loudly. "Oh my god, I can't believe you just said naught-"

"Less talking, more naughty, alright?" he interrupted, before he grabbed the back of my head with one hand and kissed me.

Well, that shut me up.

A surprised squeak left me, quickly turning into a moan as his lips worked their magic. There was just something about Edward's kisses that made me feel so alive, so sensitive to every single little sensation; it was like when people said humans only use ten percent of their brain's capacity – that was what it felt like my body had been doing, before Edward. Now though, it was working at full capacity, all one hundred percent being put to good use. All my nerve endings were exploding with sensory overload.

I clutched at him, running my hand through the soft hair at the back of his head. His tongue did quick, teasing swipes over my lips, never lingering for more than a second and never letting it touch mine, no matter how much I tried. My breath left me in a huffed sigh, and I bit down on his bottom lip – I saw it as a warning, but I think he just took it for encouragement.

His fingers tightened more and more on my ass, pulling my hips closer to him. I hummed with appreciation and ground against him without even thinking about it. The way his lips faltered for a couple of seconds before coming back with more urgency, harder and moving faster, made me think he appreciated it quite a lot, too.

"I think we should start working on getting you naked," Edward said, panting as he began walking me backwards. He bent down and kissed me again before I could respond.

"I think you're right," I said in a ridiculously breathless voice as his lips wandered, exploring the area around my ear and down my neck. "Also, I think we should get you naked too, because absence makes thing grow firmer and that should, as a result, mean that the firmer things are, the... oh... the more-... the more I'll miss it. Thus making things even firmer again."

All of that made perfect sense in my head.


"I don't know, just get your clothes off," I moaned, shoving my hands under his suit jacket.

It felt horribly cliché to leave a trail of clothes from the living room to the bed, but with Edward's hand cupping my breasts while his lips and teeth and tongue did crazy things to my neck, I really couldn't care less.

He quickly guided me to lie across the bed, following me down to continue kissing every bit of skin he could reach.

I had a feeling uninterrupted sexy-times were about to commence.

"Oh, god... I love it when you do that," I told him, lifting my head to watch him nip his way down my chest. I groaned loudly, my eyes frantically following every movement of his lips as he neared my nipples.

He hummed deeply, flicking his tongue against the sensitive tip. I shuddered, my eyes closing without my consent. I felt the mattress dip under my ass as he planted his knees there, forcing my already spread thighs to accommodate him more generously.

Neither one of us had the patience for teasing anymore; a few quick bites and sucks was all I could take before my hands were on his shoulders and in his hair, pushing him down, down, down. He followed my lead willingly, dragging his lips across my skin and making me shiver as his warm breath contrasted with the chill in the air.

He glanced up at me as he slid to the floor, pressing a single kiss just above my underwear. His eyes were dark and heavy-lidded, holding mine as he tugged the fabric from my hips and down my legs.

"Oh, god..."

Firm and rough, his fingers dug into my thighs, spreading them and holding them open. I moaned, jerking my hips towards him. Blood was thundering through my veins, throbbing insistently between my legs. I wanted him there, his lips and tongue and fingers – I needed him there. Without taking his eyes off mine, he turned his head just enough to quickly nip at my inner thigh with his teeth. I hissed, reaching down to rake my fingers through his hair.

I tugged. He followed.

Obscenities fell from my lips when he put his mouth on me. This. This was exactly what I had been expecting, what I had been daydreaming about for a week. This feeling of doing something so private with Edward, of spending some time completely forgetting that there were other people in the world... This was what I had been expecting out of this trip.

"So fucking good, oh my god...!"

His long, deep groan, heavy with approval and enjoyment, made a swell of heat rise in the area of his ministrations and I gasped. Knowing that he was enjoying what he was doing turned me on beyond belief, and my back arched off the bed for a few seconds – the pleasure of it all was shockingly intense.

"Oh, god... Edward, please! More, more... fuck- oh, god!"

He was absolutely relentless. He didn't give me even one second to catch my breath, his fingers digging harder and harder into my thighs, egging me on. The fervent hunger I could feel surging through him, the urgency of his movements, the muffled sounds coming from him... I felt like I was losing my mind. It didn't take long at all before he had me bucking wildly against him, clutching at his hair and the sheets beneath me. My head was thrown back, my mouth open wide as I gasped, moaned and swore.

I felt it growing, swelling, rushing forward, the undeniable grip on my body forcing me willingly closer. Closer, closer, closer, almost, almost, so close, so... so...

"I'm coming, I'm coming, oh god, don't stop, don't stop, don't sto-... Oh!"

My fast-paced ramblings cut short as everything exploded, shattering, tugging and pulling me under. Heat and pleasure and mind-numbing intensity shot through my every vein, every nerve, gripping my body; shaking me, making me buckle and tremble and arch and call out his name. It owned me completely for an all-too-short eternity.

"H-holy... shit. Holy... shit, oh my... god... oh, god, oh... fuck..."

My legs went unattractively floppy.

I gasped and shuddered as I felt Edward's lips against my stomach, hot and fervent. I still had a hand in his hair, and I pulled it ever so gently. I hoped he could feel the wordless 'thank you' imbedded in the gesture, but something told me he was too busy thinking of how to most efficiently get his underwear off in the least amount of time.

I kind of was, too.

Just the thought of having him above me, between my thighs, heavy and warm and moving with me, kissing me, feeling his muscles under my hands, and the thrusting...

I clenched hard, aching to feel something there instead of just emptiness. I was still throbbing and pulsing, barely recovered from the orgasm he'd given me, but I wanted more, immediately. I gripped his hair harder and pulled him up to my face.

I pushed him to stand in front of me and he dragged me up by my arms. I wasted no time in yanking his underwear down, exposing him to me. His mouth dropped open and he groaned when I took him in my hands, feeling the hot weight of him. I could feel him growing harder under my touch, the blood thrumming so close to the surface. He watched with endless fascination as I leaned in and gave him a few teasing licks, kisses and bites all but where he really wanted it.

But this wasn't about teasing. It just wasn't that kind of occasion.


A few quick pumps and a rather thorough exploration of the tip was all the patience I could spare. I wanted him inside me as soon as possible, and while I usually loved watching him come undone while I did this, I had plans to come undone at least one more time myself.

He immediately followed me when I shuffled back a little on the bed, making room for him between my legs. I clutched at his back, pulling him down over me and leaning in to his kisses. Our mouths were everywhere, our minds too distracted and our bodies too urgent to coordinate our lips properly.

"Do you miss me more, now that you're naked?" Edward said, panting harshly. I think he meant for it to come out as more of a joke, but he didn't really succeed. A small groan left him as he placed himself against me, and I gasped at feeling him so close. This was one of my favourite moments, that little space of time before he first filled me. It always felt better than I remembered, bringing with it a small sense of surprise.

"I always miss you," I told him through my own panting, right before he pushed forward. The last word turned into another gasp.

His eyes snapped up to mine then, something unidentifiable mixed with surprise flashing across his face. He stared at me as he moved forward, mouth hanging open and forehead furrowed with his pleasure. I couldn't keep track of what was happening in his eyes, as one emotion after the other seemed to appear only to be replaced less than a second later.

I dug my nails into his back, feeling his hips meeting my inner thighs. He paused there, and I shivered – the pleasure was agonising, and I couldn't decide if the torture of him stilling wasn't actually just as amazing as feeling him move within me.

He licked his lips, that unnamed emotion etching itself into the angles of his face. I felt like I couldn't breathe as he stared at me like that. His eyes were tender as he bent down to kiss me slowly, softly. He lingered with his lips, leaning his forehead against mine. I watched his eyelids close and he took a deep breath, blowing it out slowly. I felt the warm air softly roll over my chin and down my throat, somehow feeling warm against my overheated skin. I felt the muscles of his back steadily shift under my hands. I felt his hips flexing just a millisecond before he slowly pulled out, just an inch.

We both groaned at the delicious sensation; his skin and hardness slipped easily from me, but I could feel everything. I clenched around him, my body's natural reactions taking over. A shiver ran up my spine, cascading over my skin in tiny goosebumps; I was so sensitive down there that I could already tell I might be able to come undone more than once.

His eyes opened again, locking with mine. He moved then, setting the pace with a slow thrust. I moaned breathlessly, tightening my hold on his back. With a flex of my hips, I took him deeper, watching out of the corner of my eye how his lips trembled around a shaky exhale.

I had no idea what had gotten in to him, but the atmosphere between us gradually transformed as we began to move. Going from his urgent behaviour just a minute earlier, I would have thought this would be fast and hard, loud and sweaty, but something had changed. I could feel it, this weird sort of... intense calm, radiating from him to me. Instead of a raging fire, this was like red-hot embers - this quiet heat felt more intimate and I revelled in it, feeling its bone-deep warmth spreading through me. I angled my face up to kiss him, our harsh breathing clashing between our open lips.

There were no words needed for this. I was suddenly overwhelmed by my feelings for him, by how much I really did love him. I cupped his face with one of my hands, letting the other grasp onto his lower back. A small groan left him, his eyes closing under the pleasure. He was so beautiful I just couldn't look away.

My earlier assumption had been right - my body was apparently feeling generous with its pleasure, and I quickly came again.

And again.

And again.

I felt like I barely had time to catch my breath, but I didn't question it. This so very rarely happened for me, and I was just going to enjoy it.

Edward had a serious look of concentration on his face throughout, carefully listening to what I needed. He ground against my most sensitive spot until I could barely speak. He went faster when I begged him, harder when I pleaded; he slowed down when he wanted to tease me, and he whispered dirty things in my ear when I was close; he bit me, kissed me, licked me and grabbed me, held me down, pinned me to the bed with his strokes while making me fly.

When he couldn't hang on any longer, he burrowed his face against my neck, groaning in a deep voice.

"Fuck, fuck... Bella, oh shit, I'm-..."


"Yeah, shit...! Oh god, you're making me come, fuck."

"I wanna see you," I panted, tugging at his hair. He swore harshly, lifting his head as his thrust turned erratic and instinctual. He fruitlessly fought to keep his eyes open, the sexiest sounds falling from his lips. I couldn't help but moan at the sight of him.

His whole face scrunched up, and a strangled cry tore from him as he stilled for just a second; he looked paralysed by the sensation. Then his body took over again, frantically trying to make it last as long as possible. He gasped and whimpered and groaned as he started shaking, hips slamming against me in a few final thrusts.

"Oh, fuck... fuck, fuck, fuck... fuck, shit, fuck..."

A breathless laugh left me at his very vulgar word vomit. That was exactly how I felt, too.

He slowly sank down on me, pushing his face back against my neck. Trembles went down his spine, making his muscles spasm and twitch.

I wrapped my arms tightly around him, feeling him grow heavier and more relaxed above me. His rapid breathing against my neck made me shiver pleasurably.

We lay in silence for a minute; I didn't know about him, but I used that time trying to reassemble my scrambled mind.

After a little while, he breathed deeply, shifting on top of me. With a soft, lingering kiss to my shoulder, he arranged himself sluggishly at my side, groaning to himself. I clamped my legs together, forcing myself to get to my feet – the bedding may have been rumpled, but we were still on top of it, and sex had the annoying habit of being kind of messy. Just the thought of the hotel staff finding a 'suspicious' stain... I just couldn't deal.

I quickly swiped Edward's shirt off the floor and brought it with me to the bathroom.

When business was taken care of, I studied myself in the mirror for a few seconds; flushed face, messy hair, glassy eyes and Edward's shirt buttoned across my chest. There was absolutely no mistaking what I had been up to.

Edward stared at my legs as I walked back to him; he'd moved under the covers now and lay against the pillows, so I burrowed as close to his side as I could. I planted my nose against his neck, kind of determined to just keep it there for a few hours.

"I'd say that was a pretty successful first test of our theory," he said after a while, squeezing my hip slightly.

"Yeah, seemed pretty solid. We should probably do a few more tests, though, just to really build a strong base for our research paper."

He hummed in agreement. "If only my labs at school had been like this – I might have enjoyed them a bit more then."

I laughed. "True, but now we get to feel all scientific and smart about our incredibly original experiment."

"Do you think we'll have a shot at a Nobel prize?"

"I don't think they give out of a Nobel Prize for Sex, baby. Sorry."

"Damn. Well, maybe we can get it published in Playboy or something. Same thing, really."

"Totally. I hope we get to meet The Hef."

He laughed, the sound rumbling in his chest under my ear. "That would be pretty cool."

We lapsed into silence for a bit after that. I closed my eyes, just enjoying the feeling of having him so close. It was amazing what his presence did to the atmosphere of the room – it no longer felt cold and uninviting. I felt like I could actually enjoy it now.

Edward fingered the fabric covering my hip. "You know... I'd planned to take you out to dinner tonight, but now I don't know if we can do that."

I raised my head from his shoulder. "What? Why?"

He shrugged, as if it were no big deal. "Because I don't think I can actually let you wear anything else besides my shirt for the rest of the day, and my hand would get tired after punching every guy who laid eyes on you."

I laughed loudly, leaning in to kiss his cheek. "But then you'll miss the pretty dress I brought with me. I wanted to wear it out for dinner tonight."

"As much as I love seeing you in a dress, I don't think it will be sexier than you wearing my shirt. Sorry."

"But this is a special dress."

His eyebrow rose sceptically. "Oh, really? How come?"

"Well, it's cut low in the back, so I can't wear a bra, first of all. Second, it's so tight that panty-lines can be really visible, so I always wear a-..." I then gasped, feigning dismay – quite successfully, too, if I did say so myself. I cast a heartbroken glance at my suitcase. "Oh no..."

"What?" Edward said, actually looking concerned. Maybe my acting wasn't crap enough for him to realise I was just playing him.

"I forgot to pack my thong," I told him, my voice dropping to a slightly more seductive tone. I looked back at him, watching his concerned frown melt away to a slightly glassy-eyed expression. "This isn't good, Edward."

"O-oh?" He swallowed.

I shook my head slowly, leaning in towards him. My lips hovered over his as I spoke.

"No, it isn't good at all. Because if we do go out, and I do wear this dress... not only will I have to go without a bra, but I won't be able to wear any panties at all..."

I watched his eyes widen.

"At all?"

I shook my head again, feeling a suggestive smirk toying at my lips.

He looked down my body as best he could, seeming to get a little stuck on my boobs pressed against his chest.

"W-well, I-... I mean, we wouldn't want you to-... to have brought the dress for nothing, right?"

"Right..." I whispered, slowly snaking a leg over his hips until I was straddling him. A quiet groan left him as his hands found my naked thighs.

"You're a devil-woman," he whispered, his fingers clenching rhythmically against my skin.

"I try," I said, bending down to kiss him deeply.

I had a feeling dinner would be very interesting.

The dinner will be in the next chapter, which hopefully shouldn't take as long as this one did. I really do apologise for being so slow with updating – I know it sucks. You guys really are amazing.

In unrelated news, I just wanted to quickly mention that I have an entry in the Fic A Pic contest, hosted by Souplover9, Spanglemaker9 and TallulahBelle. You can read the entry on my profile, or go to the contest page to read all the entries (and vote between 13-22 February, if you want): http:/ www. / ~ficapiccontest

I think that's it from me. Guys, thank you so much for reading – I hope you enjoyed it.

Until next time,