Prenuptual Posturing

Caution: Lemons for sexuality and occasional bad language. Rated M.

Fourth in the series "Unforeseen Events". The countdown to the wedding is on. The Cullens have houseguests galore. When interfering visitors come to stay, the ride gets rough for E & B.

Blame the title on my husband, Anthony, who suggested it:) Thanks, Anthony and Emmadtf2, my favourite reviewer and pen pal, for nudging me to update the series. You are my Betas.

I own nothing. Please do not sue me. This series is a tribute to Stephenie Meyer. When I'm done playing with her people, I'll put them back in her books and Summit's movies.

Characters: Edward and Bella, the Cullens and Hales, Charlie, the Dwyers, the Denalis, Angela and Ben, Seth

Chapter 1: The Calm Before the Storm

Day 3 before the wedding

Edward's pov

Bella's shift in breathing indicated that she was about to wake. It was nearly 8 am, late for her to be rising, but we had been run ragged so much with the wedding coming that she had not been getting up as early as usual. Since Bella was planning to forgo sleep permanently in the near future, I wanted her to enjoy as much of it as possible while she still could. The light was starting to pour in the long windows, and soon it would wake her.

I had not thought to close the drapes the night before. Carlisle and my brothers had brought me home late after the Leather and Chains Convention inVegas, and I had discovered Bella asleep in my bed. Apparently she had told Charlie that she'd be spending a couple of days with me, since we were so busy we weren't getting any time together. Charlie had accepted it without too much protest, thank goodness.

The Cullen men had obviously enjoyed the convention, and I didn't need to rely on mind-reading to know it. They had bought things. I had only been brave enough to ask questions. I had asked a lot of them, and having received quite a bit of education, I was having naughty thoughts that wanted expression.

I was spooned up next to Bella on the side of the bed closest to the window, counting down the hours until I'd be a married man. 79 hours left. My diamond-like skin was causing prisms to dance on the ceiling and walls. My lips were close to Bella's cheek, and I drank in her warm, heady scent. My smell was still on her from the previous night. It was intoxicating. At the same time, I felt so peaceful that I was almost sleepy. It was difficult, being unable to sleep. To sleep would be liberating.

At least I could dream. Bella had given me that. I shifted my weight slowly onto my left elbow, and carefully used my right hand to brush back the sheets and expose Bella's upper body. That was better. So lovely. All mine.

Her dark hair was fanned out all over the pillow, and she looked like an angel lying there. I was aware, however, that her thoughts were not entirely angelic these days. The women folk around here had seen to that. I didn't have to! So why not enjoy it? I decided to make Bella's first thoughts of the day a bit ... titillating.

I took my right hand and brushed it tenderly across her forehead to push back her heavy hair. Then, I trailed my fingers down to her nipples and drew circles around them. They peaked, and a gentle blush warmed the surrounding flesh. I was really going to miss that when she was a vampire. But I looked at her, and at the contrasting alienness of my arm, which was sending dancing prisms of colour all over her, and decided there were certain other things I would not miss when she became one of us. Like her fragility.

I continued playing until Bella became aroused enough to notice my presence. I loved having her sleep over at my house. How was I going to manage without her for a whole night, three days from now? Neither of us would probably get a minute's rest. I should ask Jasper if he could float an air of calmness through her window on the night before the wedding. She would need all the sleep she could get for the honeymoon.

Bella's breathing changed again and I knew she was awake. "Well, aren't we dazzling this morning. My, my, what busy hands you've got," she garbled endearingly. She never spoke clearly when she first woke up. It was so cute that I had trouble refraining from laughing. Bella trailed her own fingers up and down my forearm, playing with the hair and looking at my skin reflect the sun.

"The better to love you with, my dear." I licked her throat from the shoulder to the jugular. Bella moaned softly with pleasure, and a small purr excaped me.

"I was just wondering how we might make the third morning of our countdown more memorable," I flirted silkily, making the infinity symbol again.

"Mmmm, I can think of lots of ways," Bella turned to lie flat on her back and tangled her fingers in my hair. I moved my left hand under her neck to support her head better, and I hovered over her, keeping most of my weight away from her delicate form. Bella pulled me down to kiss her mouth. I happily obliged her, running my tongue around her lips and pulling her lower lip with both of mine. Meanwhile, that hand of mine, that possessed a mind of its own, was doing its best to get her wet. Bella's breath hitched and held. I backed off for a second and evaluated her.

"Breathe, Bella!" I reminded her for the zillionth time. You'd have thought she'd be used to doing this with me by now.

"I'm not done kissing you yet!" she complained, as she pulled me back down to her smiling lips. I surrendered with a groan. We were just starting to really get into it when I heard a bunch of voices and hurried footsteps in the hallway outside my bedroom door. What! This again?

I was getting so sick of the interruptions. I'd be so glad when we got to the honeymoon, where we would not have people bugging us every five minutes, despite my nerves. Where was a couple supposed to get any privacy around here?

Hah, what was I thinking! The only other couple around here that cared about keeping things private was Carlisle and Esme. My siblings couldn't care less. Why would they care if somebody else didn't like to advertise?

Should I run out now and deflect the group, or ignore them? Hell! I was tired of their rudeness. Maybe we ought to give them a show, if that was what they really wanted. I decided to keep kissing Bella and ignore whoever it was. I shut out his thoughts and went back to what I'd been doing.

Suddenly, my bedroom door flew open and banged into the wall behind it, leaving a dent in the drywall. I heard a handful of beings think "uh-oh" and then those individuals disappeared. Good. Oh, not good. One intrepid soul did not depart. I couldn't place the footfalls and his mind was blank. Rude s.o.b.! Standing right beside us. Eyes still shut, I started to count to 100,000. Someone wanted to die today, and since I needed to keep my temper to prevent a murder, I thought I'd better try to calm down.

Holy freakolies! This is better than the magazines that I found at Charlie's! Maybe I can steal another one to take home today. Wonder how long Edward and Bella'll let me watch...

I winced. That was much more than I wanted to know, and the young pup was the last person I wanted to see standing there. Oh, why did I always have to make such bad decisions? Somebody just needed to put me out of Bella's misery before I could do any more damage. I rested my head against Bella's shoulder and sighed. I wondered why she wasn't screaming yet.

"Seth," I growled, "It is not polite to enter when someone's door is closed." I chanced looking up at him. He was goggling at Bella. Oh, man! Boobs. Real boobs!!! And Bella, so unfailingly shy, was not acting embarrassed. She was glaring at him wordlessly with teary eyes that ought to be burning a hole through him, and letting him look.

"Why don't you take a picture? It'll last longer," she snarled. Seth shook himself and attempted, without much success, to move his eyes somewhere more acceptable. His eyes weren't cooperating. They kept wandering back to Bella's recumbent form.

"Uhm, ah... sorry." He didn't sound very sorry.

"Seth!" I barked, "Why are you here? What do you want?"

To touch Bella's boobs. I wonder what they feel like? "Uhm, ah, Edward?"

"What!?"

"Uhm ... sorry, Emmett was trying to make brownies for the humans that will stop by this week, and now the kitchen is on fire."

"What !‚Äč?" I knelt straight up, giving Seth a better show than ever. Bella propped herself up on her elbows and gawked at him incredulously.

"Well, your oven's really old and I don't think Emmett knows what he is doing and now-"

"Save it, kid! Get out of the house. You don't stand around when a house is burning down. Turn your brain on!" I scrambled to my feet and into my black silk pajama pants, and pulled Bella out of bed and held her robe open for her. Seth gave her the once over.

"Look here kid, I know you're only fourteen, but if you keep looking at my mate that way I am going to have to do serious damage to you."

"Sorry, I can't help it. Bella, I don't suppose you'd let me-"

"Don't even think about finishing that sentence, Seth. I don't want to know. Go ask a Denali. They would probably let you. Skanks." Bella finished tying her robe and looked around for her Converse sneakers. I went over to the end window and swung it open. When I turned back, intending to jump with Bella out into the tree, I got a surprise: one embarrassed Seth, no Bella. I shut the window and made for the door, intent on flagging her down. Seth followed me like the puppy he was.

Bella was marching down the stairs like an army general. My siblings were cowering with anticipation at the foot of the stairs. They were scared of the little human girl. Thick, oily black smoke was roiling out of the kitchen.

"What the Hell do you think you're doing? You really are a bunch of saps! Get the fuck outside before you get hurt. Morons." Bella shoved a couple of the vampires ahead of her. If they hadn't been so intimidated, she'd never have managed to move them. Mission accomplished, she pulled me and Seth out the front door, and then, incredibly, she turned around and went back inside.

"Where do you think you're going?" I demanded hotly, grabbing her wrist near the dining room wall.

"To see how bad it is." Bella turned around again, to go in. I followed her. She turned on me.

"Oh, Edward, get the Hell out. I'm just going to peek in the doorway, and your venom is flammable. I'm safer than you are right now. At least I won't combust," she said sarcastically. "Unless it's caused by temper," she added under her breath.

"Fine, but stay where I can see you." I stood a little closer to the front door.

Bella peered through the doorway into the black smoke, and walked straight into the kitchen.

"Bella! What do you think you're doing?" I cried. I considered going into shock.

"It's alright. The brownies are on fire, but the fire is contained inside the oven. How old is this oven anyway? 1930?" She put a pot-lid over one of the burners and got a pitcher of water and dumped it in the oven and slammed it shut. The wood fizzled and the fire went out. Bella threw open the kitchen window. She got a tea towel and flapped it at the smoke.

By this time, my siblings had crawled back in to watch Bella work. The four of them were crouching behind me, peering through the doorway anxiously. Seth came to stand with them, arms crossed, grinning. It had been one of the best mornings of his life, bested only by the day he helped kill Riley and the day he learned how to choke the chicken.

After the smoke cleared, Bella spun around to face us.

"Emmett!" she barked.

"Yes, Bella?" Emmett cringed.

Emmett, you will not cook ever again. Is it understood?"

"I was only tr-"

"Is it understood?"

"Yes'm."

Jasper and Alice!"

"Yes, Bella?" they chorused.

"Go buy 2 fire extinguishers and about 15 smoke detectors and the appropriate batteries."

"Ooh, shopping! said Alice. She ran upstairs to get her purse, then reappeared, and towed Jasper out.

"Rosalie!" Rosalie jumped like she'd been scalded.

"Yes, Bella?"

Turn on every exhaust fan in the house and wipe down the walls and countertops with some bleach. We're having guests soon, and it smells awful."

"Yes, Bella." She hurried away.

"Edward!"

"Yes, love?"

"Go look on the internet and see who can deliver a new oven here, today. And get an electrician, unless one of you can do wiring, because we're going to need a special receptacle for the plug."

"Yes, love." I turned to leave.

"Oh, Edward?" I turned back.

"Yes, love?"

"Make sure it is an electric oven. No gas near flammable life forms. No more wood-burners like this antiquated piece of crap, either. Understood?"

"Yes, love." I walked out.

"Emmett!"

"Yes, Bella?"

"Come and get this char-broiled abomination and take it outside and bury it. Do not attempt to save the pan, it is toast."

"Yes'm."

"Seth!"

"Yes ma'am?"

"Thank you. Next time there's an emergency, knock."

"Edward!" I stuck my nose back in the door.

"Yes, Bella?"

"I'm going upstairs to shower. Join me when you're done."

"Yes ma'am!" I knew there was a reason why I loved her.

"Wait, Edward." Bella stomped out onto the front porch, beckoning me to follow. She scanned the trees. "Emmett!?" she bellowed.

Emmett skulked out of the forest, minus the brownie pan. "Yes'm?"

"Edward is going to hit you for me, and you are going to stand still and take it like a Bimbo." Emmett cringed.

"Yes'm."

"Edward? Don't hit him hard enough to bruise him. I don't want the wedding photos ruined."

"Yes ma'am!" I allowed my frustration to boil over for a second. Emmett braced himself. Not the face, brother, please, not the face! I hauled back my arm and socked him hard enough on the jaw to rattle his teeth. Emmett crashed to the ground and regarded me, wide-eyed. When did you learn to hit that hard, bro?

"That wasn't hard, Emmett. Had I hit you hard, you'd be searching for your head out there somewhere." Holy flying buffalo pucks. The Bimbo's fuse is still short. Bella'd better take him back to the forest.

"I feel much better now, thanks Bella," I smiled crookedly.

"Well done, Edward. Emmett? You took it like a man." Bella turned and flounced back into the house.

Emmett sat on the ground, looking after Bella and holding his jaw. "Edward? I have to say, your mate is going to be one scary newborn ... but at least she's fun."

"Yeah. I'd follow her advice about staying out of the kitchen, though. If you try this again, she might put you in the oven. Oh, Emmett? No more duct tape, don't even suggest it to her."

I went in the living room and turned on the computer. Within ten minutes, I had arranged for the purchase and delivery, this morning, of a new ceramic-top electric range, and booked an electrician to come out after lunch. I shut the computer down, and went upstairs to join Bella, whistling.