This was my very first ever fan fiction. i began this story almost a year ago, not long after seeing Twilight the movie for the first time. I look back on it now, and cringe at some of the things I'd now do differently as a writer, but i'm hoping you'll enjoy the story anyway. it has been very well received *on another site* and multiple readers have requested that i post it here, as well. I am posting it in its original form, rather than trying to go back and re-write to suit my current skill level. I hope you can overlook some of its quirks.
Mind Over Matter is set in the 'blank period' at the end of Eclipse / beginning of Breaking Dawn, between the newborn battle and the wedding. I was always dissatisfied with the progression of their relationship from barely able to kiss, to going on their honeymoon. In this corner of their AU, Bella and Edward expand and deepen their physical and emotional relationship in preparation for their impending marriage.
This is a topic that has been now covered by many writers. Please keep in mind that I began this story last November, before many of them had been written. Since that time, quite a few WONDERFUL fics have tackled this subject with beautiful results. I hope you enjoy my version.
posting this story will not interfere with my work on other projects, and i hope to upload a new chapter of M.O.M. once a week, perhaps more, as time allows.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Twilight series, nor any of the characters created by Stephenie Meyer. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.
I slid Bella's bedroom window open, and climbed in. I knew she was still downstairs with Charlie. I waited in the rocking chair, in the dark corner of her room, where I have spent so many nights watching her sleep.
I heard her wish Charlie good night, and then her footsteps on the stairs. She rummaged around in the bathroom, and then I heard the shower. She would take a long one tonight, still trying to get rid of the memories of the recent battle. Eventually the water shut off, and I heard her dress and hang up her towel.
She came into the room and closed the door behind her. The chair creaked under my weight. She nearly jumped out of her skin at the sound.
"It's just me, Bella."
She sighed, and walked to the bed, patting the spot next to her.
"I'm glad you came. I hate trying to sleep without you."
She wiggled under the covers to protect herself from the ice of my presence. I lay down next to her, my head against hers. I would stay like this until she fell asleep, her breathing even, murmuring my name in her dreams, the perfume of her breathing soothing to my mind.
"I've been thinking, …about our deal," she said, "about getting married."
I hoped she was considering waiting another year to be changed, even getting excited about college. Or perhaps coming to her senses about the demand she'd made for our honeymoon. I kissed her head, buried my face in the clean smell of her damp hair.
"Yes, love…?" I didn't want to appear too hopeful. I knew she would be instantly defensive.
"Well, I've been thinking about my request. About our wedding night."
I froze, afraid of what she was up to. There were some things on which I was willing to compromise, but we had a deal. I would change her myself, but only after we were married. Her unfortunate stipulation was that she fully experience our wedding night as a human. "I…"
"Wait, Edward. Let me finish. Remember the first time I sat next to you in biology? It took all your effort not to kill me on the spot, and then you took a week in Denali to recuperate."
"I remember." The lab table where I sat still held the marks from my fingers digging into the wood as I fought to retain control.
"And then, our day in the meadow? Even after weeks together in class, and that drive back form Port Angeles, you could barely stand my face near yours."
"I remember Bella, and that's why I'm so terrified of hurting you, of even killing you, if I ever overestimate my control. You have no idea how conflicted I am to agree to that particular demand."
"How do we manage it then, Edward, laying here like this, night after night? How are you able to stop me, stop yourself, when all I want to do is feel your hands on my body?"
"Practice." As soon as the word was out of my mouth, I knew what she was getting at.
"Exactly. Tell me, if all you have practiced is laying beside me while I sleep, how well do you think you will be able to rein yourself in on our wedding night? If you're not ready, prepared, you WILL kill me."
"Bella, I, I can't. I can't. I won't negotiate this with you"
"Edward, you have to. You have to build up to this. Do you think that all of a sudden on our honeymoon you'll be able to do more than kiss me as usual, without knowing if you can stop, without knowing if you can keep yourself from killing me when we finally make love?" Her voice was soft, almost trembling, pleading. "I don't want to spend my wedding night alone in our bed, with you angry at yourself, unable to touch me like a husband."
"I work at it. When I'm away from you, alone. I force myself to think about you."
"Is that enough, Edward?"
"It's torture enough, knowing what I might do to you."
She slowly sat up in bed, and wriggled out from under the blankets. The thin cotton of her pajamas and the pants and shirt I wore would be the only barriers between us, aside from my fear. I could see the goose bumps on her skin, the subtle tremor that ran through her body as she lay back down quietly beside me. I wanted to run away, I wanted to kiss her, I wanted to devour her. I wanted to erase the images now in my head.
"Touch me, Edward."
"Bella!" I hissed. She didn't move.
I kept my hands to myself. Her scent awoke desires in me I couldn't acknowledge. I rolled from my back to face her, my mouth inches from hers. "I love you Bella, and I can't do this."
Silently, she reached out to touch me with one hand to caress my face. Our eyes were locked, mine pleading her not to push. She kissed me, her hand resting on my chest. The feather touch of her warm lips on mine was hesitant. I closed my eyes again and kissed her back. Normally this was all the encouragement she needed to mold her body to mine, to run her hands through my hair and pull me closer, to part her lips and taste mine, to urge me on with the movements of her body. She knew from experience I would only be able to handle a few moments of that before it would have to stop. But this time she stayed perfectly still as I kissed her. I felt the pull of her blood, the pulsing at her throat only millimeters away. My body wanted to accept her invitation, to feel my skin on hers. Behind it all was the fear of what I might do to her next.
"Bella…," my voice shook with the effort to resist.
"Edward, don't push me away. Just one hand. Will yourself to touch me, Edward. Will yourself to control it. You tasted my blood, in Phoenix, and I survived. I know you can do this."
She was right. I closed my eyes and breathed deep of her floral scent, agonizing. You can do this, I told myself. It's just my hand.
I lifted my hand and froze above her heart. Where to touch her? What can I do, how much can I take, how far can I push myself?
She took her hand off my chest and slowly rolled onto her back, her arm now under her head, her eyes still fixed on mine. My hand hovered above her, quivering from the restraint. The moonlight from the window outlined her shape. The thin cotton shirt she slept in was snug across her breasts, I could hear her pounding heart, see it making the fabric tremble in time to its beat. Her knees were bent, soft flannel draping her legs and belly. I was astounded at her control, to lay there and not reach out to me.
I put my hand lightly on her ribcage, below one breast, my fingers wrapped around her side. She gasped, and held her breath, eyes locked on my face.
"Breathe." The command, to myself as much as to her, came out more of a groan.
She closed her eyes and exhaled, then inhaled deeply, intoxicating herself with my own scent. I fought to focus. I was amazed at the fragility of her ribs beneath her top, the sound of the air moving in and out, the oxygen enriching her blood, the fragrance of her breath in my face. I hesitantly moved my thumb, grazing the outer curve of her beautiful breast, once, twice. I have had my arms around this body before, caressed this face, felt the urgency in an all too brief embrace. But never have I felt this tied to her, felt the vulnerability in both of us, before this touch. She gave me this exquisite moment, and asked for nothing else. I have not compromised my conscience, she has let me find my own limit. I can touch her.
I lowered my head to lay it against hers again, keeping my hand on her warm, delicate body, and closed my eyes to remember every sensation of this moment. The warm curve of her breast, the crushing tension of my restraint, the satisfaction of the accomplishment in this one simple touch.
His delicious scent surrounded me. I could feel his cool breath on my face. He slowly moved his thumb along the curve of my covered breast. My entire consciousness was focused on that small caress. His hand was the center of the universe. My imagination ran wild all at once; my hands on his nakedness, his hands exploring, his weight above me, my body heating his, my legs twined around his waist, our movements. I swallowed hard, my throat dry. I had to let him decide, he had to be in command of this moment if we had any chance to build on it. We both battled mind over matter, to protect each other, to protect the future we both wanted.
We stayed like that for a long time, our only movements were her ragged breathing, and my hand. "You're so beautiful, Bella, so warm and perfect. I love you so much."
"I love you, too," she whispered. Hearing her say those words, so quietly and tenderly, was like the sun on my face, or a soothing balm on a wound. Calming. Satisfying. I moved my hand around to her back and pulled her against me, burying my face in her hair. I hadn't realized the immense tension in her body until she sighed, and relaxed into my arms. We'd both crossed the biggest hurdle we faced – trusting ourselves and each other, allowing us to work through this. We were silent a long time, absorbing our new closeness.
"I know you've thought of me as a prude, or some sort of twisted ascetic, but I'm not. I have appetites, Bella. I experience intense hunger, feel desire, and have vivid fantasies. Humans are sexual beings, and becoming a vampire multiplies all the physical urges we already have, and we become instinctual, hunger-driven beings dominated by our lusts. That's why the first year is so hard – we're consumed with bloodlust, a desire so intense that most of us confuse it with carnal lust, and it all becomes fused into one thing. Feeding can be very arousing, to us. But the lifestyle we lead with Carlisle is based in resisting the urge to take human blood, allowing us to live amongst you all these years rather than looking at the world like an enormous grocery store. Which is how I was able to resist you, at first. Well, sort of resist you."
She smiled at me, remembering how I had avoided her for a week. I kissed her cheek.
"Nothing I'd ever experienced in my entire existence was as enticing as you. On top of that, consider how I was raised - in a time where sexuality wasn't discussed, wasn't explored openly, or celebrated like it is now, at least it wasn't in the Masen household. Your first kiss happened at the altar, pleasuring yourself was a shameful sin, and intercourse was intended only for reproduction. Some acts that are commonplace now were absolutely taboo back then, ones that only the dirtiest, most depraved and debauched people would perform. So, when we are turned, we essentially stay the same as the day we were bitten. We stop aging, we stop growing, our personalities are essentially fixed. We can learn, we develop relationships, we can adapt to change around us, but the kernel of who we are, the things ingrained in us before we were turned, don't really change. So I have all the human needs within me, compounded with all the vampire stuff, at war with an upbringing that precludes me from acting on any of it. I guess in that regard I was well suited to join Carlisle."
She kissed me this time, and remained silent.
"I've always refused to entertain thoughts of women in a purely sexual context. It degrades not only them but myself, as well. I never imagined I'd experience a relationship anything like what Carlisle and Esme, or my brothers and sisters, have. And then I met you. I desperately want to share all of those things with you, Bella. But I'm terrified of hurting you. I agree that I have to work on this, and I know that some magical switch won't suddenly be flipped on our weding day allowing me to be a husband to you. But I also need to work on the part of me that spent the last century repressing it all, ignoring the sexual revolution swirling around me in a million thoughts, every day for the last 50 years. It took a hundred years to refine the delicate balance you see before you – the physical desires of a teenage boy, a strict Victorian upringing, and an instinctual vampiric need for instant gratification. My brothers and sisters don't generally appreciate the subtlety in that balance. They think of me as frustrated and repressed, or closet homosexual. That couldn't be further from the truth. I know that the way I was raised was stilted, even appalling by today's standards. I can't change that. I want a physical relationship with you Bella, I want to give you every pleasure you deserve, I want to share everything our bodies are capable of. I do want that. I'm trying to get there, I just can't for a moment forget what I am."
I touched his face, kissing him softly. He responded in kind. All I wanted to do was cling to him, and never let go. It took all my concentration not to ruin this moment. I wanted him to know I was capable of restraint too, and that we could do this if we continued to trust each other. I could feel his conflicted will, to devour me, to claim my body, to preserve my soul. It only endeared him to me more.
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