A/N: Yes, some of you may have thought I'd been thrown under a bus. And I know that some of you have hoped perhaps since I left you hanging here. I deserve your ire, and I also admire all of you have been so kind, inquiring after me and my story. Suffice it to say my past year has included many challenges and some terrible experiences. But this is the moment... I am in the middle of a big audition schedule for my son who is applying to high power music schools across the country, and I have been hired to be the musical director for a high school theatre department that is huge, well funded, and has a 35 year history of creating Tony, Grammy, Emmie, and every other award you can name. Anyway, my health is better and my life is vastly improved.
I am determined to finish out this Part I of the story, and push on to its conclusion in Part II.
I hope you are still interested in "Ascension" and you will enjoy the ride.
This probably should or could have been a separately published edit, but I am throwing it out there for the fun of it.
With a start, Bella's eyes flashed open. Rubbing the evidence of quiet sleep away, she smiled with pleasure of the sight of Edward with a guitar.
"I'm sorry, love," he murmured softly. "Did I wake you?"
"What are you doing, Edward…?" she murmured, not yet connected to reality
"Go back to sleep, Bella" he said coolly, effortlessly strumming exotic chords. "It's a surprise.
"Oh? Are there any surprises left?" she chuckled lasciviously. The past week of married life had already brought a number of delightful surprises.
"I hope we will have lots of surprises, Mrs. Cullen," he murmured impishly, licking his lips.
"Now, that is very interesting," she chuckled. "So, tell me, how was your night, Mr. Cullen?"
To bridge the long hours spent apart each night, Bella sleeping and Edward standing sentinel, waiting to share the dawn, they devised a little game so Bella gets to hear about all the things that Edward did while she was sleeping. Since such a large part of the day is lost to her unconscious, he hopes she will be less inclined to short-change human sleep if she feels a part of his activities during the night.
"Well, after I sang you to sleep…."
"I love it when you sing me to sleep, Edward," she murmured softly.
"Yes, you are my own little sleeping beauty." He softly sang his response, strumming softly and humming along in harmony with the improvisation he effortlessly played.
"What did I miss?" Something in his tone was not quite right.
"I always enjoy watching you sleep, love. There is nothing wrong with that, is there?" His fingers stilled as if his entire consciousness had changed gears. "You have no idea how much pleasure it gives me to be here, to hear your soft breath, see your body roll with each soft sigh…its erotic."
"I was talking in my sleep, right," she eyed him critically. "Is that why you are being so weird?"
"You wound me, Mrs. Cullen," he sighed dramatically. "Am I weird?"
"You see you are being weird," she nodded accusingly. "I said something stupid, right?"
"Well, you called out my name several times." Mischief was sparkling in his eyes.
"I am sure you enjoyed that, dear," she cooed in return.
"Yes, you know I did, Mrs. Cullen." He smirked with delight. There was not denial of the fact that his bride's penchant for sleep talking gave him a rather unfair advantage. This tiny, if inconsistent window of opportunity into her unconscious thoughts, hardly made up for the fact clairvoyance could not let him peek for real, but it was better than nothing and the spontaneous outpourings were often quite entertaining. Tonight was no exception.
"We had an interesting conversation," he said, sarcasm sneaking into his tone. "It was rather one-sided, though."
"Just tell me!" she groaned with embarrassment, covering her eyes.
"You said, "Oh Edward! What a fantastic lover you are!" he gasped in ecstasy, clutching his chest.
"Oh, I did not!" Bella moaned in reply, her laughter breaking the spell.
"No, you didn't," he frowned, sighing pitifully. "I was deeply disappointed."
"And, after this grave disappointment… the guitar, naturally?" she said, chuckled at his antics, eyeing the curious instrument in his hands which looked like they always belonged there and yet her keen instincts demanded she dig deeper.
"Well, yes, then I decided to play the guitar," he reluctantly conceded. Smirking like a Cheshire cat, he was clearly hiding something.
"Pretty weird…you decided to play the guitar, just like that, out of the blue, doncha think?" she muttered suspiciously. Intrigued by the idea of such a rash decision she cannot let it go.
"No time like the present." He offered in explanation, shrugging his shoulders weakly. "
"I wonder why would that be?" His vague answers made her intuition on high alert; she was convinced there was a story behind this story.
"Well, I love serenading you, my darling," he asked coyly.
"That is very sweet, Edward," she said, batting her lashes, "but are you sure there is not another reason?"
"Well, yes, I suppose there is…" he huffed, staring defeat in the face. "I thought it would be a good way to keep my hands occupied, you see."
"Keeping your hands occupied?" she parroted his tone of voice, testing the words. "Now, I am intrigued, Edward."
"Yes. My hands got very lonely." He said darkly.
"uhhuh," she said, sounding more like a detective than a bride. "And then what did your hands do to be…less lonely?"
"I'd rather not say," he said evasively, shielding his eyes from hers.
"I have to admit I am thinking naughty things, Mr. Cullen…" she muttered, excitement building in her voice with each layer of intrigue in Edward's strange confession.
"I might as well tell you. I am not ashamed."
"Should you be, Edward?" she gasped in surprise.
"I should be very ashamed." His plaintive confession was simple, yet sincere. He hung his head contritely with the heaviness of shame.
"My dirty little mind is racing now, Edward," the innocent growled. Her voice was flat but her raised eyebrows gave her emotions away. "Just tell me, what could you have done to be ashamed?"
"I don't want to tell." He looked away, sheepishly, but never missing a note of the melody that seemed to flow freely from his fingers to the strings.
"What did you do, Edward Cullen!" Bella demanded, throwing back the comforter to confront him.
As she sat up in the bed, Edward dropped the guitar and huffed emphatically, huffing in frustration.
"Well, you see!" he exclaimed. "I couldn't help myself…" His flustered speech exaggerated his breath hitching with the memory.
"Edward, where is my nightgown?" she gasped, clutching the sheet, startled by the vision of unexpected nakedness. "You took off my nightgown? While I was asleep? But…" The words stumbled from her.
"She finally notices…" he grumbled under his breath, a jumble of emotions clouding his thoughts. "Bella, I cannot tell a lie, I did."
"Why?" she gasped.
"Because I never want to lie to you, Bella…" he said, hanging his head in boyish shame.
"Not that is not what I meant, Edward and you know it," she grumbled, sneering with annoyance. This is not the time for games of semantics. "I meant, why did you do it?"
"Your breast looked lonely, too."
The silence finished the thought.
"That is a predicament…" she murmured softly, nodding as if the logic of naked loneliness was perfectly acceptable.
"Thank you for understanding, Bella." He shook his head pleasantly, obviously relieved.
"Edward, where…?" she said, clutching the sheet, unconsciously embarrassed.
He nodded to his nightstand where a small purple pile lay neatly. A little cry of agony escaped. The negligee was in tatters.
"What? You saved the pieces!" The chards slipped through her fingers and the fabric shreds danced like a wave back again.
"I like looking at them, Bella." He shrugged with a wickedly grin of unabashed embarrassment.
"Oh, that is seriously twisted, Edward," she muttered in astonishment, pride, and something darker.
"I know." A manic giggle was building within him, but faded quickly as her expression changed.
"I am very sorry, Bella. Truly, I am."
"Oh, I know, it just, well it was my favorite," she whined with disgruntled surprise, sprinkling the shreds, shivering with remembering lingerie shopping with Esme and the girls in Seattle and she learned all about love and other feminine wiles in the presence of an immortal Italian dresser.
"I rather had hoped the replacement would be here before breakfast, but you are awake much earlier than you should be…" he said contritely as his plan was finally exposed. "Why don't you close your eyes for a little bit?"
His velvet tone licked with such deliciousness that it had the opposite effect. Arousal was a good mediator of consciousness, but not so much sleepiness. There was little hope of sleep for his bride.
"A new nightgown is coming here?" she said, with Nancy Drew efficiency.
"Yes, Mrs. Cullen," he said congenially now that his point was understood. "Delivery by seven. Guaranteed."
"From Nancy Meyer's salon… all the way from Seattle?"
"At seven, as I said," he grumbled. Apparently, Edward was not expecting this level of scrutiny.
"So, let me get this right," Bella's instincts were ablaze with interest as the scenario unfolded in her mind. "Some poor clerk is in a car right now driving through the night to deliver a nightgown because you were too impatient to wake me up?"
"Do you not want it replaced, Bella? I can cancel, of course." Reaching for his cell phone, confusion creased his brow.
"You don't think that there is something seriously wrong with that, Edward?" she huffed, exasperated by his nonchalance. Pulling her wild curls off her shoulders and holding firmly to her forehead. "If we put aside the ethical issues," she grumbled with annoyance, "let's start with the obvious. I've never heard of lingerie warranty."
"Oh, I see your point," he said, matter-of-factly, "apparently; it pays to be a good customer…
"…Alice!" she rolled her eyes with the realization and palmed her forehead, berating herself for missing the most obvious clue. "Of course," she said, flipping her hand. "Alice the lingerie VIP. Silly me."
"Yup." Edward rolled his eyes, popping the plosive for emphasis.
"You know, you really look like her when you do that, Edward," she giggled softly.
"Alice is some kind of a frequent buyer at Ms. Meyer's shop and she told me to call if there were any problems…"
"How does one have problems with lingerie, Edward?" she said snidely, cocking her head to the side.
"We did, didn't we, Bella?" he chuckled sardonically, raising his brows.
"Yes, I guess we did," she sighed, watching the fibers of silk fall like rain from her fingers.
"And Alice said specifically she wanted to be sure the trousseau remained complete, especially your favorite items."
"Oh, I see," she said, "Alice had a feeling that some of the things might not make it through the honeymoon, is that it?"
"Something like that," he snickered, playfully. "The clerk was very understanding, actually," he said, "It is not the firsttime they have made this trip."
"Okay, that is more than enough information for me, Edward," she said arresting his sentence. "I really need to know about Alice's sexual exploits."
"Actually it was Rose's unmentionables inventory that needed… warranty service," he sniggered. "Emmett was in trouble for a week." Edward shuddered with the vivid memory. "I would really rather not talk about that either," he shuttered with the memory of some very sordid event that created this need for the help hotline.
"Why didn't you wake me up, Edward?" she said sadly. "I never want to think any part of you is lonely…especially when I am right here…next to you."
"I am very content watching you sleep, besides, you needed your rest after…"
Silence, shifty glances screamed that he was withholding something, avoiding stating the obvious.
"You said that I could, don't you remember?" he protested almost immediately, horrified to think he had misunderstood.
With a gasp and a whisper, the secret was divulged.
"I never thought you would…" Bella was astounded at his turn of events and surprised herself by the reaction her body had to the very idea. "Touching me when I am asleep…that's very sexy Edward…" she growled softly, crawling over the mountains of covers like a cat to the edge of the bed.
"I am very relieved to hear you say that, Bella." A long sigh of relief released the breath she hadn't noticed he was holding.
"Edward, what else happened while I was sleeping?" she whispered.
Guilty silence covered his face in shadow and regret. A blank mask of realization came over hers.
"That was you!" she squealed.
"Well, who the hell do you think it was?" he grumbled in annoyance.
"I was dreaming that I was driving the Batmobile…"
"You were?" he said, surprised. "I never imagined you would dream about a car?"
Bella smirked at his reaction.
"I really think I love that car, Edward…so sleek, and fast, all black and mysterious…just like Batman"
"Bella, that is…weird."
"Oh, no, it's not…" she mewed contentedly. "After all, you are my man of mystery, aren't you Edward?" she said with salacious intent.
"Well, when you put it that way…" he muttered softly.
"Besides, you have a lot in common with Batman. You are gorgeous, brilliant, emotionally deep, and well, rich and famous AND all that mysterious Bat-ness… It is more than a human heart can handle!" she said breathlessly.
"Bella, did you just say wealth is sexy?" he laughed, shaking his head at such an unlikely statement coming from his bride.
"You have to understand, Edward, the Batmen…all of them, they were my first crushes…" Laying back across the pillows, she began to reminiscence. "My first, … let see, Michael Keaton, his eyes always made me laugh, and then Val Kilmer-well, he hardly counts," she said, waving the image off, "He was terrible, but he had that voice that could do things to a person…"
"How about Adam West?" he said snidely, ignoring her obvious excitement.
"He's on Family Guy, right?" she said with innocent ignorance.
"…never mind..." He grumbled with annoyance, feeling slapped in the face with the generation gap that was so often invisible.
"Then there was George Clooney!" she moaned with glee, obviously enjoying this game. "Now, is he ever delicious stud in a tux!
Edward huffed, and mumbled, "You said I carried it formal wear off prettily…"
"...and then… that scruffy one…Christian Bale... mmmm mmmhuh hmmmm…" " she continued undaunted by his wounded pride. "He is …yummy." The sound of her breathy exhale lingered like a thick scent of perfume. Her toes curled with the pleasure, and she arched erotically grinding her pelvis in a manner that was nothing short of sinful.
"That skinny little Welshman, he does this to you?" Edward hissed and stilled like a snake ready to attack, fighting the venom rising in his mouth
"Only when he's in costume, Edward," she sighed outrageously.
"…that doesn't bother you, does it, Edward?" she said softly. Meeting his gaze unflinchingly she asked plainly. "I mean, why should it, right? It would be silly to be jealous of a movie, wouldn't it?" A sexy breathless giggle smoked his cold lips as she kissed him softly on the lips, her eyes rolling back with the pleasure of the vision in her head.
"Who are you and what have you done with my innocent bride?" he grumbled, breaking the siren kiss with a firm grip around her shoulders, hurt and frustration coloring his words. His pride was seriously wounded.
"…oh,come on, Edward, you have to admit that Pierce Brosnan," she moaned again at the image. "…with that cigar on the beach with Haley Berry in that white bikini, wading out the ocean like a café au lait Venus on-the-halfshell… a knife belted to her shimmering thigh…"
"Haley Berry is a woman, Isabella," he whispered in horror.
The squirming pleasures of his bride obviously aroused by others her memory gnawed his insecurity raw. Without a telepathic clue to rely on for hints her behavior pushed him to the limits of distraction.
"Is she not a beautiful woman, Edward? I can't admire her and think she's sexy even…?"
"You'd better not be kissing me and thinking of kissing…" he huffed, crushed by the idea that she could have such a reaction for anyone but him. Edward's forehead would permanently crease from this flight of fantasy. "And he was James Bond, for pity's sake," Edward muttered in annoyance.
"Oh, Edward," she moaned outrageously like a porn queen. "Bond is the ultimate mystery man…with a great car…just like you, Edward!"
Climbing up from her pillow, she cooed, playing with his lush hair in a vain attempt to soothe his rumpled pride.
"And he's an Irishman, of all things!" he spat his protest, disgusted with the prospect. "I've married a traitor to the Crown." He muttered, decidedly more tense than any newlywed should be in bed. "Carlisle will have a stroke!"
"What can I say?" Bella said, flopping down to rest her head on the pillows, playing with her hair and smoking an imaginary post coitus cigarette of satisfaction. "I just love those accents…"
"I will be sure to hide that fact from Esme and the others, but I doubt I can keep it from my Carlisle," he warned gravely, "…and when he does find out, and he will, I will pity you." he rolled his eyes emphatically, "…and don't tell me I didn't tell you so... he will torment you ...he has thousands of accents..."
A sudden thought stopped Edward with a dreadful horror too deep to be spoken in polite company.
"Does that mean Bronson is your favorite Bond, Bella?" The calmness of his voice belied the anxiety he harbored waiting anxiously for her response. His fear could not be masked no matter how he tried to neutralize it, it was clear what the correct answer needed to be, but fear burst from him like an angry flood.
"I don't think we could live with that," his tone turned deadly serious. "Lie if you must, but say the words…for me, I beg you."
"Are you mad, Edward?" a high-pitched whine of concern pierced the laughter suddenly shifting the mood unexpectedly. He tried to swallow his pride and erase the pictures of ridicule flooding his imagination.
"No, I am not upset, darling," he said, struggling to regain composure. "I am just trying to understand...this phenomenon obviously is a human experience that I have not shared..." he said, befuddled by the contradictory messages he was trying to decipher about her very human sexual attraction to fictional characters.
"I meant, are you nuts?" She giggled, enjoying his confusion. "Pierce my favorite Bond?…oh please! Sean was my first…"
"That's just perfect!" Edward shouted, jumping out of her arms and away from the bed to pace the floor in agitation. "I should have guessed... the Scot rounds out your sexual conquest & domination of the British Isles!" he snapped.
"The British Isles!" she said, snapping her fingers. "I forgot the old school one, right...Roger Moore, is it? Did you know that Johnny Depp is going to play him...Oh! Johnny Depp... Captain Jack? Please, don't get me started..."
Edward was a miasma of emotion and none of them good. If he had had a beating heart, he would have had a infarction. It was more than intolerable to consider these men, fictional or not, could create such a sexually charged reaction in his bride. It was unbearable agony, even if all in fun.
"Why Edward, are you jealous?" she said, batting her eyes coyly, intending to force the question she'd harbored throughout their game, but suddenly she was stuck with inspiration.
"I will not allow another man to look at you and live, Mrs. Cullen," he said, gravely.
Unable to keep a straight face any longer she worried her joke had carried on a wee bit too far. Teasing was one thing. Taking pleasure inflicting psychological damage to one's spouse on the honeymoon, well, that is quite another. She beckoned him to come back into her embrace. He tentatively edged forward dragging his shattered ego behind him—with the guitar on the chair.
"Come on, Edward…you know I am only teasing you." She welcomed him warmly, folding around him, offering her warmth to soothe his pain. "You know, Edward, nobody turns me on like you do."
"You are a very evil little girl." he huffed in disgust.
"You molest me in my sleep and I'm the evil one?" Bella replied with righteous indignation.
"I did not molest you, Bella," he muttered softly. He rolled his shoulders without a word, indicating he had only been playing around about playing around.
"Oh, I see…that does change things, doesn't it…"
"…and you sound… disappointed…" he hissed.
"Well, I am surprised that you would make up such a thing. It is so unlike you, Edward...it's so...naughty." Her eyes flared with the word.
"I wanted to make love to you, it's true. And I played with your gown hoping to wake you and I suppose I became a little overzealous, perhaps, and I am truly sorry for that part," he said sheepishly indicating the clump of silk and lace scattered on the nightstand. Even shamed, he could not admit he did not enjoy it.
"Afterwards, when you started moaning in your sleep, I..." He nodded towards the guitar across the room.
"Edward, you were just afraid of being caught with your hand in the cookie jar."
"I decided to play the guitar instead… thinking foolishlyhoping that I would appear in your dreams perhaps as your troubadour and we could..." The secret reviled he hung his head in penitence. "I am sorry to have disappointed you, twice over. First, for not molesting you in the first place...and then, for not reaching you in your dreams."
"And you think I am twisted, Edward?" she said, unable to completely process the layers of wrongness about his conversation. She sighed, crawling back under the sheets.
He shook his head. He had no words left.
"That's okay, Edward." Offering comfort by raking through his hair, Bella seemed quiet and wistful after such a long ordeal of wits.
"Bella, please don't tell me you are actually disappointed I didn't take advantage of you in your sleep?"
"I guess, I am.. it sounds pretty hot." She bit her lip in recognition of her shame.
"Now, that is seriously twisted, Bella."
"I know!" she giggled. Her brow knit together in self-recrimination only briefly. "But that's what I like about it." Her eyes sparkled with excitement."
"I have married a freak." Edward said, offering up the commentary as if to an imaginary studio audience. "Are you sure you were a vir…"
The pillow slammed him before the word escaped his lips. The expression on her face, totally lost in the ridiculous argument gone by and by the insult that was about to be leveled.
"Hey!" he protested, but he smirked with the fact he was impressed with her throw.
"You did not think you were going to ask me that question…?" she growled.
"No, I guess I wasn't." He chuckled with pride that he could stir in her the same sort of passionate repartee as she had toyed with him. This was a fun game, but not without a kernel of truth hiding beneath the surface. Besides, her aim was improving significantly.
Holding him close, pressing her cheek against his chest, she sighed.
"I am just talking about how I feel, Edward. I thought you always wanted to know how I felt about these things… human things." Her sad eyes could him by surprise with her honest admission, peering ooking up to see his face. "You did nothing wrong, Edward. It is you and only you that make me feel like this. I hope you know that."
"I got a little carried away, I suppose."
"Mr. Cullen, you can carry me away anytime."
A kiss and makeup scenario began to unfold and he briefly considered the possibility that he had been played by some hidden conspiracy.
"You know," she began, slowing milking the vowels for emphasis, caressing his thigh with hers, "…if by some chance, you had done something while I was sleeping…" she said, playing with a particularly recalcitrant lock of his bronze hair she bit her lip softly in a perfect pout of uncertainty.
"It would be okay, you know…if you wanted to touch me like that. I would like it, I think. A lot."
"You would, would you?" He pulled her away to better see her eye's expression. The idea she suggested was outrageous. Not sure what to make of it, he leaned against the headboard, his arm balanced over his head. "I will have to think about that."
"I would have to get my chance to reciprocate," her voice fell off in possibility and her eyes twinkled mischievously. Dancing eyebrows punctuated the idea that it was a mutually beneficial proposition. "…reciprocate, get it?"
"You can't get even...it's not possible, Bella," he sighed, with a whiff of melancholia.
"Nothing is impossible, Edward," she said with twinkling eyes, "we've already proven that, haven't we?"
"Yes, but the reciprocity you suggest would be impossible, Bella. You could never…"
"Well, it happened once, why couldn't it happen again?" Bella wondered since their wedding night if that miraculous cap nap experience could be duplicated.
"It is unlikely," he protested, but wondering lingered. "There has not been so much as a long blink, since our wedding night Bella. I doubt it will ever happen again."
"Well, do you think you could pretendalittle, …couldn't you just pretend to be asleep." Exasperated, she tossed her hands limply on the bed. "You know, meet me half way?"
"Hmmm, I think it is called seduction in that case..." he smirked energized to see her excitement and inhale the scents of her body's reaction to such multi faceted stimuli.
"I think I like seduction...don't you, Edward?" she cooed, "…so long as the outcome is acceptable, right?"
Curling around him like a snake, her body called him and he was instantly aware of his body's tension building in him like a great wave. Huddled close, her body made a perfect cast of his, enveloping him like a second skin unflinching against his cool hard frame. Her scent, activated by the heat of debate and moaning of pleasures of the mind, perfumed the air with heady delight, intoxicating him with every breath. Making love to his wife was more than an irresistible drug. It was becoming hard and harder to resist breaking his own rules.
Surreptitiously, sliding her hand under the waistband of his silk boxers she caressed him, slowly exploring the curve of his muscled abs and the wisps of soft hair leading to her prize.
"What are you doing, Bella?"
"Haven't you been paying attention, Edward?" she murmured softly, kissing his belly.
Unfortunately, his thoughts now spilled out into reality against his will. The conversation was turning again and there was little time to stem the flow of emotions crashing towards release after such delightful playtime. Her warmth tantalized him .
"You need to go to sleep, Bella.
"Oh, I know how you can make me fallasleep," she hummed, tracing her fingers along the elastic of his boxers. Her touch was tentative, but hopeful too that she would find what she was after, but she suspected he would stubbornly abide by the rules.
"I don't think so, Bella." It took all his strength to extricate himself from her all-too-willing arms and head to the safety of his guitar.
Sighing in defeat, she pondered her failure.
"No?" she pouted, her lower lip sticking out like a peckish child. Lip seduction was her new favorite tool in her feminine arsenal. "I am not tempting enough to break the "don't disturb the sleeping human" rule…is that it? Well, that really makes me sad."
Teeth pressed deeply into the flesh of her full wet lips, the pressure rushing blood to the site, and with it, a renewed explosion of her essence overwhelmed him. He struggled, fighting his desire to take that engorged meat into his mouth. This was a habitual problem now that she'd discovered the delicate points of the art of lip seduction.
"Bella, my love…" A heavy sigh sang of his hurt. Nothing stung him more than disappointing her.
"Never mind, Edward."
"Bella, …" he tried to sooth away the hurt with logic. "Sleeping is very important for your health. I don't want you to get sick, do you? You know you need your sleep."
In defeat, she grumbled with the acknowledgement of her submission to his silly rules was inevitable.
"So, you really won't come back to bed, then?"
"I'd better not…" Cracks in his resolve opened up threatening his rule. His confidence was waning as his imagination was being fed with ideas of what might happen if he did submit to her invitation.
"You won't even come to snuggle with me, Edward, not even to help me fall asleep?" A sharp rasp to her voice forecast tears might not be far off. "Please?" she begged with a final push of hope.
"Bella you know how I feel about that word…" He bit his lip in indecision after she pointedly accused him of instigating the whole mess. Courage coming to him at last, he held firm. "I think you should sleep, Bella."
"I think that is just unfair." Anger flared on her face as her pink cheek fired to a deeper rose. "After all, it is your fault I woke up in the first place…ripping off my clothes… and saving the pieces…"
"Maybe but it was your damn trio of mystery men from the British Isles are to blame…they got you all riled up, not me?… you can thank them for that…"
"I can't sleep without you, Edward, don't you know that…" A little yawn trickled out of her lips, artfully hidden by her hand. As she flumped face first into the pillow, purposefully, she whined pitifully.
"We both know what will happen Bella…." his voice, pained with indecision, tearing at his reason. "Do I have to say it?" Her silence gnawed at his resolved and indicated she was waiting for that very thing. "Isn't it obvious?" he cried, agonizing for the words to come rushing from his throbbing erection.
"I can't keep my hands off of you. I am an addict and you are my drug! You have bewitched me beyond my capacity for rational thought."
"So, you say…"she mumbled, throwing her body limply face-down onto into the pillow, her sound muffled and limp in surrender to his demand, but her foot emerged from under the covers. Dangling dangerously over the edge of the bed, her naked toes curled, invitingly.
"So, you see that right there," he shouted, bouncing back and pointing, "Circe herself, you siren you! That is precisely why I should occupy my hands—over here!"
"So, you will amuse yourself over there, huh?" she said, lifting her head, exposing her white neck and hint of pink of her breast. The monotone of her voice wounded him for its lifelessness. "All alone. With the guitar…right….?"
"Right!" It sounded like he was trying to convince himself and he was not being altogether successful.
"And how did that work out before, Edward?" she whispered seductively, sensing the battle was all but won.
"…not good…" he sighed softly.
His minuscule resistance breeched, Edward jumped over to the bed, tucking her in tightly, like a newborn baby swaddled, as he did he desperately tried diverted his attention away from the thought of her naked warm inviting body so close and so ready for his touch.
"How about a compromise?" he offered in the spirit of cooperative negotiation. "If I sit and tell you a story, will you promise to try to go to sleep?"
"You are going to occupy your mouth, too then, hmmm…" she murmured, her fingertips tracing her lips seductively, her words laced with meaning.
"Don't push your luck, Bella," he growled half-heartedly, admonishing her for breaking the deal before it was begun and at the same time trying to hide his delight. Her persistent desire to have sex with him and his pride knowing he must be doing something right to please her delighted him.
"Okay, okay, I will be a good girl." Bella wrapped herself tightly in her silk sheets in an approximation of the negligee whose shreds were now sprinkled on the floor and she resigned herself, surrendered to the idea that breakfast in bed was going to be from her menu.
"…if that is what you want…I'll have to learn to live with disappointment, I suppose." she sighed piteously.
Pulling her close to him, her leg hitched up on his, her head resting on his planed chest, he played with her hair. Humming his lullaby tribute didn't quite cut it tonight after so much sexual tension.
Here's a little surprise to take you mind away from… Look what I found… from Alice."
She goaned. "…when will it end?"
"Everyday is Christmas for Alice, I am afraid," Edward shook his head. "Better to just accept it. Resistance is futile."
Good Morning sweet little sister bride doll!
Rose had a fabulous notion about practical presents and so here is a gift from your sisters!
I hope this laptop and 35mm digital camera will be fun for the honeymoon. It is for documentation purposes, of course. I will not text, IM, SKYPE, Twitter, email, or otherwise disrupt your trip… but that doesn't mean I don't expect you to have all the details of your honeymoon recorded for the memory book when you get back!
Well, maybe not all the gory details…
I know you got an SLR for graduation, but this camera can take pictures of Edward where ever you'd like without lighting issues. It has night vision too…
The lovely guys at MIT optics lab were so pleased with our invention they are upgrading the Hubble telescope with it! Apparently, the filter they devised for me significantly reduces 'glint.' Told them 'sparkle' sounds better, but apparently 'glint' is real geek speak, so who am I to quibble?
Mrs. Whitlock & Mrs. McCarty
"Gee, that is an awfully specific list of prohibitions. It almost sounds like a contract?" Bella said, flashing the note under his nose. Edward continued to whistle his spontaneous melody, pretending he didn't hear the accusation barely hidden behind her words. "So, it was a Porsche last time. What did she score this time? A boat?"
"Bella, don't be silly, love," he snickered in spite of himself as he plastering the nape of his brides neck with wet kisses. "Alice hates boats!"
"Bet that cost a fortune to have made this special lens, do you think?" she said, examining it. "MIT and all the research that had to go into it…yikes!"
"Never mind that…no doubt Alice has her name on their patent application! She always does."
"What do you mean…Alice has patents? For optics?"
"Alice's gifts are not just useful in the stock market. Have you ever heard urban legends of a couple of crazy college kids magically inventing new technology in their garage...?"
"you mean…Alice …?
"More often than you'd think…she gets around! A computer to challenge to big bad big blue…"
"You mean, Bill Gates is not an alien?"
"No, just a victim of a certain pixie. He is not alone though…Crazy glue…Velcro…
"No way… velcro?
"Alice." He was so absurdly matter-of-fact it was impossible to resist the idea that his pixie vampire sister actually helped humans go to the moon.
"Wow…".she said, examining the camera filter like it was a moon rock...
"It might be fun to have a camera…on our camping trip tomorrow." Bella gasped, but he made no apology.
"Camping. Like sleeping outside. On the ground. With the bug, no human facilities, or …ice cubes?"
"I thought we'd steal Jasper's telescope… see how our IMSC813 is developing… maybe take some photographs…"
"I am sorry, Edward, but I am not exactly the Girl Scout type."
"You worked at a sporting goods store, Bella. Am I to believe that you were there for a specific ulterior motive?"
"Yes, Edward. I did have an ulterior motive that you could not possibly understand."
"I knew it…you liked him…Mike Nuetron,…Net-own…Net-won…
"…and well, if I had only known you'd have this reaction…I would have liked working there more…"
"Is there something you are trying to tell me, Mrs. Cullen…?"
"Yes, if you would only let me finish….
"Yes, of course, pardon me…I am interrupting your confession about Fig…, I mean Mr. Newton."
"…if I had only known you'd react this way, I would have made up something more interesting!"
"I can't tell you how your jealousy affects me, Edward"
"I am a selfish terrible person, Bella."
"Quit while you are ahead, Eddie. I am trying to say I think it is very exciting…sweet even to see you jealous…even of Mike." Smoothing his hair with a sympathetic jostle, she comforted him with the truth. "Don't worry darling, no one is looking but you."
"You might think so, but don't forget I cannot escape their thoughts….even at the wedding! I know the world wants you, Bella, there is a line down the street, and if you gave anyone of them a second look…"
"I seriously doubt that Edward."
"So, if not for love and romance, what was your secret reason? People's lives can be at stake you know… have lives been lost?"
"Yes, I did have a motive. One you couldn't possibly understand. It's called gasmoney."
"Oh well, that does sound plausible…" he muttered, "…but about the camping trip. Where is your sense of adventure, Mrs. Cullen?"
"Well, don't be upset, Edward, okay?" she said warily. "… but the last time I was in a tent…well, it wasn't that much fun, if you recall." she shuttered with the memory.
"Of course, a tent would be unthinkable."
"Oh… not one of those nasty RV things?"
"More like an RV from another century…" he snickered. "What would you say to spending the night in our meadow—on safari?"
"Just like Meryl Street and Robert Redford in Out of Africa?" she exclaimed enthusiastically.
"Camping out under the stars in the meadow," he murmured invitingly.
"That sounds lovely…but not very tiring, I am afraid." Her eyes twinkled with excitement.
"Would you like another secret surprise? This time from me?"
"You are spoiling me, Mr. Cullen."
"Get used you it, Mrs. Cullen."
"I love secret surprises—especially from you, Edward!"
"Since when? You hate surprises."
"Since Alice told me about weddings…" she giggled.
"What would you say to a road trip to Seattle?"
"Seattle…in the Batmobile?" she muttered.
"Of course! Seattle is only a few hours drive…there's lots to see…"
"Oh? Sure.. that sounds great, Edward."
Although, she was not overly enthused about sharing her honeymoon with such a local adventure she would never let on to that…if he wanted to go to Seattle she was eager, willing and ready.
"You've probably been already, but only for shopping and we haven't gone together…" he offered in explanation as he sensed her lack of enthusiasm. "The Space Needle view is lovely, the first Starbucks of course, Pikes Place Market, and there is great music scene. I hear… they have a baseball team as well."
His emphasis was lost on her even though she teetered on the edge of tension and release, resisting the sleep that was looking more appealing.
"We are booked into the penthouse of the Sorrento…the best view of the city."
She sighed softly, the feather pillows molding around her body and the heaviness of the quilt weighing her down…sleep was near, but yet unattainable, as her one track mind would not relent.
"But… wouldn't that mean you'd be…"Sleepless in Seattle…" she chuckled at her own joke, much to his chagrin.
"…don't tell me… Tom Hanks too!"
"He doesn't have an accent, Bella."
"They don't all have accents, Edward."
He raised his eyebrows, shooting back, trying to play her game, "Well, that Meg Ryan is pretty… hot." He smirked, trying on the word.
"Oh, so that is it, hah?", she said, delighted to see him playing the game. "but that deli was in NY, Edward, in "Harry met Sally, but I know what you mean." Patting his shoulder as if he were the winner of the consolation prize, she snickered.
"You do have a dirty little mind, my sweet. Ms. Ryan was indeed… hot… pretending to bring herself to pleasure…"
" You're a big boy, Edward. Use your words now." She admonished him with a giggle.
"…" he paused, closing his eyes a moment. "…bringing herself to …orgasm in New York, but was talking about Sleepless in Seattle…."
"Sure..." she murmured thinking of Billy Crystal..."I like that one too..."
"I think this is the end of this discussion, Mrs. Cullen," he murmured, "I doubt my ego could stand another blow. Besides," he smirked, "I am running out of new words."
Just as she was settling down into a soft rhythmic cadence of breath, he stirred her imagination with a most unexpected revelation.
"I talked to Renee before. When you were asleep."
He spoke without emotion, neither positive nor negative. But Bella's eyes popped open with surprise. "You talked to my mother?" The idea ripped her from sleep, and jolted her heart into red alert status. She sat upright into consciousness almost immediately. "You talked to my mother tonight?" she said with amazement.
"Yes, to make sure she got home all right and to congratulate her, you know about… the baby."
"Wow, you really needed to get busy…was that before or after the execution of your 911 to Nancy Meyer…"
He cleared his throat with a small cough. "Significantly after."
"Yes, I did."
"So…you talked to my mother about being pregnant? Why would you do that, Edward?"
"Did I do something wrong?"
"No, no, of course not," she was almost too queasy fighting the image demanding to be seen in her imagination. "...it wasn't weird for you?
"No, love," he said, concerned that he's made some sort of social gaff that he didn't comprehend. "Should it have been?"
"Well," Bella huffed, rolling her eyes, emphasizing the words as if speaking them louder would increase his comprehension. "she's my mother and she's pregnant…" she said delicately.
" I figure that had to be weird."
His steel trap mind was missing all her hints telling why such a conversation would trouble her so deeply.
"Oh, I get it," he said softly, nodding his head with a patronizing flair of superiority. "It makes you uncomfortable to think your mother is having sex with Phil… they are newlyweds just like us, having sex all the time, just like…"
"Stop right there, buster! That's my mother we're talking about!" Bella shouted. When he snickered at her reaction, she knew instinctively he'd pressed her buttons, choose his words perfectly just to get a reaction. knowing he did that on purpose as payback for the way she'd tortured him with stories.
"I'm sorry love," he whispered, snuggling her close for a kiss, "I couldn't help myself…teasing you about this is just too easy."
"Edward, please! I cannot have this conversation." he and she begged for merciful release. "It's humiliating and offensive to think of my mother like that."
"Isabella Cullen, You astound me! First, you are a sexual predator recklessly seducing a vampire with siren toes, and now you are unwilling to face the facts of life…"
"And how did that go for you, Edward? Talking to my mother about her sex life? Was it as distracting as the guitar lessons, I hope."
"Infinately better." His smirk was advertisement for his concealed secret.
"Wow, that must have been quite a conversation…" Bella was buying time, her intuition set off by his grin that there was more to this story.
"Indeed," his smugness was sweet and sticky, but gave up no hints.
She knew there was a point hidden somewhere. Her intuition alarm was set off by his grin. Clearly, her Nancy Drew senses an investigation was warranted into the facts concealing the truth.
"When did you do that…call Renee, I mean?" A chip off the old block, Charlie's lessons for data gathering rushed to her mind, asking him repetitive questions to trip him up.
"Shortly after the night gown incident."
"I see…" she was mentally taking notes, looking for the obvious hole in his alibi. "What did she have to say? She must have thought it strange that you'd call in the middle of the night."
"She said I was the handsomest young man…"
"She did not!" she protested, slapping his chest with an open hand.
She said if she werent' married and pregnant she'd want to date me.
"You know," she whined shrilly, "… just forget it, okay? I don't want to know," grumpily pulling away to get out of the bed but he held firm to her wrists, refusing to let go.
"You and my mother, go have your little conspiracies. I don't want to know," she pouted, crossing her arms around her naked breasts.
"Bella, come on, now," he pleaded, "I am only kidding around."
"Jokes about my husband dating my pregnant mother are supposed to make me feel better? I don't think so, Edward."
"I am so sorry," he whispered softly and moved to draw her close and offered himself in forgiveness. "I won't tease you anymore. Forgive me?"
Taking his invitation she crawled back into his embrace and accepted his chaste kiss, before settling back into her nest. Pleased with himself that he had lured her into the crux of the situation, he smiled triumphantly.
She said... that she had some good news," he said, hoping she was listening, "..a little unexpected trip. She's traveling to Seattle tomorrow night."
Bella's ears perked up like a cocker spaniel. "Apparently, "Phil is being called up for a game with the Mariners-isn't that great? Renee is so excited."."
"Wow, how lucky is that…" she muttered, with the blinding speed of intuition that a pixie she knew could have had something to do with this sudden promotion to the major league.
"I told her how proud you'd be when I told you…" Bella gasped realizing immediately where this was leading, but not wanting to spoil his surprise.
"… and she wanted to ask" he purposefully stumbled for dramatic effect as if he struggled with the decision the conversation with his mother-in-law presented to him. It was a gift.
"… but she didn't want to intrude on our privacy, but I practically heard her thinking it, so… I offered…"
Unable to contain her excitement, Bella burst out "Really! We are going to meet them for the game?"
"Yes, we are, my sweet, we meet them the day after tomorrow," he said sweetly. "But only after our safari."
"Oh Edward…" she whispered as a single tear escaped her blinking. "I get to see her again, and so soon, thank you…"
"I knew she was sorry that they hadn't had a lot of time to spend at the wedding, so it seemed right. I am glad you are happy," he caught the tear before it rolled away and caressed her cheek to keep any other droplets from daring to make the same trip. "You are happy, aren't you , Bella?"
"You planned this all didn't you? How did you know?"."
"I may have had some insider information that helped create the illusion of spontaneity," his eyes twinkled with the joy of having given a gift well received.
"Thank you, Alice!" she muttered, wondering if that pixie she knew could have had something to do with this sudden promotion to the major league.
"Might be fun…we could see the sights before we…"
The instant the word escaped, he hung his head and he cursed his stupidity. A slow burning smile lit up her face. His silence confirmed he realized what he had done and he hung his head. Edward was bamboozled by the little human and he had given up to her long awaited clue.
As if nothing had been disclosed, she sweetly inquired like a dutiful wife, surrendering to whatever secret plans her husband might have cooked up.
"Edward," she asked sweetly, enjoying watching him trying to maintain an uncommitted mask while he in his head he cursed his own stupidity. "Are we going somewhere, darling?"
"Yes. We are going to Seattle, aren't we? Have you changed your mind then?"." He said with confidence believing he'd found a loophole in which to hide.
"I think you know I meant, Edward," she said, not to be out witted on the trail of a mystery involving travel, "..somewhere after Seattle." The pointed accusation was the marital equivalent of check mate.
"Yes," he sighed, "you win, you figured it out, you and your vixen wiles. It seems I cannot keep a secret anymore. Not from you anyway. Yes, we are indeed going on a trip."
"Trip? What trip?" excitement was building in her requiring fewer and fewer words to question him.?" She softly licked his wounded pride,
"Bella, did you really think we were going to spend our entire Honeymoon in this room?" he groaned with the pleasure of her mouth on him, tracing along his body, mapping him. He fought the urge to close his eyes; she never left his gaze.
"Well, that was my plan…" she shrugged, looking up from his navel, dipping into that shallow cavern with her wet tongue made him tremble. She liked doing that.
"…but if you'd rather go somewhere else…" she lifted up off his body, but not before he pulled her back to him, both remembering how he'd said almost those very words on their wedding night.
Although Bella suspected they would embark on the promised world tour, eventually. But she was still surprised and excited to know it was soon to be so.
"We are indeed going on a honeymoon trip. In five days from Sea Tac Airport. So we have a few days with Renee and Phil before we have to leave."
Her mouth opened only briefly, but his lips met hers to signal a close to questioning. Of course, all along she suspected they would indeed embark on the promised world tour—eventually. But she was still surprised and excited to know it was soon to be so.
"No hints." He said flatly, "It's a secret."
"I hate secrets." But that didn't mean she wasn't getting used to having them around.
"Is it a good secret?" Her eyes bulged as she played with her thumbnail against her teeth, a nervous habit.
"It is…." The languid velvet tone of his voice was intolerably smug..
"No hints?" she stated flatly. "Not even a teenie little hint?"
"Damn." Working in her head the odds of changing his mind, but suddenly remembering the first surprise, she snuggled with him tightly, "…Oh, Edward, thank you. That is a great surprise, I can't wait to see her."
"Well, that isn't the all of it…." He gushed with excitement now that he was free to spill the beans of the biggest part of the secret. "Since it was Alice's idea…her vision anyway it seemed the right thing to do, and you didn't make a proper goodbye, it seemed the right thing to do…"
"You mean…" She was absolutely silent, frozen in anticipation.
"Yes, they are all going to meet us there and Alice is bringing Charlie, too and Sue. It will be our big send off!"
She was absolutely silent.
"I hope it makes up for our disappearing act after the wedding. Everyone will be there to say goodbye again!
"Carlisle is thrilled that he will drive the Batmobile back here, since we are leaving from Seattle international airport….so…it all works out."
"Oh my goodness...!" she shrieked suddenly panicked. "I have to pack!"
"Alice said…" he sighed, handing off a note on the stiff stationary stock card that was so familiar. "That Louis Vuitton in the closet is yours."
"The twelve bags that I have been tripping over all week…are mine?"
"One is mine…apparently; she packed for me as well."
"Well, that's a relief!" she sighed once again reminded that meddling psychics do have their rightful place. "Does insanity run in your family, or is she an isolated basket case?"
"Well, that depends, I find a certain amount of insanity rather attractive in a woman..." he gloated.
"That was very good, Edward, Bravo!"
"Thank you, dear."
"God, I hope we aren't doing the matchy matchy thing. I will die."
"I won't allow that love. I'd be very happy to take you naked to our destination, but we would get delayed in customs, I am afraid."
"Customs?" Bella snickered, biting back the words that wanted to burst from her.
"Damn it, Bella," he spat, annoyed and startled to think he had given up so much to that sneaky intuitive mind without thinking.
"You really are a witch or a sorceress…which is it?"
"Not sure…" She couldn't help it, she was smiling so much, the yawn appeared out of nowhere.
"But right now, you have to go back to sleep for at least five hours." Tucking her in tightly, he kissed her chastely on the forehead.
"You actually expect me to go to sleep…now?"
"Yes, I do."
"Edward, please…help me go to sleep..." The sparkle in her eye didn't convey any interest in sleep.
"I will sing to you, how about that, but from over there." He pointedly crossed the room to his waiting guitar.
"I am supposed to sleep. After all this…excitement."
"Are you excited, Bella?" He said, strumming softly the tune that was her lullaby.
"Why, yes, I am very excited, Edward."
"Uh-huh." She sighed contentedly.
"Excited about seeing your parents? Excited about our honeymoon trip?"
"I am excited about my life with you, Edward. I think I will always be excited."
"Why, don't you believe me when I say that I am excited all the time…whenever I am around you, I mean, I am excited." Slyly, turning her back with a fake yawn, she exposed her bare skin to his view as she slipped around under the sheets, wrestling with the pillows. . She held her breath trying not to break the fragile seduction she had so rashly embarked upon. He growled with the sight of her pink flesh against the creamy satin sheet. She sighed, and her breath carried her perfume to him.
"Perpetual excitement, eh?
"Well, we will just have to see about that… " he jumps into the bed giving up on the idea of winning this argument. He studied her face, brushing back the wild curls …he kissed her, until she had to break away to breathe.
"I love you, Edward," she said, cupping his cheek.
"And I you, Bella."
A/n: I am hoping to make weekly updates, although they will likely be much shorter than the 10k average!