Roaring Twenties One Shot Contest

Title: Die Verlorenen - The Lost

Your pen name: AzureEyedI

Characters: Edward/Alice/Jasper/Other

Disclaimer: SM owns everything Twilight. I own everything else.

James Joyce owns "In The Dark Pine Wood."

To see the other entries in the Roaring Twenties One Shot Contest, visit the C2:

http(colon)(doubleslash)www(dot)fanfiction(dot)net(slash)community(slash)The Roaring Twenties Contest(slash)75957(slash)

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Danke to my incredible betas and sisters in UU - Reagan O'Connor, shalu and Feisty Y. Beden for their help w/grammar, run-on sentences and correct German usage.

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My name is Edward Cullen.

I am 27 years old, and an American medical student at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. I have yet to decide on a specialty.

I live here with my wife. She is my love, my Kitten, my glory.

We live a quiet life, my beloved and I. We keep to ourselves, we feel no need for the company of others. We are content with our lot.

But we are not above setting out and causing what my Kitten refers to as "Mischief."

No not at all.

Mein Name ist Edward Cullen.

Ich bin 27 Jahre alt und amerikanischer Medizinstudent an der Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Ich habe mich bisher noch nicht für ein Spezialgebiet entschieden.

Ich lebe hier mit meiner Frau. Sie ist meine Liebe, mein Kätzchen, meine Sonne.

Wir führen ein ruhiges Leben, meine Herzliebste und ich. Wir bleiben für uns, empfinden kein Verlangen nach der Gesellschaft anderer. Wir sind mit unserem Dasein zufrieden.

Was uns nicht davon abhält loszuziehen und, wie mein Kätzchen es nennt, "Unfug" zu treiben.

Ganz und gar nicht.

###

"Herr Cullen!"

BAMBAM!

"Herr Cullen!"

BAMBAMBAM!

"Herr Cullen. I know you are in there!"

BAMBAMBAMBAM!!

"Edward."

"Hmph."

"Edward. Tell her to go away."

"Ignore her, she'll leave."

BAMBAMBAMBAMBAM!!

"No Edward, not this time. She's chuffed."

"I don't want to move, baby; not when I'm so cozy...."

I'm nestled in the delicious fissure between my wife's breasts, my right cheek pillowed on the downy curvature of her right bosom, it's pert pink-tipped nipple just within reach of my crimson lips.

It's ten thirty Sunday morning and we're wrapped together on the tangled mess of our bed in our flat at Nollendorfstrasse 17, in the Schoeneberg district of Berlin.

Father would lecture us that it was hardly the proper area for a future physician and his spouse to be seen in, much less live and thrive in.

But it suits us both, perfectly.

###

"Herr Cullen! I am going to use the key!"

"Oh for Christ's sake," my wife mutters as I lift my head and flick my tongue against her nipple, following that with a long, steady stream of breath over the wet trail I left behind on her erect flesh; her resulting groan a combination of annoyance with our landlady and arousal from my actions. My eyes are still closed but I feel her body move as she shifts her hips from the weight of my left arm thrown across her smooth mound, my hand resting loosely on her right kneecap, cupping her warm skin.

"Stop that, Edward. I'm going to deal with her."

I press down on her rising figure, attempting to prohibit her from leaving our bed, from denying my lust. "I'll deal with you, give her something to shriek about when she sees us." I tease her, but wanting to do exactly that.

"Oh knock it off, lover boy," she grumbles as she grabs a corner of the torn sheet off our bed, leaving me naked and sprawled across the mattress in her wake.

I watch her retreating figure as she slides open the pocket doors that lead into the main room of our flat, exposing the aftermath of our entertaining from the night before: Empty bottles of Liebfermulch, Gin, Champagne and Merlot, the glasses scattered across tables and the floor. Neither my wife nor I indulge in alcohol. We merely supply it for our guests, as infrequently as we host them.

Reams of sheet music grace the grand piano and the floor beneath it, the same floor I took her on, pushing up her skirts and tearing off her knickers while she giggled and shrieked in amusement once our guests had departed at four-thirty in the morning, leaving us to create our own brand of mischief; one that left us panting and purring in desire and hunger for each other.

Which lead to other forms of mischief in our bed: The now unlocked cuffs still attached to the battered headboard, where I bound her wrists, as well as the trail of discarded clothing starting under the piano, and ending with her stockings and shoes strewn haphazardly on the warm and polished wooden floor of our room, pointing in the direction of our bed.

The remains of which, for all intents and purposes thanks to our frantic and enthusiastic sexual hijinks, is destroyed.

###

She pads across the floor not unlike a geisha on her way across soft tatami mats as she prepares to greet her danna. I gaze at the gentle sway of her hips and backside as she glides towards the door, where Frau Rasch awaits seething with irritation about the ruckus we created earlier.

Can we help it if we are a bit boisterous in our lovemaking? Besides, hearing my beloved's moans and cries of release spur me onward towards my own release.

As it always has, from the first time we mated.

The rattle of the key inserted into the lock breaks my reverie. I relish the 'ahh' of Frau Rasch's sharp intake of breath as her eyes widen at the swiftness of my wife's opening of the door before the twist of the key is complete; her realization that she'll be dealing with Kitten, and not myself as she has in the past regarding the previous night's festivities.

I sense her confusion at why she suddenly is no longer angry and upset with us, but is instead embarrassed that she apparently interfered with our morning activities.

"Guten Morgen, Frau Rasch." My wife purrs to the befuddled woman standing across the threshold from her while clutching the remains of the ivory sheet to her form, thus affording me a full view of her glorious ass and the two dimples that crown it, one of either side of her lower spine.

The dimples I love to dig my thumbs into when I take her from behind, or when she straddles me, controlling the depth of our passion.

The muted sunlight allowed into the room from the burgundy damask draperies dance across my beloved's face and hair, nearly creating a halo around her blond mane, tousled and snarled from the force of our ardor. I catch the slightest smirk on her lips as she leans towards our landlady, murmuring to her so softly, so gently, that it reminds me of the sound of the wind chimes that graced the windows of our rented rooms in the aged villa in Tuscany we inhabited for several years before arriving in Berlin.

Frau Rasch has apparently become mute; she stands in the hallway, seemingly transfixed by the apparition before her.

"Frau Rasch? Is there something I can help you with?"

"Oh, Frau Cullen. I, er, was not expecting you to answer, uh, the door, and..."

Ah, someone is back with us now. Amusing.

"Is there a something you'd like to tell me, Frau Rasch?"

"Ja, there is. The noise. It is too much, too much noise."

"The noise? Which noise are you referring to?" All innocence and morphine; that is my beloved.

"The uh, all of it. The piano, and the yelling and especially, uh, you know..."

Poor Frau Rasch cannot bring herself to say the words.

"We had guests last night, Frau Rasch. What were we to do, ask them to whisper, or to converse by writing?" Kitten shifts her weight from her left to right hip, sliding her left leg out and resting it in front of her, reminding me of Degas' Little Ballerina sculpture that we viewed in Paris last year.

"Nein, nein, Frau Cullen, it is not that noise I am talking about." Our landlady wrings her hands in her mortification, which is interesting, considering the tenants she has under her roof, a mixture of all sorts of deviants and artist types.

Including ourselves.

"We didn't have Anita Berber here, did you think she was our guest? I can understand why you'd be a bit upset, why, we both find her behavior at times to be quite off-putting!"

"Nein. Not from your guests. I don't mind that."

"Well then Frau Rasch, I am confused. Exactly what noise are you upset about? Edward practicing his scales, or perhaps from the sound of my knitting needles as I knit him a pair of socks? Is that it?" Not exactly mocking our landlady, but certainly teasing her.

"Nein, Frau Cullen. It is the noise from...well...from you and Herr Cullen while you are in bed."

My wife's eyebrows shoot up in alarm, her amber and azure blue eyes registering shock that our amorous exploits were not the type of sounds that anyone in our building would consider unusual.

We've heard many more unusual and interesting noises emanating from behind the doors of our neighbors, trust me.

"Is his snoring disturbing you? Believe me, it can be so loud at times, it drives me to the divan in the front room!"

"Nein, Frau Cullen. I have never heard him snore. It's the banging of the headboard against the wall and, and that thump thump thump sound, like someone is being dragged down the stairs, and then there's the screaming as you both, uh, you know..."

Frau Rasch lowers her gaze to the floor, too scandalized to say what she knows we've been up to.

"As we...make love, Frau Rasch?" Kitten gently raises Frau Rasch's chin with the tip of her right index finger, whispering what the older woman could not.

"Ja."

"Oh my. Well, we certainly do not want to make you uncomfortable, Frau Rasch, but there is one thing you should know."

"Oh? What?"

Kitten leans forward towards Frau Rasch's right ear and cups her right hand behind the woman's thick mahogany tresses, shot through with gray and pulled into a tight bun that rests on the back of her head, then whispers softly, so softly I have to strain to hear her words:

"We are trying to make a baby."

And with those seven words, all is forgotten all is forgiven.

Until the next time we disturb her.

Which more than likely will be in another month or so.

###

"Danke, Frau Rasch." Kitten smiles warmly at the retreating figure, shaking her blond mane as she watches the woman amble down the hallway towards the staircase, muttering to herself about her odd mietersand how beautiful a Kindwe'd create if we were so blessed.

"'Trying to make a baby', huh? Is that what you call it?" I murmur into my beloved's left ear, causing her to startle at my words; she never heard me leave our bed, or my footsteps as they crossed the expanse between our bedroom and the door.

"Jesus, Edward, stop that. You scared me half to death!"

"Sorry meine Liebchen, but your words caught me off guard. A baby, is that what you desire? Hmmm?" I continue to murmur into her ear, as I pull her back towards me, stripping the sheet from her and flinging it away from us, not bothering to watch as it floats over the table where we place our keys and what little mail we receive.

"Nein, mein Mann, I just said that to get rid of her; I knew that was her weakness, I've seen her staring at the mothers with their little ones bundled in their prams as they take the air."

"Interesting, meine Liebchen, what you observe here all alone, while I am at my studies. What else do you see from your perch, kleine Mieze?" I inquire as I kiss her neck while pushing my knee between hers. The palm of my right hand drifts across her breasts on its path down towards her pussy, teasing her, enjoying the sensation of her nipples hardening under my flesh.

I smirk as her breath returns, short and sharp, my hands playing her body as I would the keyboard of the piano, just a few short steps away.

"I, uh, I see, many things, my darling. Many, ah! things..." she mutters, her head rolling back onto my chest, her eyes closing in anticipation of my next move as my fingers tease the swelling nub nestled in her dusky folds.

"Well then, Frau Cullen, perhaps you can describe to me what you are feeling now, hmmm?" I continue my petting of her, pushing my cock into the groove of her ass, gently rocking the two of us in rhythm with her staggered breathing, the friction of skin on skin causing my own breathing to accelerate.

"I, uh, ahhhhh....."

"Come with me, my beauty. Let's see if I can make your words to Frau Rasch come true."

And with that I swing my wife into my arms, cradling her as I would a kinder, and carry her to what remains of our bed.

###

"Why won't they take my crumbs?"

My wife is pouting at the lack of interest the squirrels and ducks seem to have in the breadcrumbs she's been attempting to entice them with for the past hour.

"What, our bread isn't good enough for them? I bet I could find

someone hungry enough here in Berlin that would gladly have them." She snorts, annoyed and dismayed that the creatures she so desperately has been tempting have shied away from us; indeed, they seem frightened by us, for some odd reason.

"I don't know darling, perhaps they have already been fed" I respond, my head resting on the crease of her dress, where her right thigh meets her torso.

We are resting under the shadow of an oak tree, lying on a blanket in the Paradise Gardens, having strolled from our flat with a basket of fruit, cheese and wine, which has largely gone ignored.

Except for the breadcrumbs, which now lie scattered around our temporary abode like so many flakes of crusty snow.

Times were hard for many Berliners in the years after the terms of the Armistice were signed in the railway carriage in the Compiègne Forest in November of 1918, ending the War to End All Wars. The German people left virtually penniless and bankrupt. Inflation was ridiculously high; the cost of a loaf of common bread many times the usual price, and it was not unusual to see women and young girls prostituting themselves to survive.

The economy has improved, but politically, the Weimar Republic is a mess, with forty-some factions ranging from the Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands to the centrist Zentrumspartei to the right-wing Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei fighting for control of the government.

But my Kitten and I have no such worries about money or concerns about politics. If anything, we have more money than we can ever hope to spend. We live quite comfortably thanks to the funds left us by our parents, after their deaths from the Spanish Influenza nearly ten years earlier.

For we are both orphans, left adrift in a world that neither of us were ever truly prepared for.

###

"So tell me Kitten, what did you think of our guests last night?"

"Any one in particular?" she answers me back. Her eyes are closed as she leans back against the weathered bark of the oak tree; the fingers of her right hand playing with strands of my hair, brushing them back and forth, occasionally drifting over my brow; her touch is as tender and loving as a cherub's.

"Yes. That woman who kept flirting with me, that you were staring daggers at."

"Oh, her? What's the German for 'insufferable bitch'?

I have to laugh. My Kitten isn't often given to fits of jealousy over other women's attraction to me; she knows that I will always come home to her, to our bed.

She knows that she is my top priority, and always will be.

"Magda Quandt."

She smiles, and says nothing. I understand her irritation with this particular guest last night. Kitten is very perceptive to the emotions of others, and told me on our stroll here to the park that she found Frau Quandt's nearly ceaseless criticism of Jews to be offensive.

"Honestly Edward, I don't understand her problem with the Jews. She told me that her own stepfather was a Jew, so what's her infatuation with Jews?"

"Who knows, Kitten. Sometimes I just don't understand some humans. Maybe she's looking for someone to take the blame for her own shortcomings."

"Perhaps. Edward, did you bring that book with you?"

"The collection of Joyce's poems?"

"Yes, that one."

"Of course, it's in the basket."

My love dips her right hand into the wicker basket and roots out the slim volume of poems from between the remains of the loaf of pumpernickel bread and the bottle of Liebfraumilch.

"Read to me, my love."

"Any one in particular?" I hear her riffling through the thin stock of the books pages.

"No, your choice." I mumble, enjoying the sounds of the park around us, the feel of the warm breeze across my face, the softness of her thigh as I adjust my position, nudging her free hand further into my hair, silently begging her to continue her loving stroking of my locks.

"Hmmm, let me see." She thinks to herself out loud, humming as she does. So content and happy she is now, which isn't always the case.

At times, my Kitten can be caught under the oppressive cloud of melancholia. We both are taken to bouts of it, in fact, she more than I.

"Ah, here we are." She clears her throat before commencing her recitation.

"In the dark pine-wood
I would we lay,
In deep cool shadow
At noon of day.

How sweet to lie there,
Sweet to kiss,
Where the great pine-forest
Enaisled is!

Thy kiss descending
Sweeter were
With a soft tumult
Of thy
hair.

O unto the pine-wood
At noon of day
Come with me now,
Sweet love, away."

We say nothing after that, continue to lie and sit in our poses, still as stones as we mull over the poet's words, and how they describe us, our relationship.

Both aware that we would gladly follow the other into the dark pine-wood, no questions asked, totally trusting the other, implicitly.

As we have from the beginning.

###

My darling finally stirs; she can sense the subtle change of temperature in the air as the sun begins its descent into twilight.

I raise myself from the pillow of her thigh and we gather our belongings; I give the blanket a good shaking, smiling as blades of grass and shards of dust float downwards towards the lawn.

She places her right hand in the crook of my bent left arm as I escort her from the park. "Darling, would you enjoy ein Kaffee before we head home? We're not far from the Romanisches Café. I know how you enjoy watching the world parade by there. "

We both relish passing the time seated at the small tables under the café's awning, observing the artists that flock to this particular café; listening to their impassioned speeches, their love of beauty in all its forms, both sacred and profane.

"Yes, please, Edward. That would be lovely. "

We continue our stroll towards the café, content with the day and each others company. My wife glances back over her right shoulder, frowning at the untouched trail of breadcrumbs that mark the border of our picnic.

"I still don't understand why they wouldn't touch our crumbs."

I give her right hand a gentle pat with mine, comforting her.

"Let it go, Kitten. Let it go."

I have an inkling why the squirrels and birds still won't approach our offerings.

But I'm too sensitive to her distress to tell her.

###

Our days and weeks pass by in relative quiet. I continue my studies at the Universitätsmedizin, while my darling wife spends hers reading, knitting, handling our finances and exploring the city. She has become quite adept at circumnavigating the subway and public bus systems.

Often she will meet me at the Normaluhr as it's known, the meeting place under the public clock at Zoo station. Which is were she is today, dressed in a smart camel-colored coat with a white fur collar, white silk stockings, ice blue frock that stops just short of her knees. Her blond tresses covered by a matching ice blue cloche that frames her beauty perfectly.

She stands there waiting for me; aware and unaware of the hustle and bustle that surrounds her. She is an island of splendor unto herself.

We wander towards a cinema. She insisted I take a break from my studies to attend a screening of a film with her, one that she has already seen at least twice.

"What's the name of this film you are so enamored with, meine Liebe?"

"You'll laugh, it's the silliest thing. The lead actor's last name is Schreck. What is the English for that?"

I stop a moment and gaze at her in delight. "You're kidding. His last name is Schreck?"

"Yes, Edward, Schreck. What's so amusing?"

I start to laugh, I can't stop myself; it's just too ridiculous.

"'Fright'. His name in English is 'fright.'" Oh my God, this is probably some silly monster film. Why she loves those is beyond me, but what the hell? I told her I would. Besides, I kann sie küssen her in the dark, she loves that.

She snorts in delight. "Well, that's certainly fitting then."

"Why? What's the name of the film you're dragging me to see?" I nudge her with my left elbow in fun then continue to escort her to the cinema.

"Nosferatu."

###

We generally take our meals out. My wife is not fond of cooking, as I am. In fact, she insists that I handle all culinary decisions, aside from baking, which she loves to do. I have a certain fondness for the aroma of her Spritz cookies, which she bakes by the dozens, sharing them with both the other tenants of our building, and the staff of the soup kitchen on the Friedrichstrass for the hungry citizens of Berlin, those most affected by the rampant inflation and economic woes that still continue to pox some of the German population.

The street entrance to our building gives way to a dark, dank garden, one in which the nurturing rays of the sun never seem to reach. The corners and recesses of the architecture twist from black to gray and black again as the sun makes it's way across the equinox, before dropping off towards the horizon, day after day.

We have an eclectic collection of neighbors, to say the least: Artists, musicians, whores of several varieties and those who dabble in the fringes of polite society. Each keeps mainly to himself or herself, respecting the privacy and quirks of the other tenants.

With the exception of two tenants, both of whom my Kitten is especially fond, and

who tend to grate on my nerves, disturbing my hard-won feelings of serenity.

Heidi and Emmerich Bär.

###

You should know that the first time I was introduced to Heidi, I was totally fooled by her appearance, but Kitten wasn't. She caught on to Heidi's true nature within seconds of meeting her.

Heidi and Emmerich live across the hallway and two floors beneath us on the ground floor of our building. Their flat is exotic, to say the least.

"Edward, we have been invited to tea, of all things." My wife informed me one afternoon, interrupting my hour of playing the piano as I took a break from my studies. I had just completed my first day of human dissection, and I felt the need to rest and reflect on the experience, and to silently thank the deceased destitute man whose body was to be the source of my expanded knowledge of human anatomy.

What disturbed me most that first day of anatomy lab was when the student whom I had been assigned to work with, Jakob Schwarz, pulled back the sheet hiding the corpse I nearly started from the shock; the dead man's face looked so familiar, almost as if I had known him in life.

When I relayed this experience to Kitten, she comforted me my taking me in her arms and assuring me that we had probably passed by him on the street, and had thrown a few coins in his out-stretched hand, or perhaps had seen him when I accompanied her to the soup kitchen with a basket of her Spritz cookies. Then she kissed me, and held me until the troubling image left my mind.

She held my hand leading me down the staircase to meet our neighbors, both of who would make an unwelcome intrusion into our lives.

###

When Heidi opened the door to their flat, we were overwhelmed by the heavy scent of sandalwood incense and the even heavier curtains draping the main room from floor to ceiling. Kitten mentioned later that it reminded her of what "a tacky Arabian brothel might look like."

Heidi was dressed in a tired and worn pink silk kimono embroidered with peonies and swans, her blond hair disheveled, hiding what appeared to be scars that crisscrossed her flesh. Upon closer inspection, her hair was actually an ill-fitting wig. We both inwardly snickered at its poor craftsmanship, but were too polite to let our hostess know of our amusement at her clownish appearance.

Her makeup appeared to be splattered upon her skin with a trowel, the rouge on her cheeks far too red to be natural and the color of her lips an equally unreal shade of pink, like that of cotton candy at the circus or zoo.

If one didn't know better, one might think Heidi was a retired lesbian whore. But one glance at her hands gave away Heidi's true nature.

For "Heidi," we were to learn, was actually Jasper, a former US soldier who no longer called the expanse of West Texas his home, but instead shared the ersatz seraglio of a flat in Berlin with his lover and 'employer' Emmerich.

Whose real name, we also learned that day, was Emmett McCarty, formerly of the mountains of Tennessee.

###

"Emmerich Bär" owns an export/import business he runs from his flat.

He is a huge man, nearly six feet five inches tall, and nearly as wide; his width is not from fat, but pure muscle. Where Jasper is petite and soft, Emmett is giant and solid.

He is a jovial man who always has a smile on his face, welcoming and seemingly happy to see you. That outward expression of hospitality, however, is actually a well-acted front.

We've heard and seen how he deals with some of his employees, and we are glad that we are not associated with him in a professional manner.

When I initially asked Kitten exactly what commodity he dealt in, she gave me the most peculiar look, informing me "Let me put it this way. He'll have what you ordered delivered to your door at your convenience, and when you are finished with it, it leaves with it's pay in it's pocket."

"What?"

She shoots me an exasperated look, sighing as she does. "Edward. Think, my green-eyed boy, think. You've seen who comes and goes through their door."

That's when I realized just what commodity Herr Bär is involved in.

"Oh, that type of commodity."

"Exactly, my darling. Exactly."

###

Jasper has become my Kitten's best friend.

When I voiced my displeasure one morning at the amount of time she had been spending with him, she shook her head in annoyance and informed me that I had nothing to fear, that Jasper preferred the affections of men, and also that "every girl needs a good queer friend to shop and play dress up with."

"Besides, Edward, you are so involved in cutting up that corpse, you're never home as much as you have been. I'm lonely."

"I'm sorry Liebling. How can I make it up to you?" She's right, I have been preoccupied with my studies, and it isn't fair to her. Outside of myself, Jasper is the only other person who enjoys her company. She doesn't trust Emmett, not as she does Jasper. She's seen how he treats his female employees, how he grins at them while cheating them of the monies they've earned on their back or their knees.

She smiled at me, then flung her arms around my neck, pulling my mouth down to hers and started kissing me, darting her tongue into and out of my mouth as quickly as a hummingbird's beating wings, causing me to drop my books and pull her to me by her upper arms and crushing her to my chest.

"I want to go out for dinner and then go dancing", she muttered against my lips.

"Your desire is my command, my Kitten." I answered, pulling my face away from hers and smiling at her delighted expression.

"Kuss-Kuss." She breathed on my lips as she grasped my hair, fisting it as I sank into her scent, overwhelming my senses.

Her dress and slip fell off her shoulders like water slicing over a knife, onto the floor, leaving her clad only in her stockings and shoes. I pushed her towards the divan, tearing at my trousers as I did, wanting to give her a taste of what I had planned for her after our evening out.

In retrospect, perhaps we should have gone to the cinema instead.

###

When I returned to our flat after my lecture later that day my mind was assaulted by the peals of delighted laughter wafting from behind our door.

What I saw when I pushed open the door nearly floored me.

"What the hell are you doing?"

My wife was standing in our bedroom, clad only in her knickers, stockings and shoes, with Jasper winding an elastic band around her beautiful breasts; the breasts that bring me such pleasure and comfort, that I'm so grateful are full and soft, that have brought many an appreciative glance from other men.

"Oh, hello darling! Jasper here is showing me how to bind down my girls! Look how flat I am now!" She turns and admires herself in the full-length mirror, turning from right to left and then back, smiling at her appearance.

"What the hell are you doing that for?"

She sauntered over to me, the hugest smile on her face, eyes lit up like the candles that used to grace the Christmas tree in the front parlor of my childhood home in Lincoln Park.

She grinned up at me as she wrapped her arms around my waist and informed me "Because, my love, we are going out tonight and I am going to dress up as a boy."

Which literally drew a growl from deep inside my chest.

"And guess what! We're going to double date with Emmerich and Heidi!"

The growl was cut short by this most unwelcome news.

Shit.

###

"How do I look?"

How do you look?

You look like a 14-year old boy: Flat chest under a crisp white shirt over which black suspenders cross behind your back, round hips clad in gray tweed trousers that make them appear slimmer and your feet shod in my favorite heels, which give you another two inches of height; your glorious mane of blond hair pulled up and tucked under a fedora, all topped off with a saucy, knowing smirk on your beautifully made-up face. That's how you look.

You look so fucking incredible, I want to push you up against the wall, pull down your trousers, flip you around, grab hold of you by your tits and fuck the living daylights out of you, pound my cock into that sweet tight wet pussy of yours until you scream my name in ecstasy, and then I want to feel that mouth of yours work its magic on my cock while you kneel before me. That's how you look.

I don't want to leave this room, this flat with you and them. I want them to leave us and for you to stay here with me and play.

"Play what, Edward?"

Shit. I cannot believe she heard what I was thinking I must have muttered that aloud.

I hear Jasper and Emmett tittering as they stand in our main room, glasses of gin in their hands. Jasper is dressed in a black dropped-waist dress with matching shoes and cloche hat. Emmett fills out his thin-striped suit like a mountain, clothed in shades of gray, fanning himself with a torn Oriental fan with the image of a tiger stalking its prey painted on it.

"Come, mein Mann, escort your Junge to the Eldorado. We'll have plenty of time to play later tonight." She laughs, slipping her slim hand in mine, and pulls me towards the door to the hallway, pushing the two snickering fairies aside.

We really should have stayed home, alone, that night.

###

The Eldorado was the premiere transvestite club in Berlin at the time, Heidi and Emmerich both well-known clientele. Emmett did a fair amount of business there, greeting both his steady customers and his stable of whores, both male and female.

To say the Eldorado was simply a bar would be a misnomer. If anything, it was a mix of theater and restaurant, with a bit of dancing thrown in for good measure. The "women" seated at the bar were, for the most part, anything but. Decked out in their finery, faces perfectly made up in expensive cosmetics, it took the observant viewer to realize that they were actually men by the glance of an unusually broad neck, a hand too wide, ankles thicker than that of most true women.

A mix of fathers and prostitutes, family men and husbands, gays and straights, and it all worked together, wonderfully.

###

Kitten and I sit side-by-side at the table we share with Heidi and Emmerich who, to be honest, are more interested in the show on the small stage of a nearly nude 18-year old boy from Paris, performing the "Dance of Heilogabal" along with a chorus line of "girls", and drinking the champagne that I have purchased, than in conversing with us.

My wife has her legs flung over my lap, laughing and enjoying everything there is about the Eldorado: The aging queens, the Japanese tourists who seem to flock there, the music and dancing and the sweaty, sexually-charged air.

"So, mein Mann does this excite you, seeing your wife dressed as a boy?" she whispers into my ear, flickering her tongue against my hairline as she nuzzles my cheek, kicking her legs in time to the jazz blasting from the stage from the all-girl band.

"Yes, of course it does, mein Lieblingsjunge" I whisper back, kissing her nose and stroking her thigh with my right hand, while clutching her by her waist with my left.

"And does it excite you, Mein Mann, knowing that there are men here who desire me, who think I am your Freund?"

"Yes, mein Haustier. Very much so" I murmur into her neck, nipping and sucking at her flesh there, feeling the effect of the music and her voice and perfume on my senses, of the moistness I know is building between her legs as she flirts and tempts me with her words.

"Do you desire me, Edward? Do you desire to take me as a man would another man?" She licks my lips with her tongue as she questions me. I've moved her kicking legs around my waist, straddling me. I have no care who might see us; there are plenty of men here involved in more intimate acts under tables and in private nooks hidden around the club.

I take her right hand and place it on the bulge straining against the wool of my trousers, aching to have her slither under the table and take me in her mouth, right then and there, relieving this exquisite pressure her words and coquettish ways have created on my cock, in my head. My entire body is tingling with desire for her, for more than just her warmth, for more more more...

Her eyebrows shoot upwards and her mouth forms a perfect "O" of delight when she discovers what her provocative words have done to me. Her amber blue eyes drop down and she bites her lower lip with those flawless white teeth of hers, the ones I love to feel nip and bite me, marking me as hers, when we play.

"Oh my, mein Mann, you are a perfect cockpony für deine Frau!" Then she begins to ride my thigh, further exciting herself and me as well as she grasps my cock and strokes it in rhythm with her movements, flinging her head back and laughing in delight and lust.

I can't take much more of this. We have to either leave and take each other against the red brick wall of an alley way, or she has to relieve me with her pouty red mouth under the table. I'm ready to pop she's so sinfully frisky with me.

"You fucking minx, you know exactly what you're doing to me, don't you?" My accusation is more of an admission of guilt on my part. I so love when she acts this way, taking the lead, dominating me rather than the other way around.

"Edward, dance with me?" My wife asks suddenly, throwing both her arms around my neck, leaving me gasping in frustration. She's been flirting with and exciting me on purpose, much to the pleasure of the two men seated next to us, both dressed in smart black suits and slowly getting inebriated from the bottles of German champagne they've been drinking steadily from over the past hour. From their accents, I've made out that they're both Americans such as ourselves, out for an evening's entertainment away from their business interests.

They've been observing our little show with great interest. The one placing his right hand on the thigh of the other, and squeezing it as my breathing grew ragged and my wife's desire followed in kind.

I lead my wife out to the crowded dance floor. The odor of cheap perfume, sweat and lust assaults my senses. The molecules of the musky smell of men mixed with the sweet jasmine perfume of my beloved burrow their way into my nose, causing me to wrinkle it in irritation.

We dance together. I lead she follows, as we always do. I sense the lustful glances of the men there, both straight and fag. I sense their longing for her beauty, sense their curiosity of her true gender, sense their jealousy of her in my arms, that she is mine.

Heidi and Emmerich had left our table and vanished into the crowd before Kitten began her "Let's see how close to orgasm I can make mein Mann in public" game. We will not see them again for several weeks, which doesn't disappoint me in the least. I feel they are a bad influence on my Kitten, leading her astray into a realm that I rescued her from, and are loath to allow her to revisit.

###

"May I dance with you, my dear boy?"

The American who had his hand on his companion's thigh extends his hand out to Kitten, who looks up to me for approval. I nod my assent and whisper to her "Just one," and then kiss her mouth, letting my tongue laze its way over hers, before nipping at her neck, educating her ersatz suitor who she truly belongs to and marking her as mine.

"Of course, darling. Just the one."

I watch as he leads her out to the dance floor, trying to get a grip on his intentions, where he thinks this might lead. I overhear his "So, are you a boy or are you a girl?" query and inwardly wince at her response of "I can be whoever you want me to be."

I thought we were past that time of her life.

For my beloved had herself once been a whore, purchased by my father for me, to serve as my companion and then my tutor in the ways of physical love when he felt I had reached my manhood.

And she had been a most adept companion and tutor.

So much so that we fell in love, before the four horseman of the Apocalypse brought their scourge to the world and took our parents from us, leaving us alone and frightened with no one but each other for comfort and assurance.

###

My Kitten and I have an agreement: That we are free to enjoy the certain delights of others, but that we always return to each other, never to remain apart for more than a few hours.

We always, always return to spend the night together in our shared bed, whispering of our experiences with the other, thus strengthening our relationship.

Our love.

###

"I'm going for a stroll with Herr Newton, Edward, do you mind? I'll be back in just a bit. Michael? This is mein Mann, Edward Cullen."

My wife's gaze does not waver as she stands in front of me, her hands on my shoulders, bent over from her waist as she informs me of her intentions. Herr Newton nods at me, smiling like he's just grabbed the brass ring on a merry-go-round unaware of how intense my darling Kitten can be in her affections.

I nod my assent and tell her I will meet her in front of the club in exactly one hour before kissing her hard on her mouth again. I have caught the eye of a brunette-haired woman seated with her friends, who have been tittering and laughing behind their hands at the spectacle of outrageous sexuality before them.

I watch as they exit the club together, his hand on the small of her back, rubbing the space between it and her ass back and forth. He clutches a bottle of champagne in the other, swigging from it as they disappear from my view.

My new companion is terribly bored and wishing she could be anywhere but here. Her husband is away for the weekend, and she only went along with her friends to satisfy their prurient interest in the Eldorado.

I have gleaned this information from her in the space of the three minutes it has taken us to walk from the dance floor to the coat room to retrieve her wrap.

And honestly, I could care less.

All I want to do is push her up against the rough brick wall of the alleyway behind the club, or in the black, darkened doorway of a closed shop, have my way with her and satisfy my need. Then escort her back to the club, where I will meet my wife, and then bring her home to our flat. We can play out our experiences of this evening with the other.

I cannot hear my wife; cannot tell if she is locked in a similar embrace in another doorway, another alleyway.

The only sounds are that of the traffic passing by the club, the shouts of the club goers and the rhythmic boom boom boom of both the bass drum of the band playing inside the Eldorado, and of my partner's nervous, anxious heart as she grips my head with her gloved hands. I bend my mouth down to kiss her neck, waiting and restless.

###

An hour later, my need fulfilled, I return to the entryway of the club, only to discover that my wife is nowhere to be seen.

My conquest is not with me. She asked before we slipped into the doorway that I not be seen with her upon our return, concerned that one of her friends might spill her furtive Begegnung with me to her spouse.

I was more than happy to comply with her request. She was dull and lifeless, standing there while I took her, not returning my caresses or kisses.

The entire episode was boring, actually, taking no more than fifteen minutes. I hope my darling Kätzchen had a more memorable experience than I did.

Ten minutes later, I begin to worry, and begin to pace to and fro in front of the club.

She is nowhere to be found.

I begin to walk at a brisk pace away from the club opposite the direction I took originally, running my worried hand through my hair. I am apprehensive that something untoward has befallen my Love, my Glory.

After three blocks of scarcely controlled searching I hear her, her voice faintly whispering to me from a darkened doorway, hidden from view by the shadows of the deepening night.

"Eddie. Help me."

My wife is lying curled up into a ball like a fetus in the womb on the cold cement doorstep. Her clothing is torn and dirtied, her eyes now darkened amber and lit up as if she'd been snorting lines of the purest cocaine in Berlin.

Her escort is nowhere to be seen.

Fuck.

"Eddie. Oh Eddddie. I'm so hammered, Eddie, I can't stand up."

My wife isn't injured; she's drunk.

Kneeling down, I check her face, her hands her body for signs of violence. Finding nothing amiss, I gently gather her into my arms and lift her up and away from the chilled doorway.

"What did you have to drink?"

She hiccups wetly. "Champagne." Then giggles.

"How many did you have?"

She hiccups again. "Just the one, just as you said."

"Just one? Really?" I find that hard to believe, as drunk as she is.

"Yeeessshhh, Edwaaard. Just the one, but it was lovely, the bubbles tickled my tongue."

"I think we might want to avoid champagne from now on, it's a bit much

for you to handle Kitten."

"You think so? How was yours darling? What did you have?"

I shift her up and over my shoulder, so that her head hangs over my shoulder; in case she vomits, she won't choke.

"Beer. It was acceptable. Nothing out of the ordinary."

"I'm shorry, sweetheart, sho shorry." Her words slurred, barely able to tumble across her ruby lips, smudged and swollen from her doorway tryst.

"Don't worry about it, Kitten. Let's just get you home and in bed."

"But what if I puke on your trousers and shoes? Won't you be mad?"

"Of course not. I'll just buy more."

"That Herr Newton, I could barely get him to shut up, he was all 'Hitler this and Hitler'" hiccup "that. That Hitler fucker ain't even German." She hiccups again, and doesn't say anything after that just nods off, growing heavy in my arms as she relaxes.

By the time I undress her and lay her in our bed, she is, for all intents and purposes, unconscious.

I lay there next to her keeping watch, listening to the hours pass by, measured in the ticking of the clock over the mantle. The sounds of the earth as it rises from its slumber filter through my ears; the chatter of birds overtaking the shouts and hurried footsteps of their human counterparts on the streets below.

I do not sleep.

I never have been able to sleep well, and when she overindulges, I cannot bring myself to leave her side.

I'm too afraid she won't awaken, ever.

###

"I am never drinking champagne ever again." My wife declares to me as I place the moistened cloth over her eyes, shielding them from the subdued light streaming through our bathroom window.

It's early afternoon, and my beloved and I are in our bathtub, lazing away the hours until it is time for us to rise and begin our day. It is a Saturday, and we have no plans, no need to join in the company of others.

When she awoke from her stupor, she couldn't look at me, she was so ashamed and humiliated by her actions.

But the story she told me of her experience with Herr Newton brought a smile to my face. She definitely had a much more pleasurable experience with her 'date' than I did.

Other than his mouth at least.

"Honestly Edward, what is the fascination of some people with that Hitler man. He was "Hitler this' and 'Nazi that' and 'Hitler will be the salvation of the German people, and maybe one day, the world!' What a fucking idiot he was."

I chuckle, but inwardly I know that this latest leader in German politics is more than he appears to be. I don't trust him; I have concerns that he may lead the lost people of our adopted homeland astray.

And our guest of several months earlier, Magda Quandt, apparently has married one of his subordinates, Joseph Goebbels, who is in agreement with her hatred of the Jewish people.

"Kitten, today we will continue your study of the German language, but you must agree to help me with my studies."

I am nearly finished with medical school. I have only eighteen months before I matriculate. Where we will go then is unknown. We both love Berlin, but there is the matter of 'that Hitler man' to consider.

Perhaps we will move again, return to our home in Tuscany, or to Venice, where we spent a few brief months upon leaving Chicago.

"Of course, darling. What are we reviewing today?"

"Anatomy."

###

"We will start with the circulatory system."

"You mean the heart? Again?"

"Yes, my Glory, das Herz."

I squeeze the natural sponge over her chest, watching in fascination as the clear liquid tumbles over her alabaster chest, coating her sternum with its sheen.

We have added oils to the water, to keep our skin fresh and durable; neither of us can abide any dryness, any discomfort. We are both quite vain about our appearance, but especially obsessed about our skin.

Our armor.

"And how does the blood flow through the body, mein Ruhm? Do you recall that lesson?"

She tilts her head back towards me, but makes no movement to pull the damp blindfold from her eyes.

"Of course. The Blut enters das Herz through the richtiges Atrium and then travels to the richtige Herzkammer." I squeeze more of the scented fluid over where her heart resides, tracing the path of the life-giving elixir as it rushes through the most essential muscle of the body, out to the lungs and then back, seeking more oxygen as it continues its ceaseless journey, over and over, for as many years as its host allows.

"And then where does it continue its journey, meine Taube?" I ask, running the sponge down her body over her smooth mound, smiling as I hear the 'ahh!' from her parted mouth when it flows over and then up her sensitive bud as I pull her right leg up and back, bracing it just behind her knee, while dipping the sponge into the warm water again.

"It goes to, ummm, the, uh, the toes?" She answers, hesitantly; she cannot recall the German for 'toes.' How endearing.

"Ja, meine Taube, das Blut geht zu den Zehen."

"Oh, den Zehen. Sorry, baby."

I trickle the water over her toes, eliciting giggles as the water tickles from her. She unconsciously pushes herself back onto me.

When she realizes how our combination Deutsch – Anatomy lesson is affecting a certain part of my anatomy, she grins back at me, eyes still hidden under the cloth. She lifts up a corner and peeks at me her eyes back to their beautiful amber-azure color, the eyes that hold my very soul.

"Leave that on. I don't want you to see what I'm doing, Kitten."

"Ja, mein Herr." Still grinning, she folds the cloth back over her eyes. I can feel the tension of the previous night's activities vanish from her muscles, replaced by another form of tension.

One that I am determined to relieve.

###

The sponge continues its exploration of my lover's body.

"And once it leaves den Zehen, where does it visit next?" I question her, dripping the oily water over her shin, and releasing the remaining liquid over her knee.

All the while I am brushing her tips with my left palm, back and forth, back and forth. She cannot resist this sensation, and she never has. When I asked her to describe what she was feeling when I touched her there in that manner, she told me "like there's an electric current that starts in my tips and roars straight down to my pussy."

I couldn't argue with that description, or the events it usually resulted in.

"The uh, Oh God..."

"Deutsch, Kätzchen."

"Oh Gott....Oh mein Gott."

"And what is the word for the knee?" I'm such a brat, teasing her. My left hand has traveled down to her pussy, my middle finger stroking her clit, while the adjoining fingers spread her folds apart.

"Oh... Knie. The word is Knie. Oh God, Edward, please..." She's writhing against my hand and fingers now, moving her hips in rhythm with my pressure on her most sensitive tissue.

"Deutsch, Kätzchen."

The sponge now roams up to her shoulder, trickling up to and over her neck.

"And this part? What is this part called?" I begin to kiss the back of her neck, nipping and sucking on her flesh, pushing her hair away with my nose inhaling the alluring scent of it, the thickness of it.

The Schönheit of it, such Schönheit, such beauty, is indescribable.

"Der Hals. The neck is der Hals." She's panting now, I've inserted a finger into her pussy and am gently thrusting it in and out of her while continuing to rub her clit with my thumb now increasing the pressure when she begins to cry out, then receding, teasing her, fueling her anguished pleas for release.

"Very good. Now get up on your knees, mein Kätzchen."

She does as I tell her. She's a very compliant pussy when she's stimulated.

"Now, we are going to revisit the vertebrae, die Wirbel. Are you ready?"

"Oh, Gott, yes, Edward, please, I'm so close, mein Mann...."

I pull my hands away from her stimulated folds, prompting her to cry out and beg me to grant her the release she so desperately needs.

"Patience, my darling, patience. All good things to those who wait."

"Fuck patience."

"No, my darling, I am going to fuck you."

I push her hair away, leaving her perfect alabaster back free to receive my kisses.

"First we will kiss all the Halswirbel in your neck." And I do so, kissing each one in turn, licking her flesh and then pursing my lips and blowing on the slickness my tongue has left behind, causing her to whine and moan.

"Then, mein Kätzchen, we will kiss your Brustwirbel, all twelve of them."

And I do, along with running my right hand along the curve of her ass, then dipping my fingers into her thrumming pussy, flicking a finger against her clit, which nearly sends her flying out of the tub, into the white tiled wall opposite us.

"Settle down, baby. We've still got some more to go."

"Please Eddie, forget the rest of them and just fuck me."

"Heh, I will. Just not yet."

"Oh Gott..."

I finally complete my trip down her spine, ending with a kiss and a bite on her Steißbein, her coccyx.

"Turn around Kitten." I instruct her as I stand, helping her to adjust herself in the tub, eyes still shielded with the damp cloth.

"Look at you so beautiful, so lovely. I want to feel your tongue on me, mein Kätzchen, show me how happy you are to be meine Frau."

As she takes me in her mouth, licking the sensitive ridges on either side of the head, my head lolls backwards, as do my eyes as my lids close, concentrating on the sensation of what she's doing to me, how I'm barely able to hold back.

I love fucking her mouth, feeling her tongue as it lathes over my flesh, teasing the tip and then relaxing her throat as she takes me completely in, the head of my cock hitting the back of her throat as I pump her warm moist mouth gently, then with more urgency.

My mouth, come in my mouth, baby.

"No, not this time."

I swear her silent words flew straight from her busy mouth to my brain.

But I don't want to come in her mouth, as I told her. Instead, I want to bury myself in her warmth, that tight, wet and ridged entrance that belongs to me and me only.

"Thank you, my beauty. Your mouth is a treasure, the happiness you bring me with it."

I kneel down with her, pulling her onto my lap, spreading her legs and draping them over the sides of the tub, kissing her mouth and neck.

"Breathe, baby, breathe..."

We rock back and forth, one against the other as I enter her; I hold her to me by her ass as she steadies herself with her hands clutching the tub edge, now her head thrown back, mouth slack. Her breath is ragged, staggered.

"Come with me, baby, come with me" I urge her, so close myself I can see the prisms of light that always signal the start of my orgasm begin to flicker and build behind my eyelids.

Her fingers are digging into the slick edge of the porcelain tub, causing it to shriek in protest, the veins in her neck taut with her efforts to hold back, to wait until we can burst into the light together.

"Jetzt! Jetzt! Jetzt!" I command her. "Now! Now! Now!"

And we do. Loudly, as the warm water sloshes over the edges, splashing the walls and flooding the floor from the force of our final thrusts as it does.

By the time we open our eyes, the water is cold, the afternoon light outside replaced with twilight.

We leave the tub together, to dry each other off and dress, nuzzling and kissing as we do, so happy, relaxed and satiated from our bath.

And begin our day together.

###

Frau Rasch is cleaning house.

Our neighbor down the hall, Heike Überschwemmung, has been evicted. Apparently she brought her work home with her one time too often for our landlady's patience with her choice of occupation.

But when one leaves in our building, generally another one or two arrives to take their place.

And in this instance the new arrivals are named Rosalie and Alice.

Both of who are Salvation Army Girls but not the kind that attempt to save one's soul.

If anything, they attempt to forsake it.

###

Unfortunately for our new neighbors, their employer Emmerich has moved out of his ersatz seraglio and relocated to Paris, claiming that the winters here were too harsh for him. His employees claim he cheated them, once again.

He leaves not only owing our landlady back rent and our new neighbors back pay, but also Jasper, whose services were no longer needed by his employer.

Which means that Jasper is once again a frequent visitor to our flat, along with Rosalie's flat mate and fellow lesbian whore, Alice.

Where Rosalie is buxom, blond and bossy, Alice is petite, raven-tressed, and mischievous. Kitten adores spending time with her new found friends, and at first I had my concerns that they might attempt to lure her back into The Life, as she called it, as well as luring her into their bed.

But for once in the years that I have known Jasper, he actually steps up and does something so unexpected so unusual for him, I can scarcely believe it.

He begins to court Alice.

###

"Alice is not really a gamine, Edward, you know that, right?" Kitten asks me one evening as she's walking me to the dissection lab, my lab partner, Jakob Schwartz, is waiting for me there. We are nearly to Potsdamer Platz, where I stop and purchase a bouquet of daisies and baby's breath for my darling Frau. She accepts my gift, sniffing the blossoms and smiling her thanks up at me as she does.

"You know that, don't you Edward? That none of them actually is what you think they are."

"Really? You could have fooled me." She laughs at my statement. Her laughter sounds like a ringing bell off in the distance to my ears. So lovely and yet so hollow, almost as if there's something missing, but I can't quite place what it is, but it's there, taunting me to discover it.

There have been great changes in the German political arena. A decline, one might say, of the advances the people of Berlin have achieved since the War, and Herr Hitler has been attracting more attention and followers to his party, now commonly known as the Nazi party.

"Well, apparently they did, Jasper as well. They only do that to survive. You understand that, don't you?" My wife breaks my thoughts of political intrigue.

"Oh? Oh, ah, yes, and I feel sorry for them, that they chose that path."

She stops in her tracks; her happy demeanor now replaced by an affronted one.

"'Chose that path?' Nobody chooses that path on a whim, Edward. Don't be such a judgmental snob."

"I'm not judging them, Kitten, I'm merely saying..."

"I know what you're saying Edward. Do you honestly think I enjoyed being what I was, back then?"

"Of course not, I'm aware of that, but I'm just saying that sometimes people do things that they think will shock others, just for the sake of shocking them."

Someday I really should learn to keep my thoughts to myself though she'd hear them anyway; she's like that.

"Mein Gott, Edward. You are such a snob. Good bye mein Mann, say hello to your friend James for me, I'm sure you will have a much more enjoyable time with him this evening, in whatever shape he's left in."

And with that, she spins right around on the heel of her Art Deco inspired shoe, the monkey fur trim of her black wool coat swishing against the black leather of my trench coat as she does, and darts across the Platz, barely missing being nicked by a streetcar.

Ignoring my urgent pleas to return to me, to accept my apology for offending her.

I let out my breath, watching as she vanishes, ghost-like, into the maul of the evening pedestrians, then pull the collar of my coat closer around my throat against the late fall chill, and continue on to the lab, where both Jakob and our corpse, James, await me.

Unaware that she was so upset with me that she decided a bit of mischief was in order that night.

One that we would both dearly regret.

###

"Who was that woman? Was that your wife?"

Jakob and I are nearly finished with our dissection this night. James' right arm lays flayed and exposed under the harsh light of the lab.

We are the only two students who prefer to continue our dissections at night. Neither of us can sleep, and he finds the chatter and incessant questioning of the professors by our fellow students as irritating as I do.

He usually isn't that chatty. In fact, there have been nights where we've exchanged perhaps four words total: Guten Abend and Auf Wiedersehen.

Which suits me fine.

"Yes."

"Oh. She appeared quite upset about something." Probing, wanting to stick his nose in where it doesn't belong. Wonderful.

I sigh, more in annoyance with his questioning than anything else. I expect her to be back at our flat when I return later this morning, and I plan to ask for her forgiveness and make it up to her, starting on the divan or perhaps the black leather club chair – her choice.

"Yes, she was. Pass the scalpel, would you? There's a good fellow."

I bend my head to my task, ignoring his puzzled look and shutting him out, concentrating on making my cut perfect.

Jakob begins to say something, then thinks the better of it and picks up the forceps from the tray next to him, as we begin to finish up the final piece of our education in the muscular system.

James' right hand.

###

"Kätzchen?"

The flat is silent.

I glance towards our bed, which is empty and unrumpled, still made up perfectly; she takes great pride in her housekeeping.

My tour of the flat turns up nothing unusual, other than that she is missing.

My wife has not yet returned to our home. There is no sign of her clothing from the evening before, nor of the flowers I gifted her with.

I search for a note, wondering if she was upset enough with me to leave, perhaps to cool off in Tuscany. But the train schedule is still folded as I left it, tucked away in the top right drawer of my desk, also untouched.

Where the hell could she have gone?

From the hallway I hear the muted laughter of Alice and Jasper as they return from their evening out. I fling open the door to our flat, startling both of them with the force of my effort.

"Have you seen her? Where is she, did she go out with you?"

The pair exchange puzzled glances, then look back up towards me.

"Well, did you? See her?"

"No Edward, we haven't. We went to dinner and then to several clubs, but we didn't see Kitten at all. Is she missing?" Alice inquires, now visibly worried. She's hiding something, I can tell from her hesitant reply, the fleeting glance that passed between them.

"You know where she went off to, don't you? Tell me." I take a step over the threshold, causing Jasper to grab Alice in alarm and shove her behind him in protection. He's gone from a simpering fairy to a good soldier. What the hell is his deal anyway?

"Okay, so we lied. We did see Kitten. She was with Tanya at some gamine bar, but then she left there after an hour or two, on her own. And that's the truth, Edward."

"Which bar? Which way did she go? Did you see anyone flirting with her?"

Oh please, Mein Gott, please don't let her be hurt. Please don't let her have started down that path again I can't bear to lose her. I'll kill myself if she leaves me, I swear I will...

"Edward, I think I know where she might..."

And as Alice begins to speak, our phone, silent for the past four years, begins to ring.

I slam the door in their concerned faces, and rush to answer it, kicking aside the table it rests on as I do.

"Kitten? Oh Kitten where are you, are you hurt? Kitten, where are..."

"Edward? Oh Edward, help me please. I've done something terrible. Please Edward, I'm scared." Her frantic plea whispered so softly, as if she's terrified of being heard.

"Where are you? Are you hurt?"

Before she can answer the second part of my questions, I'm already out the door, the phone smashed into pieces, lying on the floor from where I threw it against the wall in my frustration and anger with her.

And with my fear that this time she's taken the mischief too far.

###

"Eddie? Oh Eddie, I'm so sorry, I was so scared I didn't know what to do, it happened so fast. Please, mein süßer Schatz, I'm scared. Help me."

She moves so quickly, she nearly bowls me over rushing to bury herself in my outstretched arms and into the hall of the hotel where she's spent the night. I catch her by her arms, pulling the remains of her torn dress over her, preserving some iota of dignity for her.

"What the fuck happened? Are you hurt?"

I scan her exposed skin, run my fingertips over her body, searching for damage, for some horrible hurt inflicted upon her.

Mein Kätzchen, mein Engel, mein Liebe.

"It happened so fast Edward, I had no idea. I thought I could control him, but..." her words drift off, the horror the nights events fresh in her mind.

"Was there anyone else here, anyone see this?" Please say no, Kitten, this is all we need, them realizing that one of their own is missing, oh shit.

"I - I don't know baby, like I said, it happened so fast, and he was with another man and then he wasn't and I was so angry with you I just went with him and I had no intention of fuc..."

I pull her towards me, grab her chin in my right hand and stare hard into her eyes, drilling my fear and anger into hers. I can see the anguish of what's transpired in this room in her eyes, the realization that I'm truly truly angry with her, and her stupid idea of getting back at me in some small way.

"This is what happened. You and I argued and you came here to spend the night alone. He followed you and forced his way into the room. You smashed the lamp over this head in self-defense. He hit his head on the edge of the table, and then broke his neck when he hit the floor. Got that?"

"Ye-yes, Edward." Visibly shaking now.

"Yes, what?

"Yes, sir."

I release her, roughly, and run my right hand through my hair, pulling it in frustration. I try to figure out how to dispose of the corpse lying at our feet. Its neck bent at an unnatural angle, as if it had been snapped almost in two.

"Help me with the body, and for God's sake, put on your coat, we don't need everyone seeing your tits hanging out."

We hoist the rapidly stiffening body up and between us, holding him as if he's dead drunk, and we're dragging him home to sleep it off.

Except he's not drunk, and he's truly dead.

###

Disposing of a body is not an easy task, for most people.

But we succeed; she props his body up against the wall while I pry open the opening to a sewer pipe, then I grab him by the collar and we shove him in headfirst, listening for the resulting splash as his body hits the sewage, and then the clomp of his shoes as they scrap the slimy brick walls of the sewer.

I grab her by her right elbow and literally drag her home, praying that none of our neighbors are up and about this early on a Saturday morning. Hoping that Alice and Jasper are too busy fucking each other in their bed to knock at our door to learn if Kitten has returned. Rosalie moved out several weeks ago, traveling to Paris to live with Emmett in God knows what capacity.

I shove my wife into our flat, lock the door behind us and lean against it, my anger and rage broiling in my brain and throughout my body.

And then I do it.

The one thing I swore I would never ever do to my Geliebter.

My left arm reaches out and yanks her towards me, causing her neck to snap back like the line of a fishing rod being cast.

And then I slap her face, hard. "That was so stupid what you did Sofia! What the hell were you thinking? Didn't you realize who he was? Jesus Christ, they'll kill us!" I roar at her shuddering figure.

I hit her so hard that she spins out of my grasp and flies across the room, landing on the marble floor in front of the fireplace, cracking her head against the mantle, then slides down the wall into a frightened heap of black wool coat, monkey fur trim and tattered dress.

Not actually crying but sobbing, deep from within her throat and chest, while I drop into my black leather club chair. I bury my face in my hands, both ashamed of what I have just done and scared of the consequences of her act.

I am so deep into my grief and fear that I never hear her as she rises. I never hear the clipping of her heels against the hardwood floor as she approaches me.

Unaware of her until she pinches my face with her left hand, her eyes full of fury and hurt at what I had done to her, the one thing I pledged I would never do.

And then she smacks my face with the palm of her right hand. So hard that I swear I will feel its sting forever.

"If you ever hit me again, Edward Anthony Cullen, I will leave and you will never find me. Ever."

"Forgive me, my love, please." I beg her.

We stare at each other, not moving, not breathing for what seems like an eternity.

And then collapse into each other's arms, moaning and gasping at the hell we may have wrought with our mischief. How was she to have known who he was? She'd never met him, back in Tuscany. It was an innocent mistake.

"Verloren, so verloren." She repeated, over and over again.

We remained in that position until the night fell again, finally shifting from the chair back into the comforting confines of our bed.

Only to pick up where we had left off.

##

We didn't leave our flat for two months after that night.

###

The days turned to weeks the weeks tumbled into years. Before we knew it, it was 1932.

Our days of mischief are numbered. Indeed, we no longer seek out the entertainment and excitement that we had just a few years before.

I have completed my medical studies and have taken up a private practice, a very select practice treating the denizens of Berlin's shadowy underworld of clubs and bars, brothels and cribs of their various venereal diseases and work-related afflictions.

Business is brisk. Kitten and I still live in our same flat, and since I work mostly nights, our days are free to enjoy each other. We could also continue to expand our knowledge of the German language, as well as travel throughout Europe, returning to visit our acquaintances in Tuscany last year to settle a matter that had been left unresolved from several years earlier.

###

She's watering the petunias and pansies in the windowbox outside our front window, leaning out under the gray, overcast sky to pluck out the dead blossoms allowing the new ones room to grow and thrive, when we hear it.

The sound of a band, marching down the street, attracting attention not only with their music, but the banners and flags their color guard held tightly in their strong, brown-clad arms.

I glide up to stand behind my wife and hold her upper arms with my hands, silently observing the show beneath our window, from our perch.

Neither she nor I utter a word but we understand the other's thoughts, completely.

"I know that song," she murmurs, shaking her head slightly in disgust as the sound of the brass and drums moves closer to our home.

"What is it?"

"Die Fahne hoch."

"Raise the Flag?"

"Yes, it's their anthem. Herr Newton told me so."

"Herr Newton?"

She glances back at me and raises her right eyebrow.

"Ah, yes, I remember now."

We stand there motionless, watching as the Nazi Brownshirts march in strict unison by our flat, their swastika-emblazoned banners and flags whipping sharply through the sudden breeze that seems to swirl up from the street below their feet.

She turns her head to the right, and clears her throat when she sees who is marching alongside them, cap in hand, urging them on.

"Look, Edward, look who is supporting them."

"Well." I'm not all that surprised, to be honest.

My Kitten leans down, over the railing and hails the man nearly skipping alongside the marching column.

"Jakob! Jakob Schwartz!"

Startled, my former lab partner looks up to see my wife's smiling face, beaming down at him.

"Frau Cullen! What a surprise!" He gestures over to the parade that now is nearly passed our flat, the drum section drowning out his shouted words.

"Jakob! What are you doing?"

He smiles, his hands now on his hips.

"Supporting the party! We are going to bring Germania back to its true glory!"

Oh really? I think to myself. He was always so easily led, this one.

"How are you going to do that, Herr Schwartz?" Kitten calls out, but I already know the answer to that question. I'd seen the Jewish flower venders in the Platz being harassed by the Brownshirts last week as they roughly pushed the old men around and taunted them, calling them Jude-Schweine.

Even I was offended.

"How are we going to do that? Why by bringing the government back to the people and ridding Germany of the jüdisches Problem, that's how!"

Kitten springs back into my arms, shaking at what she's heard. Herr Schwartz doesn't seem to notice, he's now entranced by the figure of a petite brunette who has stopped to watch the show alongside him, her thick hair plaited into two braids, looped intricately around her head.

She looks over and up at him, and smiles. He returns her smile, and seems genuinely pleased to see her.

"Fraulein Schwan! What a pleasant surprise!"

We are forgotten as he turns to her, offering her his left arm and laughing as they race to keep up with the spectacle now marching away from us, taking their hatred and venom with them.

My wife and I shake our heads in unison, then back into our flat, closing the French doors behind us as we do.

"Start packing. We're leaving."

"I know. Where are we going? Back to Tuscany?"

"No." I start pulling our valises and trunks from their storage place, the spare bedroom we had no use for, and shove them into our bedroom, for her to begin filling with our clothing.

She begins her task by opening our armoire. Shirts and dresses and shoes whirl their way onto our bed as I pull on my black leather duster, tying it tightly around my waist.

"Where are you going?" She asks me, not stopping her hurried motions. She's moved onto our dresser, where her lingerie floats over the clothing already heaped on the bed.

"I'm going to send a cable."

"To whom?" I see her pale pink silk knickers, the ones I love to watch her wander around our flat in, just those and her stockings and shoes for me the most, as they join the pile of her beautiful silk undergarments.

"Carlisle."

Her motion abruptly ceases.

"Carlisle? Why?" Her question nearly a whine, she's so taken aback.

I stop and gaze back at her, at mein liebes Herz, as she waits for my answer. She's shocked that I would even think of contacting our former guardian.

"Because, my darling, it appears that there are worse monsters than we in this world. It's time to go home."

"But Edward, this is our home, not Chicago."

"We're not going back to Chicago, Kitten. We're going to New York. Now keep packing, we're leaving tonight."

She doesn't argue with me; she knows better than to do so. Biting her lower lip, she bends back down opening the lower drawers of our dresser, and continues her task.

I don't want to go, I love it here so much, and I'm still so angry at Carlisle. I'm going to miss Alice and Jasper so much, I wonder if I can convince them to come with us?

I take one last look back at her and clear my throat to get her attention. I nod my head in consent for her to run her wish by our friends, then close the door firmly behind me as I make my way to the cable office, to contact our father.

###

Mein Name ist Edward Cullen.

Ich bin 27 Jahre alt, amerikanischer Arzt, und lebe in Berlin.

Ich lebe hier mit meiner Frau. Sie ist meine Liebe, mein Kätzchen, meine Sonne.

Wir führen ein ruhiges Leben, meine Herzliebste und ich. Wir bleiben für uns, empfinden kein Verlangen nach der Gesellschaft anderer. Wir sind mit unserem Dasein zufrieden.

Was uns nicht davon abhält loszuziehen und, wie mein Kätzchen es nennt, "Unfug" zu treiben.

Ganz und gar nicht.

Denn wir sind Vampire.

###

My name is Edward Cullen.

I am 27 years old, and an American physician living in Berlin.

I live here with my wife. She is my love, my Kitten, my glory.

We live a quiet life, my beloved and I; we keep to ourselves, we feel no need for the company of others. We are content with our lot.

But we are not above setting out and causing what my Kitten refers to as "Mischief."

No not at all.

For we are vampire.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

A/N: I have always been intrigued by Weimar Germany - that period of time between the end of WW1 and the beginning of the rise of the Third Reich, as well as by

what Edward might have been up to in the years, per canon, that he lit out on his own, leaving Carlisle and Esme. Die Verlorenen is my take on those lost years.

My research for Die Verlorenen was extensive, below is a list of my sources as well as a German/English translation of the terms used by

Edward, and a listing of the terms to describe the other residents of Nollendorfstrasse 17.

Which, by the way, is an actual building in Berlin, that existed at that time. The late author Christopher Isherwood lived there in the early 1930's, as well as David Bowie in the 1970's during his Berlin phase.

RESEARCH INFO:

Anita Berber was a very beautiful girl and a dancer. And she danced primarily in nightclubs in the nude. If you think what we see now on stage, you know with Broadway's nudity and all, it's like going to a kindergarten, compared to Berber's "Dance of Lust." I loved her too much to call her dirty. She was exotic and strange and that's what made her special.

Lotte Lenya on The Dick Cavett Show, 1975

Writing Die Verlorenen: The Lost, entailed the greatest amount of research that I've done yet for a story, but one that has stuck with me with the depth of artistry, response to moral codes and the simmering undercurrent of political upheaval that was such a vital part of German life during the period from 1918 to 1932.

Following is a list of terms used in Die Verlorenen: The Lost as well as a bibliography of the sources I referred to in writing this piece.

Before The Deluge: A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920's – Otto Friedrich. 1972, 1985 published by HarperPerennial, New York

Berlin: The Twenties – Rainer Metzger and Christian Brandstätter. 2007 harry n. Abrams, inc. New York

The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber, Weimar Berlin's Priestess of Depravity – Mel Gordon, 2006, Feral House, Los Angeles

Voluptuous Panic – The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin - Mel Gordon, 2000, 2006, Feral House, Los Angeles

Cabaret Berlin – Revue, Kabarett and Film Music between the Wars - edel CLASSICS GmbH, 2005, Hamburg, Germany

Wikipedia – Magda Quandt (Frau Goebbels) – A diehard supporter of both Hitler and Nazism to the literal end. She and her spouse, Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's second-in-command, drugged their six children and ended their lives by forcing a crushed ampule of cyanide into their mouths on May 1, 1945 as the Russian Army approached Berlin. The Goebbels committed suicide May 3, 1945, days before the Russian Army entered Hitler's bunker.

Anita Berber - A dancer, actress, writer, prostitute and subject of a painting by Otto Dix died in November 1928 of both TB and various chemical addictions. Her legacy included her nude dancing, and trotting around Berlin wearing nothing but a sable fur, with a pet monkey on a leash, a locket full of cocaine and flaunting her latest lesbian lover by her side.

Nosferatu – Originally released in 1922, this is one of the finest examples of German Expressionist film. The lead actors name was Max Schreck, which does mean "Fright" or "Fear" in German. And yes, I chose it for it's ironic value. It was either that or The Blue Angel starring Marlene Dietrich, which wasn't released until 1930.

TERMS

Kind/Kinder – Child/Baby

Katzchen – Kitten

Mann - Husband

Liebe/Liebchen - Love/Sweetheart

Mieters – Renters

Danna - Japanese term for a geisha's patron.

Salvation Army Girl - Heavily made-up prostitute who serviced only women. They tended to frequent bars and could be found lounging on barstools facing the dance floor, looking bored and smoking cigarettes from long-handled holders. Also known as Hot Whores.

Gamine – Another specific lesbian prostitute, these women were pert and saucy femmes. They usually dressed in exaggerated French street urchin clothing.

The Eldorado was an actual bar/restaurant that existed in Berlin from 1926 to 1932. There were two locations; the first on Lutherstrasse 29 (1926-1932) and the second, or "New Eldorado" at Motzstrasse 15 (1928-1932). They was known for both their cross-dressing clientele and outrageous entertainment. The scene I describe of the 18-year old nearly nude boy dancing is based on an actual performance that occurred at the Lutherstrasse location.

In 1932, the club was closed due to Paragraph 168, which decreed such nightclubs 'an affront to public morality'. The Nazis transformed the Eldorado into one of their district electoral headquarters seven months later.

Thanks for reading Die Verlorenen.