A/N: This was my oneshot for Breath-of-twilight's Countdown to Christmas. It's not exactly the same as it was for the Countdown as I've re-edited since then, but the storyline has not changed at all. Not related to BH. This story has less angst with a lot more sweet and this B/E aren't anywhere near as fucked up as those two crazy kids.

I want to thank Breathoftwilight for asking me to participate in the countdown. I also need to thank my fuckawesome beta, Vanessarae, Redvelvetheaven for previewing and the girls of the LoD—Araeo, EchoesofTwilight, my wifey, Nerac and our two newest members--LaraIsAwkward, LASMKE.

Let me know what you think.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

A Present Returned
Song Used: All I Want For Christmas Is You

~//~

It was Christmas Eve and the already awful Seattle traffic had been just brutal. He hoped she wouldn't be too upset that he was running late. She knew what it was like trying to get through cross town traffic at that time of night. He smiled to himself as he locked up his car and headed across the street to her apartment.

When he'd heard her ringtone come unexpectedly from his phone he'd been thrilled, but when she invited him over to exchange Christmas presents that evening, he was absolutely elated. So much so, that he'd found himself agreeing to it before she'd finished speaking. Truth be told, the prospect of seeing her was the only thing that got him through the remainder of the shit day he'd had. They had only been seeing each other a short time, but he was already over the moon for her.

He hoped that she felt the same way, but she was just so hard to read…and he was good at reading people. He really kind of liked it though; she never did what he expected and it kept him on his toes. His smile grew bigger when a willowy girl with short, dark hair and elfin features exited the apartment building and he managed to catch the door behind her…luck was finally on his side. No longer needing to be buzzed in, he could surprise his girl. His girl… He liked the sound of that.

She was incredible…amazing really. She was more than he'd hoped for. He'd never even dreamed that a girl like her--so perfect it was as if she'd been made for him--existed. She was an endlessly fascinating conundrum that he was certain he could spend the rest of his life with and never grow tired of.

She was shy with a bold streak, modest, but could drive him crazy with just a look…and she knew it. She was exceedingly bright, yet sweetly gullible. Witty and articulate, she frequently stuttered and stumbled over her words. She hated attention, but drew it to her effortlessly. She could scandalize you in one breath and in the next she blushed like a schoolgirl...but make no mistake, despite that blush, she was all woman. And that blush…oh, God, that blush…it made him want to do very, very, bad things to her. He groaned to himself and rolled his eyes, realizing how much like a Billy Joel song he sounded.

Oh, well. He was a sucker for the girl and he didn't care who knew it.

~//~

Soon enough, he was at her door. He took a deep breath, trying to calm the case of nerves he'd been unexpectedly hit with, and then knocked.

Knock, knock.

He waited a few moments, but got no answer. He knocked again.

Knock, knock.

Still nothing. Hmmmm…?

Had he gotten the day wrong? No, he was certain she'd said 8:00, and--according to his watch--it was 8:25. He was late, even later than he thought he would be, and hadn't called. Maybe she had given up on him and made other plans? It was Christmas Eve, after all. He couldn't rightfully expect her to wait around for him all night. Why hadn't he called or texted? He was such an idiot. He should have called...

He knew she was home--he could faintly hear music coming from inside. It was always possible that she didn't want to talk to him and was purposely ignoring him, but that just wasn't like her.

He knocked again, and this time when he got no answer, he began to worry. Different scenarios--none of them ending well--played out in his head. Letting his fear rule him, he tried the doorknob. When it opened with a soft click, he wasn't certain whether he should feel relief over being able to reach her if she was hurt, or if he should already be on the phone with 9-1-1--just in case there was an intruder inside. He made a mental note to discuss personal safety with her--and to install a deadbolt--when he found her to be okay…and she had to be okay.

He stepped inside her apartment, paying no attention to the random Christmas song playing except to note that it appeared to be coming from somewhere down the hallway on the far side of the living room.

I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know.
Make my wish come true; all I want for Christmas is you…

He softly called out her name, not wanting to startle her…or her attacker, as the case may may be…and then glanced around her apartment. He was only slightly relieved that there didn't appear to be anything out of order, but admittedly, he couldn't say for sure. He really wasn't that familiar with her apartment, since they didn't spend much time there. She had a roommate while he lived alone, so any time spent in, they tended to spend at his apartment. He shut the door softly behind himself and found his feet carrying him in the direction that the music seemed to be coming from…

I don't want a lot for Christmas, there is just one thing I need.
I don't care about presents underneath the Christmas tree.
I don't need to hang my stocking there upon the fireplace.
Santa Claus won't make me happy with a toy on Christmas day.
I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know.
Make my wish come true; all I want for Christmas is you.
You baby…

…her room.

~//~

Standing in front of yet another door…this one being the door to her room…with his hand on the knob, he wasn't sure if he should knock or just open it, but he guessed that it depended on what he would find on the other side…which of course he wouldn't know until the door was open. Realizing the circular logic he had just trapped himself in, he decided to just go for it…kind of. He quietly called her name once more…half of him hoping that she wouldn't hear him…and, still unsure of what he would find, turned the knob. Pushing the door open, he gulped audibly and nearly broke out into a sweat at the sight before him…

I won't ask for much this Christmas, I won't even wish for snow.
I'm just gonna keep on waiting underneath the mistletoe.
I won't make a list and send it to the North Pole for Saint Nick.
I won't even stay awake to hear those magic reindeer click.
'Cause I just want you here tonight holding on to me so tight.
What more can I do, baby? All I want for Christmas is you.
You…

She was spread out across the bed before him wearing… practically nothing.

"Bella…?" He asked, his voice cracking and croaking.

Red satin, 'practically nothing', more specifically.

Starting with the red soled, black leather heels on her feet, he looked her up and down sl-o-o-o-wly. One shapely leg was slightly bent, the heel of that shoe digging into the bed, while the other lay flat on the red silk duvet. He looked like a burning man standing there--slack jawed with a white-knuckled death grip on the door knob--which is exactly what he was. His eyes, lit from within, roamed up the sheer red stockings that encased her legs to the black, diamond and ribbon accented garters attached to them and paused.

He licked his bottom lip, eying the strips of milky white flesh showing between the tops of her thigh highs and the edge of the short, tight, red and white, faux fur-trimmed, skirt-looking…thing. Goddamn, she is beautiful, he thought as his eyes continued their journey north. Running over her smooth, flat stomach, partially covered by a red corset, he noted how it accented the curve of her hip as it ran into her waist--nipping in before swelling gently out again as it continued up to cover her breasts.

And, mmmmm! Her breasts! They were practically heaving from her shallow and fast--but not quite panting--breaths. He came to the top edge of the corset and saw that it was trimmed in the same faux fur as the low slung scrap of fabric wrapped around her hips masquerading as a skirt, the trim outlining and effectively drawing the eye to the succulent mounds of flesh that were practically spilling out of the top. He decided right then and there that he loved corsets, and couldn't for the life of him understand why they had ever gone out of vogue as everyday undergarments.

~//~

While the main part of his mind was absorbed with eye-fucking the dark-haired beauty lounging in front of him, another part of his mind…the part that thought too much, if you asked anyone he knew…was busy analyzing the situation. He wasn't sure what to make of finding her like this, but she certainly wasn't helping his resolve. Ordinarily he would have known what to do, but then again, ordinarily he would have bagged and tagged her already. His relationships with girls were—under normal circumstances—purely physical but, at the same time, he wasn't a man-whore partaking in a string of one night stands, either.

They were like long term, mutually beneficial arrangements where both parties had an escort when needed…and they both got off. Win; win. It wasn't that he didn't want a long term relationship or that he had been hurt in the past, he had just never felt a meaningful or emotional connection with any of the girls that he had dated…until her.

He was taking things slow with her…geriatrically-slow if you asked her. Kissing and a few small 'over the clothes' touches--strictly above the waist--were as far as they had gone in their physical relationship. It wasn't for lack of effort on her part--she'd been subtly giving him the green light for at least a month--nor was it for lack of desire on his part--he wanted her… God, did he want her… but he also wanted to not fuck things up. He really thought that she could be the one, but he was having a hard time remembering all of that at that moment.

Shifting in an effort to discreetly adjust his now painfully trapped erection, he skimmed his eyes over her breasts on his way to her pouting, red lips. Their eyes met for the first time since he'd entered the room—hers, heavy-lidded, seductive, umber pools of limpid desire and his, questioning, hesitant, but darkened by barely contained desire. Unable to meet her siren's eyes any longer without attacking and having his wicked way with her, he let his eyes roam back down her body.

His desire to rush to her bed and crush her to him before burying himself inside her was warring with his need to make her feel treasured, to show her just how amazing and beautiful and sexy she was, to show her how much she meant to him.

All the lights are shining so brightly everywhere.
And the sound of children's laughter fills the air,
And everyone is singing, I hear those sleigh bells ringing.
Santa won't you bring me the one I really need,
Won't you please bring my baby to me…

It was then--with Christmas music playing in the background while staring unknowingly at his Christmas 'gift' lounging enticingly on the dais of her bed--that it suddenly hit him with the force of a wrecking ball… he was in love with her. Gob smacked by his epiphany, he was still bewildered and staring off into space when she finally spoke.

"Merry Christmas, Edward," she said in her best sex kitten voice, sounding all husky and breathy. Lust had caused her normally soprano to drop an octave lower, and his eyes to snap to hers.

~//~

She felt hot and cold all at once, as his heated gaze sent a ripple through her body that started low in her belly and spread outward from there. They stared at each other for what felt like a lifetime and in that time she lived, she died, and was reborn again. Her anxiety ramped up and her nerves began to ping with the knowledge that, whether for good or bad, from that moment on, everything was about to change; things would never be the same again. Of course, being so far out of her comfort zone trying to play the vixen did nothing to ease the tension…she knew that he was far out of her league…especially not while she was in front of him staring at her so intently.

She wanted him so badly…he had to know…but no matter how much she tried to tempt him, he never pushed some invisible boundary that he had set and she had to know why; surely she wasn't the only one that felt something between them. Whenever she was around him, the unbearable desire she felt, the electricity running between them, made her want to crawl out of her skin. She couldn't believe that it was one sided, but his chaste kisses and the careful distance he kept between them was starting to convince her that it was.

Sure, he seemed to enjoy hanging out with her and he held her hand in public, but…she was tired of PG-13. What she wanted was an X rating, but she'd settle for NC-17. Hell, she would settle for rated R so long as they were no longer trapped in 'no touching' land…and she refused to feel like a slut about it. Well, she was trying to. It had been four months for fuck's sake, and the one time he accidentally grazed her boob with the back of his hand, he apologized profusely and rushed home, leaving her standing on the landing in front of her apartment door with tears pooling in her eyes. What had she done wrong?

She glanced down and took in her appearance for the millionth time since Alice, her roommate, had helped kit her up and she blushed. The incarnadine hue of her shame and embarrassment colored her pale skin from her cheeks to her breasts, and she dropped her eyes to her lap to hide the tears that were forming. Was he not attracted to her? Duh, you idiot, she thought, feeling foolish. Of course he isn't, came the negative voice in her head again.

The fact that she had convinced herself that he felt anything more than fraternally towards her only proved one thing…her denial knew no bounds. She secretly prayed to be swallowed up by a black hole or to be hit by a rogue comet, anything other than have to face the rejection that was coming.

~//~

Sensing her discomfort, but not knowing why, he attempted to capture her eyes with his. "Bella? Bella, sweetheart?"

It took several moments, but she finally lifted her eyes and peered at him from underneath her lashes. So fucking sexy, he thought. His cock twitched, and he had to resist the urge to palm himself over his clothing. His hand was already en route to his groin when he noticed her watery eyes. His ensuing confusion as to why she was crying put an end to that, halting his hand midair. He had never been able to handle a crying girl; nothing made him feel more impotent…and not in that way…well, maybe that way too.

"Bella, what's wrong? Are you okay? Was I not supposed to…? Oh, God," he stated lowly, his voice hollow and tinny in both of their ears.

What he had done?

He felt so stupid as it occurred to him that she didn't want him. He had walked in on someone else's seduction. His words began to backtrack while his body remained firmly in place, like his feet were welded to the floor. "I shouldn't have…I knocked. I didn't mean to just walk in…like this. Clearly, I'm interrupting. You were expecting someone and I'm sure he'll be here soon…"

At the exact same time his rambling started, Bella began muttering her own apologies. The dam finally filled, a tear rolled down her cheek as she said, "I am s-s-sorry. I thought you…but, I was…" His words hit her.

He thought what?

Sitting up in the center of the bed, her knees drawn towards her chest, her tears began to fall in earnest. Eviscerated by his words, she was startlingly aware of her indecency. Never had she felt like such a whore. Edward continued standing there, the horrified look on his face only making her tears fall faster. It wasn't until she started to pull the expensive bedspread (that she had bought specifically for the occasion) over her scantily clad person that Edward manned up, pulled his head out of his ass, and began to sort out the rapidly unraveling situation. For a moment all he could do was rejoice—she wants me! She really wants me and not some other clown! All of this was for me!

Her continued muttering snapped him back to reality. "…I should have known…I mean, you're you and I'm me…such an idiot…"

Suddenly he was beside the bed looming over her. He wrapped his large hand around her wrist as she began to pull the duvet over her body.

"Stop," he commanded roughly, his voice hoarse with both the strain of containing himself and shame over his stupidity.

She refused to meet his gaze, not wanting those piercing green eyes of his to see her mortification or tears, but mostly--she didn't want to see proof of his repulsion in his eyes when he let her down easy…'cause he was a nice guy like that.

"Bella, look at me, please," he pleaded. She shook her head once, gently. "Bella, was this for me?"

She wouldn't answer him. As smart as he was, it occurred to him that he was being pretty dumb at that moment. In a brief moment of clarity, he saw things from her perspective and it allowed him to hope. Bella, his beautiful, slightly shy and modest girl had put herself out there while he just stood there like an oaf and ogled her. Had she mistook his lack of action for rejection? Was this really all for him? Oh, God, please let this be for him.

Either way, he knew what he had to do. It was simple really—he either had to walk away with his self-doubting assumptions, most likely ruining… perhaps forever… his chance at a relationship with the amazing woman in front of him. Or, he had to take a risk and put himself out there the way she had. He couldn't lose her because of this… and fuck if he didn't want his Christmas present; he was a selfish bastard after all.

He smirked at that thought, but quickly wiped it off his face and got down to the business of saving his life, because as sure as the sun would rise the next morning, she was it for him. She was his life now, and it didn't matter that it had only been four months; it wouldn't have mattered if it had been four days—he knew…

"Bella, I'm in love with you."

~//~

She looked up at him incredulously, murder in her eyes. Fuck! What had he done wrong now? Could he do anything right tonight?

"Right!" She scoffed. "Just go, Edward."

He was no longer burning, now he was drowning and desperate. "I'm not going until you believe me. What do I have to do to convince you? What do I have to…?"

"I was surprised when you asked me to go for coffee. I'm not your usual type—I'm too smart and not nearly slutty or blonde enough—I just assumed that you wanted to copy my bio notes. I knew what kind of reputation you had…I'm not stupid…but by the time we started seeing each other I decided that you were worth the risk. There seemed to be some kind of energy between us, but it's okay. I get it—it's one sided. I don't need a sympathy fuck. Just go."

A choking cough tore from his throat at the words 'sympathy fuck'. Is that what she thought? He started to speak, but she cut him off before he could spit it out. "We seemed to have a good time together; I thought you were attracted to me, but when you never made a move… I just… At first I told myself that you were just trying to be a gentleman, but the longer it went on despite my obvious interest—" she blushed and studied her hands in her lap, "—in progressing, I began to realize that you just weren't interested in that…not with me, at least.

"Even so, you would look at me sometimes and I would think I could see in your eyes that you wanted me. So Alice came up with this brilliant plan—" she rolled her eyes and snorted, "—and I told myself that if it didn't work, then at least I would know once and for all. I could quit torturing myself and move on. So, you did me a favor really. I'm okay…"

"Well, I'm not," he snapped, interrupting her. He had gotten angrier and angrier with every word she uttered until he finally couldn't take it any longer. "I wasn't lying when I said I loved you, that I am in love with you. You have no idea how difficult it's been to hold myself back, but I didn't want to fuck things up with you or have you thinking that I was only trying to get down your pants. You're right though…

"You aren't like any of the girls that I've been with in the past. You are so much fucking more than that. God!" He was desperately trying to swim to shore, and his breathing was increasing from his efforts.

"I got here just as someone was leaving…" Bella rolled her eyes and groaned. "Alice?" She nodded. "So, I catch the door thinking I'm lucky because now I can surprise you, but you don't answer when I knock. And then, when I found the door unlocked, I started thinking the worst, but then I find you sprawled out like this, looking six different kinds of fuckable and so Goddamn beautiful that I can't believe it.

"I was certain I'd heard you wrong, that you were expecting someone else, because this can't be for me. You are too fucking good for me, I haven't done a thing deserve someone as amazing as you. In fact, some of the shit I have done should prevent me from having you at all…"

No longer clutching the duvet, she turned her body toward his and stared intensely into his eyes with her lips slightly parted. Her tongue came out, flicking against her bottom lip nervously as she seemed to trying to come to a decision about something. Quietly, her voice no more than a whisper, she said, "Edward, shut up..."

He still had his fingers wrapped around her wrist, and when she pulled her arm towards her forcefully, it caused him to fall directly onto her. His arms instinctively went out in front of him and, even though he was a bit late, he managed to keep most of his weight off of her and land with his elbows on either side of her head. He looked down at her, shocked and a little concerned, but underneath it all was an intense, overwhelming joy that threatened to burst from him.

"…and kiss me. Now. Before I change my mind," she finished, smirking at him. She followed it up with a saucy wink that went straight to his dick, and then his mouth was on hers in a kiss that was far from chaste. It was passionate and searing and the most intense kiss either of them had ever experienced. It went on and on and on until finally, Edward slowed it down and pulled away, both of them panting.

~//~

Bella was pouting so adorably that his heart clenched in his chest. He brought his face back down to hers and Bella puckered up, only to be disappointed when he kissed the tip of her nose. She huffed a little in annoyance, causing him to chuckle and, just like that, the sex kitten came out to play again.

Offering him the sternest look she could muster up—although her lust clouded, hooded eyes, and heavy breathing detracted from it somewhat (the slight whine to her voice didn't help either)—and said breathlessly, "Don't stop, Edward."

He looked down at her so lovingly, that her heart leapt in her chest and the butterflies in her stomach fluttered madly. He lowered his torso back down to her, nuzzling his face into her neck, and then turned his head to whisper into her ear, "I have no intention of stopping, Bella…but I want to take this slow—" he nibbled on her earlobe, "—I want to worship you. I want to this to be special for both of us."

His mouth moved to the sensitive skin behind her ear, sucking on it and making her shiver, before moving back to her ear and continuing. "I want to hear you say my name…over and over and over again…as I bring you more pleasure than you've ever known." Bella moaned softly, but that wasn't enough for him.

He pressed on, kissing down the column of her graceful neck and then back up to her ear. "I want to see you lose control. I want to make you forget that anyone came before me, the same way you've already made me forget everyone that came before you…even though I haven't actuallyhad you yet."

He hadn't moved from where he had fallen when she had pulled him down to her—his feet hanging off the bed, body resting across hers at a slight angle—so when he pressed his hips toward her, it was against her thigh that she felt the him press—hot and firm. Edward was quiet for a moment, his mouth busy pressing soft, sucking kisses and gentle bites to her shoulders, neck and collarbone while she ran her hands along his strong shoulders and muscular arms.

"Edward," she moaned, tugging on the back of his crisp, white oxford. "I want to see you… please."

She felt him nod in acquiescence against her throat before pushing himself away from her body to stand beside the bed. As he reached for the first button, Bella scrambled to her knees, coming to rest perched on the edge of her bed. "Stop!"

~//~

He froze and looked at her quizzically with one eyebrow quirked. She returned his gaze bashfully, dropping her chin and looking up at him demurely from underneath her lashes. He groaned. If she kept looking at him like that he was going to lose his mind as well as the last little bit of his remaining control...and then she bit her lip. Fuck!

Her eyes, dropped to the floor, didn't see the flash of lust that darkened his eyes or the way his hands clenched and pressed against his thighs, but she did hear his small whimper. Her eyes darted back to his and she softly said, "I wanted to do that part…please."

His face broke out in a brilliant smile and, after what had just almost happened, it reminded her of dawn breaking bright and clear after a stormy night. She smiled back. The next thing she knew, he had his long-fingered hands wrapped around her waist and was lifting her from the bed. He set her on her feet in front of him between him and the bed and gave her a sexy smirk.

"If you get to do me, I get to do you. As sexy as that little outfit is on you, I am dying to strip it off of you along with those…fuck me heels. On second thought, I might want you to keep the shoes on. First though, I want to see you properly. Stay put," he commanded, taking a couple steps backward to take her in.

Bella was somewhat embarrassed to have him staring at her the way he was, but the desire and need she felt for him quickly overpowered it and she was able to meet his gaze with a modicum of true confidence.

"Oh, fuck, Bella!" He groaned. "You have no idea what you do to me."

With one long stride, his body and lips were pressed against hers. This kiss was rougher than their previous one, his lips hard and unyielding as they conquered hers, but she wasn't frightened. If anything she was turned on by his raw, primal need for her. Spurred on, emboldened, she brought one hand between their bodies to palm him over his jeans, eliciting a deep, guttural groan that came from deep within his chest.

"Bellllllaaaa," he warned. She lifted her chin to meet his eyes, exciting him with a devilish smirk on her face and a playful look in her eyes. He wanted her in a way that he had never wanted anyone in his entire life, and it nearly leveled him. He closed his eyes and reined in the fire that coursed through him again, but with more intensity this time.

Heeding his implicit warning, she ran her hand from his bulge, up his chest to the top button of his shirt, fingering it for a moment as she waited for his attention and eyes to return to hers. Once she had what she was waiting for, she proceeded to pop each button before slowly pushing the shirt over his shoulders, lowering it down his arms and letting it drop to the floor, never once removing her eyes from his. She pulled at his undershirt. Un-tucking it from his pants and hooking her thumbs under the hem of it, she began to draw it up his body, letting her fingers trail over his defined abs as they made their way up. When she reached his chest, Edward brought his hands up, grasped the bunched up fabric in his hands and pulled the shirt over his head, dropping it to the floor.

While doing nothing to cool their ardor, something about the way she drew out the simple act of removing his shirts helped calm the frenzy that had overtaken them. Neither one of them spoke as they languidly continued undressing each other one article of clothing at a time, tit for tat. His shirt was gone; it was her turn. He turned her around, dragging his fingertips over her body—along her shoulders, down her sides across her lower back—until he reached the ends of the silk strand that laced up her back. He pinched an end in each hand and tugged, releasing the bow.

Dropping to his knees, his chin was brought level with the dimples he knew were there, but were at that moment covered by the boned, red silk contraption. He slowly unlaced her corset, stopping after each hole was released one to kiss her newly exposed flesh. Inch by torturously, delicious inch, he made his way up her back until the only thing holding the garment to her body was her arms. Standing now, Edward grabbed one side of it and, meeting a slight resistance as she refused to relinquish it, gently pulled until she reluctantly let it fall away and it fell to the ground, adding to the growing pile of clothing at their feet.

He pressed a kiss into the soft skin at the base of her neck and stepped back. He wanted her to turn and reveal herself of her own free will, and he would wait until she did. Bella—truly shy and not that experienced—had expected him to turn her to face him. When, after a moment, he hadn't made any attempt to do so, her desire overcame her shyness. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes and turned to face him. His gasp caused her to open her eyes--arms poised to cover her exposed chest--but something in his eyes stopped her. It was longing and desire and awe and love, and it made her melting. No one had ever looked at her like that before. It was almost too much.

"Beautiful," he muttered to himself before stepping to her and reaching for one of the garters.

They continued on in this manner—stopping to run their hands, eyes or lips over each inch of exposed flesh in a sensual, exotic dance that had both of them aching and trembling by the time the last article of clothing had been removed.

~//~

Finally naked, he laid her down on her bed. Kneeling between her parted legs, he gasped as he drank her fully exposed body in. 'Beautiful' fell adoringly from his lips once again before he could stop it, not that he would have wanted to stop it because she was beautiful. In reality, she was more than beautiful, she was closer to ethereal, stunning, a goddess, and he intended to worship at her alter.

He braced his hands on either side of her head, bringing his body to hover over hers before dipping down and pressing his lips to the pulse point on her neck, delighting when he felt her heart rate spike and then begin to beat an erratic rhythm. Letting her little moans and whimpers guide him, he explored all the hidden canyons and pink peaks of her body. He never once removed his lips from her skin as she writhed underneath him trying to bring more of his tall body in contact with her.

Her nails raked across his back as he licked his way down to her breasts. Drawing one already pert, peaked nipple into his mouth, he sucked gently, tracing his tongue round and round the tip in gradually diminishing circles. He finally closed in on the now rock-hard point, pinching it between his teeth and tugging lightly. Bella cried out, arching into him, encouraging him to tug again. He switched sides, repeating his actions, while he let one hand trail down her ribcage to grasp her hip, allowing him pulling her closer…although, not close enough for either of them.

Edward brought his face to rest, lips still glued to her, in the valley between her perfect breasts, and peeked up at her. His breath caught in his throat at the sight of her—gorgeous face flushed, head thrown back exposing her throat and leaving all of her totally vulnerable, open, and exposed to him. A surge of strange new emotions welled up inside of his chest, and he felt the strange sensation of tears prickle at his eyes.

Overwhelmed by his need and the love he felt for the woman beneath him, the tenuous hold he had on his control slipped and he gave into the compulsion to claim her as his. The hand on her hip slipped to the back of her knee, swiftly pulling her leg up and hitching it over his hip. At the exact same time, his lips moved back to hers, kissing her roughly while grinding into her. Bella matched his fervor and he marveled momentarily at how wildly responsive she was to him.

"Bella…Isabella, look at me, love." Her eyes snapped to his upon hearing him utter the foreign word for the first time. She had never liked being called by her given name, but hearing it fall like sin from his mouth sent a jolt of electricity running through her and a flood of moisture straight to her swollen sex. It was the sexiest thing she had ever heard come from his wickedly sexy mouth and it made her want to bite his lips. Instead, she moaned again--embarrassingly loudly--and then bit her lip trying to shut herself up.

His hand left her knee and came to press into the mattress by her head. Holding himself up with that arm, Edward reached forward with the hand that had been previously supporting him and used his thumb to remove her lip from between her sharp teeth. "Stop, Isabella—" again, with the name and the shivers it sent down her spine, "—I want to hear you. I want to know what I do to you."

"Mmm!" She moaned. "Ed-Edward…I need you to-to touch me…please? Oh, God, please touch me."

Had he not touched her yet? He thought about it, and realized that he had grazed her bare mound teasingly when he peeled her clothing from her, but he hadn't touched her—really touched her—yet. He needed it just as badly as she did, and he wasted no time in getting it. His free hand was immediately brought down to her warmth, his fingertips were dragged over her outer lips before he cupped her with his hand. He groaned when he felt how hot and wet she was and he hadn't even parted her lips yet.

She pressed her hips down to his hand, needing more—more friction, more pressure… more of him. No longer caring about the ridiculous sounds she was making or the wanton way in which she was rolling her hips and grinding against his hand, she was losing herself to him and it was the most erotic sight he had ever seen in his twenty two years on earth and he had seen some erotic things. As Bella had pointed out earlier, he was hardly virginal.

~//~

With his looks, it was no surprise that women had always eagerly sought him out. Being a guy, it was hardly shocking that he had taken advantage of the ridiculously easy sex being offered to him. Therefore, Edward had been with his fair share of women, many of whom were quite skilled in the bedroom arts, but none of them did to him what Bella did and he wasn't sure why she affected him so much. There was just something about her…

Bella wasn't innocent, but she was nowhere near as experienced as Edward. She had lost her virginity at sixteen to the son of a family friend in the back of his VW Rabbit. It was awkward and painful and messy and, thank God, didn't last long. They never spoke about it and it most certainly never happened again. Needless to say, visits between his family and hers had been strained ever since. The number of men she had been with since Jake could be counted on less than one hand—three.

The first was her first serious boyfriend, and ended with high school. The next had, sadly, been a freshmen cliché—a drunken one night stand during her first quarter at the University of Washington. The final was the one that she regretted the most, the one that had finally stolen her innocence. He had wined and dined her, attempted to ply her with gifts, got her into his bed, and then had never spoken to her again.

It wasn't until later that she had found out about the bet that James and his buddies had going as to how long it would take him to nail her. James had won, just barely, by betting three weeks, and Bella felt like a cheap whore for being so easy. He had come on so strong and she had no defense for a predator like him. He was older, worldly, a real lady killer and absolutely lethal. Compared to Edward, she felt naïve and awkward.

She couldn't believe that she had actually found the balls to do something like what she had just done—to just be waiting for him in her bedroom, gift wrapped so to speak, with totally innocent, yet suggestive music playing—but she couldn't deny the raw attraction she felt for him. As afraid as she was that he wouldn't return her affections, she was more frightened of not knowing, so she decided to risk it all—her heart, her body…her soul.

There was no doubt about it—he owned all of her and she wasn't sure when she had decided to give it to him, wasn't sure it had even been a conscious decision. It had almost blown up in her face when she allowed her doubts to get the best of her, but luckily for both of them, it hadn't. He was still there, his hands between her legs, one finger finally…finally…slipping ever so slightly between her lips, parting her slippery folds. His finger grazed her oversensitive nub, making her cry out with pleasure, and she wanted more.

She held her breath in anticipation of where that single digit was headed, whimpering when he stopped halfway and removed it. His teasing made her aware of the emptiness inside of her that needed to be filled, and left her throbbing with a delicious ache. She needed more. She thought, with no small amount of certainty, that she would go mad if he was not inside her soon, and she found her hips lifting off of the bed of their own will, trying to take from him what she needed and was not giving her just yet.

"Fuck, Isabella! Fuck," he called out in answer to her moan as he gazed down at her, watching her every reaction breathlessly, his pleasure inexorably tied to hers.

He slid his finger deeper between her folds, nearly shooting his load at the feel of how wet she was, how ready she was…for him, all for him. He yearned to take her now…but no…and he removed his finger yet again…not yet…as he took a deep breath. He wasn't nearly done worshipping her yet. He skated his finger through her folds once more, only this time he didn't stop before he reached her opening. He toyed with her for a moment, letting his finger press against, but not quite enter, the place that she most wanted him.

She thrust her hips up, trying to get what she needed, but he had angled and lowered his hip to hers, preventing her from moving enough to accomplish what she wanted. Her little noise of protest caused him to chuckle, but as much as he was enjoying tormenting her this way--and he was--he decided to put her out of her misery and slipped the instrument of her torture inside.

"Mmmmm! Edward!"

Oh, fucking Christ Almighty in Hell! Jesus, but she was tight! Unghhh! Oh, fuck…so wet! Errrgh! His thoughts rang through his head in a shameful torrent of curses and onomatopoeia that nearly drowned out the sound of Bella's breathy cries. Pulling his eyes away from the hypnotic sight of his finger pulsing in and out of her, he risked a glance at her face…and wished he wouldn't have.

His only saving grace was that her expressive eyes were closed when he had looked up. If they had been open to see the libidinous spark that flamed to life in his eyes, she would have been swept away, and the shockwave of it would have shattered his already compromised control. As it was, the look of rapture that graced her visage nearly caused the loss of most of his remaining restraint and any semblance of rational thought.

He'd had to physically check himself back in order to keep from taking her in the most savage of ways…and he'd only just barely managed that. He didn't think she would have complained, but he didn't want her like that…this time. He wanted to make damn sure that she had no misconception as to the depth of his feelings for her; he wanted to show her his heart, and for this to be an act of love, and not a claiming or a taking. There would be time enough for both of them to stake their claims and take their pleasure later.

"Noooo, Edward, no! Don't stop. Please!"

His finger had stalled and then stilled while he struggled to contain the lusty beast inside of him. He was firmly back at the helm , but for some reason his finger remained buried instead of resuming its previous movement. Frowning at his forgetful hand, he replied, "I wasn't, love. I was just getting more comfortable."

~//~

He resumed fucking her with his finger, maintaining the same rhythm he had when he started. Bella breathed a sigh of relief, only to have it cut short, gasping with shock, when she felt Edward's mouth wrap around her engorged clitoris and she was suddenly made aware that his torso was now occupying the spot between her thighs that had previously belonged to his hips. How did he do that?

"You are terribly unobservant, Isabella. Tsk, tsk!" He clucked at her, his tongue lashing her clit with each sound he made.

Fuck, my filter must be broken. I think I said that out loud, she thought… or at least, so she thought, she'd thought.

Edward laughed and continued with his task as he said, "Yes, you did."

Bella couldn't find it in her to feel the mortification she would normally have felt—that she should have felt—over speaking her thoughts aloud. She did, however, silently make a mental note to learn some funny jokes, so that she could tell them to him the next time his head was between her thighs because his rumbling laughter did pleasant things to her lady-bits. It was so good, in fact, that the sensation caused her to moan louder than before, still without embarrassment.

Edward was thrilled that she was finally letting herself go just as he had wanted her to. He wanted to make her feel the way she made him feel—unhinged, out of control, giddy and euphoric, complete—but she wasn't quite there yet. He wouldn't be happy until she lost all control and imploded from the pleasure that he would bring her. Trying to get her there, he slid a second finger into her without breaking his rhythm even slightly. Her orgasm was right there, so close she could almost feel it, but still just out of her reach.

She just needed a bit more impetus to send her careening over the edge the way she craved. Looking down, she forgot to breathe momentarily when she saw his disheveled shock of brassy-brown hair between her widely spread legs. There was a split second where she almost allowed the shame that normally accompanied sex to take over, but Edward looked up at her, trapping her eyes. Any hint of shame dissipated in the wake of the intense emotion she saw shining in his eyes. Her breath hitched again and all she could feel was the overwhelming pleasure he was giving her.

"Breathe, Isabella," he reminded her, turning his head and nipping her thigh. "Do you like this? Am I making you feel good?"

She didn't answer him. She couldn't answer him because she couldn't think. All she could do was stare into his eyes and drift. Nothing existed except for him and her. She was all exposed nerves and sensation and rapidly spiking pleasure.

"Answer me, Isabella. Now!" Another nip of her thigh.

"Mmmmm! Yesssssss! Yes, Edward. S-so much. Please…?" She hardly knew what she was asking for, but Edward seemed to understand.

"No one has ever made you feel this way, have they? I'm the only one who can do this to you, who can give this to you, aren't I, Isabella? Say it!"

"Yes! Only you, Edward. Yours…all yours." Oh, God! His words were driving her crazy. She would normally be completely turned off by his domineering manner, but nothing about this was normal. This was everything. This was…more! Nothing could compare to this.

With that epiphany, she exploded and went spinning out into the atmosphere. If it wasn't for the man that was anchoring her, she would never have returned to her body, but she did return—slowly and bit by bit. She collapsed against her new, and now favorite, duvet limply. Completely spent, she still ached, but for what, her orgasm-fogged mind wasn't certain. Edward knew what she needed, naturally.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk! For shame, Isabella! There's no rest for the wicked, baby. I haven't nearly finished with you yet."

~//~

Tingling from his words, she felt her body slowly, and impossibly, coming alive again as he crawled predatorily up her body. Their hips finally aligned, and he stopped. He hovered above her and, balancing on one arm, used his free hand to grasp his cock. He rubbed the tip against her, up and down the length of her slippery pussy, causing a gasp each time he slid over her clit. As much as he wanted to be inside of her, he wanted to make sure that it's what she wanted as well; he didn't want this to be something she regretted the next morning.

Giving her one final chance to say no…just in case…he asked, "Are you certain that this is what you want? That you really want me inside you? You can say no, Bella. Can I…will you…do you want me make love to you?"

The sudden uncertainty and shyness in his voice did something to her. That he, Edward Cullen, could be made so meek because of her, from his need for her, made her frantic to have him inside her. Unafraid, she boldly said the words, "More than anything. Edward, please! I need you inside me. Please!"

He lined himself up and then stopped, remembering something. "Shit! Do you have protection?" He asked reluctantly. He had removed the condom that he used to carry around in his wallet for 'emergencies' when he had started seeing her. He figured she would be less of a temptation if he didn't have one readily available. It hadn't worked, she was too tempting for her own good, and just then it was proving to be most inconvenient, especially if she didn't have one.

"Unless…are you on the pill?" He stopped and then, remembering his reputation, added, "I'm clean. I've never been with anyone without using a condom, I haven't been with anyone for well over six months and I was tested a couple months ago."

He didn't want to sound like he was trying to convince her one way or another, but he was also trying to distract her from his admittance that he hadn't been with anyone since the day he had first laid eyes on her the preceding spring.

"What do you want, Isabella?" It was her choice, always hers, but he desperately wanted to be inside of her with no barriers. It didn't feel right to be with the woman he loved—the only woman he'd ever loved—and have something between them, but he could and would understand if that was what she wanted.

"I trust you," she whispered, eyes on his. "Make love to me now, Edward."

Without any further preliminaries…or allowing her time to change her mind like he feared she would (he was a good guy, but only so good)…he slipped inside of her a fraction of an inch and that was all the further he could go. She was so fucking tight that he wasn't sure he would fit, and he didn't want to hurt her.

"Fuck, Bella, baby! You're so tight, sweetheart. Am I hurting you?" In answer, she thrust her hips into him, causing him to slide further inside.

Using the hand that he had guided himself into her with, he grasped her hip and held her still. "Promise me…promise me you'll tell me if I hurt you. Swear to me, Isabella, or so help me God, I will stop right now."

"I promise, Edward. I fucking promise. Please…now…can't wait. Fuck! I need you right now. Edward, please make love to me."

~//~

Staring into one another's eyes, he pulled back slightly--not far enough to pull out--and then pushed back in, going a little deeper. It was in this manner, gaining ground with each push and pull, that he finally filled her. He could feel the head of his cock gently nudge her cervix as he bottomed out, fully sheathed inside of her. They fit together perfectly, like pieces of a puzzle.

"Ungh!" Bella cried out, panting from the overwhelming pleasure and surge of emotions that swept over her.

Edward forced himself to remain motionless as he let her body adjust to his most welcome invasion. "Are you okay?" He questioned her seriously, concerned by the tears that he noticed forming in her eyes.

"Yes," came her raspy, whispered reply. "More than okay, Edward, just a little overwhelmed."

Her eyes hid nothing, so the sincerity of her words was plain to see, and he felt tears form in his own. He said nothing; he simply nodded and then leaned forward to softly and sweetly kiss her plump lips. She wiggled her hips against his, telling him without words--as her lips were still busy--what she wanted. Being unable to deny her anything, he complied. Withdrawing nearly all the way before firmly stroking back in, he took her with long, slow, measured thrusts.

Bella wrapped her legs around him, allowing him to go deeper than he thought possible. When combined with the unhurried manner in which he took her, she was able to feel every ripple and ridge of his substantial cock in a way that she had never experienced. He stretched and filled her so completely, that each movement caused him to rub against the pearl nestled amongst her folds. He had the most beautiful dick she had ever seen, granted she hadn't seen that many of them in her life, but his was perfection. Long and thick and curved ever so slightly upwards so that with each thrust the tip of it rubbed her g-spot and stoked the fire that threatened to consume her.

She felt as if he was touching her everywhere all at once and it wasn't long before she was rocking against him, matching his movements and driving him on. Kissing her deeply, his speed and force slowly increased as, impossibly and unbelievably, the fervor between them continued to build.

If you would have asked Bella an hour ago if she had ever made love before, she would have said yes, but she now knew that she would have been wrong. It wasn't until Edward was inside her that she truly experienced the act of making love and she was overwhelmed by it, by him. She hoped that she wasn't alone in these feelings, but one glance at the look of wonder on his face that matched hers was all it took to convince her that she wasn't. She cleared her mind and allowed herself to get lost in Edward and the moment once again.

Consumed by and consuming each other, they were locked away in a bubble of their love and desire, the center of each other's world. They were almost in the eye of the storm, the tempest that they had been chasing was about to bear down on them, and their world began to narrow even more as it spiraled in on them in tandem bringing with it ecstasy unlike either of them had ever known. Neither of them were aware of the song that had been playing on repeat since Edward had entered the apartment.

Oh, I don't want a lot for Christmas, this is all I'm asking for.
I just want to see my baby standing right outside my door.
Oh, I just want him for my own more than you could ever know.
Make my wish come true, Baby, all I want for Christmas is you

The only sounds that existed for them were the moans and pants and groans of the other, a salacious, lascivious symphony that heightened the sensations coursing through them. Both of them so close to respite, to salvation, completion, Edward rested a bit more of his weight on Bella and wrapped his arm around her waist, lifting her to him slightly, shifting the angle of her hips. It was exactly what both of them needed.

"Edward!!" Bella gasped against his lips, her eyes closing tightly against both her rapidly approaching orgasm and the threatening tears. "Unghh! S-so close, baby. So close."

With a groan, his head dropped to her shoulder where he buried his face in her curls and nuzzled her neck for a moment. Bringing his lips back to hers, he breathed, "Me too, my Bella." He lifted his head. "Look at me, love. Look at me, Isabella! I want to see you come apart. I need to see you. Look at me!"

She reluctantly opened her eyes, feeling the coiling tension in her belly compress to the point of breaking and she was shocked by what she saw. It wasn't the love that was still visible in his jade, but not jaded, eyes that startled her so much. No, it was the tears that turned his eyes into glittering emeralds and threatened to spill over. One more thrust was all it took for his name to burst from her lips… Edward. Her release swept her away, the ecstasy and love she felt almost too much to handle.

As good as the first orgasm he had brought her to had been, she took it back—this was officially the biggest and best orgasm of her life, as well as the first orgasm she had ever experienced with her lover inside of her. For a brief moment she didn't know if she would survive it, survive him, it was so intense. Tears spilled down over her cheeks.

Her release brought Edward's and as he pulsed inside of her, filling her, he knew with certainty that this women really was the one. He would gladly give anything—all of his worldly possessions, his life, his soul—for her because none of it was worth a thing without her by his side to share it with. She was the most important thing in his life now; perhaps the most important thing ever and he too realized that he was crying.

In the wake of the storm, they clung to each other, tears trickling down their cheeks, eyes locked, murmuring words of endearment, pledges of everlasting love and long forever's. They lay there for what felt like hours kissing, caressing each other softly at times while at other times they simply breathed in each other's breath.

As they drifted off for a short, but well deserved--rest before starting again--the sounds surrounding them invaded their bubble and the last few notes of the Christmas song Bella had started just before he'd arrived, drifted into his ear.

All I want for Christmas is you, baby, indeed, he thought.

At that same moment, wrapped in the arms of the man she loved, Bella heard the words as well, and smiled softly thinking that she must have been a very good girl that year...

All I want for Christmas is you, baby

…because she got him…at least three more times that night, and every Christmas after.

~Fin~