Thanks the keeper of my heart and soul and secrets, Viola Cornuta, for just being brilliant, and of course beta'ing.

An enormous hug to AngryBadgerGirl for her read of this and some well-aimed advice. A kiss to winterstale for being just what I need.

Disclaimer: Not mine, just sort of.

I don't know if anyone was waiting for this or not, but here you go. Truthfully, after the last chapter I was never certain there'd be another. But there is. And it's Edward.

~~For my Mer~~


End

Edward

the blossoms shake

sudden water

down my sleeve,

sudden water

cool and clean

as snow—

as the stem-sharp

swords

go in

against your breast

and the sweet wild

rocks

leap over

and

lock us in.

I TASTE THE ASHES OF YOUR DEATH

~Charles Bukowski

Evermore

"Just fucking do it already, Edward." She still cursed like a sailor, drank like a lush, smoked a bit more than was necessary.

The tangle of wine with cigarette on her tongue, rubbing against mine, was headier than any blood I'd ever drink.

It was autumn now, nearly a full year since I'd returned; a festering fall that had been preceded by idylls and idling, languishing and loving, seasons of blame and betrayal and bliss.

I stopped pacing and folded my hand down my face, revealing eyes I was sure were half afflicted, half gleaming with excitement, "While I appreciate your enthusiasm, that's not really the reaction I was looking for." Wearily I crossed my arms over my bare chest, and watched Bella follow that simplest motion with recognizable carnality.

Swaying towards me with her skirt, her favored garb, accentuating her hips and whispering between her thighs so my hands clenched to grab the alluring fabric and push it up to her hips so I could see and lick the lovely, feathered pleasure between her legs, she pursed her lips to my throat and breathed, "While I appreciate your candor, baby," she paused and looked up at me with a breathtaking combination of ingénue and spirited courtesan, "just fucking do it."

"Do what?" I asked, skimming my fingertips in between her breasts to her sides. "This?" with no warning I skirmished into her ribs and belly with the lightest tickling touch, not letting up, laughing loudly as she flailed in giggles and tried to smack my hands away.

Abruptly, her amusement eroded. I stopped. Bella grabbed my face, rained over it like a summer wash of love I watched exploding in crimson, gold, and azure--banners of bright emotion. Her lips suckled my chin and jaw and then my mouth--gliding, pressing—until our foreheads met and all that was left was hushed and no longer hasty and nevermore, and never more. Peeking between her lips, her tongue spoke against mine, between our mouths, backwards, forwards, fighting, giving mercy, giving in, "This really isn't a laughing matter, is it?"

Grunting with terror and tension and wanting, I swept her into a deep, wet kiss. We stopped, tore apart, still connected by gasps and fingers and body and soul, "There's never really been much to laugh about between us, my love."

My lover.

My woman, my mate.

I still wondered if she didn't hate me. Although sometimes she certainly did.

"Not so much. Not recently," Bella agreed when, before, she would have denied the truth. Did I wish for that same girl I'd known whose untarnished spirit had sprinted right into my body, tripping up my existence, startling me from a coma into cold-hot love?

There was beauty in the truth. There was brutality in reality. There was love mixed with disgust, with hurt… with friendship too.

I had fond memories of that girl. But I was going to make the most everlasting remembrances with this woman--this Bella right here. Because now she was the person she was meant to be.

Brushing my knuckles over her cheek, I closed my eyes to Bella padding over the unfed bruises beneath my eyes. Both our flesh trembled with the force to combine in such a way we would never be sundered.

Sundry emotions colluded until the atmosphere was balmy and hectic with every spilling, organ-splitting impulse.

Boiled and churned and mixed together, this would just have to do. This would just have to be us.

Tilting my head, I nuzzled her ear until she shivered. Into that softest shell of skin I wondered, "Perhaps we can change that too."

Perking up, shifting gamine-like from heartbroken and wistful to impish and arch, Bella grinned, "I can change."

I plucked her lips up into a smiling kiss and a laugh rumbled between us, "Yes, lover, I'm sure you can."

"Now?" Wide and guileless, old and sage, Bella sank against me and began unbuttoning her blouse. First between her tits down to her waist. Wiggling her shoulders, the slip of satin wafted to the floor. In offering, she disrobed.

Touching every bared hill and peak and indentation and whorl and swirl and pink and cream and freckle and mole and wetness and pebbled and swollen and open and… offering, I took.

Swallowing hard, I lapped, readied, prepared her flesh to take mine in another manner, "I don't want you to die in pain, Bella."

My eyes tight and narrow, the harrowing push to have her always almost buckled me. The need to never fucking ever hurt her almost caused me to fall over and fly away one more inglorious time.

She grappled with my hands, placed them on her beautiful teardrop breasts, unbuckled my jeans and became a woman, a warrior, "Then don't let me die, baby. And make me feel pleasure."

I took.

I gave.

Never

There was no meadow, no going back to lost innocence in a wavy field of clover and delphiniums and fern and goldenrod.

We'd had that.

I'd quashed that when I left.

No wildflowers.

But there was wild emotion flaying, whipping, stampeding, ripping, shredding.

There was a smoky, black, underwater octopus-like ink stain on our lives, on our being together.

The tentacles that wrapped us tight stung, and bit, and bled.

Sometimes there was a spill of purest love, lightheadedness, peace, and being, blotting out the blight of our equal guilt.

This mismatched repair of us was sensual; sometimes savage, sometimes soft. Often, the only way we came together was puzzling, questioning, jagged.

Cutting, smarting, cunning.

Lethal, loving, fucking needing.

Green and gluttonous and hoping to solace, the punch of pain fisted through us almost too many times.

Astride me, Bella swiveled slowly, menacingly, over my cock. A strangled groan rent the silence of muted moans; she was crumbling, cussing, overflowing, "You're such an idiot, Edward," she panted.

Beating my torso, she sat down hard on me. I saw our damp hair blazing together as she used her thighs to slide back and forth on my dick, rubbing her clitoris into the base of my cock. Angered, aggravated, aggrieved, her rhythm was stilted as she stuttered through insults, "Why did you ruin us? What fucking madman's vengeance made you come back?" Bowing over me, jeering and teasing me with her nipples so damn close to my mouth, she looked like a wrathful succubus up through the damask dark curtain of her hair, "I gave myself away."

Tears sprung and rivered down her cheeks mixing with her sweat, making her hair cling to her flushed face.

I wanted to comfort her, but I was so fucking sick of this… she gave herself away to other men. I shuddered and clamped her ass, clenched my jaw, "Don't talk about them."

I lapped her nipple, the pink little candy-piece engorged and puffy and goading me.

Pulling the elongated cherry from my mouth, Bella braced herself backwards, her hands scrabbling up my thighs, an inhumanly gorgeous scorned woman, fucking me. To the ceiling she razed, "Don't talk about them? Are you fucking kidding me?" Forward, slithering, silken, lovely, lonely, livid, she pillowed my chest with her tits and grabbed great hunks of my hair, glaring at me and still winding her hips around me, over me, onto me until I was severely stamping down every tightening urge to cum. "What about you, what the hell were you up to for three cocksucking years after you left me, huh?"

The course of her hand gathered between us, circling, tempting, ringing my dick as we battled over and under and inside. With a jerk of my hips I almost bucked her off me, my shaft compacted by her tensed channel so much so my face was caving, my voice rubbley, "Well, I certainly wasn't sucking cock, my love."

I rolled her over, because I understood the onslaught to come.

My arms a cage of muscles straining, my legs rippling and shaking between hers, my chest pinning her down, I let her pound me with the wispy scatter of her pummeling blows. Spitting, hissing, sinking, gliding, fucking, loving, hating, "You asshole!" Bella's face cracked like the over-glazed, soup-bowl large, ceramic mug she drank her morning coffee from.

"You want to fuck, love, or do you want to fight? I'm pretty good at multitasking, but I'm fucking tired of you hitting me," I cuffed her wrists, kissed her mouth sloppily, lopsidedly meandered down her neck and stopped above her buttoned blousy breast.

The breath beat out of her.

Adjusting my hips, I pushed my cock fully up into her, blinking through fear and loathing, to see Bella below me.

Her cheeks bellowed in and out, every breath expanding her tits so they swabbed against me.

And every inhalation was exultation.

Every quiet exhalation was our apology, this time.

Apogee, apostolic, lick. I dragged over her, into her, and harder and softer and held her hands and felt her heels in my ass, and we coupled, we conjoined, we surrendered, we damaged; I pounded, she met me, she whined out as I winched in, and mouths gaped and faces and eyes and words that saturated never were uttered because we, we… we embraced and staved off and gave in and gave off and fucked off and didn't give a toss and gave everything…and…blue, red, gold… gone, shattered… sheared off, stopped. Stopped.

A blanket to warm.

A heartbeat…to warn.

A halfhearted smack and feminine growl, "Imbecile," against my Adam's apple.

Lax, never lackluster, always shimmering, Bella joined to me. Flesh, flesh, flesh, heart… pumping.

A lump formed in my throat. I took her bottom and shunted her further up onto me as I smiled into her snarled hair where the mattress had snagged it, "Stupid woman." Tiredly, Bella massaged her kiss-awakened lips to mine. I turned my head to deepen, leant back on the pillow to lessen. When I spoke, my words made curlicues on her skin, moist wicks, the tick of my stomach and groin and chest lifting with speech, need, bleeding, "I've always loved you, Bella."

She sighed, "I know." She thawed against me, "I love you too." She snuffled to sleep with the words hanging between us, "What if that's not enough?"

Piece us back together again.

Piecemeal.

Bits and pieces.

Bite.

Again, and again

It was never easy.

Us, we, always? This shit was impossibly hard. Difficult, different.

I deserved it.

I'd left.

Defy.

Deny.

Own.

Grow.

Bud and bless and bloom and…

Bleed.

Almost every time

"Now we live,"I'd said.

Or maybe I would die for you, for us… she'd confessed her idea.

A cottage in the foresty fen, secluded in the deep ivy-creeping woods where splendid light dappled in between shadow, in between leaf.

Inside. Outside.

Light. Day.

Owe. Pay.

Squandered.

Domesticated.

She tended a flower bed and planted tomatoes when the weather warmed. And gigantic bloom-heavy sunflowers.

I mowed the lawn.

I ripped the cord right of out first lawnmower.

Bella didn't think McClanahan Hardware would give me a refund or exchange it.

It'd been my lucky day; a young lady was working the customer service desk.

I got my money back while Bella stomped off to scowl at the light fixtures.

I heard all about it as soon as we got home, on the moldy porch, slouching down on those warped boards, sloping into each other and repeating, "I love only you."

Ruffling orgasms.

Rife ire.

The simplest chores were tainted by numerous memories and ideas of what could have been… then.

I devoured a family of deer. Bella made a simple meal for herself. We sat together at the table. Sometimes holding hands, sometimes angered for no other reason than this… this was our life, now.

This was my life.

When I walked into our house, I became a man, at least my body's appeal made it seem so.

Indestructible but for Bella's virulent expressions, indescribably hard, etched from human to immortal, I felt more mature than I ever had.

This time, she was washing the windows, grumbling.

As she reached up to the top sill, wiping away the hills of silt, her skirt made to her upper thighs.

Swatting a fly away, Bella inadvertently lifted the pink confection higher until I could see she wasn't wearing panties.

It was a hot Indian summer afternoon.

A tall fan oscillated over the kitchen, causing her unbound nipples to swell and purse.

Those two mounds were also unclothed beneath the barest white tank top.

Flapping up her skirts with the breeze of my movement, I sank two fingers inside her, allowing, "We could get a maid, you know."

Though she bit her lip and pushed onto my hand so I had to make a seat for her with my palms, Bella replied, "This is my house."

I pulled out, shaking my hand, sucking my fingertips, glowering at her, simply wanting her, "It's my house, too."

"Yeah?" she snapped the dirty cloth aside.

"Yeah," I started unbuttoning my jeans.

"That right?" Bella was already naked and sitting on a chair, her legs spread, her peach and pomegranate lips visible, her toes arched.

Shoving my pants off, I ripped through my t-shirt and craned my neck back when her tongue wrangled down that trail of hair leading from my belly button to my shaft.

"My. House." With a simple blow, I cracked the splat off her seat and bent her backwards.

"Our house."

I deserved her, if she'd have me.

Then, in the kitchen with her kettle whistling and Windex spattering in bright blue dribbles down the window, I came from between her legs with my cheeks slick and took her up to me with my cock… hard.

The fucking legs broke off her chair by the time I was through, and we'd dented the baseboard.

My fingerprints were concave imprints upon wood.

I'd come back. I just couldn't… be without Bella for another second. All the time I was gone I wanted her to hate me, or even less than that, I wanted her to forget me, forget I ever existed. I'd tried to rip out--with my hands vilified and horrible and nasty, with my words the most grotesque lies twisting my tongue—any feeling she'd harbored for me, all that love, that light, her laughter, her heart. I'd sent her out to sea, shipwrecked myself, found myself holed up and grounded and fucking dying.

There was nothing.

Castaway.

No family, no friends, no touch, no talking. There was no music, no books, no pleasure. Nothing even remotely as earthly or sensual as her shy kisses and arousing newly minted caresses that had made me want to cry, and take, and mate, and make love to her.

I gave a harsh laugh when people pulled up alongside me on the soft shoulder with their humanity and offers of a ride to their next stop. Did they not understand? I was a vampire, a villain, a vagabond. No longer suave or charming, I didn't even bother with pleasantries; I was hardly cleanly clothed and couldn't give a shit if I still stank after leaving the urine-smelling pit stops of gas station restrooms along the way.

And yet they welcomed me into their cars, and I sat in those bucket seats and sniffed the pine scent of their air fresheners, I slunk down into the passenger side of eighteen wheelers and listened to the crackle of CB radios, I glared out the window as children yipped and griped in the backseats of station wagons with a creature up front beside their moms, dads, grandfathers, aunts.

I was their fucking worst nightmare in the flesh, and they didn't bat an eyelash.

I crawled amongst human life, the monster I was. Unclean, dirtied of soul, neglectful of my appearance, I scurried like vermin; sniping, snipping, offending, being a bastard. The sheer fucking dread was more lethal than wolf or Volturi or capture or dismemberment. Every step was a death march. Every breath my last. Every sight went unseen. All words unspoken, questions unanswered, needs unrequited.

I'd walked away. I'd kept walking. At first I'd run because I knew if she tried to follow me, if she caught up with me, I'd never escape.

And she would never live.

I'd trudged, like my feet were stuck in mire. My muscles ached with fatigue though of course I was never supposed to be tired of body. How was it my heart curdled, shriveled, compressed like it was being smashed between two behemoth fists?

South, east, north, overseas…It didn't matter.

From a scathing, embittered old man I became just… empty. Hollow, a vessel that had been filled and then spilled of my guts out on a forest floor at the feet of my love.

Ghost, phantom, my body nothing more than a host I was incapable of killing.

On the days when I needed something, I didn't bother to shut out the images, and sounds, and smiles, and bodily feeling of being with Bella.

Usually a month of completely comatose wandering followed those instances. I couldn't compete with the memories, or the way they wracked my being.

I left because I could kill her with the mere brush of my fingers holding too hard at the nape of her fragile neck when all the impulses within me broiled into the heated inescapable molten desire to be inside of her. I left because how the hell would I ever be able to consummate this thing, how could I make love to her, fuck her, when I could hardly contain my beastly self enough to make-out with her?

I ran, walked, crawled away because anyone could harm her, and the number of possible supernatural suspects who'd want to do just that multiplied exponentially because of our relationship.

I slithered away on my yellow belly because she was human and delicate, because she bled and got sick and coughed and sneezed and could die by accident or from disease or old age.

Anyone, anything could take her from me.

I slunk away, because I wanted to make her a vampire, because I selfishly wanted her forever.

Jesus Christ, I was such a coward!

All that time, all… the… time, I hoped she remembered me, wanted me, longed for me, wondered and waited and wished more than she hated me.

I never thought her life would stop.

I never figured she'd screw around with other… men.

Down south, someplace muggy, barren, all ochre-colored and tumbled around and poverty-stricken, pot-holed and weed-riddled, I'd looked up at a single plane overhead crossing the wide cloudless blue dome of the sky. Carrying people, joining them, reuniting them. Blinking lowly at the meaty Brahman bull whose black-blue blood congealed around the neat wound I'd scythed, I was utterly detached as its humped back seized with one final, fitful heartbeat.

There was a filthy, formerly shiny, silver Airstream I called home off in the distance. I'd sneered at what my life had become. A cornflower meant Bella's pretty top, her bedspread, the worn cover of her journal. The painted red of a handmade sign was the color of her lips on a cold morning. The brown that surrounded me when it rained was the liquid of her eyes.

Loping to the camper, wearily, I sat on the tilting makeshift step. I didn't look, I couldn't see, I didn't want to want… I didn't want to need. Muffled pain needled me until it became the precise incision of ten thousand scalpels slicing my chest, flaying my arms, sharpening on my thighs, gutting me. And it all came back in a landslide of memories and stills like photographs. Every goddamn thing. All of Bella, and not just freeze frames, but fucking virtual reality so I could feel and hear and there was heat and there was hurt and there was love and there was…

"AAAAHHHHH!" I crashed my head back to the shaky door until it dented and fell, a destroyed metal bulkhead, to the straggling dandelions below.

"Fuck. FUCK!" Bella.

I pounded the cement steps to dust and rubble and still there was no release from the… from the fucking pressure threatening to crack me open! Panting, I stood from the debris and looked around, and this was foreign, this was alien, this was… this was wrong.

Three years.

Wasted.

A harrowing narrowing of my face and I felt like I was caving in, aging, deteriorating to a papery-thin man beneath all of the… all of the… everything I'd destroyed.

A hand to the sun-heated side of the aluminum trailer, I couldn't outrun this hounding.

A fist clasped to my mouth, gagging to see her, for damn sure I knew then, I was going to have her, let her do what she wanted with me. This time Bella wouldn't have to plead for kisses or touches or intimacy or my skin against hers, or conversation or confessions. If she'd have me.

If she wouldn't accept me back then I'd end this ignominious existence once and for all.

I did.

I went back. It was cold. Bella was colder. But I was better even with her noxious, accurate, jibes. And we were older, and maybe this could be our time.

Telling her everything, I'd held her hands, warred with her, embraced her, let her hit me. She'd scorned me, hissed and kicked at me, pitied me, pitied herself. Histrionic, conciliatory, consoling, somber, hysterical.

She forgave my abandonment. I swallowed the intestinal images of her sexual trysts. Believing, slightly, this was our clean slate, we made a home.

But what was the point if we couldn't grasp the fucking point.

Because we still hurt and stabbed each other coarsely, then we hungered and becalmed bountifully.

We made a home, and we haunted it

This was our winter, our spring, then summer. And now, the autumn with its decay.

Limping, beating, beaten…dying.

More?

Our hastiness was questioned, never more so than by ourselves.

I thought I'd abandoned her so she could be.

And she had been, and I despised that, and I loved that.

Bella looked over at me one morning, her hair a crazy quilt across my pillow, her hand swilling up and down my chest as I lay on my back beside her. I squinted at her through the downy dawn's light on a crisp fall morning when she hooked me with her words, "I could never hate you, Edward. I missed you just being."

Rising on an elbow, I lowered so her breasts mashed their cushiony perfection between us, "I love you, Bella." Long and slow and smacking and smiles and tongues, torrid but never rushed, not this time, this kiss could be us.

Gathering me against her, making us a tight pretzel of limbs grazing and voices melting, Bella licked, whispered, "I looked for you, I loved you. I saw you everywhere you used to be, not knowing, knowing. Hoping. In the parking lot and in my driveway and walking, laughing, talking… scowling." She quietly laughed, "I looked for you every day, baby."

"That's why-" her eyes were clear, and that was why.

Because I was everywhere, and I was nowhere, and that was why.

That was why Bella had found forgetfulness the only way possible.

Pushing into her until she sighed and wrapped her legs around my waist and grabbed my ass and smattered kisses up the middle of my chest, I groaned, "We can forget now."

Nodding, arching, reaching, wet and ready and this time we steadied and looked and saw and found…and we were here and we were real and we were each other.

Diffident, afterwards, Bella stiffened and snarled at the chipper birds trilling outside, throwing her pillow at the window and then stealing one of mine, "Ugh! Shut the hell up, it's way too early for this nonsense!"

Wrapping my palm around her calf and pulling it up between my legs, I joked, "You know, this wouldn't be a problem if you didn't need to sleep."

The pillow she held over her face to suffocate the obnoxious birdsong came away, her lips dropped open, she wandered around my body before meeting my eyes with concern, with acceptance, "Yes."

No More

I never knew if I'd find her railing or rallying.

"I just wanted you to know how much I fucking loved you!" Bare breasted and gloriously enraged, Bella had hit me with her hips, her lips, her temper, "How could you leave me like that?"

"I went by your house. I knew you weren't there, but it didn't matter. Every time I drove down the overgrown path, crushing the tall grass beneath my wheels, as soon as I saw the disrepair and shutters hanging off and mildew spreading and wild roses thorning up the porch, I knew it. I still rang the doorbell, Edward." Spitefully, she stomped around our living room, throwing books and trinkets at me, and I didn't bother to shield myself from the blows of binding or ceramic or wooden statuettes. Her cheeks were mottled red in the most righteous fury, "You were never there!"

This time, she tested me with a taunt, "You really fucking hate you can't read my mind, don't you."

I inhaled. It would be one of those days.

And I'd fucking take them all, welcomingly, so long as Bella would stay, but I wouldn't put up with any more scorn. I'd done wrong, I'd been a shit, I'd killed us… and right now we needed to resurrect this thing, this love.

We'd absolved each other in words and body. But not in spirit.

She twisted the knife until I was screwed up tight, "Probably for the best, anyway."

And I fucking knew what lascivious, wicked things she was remembering… with those men.

All the hashed-up, yardsale glassware scattered and shattered on the floor. I looked to my arm that had swept it away like it was a phantom limb, not belonging to me.

Bella did, Bella belonged to me.

She ingested the sight of the clacking-stilled shards and walked neatly between them, careful not to cut the bottoms of her bare feet, and the baseboard heater clanged on again, and the sweltering fried-dust smelling air crackled, "What were you really up to all those years, baby?" Bella simpered, sweetly, decadently asking for it.

Goading me.

Thinking I'd ever have my cock in another woman.

Clenching my jaw, grinding my teeth, my nostrils flared, "You know I was never with anyone else, Jesus, Bella. I was hardly even inside of myself," I bit it out, harshly, my lips curling back. Snarling, grabbing her to me so she could feel every sinew, raging, rigid, turgid, turbulent, and…repentant, "I'm sorry."

I softened and she quaked and I calmed and pushed her sweater up and she twisted her fingers right into my hair, yanking me down to her face, "You should be sorry, You LEFT! I'm sorry you came back." Her enraged outburst battered to my skin like hailstones. And when she half-turned away, I heard her defeated whisper, "I'm glad you came back."

But her bitterness and bile only reignited, "I looked for you! In every mundane place, everywhere, Edward! How could you? How can you? Why?" her stabbing feather-fists punctuated the truth.

Lessened, let loose from the stormy cataclysm, I pulled her into me, I softened, I was… I was only human, only immortal, only a boy, only a man.

"Yours was the only face I saw, Bella."

"Day in, day out, all night every dammed night."

"I thought of you every day," I placated, pursued my declarations with the littlest kisses anywhere I could find.

Slipping away like an apparition I couldn't contain, Bella's face was filled to overflowing with repugnance at me, "You thought about me every day?"

"Are you fucking kidding me?"

Oh, no. No, no, no. I stalked her into a corner and made her listen, swiping the pad of my thumb over her glistening hard lips, making her look at me, "When I say thought I mean I never left you. I never let you go. I wanted to kill myself, more than I wanted to have you. I wanted, I want, I need to be with you, Bella! I can't… you never… I couldn't…" Finally my head bowed to her, "I cannot live without you."

A deep breath filled her chest, and she turned her face up as if a sprout to the sun.

"I'll abide your tirades and your past, and I'll own my stupidity that killed us, and I'll accept and I'll give and I will be yours… just, no more, Bella, please, please, no more of this."

Beneath the harmless pelt of her small, weakening blows at my chest and cheeks, the only pain I felt was that there would be no release for what I'd done.

"After all these months, I'm not sure it's going to be that easy, baby." She cloaked herself once more.

I wished she could bash me to a bloody pulpy mess on our kitchen floor, at least so I could forego the disgusting montage I manifested of Bella with other men.

She'd accepted me, and I her. But it wasn't that simple.

She'd come to live with me and be my lover.

But it was never going to be that fucking easy.

I'd hastened to do the same, to inter the swampy sexuality of her years without me.

I never knew what I'd find in her presence. Pique, pathos, unadulterated venom.

Every toxin-filled curse I'd heard for over a century raped me.

Justly.

And as rightfully, I was angered!

How could she judge when she'd given her body – the one that was made to be mine – to other men.

"Listen to me, Bella!" I shouted and held her wrists before she could turnstile on me.

My incisors wet, breath sweet and sultry, I strove her closer, until our hips met, and antagonism gave way to anticipation.

My lip furled, "None of that shit matters now."

Trying to remember tenderness, I turned into her body, gently, slowly. Shadows of late afternoon fall sun gloried about us.

Made us less fallow, less fallen.

In and out.

Wrong.

Right.

She cried, in voice only, against my neck, pushing my shirt up over my arms, shoulders, neck, head, "You left me, Edward."

Biting my lips, scraping without injury over the plains of my chest, she crowed, "And it does fucking matter, love."

"Yeah?" I sucked her earlobe into my mouth and ran my hand up her woolen skirt to find the moist silk of her panties, "More than this?"

Slap!

She spun out from me, but I held her hand.

She looked to our braided fingers like they were unrecognizable, mortal snakes coiling. Sneering, "You can't just fuck the hurt out of me."

"No?" I let her go, but I was done apologizing. She owed, I owed, we'd both hurt, and this was getting us nowhere. A stop-gap.

"This it then?" My fists bunched at my hips.

When she didn't answer but for a glare, I opened my jeans and lowered them, aching as she feasted her eyes over me.

The muscles all over me racked inside of her seductive gaze. I groaned, opened my palms to her, and asked her as she had me so many times over it was burnt into my brain, "Please. Bella."

Her indecision solidified into bile. I hated that look on her face, all hard plains, no matter how much it was deserved.

I'd make love to her until all that passed her expression was the collapse of knowing, the eruption of lust.

Her lacey, sheer, brassiere met the cupboard. My mouth opened, greedily.

"Sex isn't the answer," yet her legs opened and her nipples, those fucking glorious dimes topped up into the prettiest, most sexy pieces of flesh.

"What is then?"

I strode to her. Ran the flat of my hand over her tits.

"Hmmm?"

Her neck arched away, but her hips swayed and the slight fabric was easily shimmied to the floor, and then to the skirting in a heap of frills.

Hands that could never hurt found the strength to stroke. Up and down my chest. All over my shoulders. Into my pelvis and across my pubic hair. Down, down, down.

"Jesus Hell!" I moaned and begged and braced my legs. My cock pointed straight at her, wanting her touch. I moved against air alone.

"Bella, please." I implored. And I'd fucking do it again.

"You wanna' know the answer?"

Deliriously, I opened my eyes. Stilled. All my being centered on Bella.

She took up her hair in her hands--cinnamon, paprika, the crusty rusty red flakes of blood upon a doe's fawny neck. All of it. Fucking tease.

"Tell me now," I demanded. I was done playing.

Before her lips crashed to mine, and her hair became a spicy waterfall to her shoulders in tendrils and waves and locks over her back and between her breasts and into my hands like a gift, a fucking gift, I felt the word breathed into my soul, from her to me, "Love."

All our fingers plaited into her mane, our lips pouted together, our tongues tangled, retreated, bartered, mated.

When she sat down on her heels, I growled.

Lips of succulence and redness robbed me of vision, sanity.

When I tried to caress her face, wind her tresses into my fingers, she shook her head, and I still felt only her exhalations on my cock.

Instead of kissing my penis, in lieu of tonguing it, sucking it, she watched as I jerked closer to the purchase of her mouth.

"I love you, Bella. I always ha-" The word tore off from my throat as I watched her wrap the length of her hair around my erection. I gasped, groaned, "Ahh, I always have-" Once more my thoughts ceased with my voice. Her tongue ran around the head of my cock and then pointed into the slit. And she continued to twirl her hair, those silken vibrant skeins, in spirals around my cock. When she took me down into her throat, I pounded the counter to crushed granite, its sooty glittering grains like starbursts in the sun's last rays, "FUCK! I will always love you, Bella."

"You're damn right you will."

Even though my balls were so firm and ready and scritching higher, and I was ready to come in her mouth, I laughed.

She was right.

It was about time we faced facts.

Past didn't matter.

Future would unfold.

The point was we were equals. Each other's firm footing… as we never would have been before. We could be now.

We'd been tested and tortured and torn. We'd always loved each other, but never like this. Now it was time to lay those demons to rest, put them in a tomb, mark it with a gravestone, throw dirt on it and decide, once and for all… this was it.

Yes, forevermore

And this was us.

"Yes," she'd said.

"Just fucking do it already," she'd sworn, scared and impatient and needing to be touched and naked and sublime and the most of every goddamn thing.

"I don't want you to die in pain, Bella." I'd watched the run of blood inside her veins, bluish, brackish, pumping harder, calling me, beckoning.

Undressing herself, undressing me, she'd wrested all the material away from us so that what remained was bare and cold, and bare and hot, and beatific and beastly, unrefined, defined, devilish, decadent, delirious, delicious… to sex, to love, to kill, to enkindle.

"Then don't let me die, baby. And make me feel pleasure. Make me feel pleasure first," because she wasn't so ignorant anymore.

Clasping my face with one hand that didn't quiver in fear--or nearly didn't--smoothing her fingers from my pelvis to my cock, she handled me, and I was ready, and I was heady, and I was… giddy. And I was scared.

"Just do it," she demanded.

"It's not that easy," I reprimanded.

"It can be, right?" she parried.

We had decided, it should be…easier.

Laying her on the bed, licking and sucking and nibbling and beginning to get a feel for her flavor beneath skin, wondering what her blood would taste like right down to bone and marrow, I swept my face through another wetness, one that was musky and slick and sometimes a thick and creamy unguent that almost fulfilled my craving hunger for her.

But with this before me, her giving, her assurance, my want, me need, our future, all of her laid out, I wasn't satisfied this time with the scorching drink between her thighs.

My eyes turned blacker than midnight, blacker than forgotten souls wandering aimlessly about that midnight hour, blacker than the coals left over from hell's inferno.

Bucking restlessly, Bella met my fiendish look squarely, ran her toes along my shoulders, gave them to me, one-by-one, to suckle. Her other calf punted me forward, on my knees before her, between her, languidly parting her delta with my cock. Pushing in, an inch, retreating, a smidgen.

Bending her legs around my waist, clasping the small of her back and raising her up, lifting her for the incineration to come, I teased her before I bled her.

Tipping her head over my arms, her breasts washing against me and latching my nipples with hers and stopping and swaying and sliding, she was more savage than me, "Just do it! Fuck me, have me! Make me, make me… make me into something…" I thrust into her completely, holding down on her hip and shoulder, "Ohhhh, yes, just make me something to be!"

That was wrong, this was wrong, "You already are something to be." I tried to disengage, set her aside, pull my dick out of her, but she was so fucking forceful when she took my lips and swiveled on my hips and rallied and panted, "I know that! I just… we can't," she decanted over me a few times, languorously, "I want… we need." Her kiss had softened to slippery, and tongues and teeth and tethering urges and strident gasps, "We'll never be… unless we're together."

And I understood, but I couldn't. At the base of her neck I tasted her flesh, knowing a flick of muscle, a turn of hands, a soft, soft cut of my teeth, and I'd have her, "I can't."

Inside I was hungry because I could see… I could see… I could feel her blood running through my veins filling my stomach, and the sensation bloated me, made me bleat, angered me and I wanted to crush her and fuck her and love her and have her and make her… and make her and make love to her and take her and make her.

My chin that would never feel stubble scrubbed her face, her lips and eyes and nose, and Bella kissed it all, kissed it all away with her mouth, with her tears that were falling and falling, "Please just… I will, I will Bella." Curling her up into me so every part meshed and roiled and we were fucking again and I was in her hard and she was over me tight, "I will, but let me make love to you like this, one more time."

Her nod became a loll and an, "Ahhhh," and it was gentle, tender, poignant feeling. For love and us and trust and not more hate and no more beating and just, just, just us once more, one final time.

Even when I arched and cried out and lunged up and my voice broke, "Oh god yes, Bella, yessss, I love," I shifted to the side and sifted in and out quickly, feeling her perched on my thighs, across my chest, anchored over me, anchoring me, and flying up and lifting and spilling and yelling and kissing, laughing, kissing, wishing, knowing.

The flutter of her pussy, her beautiful little inner flower, made me grip her too hard because another flow pulsed between us. She held the pain I caused, only letting it escape to a bite on her bottom lip, a frown on her brow that skittered away like clouds, frail skeletal clouds and blue sky.

Soothing, remaining inside her, rolling down but not away, her breath slowed, mine increased.

Pretty, disheveled, sensual, Bella turned and opened up to me… a floweret, an efflorescence, her tone still husky and deep like the satchels of pollen carried away by a honey bee, "Only you can pin me down, Edward."

A smile, a gut wrenching smile.

I snubbed her nose and sloughed her lips and made the gentlest, cruelest caress of my palm, twining her hair away from her neck, off her breasts, shifting her with hands tender and brutal so I could take her in another manner.

"I want you to fly, love." How much my face clamped down, crinkled, and I was dying… I was dying… I was going to kill her… I was dying to kill her.

Because I smelled her and I wanted her and I wanted to taste her and I wanted to lick inside her neck and down between her tits and even right between her legs, and maybe, probably, behind her knees, and I still wanted her to live.

"Only you know me, only you can keep me, here with you."

I shook my head in denial even while I trained my teeth to the fat, succulent dripping artery down her neck.

She held my hands, a downy persuasion of fingertips right down to where our fingers met palms, it was caring and encouraging, and the exact amount of eroticism, as her fingers slid back and forth between mine, just as I'd done inside her cunt.

"Do it, do it now before I remember all the reasons we shouldn't, why this is wrong, why I've hated you. Do it while I know I can love you effortlessly even while there's hurt and pain and work to come. Do it while I remember," she took our threaded hands to her lips, blessed them with a smoldering kiss, "I have only ever loved you."

Luxurious salty wet streams, tears, soon-to-be-forgotten dreams dripped and dropped and pooled in the corner of my mouth, inside my ear, down my throat.

Distressed, chilled, clammy, I tried to dry our cheeks, but it was futile.

"What if I don't stop?"

Throwing out her breasts, Bella admonished, "It doesn't take a genius to know… you'll kill me." Her bravado leaked away, dripping dropping again, "You won't. You won't, will you?"

I couldn't.

How could I?

Her tits still jostling against me, I wanted, "Can I start here?" Jet, onyx, famished again, and half human, and half mongrel, and inside and outside and now, I scraped her nipples.

As if my teeth were erogenous tools, and not the implements of a killer, Bella broke out in goose bumps, "Yes, now."

I took my time, because this was not a meal. She was not food. Bella was all the energy in my world, like a Black Hole exploding, nebulas imploding, falling stars, shooting stars, comets. Flicking, I enjoyed it. I felt horrible for that. Fear and excitation made her tremble like a dewy cobweb at dawn when touched by the merest fingertip.

My pinky surrounded her aureole.

And sliced inside.

Blood dimpled the circumference.

My venom had numbed her, briefly, but as she bled in the smallest most alluring bubbles of crimson against cream, my sight too bled from bullion to gullion and rubied starving red.

I lapped quickly, speedily, and with a last pull on her nipple, I left her chest to follow a bitten, bitten, bitten path up her neck and down to her inner thigh. Femoral, carotid, to get the job done now hastily.

Fast, I tore open and sewed shut.

I choked, there was blood seeping everywhere, I was tearing too fast!

Concentrating, because to lose focus would mean I'd shove my fingers down into her viscera--and she was my lover, my mate--sop up the squelching sanguine ocean and stick my face inside a gaping irreparable wound.

I was that close.

With my poison, I shaved off Bella's mortality. Making it a salve, I bound her to immortality.

Sinking down upon sighs and exclamations and the simplest, basest lust, she would scream next.

In agony.

She did. Cried and screamed and bled and seized and her body wanted to catapult off the bed. She screeched and railed and rallied and wept and broke me… fucking broke me. Bella coiled into a ball like a fetus inside of a womb, but there was no mother's love or umbilical cord lashing her to life.

Just me, just death.

Lashing out, she recoiled from my mitigating malfeasance.

I hated, and haunted, and laid upon her as her body broke, her bones snapping with every jolt of venom raiding her veins, leaking, filling, joining, mending.

I knew I couldn't hurt her still, but I held her like the delicate, porcelain being she'd been, just cradling her, swaddling her in my arms, "You'll fucking live through this, my love," I promised her and made myself believe it.

I tore my hair and trounced the room and ripped off the valance and waited…and waited… and waited.

Silence guided me back to her bedside. Our bed. It was a sick and deadly catafalque. The offering: Bella.

A gust, a jut, an arc, a tug of crisp burning air took up her implacable lungs and the sheet shifted down to her knees.

Coming alive, she was dead.

Becoming dead, she'd never been more alive.

Leaping aside, she hunkered and strafed her claret eyes. Animal.

A strict gasp escaped her, "Edward, I-"

She stopped because her voice had changed to a thing of bells, chiming. Carillons, church towers, medieval canticles.

And chambers, dusty.

The chamber of her heart, muzzled.

Ungainly, unwieldy, she clambered against the shelf that held our yard sale bric-a-brac until it all smacked and clattered and broke into fragments like all the dinner plates I'd thrown off our table not one month before, and she yelped.

Until the glass and ceramic was made pretty little shards by her heels and soles.

Slivers that bounced away from her steps.

Rainbows and prisms glinted as glass showered with every pace.

There was quiet coming.

She'd not changed, not at all, apart from the glaring throbbing strobe of her reddened orbs.

And the sparkle on her skin.

She was the same woman I'd always known.

A vessel of humanity poured out, filled in, but she pounded to me, swimming, swilling, too fast, clasping, soaring, breathing, wondering, "Edward, I-"

She stopped.

"You."

I shook my head and hoarsely cried, "You."

Her brow crinkled, "Me?"

Anxious, I held my hands up because…was she? "Bella, are you?"

Triumph creased her lips, "Me."

"Yeah?"

"Yes."

Lifting her arms, she soared, she soared to me. And the worry, the doubts, the disgust, the abrasion, the taking and leaving and giving and left wanting, the waning, the injury, the smell, the feel, the fuel… it all ignited into a veritable fireball between us!

Mocking, smoking, hazy clouds exploded and left us clear, and clean and real and true and eternal and love and lovers and blessed and pure and mates and souls and ancient, especial, pacified, dead.

Together.

Alive.

And there were tongues and touches and too rough and hold me now and fuck me like this because you will never think you'll hurt me again, and why did you wait so long, why was I longing? Why did I stop this, how could I ever, why, why?

Why not.

Because love, love, love. Essence and ending and beginning and life and death and fragility and forcefulness and ownership and possession and jealousy and scared, so scared. Sacred, forever.

"Forever?"

"Always."

Not then, never, no.

Of course not.

Just now.

Just here and right and peace and… she was hungry.

And sensuous.

And sybaritic.

And unending.

And thirsty.

And hugging.

And guiding, guiding her to food and watching her hunt and glut and swipe through herds and… always looking towards me.

And being.

And fucking.

And fucking.

And making love… all night long, for all the nights the universe held in her hands.

Because.

Because.

Forever.

.Just because. Forever.

End.


~I want to thank you for reading. I'm a little weepy because it's the end, right? I'd love to hear what you thought~