A/N: Hello! i'm gonna just let you get right to it. I feel almost ahead of schedule! :P

Thanks to Amber, ABG, Zeph, Risbee, B_D, & JMW. You all know what you do for me. ILY.

I don't own Twilight, or Edward. I do own some fantastic inspirations for some of this.

Chapter 16 - Real

Alice and Bella reemerged sometime later. Bella looked both pensive and determined; Alice's look was resigned and sulking. My eyes met Jasper's once more before we were each distracted by our women. I saw Alice move close to Jasper out of the corner of my eye, but really all I had eyes for was Bella. The rims of her eyes were tinged with red, her long eyelashes slightly stuck together, but she was otherwise composed. She tucked herself under my arm in what had become a very natural movement for us. Her warm body fit perfectly up against mine as it did from any angle. I could wrap my entire arm around her, like I could absorb her through my skin.

Except we were fully dressed and in the company of Alice and Jasper, so I settled for burrowing my fingers under the bottom edge of her shirt and lightly stroking the soft, tender skin over the side of her hip. I kissed the top of her head, whispering into her silky hair.

"Everything okay, little mama?" I asked.

Bella tried to hide a sniffle by nodding and nuzzling into my chest. My eyes met Jasper's across the kitchen. They were in a similar pose, but Alice was stiff, obviously not happy with the result of whatever they discussed upstairs. Neither Bella or Alice offered any explanation.

"Bella," I began, pulling her face up to look at me with my fingertips. I also felt the need to take the lead. Jasper seemed to be at a loss with Alice's quiet fury, much less Bella's obvious tears. "Are you okay?"

She nodded, squeezing me tighter. She began to speak but stopped.

"This is about what we talked about earlier? At the park?" I prompted.

She took a deep breath and nodded affirmatively. Standing up straighter, she pulled slightly away from me. Not too far, my arm was still locked around her waist. She gave me a wry, knowing grin as I refused to let go.

"We just wanted to talk more together, be sure. Because we know...well, it could bring all the trouble we've been trying to avoid." Bella began, looking at me, sparing one glance at Alice and Jasper.

Jasper nodded emphatically. Alice elbowed him in the ribs, muttering his name.

"I just think that I should talk to her alone first." Bella spoke in a rush. "At least until I can find out what's going on over there." She must have seen the look of concern on my face. Alice's face was sulky, "It's just...well, it's me he wants, right? So if I'm the one to call, and he hears about it, at least he won't be going through Alice or y-you...just to find me."

"Bella," I whispered. "You're not bait, love."

Bella started to roll her eyes, her face held a slightly resigned stoic expression that seemed familiar. I gave her a sharp look.

"Not bait." I growled. I drew in a deep breath. "Why don't I call her, introduce myself." What I really wanted was to make sure that James knew Bella had someone looking out for her, if he was going to find anything out at all.

Bella shook her head, "You'll just confuse her Edward. You met her, right? And who knows what she's been told. But she'll recognize my voice. I know she will." Bella's eyes pleaded with me, chocolate brown and wide, shiny. "Please!" She breathed.

I kissed her forehead, needing the reassuring feel of her skin as much as she needed it from me. "We talked about this Bella. I'm not going to stop you. I just want you to be sure."

Bella looked back at Alice, her fingers tangling in the hem of her shirt. Alice nodded, shrugging, obviously not happy at Bella's decree that she speak to her first alone, but willing to go along.

"Why don't we call her from the family room, it's more comfortable in there." I suggested. "Would you at least do me and Jasper, and Alice too, the favor of putting her on speakerphone? Just so we're all on the same page as far as her situation"

Alice beamed at me, and Jasper nodded. Bella considered for a moment but indicated her agreement. "Right now?" she clarified.

"Yes, if you're ready."

We moved silently to the family room, automatically taking up positions in the cozy sitting area. Bella dug her phone out of her pocket, placing it on the warm oak end table and sinking to the floor slowly. Her cheeks were flushed, whether with excitement or fear I wasn't sure. I was caught up in her beauty - again. I knew I shouldn't be thinking that way at this moment, but I was, after all, a man. I was sitting on the edge of the couch closest to her, Alice opposite me on the smaller sofa, with Jasper's long frame stretched out beside her. Bella leaned against my legs for support. I could feel her fingers grazing my leg, searching for skin like I did so often with her.

With a slow breath, Bella typed in the phone number, taking another deep breath before pushing the send key, followed by the speakerphone button.

The room was silent, only the faint hum of the air purifier in the corner. The shrill ringing on the line startled us all, and we had to stifle our nervous laughter.

The line rang three times before there was a clattering sound and older, soprano voice answered.

"Hello?" I'd only spoken to Renee the one time, but the way Bella's face lit up was enough to confirm the identity.

"Mom! It's...It's Bella." Bella choked out, my fingers wound into her hair until I could stroke her neck softly.

"Bella!" Renee exclaimed, there was a muffled clapping noise in the background. "Oh! Let me set these silly things down."

"How are you doing, Mom?" Bella barely managed to keep her voice level. I dropped my head down, feeling guilty for keeping her away..I risked a quick look around. Alice had her hand clamped over her mouth but her eyes were happy.

"Oh, I'm just fine, Bella sweetheart. I've missed my girls though." Renee's voice, while still sounding a little like she was in a dream, was remarkably more clear and coherent than I remembered.

"What time did you get in?" Renee continued brightly. Four heads quirks to the side in confusion. Bella closed her eyes at what was likely her mother's usual confusion. I stroked her neck comfortingly. I was sure Bella knew best how to manage her mother.

"Um, I got in a couple hours ago, Mom. We- I just had dinner and stuff.." Bella went along with her mother's question, then promptly redirected it back to her." How about you, Mom? is everything...you're taken care of and stuff?"

"Oh! Oh yes. Sue Clearwater has been coming over and helping me with the laundry and the grocery shopping. Did you know that? She's a very nice lady." Renee's voice dropped to a conspiratorially stage whisper. "I'll admit when we were younger I really didn't like her. She always carried a torch for your father."

"Mom!" Bella admonished with a slight giggle. "I-I'm glad you're okay, Mom."

"Such a worrier, you always were. Now, are you going to come over and visit me, or are you going to make me wait?" Renee's voice was teasing. Bella turned and shot me a confused look.. I shrugged, not knowing at all what to make of it.

"Oh, well, it's getting late mom," Bella hedged.

"Don't be silly Bella, you're just next door. I haven't seen you in so long." Alice sat up straight at this and Bella jumped against my legs. I exchanged a worried glance with Jasper, both of us leaning forward, ready to step in - though I wasn't sure what we'd accomplish.

"Um, Mom. I'm sorry. I wasn't able to make it back this time." Bella winced, a tear escaping her left eye.

"But.." there was a shuffling sound as Renee moved around the house, you could hear the change in tone as she moved from the tiled kitchen to the old wood floors in the front room. "I saw Jamie's truck in the driveway, and the light's on.."

I felt Bella's hand wrap around my ankle, squeezing almost painfully. "No, Mom!" Bella exclaimed, maybe a little too sharply, and I squeezed her shoulder in reminder. "I..mean..I'm not there. I couldn't come out to visit."

"Well, why not? He promised." Renee's voice was laced with disappointment, and both of her daughters wore twin guilt ridden expressions.

"Um, well, Jake - the baby - mom, he's not really old enough to travel." Bella lied poorly.

Renee gasped in astonishment. "Oh the baby! I'm a grandmother!" The glee was back in her voice again. "Ooh! It's a boy? Charlie always wanted a boy. Not that he didn't love his little princesses..." Renee trailed off in a wistful tone.

"Yeah, Mom. He's a beautiful boy." Bella's face and voice beamed with love for her child, making her even more radiant. I felt a twinge of fear at the reveal of information. If Renee said anything...

Renee asked her the usual battery of questions with regards to new babies. My stomach clenched with worry at all the details, but Bella's voice was so relieved at being able to share this with her mother I just couldn't bring myself to stop her. Jasper was shaking his head. Alice was practically bouncing, wanting to chime in but sticking to her promise to stay quiet.

I started mentally running through ideas. A restraining order was first on the list. I almost missed having Emmett in the house, his mountainous presence would certainly be a deterrent. I would talk to him later, maybe they could at least stop by more often.

"Oh honey, this is just silly." Renee's voice broke through my musings. "Let me talk to Jamie, honey, he'll drive back out and pick you up again tomorrow. Just come out for a visit. The baby will be fine. You wouldn't keep a grandmother from meeting her grandson, now would you?"

Bella slumped against me, her shoulders shaking.

"No, Mom. Don't. Please." Bella's voice was hoarse with her effort to keep the tears at bay. "We broke up, okay? I don't want him to come get me. Really. Please? I'll come visit another t-time." She had to stop to clear her throat. "I-I p-promise."

Her hand was cold on my leg, finding it's way around my lower calf beneath my pant leg. I drew her hair to one side so I could continue to lightly stroke her neck, maintaining that physical connection that so calmed us both.

"Broke up?" Renee sounded more confused than ever. I was getting afraid of the territory we were headed in to. I squeezed Bella's shoulder in a silent plea.

"Yeah, it just...it's a long story, mom. I-I have to go, mom. I'll call you again soon, okay?" Bella's voice was cracking on every other word now, Jasper had Alice gathered in his arms. Her dark eyes wide but dry as she stared unfocused at the floor.

"Okay, Alice I love her when you see her." Renee's answer was automatic, slipping quickly into the vacant cheer that seemed normal for her.

"Love you, Mom." Bella whispered, quickly pressing the button to hang up her phone.

The room filled with a heavy silence. Bella leaned her head on my knee, her other hand reaching and holding Alice's, who in turn sat twisted in Jasper's arms. I bent forward so I could rest my head on hers.

"Are you sorry you called?" I whispered. Not sure what I would prefer her to answer.

"No." She whispered into my leg, shaking her head so her forehead rubbed against my knee. "It was good to hear her voice. I just..I don't know what it me-"

She was interrupted by the baby monitor in the kitchen blaring with Jacob's cry. She made a little face, he hadn't been down long. He showed no sign of quieting though.

"Do you want me to get him,Bella?" I offered.

"No, no." she shook her head as she stood. "I got him, kinda need him now."

It was stupid to feel jealous of a baby, even more because the squeeze of my leg and the brush of lips on mine told me she needed me too. I mentally chastised myself and and stood while she disappeared out of the room.

I turned back to Alice and Jasper, lost in their own bubble and cleared my throat awkwardly. Jasper turned to look at me. His eyes were tight, defensive, I'm sure he felt much like I did. Worried, possessive, protective. He was young, but he was a good man.

"Jasper. I know it would make Bella feel better if Alice stayed home tonight. You're welcome to stay too, of course."

He gave me a brief salute, "Thank you, Edward"

I looked at them, wrapped up in each other much like Bella and I often were.

"Yeah, so, " I began as I turned to walk out of the room, keeping my face perfectly straight. "Extra blankets are in the foyer closet. The big couch is the most comfortable."

"Yeah, okay," Jasper coughed, surprise evident on his face and looking more like the young man he was. "Uh, sure. Thanks." Alice looked murderous.

I walked to the kitchen and stopped, looking back in the room, unable to help the laugh that finally erupted.

"No, man. Whatever. We're all adults." I said with a smirk and waving my hand dismissively.

Still chuckling to myself, grateful for the break in tension, I headed up the stairs to check on Bella. I paused briefly in the hallway, hearing her voice. It was low, muffled by the winding hallway from Jacob's room. I debated giving her this time with her son, or joining her and ultimately wryly admitted I was too selfish to just turn away. I need to feel her in my arms, too.

I walked quietly to the door, standing in the small alcove, Bella's voice drifting through the partially open door.

I still couldn't understand much of what she was saying. It sounded like she was murmuring, "I'm sorry, I promise, I'm sorry, I promise," over and over. My heart sank at the pain and fear in her voice.

I slipped into the room quietly, Bella ducked her head, using Jacob's blanket to discretely wipe away tears, but I certainly wasn't fooled. She was sitting on the double bed, the one that was hers before she consented to share mine, propped against the soft pile of lavender pillows. I took my spot, wordlessly, next to her, near the middle of the bed, spreading my legs and easily lifting her petite body over my leg and settling her against my chest. Jacob was cradled against her body, her shirt hiked up and a faint sliver of the pale, soft skin of her breast showed above the baby's chubby cheek. I leaned my chin on her shoulder as I held them both.

"He's hungry again?" I asked softly, mostly for easy conversation, a way to start talking. I was fairly certain she'd fed him right after we ate dinner.

"Yeah," she whispered, not taking her eyes off her son. "Maybe a little, he's not being very serious about it. I think it's mostly a comfort thing right now."

"I can't say that I blame him." I grinned as her shoulders shook with stifled laughter and pretended to ignore the elbow jab to the ribs.

She spoke without prompting. "I'm kinda relieved, you know, to know she's okay." Bella began. "And at the same time, I'm so scared. For her. For Alice..for Jacob." Bella's voice caught on her son's name, and I didn't miss the fact that she didn't include herself in that list.

"I'm sorry, Edward." she whispered. My hands tightened their grip where I had been rubbing along her upper arms.

"For what?" I tried to keep my voice light, neutral. Now, I was afraid..

"For always having to be ready to clean up my messy life. If things go badly, well, it could get dangerous for you and your family too."

"Stop!" I told her, my voice sharp but quiet so I didn't disturb Jacob. "I'm not going to let you worry like this. If James becomes a problem, we'll take care of it. Jasper, me, and I know Emmett will want a hand in that. "

"Edward!" Bella exclaimed, rocking slightly to soothe the startled baby in her arms. "No, don't..don't fight him like that or whatever. I couldn't...couldn't handle it if you got hurt."

I couldn't promise anything like that, so I fell silent. I was sure she noticed, but she said nothing further on the subject.

"Should I maybe call Sue Clearwater, or something? Do you think?" She asked, breaking into the silence.

I thought for a moment. "Bella, the more people you call over there, the higher chance news and gossip will reach him. Maybe try calling your mom again in a week or so, just to follow up?"

"Okay," Bella spoke softly as she pulled Jacob gently from her breast. He wasn't asleep, but his thick-lashed eyelids were heavy over his nearly completely brown eyes.

"He looks so much like you," I observed as she adjusted his sleepers and checked to make sure he was dry and comfortable. I paused, but curiosity got the better of me. "Do you see any of him, in Jacob." I didn't..but I had only seen James the one time.

Bella stared at Jacob for a long time, her own warm brown eyes taking him all in. She snorted once. "When he's mad, he does that thing with his eyebrows, James does something like that when he's irritated. But that's about it."

She laid Jacob out on the bed and leaned against me. I hummed in response, not sure what I was looking for.

"I'm glad though." She continued with a soft giggle."It would really suck otherwise. James really isn't all that cute."

"It's a good thing his mother is beautiful then." I whispered. "Of course, we'll hope that translates into manly good looks instead of pretty boy." I could feel her cheek heat against the side of my face.

"That's not the only reason I'm glad." Bella hesitated, turning slightly to meet my eyes then looking down shyly. "If I had my way, he'd never know otherwise about his father. I wish..that you.."

"We'll have to tell him someday." I cautioned. "Secrets like that are massive therapy bills waiting to happen."

Bella's smile was sad, "I know. Reality sucks sometimes."

Bella broke free from my grasp, kissing me lightly on the cheek. She slid somewhat awkwardly off the bed and scooped up Jacob, tucking him snugly into his crib.

When she stood and looked back to me, she just looked so tired. I was sure today had been emotionally draining for her. I stood, walking to her, stroking my fingers lightly across her defined cheekbone, along the dark circle that was forming.

"Do you want to go to bed?" I whispered

Bella shook her head, taking my hand silently and leading me out of the room. I hastily flipped the light off as we passed but otherwise allowed her to tow me down the hall.

She was quiet, introspective as we went through our nightly rituals. Bella was meticulous about her teeth, something I found amusing. I was all for good oral hygiene, but a good scrubbing with a toothbrush was more than sufficient to me. Bella brushed, flossed, and rinsed with almost compulsive attention to detail.

I was sitting in the golden brown striped chair situated nicely in the sitting area where I could watch Bella as she brushed her hair and washed her face. I had shed my own clothing, down to my boxers, and simply watched her. She'd catch me and roll her eyes like she always did, but her normal playful smile was tinged with sad and weighty emotions. I hated that these matters were weighing on her, on us. I wanted a bubble to live in, no matter how unreasonable that was. Maybe it would be better this way in the long run. Just have everything out and deal with it now.

Lost in my musings, I was startled when she suddenly appeared in front of me. She was smirking, amused at my glazed over expression I was sure, but her eyes still held the weight and determination of today's events.

She opened her mouth like she was going to say something but apparently decided against it. My curiosity was piqued, but then she began stripping out of her clothes and backing towards the bed.

Although she moved slowly and deliberately, carefully removing each layer of soft, summery fabric, revealing inch by inch of her creamy - even with a hint of summer tan - skin, she wasn't being coy or overtly seductive. Not that she wasn't sexy. The simple, unhurried movements, her dark gaze sweeping over me, was my own personal siren call. Like being hooked to a tether, I rose out of the chair, adjusting my rapidly hardening cock through the thin fabric covering me.

I caught up to her as she was dropping the last of her clothes to the floor, simple light blue cotton panties with small ribbons at each of her hips. I palmed myself once more as I watched, her eyes darting down to my hand. The wanton expression on her face was the last bit of pull I needed to crash my lips to hers, swallowing the moan she exhaled. The kiss was both hot and sensual, like neither of us could decide if we wanted to savor or devour. Her hand traced over my chest, following some mysterious path she knew before fisting the waistband of my boxer briefs and easing them over my erection

I groaned into her mouth, the relief and subsequent tightening of being freed breaking through the lust induced fog caused by her amazing way her soft, full lips moved under mine, almost molding to my own shape.

She broke away, panting and breathless, rushing to free me from the rest of my clothes. Instantly, she was in my arms again, both of us groaning at the complete euphoria of total skin contact. I crouched down as we kissed, her hands clutching my hair as I curled an arm under her ass and scooped her up.

Somehow, I was able to get us to the bed, Bella squirming deliciously beneath me as I covered her collarbone and neck with kisses, sucking gently at her skin. Her short nails scraped through the hair on my chest, pushing at me.

"Edward," Bella's voice was caught between panting breaths. She was still pushing at my chest, and I reluctantly pulled back, raising up on my arms above her. I could barely manage to respond with a question at the sight of her beneath me, all warm and soft.

"Want you..." The short phrase was all she uttered before she lifted up to kiss me, her arm curling around my shoulders and her hips grinding, thrusting up under me, nearly making my arms give out. There was a new edge to the way she was kissing me, clutching at me. Frenzied, hurried.

"Oh god, Bella.." My elbows gave out, collapsing up to the cool sheets again as she ground her wet warmth up against me again. Our grinding had brought my dick right to her center, sliding against her lower lips, nestling between them when she'd thrust upwards.

"Roll. Over." She panted

"I don't think I can move right now, Bella." I spoke in a rush of breath. "You feel too good. And, my god, how you look. Like a nymph with your dark hair all spread out, and your warm body wrapped around me."

"Yeah?" Bella asked, stilling. I had to pause to catch my breath after that long speech, but as I looked down at her she looked...genuinely interested, as though my enjoyment of our physical relationship was news to her.

My heart was hammering in my chest, my breath ragged as our pace once again changed to slow and savoring. I managed to lift myself up again to more easily see her face, once pausing to nuzzle the space between the upper swells of her breasts.

"Silly girl, can you feel what you do to me..." I ground my hips into hers shivering as her silky wetness enveloped me for a moment.

Her hands smoothed over my chest, circling each of my nipples once, before travelling lower, skimming over the lines of my skin.

"I want you to want me." I didn't understand what she meant by that. Of course I wanted her. I always wanted her. Surely she knew that.

"What do you - " My voice broke off in a strangled groan as her hands slipped between our bodies, her fingers grazing the head of my cock, circling around the tip. Automatically, my hips thrust and her hands, both together, one on top of the other closed around me and squeezed. I braced myself over her, only a few tantalizing inches between me and sinking into her soft, warm body, but her hands were magic and I couldn't pull away.

"Oh shit, fuck, .Bella.." I cracked my eyes open to look down at her, she had a peculiar expression, studying my face, a slight smile gracing her pink lips.

"Does this feel good?" She asked, the most coy I'd ever scene her act, Her hands were stroking me almost continually. Not gently, but not firm enough to send my desire out of control, just a steady rhythm that kept me in a state of lust and bliss.

"You have no idea how amazing that feels." I murmured in response. My head sagged downward, I had no idea how I was keeping my arms supported except that I wasn't exactly thinking about my arms at that moment.

"You feel good to me too," Bella whispered. She visibly relaxed into the pillows, her pace never flagging, as if she fully intended to carry on this wondrous torture for the entire night. "I think...that we are really good together...like this..." She squeezed again with both hands for emphasis, sliding them upwards and skimming her thumb over the tip, a slick feeling followed and I could feel the moisture spreading in circles as she rubbed it around the ridge of my cock.

I tried to nod in agreement, but I wasn't sure she could tell the movement apart from my slow writhing above her.

"Do...do you think...that we're good. I mean...for you..." Bella's voice faltered somewhat, and I boggled at the question as I struggled to focus on her words.

"Bella...oh god.. I don't know how to .." My words cut off as I panted for breath, the coil that would inevitably lead to my orgasm was beginning, and I had to pause to maintain control. I could sense she was trying to say something, and while my mind could barely wrap round conversation at this moment, I wanted to listen, to understand her fears.

Another squeeze, another stroke. My cock swelled and throbbed even more.

"Do you feel that?" I asked, pleaded, and tried to nod down towards her hands. "What we feel like together, Bella, it's like nothing I've felt before.." I pried my heavy eyelids open to stare into her luminous, dark eyes, shiny in the dim light, a hint of tears in the corners.

Her smile, though, was brilliant, and maybe even a bit smug, once I could look back and think about it.

"Me too." She spoke quietly, her voice thick with emotion."Never, ever like this. Never this good. Never this...much. I want to lose myself in you, Edward."

"Fuck.." My eloquence was lost, I couldn't think of anything better, than to lose ourselves so completely in each other. Her hips were rocking slightly underneath mine, I could feel her searching for friction and my own desire soared as I realized that she was just as turned on by these words and ideas as I was.

"I wasn't sure though, for you, and I want this...us...to be so good." She squeezed me again, then released me only to run her fingernail lightly up the underside of my cock, the change in sensation making me growl, as it both built the fire of my impending release higher and banked it back at the same time. I was so close, yet it felt like I could go on forever this way. I wondered at the unbelievable expertise of her hands. The set of her body; she was firmly in control of the situation.

"You're...so...silly." I panted, still thrusting into her hands. I wasn't sure if I was trying to chase my release or wait and savor every pass, every squeeze. One of her hands twisted slightly and I felt her warm fingertips caress my balls before both her hands slid as one up the full length of my cock. I released my breath with an explosive groan, coming enticingly close to coming. I could even see it - my orgasm spilling out over her creamy breasts. I shuddered, both at the eroticness of the image and the repulsion from having this end like a bad porn video.

Bella grinned seductively up at me. Now she gets coy. Almost as if she knew what was going on in my head.

"I think," she paused as she repeated the motion with her hands, trying to cover as much of me with her grip as she could, working her own supernatural magic on my body.

"...that we must be pretty amazing then. If you think so..." Her voice was playful, her eyes still locked on my face, watching my reactions, occasionally flickering down to watch me slide back and forth between her fingers. She was no longer changing things up, just a steady pace that was sure to overtake my own abilities to control myself. I was thrusting again, practically fucking her hands.

"I think you've had better to compare too than I have." Bella teased, I tried to make sense of what she was saying and failed, too consumed by the throb and surge of desire that was stronger every second.

"And if that's the case," she continued. "I just might convince you to keep me forever."

Her voice was still light, playful, teasing, but the last word ended in a whisper. I struggled to still my movements, to regain control of my spiralling desire. Was she thinking about buying my affections with sex? The thought was too complex for my current state, but the man - the real one, not the horny bastard - fought for control.

Bella sensed my stillness, and she broke into my fog with a fervent plea.

"No! No, no, no, don't stop. Edward, please, Stay with me like this." She stroked me again, tracing the hardened, throbbing ridge of my cock with her thumb, making it all the more difficult for me to stop. "I didn't mean it like that... I mean, I know. In my head. I do. I meant. I just want to feel this. All the way to my soul. And I want you to do the same, Edward. Lose yourself in me. Completely. Please!"

I lost the fight then, I gave in to exactly what she said. It was with the last shred of my own willpower that I kept from emptying myself all over her skin. With a loud, strangled cry I pulled myself away from her heavenly grasp. In a single movement, with an efficient finesse I never knew I possessed, I had her one of her legs pulled around my waist and the other bent up between us and I was sliding inside her. She was wet, tight, and pulsing with her own desire around me. I wasn't gentle, I couldn't stop myself though. She didn't seem to mind. Her hands scratched down my back, gripping and pulling me down. My name sang out from her lips, gloriously breathless and thick with lust and desire.

And she encouraged me onward. Every pounding thrust was met with a "Yes!" or an "Edward!" until it was just a steady pattern of the two words. She was completely lost in us, just as she said, and I was equally lost. It was freeing, even more so than any of our previous intimate moments.

I gritted my teeth, wanting to hold out just a moment longer. To feel her orgasm before mine, but I didn't know if it was possible, I was so close.

"There..." I panted, trying to breathe enough to speak. "There is nothing like you and me, Bella. This is us. It's everything. Fuck, Bella. More. I'm coming. I can't. Hold on..."

"Come, Edward.."

I fell forward on top of her, releasing her leg with a groan. My arms, my whole body trying to envelope her as she did with me as I surrendered to my orgasm. I was saying something. My words were as tangled as our bodies though. Blissfully, somewhere in there, I was aware, as my cock pulsed and throbbed, still thrusting, seeking that spot inside her that always made her fall apart in my arms. I found it, and she clutched me tighter, gripping me with her legs and hands. My face was buried in her neck now, so her lips grazed my ear as she moaned her own release.

There will never be a more amazing, beautiful sound than that one.

"I love you, Edward.."

Except maybe that one.

"You are my life now...Bella."

I didn't know if her answering sob was one of sadness or happiness, but she wouldn't let go of me, her hands now buried in my hair. I didn't think it was sadness, maybe just an acknowledgement of the monumental moment we had just shared. I lost track of the minutes, never wanting to be anywhere else but in her, around her, lost in her. Lost in us.

My intention is to continue with these shorter chapters through the end of the story. I think it's working out better, at least for me. ;)

See you all soon, and thanks for all the love you show this story. The fact that I'm staring at nearly 1000 reviews absolutely boggles my mind. I wish I was better at responding to all of you, but do appreciate every single one.