I don't own these characters. They are the sole property of Stephanie Meyers. I only borrow them. No humans are permanently harmed through my actions, though I do confess to harassing, annoying, torturing, and exasperating them – just because it's fun. I make no money from my little stories, sad day. I only play in the sandbox, I didn't build it.

Chapter 11: At Last

They arrived at Bella's apartment and once more he placed a sweet and innocent kiss on her lips. Bella sighed and her mouth opened, inviting him in. He took a deep breath and stepped back, shaking his head. "Ah Bella…you're going to be the death of me," he murmured.

"Actually, Edward," Bella said, an edge to her voice. "You're going to make me burst into flames or something."

He smiled at her obvious ire, which was not the way to ease her anger. Bella heaved an irritated sigh and fumbled with her keys, cursing when they tumbled toward the ground. He caught them before they hit and offered them to her.

"See?" Bella snapped, snatching them from his hand. "How do you do that shit?"

"What?" Edward asked softly. "Catch things?"

She rattled the keys in front of his face. "Catch things you shouldn't be able to catch. Throw grown men six feet in the air! You pretend to eat and drink, but really, you're just acting. You think I haven't noticed that shit? Do you think I'm stupid? It's like you're an actor in some movie that I didn't know I was going to see and I'm sitting there in the fucking theater trying to figure out just what the hell is going on!"

The mood had changed so abruptly, and her silent mind offered no hints as to the reason. It was as if she had finally been pushed too far and all of their mutual, pent up longings were suddenly rattling the bars of the cages he had so carefully constructed. She knew enough to be suspicious. She wanted enough to push his boundaries.

And God help him, he wanted her too. He was sick of boundaries and caution. He loved her. He wanted her. It was instinctual and a need as old as time.

Her chest was heaving with her breaths, her cheeks bright with color and he could hear her heart pounding behind the fragile protection of her bones. "Bella," he whispered, reaching out for her. "Please…"

She jerked away from his touch, blinking at him as tears filled her eyes. "What Edward? Please what? You keep coming around here, walking me to and from work like you're 'courting' me or something. You say the most beautiful things, treat me like a fucking princess or something, but you keep yourself at a distance no matter what I do. I'm sick of it, Edward. It makes me feel…unwanted. Like you're playing some sort of twisted game with me and I don't like it."

"Never unwanted, no games," he murmured. His fingers brushed her cheek. "I want you so much that I ache with it, Bella."

"So why do you keep running away from me when I try to let you have me? You say you want me, but when I offer myself to you…" She hissed. "When I try to make a move on you, you just sort of freeze up and move away. I feel like I'm trying to seduce you against your will." She wrapped her arms around herself and shuddered. "It's making me insane…and cranky." Bella gave a shaky laugh and shook her head.

"I don't mean to hurt you," Edward said softly.

"None of this should make sense," she said more to herself than to him. "And yet…" Bella took a deep breath.

"And yet…what?" he asked, half fearful, half hopeful.

"Every time I'm with you, I have the oddest feeling that we've been here before, that we've played this game, that I've seen this movie. I just don't know the ending. It's like someone turned it off before we got to the end. And now we're back, watching the same movie, trying to figure out the ending." She tilted her head to study him. "My brain is fucked up, I know that, but something…something is there. I can sense it. It's just…there."

He pulled her into his embrace and this time she didn't fight him. "I know, love."

"You do?" Her hands clutched at his lapels.

He nodded, his expression solemn. "I know what's lurking there at the edges of your beautiful, mysterious mind, love. And I want to tell you. I do. I long to do so, and yet I dread it with every fiber of my being."


"Because I know that when I do, when I tug at that string of your memory and it all comes unraveled, you won't want me in your life anymore," he said sadly. It was as close to a confession as he could force himself to make. "And that is something I'm just not ready to face. I can't stand to be banished from your side again. It…" He took a deep breath. "Just the thought of it is almost enough to destroy me."

"Nothing could make me ask you to leave," Bella whispered. "Nothing. Since you came into my life, I've felt…alive. Finally. I've felt like I'm the Bella I'm meant to be…no longing for the Bella I was, no worries about what the future might hold. I've been happier in these past weeks than I've ever been."

"I want nothing more than your happiness, Bella. I hope you know that."

She clutched at him, pressing herself fiercely to him. "Then make love to me, Edward. Now. Before any of the other stuff intrudes. So that no matter what happens, we have that…the feeling of finally being together."

"I…" He trembled. "I don't want to hurt you," he finally said in an agonized voice.

"Then don't refuse me," Bella murmured, her lips seeking his. "Not again. If this is all we'll ever have, then let's take it." Her breath was hot against his cheek and then his ear. "Please…please make love to me, Edward."

And he was lost. Thoughts of proceeding carefully evaporated. Plans to take her home and reintroduce her to the family disappeared in a puff of smoke and heat. All of his good intentions were obliterated by the sweetness of her touch.

Gone. Nothing left but desire and need.

Swiftly grabbing her, he made quick work of the lock and was speeding toward her door. He kicked it closed behind him as he kissed Bella. Their clothes were ripped away in a mad frenzy of tugging and pulling and pushing. Buttons flew across the room, shoes were kicked off, and clothing jerked out of the way and when they stood only in the briefest scraps of cloth, they stopped and looked at each other. Reverence finally triumphed over raw need and they reached for each other with hands that were newly tamed and tender.

His fingers were shaking as he slowly lowered the straps of her bra. His breath became a gasp as her breasts were revealed to him in the moonlight, for they'd failed to turn on a light. He because he had no need and she because she was too far gone with want to care.

The bra fell to the floor with a whisper of sound. Bella's breath was coming fast, her eyes dilated with the darkness and her arousal. She put one hand on his chest, where his heart should have been beating. She frowned slightly, as if part of her mind realized that something was amiss.

Edward covered one of her breasts with his hand and her expression cleared, becoming hungry again. She moaned slightly at the sensation of his fingers pulling lightly at her nipple. The scent of her arousal filled the air and he inhaled deeply, taking it inside him.

He hooked his fingers in the elastic waist of her panties and slipped them down her hips, pressing a gentle kiss to her belly button along the way. She gave a little growl, which made his cock throb, and then she returned the favor, sliding his underwear down. His cock bobbed free of restraint and she licked her lips at the sight of it. A pearl of precum glistened on the tip, glinting slightly in the dim light.

Unable to wait any longer, he pressed his body against hers. His cool, hard flesh was met with her warm, yielding silkiness and they both groaned at the contact. His erection twitched against her belly and Bella shifted her hips against him, providing the most delicious friction.

"Bella," he whispered in a voice he did not recognize. "I've got to…I want you…now."

"Yes," she answered simply. He lifted her up and she wrapped her legs around his waist, her slick entrance teasing the head of his cock with the motion. One tiny thrust was all it would take to be buried inside of her.

Instead, he carried her toward her bedroom, kissing her on the way. Bella hands were tugging at his hair and her body was writhing against his. He hesitated when he spotted the bed.

"So help me, Edward, if you stop now I just might kill you," Bella warned, licking a blazing path up the side of his throat. Her legs tightened around him in warning.

He didn't answer her with words, merely lowering her to the bed and then leaning down to blanket her with his body. His fingers traced up her thighs and then moved between them.

"You're wet for me," he murmured. "So wet, Bella."

Her slender fingers closed around his cock. "You're hard for me. So hard, Edward." She smiled against his mouth as she echoed his words.

His thumb toyed with her clit and her hips surged up against him. Fire ignited in his belly, his balls, his cock. Edward grunted and thrust gently against her, his erection slipping in between her thighs.

"Bella?" His voice was no more than a raspy whisper. "Are you sure?" He had to ask; he had to make sure. Once they took this step, he knew there was no going back.

He was a vampire and she was his mate. Somehow he would have to find a way to claim her. Giving her his body was just the next step. But in truth, he wanted all of her…forever.

Would this new Bella still want that? Was she willing to risk her soul to share her life with him?

Then she shifted against him and all coherent thoughts skittered away.

"More than okay," she whispered urgently. "More than sure…" Then her hand moved up and down his length. "I want you inside of me now."

With a groan of surrender and need, he pushed into her. Her body welcomed him with heat and wet silk, clasping around him almost painfully tight. "Fuck," he ground out between clenched teeth. "So good."

She moaned her agreement, squeezing him with her muscles as her hands pressed against his ass, encouraging him to move. "I won't break," she murmured. "You won't hurt me."

Her strange word choice made him still for a moment but then his body took over. Thrust. Retreat. Every movement accompanied by a small sigh of contentment from her, a muted growl from him. Slowly, he made a place for himself inside of her body, while she carved out a portion of his heart for hers.

Give and take. "Faster, Edward," she urged him. "I need it." She licked his ear and the flames burned brighter.

"I never knew…" he hissed. His movements quickened, lost their smooth rhythm. Bella matched his thrusts with her own, her small warm hands pulling at him, her legs wrapped around his waist, heels pressing urgently into his ass, anchoring him to the reality of the act.

He was making her his.

"Bella, baby…"

"Unh." She was beyond words now, her hips rolling up to meet his, her eyes halfway closed, her hands clutching at him.

"I'm going to…" He groaned as he felt her first spasms around him.

Bella gave a sharp cry, her nails raking at the hard flesh of his back. Given permission by her orgasm, he let his own claim him.

He exploded inside of her with a growl that shook the bed, but Bella was too far gone to notice. Shuddering, they both came down from their high. He remained inside of her, unsure that he'd ever find the strength to leave. He wanted to stay there…forever. Inside of his Bella.

Make her yours, a voice said. Show her that she will always be yours. You can have forever.

Bella's voice was soft when she spoke, her hands smoothing his hair as she wrapped herself around him. "I love you, Edward…"

She slept.