2nd Annual "For My Valentine"
A Twilight Love Story Contest

Title: No Words
Rating: M
Pairing: Bella/Edward

Summary: Following the devastation Haiti earthquake, Edward has been burning the candle at both ends trying to help save the lives of the victims. After one particularly stressful day, overwhelmed and at his breaking point, the emotions he's been feeling turn to passion as he takes his own refuge in the love he shares with Bella.

For more information please see contest details at http://www(dot)fanfiction(dot)net/~formyvalentinetwilight

No Words

"The needs here in Haiti haven't gone away. The abandoned children and the sick and injured still need your care. The homeless still need aid, even as the rebuilding efforts finally get underway. Your donations go straight to the relief effort, buying much needed food, building materials, and medical supplies."

I glance up from my lap top at the sound of his voice. It's Edward. My Edward.

I turn to the flickering lights emanating from the TV screen, the only thing besides the glow of my computer screen that illuminate the dark living room. It's nearly ten o'clock. I've waited all evening for his segment to air. He's standing alone in the studio, one spotlight bathing him in soft light as he introduces a video clip that will show the devastation from just after the quake and continue to footage sent to him from a colleague earlier this morning.

When the clip ends, he is there on the screen again. He narrates the story of an unlikely survivor, pulled from the rubble nearly two weeks after the quake hit. She is a young teenager, currently receiving care here under the supervision of the doctors in his practice.

I know this story. He has briefly shared with me the details of her struggle and of the faith and hope she is teaching him as she faces an uncertain future, orphaned and alone in a strange new world.

I am not listening to the words. Instead, what I hear is the subtle strain in his voice, unrecognizable to anyone who doesn't know him. But I, and I alone, know just what the last six weeks have done to him. I see the fatigue in the fine creases in his forehead and the faint shadows under his eyes. Yet I also recognize the passion and dedication in his heart. He will not give up while there is still so much suffering.

His segment ends. The screen goes blank momentarily before the camera switches to the famous host and the bank of celebrities actively taking calls behind him.
Sighing deeply, I return to my work for a few more hours.

The door to the flat opens. I've been expecting him. And somewhat anticipating a certain mood. So when no one appears in the doorway for a minute, I know. I have to go to him. Because he'll be somber and quiet and teetering on morose. He'll also be angry, as he acknowledges the way that being passionate can spark an alternate desire that shouldn't be there but cannot be ignored.

He had spent the better part of January away, one of the many volunteers trying to save a devastated and dying country. When he returned after a fresh wave of medical personnel went to relieve his group, he was exhausted and haunted. He tried to explain, but his usual eloquence failed him time and time again. Things became quiet between us. Not distant, but distracted.

We both agreed that the upcoming greeting-card holiday seemed so utterly meaningless this year. We don't need to prove our hearts belong to each other. Besides, he is still so caught up in the saving of lives, both in his private practice and in the ongoing battle for the rescued and the refugees. He's been burning the candle at both ends, today helping some of the world's entertainment elite coordinate another global telethon. His dedication hasn't failed, even when his body threatens to succumb to the physical, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion. I am proud and supportive, and he has told me with wordless expressions how much he appreciates my quiet understanding.

And this is where the greeting-card holiday finds us for most of the day. Apart but not separate.

I have been furiously writing all day, working on a freelance article for the CARE organization, using my husband's and his partners' experiences and expertise to paint a picture of the recent tragedy with my words, hoping to keep the story fresh and relevant in people's minds. Stopping only now, when I hear the lock snick in the front door.

It is almost midnight. He is coming from the fundraiser's taping in a studio several miles away. He called earlier, mostly just to breathe at me through the phone, conveying in near-silence the stress and strain of the day. And now he is home, nearly seventeen hours after he left this morning. But he hasn't yet come in.

I push my laptop beside me onto the couch and stand. I know how this will go.

He will be silent. He will be emotional. And this will make him predatory. I don't see this side of him often, but I am not surprised. The plea he has just made to millions on behalf of the helpless will have sobered him. And he will know only one way to deal with the heavy turmoil touching his heart and assaulting his brain.

So I go to him. He is there, filling the doorway, his arms up, leaning against the frame. His hair in its usual bronze disarray.

We are mere inches apart but the tension rolling off his body stops me from completely closing the space between us.

I stare, first at his chest because it is eye level, noting how his shirt hugs the planes of gently defined muscle.

I allow my gaze to travel higher, taking in the broadness of his shoulders. Higher still, pausing to glory for a moment in the hard edge of his jaw, partially obscured by a dark, rich brown beard. I want to tangle my fingers into this recent addition to the face I love, but I keep my hands frozen at my sides.

Finally, his eyes. They are waiting for me, hot with impatience and an urgency barely hidden behind the green that daily makes my heart stop.

Still not daring to move forward, I curl my toes into the deep plush of the foyer's area rug to ground myself. I open my mouth to speak. To offer some words of comfort. But the intensity in his stare renders me speechless. His eyes capture mine, needing me, seeking solace in the one person he can, but not asking for a balm to soothe his soul.

No, he doesn't want to come down from this ledge yet.

He inclines his head a fraction lower, as he slowly reaches an arm out to me. I will wait, let him lead, but it seems an eternity before his graceful fingers make contact with my skin, resting on my bare hip, a slight sliver of skin that is peeking out between the hem of my shirt and the rougher fabric of my jeans.

And that touch blazes, at once burning me and igniting the fire he put there so many moons ago.

He is instantly in motion, pushing me backwards, my legs tangling a bit between his. He moves into the foyer, just far enough to push the door closed. And then he is grabbing at my waist and jerking me in a dizzying spin, my back landing against the door with a thud. The force seems to satisfy something inside him, the crooked grin breaking slowly through the serious expression at last, but his eyes do not waver in their dark desire, and the smile soon, yet slowly fades.

Again, I think to say something, but realize that words are not what he is looking for, and the quiet is becoming an active part of the sexual charge between us.

He is pushing against me now, crashing his mouth down against mine, seeking immediate entrance with the press of his tongue against my lips. I offer no hesitation; I will not tease. He is too far gone for anything playful.

His pelvis presses into mine, one arm grasping my leg to hitch it up over his hip. I bring the other up and around, hooking my ankles behind him. I am sandwiched between the unyielding coldness of the door and the unrelenting heat of his body.

One of his hands is grabbing, squeezing my ass, roughly but not to the point of causing me any pain. On the contrary, the uncontrollable need in him is fanning the flames hotter.

His other hand is tearing at my t-shirt, hiking it inefficiently, trying to pull it over my head. My hands, which had been holding onto his shoulders, come to assist him, until my shirt and bra are cast hastily aside, knocking over a picture frame in the process.

He pauses, panting, eyes growing darker and slightly narrowed as his gaze slides down to my breasts, my nipples already desperately hard and begging for him.

In one unsteady motion, I am lifted higher, and his neck bends as his mouth closes over one nipple, laving it with his tongue and scraping it with his teeth. My breathless gasp is amplified in the continued silence.

His hands are moving again, tugging at the closure of my jeans. And I can no longer remain just a follower in this dance. My fingers pull and shove until his shirt is gone and his chest presses against my belly, his mouth still assaulting my now flushed breasts. I grab onto his riotous hair, pulling, and let my head fall back against the door. I glimpse our partial reflection in the hall mirror, watching the muscles in his back tense and bunch under smooth skin before closing my eyes, lost in the myriad of overwhelming sensations.

He moves back, just a bit, the cool air washing over our glistening skin, causing me to buck against him. Suddenly my jeans and panties are yanked sharply down my hips and I feel him fumbling, one handed, with his pants. The sound of his zipper saws through the air.

He pauses again, and when I open my eyes and look down, I see the want in his eyes is laced with a question. He cannot wait, but he will, if I ask, to pleasure me first. But I know the depths of his need, reading it in his eyes, hearing it in the pounding of his heart against his chest, and feeling it in the velvet steel of him against my most tender flesh. Pulling his head back up to mine, I answer him with the thrust of my tongue in his mouth. The heat between us flares impossibly higher.

He straightens, sliding his fingers back to my hips. They press into my skin roughly, his short nails shaping shallow crescents there.

And then he is inside me, the heat is burning me from the inside now, the silence broken by the percussion of the grunts and moans neither of us can hold back.

His teeth scrape my lips and bite at my ear lobe; his mouth sucks at my jaw and shoulder, and breasts. His fingers press further into my hips as he sets a frenetic pace, and he moans in reaction to my nails scoring his back and shoulder blades. I am barely able to do more than hold on, and realize that I am impossibly close to coming undone.

Sensing this, he ghosts one hand along my belly to where we are joined together. His clever fingers play my body like an instrument, higher and more intense, until I shatter, forcing him to follow as he hoarsely whispers my name.

We are both drowning in the waves crashing through our bodies, gasping for breath, refusing to move, until finally he breathes a shuddering sigh and lowers us both to the floor.

He cradles me in his lap, my back to his chest, his whispers soft and unintelligible words, yet their meaning is undeniably clear. He kisses me once, softly, behind my ear, and buries his face in my hair, stroking my skin gently now.

After a moment, I feel it. The pattern his fingers have been mapping on my shoulder is a heart.

And, in the stillness and quiet of the aftermath, we both can breathe again.

A/N: Thank you to my fabulous beta, who never says no and always helps me make the words just so. Big hugs, girl!