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Edward ran a nervous hand through his hair as he laid beneath the blankets, waiting for Bella to finish changing for bed. Just the night before, what should have been a very romantic night for them had ended in near disaster. He'd wanted to make her feel special and loved, cared for, so he'd spent the entire afternoon preparing a lovely meal he'd intended to serve by candlelight. Alec had made plans that would keep him out late in the evening, and his family had all been warned not to suddenly drop by. She'd been amazed when she'd walked through the door, heard jazz music playing softly in the background and saw the flickering glow coming from down the hall in the otherwise darkened house. They'd eaten the delicious meal he'd cooked, shared a half bottle of wine, and she'd been utterly delighted as he'd fed her bites of chocolate drizzled cheesecake. Everything had gone according to plan... until their attempt at furthering their physical relationship came to a sudden, and mortifying, halt.

Lying in bed and waiting for her, knowing that once again the house was empty of anyone other than themselves, all Edward could think about was how he'd been unable to get an erection. For as aroused as he was by her tender touch and ministrations, his anatomy below the belt had remained flaccid. It wasn't the first time he'd encountered the issue, but before that moment he'd naively blamed it on being under too much stress and not being able to distract himself far enough away from his troubling thoughts. He hadn't thought it'd continue to be an issue, much less while he was being touched by a woman rather than by himself.

He'd been so embarrassed by it that his desire to continue had vanished. He'd felt horrible about it, and Bella... god, Bella had been nothing but understanding and comforting afterward. So much so that it had made him feel even worse over the whole ordeal. She always gave herself so freely to him, and the one instance where he thought he could give all of himself back to her, he couldn't.

"You're dwelling right now, aren't you?"

Her soft voice beckoned his gaze in her direction, and he watched her pad barefooted toward the bed. His hand ran through his hair again as he nodded, still watching her as she climbed into bed clad only in one of her long sleep shirts that exposed nearly the full length of the creamy skin of her legs. She slid beneath the blankets and curled herself into his side, her arm coming to rest on his bare chest and her leg bent and resting between both of his.

"Bella, don't..." His voice was pained, not reprimanding or harsh as he turned his neck away from where she'd pressed her lips.

"I don't want to let you down again."

"You didn't let me down to start with, Edward."

Bella rose up just enough to shed her nightshirt and toss it to the side. She'd spent half of the night before and nearly her entire day thinking about how upset he'd been over something he couldn't control, and she was determined to show him it wasn't as big of an issue as he was making it out to be.

"Look at me, please?" she asked quietly. His gaze turned toward her, and unable to stop himself, his eyes trailed up and down her naked body.

"Last night, did you want to have sex or make love?"

"What's the difference?" he asked, rolling his eyes slightly because he obviously hadn't been capable of doing either.

"There's a big difference, honey," she replied sadly. "Sex is just a physical act that brings a release. Making love is about connecting with each other in a deeper, more meaningful way."

She pressed a soft, slow, open mouthed kiss to the side of his neck.

"Sex or love?" she whispered. His eyes closed as her fingers gently caressed his chest. No matter how she ever touched him, she always made him feel loved.


She carefully moved to straddle him, fully aware of his eyes taking in every inch of her nude flesh, and she took hold of his hands and brought them to the center of her chest.

"Making love is about touch..."

She slowly moved their joined hands in a gentle caress over her breasts and down her torso before leaning forward.

"It's about taste..."

She trailed open mouthed kisses up the front of his neck, feeling him swallow as his hands moved around to her back slowly. His nerves were afire, his thoughts running in confusing circles of want and need and fear.

"It's about sharing and communicating without words what we feel." She pressed her lips to his and allowed him to deepen the kiss, letting him lead as their tongues slowly danced around each other.

"It's not about reaching orgasm, baby. This, what we're doing right now, is making love." His arms wrapped around her, holding her tightly to his chest as he fought down his surge of chaotic emotions.

"Let go of last night, and make love to me, Edward."

His reservations slowly subsided with each loving kiss, each tender caress they pressed each other's flesh, and soon, he found the only thing he could concentrate on was her. Kissing her, touching her, feeling her touch him... nothing existed outside of what they were sharing. His heart thrummed in time with a humming bird's wings in flight; excitement, love, lust... passion coursing through his veins. Straddled atop him, he could feel the heat and moisture of her arousal through his shorts as she rocked against him slowly, and with that sensation, he could feel something else beginning to stir.

"I think..."

"Sshh," Bella shushed softly, already having felt the subtle shift, the sudden increase in hardness beneath her.

She trailed her hand down his side and over his abs before slipping it beneath his shorts and palming his semi-erect length. A throaty groan escaped him as his head tipped back and she smiled into the curve of his neck as she felt him harden a bit more with the soft strokes of her hand.

"Feel good?"

"Incredibly...god...don't stop, please, don't stop."

Little hums of laughter escaped her as she kissed her way down his chest and stomach, her inching descent making him squirm beneath her. She slid his shorts down his legs and dropped them to the floor before crawling back between his legs. Hovering over his half hardened arousal, her eyes met his in a warm, reassuring gaze, and in those beautiful cinnamon depths he adored, he understood what she was telling him without words: there were no expectations to live up to.

"Don't think...just feel."

He tried to nod, but it was cut short as her hand wrapped around him and her tongue, moist and warm slid up his shaft. Her unhurried pace, the wandering caress of her free hand, and the look of sheer adoration in her eyes made him feel as though he were being worshipped. He'd never felt anything like it before, and never wanted anyone else to make him feel it again—only her.

Edward threaded his fingers into her hair and gently rubbed her scalp, neither hindering nor guiding her movements as he watched himself, fully erect, slide into and out of her mouth for only a handful of moments. When her gaze rose to meet his, he crooked a finger at her and smiled softly as she released him and crawled up his body. His hands cupped her beautiful face, his thumbs caressing her cheeks as he looked deeply in her eyes.

"I love you, you know that, right?" He wasn't sure why he felt the need to ask, but he did. He needed to make sure that she knew that the intimacy they shared was more than just having sex, that it would always be more than that to him.

"I know," she breathed against his lips before capturing them in a tender kiss. "I love you, too."

Their eyes stayed connected as she inched her way down on him, enveloping his length in her tight heat. Her eyes fluttered closed briefly as a soft moan escaped her at the sensation of being filled by him. She stilled with him fully sheathed within her, savoring the feel of him and the touch of his hands massaging, kneading, memorizing every inch of her skin within his reach. Her eyes opened to his once again as she began rocking slowly, setting a steady, unhurried pace. Forward and back she slid against him, lips and tongues dancing across flesh and twining together as soft moans and groans filled the air.

When Bella had said their making love wasn't about achieving a release by way of orgasm, she'd been sincere, and as she felt him begin to soften inside her, she stopped his attempt to stimulate her before he lost his erection completely and laced their fingers together tightly.

"Not without you."

"Bella... I'm not going to."

He didn't even care that he wasn't going to be able to climax. He only cared that she felt fulfilled by what they'd shared. She shook her head and continued to rock slowly against him until he slipped out of her, and then lowered her chest to lay upon him as she brought their joined hands up and beneath his pillow. She pressed a few kisses to his lips and neck before looking into his eyes.

"I don't need to orgasm every time. All I need, I have right here," she said, giving his fingers a slight squeeze. "Just you. Just us."

He let go of her fingers so he could wrap his arm around her and cup the side of her face. He'd never felt anything remarkably close to what he felt for her for anyone else he'd ever been with, and he knew right then and there, she was it for him. He'd never be able to find a more perfect person to share every part of his life with, both the good and the bad.

"All I'll ever need is you, too."

As he fell asleep that night with the most amazing and wonderful woman in the world in his arms, Edward was content with the knowledge that there may be times when their lovemaking would end without either having climaxed, or one but not the other. What they'd given each other that night, the connection they'd shared, had been more than he'd ever felt before. He felt fully sated, and she'd assured him she felt the same. That was all that mattered, nothing more.

PLEASE READ!- Okay so some sneaky FANTABULOUS person/s nominated Through the Flames for a Climax Award - Best Drama on the Shimmer Awards. Whoever you are... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU *tackle hugs* You're freaking AWESOME! I just wish someone would have told me before I found out via Twitter so I didn't make an arse out of myself by being all... wha? I wasn't nom'd for anything...? =P This here smuttake was posted early in thanks for thinking me good enough to stand amongst some really fantastic authors ^_^ SQUEEEE I'm so flipping excited! If you'd like to vote, here's the link:


Winners will be posted Feb 20th, I have no idea when voting ends...it didn't say, so please, head over there and vote for your favorite stories (OMG I'm praying TtF is one of em! I'm not ashamed to admit it!) No, seriously. Go. Like NAO. LOL Thank you again, sincerely, for nominating this story ^_^ I hope you all enjoyed the outtake!

P.S- I was too excited (lazy) to take the extra 30 seconds to put this into it's own new story tab. Oops. LOL. If I happen to write any more, I'll just keep slapping them on the end of TtF. How's that sound? Good? Good. Mmmkay. GO VOTE! *cheesy grin*