Chicken Soup from a Vampire's Soul

I was in denial. I could feel it coming on all day, the mild headache, and the slight sore throat that I refuse to accept as the tell tale signs of an on coming cold.

It was late May, the last day of finals. A full year at Dartmouth and by some act of providence I had not crashed and burned.

Okay... maybe I am overstating things. In all actuality, it hadn't been that bad, mostly a review of high school.

The morning had been really chilly. I thought clear skies meant warm, but getting out of bed for a drink last night, I notice the frost covering the windows of our little house in the New Hampshire woods. However, as the day wore on, the sun shined brightly through the trees that surrounded our home warming the air to the point where I had to open the windows to let in some fresh air. By mid afternoon, the temperature had climbed to nearly eighty, only to cloud over and begin raining just before we headed off to our night classes.

What kind of planet had we moved to? It was the same last fall when we got here. How odd? I thought at the time, people wearing sweatshirts with shorts. I was starting to get it, but having lived in only two places my entire life, Phoenix and Forks, it had been challenge to adapt. Though both places were like night and day temperature wise, at least a person knew what to expect. Always hot, or always cool. No wonder I was getting sick.

No, I was not sick… it was just the pollen.

"How do you think you did?" Edward asked, pulling me from my whiny thoughts as we headed out to the dark parking lot.

"Despite my tutor, I didn't do too badly." I teased. "He's not always the most focused of people."

He let loose of the hand that he had been holding, wrapping his arm around my shoulder. "It's not my fault. You distract me." He replied unapologetic.

"No I don't, at least not nearly as much as you seem to want to distract me."

He let me get by with the obvious lie. "Your close approximation at the kitchen table is more than enough cause for me to lose focus."

"You were plenty focused when we studied for our high school finals." I reminded him.

"Oh, I was no more focused then than now." He sighed kissing the top of my head. "Frustrated would probably be a better word though."

"Now that was your fault." I blushed at the memories of doing all I could to distract Edward from homework and studying. Yes, frustrated was probably the right word. I knew on more than one occasion I was. I could feel the heat rising to my face as my mind spun off into the natural, yet embarrassing acts that seventeen year old boys do to take out their frustrations. I couldn't picture Edward doing that, or maybe didn't want to.

"You have manage to make up for lost time quite nicely Mr. Cullen... even if it is at the expense of my studies."

"I do what I can, Mrs. Cullen." He said, grinning impishly.

We were at the truck now. Edward's attitude had changed greatly toward it, taking the old Chevy pickup to school as often as the Volvo. I did as he requested. No longer rusted and faded, it now appeared a respectable fire engine red. Though not specifically asked for, I did allowed him and Rosalie to drop a new motor in as well. I had to admit, driving over fifty-five on the interstate had its advantages. And I said nothing, coming out to it one morning, finding a newly upholstered seat and dash, courtesy of Alice. Edward stepped in when Emmett started to talk about racing stripes and chrome rims.

Rather than open my door, he caught me unaware, lifting me off my feet, kissing me square on the lips. I caught up quickly, wrapping my arms around his neck and crushing myself as close to him as I could… at least in public.

That was when it happened.

Usually I feel sneezes come on, giving me time to cover my nose. This one sprung up out of nowhere.

"Bless you." He said pulling back from me, slightly stunned. I hung six inches off the ground, rubbing my forehead where the force of my sneeze had caused me to smack myself into him. It was so embarrassing. I had practically done it into his mouth.

"I'm so sorry." I said aghast, turning my head, not wanting to see what I had done to his face.

Edward sat me down on the pavement, lifting my chin up with the back of his hand so I would look him in the eye. "I sure hope you're not contagious." He smirked, reaching back with his other hand to open my door and let me into our truck. "Let me drive home and I will consider forgiving you."

What else could I do? I slid over to the passenger side and rummaged the glove box, looking for a couple napkins I had stuck there. Edward started the motor as I handed him one, blowing my own nose with the other.

"That was totally gross. I'm really sorry."

"Don't worry about it." He replied, discreetly wiping a little of my spit off his face. "It not the first time we have exchanged bodily fluids."

Mollified, I slid back across the bench seat, snuggling up to Edward's side, my hand atop his on the gear shift. He suggested that we go out for a late dinner, a celebration of sorts to the end of the semester.

"Why don't we just head home?" I decided. "It's almost ten and I'm not really very hungry."

I pulled my hand off his and pressed my palms against my eyelids, trying to relieve the pressure I could feel building up in my sinuses.

"Are you feeling alright?"

"I'm fine." I replied. "It's just a little head ache."

OoOoOoOoOoO

As I got to the bedroom to change, I sneezed again and went looking for a tissue. Hitting the bathroom and snatching one up from the almost empty box, I spotted the shirt that Edward had worn yesterday.

Yum… my favorite after school wardrobe. I buried my nose in it and sighed. In spite of my stuffed nose, the smell of Edward's clothing was intoxicating. If I could do it without looking like an idiot, I would wear nothing else.

I peeled off my own clothes and threw on the white button down. Wrapping myself in his aroma, every inch of cloth that clung to my body felt like a caress. It was long on me, so long that besides panties and socks, I didn't bother with anything else. I rolled up the sleeves and padded into the kitchen to join my husband who was making me a grilled cheese and tomato soup.

"Don't you have any thing to wear of your own?" he asked as I walked in the room, his eyes taking in his shirt.

"You had it on yesterday and I just couldn't resist its temptation." I answered looking down self-consciously. "I can take it off if you don't want me to wear it."

Edward shook his head smiling and walked slowly toward me. He buried his nose in my hair, taking a deep breath, while trailing his fingers around the hem of the shirt, brushing their tips against the back of my thigh.

"If I want it back, I'll let you know." He whispered against my ear, sending a shiver up my spine. "Now… be a good girl and get some supper. You haven't eaten since this afternoon."

Edward sat beside me as I ate, discussing random ideas for the summer break. I was only half way paying attention. My sinuses were really starting to pound. It was now after eleven and if Edward had not insisted on fixing me dinner, I probably would have just skipped it and headed off to bed. However, I had to admit it… not to him of course, the hot soup did feel good on my sore throat.

It had been a little uncomfortable at first eating around him. I knew Edward had no desire for food and couldn't digest it even if he wanted to, but still, it was bad manners to eat in front of others. That thought brought to my attention his dark eyes. He hadn't hunted in two weeks. I reached up and ran my finger over one of the dark circles underneath them.

"You look thirsty. Why don't you go hunt while I finish this off?"

"I'll go once you're asleep." He replied bringing his hand up to meet mine and pulling it to his lips. I stared into his charcoal eyes and swallowed, barely registering the pain in my throat. The intensity in them caught me by surprise. My stomach tightened into a knot as hesitantly, he pulled his hand away.

"Finish your soup."

"I'm no longer hungry..."

I couldn't help myself. Abandoning the last of my supper, I got out of my chair, pushing the table away from him. He drew another deep breath as I climbed on top of him, straddling his lap, pleased to find him at full attention pressed against me. How long had he been like that? My headache receded into the background as his mouth joined mine, feeling his cool breath, more soothing than the soup on my scratchy throat.

I did the best I could to grind against him on the chair, but my legs were too short. His hands slid down my side, underneath me and behind my knees. Good… something to brace myself against. I rocked my hips over him, feeling the dampness blooming in my underwear and the pulsation of blood swelling me. The physical exertion heated my body, the sweat beading on my thighs and under my arms. If I had known exercise was this pleasurable, I would have started working out ages ago.

It wasn't long before he stood up, taking me with him. My legs wrapped around his waist as he walked us over to the counter, sitting me on top of it. He kept his lips glued to mine, but pulled his body away, making space to get to the buttons of my, or I should say, his shirt. Unlike his careful, methodical pace, I clawed at what he wore, all but tearing the long sleeved t-shirt in my manic quest to press as much of my flesh as I could against his. He chuckled as his mouth left me long enough to remove the offending garment. However, all amusement vanished as I grabbed him by the back of his head and bit into his granite neck. His hands shook slightly, finishing the last of the buttons while I sucked on the edge of his jaw, working my way to his ear.

I released his hair and began to pull the white button down off my shoulders.

"Stop" he cooed into my mouth, pushing my hands down onto the counter. "I don't want it back yet."

He released my trembling hands, knitting his fingers into my hair, and leaning into me, began to move down my neck. My mouth hung open panting and my head rolled back, exposing my throat, luring in his nose, lips and tongue. Up and down he went over my windpipe, kissing, licking and inhaling. My body throbbed with desire as Edward's cool hand cupped my breast, lightly rolling the nipple between his thumb and index finger.

Ever lower his mouth descended, licking the perspiration in the valley between my breasts, getting down on one knee to reach my stomach. I rocked back and forth on the counter, complying with the silent request his fingers made at the waist of my panties, tugging them down past my hips. Unhurriedly he removed them, his mouth pursuing close behind on the inside of my thighs, my knees and finally to my socks that he pulled off one by one, caressing toes and rubbing the arch of my foot with his nose.

Unhappy to be so far from him, I slid off the counter and joined him on the floor.

"I've changed my mind. I've decided on desert." I said, unsnapping his pants and lowering his zipper. My fingers reached inside his boxers. You'd have thought it could have escaped on its own, it was so hard. Wrapping around him, my hand began to stroke, twisting and turning, rubbing my palm over its head. How I would have loved to taste him as he so often had me. But I knew he wouldn't let me, it was not safe. With a sigh I settled for a nipple on his chest, sucking on it so hard that it should have given milk. Edward removed one hand from body, reaching out, bracing himself against the counter as my hand slid lower and fondled him, dredging a groan from his chest that thrilled me to no end. Swallowing hard, he pushed his clothes to the bend at his knees and laid me down on the kitchen floor.

My mouth watered as I eagerly awaited him, but he had other plans. He laid flat on his stomach between my legs. My core throbbed as his lips moved from thigh to thigh, brushing over the pulsing center, but not fully committing to it.

"Please Edward…" I begged.

He looked up at me. Fire burned in his onyx eyes, but a wicked smile graced his lips "I'm planning to eat my dessert slowly, savoring every bite."

He returned to himself to me, edging ever closer to the pulsating heat. I squirmed and writhed, moaning with pleasure, whimpering with desperation and frustration. With my feet on the floor, he wrapped his arms around my thighs, spreading my knees wider as his tongue finally licked my sodden folds. Crying out with relief, my calves on their own volition, laid themselves over his shoulders, lifting me off the floor to meet him as he moved over the bundle of nerves, slowly at first, ever increasing his pace until his tongue was vibrating over my clit.

It was all too much. Tears of ecstasy ran down my face as I cried out his name, the juices of my orgasm throbbing out of me and into his ravenous mouth. With a snarl he finished, and before I could realize what was happening, he was flipping over and pulling me up onto my knees. My body still shaking, he thrust into me from behind.

I gasped from the coolness of him inside me, a stark contrast to my own overheated, quivering body. He began to move and I moved with him, both of us grunting and panting for air. Nothing was more pleasurable that making love with Edward from behind, the carnal feel just an added bonus to the guaranteed orgasm sure to follow. Pure lust now pushed my exhausted body and I slammed my self against him hard, his shaft rubbing over and over my g-spot. I could feel the pressure growing, so could he. Edward took his hands off me, a low growl building in his chest as my body smashed against his.

"Edward…. God yes…"

I began to scream. My throat sear with pain but I couldn't stop, the force of the explosion inside me threatening to destroy me. As this second orgasm of the night took me, Edward roared, his body stiffening as he too joined me in the mind numbing pleasure.

We collapse down onto the floor, both our bodies trembling. Edward pulled me tight into his chest. As he held me close, his arm laying inside the sweat dampened shirt stroking my back, the headache that had been all but gone as well made love, returned in full force. I turned my head away from him and sneezed.

"I think you might be catching a cold."

"I think you might be right."

OoOoOoOoO

I woke up late the next morning, feeling dreadful. There was no doubt about it. I had a head cold. I thought I would have pass out quickly last night, but much to my surprise, it was some time before I was finally and completely asleep. Even Edward's quiet humming could not squelch the tossing and turning from the now awful headache that had grown to the point where the subdued light from our bedroom made me squint.

Edward was already out of bed. Maybe he had gone hunting. Sneezing again, I fumbled around on the night stand, taking the last of the tissues out of the box and dragged myself to the bathroom.

Just wonderful... The medicine cabinet mirror showed the bruise forming on my forehead and I winced as I gingerly touched it. I looked almost as bad as I felt, puffy eyes, red nose, hair in a big sweaty clump. I didn't bother to open the mirror to search for cold meds. I hadn't been sick since we moved here. I ran a brush through my hair best I could, brushed my teeth and blew my nose again, this time with toilet paper. Still donning Edward's unbuttoned shirt, I padded out of the bathroom and toward the living room. Edward was not there, but the smell coming through from the kitchen alerted me to his locale. Stuffed as my nose was, I could still smell it; onions, garlic, and celery, the unmistakable aroma of chicken soup.

Buttoning a few strategic buttons in route, I made my way to the kitchen and sneezed again, seizing a paper towel this time to blow my nose.

"Bless you." Edward turned from the noodles he was cutting.

I shook my head. He must not know that you can buy those kind ready made frozen. I peeked into the stock pot. Chicken wings? Carrots? I knew there was none of that in the house. Come to think of it, this giant pot wasn't here either.

"Where did you get all this?"

"I called Alice. Well, I was going to call Alice. She rang as soon as I thought about it."

"What time was this?"

"Grocery stores are open all night in college towns." he answered with a smirk. "Quite convenient for vampires."

I'd have been satisfied with some ramen soup, or Oodles of Noodles. I kept that thought to myself. Not even my mom had ever made me soup from scratch. The back of his floured hand nonchalantly brushed over my forehead. My face automatically bent toward him as his hand turned over, his palm curving around my cheek, stroking it with his fingertips.

"You seem a little warm."

"It's official, I have a cold." I admitted in defeat to him as well as myself.

"I expected you to sleep longer." He said apologetically. "This won't be done for a while. Your cook book says to simmer the stock for three and a half hours, but Emeril says five."

Edward trusted no one but Emeril and Alton Brown when it came to cooking "That's okay, I can wait" I said leaning against his shoulder, feeling like I could go back to sleep just standing there. "I'll just have some toast and juice for now."

"You go back to bed. I'll get it for you and bring it in."

"It's okay. I can do it myself."

"But you're not feeling well."

"Edward, I'm not helpless." I took in his dark eyes and became sidetracked. "Why didn't you hunt last night?"

"I don't know," he shrugged, "just never got around to it."

Did he think I was stupid? I knew why. I tried to keep my voice pleasant as I spoke. "How about you go get a snack for yourself while I get some breakfast and clean myself up?"

"A snack…" Edward snorted. "Some days you have the most bizarre way of describing how we sustain ourselves... naïve almost. Most people would find it barbaric"

He seemed determined to get me irritated. "You know, I think its you that's naïve Edward. Have you seen what happens to livestock to on its way to the slaughter house, or the living conditions that far too many people endure to grow and harvest the food that us kind and gentle humans consume? At least you are quick and to the point."

"I never thought of it that way."

"Well, you should. Now, you be a good boy and go take care of your needs. I will take care of myself."

"I can wait."

I growled at him. After the second sneeze, I knew this would happen. Too bad… I was not going to have him uncomfortable at my expense.

"I didn't say you were unable to wait, you just don't need to." I snapped, my head pounding in my skull.

His eyes widened as I all but yelled at him.

"I'm sorry." I said, taking the improvised tissue still in my hand and blowing my nose again. "I get grumpy when I get sick."

He smiled and put his arms around me. "Don't worry. I still keep you in spite of your faults."

"Tell you what Edward, go hunt…" He frowned.

"Go hunt," I repeated sternly, "Please... make me happy." I added a little nicer "and then could you go to the store for me? We don't have anything here for a head cold. I need at least two boxes of tissues, some Sudafed, Dimetapp….maybe cough medicine… Do you need me to make you a list?"

He snorted again. "You are catching something, aren't you? ...Alright," He sighed. "I'll go hunt and then get the things you need. Are you sure you won't let me fix you a proper breakfast before I go?" He took in my surly expression. "Never mind." With that he gave me a quick peck on the cheek and out the door he went.

I got my toast and juice together and sat down at the kitchen table to eat, not really hungry. I had only gotten half a slice of toast down when the doorbell rang. Buttoning Edward's shirt the rest of the way, I trudged to the door to get it expecting Alice, not concerned about my lack of pants.

I should have known better.

There stood my father-in–law. I was more annoyed than embarrassed as my eyes took in the black bag in his hand. I was going to shoot Edward. Thank goodness I had put clean underwear on.

"I didn't think doctors made house calls anymore."

"Good morning, Bella." Carlisle returned my less than polite greeting. "Edward just wanted me to give you a quick look over before I went to work."

"It's just a cold, Carlisle."

Carlisle's expression was apologetic. "I don't doubt that Bella, however you know my son…"

"Indeed I do… Well, come on in." I said letting my father-in-law into the house. It wasn't him that I was mad at. Besides, there was no point in avoiding the inevitable. Edward would sneak his father into our bedroom while I was asleep if I didn't allow him to look at me now.

"Okay, Dr. Cullen," I grumbled. "Where do you want to do this at?"

"He warned me you may be a little grumpy."

"Don't worry Carlisle. I'm saving up all my grump for my husband."

He chuckled and I couldn't help smiling along with him. "How about the kitchen?" he suggested.

He followed me in as I moved my breakfast dishes out of the way and hopped up on the kitchen table.

"You do seem a little warm." Carlisle commented, brushing his hand across my forehead the same way Edward had.

He opened his bag and pulled out his stethoscope and placed it on my chest. "Now I want you to take some deeps breaths."

As he moved it around a thought occurred to me. "Carlisle, you don't really need that thing, do you?"

He smiled down at me. "No, not really. I guess it's just habit. Most people would think it odd for me to listen to their lungs without it."

"Yeah," I smiled again too. "I suppose so."

He looked at my throat and in my ears. "Not much else I can do here Bella. Edward said he was getting you an antihistamine. Just get some rest and keep up the liquids."

"Thanks Carlisle. Sorry he dragged you over here." I said yawning.

"It's no problem at all."

"What am I going to do with him Carlisle?" I sighed.

"He's coming up the walk now, so you're going to have to think of something quick."

Edward walked warily through the kitchen door carrying a couple grocery bags. His expression was worried, not so much about what was wrong with me but at the extent of trouble he thought he was in because he had hauled his father to our house.

"Carlisle says I have bubonic plague." I said, glaring at him.

"I think I'll be on my way." Carlisle closed his bag quickly and headed to the backdoor, probably not wanting to be in the room when the grumping started.

"Thank you Carlisle." Edward call out, sounding like he might want to follow his father and make a quick escape too.

Edward took a deep breath and turned back to face me. I planned to let him have it once he got back, but there he stood, like a naughty school boy, looking up at me from underneath those long lashes of his. My resolved crumbled to dust.

"You could have at least warned me."

"Alice told me you would lock the doors if I did."

"Did you buy me the extra soft tissues?" I said narrowing my eyes and trying to look mean.

"I hope so." He replied in mock concern knowing full well he was off the hook.

I could picture it all in my head, Edward standing there in the aisle, staring at the myriad of choices, clueless as to which one to get. A person couldn't help but laughed.

"You should know that me staying mad at you the rest of the day for sending you father here is tied wholly and entirely to the quality of tissues you purchased."

He walked over to the bags and placed five different boxes on the counter. "Then I better pray one of these passes muster."

OoOoOoOoOoOoO

The Dimetapp had kick in while I showered and my head started to feel like it didn't weigh fifty pounds anymore. But that stuff always made me so sleepy. It was all I could do to run a comb through my hair, change into sweats and the long sleeved tee that Edward had worn yesterday and staggered back out to the kitchen.

"Go back to bed." He tried again. "I'll bring this in for you."

"No, but maybe the couch wouldn't be such a bad idea."

Before I could make it to the living room, he had been to our bedroom, got my pillow and our quilt and had them laid out on the couch. I plopped down miserable, feeling like I hadn't slept in days as he brought in my soup.

He sat on our coffee table, bowl in hand and began to feed me.

Exactly what I needed… The hot salty broth warmed me from the inside out. I didn't protest as he lifted the spoon to my mouth, didn't want to. As I stared into his amber eyes all I could see was the love that he had for me. I gave into my human frailty, allowing him to treat me as I child. I welcomed it.

My bowl empty, I laid back into the couch, resting my head on the pillow.

"I got some tea when I was out. It's supposed to be good when you are sick. I bought honey and lemons for it too."

"Lemons?" I grinned groggily, thinking about the last time Edward was in a room with me and that particular citrus fruit.

"I can behave myself." He also grinned, joining me in the memory of the day we made a pie for Charlie's birthday. "Would you like some?"

"Maybe later," I yawned.

He took my bowl to the kitchen and came back to the living room, sitting on the love seat.

"What ya doin' over there?" I asked pouting.

"You don't feel good. I didn't want to bother you."

"Bothering me is sitting over there."

I made room for him on the couch, curling up on top of his chest. He wrapped the blanket around us snugly and began to hum once more.

"You take too good care of me."

"Impossible."

I yawned again and drifted off to sleep.

OoOoOoOoOoO

Three days and nights of being sick. Three days and nights of Edward taking care of me. I was on the couch as I had been most of the time since I caught my cold. I had slept every night there leaning up against Edward, my nose too plugged to lie flat. He had brought the electric blanket in from our bedroom, cuddling up with me and watching the History Channel, PBS and all our other favorite geek channels. The little trash can from the bathroom along side me was almost full of spent tissues, the box on the end table halfway gone. I was feeling better though. Three days of total rest, soup and hot tea, courtesy of my husband had improved me greatly.

Those last three days, lying in his arms had also got me thinking. Why was I still human? Why did I let this man who I loved beyond anything suffer day after day? He endured my scent, worried about my every step, watched his every move around me. If our roles were reversed, I would be no less obsessive.

As he fed me, washed my hair, took care of me as no one had before, I realized how selfish I was being. I had let my own needs supersede all else. I was free to touch him, kiss him, love him however I wanted. He was always forced to hold back from me, to be unable to let is guard down, even for a moment. When we made love he had to be so damn careful and restrained, always pulling away at the one moment that I knew he wanted to be the closest. I had begun to feel the loss. I could never resent him for it… it kept me in one piece… I was beginning to resent me. We couldn't continue on like this. It wasn't right. And it wasn't fair to either of us.

And then there was the Volturi. We never spoke of them, never mentioned the name. But if it was in the back of my mind, then I knew that it never left his. Despite his confidence in his ability to keep me safe, I worried, not for myself, but what it would mean to our family. They should not be put in jeopardy for something that was inevitable. But it was just one more obstacle amongst so many that we have had to overcome, not the determining factor in my decision.

Edward had just finished washing up my dinner dishes and came into the living room. I wanted to help, had wanted to since my cold had begun, but he refused to let me touch anything. All of our laundry was done while I slept, the house far cleaner than when we took turns at it. By this point I was more than capable of helping, but I didn't argue as I so often did. I knew that was what he wanted. Anyone that took care of me the way he had for the last several days could have whatever they desired.

He joined me, sitting on the opposite end of the couch, lifting my legs up and sliding himself underneath them. Edward's hands were warm as he held my feet that lay on his chest. I'd bet anything that he had them soaking in the hot water for five minutes before he drained the sink. He gently kneaded the balls of my feet. I wiggled down lower, laying my head back against the pillow. As good as it felt, I needed more.

"Take off my socks." I whispered closing my eyes.

I sighed with relief as his skin finally made contact with mine. His stone fingers were soft against arches, his thumbs massaging deeply yet gently. As he worked on my toes, a pulse of electricity began to sweep up my legs. My heart began to accelerate. I could feel the increase in my breathing, could hear it from his lungs as well. My eyes opened and locked with Edward's as his lips began to kiss my toes. They smoldered, impossible to look away from.

Suddenly, his fingers froze on my feet. Slowly he pulled his mouth away.

"What's the matter Edward?"

"I'm sorry. You're ill."

"I have a cold, I'm not dead."

Burrowing head first through my blankets, I crawled up on top of him, wrapping my arms around his neck and tucking my leg between the couch and his waist. "You know, it's been three days since we…" I placed my hand between us and ran it down the crotch of his pants.

"Are you sure…?" He asked, his voice trailing off as I had already begun to remove my shirt.

I licked the lobe of his ear. "What do you think Edward?"

He pulled my mouth to his. He had avoided it for days. Firmly pressed against his teeth, his lips parted allowing me to taste him in my mouth. I hadn't realize how badly I had been denied. Greedily, I pulled his tongue in farther as heat rolled up from my chest and into my neck and face. I could not linger there as long as I wished. My head spun as I could still not breath through my nose, but my panting mouth didn't wander far, moving to his forehead, his nose, his eyelids.

I didn't want to make love on the couch. I took him by the hand and guided him to the bedroom dragging our quilt behind me. This was not going to be the last time we made love before the change. There were plans to be made, loose ends to tie up. But it felt that way and I was frightened, frightened of staying human, frightened of becoming a vampire, frightened of everything, except the fact that he loved me.

Edward was silent, sensing something had changed but unwilling to ask what. He watched as the rest of my clothes piled up on the floor, didn't try to assist as I removed his.

The bed was stripped naked, as were we, both physically and emotionally. I left the blanket with our clothing and crawled on, taking his hand once more and leading. We lay side by side, our limbs tangled together, touching, caressing, re-memorizing its counterpart. I tasted his bare chest, something that I hadn't seen in three days. This wasn't about sex or lust. As Edward finally placed himself inside me, only one thing came to mind, the overwhelming need to never let him go. Tears did not fall as I expected them to. He moved slowly, gently, no more able to look away from my face as I was his. He rolled us onto his back. I hovered over top of him, pushing off against his chest as the sweat began to run down my back. He sat up with me and we clung to each other, moving as one, my hands in his hair, his at my waist, our lips fused. His face was so close and my heart hammered under my ribs in response to his cool sweet breath blowing across my face.

The intensity of the moment so strong it was painful. He released his hold on me and fell back on to the bed. With an agonized look, he forced his eyes to close, and began to whisper "I love you, I love you" over and over as the physical expression of our love ignited and erupted out of us.

He left my side only long enough to pull the quilt onto the bed and draped it over us. I lay sprawled on top of him, my head on his chest, my thigh across his body. If it were possible, I would stay this way forever and never let him move.

Taking a deep breath, I began.

"There is something I need to talk to you about Edward."

"What is it?" He asked hesitantly.

"It's time."

He didn't need to ask anything else.

"I've been thinking a lot about it for the last few days."

"You were just ill. It was no big deal."

It was a big deal to him. He hovered and worried. I didn't say it out loud. I didn't want him to think that was the reason behind my decision, because in truth, it wasn't. The last few days of him taking care of me, loving me, all it did was firm up a decision I made ages ago and one that we both knew was coming.

"I know it was just a cold Edward. I didn't think I was at death's door and neither did you."

"I'm sorry I got so overbearing." He whispered, hugging me tight.

"This is not about you…" I brushed my hand across his cheek in reassurance. "No... it is all about you, and the last three days. No one could have done a better job of caring for me. You did not do one thing wrong." I put my hand over his mouth. "…not even sending Carlisle over here. These last three days reminded me of how much you love me and how much pain I would be in if I were to loose you. This is me telling you that I will want you always, in what ever existence we have, just as long as we are together.

"What about Charlie… Rene?"

"I don't know the details; we'll work them out over the next few days. We will see them one more time. Maybe we can figure out a way to keep contact with them somehow, but I have to accept the fact that they may never be in my life again." His eyes closed in anguish and once more I touch his face to soothe him. "Yes it hurts, but to loose you would be more than I could bear."

He opened his mouth to say something again, but I didn't give him the chance.

"I don't believe it, but what if you are right Edward and there is nothing else for you? Would you leave me alone for all eternity?" I forced the next horrifying words from my lips, "At least you would be gone…The idea of a world, any world, where I would be and you would not… I will not risk that anymore."

Edward purposely pulled me into his chest, hiding his face from view. I didn't need to see it to know what was there. Pain, loss, grief… eyes that stung with tears he would never shed. Once again mine were dry, I would not allow myself to show anything other than the love I had for him. I struggled in his tight grasp and he released me enough that I could look him in the eye.

"And what if we are both wrong Edward? What if there is nothing for either of us at the end of our lives, mortal or otherwise. I am not an atheist. I believe with all my heart that there is something more out there... for both of us. But faith in something does not guarantee that it is true. You would go on, and I would not. I know that you would try to join me, but what if there was nothing at the end. If the last couple years have taught me anything, it is there are no absolute truths... except two."

"And those are...?"

"How much I know I love you, and how much I know you love me. We have here, we have now and we have each other. If it is one day, or a thousand years, I can ask for no more."

It seemed an eternity before he spoke. He just stared into my eyes. Finally he reached down and softly brushed my lips with his.

When he finally spoke, there was no signed of defeat or resignation in his voice.

"I'll call Carlisle."

I would never dream of criticizing SM for how she decided Bella was to be turned and I really don't dislike the mutant spawn as much as I might appear to. I get quite uppity when I hear people really rag on BD. Constructive criticism is one thing but some of these people get out of hand. When they have written four, oops now five best sellers then they can complain... on second thought, they need to just keep it to themselves. There's nothing wrong with how Bella's change came about, I just wanted him to be okay with doing it, not because he had to, but because it was the right thing to do.

Anyhoo, hope you all enjoyed this. Reviews, like roses and daisies are always appreciated. I love to hear from each and every one of you.

BTW, I made a change to my profile page. Though all my one shots are stand alone, they do have small references to previous stories that I have written. Though it had never been my intention to do them that way, there is a time line to them. It got me thinking so I listed all the BH, EV stories in order from the honey moon to this one here on my profile page. If you want to check it out, you know where to go.