I tinkered and tinkered and tinkered, and then Edward finally told me to shut up. After seven years, this story is finally complete. I hope you enjoy. Thank you for reading.





In my mind, I killed her a thousand times.

One look, one breath, and her number was up. That day on the ferry would be her last.

Bella was temptation in flesh. The ultimate test — one I never intended to pass.

She smelled heavenly. Light and clean, like citrus and flowers, sweet and sanguine, and utterly mouth watering. She was beautiful, but that was of no consequence. The only thing I wanted was to drag her into a secluded corner and consume every precious drop of her blood. I saw it all: how long it would take before she fell limp in my arms; how she would taste; how those dark, dark eyes would fill with accusation and shimmering tears as I bled the life out of her.

But those eyes… they were what stopped me. Bella looked at me with such eager curiosity. The honesty in her brown gaze drew me in, held me captive, lifted the haze of bloodlust from my brain. I needed to know more — no, everything — about the irreverent, lovely girl before me… and then I realized I couldn't read a single thought from her. It was intriguing. It was infuriating. And it made her irresistible.

It didn't take me long to realize I don't need to hear her thoughts — Bella's eyes truly are the window to her soul.

And it's blinding.

She charmed me with her wit, and her awkwardness was endearing. The sound of her voice was rich and light, and somehow calmed the monster inside. With a tenuous handle on my bloodlust, I could truly appreciate her beauty, which was fresh-faced and without much artifice. My hands itched to bury themselves in the soft thickness of her hair, and I wanted to drink from her lips — a desire that had nothing to do with her blood. For the most part.

But she was human, and that made her forbidden.

Change doesn't happen easily for my kind. When we're turned, we're frozen. It takes a change of state to alter our course. Bella might as well have been nuclear fuel. The moment I saw her, neutrons collided in my brain, creating a God particle that nothing could stop.

Despite the connection I felt, I tried my best to stay away from her, convinced she'd be better off without me dragging her into my fucked up world. It was a battle I ultimately lost, and it cost Bella her human life.

I can't bring myself to feel guilty about that, even though part of me still feels I should.

When I met her, I was lost and broken. A monster. I wholeheartedly believed gifts such as Bella weren't given to the likes of me. When you've been burned by those you trust the most, optimism doesn't come easy. The cuts of betrayal run deep; the scars left behind are slow to heal. Being imprisoned and starved destroyed more than my relationship with my family. It destroyed my faith in myself, because at first, I believed Alice's vision.

After all, the whole family knew she was rarely wrong — of course it had to be true.

Fear and worry echoed in each of their minds, a constant pressure that eventually grew into resolved condemnation. They knew I could see every bloody moment of destruction, wrapped up like a gruesome care package straight from Alice's thoughts. I replayed that vision over and over: the long, brown hair matted in blood; the pale, smooth skin painted crimson; the whimpers and sobs. My own cries of despair, laced with the bitter bite of fear and shame.

Resigned to the fate Alice had designed for me, I fully intended to stay in that tomb, chained and buried deep within the earth, forever. But as I laid there drowning in my own misery, hating what I would become before it even happened, my self control began to fail me. As the thirst grew and grew, an unholy rage began to fester within me.

They'd believed I was capable of murdering an innocent. They'd talked me into believing it — believing the worst of myself. They weren't my family. Family didn't do that to one another. Why should I continue to comply with their demands?

That anger was the fuel for my escape, gave me the strength to shatter my bonds… but it also fed all the bad decisions I made in the following years.

I was determined to prove Alice wrong. Never would I spill the blood of an innocent. At the same time, I needed as much distance from the Cullens I could manage, and I felt my only solution was to do the thing Carlisle despised most. I spent years feeding on the dregs of society, a path which led me to the Volturi — and the worst choice I've ever made. I was lucky to survive leaving their ranks. When I left Volterra, I also left human blood behind me and never looked back, until that day on the ferry. I overcame my greatest challenge and gained the most precious gift an immortal can receive.

In my life, I've been lucky enough to escape the Volturi twice. I won't give them a third opportunity.

I've got something — someone — to protect. I'd gladly die for Bella, though I hope to spend forever showing her just how much she matters to me. She is my life now, and I am hers. It's not something I'm willing to risk.

I almost lost her three times. Never again.

After the cougar attack, when I cradled her fragile human body as her life bled away, I made the choice to save her. Alice's vision was technically fulfilled: a woman, dying in my arms, covered in blood. It was also my fault, as my scent was what drove the animal to attack. But I didn't choose to kill her, not in violence and against her will, like they all thought would happen. I chose to save her. It wasn't really a choice at all. There was no me without Bella.

Though, it took Bella a little while longer to come to terms with the inevitable. My wife is incredibly stubborn.

When she went up against Heidi and nearly lost her life, I felt every blow as if it were my own body. When I heard her mind for the first time, realized she was saying goodbye, I exploded — panic and fear morphed into a boundless rage that whipped through my veins. I don't even recall taking Heidi apart. I do remember, though, how her remains glowed every color of the rainbow as I burned them in the fire pit. I wish I'd let the pieces reassemble just so I could destroy her again — so I could remember it.

As horrible as the fight had been, we emerged from the ordeal with a deeper connection, an even stronger mate bond, something I hadn't thought was possible. When we returned to Washington and the Cullens, Bella began learning to trust in her gift, and her budding confidence made her even more stunning. She amazed me then and continues to amaze me daily, even fifty years later.

But in Volterra, she changed. Killing Tyler broke something inside her that I didn't know how to fix. I didn't pretend to know exactly how she felt. I remembered the guilt that ate at me after every person I killed, even though they were awful people, but I never personally knew any of my victims. All I could do was build her up when she sank low, and constantly remind her how much I love her.

After we escaped the Volturi, we spent ten days in Paris. Bella began the journey quiet and withdrawn, but as we put distance behind us, she seemed more relaxed. We drove through the mountains and rolling fields of France, and the picturesque vistas seemed to captivate her. By the time we reached the city, I'd almost convinced myself that everything would return to normal faster than I dared hope.

Bella gained more control over her bloodlust every day, and by the fifth night, we ventured out into the city. We acted for all the world as if we were typical newlyweds, thoroughly enjoying the city of love. Those were some of the best days of my life.

I didn't realize Bella was burying everything deep inside. I'm still working on forgiving myself for missing it.

Denial is a dangerous thing.

We stand below the Eiffel Tower at dusk, admiring the way it glows against the violet, stormy sky. Humidity hangs in the air, making mortals eye the clouds above, leery of getting caught in the impending downpour. Bolts of lightning battle with the City of Light for the best show. Here, under the glow of the Tower, neither one compares to the beauty of Bella at twilight.

"Let's climb it." Bella's eyes shine red, glinting in the flash and glow of the storm.

Her mind has been closed to me today, so I can only assume she's kidding. I can't help my smile, counting it as another baby step, another little sign that she's coming back to herself. I play along, since that's what I usually do.

"You mean you don't want to take the conventional way to the top?"

I love the games she plays with me; her sense of humor is one of the things I love most about her. Before Bella came along, there wasn't much humor in my life. Now, I delight in her playfulness, look forward to each poke, prod and tease. This glimpse of her normal demeanor, however brief, gives me hope that she's working through her grief and guilt.

Her lips curve in an impish smile. "The elevators aren't running now anyway. All the humans are afraid of being struck by lightning."

"You do realize that lightning strikes could kill us as well."

She shrugs. "Maybe."

I raise an eyebrow. "No 'maybe.' We'd definitely catch fire."

The sky cracks open with the crash of thunder overhead, sending the mortals scurrying under awnings and ducking into entryways. The Tower grounds are deserted.

Bella leans closer and rises on tiptoe, then grazes her lips over my jaw. I bite back a moan when I feel her lips brush my ear. "Let's do it anyway," she whispers, then nips the lobe. She pulls back to assess my response, and what I see in her eyes worries me.

She's actually serious.

We barely escaped from the Volturi only days ago, and their most rigid decree was to keep a low profile. Our kind's most sacred law is more important than ever, and scaling the Eiffel Tower could definitely catch the attention of the human population. One single photo would ruin us.

"Bella…" I cup her face gently, wondering how I can gently remind her without triggering the overwhelming memories that are never far from her thoughts. "We can't. Don't even try to convince me." She frowns at my words, so I soften them with a distraction. Bringing my free hand up so I can cradle her head in both hands, I say, "Let's go back to the room. I want to make love to my wife. Strip you bare and kiss every inch of you until you beg me to stop. Then I'll fuck you up against the window while the storm rages outside."

Her eyes drift closed and she lets out a quiet whimper. I crush my mouth to hers, deepening the kiss until it's all breath and soft tongues. I moan into her mouth, losing myself in the feel of her body pressed to mine. She feels so damn good. We might as well be naked; our wet clothes don't provide much of a barrier between us. It only makes me more impatient to get her alone.

Suddenly Bella pulls back, giving me a knowing smile. "Stop trying to dazzle me. As good as that idea is, you can get lucky later. C'mon!" She disappears through the curtain of rain, leaving me gripping thin air, as real fear begins to grip me.

Arousal forgotten, I follow her to the base of the Tower, getting more angry by the minute. She's potentially risking our lives, and I can't allow it. "We can't draw attention to ourselves like that. There's no way to guarantee we won't be seen."

"It's pouring rain and there are no humans around. Let's go!"

"There are surveillance cameras all over the place." Fear curls up into a tight ball in my chest.

"We'll be too fast for the surveillance cameras."

She does have a point. Vampire speeds would most likely show up as a faint blur across the screen, something easily contributed to bad video quality or irrelevant artifice. Still, I'm not about to take that risk.

"No, Bella." My tone is final, and it's a command — which she won't like at all, and I'll likely pay later. She either ignores me or doesn't realize how deadly serious I am.

"I could do my invisi-Bella thing and carry you on my back…"

Her eyes glint with mischief, and damn, she's beautiful. "My ego would never survive it," I say dryly. "And I'm still not doing this. Neither are you."

There's that stubborn look, the one that means trouble. Dammit.

"Guess you'll have to catch me, then!"

She darts away, leaving me standing there like an idiot. I should have anticipated this turn of events. Once the disbelief wears off, I am livid. I can't let her risk our future when it's finally ours for the taking.

I take off after her, cursing myself for letting her get a head start. At least the elements should help disguise us. As I run, I fume. When I catch her, I'm going to throw her over my shoulder and show her just how fast I can run. Then I'm going to lock her in our room and spank the shit out of her. Once I talk some sense into her, I'll give her the silent treatment. She hates it when I brood. It's as good a punishment as any. Seconds tick by like decades as I chase her, praying for the best and expecting the worst. It will be a miracle if the Volturi doesn't find out what we've done.

I may be faster on the ground, but Bella is the better climber. Leaping from girder to girder, she flies up the side of the first level like a Goddamn spider monkey. I climb faster, taking a perverse pleasure in the way the steel gives beneath my grip. I wring the metal the way I wish I could wring my wife's neck. Hypothetically, of course.

Keeping my eyes on Bella, I try to anticipate her next move. There's a pattern to her climb, and that's how I can beat her. When I get close enough, I leap, landing in her spot a split second before she does. I snag her with an arm around her waist, but she fights me. The only thing keeping us from plummeting to the ground is my grip on the slick steel girder above us.

"Edward, stop!" she hisses, grabbing the side of the Tower as she tries to pull herself from my grasp. The groan of metal is loud, audible even above the sounds of the storm.

"Dammit, Bella — if you pull this thing down, there'll be no saving us!"

"Then let me go! We're almost there!"

There's a wild light in her red eyes, and though I've never been more angry with her, she's still so beautiful, even in all her feral glory. Long, glossy dark hair whips about her face, painting the stark curves of her cheekbones, framing blood-red eyes that glint with challenge.

"I can't do that, and you know it," I shout, letting all my fear and fury bleed into the words. "You heard Aro — no more mistakes! Bella, this is a HUGE mistake!"

The fight goes out of her eyes and she lets go of the dented metal. I yank her up to my chest and swing into the inner steelwork of the Tower. Here, we're partially protected from the elements and hidden away from any human eyes, electronic or otherwise. I settle us into a corner and gather her close, finally able to relax. Bella is quiet, her head tucked under my chin. Now that the chase is over, my anger has fizzled out and I don't quite know what to say. I'm still searching for the words when her whole body shudders. Her hands ball into fists at my waist, shredding the cotton of my t-shirt.

I don't have to hear the sobs to know she's crying. And instead of lecturing her or spanking her or whatever I was planning when she first started this foolish chase, all I want to do is hold her. She needs a tender hand and a soft heart, a steady place to land. I will be all of those things to her, and more.

"I don't know if I know how to feel better," she says in a shuddering whisper.

"You will." You have to. "You will, I promise. Give it time." I need you to get better.

"Sometimes it's too much. I tell myself it's okay, that the guilt is normal and it will go away eventually, but I see little reminders everywhere. Do you know how many red jackets there are in this city? A lot. The cobblestone streets make me think of those awful tunnels. And I smell blood. Everywhere. It makes me so thirsty… I've never felt thirst like this."

I remember that thirst vividly. Human blood is addictive. The rush, the true satiation. The smell, the taste… the fear.

"It's your instincts, Bella. But you can fight them; you are fighting them. You've fought them ever since you woke up to this life. You can do this. I've been exactly where you are, and I'm here, with you now. It can be done, love."

"I'm not as strong as you, Edward." She sounds so forlorn that my dead heart clenches in my chest.

I lean my head back and tilt her face up to me with a finger under her chin. "Don't say that. You are, Bella. You're not a typical newborn. Most of us are still raving mad with bloodlust at your age. You, on the other hand, walk through the streets of Paris, among over two million people. That takes tremendous strength. Don't ever doubt yours."

Bella is the strongest person I know. My admiration for her knows no bounds. She's handled major upheaval in the last year with grace and determination. I just pray she'll be able to see that.

"Thank you," she whispers. She smiles, but it doesn't quite reach her eyes.

Tucking a tendril of hair behind her ear. I slide my hand down to her neck and cup the bite scar there, a reminder of the extraordinary gift we have in each other. "I'm here for you." I drop a soft kiss on her trembling lips. "We have a second chance. We're lucky enough to have a shot at forever. I hear the odds are fairly good," I add with a half-smile.

She tucks her head under my chin, wraps her arms around my waist and squeezes. "How do you always know what to say?"

"I've studied every detail about you. I'd like to consider myself an expert in all things Bella. I love every single facet you have, but one of my most favorites is your inner strength. You're stubborn and willful and determined, and those parts of you won't give up under any circumstances. I have endless faith in you — and us. We're going to make it, love."

"We're going to make it," she whispers into my neck. "I trust you. And I love you."

I rest my cheek on her hair, breathing in her sweet scent, and stroke my hand down her back. "I love you, too."

We jumped off the Tower that night, cloaked in Bella's invisibility. We also destroyed all the security footage of the structure and its grounds, which the humans likely blamed on the storm. There was no trace of us left.

I shake my head to clear it of all the memories, rubbing my chest at the reminder of Bella's pain. I wish I could have carried the burden for her, but it's only made her stronger. She didn't heal overnight, but she did heal. She leaned on me many times, and I was proud to be with her the whole way.

The sound of my wife approaching makes me turn to see her picking her way across the stream that cuts right through the middle of Isle Esme. I can't help grinning as I watch her hop from stone to stone before she gives up on staying dry and splashes alongside the bank like a girl jumping in rain puddles. Her laughter is infectious, and lifts the heavy weight of all those memories.

In a white tank and bright orange shorts, her hair loose in tousled waves, Bella looks like a coed on Spring Break. She's topped off the look with a pair of mirrored aviator sunglasses, though she wears those fairly often in a tongue-in-cheek homage to her father. She's told me they were a permanent part of his uniform even though he never really wore them — it was always too cloudy. He and her mother have been gone for more than twenty years. Bella made sure they wanted for nothing, keeping watch from afar. Renee and Charlie lived out their years in Florida, remarried and happy together, though they never stopped searching for their daughter. She keeps them close in her heart, though her memories are bittersweet.

"Are you out here brooding again?" She drops down next to me on the small patch of grass, stretching her long legs out in front of her.

"Me? Brood? Never."

Bella smirks. You make brooding an art form.

I shake my head and take her hand, threading my fingers through hers. Looking at our entwined hands gives me such a sense of calm, contentment, and sheer, overwhelming gratefulness.

She nudges my shoulder. "You're doing it again."

"I was just thinking." I shrug and try to pull my head out of the past and all the things we can't undo. It's been fifty years — to the day — since we got out of Volterra. It's hard not to do a little thinking.

"Try not to hurt yourself. I think I can actually hear your synapses firing."

I huff out a laugh and watch her smile, feel the satisfaction she gets from teasing — and cheering me up even a little bit.

In contrast to her usual brand of sarcasm, she squeezes my hand and silently asks, Are you okay?

I close my eyes and enjoy the open connection to her thoughts. She's happy these days, and I thank God for it. We've been through so much to get here, and seeing her flourish is better than I could have ever imagined.

"I am," I say, urging her to sit between my legs so I can wrap my arms around her. She comes eagerly and leans back against my chest with a happy sigh. "My mind is just… busy."

"Worrying about the big family reunion?" Bella's tone is dry.

Carlisle was able to negotiate Alice and Jasper's contract down to fifty years. To this day, I still don't know how he did it. The old bastard blocks me every time I try to find out what he has on Aro that made him so drastically reduce their servitude. In retaliation, Aro has kept Alice and Jasper busy — so busy that they haven't been back at all in the entire half-century.

Bella and I keep in contact with Carlisle and Esme regularly, however, and Alice tells them that Aro treats them quite well. Her gifts have brought in a number of talented vampires for Aro to exploit, which is likely the reason for his benevolence. New acquisitions always did make his black little heart quiver with glee. Now their tenure is up, and the entire Cullen clan will converge on Isle Esme in only three days. Bella is eager to see Emmett and Rosalie, and I'm actually looking forward to catching up with with everyone… except Alice. I don't know how to deal with seeing her, now that her debt has been settled. I can't quite let the past go, yet I'm not sure I want anyone but Bella to know it.

I lay my cheek atop her head, nuzzling into her soft hair. It's warm from the sunlight and smells of salt air. She must've been at the beach while I was "brooding."

"Seeing Alice after so long, it's…" I sigh, unable to find the words for my anxiety.


"To put it mildly."

"It'll be a little awkward, for sure. But it's a big island. We don't have to sit around the fire pit singing 'Kumbaya' and doing trust falls together."

I laugh out loud, and she joins me. "That's a way to put it into perspective. Thank you."

"Any time."

"I'm not sure how to feel, though," I say, because while Alice and I have been in contact, I'm not sure how to act when we come face to face again. "I still… I have some residual… feelings regarding Alice."

"You're still angry," Bella surmises.

"Yes, I am. I know I told her we're even, but I can't help the way I feel. Even more than that, how can I be angry about something that led me to you?"

She leans to the side and turns so she can look up at me. "I think it's completely understandable. Edward, you were hurt very badly, by people you loved. You're working on forgiveness, and sometimes that takes a long time. I hate that they hurt you, and I think they do, too. But you're the one I care about most. You're mine to love and nothing will change that.

"Feel how you want to feel. Talk with them about it, if you want. I'll be right here with you, no matter what."

I sigh in relief, and press a long kiss to her forehead. "How do you always know what to say?"

I remember the time she posed the same question to me, and a small, wry smile pulls at my lips.

"It's a gift," she laughs softly. "But seriously, I know you. That's how."

"You do," I agree, "Better than anyone ever has."

Turning so she straddles my lap, she cups my face in her hands. "It's the same for me." Her eyes are intense, shimmering gold in the sunlight. "You've seen me at my worst, and you never wavered — even when I did my best to sabotage our life. Every time, you were there to catch me. You just…you just loved me, and that was what I needed most. So I'm here. To love you."

I wrap my arms around her tightly, feeling out of control. Even after half a century, I'm still caught in this desperate, needy kind of love. Though I know she's mine forever, I'm consumed by the need to protect, to keep her close, ensure that nothing can take her from me. I try to dial back my intensity, without much luck. Tamping down the instinct behind the mating bond is nearly impossible.

"I love you." The words aren't quite adequate. How I feel about Bella, it's more than a phrase. It's a living, breathing thing. There are no words in any language, living or dead, to describe the depths of my devotion.

"You'll never be rid of me, so you'd better love me." Her words are light, meant to reassure me. For the most part, it works — but the urge to make her mine never completely leaves me, and there's no stopping it now.

I surge up to meet her smiling lips in a sweet kiss that quickly turns into something deeper. Her tongue meets mine and I moan into her mouth. I'm addicted to her sweetness, crave the taste of her lips. My hand finds its way into her hair, and the other slides down to cup her ass. I break the kiss, nip at her lips, then tip her head back to expose her neck. Open-mouthed kisses trail down to her collarbone, where I nip a little harder, then kiss the sting away.

Bella presses her palms flat to my chest and trails them down, over my abs, and back up again. She gently pushes me to my back, bracing herself above me. She looks down at me, eyes dark with want, a wicked smile curving her lips.

"I know a way to relieve all this stress," she tells me, licking her lips like she can't get enough of the taste of me.

Again, she knows just what to say. Even if it's cheesy. I laugh and pull her down atop me, enjoying the sun-warmed grass at my back and Bella's supple curves draped over my chest.

"That line is so old," I tease, sliding my hands up and down her thighs.

"As old as you, you think?"

"It's definitely older than that joke, but not by much."

She threads her fingers through my hair and nips at my chin in retaliation, then drops soft kisses over my throat. I tip my head back, loving the feel of her lips on my skin.

"So… you're not interested in my brand of stress relief? Would you rather go for a run? Swim to the mainland? Play chess?" Between each suggestion there's a kiss, each one a little longer than the last.

I shouldn't love the way she taunts me so much, but I do. It drives me crazy, makes me want to roll her over and keep her mouth busy with other things, but I wouldn't change a thing about her. All the teasing and playing only heightens the tension between us, makes our connection that much more intense.

"Hmmm…" I pretend to consider my options, just to toy with her. "A rousing game of chess does sound fun…"

This draws a little growl and she bites the nook between my neck and shoulder playfully. "Only if chess is a euphemism for something a lot more exciting."

I wind a hand in her hair and tug her face up enough to show me her almost guilty smile. "So that's a no on the chess."

Bella says nothing, but she just about slays me with a long, slow grind of her hips. I can feel her heat through our clothes. I'm so hard it's bordering on painful, and when she does it again, I'm done.

"Fair enough," I rasp, watching her eyes go completely black, likely matching my own.

"I knew you'd see it my way," licking her bottom lip.

I sit up suddenly, drawing a surprised giggle from Bella, which I quickly smother with my mouth. I knot my hands in her tank and rip it to shreds, beginning a frenzied race to rid ourselves of all the barriers between us. Our clothes fly this way and that as we strip each other till there's not a stitch left. Something lands in a distant tree, spooking a nest of birds.

Bella looks in the direction of the sound and pouts, but can't quite hide her smile. "I liked those shorts."

"You don't need them. I prefer you naked. You should always be naked." Why didn't I think of that before? Brilliant idea, really.

"Only if you're naked, too." She winds her arms around my neck and plants a sweet kiss on my lips.

"Done," I murmur, nuzzling her mouth. "We both go naked."

I skim my hands up her sides and cup her breasts, pushing them up and together. Dipping my head, I watch as I play with her nipples, listen to the sweet sounds she makes. I take one, then the other in my mouth, savoring the taste of her delicate skin.

Bella arches up, offering her chest up to me. Oh… that's good… so good… Her shield is down, and I love knowing that I make her feel like that — all without a word.

Needing more, I guide her to the soft grass and brace myself on one forearm. With my other hand, I grasp her hip and pull her closer. She cradles me between her thighs, and my erection nestles right up against her pussy. I groan at the heat, the wetness, and grit my teeth to hold back the desire to just take.

"Now, Edward." Bella urges me forward with insistent hands planted on my ass.

"Yeah?" I can't help the small thrust of my hips, and I slip inside, teasing her with just a few inches. She whimpers, biting her lip, and I push all the way in. It's so fucking good, but it always is. Every time is the best time. She takes every single inch of me and squeezes like she'll never let me go.

A dazed smile graces her lips, and she half moans, "More."

She arches her hips up to me, and that's all the permission I need. I thrust hard, making her slide up in the grass.

Whoa there, cowboy. The thought is accompanied by a breathless laugh. She pulls her legs up higher, tight against my ribs, like she's holding on for the ride.

Challenge accepted, Bella.

"If it's a ride you're after…" I let the promise hang in the air. Apparently she's not the only one with the cheesy jokes.

We both laugh, and I drop a searing kiss on her lips. To keep her in place, I slip my arm beneath her back, grab her shoulder — and give it to her, just like I promised. Her breasts bounce with every thrust, and I can't tear my eyes away. She's fucking beautiful, and sometimes I still can't believe she's mine.

I'm anything but gentle, holding her body down and taking what I want, but she doesn't complain — I know she loves it, because I'm in her head. I can feel her desire; it amplifies mine. It's like completing an erotic circuit. I stretch out atop her and I can feel my weight, the way my body moves against hers. How I fill and stretch her. Our feelings for one another coupled with the pleasure we give and receive, it's a connection I never knew was possible.

It makes me greedy. I will never get enough of this, of her.

What started as rough and demanding becomes something more reverent. Our eyes lock and Bella smiles up at me. I respond in kind, even through the thick haze of lust. I can't resist her — never could and never will.

As much as I love pinning her down, I want to see her ride me. She holds me down as soon as I flip us, her hands pressing on my chest, fingers digging in as I thrust upward.

"A role reversal, I see." She's breathing heavy, eyes bright and heated.

I grin, unashamed. "I decided to let you do all the work, cowgirl." I grasp her hips and lie back, ready to enjoy the view. Sunlight kisses our bare skin, creates a halo of golden light behind my wife. A beautiful view, indeed.

Bella shakes her head, then follows with an absolutely wicked swivel of her hips.

My eyes nearly cross and I moan out loud. "Fuck. "Please keep doing that."

When I'm able to focus again, I find I'm not the only one appreciating the view. Her eyes travel from my face all the way down to where we're joined, and they stay there. Digging my fingers into her hips, I urge her to go faster, harder, so I can get deeper. I'll never get deep enough.

She moans, a soft, husky sound that goes straight to my dick, and grinds down on me. Needing more of that sound, I use my thumb to rub at her clit, trying my hardest not to come. She's close — her eyes close and she bites her lip, her pussy gripping me tighter.

''Mmmm, Edward…"

"Oh, you're there, love. Come. I want to feel it." I grit my teeth and thrust up into her again and again, holding her hips still. I swirl my thumb a little faster, praying I can hold on. I'm so fucking hard and so damn close, and I don't want to go without her.

Her breath catches, freezing in her chest. She just about squeezes the life out of my cock, and I'm lost. I give her all of me, clutching at her hips as I empty myself inside her. Bella moans out my name and collapses on my chest, burying her face in my neck. I nuzzle her hair and roll us to our sides, our bodies still connected.

Bella's beautiful hair is fanned out over the grass like spilled chocolate. I can't resist running a hand through it as we lie there in the rumpled grass. She gazes up at me, eyes golden and sated, dragging her fingers up and down my side. A soft smile graces her lips. Love you.

Though I can see inside her mind, I don't need my gift to see the beauty of her soul. It's right there in her eyes when she looks at me, and it's blinding bright.

I wish I could open my own mind to her, but she already knows my soul — it's her. That's how I know we are indestructible. That we will outlast this life and the many lives to come. Nothing can break us, because we are strongest together. I will spend every lifetime proving it, forever.

And forever is just fine with me.

The end. Really.

I thought it would be nice to finish it up through Edward's eyes. I think lots of you have been wanting an EPOV since the very beginning. I hope I did him justice.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sticking around until the end. I'm sorry it took me so long to finish. Seven years is too long to wait, and I'm amazed any of you are still here to read these last two chapters. You guys are the reason I didn't give up on this story when my tortoise of a muse hid under the couch, terrified of my two rugrats.

I don't have a ton of time to write these days, but I try to get a tiny bit in every day. It's always nice to have prompts, so is there anything else you'd like to see from these two? If I can manage to hammer out anything worth reading, I'll post it here.

I have a new AH story I'm working on, but I won't post it until it's finished. So it could be a while. Keep me on alert and maybe I'll surprise you.

You are awesome. Thank you.