Chapter 4:

The Best Part of the Island

"I still need to show you the best part of this island."

Struck with curiosity, I smiled questioningly at him, and he promptly lifted me to my feet. As he took my hand, I saw the fleeting flash of his heartbreaking smile just before we sped off again into the heart of the jungle. Streaks of neon-colored tropical flora zoomed past us, the air so thick with warmth and moisture it felt as though we were swimming through it.

Carlisle ran vigorously beside me, his every breath exaggerated. I could feel the force of his exertions as his feet pounded into the soft ground beside mine, dragging me along with him. I felt connected to him, my breaths adjusting to match his while I ran. Every step I took brought me brushing up against him, enhancing the intimacy of our impromptu race. Our footsteps became a kind of joint pulse to replace the lost beat of our blood, the way it used to race inside our veins.

Carlisle slowed when we reached what I guessed was exact center of the island, clutching both my arms and holding me against his chest to keep me from going any further. At the same time his hand folded across my eyes, darkening my view to nothing. I squirmed in frustration, demanding him to pull his hand away so that I could at least see where we were. But he only chuckled and walked along with me in his arms, never once lifting his hand to offer me so much as a peek at what lay ahead of our path.

The hot tropical sun had heated his skin and the humidity had dampened his clothes, making his body against mine feel so very human. I collapsed helplessly against him, a willing captive as he trapped me in his arms and walked steadily onward.

I could make out little sparkling flashes of sunlight through his fingers as he covered my eyes. His hand was squirming excitedly over my eyes as he led me forward, making me even more eager to see what he hid from me.

"Where are you taking me?" I whined, burning with curiosity. Although I trusted him, I kept my fingers at the ready, firmly poised above his hand over my eye. In the case he might slip away the slightest bit, I would at least be ready to take advantage of it.

"If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise," he said with a click of his tongue. His free hand quickly snatched my prying fingers away and held them behind my back. "Now stop trying to move my hand away," he chastised me with a dark chuckle.

I could make out the sweet songs of exotic birds in the treetops above us, and somewhere close by I could hear the steady rushing of water growing stronger by the second. I thought at first he was coming closer to the surf of the ocean, but our altitude was too high for us to be on the beach. The wind was relentless up here, whipping my hair all around my face and fluttering my skirt around my knees.

A part of me was almost nervous to guess where we were right now. The rushing of water grew louder the further he took me. It almost sounded like...

"Let me see it now!" I hissed excitedly, batting at his arm to release me. "Carlisle, please!"

His pleased laughter warmed me more than the sun. I felt his hand loosen over my eyes as he considered letting me peek. My squirming was hard for him to resist. Sensing his weakened grip, I hastily tore his hand away and leaned forward in preparation to take in whatever sight he had placed before me.

I gasped when I opened my eyes.

Together we were standing on the brink of a majestic waterfall which spilled into a crystal blue oasis nearly sixty feet below. The sight was both breathtaking and a bit frightening, even for someone indestructible like me.

"It's…indescribable," I murmured breathlessly.

"You weren't supposed to look yet," he whispered into my ear, tucking wayward tendrils of my hair behind my ear as the wind carried them out of place.

A grin broke over my face. "I couldn't resist."

I giggled nervously as I stepped forward, closer to the rocky edge of the cliff beside the rushing water. The ledge formed a crescent shape around the waterfall, creating a small lagoon at the bottom where trees bent inwards as if leaning towards the warm oasis.

As thrilling as this place was, I wanted to be down there rather than up here.

I did not fear falling over the edge, but the sight of such a steep plunge with no barrier whatsoever made me uneasy for various reminiscent reasons. The edge of any sort of cliff would never be my favorite place in the world, as wondrous as it may have been to look at from its height.

As I stared in awe down at the sight below, I could sense Carlisle bustling suspiciously around behind me.

I had the distinct impression that he was preparing to jump, and I wasn't sure that I wanted him to.

His grin was impossibly youthful, his expression spectacularly carefree; so fascinatingly out of character from the solemn, patient demeanor he usually wore. I watched in shock as he flippantly yanked off his shirt and flung it over a nearby tree branch. My stomach plummeted.

He was going to jump.

"Wait—Carlisle!" I promptly anchored myself around his arm, pulling him back before he could even move forward.

He looked back at me with a pair of wide, innocent eyes that tugged at my heartstrings.

"What do you think you're doing?" I asked, outraged but also deeply intrigued.

"Take my hand, and I'll show you," he said with his most flattering smile. He knew I could never refuse him when he was smiling at me like that. But immortal or not, I was not quite ready to jump blissfully off the edge of a cliff...again.

"I am not going to jump, if that is what you're implying," I said adamantly, trying desperately not to be swayed by the winsome grin on his face. Why did he suddenly become ten times as handsome whenever I wanted to refuse him something?

He promptly took both my hands in his and held them snugly against his bare stomach. I swallowed hard. "We can't get hurt, darling," he assured me in his softer-than-cotton bedside voice.

"I know, but—I have a bit of a problem with...cliffs," I sighed nervously, hoping he'd catch the implications.

"Even when I'm jumping off with you?" he asked softly, tilting his head down to meet my hardened gaze with a look that pulled my heart apart at the seams.

Why was I even trying to refuse him? What did he want me to do again?

"Uh huh..." I murmured incoherently, unaware that he was slyly maneuvering me closer to the edge of the waterfall. Before I knew it, I'd let him link my fingers securely within his own and wrap his hand firmly around my waist.

All that held my attention were his absorbing golden eyes as he pulled me against him, and together we fell.

It took no more than a few exquisite airborne seconds before we were under the rushing roar of the water, arms and legs tangling against each other along with the currents.

The water was crystal clear, dancing with reflections of sunlight that scattered across the sand below. While still in the sun's rays, our skin under the water cast a different sort of glimmer, more of an ethereal glow. It was diaphanous, almost iridescent, like opals instead of diamonds.

Although we could not use words beneath the water, we spoke more coherently with expression and movement. Carlisle's exhilarated smile encouraged me to follow, to trust. I knew only that my expression mirrored his, perhaps just half as radiant.

His hands snagged at my waist playfully as I attempted to surface for unnecessary breath. He pulled me down deeper where the water was bluer and the pressure greater. I was resistant at first, but his charming persistence lovingly urged me on. I knew no harm would come to me when he was there. The world under the water was breathtakingly beautiful, and he wanted to share it with me.

Tiny rainbows of fluorescent fish darted around us, oblivious to our intrusion, accommodating to our nonsense.

Carlisle tugged on my hand until I crashed softly into him, powerless to the current of the water so far beneath the surface. We acclimated to the new language of using only our eyes, our hands, and our smiles to convey our wishes. It was an easy language to learn and an even easier one to use.

In a rare reversal of roles, I loomed above him as he lay flat against the sandy floor, staring vulnerably up at me. His eyes were a brilliant, piercing yellow in the strange aquamarine light as his gaze lowered contentedly down my neck.

I looked down curiously and found that my filmy white sundress was made nearly translucent under the water.

With a teasing glare, I slapped him admonishingly across his heart and propelled myself away from him as he laughed soundlessly at my reaction.

My heart sang when I felt his hand tug gently at my foot from below me. I always wanted him to catch me.

I didn't protest when he effortlessly pulled me back into his arms and joined our lips tenderly. Our kissing was rushed, slippery and frustrating as we struggled to stay together against the currents. Carlisle pulled away before I'd had my fill and smirked gleefully at me as he swam into the cavernous space beneath the waterfall. I knew he wanted me to follow him.

Completely disregarding any danger I had perceived before, I took off after him, limbs straining to swim as fast as possible, fighting the pressure as I went deeper. I hesitated when I came to the shadowy grotto between the rocks, slightly intimidated by the endless mouth of darkness I saw inside.

Decades before, I would have been the one to drag Carlisle into a situation like this. But motherhood and years of looking after reckless children had somewhat softened my sense of adventure. Slowly but surely, Carlisle was helping me to find it again.

My eyes blinked in the dim blue water as I stared into the cave where Carlisle had disappeared. I lingered by its rocky entrance for a moment or two, then decidedly stroked my arms outward to continue swimming deeper. The water tugged me along encouragingly, becoming cooler the further I went.

Once inside the underwater cave, I saw that it wasn't as eerie and shadowy as I had thought before. Inside it was beautiful, and it only became more so the deeper I went. Dimly lit by sporadic pinpoints of sunlight that sparkled through the ceiling, and decorated with silky blue and green sea-grass, it more resembled a secret passage in the palace of Atlantis than a scary black hole.

A few meters in, I found a scrap of khaki fabric that had once been part of my husband's trousers laying amongst the rocks. I giggled inwardly as I found another, larger piece of the same fabric a few feet deeper. I began to wonder if his spontaneous stripping was intentional, leaving behind a purposeful path for me to follow.

A naughty thought came to mind as I briefly considered leaving behind an article of my own clothing for him to find. But then I remembered that I was the pursuer in this little game, and I had yet to find the one I pursued.

Soon I reached what looked to be the end of the passage. I found myself in a cramp clearing full of gleaming blue stones and tiny black angelfish that tickled my limbs as they danced around me. Amidst the overwhelming flutter of their fins, I felt a notably more intentional touch against the small of my back...a fine brush along my shoulder blade...a teasing graze on the nape of my neck.

In one swift movement, the water around me swelled as a gloriously strong pair of hands seized my waist from behind. I smiled as his fingers fluttered mercilessly across my hipbones, letting go when he knew I wanted to be held tighter.

I caught the unmistakable glint of his eyes in the shadows as he attempted to escape yet again, leading the way out of the cave. But this time he let me catch him.

The tenacious current tangled us together in an awkward, tumbling mess of limbs as we swam beneath the rushing pressure of the waterfall. I clung to him instinctively, but the current did not draw us apart, it only forced us closer against each other. Because naturally, it knew we should have been that way.

I noticed with amusement that my husband's trousers were now torn at the knees on both his legs. They had fallen loose and low on his waist now, just barely clinging to the angular valley of his sculpted pelvic bones. When his back faced me, I could make out the endearing indentations of muscle strain just above his bottom. I literally ached to free him of the fabric.

Soft, sly fingers again scampered about my midriff, but this time I taunted him right back, quickly hooking my two baby fingers around the empty belt-loops of his waistband. His eyes hooded as he looked down to find that I had him in my clutches, his lips parted beckoningly.

I would oblige him. But not just yet.

My body began to gravitate toward the sunny surface of the pool, feeling lighter and lighter as the pressure eased off of me after each layer of water I passed through. I lingered for a while in the comfortably calm few feet beneath the surface, floating under a glassy sky. I watched the clouds above billow with the ripples as I reached up and traced my fingertips across the surface of the water. It felt like I was painting the sky.

My heart gave a delighted jolt as Carlisle's gentle, teasing grip found my thighs. Hands securely beneath the skirt of my sundress, he worked his fingers boldly up the sensitive skin, and I at last let him claim me.

I fell against the divine cradle of his chest, a stiff bed of muscles cushioning me as he rose swiftly from the water. My giggles broke out in musical echoes, finally free above the surface. I laughed brokenly around his name then shrieked as he plunged back in unexpectedly, tugging me down along with him.

A silver cascade of glittering bubbles rushed upward all around us, tickling our skin relentlessly. My laughter was a watery hum beneath the water as Carlisle continued pulling, prolonging his unceasing possession of me.

I was his. Didn't he know that by now?

I took his smile between my hands and kissed it, settling back into the solid cradle of his arms. He was mine, too.

I could feel his smile growing against me while I kissed him, indulgent and giddy. His restless tugging eventually ceased, allowing us to float slowly back up to the surface. I went on kissing him as he dragged me drunkenly to the shore, collapsing beneath me on the toasty sand.

Whatever leftover clothes we still wore clung to us annoyingly – soaked, tissue-thin barriers of frustration. I took my kisses southward, straying away from his mouth to wander down his neck. My lips slipped lovingly down his throat and across the alluring lines of his chiseled chest as he squirmed restlessly under my attentions. His hands roamed beneath my dress, kneading my back as I arched willfully against him.

I distracted his lips once again as I hitched a finger around my drawers, slipping them past my legs before I climbed back onto him.

I paused then, suddenly timid because of my boldness, and I gazed into his eyes for his wordless consent before sliding the buttons of his trousers apart. I slowly worked him free, filled with a familiar fire when my fingers collided with the smooth, glistening flesh beneath.

"If we want this island to truly belong to us, we should christen it properly, don't you think?" I murmured throatily, my lips moving teasingly against his bare waist.

He groaned in agreement as I pulled his trousers down to his knees. I smiled at the sound of them tearing as he kicked them violently off. His hands wound around my hips, gentle yet firm as he lifted me up to sit astride his waist.

I could feel all of him now, hard and hot against my thigh. My neck tilted back with a blissful sigh, my eyes falling closed while the sunlight spread over my skin. My still soaking dress fanned over our hips, protecting our coupling from the prying eyes of the tropical flora and fauna that surrounded us.

My body trembled violently with unspoken love as he tenderly knifed through my feminine flesh, pushing slowly but deliberately upward, his hips lifting my entire weight with each thrust.

Each breath he uttered was clipped and desperate, but I heard the distinct note of his voice within each one. Sweet, melodious whimpers spilled from my own lips as our rhythm effortlessly accelerated. His hands traveled freely across my shoulders, sliding sensually down my breasts as he cupped them through the clinging white cotton of my dress. His fingers stroked and prodded eagerly, singling out all those places he knew would elicit chills from me.

The sun above watched us silently with its loving, heated gaze. Passing rays of light stroked our slick skin, the warmth spreading over our bodies like a heavy blanket. With each thrust, our bodies were made more pliant and giving from the scorching heat. We carried on tirelessly in our visceral embrace until we were fully melting into each other, unable to break apart for so much as a breath.

Consuming us was a thrilling orgy of sensations, from the bursting heat of the sun overhead to the sweet perfume of the tropical flowers that bloomed around us. Beside us the waterfall beat down against the rocks, showering our bodies with a cool spray of sea water. Beneath the restless dance of our hips, the quiet rhythm of sliding sand echoed our primitive tempo. I was always overcome by the feral elegance of copulating in nature, but being on a beach in an exotic island was even more magical than being in the middle of a forest at twilight.

Breathless little shrieks fled my lips one by one as a strong tide of pleasure consumed me. I collapsed over my husband with my face nestled in his neck, twisting my fingers encouragingly into his damp, sun-kissed blond locks. He purred happily beneath me, the generous vibrations prolonging our incoming waves of pleasure. I settled into stillness as his arms wound securely around my back, fastening me to his body.

Coated in a sheen of salty water and sunlight, I felt truly as if were just a pair of humans, basking in the pleasant exhaustion that followed vigorous lovemaking.

Minutes passed by in contented silence until Carlisle finally spoke.

"I wasn't expecting that," he admitted languidly.

I managed a cunning little laugh in response.

I was.

I hugged my husband possessively, pushing him further into the hot sand as I laced my legs with his. After just several hours of exploring my island, I already felt a deliciously deep connection with the beautiful land. If every day I spent here went exactly as this day had, I would be a very happy wife.

Vaguely I wondered how Carlisle would ever get me to leave this place.