The Curse Is Broken

Summary: Bella's birthday has always been cursed: on her 30th, she's sick with the flu. Can Edward kiss it and make it all better? An AH story about the gift of playing doctor. Canon pairings, rated M.

Disclaimer: Stephanie Meyer owns Twilight, and all the benefits that accrue from the creation of her fascinating universe. I, on the other hand, own some Theraflu, a drawer full of mismatched birthday candles, and a curse of my own. Lucky for me, I also have a husband whose attentions on my last curseday inspired this tale. I therefore begrudge Ms. Meyer nothing.

My birthday is cursed.

I've never been a big fan of birthdays anyway, what with the attention and the forced frivolity and the crowds. I never know what to say when I open a gift, even when it's something I love, and I absolutely hate having my picture taken. For an only child who lives in her closed-off mind, birthdays are an absolute nightmare.

Don't even get me started on that time Renee hired a clown. Clowns are evil.

But the real trouble started on my 18th birthday, when Alice decided to throw the disaster-that-won't-be-discussed. That's the year I realized my birthday wasn't just an annoyance on my calendar, but an actual cursed date. I don't even remember exactly what I said that set Jasper off, but I've never seen the man lash out so violently. Whatever it was, I certainly didn't mean to give Alice a "paper cut to her soul." It's nice that he's so protective of her – crazy emotional, but nice.

Unfortunately, my 18th was only the beginning.

For my 20th, Edward decided to surprise me with a visit. Being separated by the entire country during our college years was hard, but we were making it work. He came home for holidays, and we had the summers together. I went to New Hampshire every Spring Break.

Ever been to New Hampshire in April? Miserable. Thank goodness we never felt the urge to leave his apartment.

But even with emails and texts and Skype sexing, we missed each other terribly. Some weeks we barely noticed, both of us being so busy with our studies and activities, but the ache was especially acute at the beginning of each fall semester. After seeing each other every day for almost three months, being apart in September was the worst. So my romantic boyfriend decided to fly in and surprise me for the "dawn of my new decade." He even blew off a soccer game, a real no-no when you're the captain and starting center.

And it snowed. In September.

It sounds crazy, but snow isn't all that unusual in New Hampshire, even in September. The ski resorts are usually open because there's often snow in the higher elevations, sometimes as early as Labor Day. But Edward was flying out from the city of Manchester, not from the mountains. And the storm hit just as his plane taxied to the runway. Not just any storm, but a blizzard, with whiteout conditions. He was stuck in his coach seat for 10 hours.

The toilets overflowed. The babies screamed. And the flight attendants ran out of pretzels and soda after hour three. Needless to say, Edward didn't make it to Seattle that weekend.

See what I mean? Cursed.

For my 21st, Alice and Rosalie agreed that I needed to take the traditional "bar crawl." Being Alice and Rosalie, they decreed that we make the crawl in stilettos, and that our goal for the night was to "see who gets hit on the most." First mistake. We started at the College Inn Pub so that we could have food in our systems to soak up all the alcohol, and I chose the vegetarian nachos. Mistake number two. Then we ambled down University Way, hitting a bar every block or so and never paying for a single drink, but imbibing heavily. I was having so much fun, I rivaled both of my gorgeous friends in the "hit on" contest, and that's really saying something. I didn't know it at the time, but getting so loose was definitely my third mistake. Drunk doesn't help the uncoordinated. We ended up at Earl's On the Ave., with their famous, notoriously strong Long Island Iced Teas, and James bought my third.

James. Epic mistake number four. I should have run screaming the moment he approached me, but hindsight is twenty-twenty. Not that I could see anything but a blur by then.

I followed him outside to share a smoke (that's how drunk I was; I never smoke), and the next thing I knew, I woke up in the hospital with a pumped stomach, three broken ribs, and an immobilized left leg due to a compound fracture. From what I've been able to piece together, James tried to kiss me, and I backed up too fast, slipped on the stupid heels I was wearing, smacked my head against a wall, and then regurgitated nachos and alcohol all over James. When I fell, I pulled him down on top of me; hence, the broken ribs and the fracture. Apparently he landed on my leg in just the right way, his elbow snapping my bone like he had super-strength or something.

Someone named Laurent captured the whole thing on his camera phone. You can find it on YouTube: search "Drunk Girl Bites the Big One."

Fair warning: It's pretty gross.

After that, no one threw me a party per se, but you know the Cullens - no birthday can pass without attention. The curse lost some of its potency, but it was still there. On my 22nd, the cake collapsed. Well, not so much collapsed - more like it imploded. Who knew that strawberries in the center of chocolate-fudge batter leads to destruction? Not Alice, that's for sure. The store-bought cake Rosalie purchased for my 23rd held up: too bad the same couldn't be said for my gifts. Thirty straight days of rain led to a leak in her closet's ceiling, and … a shame, really. I think I would have liked that stereo for my truck. All I can get is AM radio, and sports talk really isn't my thing.

No one got a chance to do anything for my 24th birthday; Edward and I were on our honeymoon. I wish I could apologize to the people of Brazil for the freak hurricane.

My 25th? Food poisoning. At least Edward was on the ER rotation of his residency, so I got to see him, although I'm not sure he appreciated the visit. My 26th? Lightening strike; too bad about that lasagna I had in the oven. My 27th? Flash explosion in a brand-new camera. Jasper said I shouldn't worry about his scars.

My 28th birthday? My baby shower – fucking brilliant planning, Alice. Can't even go there.

My 29th? Oh my poor baby - who knew that the curse could be passed down? Carlie slipped on some wrapping paper while trying to walk for the very first time and fell face-first into the doorjamb. Six stitches. Carlisle says she's lucky: as she grows, the scar will recede into her hairline, making it almost invisible. If only the scar on my psyche could be erased so easily.

Which brings us to today, my 30th birthday. Another "decade year." Heaven help us.

I've done everything I can. Esme and Carlisle are babysitting all day and all night, keeping my precious girl as far from me as possible. Alice and Rosalie sent ecards and emailed gift certificates, all of which I'm not even looking at until tomorrow. The oven is off, the toaster unplugged, the car stationary in the garage. Edward refuses to stay away, although I begged him to just take an extra shift at the hospital. Instead he took vacation time, and we're supposed to cuddle up together in bed all day. He says we can ward off the evil by pulling the covers over our heads. Stubborn ass. He should have known.

I'm sick. The flu. Happy fucking birthday to me.

Being married to a doctor can be a real pain in the ass, but when I'm sick, I'm beyond grateful. With a track record like mine, is it any surprise that I avoid doctors' offices and hospitals like the plague? Even when I have the plague? I've seen enough mint green, pseudo-soothing walls and lain on enough paper-covered camp beds to last me a lifetime. Barring a near-death situation (or a compound fracture of the tibia), I'm perfectly content letting Edward diagnose and treat me in the comfort of our home.

And as an interesting side effect, being sick makes me concupiscent. Maybe it's a reaction to the low-grade fever. Maybe it's all those early years spent playing doctor together, before he actually became one. Or maybe it's the meds. Whatever the cause, when I'm just the right amount of sick – too ill to get out of bed, but not completely incapacitated – my libido spikes. I get hot, and then I get HOT. Edward never seems to mind.

Today is no exception.

He brings me steaming, lemon-flavored Theraflu with honey; iced tea; chicken noodle soup and buttered bread. He gently places a cool cloth on my forehead, and he rubs Vicks into my chest. He fluffs my pillows; he massages my feet. He inserts the Pride and Prejudice DVD into the player (Colin Firth, sigh), props himself up on some pillows next to me, and starts to read, those adorkable, black-rimmed reading glasses resting low on his nose. What have I ever done to deserve him?

The medicine makes me feel limpid, loose, and a touch silly. On screen, Colin rips off his white shirt and dives into the lake. I stretch and hum and roll, rubbing my foot on Edward's calf, snaking my hand under the bottom of his shirt. I lay my head on his shoulder and run one finger under the waistband of his pajama pants, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. He looks down at me over those glasses, a half-smile on his face.

"Bella, honey? What are you doing?" he asks, turning slightly and placing his book on the bedside table.

"What does it look like I'm doing?" I say, my voice husky and throaty from the cold and the lust. I move my hand upward and pinch his nipple. Snuggling in closer, I kiss over his shoulder and up his neck.

He rolls toward me onto his side, propping his head up with one hand and running the other down my back. He leans down and kisses me, and his kisses are soft and lazy. He captures my mouth with his, and his mouth is thorough. Top lip. Bottom lip. Together. Closed. Open. Over and over and over again, until I'm completely breathless. His hand moves up my spine until it's tangled in the hair at the back of my neck, where it scratches and massages and pulls just slightly. Our foreheads touch, and we're both heaving. I reach up and gently pull his glasses off, stretching behind me and tossing them away.

"I actually had some special plans for today," he whispers, "but I'm not sure about them now. You're sick, baby, and …." His words trail off into a groan as I extend my hand further down and grasp him. I slide up and down slowly, sucking on his earlobe to the same rhythm.

"It's still my birthday," I breathe into his ear. "Can I ask for one thing?"

"Anything, love, you know that," he grunts into my neck, where he's buried his face, kissing and sucking and nipping. "What do you want?"

"Fuck me, Edward," I beg.

He hisses, and I feel him twitch in my hand. Then it's as if a switch has been flipped, and he's in fast forward. He rolls me onto my back and himself on top of me; he takes firm hold of my ass and lifts, grinding into me, while his other hand pulls harder at my hair, tilting my head up to meet his hard, demanding kiss. He plunges his tongue into my mouth, thrusting it in and out in time with the movement of his hips.

He pulls me upright and frantically rips the nightshirt over my head. As he lowers me back down, he kisses and sucks and licks a path from my mouth to my neck to my chest, ending on my breast. He teases my nipple with his tongue, and I whimper and writhe. His hand ghosts down my torso with frustrating, feather-light touches, and then he bites down on my peak, tears off my underwear, and plunges a finger into me. I gasp and arch and moan; my hips undulate, begging for more.

"So you want me to fuck you, Bella?" he groans into my ear. "Is that what you want? Far be it for me to disappoint my love on her birthday. I'm gonna make you come so hard, you won't remember your name. I'm gonna fuck you so hard, you won't be able to leave this bed. You better hold on," he growls, and then he dives between my legs, spreading me wide open and plunging his tongue into me.

I prop myself up on my elbows, and he stares into my eyes as he fucks me with his tongue. Just the vision of him between my thighs, looking up as he devours me, makes me shake with need. My breath catches and my head falls back as he moves up to tease my clit, and I feel his long, long fingers enter me. I'm all sensation as he hums and sucks and moves and pumps, and I'm getting closer and closer. I can't stop lifting and grinding myself onto him, and then he adds another finger and strokes me with his tongue and slams his fingers in and out, in and out, in and out, and suddenly I'm quivering and pulsing and screaming his name.

I'm sensitive and trying to pull away, but his arm comes up and pushes my hips down. His tongue is pressing, pressing, pressing, and I feel the bed tilt. And then … oh my God, what is that? I hear a buzzing just before … oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. The vibrations are inside me, thrusting, thrusting, thrusting, and fuck, WHAT IS THAT? I'm panting as I look down and see him driving something into me as he licks and sucks, and I don't even have time to question before he changes the angle, and FUUUUCCCKK. It's vibrating and pulsating and turning and lunging and hitting me right THERE, right THERE, over and over and over and over, and it's never been like this; I've never felt this, and I'm rising and rising and rising and yes, yes, YES, YES, YES, YES. I feel like I'm collapsing inside from the aftershocks as I shiver and tremble and quake.

I stare at my husband, wide-eyed, as he bends down and kisses me. "Edward, what was THAT?" I breathe.

"Just a little surprise," he whispers as he kisses my eyelids, my cheeks, my throat. "I wanted my girl to have every kind of pleasure possible," he says, grinning down at my stunned expression.

"And I'm nowhere near done," he growls, as he flips me over onto my stomach.

He pushes my knees higher on the bed, opening me up further, and then he plunges into me, hard and fast and tight. He grabs my hips and pounds in and out, and I lift to meet him. I grip the headboard as he takes me, strong and throbbing and feral; he bends over and tangles his hand with mine, his breath panting onto the skin of my back. I feel his other hand snake around my hip, and then the vibrations return, slipping and sliding right above where we're joined, and I scream his name. He drives into me, harder, harder, harder, and he moves the toy in time with his thrusts, right there, right there, right there, right there. I turn my head and kiss and lick and suck every part of him I can reach. I'm out of my head with desire, wanting him to stay inside of me, just stay, just stay, please just stay. I can't breathe. I can't stand it. So good, so good. He thrusts faster, and I tighten and wail, and I'm coming, and coming, and coming. "Fuck, Bella!" he shouts as he slams into me, hard, and then stills and shakes and huffs out his release.

We collapse onto the cool, white sheets, and neither of us moves. My vision clears; my chest heaves. I'm limp and languorous, dazed and dumbstruck. Edward rolls off of me and splays out on the other side of the bed; I scooch over and drape myself onto him. We're a sweaty, exhausted, winded mess. I've never felt so alive. I close my eyes and drift off.

I wake to kisses running down my back. Smiling and stretching, I turn and capture Edward's lips with mine. I'm flushed and sniffling and aching; my head is full, and my throat is scratchy.

I've never felt better.

"Your bath is ready," my gorgeous husband says. "C'mon, sickie – let's get you cleaned up." And then he carries me to the tub and lowers me into the bubbles. The lights are off, and he has candles burning all around. Nat King Cole croons "The Very Thought of You" through the speakers.

Sometimes I wonder if my husband is even real.

He returns, carrying a glass of ice water in one hand and a smoking mug in the other. "Time for more medicine, love," he says, lowering the drinks onto the bathtub's ledge. "Can I get you anything else? I'll have dinner ready in an hour or so. Wedding soup and grilled cheese okay?"

"That's perfect, Edward. Thank you. You're too good to me," I affirm, blowing on my Hot Lemon, feeling beyond content.

"Nothing's too good for my girl," he states. And he clearly means it.

"I love you," I call as he turns to go. He throws me my favorite grin, winks, and leaves.

After dinner, gifts (I told him not to get me anything, but he just can't help himself – pretty sure I'll enjoy Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, though), a cupcake with a single candle and a round of slow, sweet, gentle lovemaking, I snuggle into bed for the night. As my eyelids droop and I ease into slumber, a thought flashes through my head like a shot of espresso to the brain. I look at the alarm clock on my bedside table, and I marvel. It's 12:10 a.m.

My birthday is over. The curse is broken.

Seems all it took was an orgasm. Or five.

A very happy birthday to me. Can't wait for the next thirty.