Disclaimer: All characters belong to their respective owners. The author of this story in no way profits from its use or distribution.
Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end.
"What do you think?" I asked, turning in front of the mirror so everyone could see.
We all laughed as my mother berated Bella for her comment. She couldn't help her smile as she said it, though. I knew she found it sweet.
I stared at myself in my bedroom mirror and tilted my head to the side, examining the neckline of my dress.
The whole thing was lace with cap sleeves and a v-shaped neckline. A small gold strip of satin accentuated the bust and brought the whole piece together.
Alice had scoffed at me of course. Satin was the fabric of choice right now. In her mind nothing else would do.
I had to have my lace dress, though. It reminded me of my grandmother's. I grew up imagining myself getting married in her beautiful Victorian lace gown, but it was destroyed in a house fire when I was a teenager.
This dress, however, was a perfect representation, altered slightly to keep me comfortable in the heat. The minute I saw it I knew it was mine. Several quick alterations were done and now I stood in the dress I would pledge myself to Carlisle in.
It was rather unassuming, all things considered. Church weddings were rare nowadays. There was neither time nor resources for them. My family had the money, but I didn't want anything grand at all. It would be a small affair with family and close friends, and we would have a brief dinner at the house afterwards.
Short and simple.
Exactly the way I wanted it.
Frankly, now that it was here I barely cared about the wedding itself. All I wanted was to be Carlisle's wife.
Half of me wanted to put on my nicest suit, grab Carlisle and run to the courthouse to get married that way. The other half of me knew it would break my mother's heart not to see me walk down that aisle.
"Are you nervous?" Rose asked.
I shook my head. "Not at all."
"Really?" She sounded shocked. "The wedding's tomorrow!"
"Why should she be nervous?" Alice asked. "They've been ready for this day for a long time."
"Because weddings are terrifying," Rose answered. "I felt sick before mine."
I smiled. I wouldn't deny some nerves, but really I was just anxious for the ceremony to be here. I couldn't wait to stand up in front of my family and friends and bind my life to Carlisle's forever.
I also couldn't wait to see him in his full dress uniform.
I grinned and trailed my finger along the neckline of the dress.
"Okay," I said. "I think I'm ready to take it off now."
Rose stepped forward to help me out of it. "It's not like you won't be wearing it again in twenty-four hours."
We all laughed.
"So what are your plans for your last night of freedom?" Alice asked.
"Nothing," I replied, barely keeping a straight face. "Absolutely nothing."
"Are you sure you want to marry me? I can't even make a decent lei."
"It's a good thing I'm not marrying you for your necklace making skills," I said, examining Carlisle's handiwork. It really was awful, but I would wear it proudly.
I lay on the ground, my head in his lap, looking up at the stars. We were in the small clearing behind my parents' house, far enough into the trees not to be seen but not far enough to block out the stars.
"I wish we could stay out here all night," I said, reaching up to take his hand.
"Just think, beautiful, after tomorrow we'll have every night to spend together. And we won't even have to sneak out."
I laughed and rubbed his arm where it was draped across my chest.
"You think you can wait one more night?"
He shook his head. "No. But I've waited for you for months. I guess one more night won't kill me."
I grinned and kissed his palm. It was a miracle we had pulled off this night at all. Despite it being customary for the bride and groom not to see each other the day before the wedding I never had any intention of staying away from Carlisle.
I still couldn't believe we would be married in the morning. It seemed like a dream.
"Yes, my beautiful?"
"What happens after the reception tomorrow?"
"It's a secret, love."
"But I hate secrets. Please tell me?"
He shook his head and smiled down at me, rubbing his thumb along my jaw. "No, ma'am. You'll have to wait and see."
I sat up and moved so that I straddled Carlisle's lap. I ran my hands down his chest, grinning mischievously.
"Are you sure I have to wait and see? Couldn't I have a little preview?"
"A preview, huh?" He leaned forward and kissed me softly. "What kind of a preview did you have in mind?"
I smirked and laid us down flat on the ground, leaning in to kiss along his neck.
"The kind that makes you tell me what you're planning."
"I see. Well, Esme, it's going to take a lot of convincing to get me to let go of my surprise."
"Then I would say it's a very good thing I have all night."
I sighed happily as his hands came up around my waist and rolled me over so we faced each other.
"I thought we were waiting till tomorrow," he teased.
I stuck my bottom lip out in a pout. "But-"
He grinned and interrupted me with a kiss. "It won't kill you to be surprised, Esme."
"It might," I said. "And then what would you do?"
"Turn into a miserable old hermit."
"Would you live in a cave in the mountains?"
He nodded. "Of course."
"Well, we can't have that now, can we? So, see, you really must tell me."
He shook his head. "It's not going to work, darling. I like watching you squirm too much. I think I'll keep my secret."
"Do you at least promise I'll love it?"
"You really will, Esme. I promise."
"How long do you have leave?"
"Just tomorrow night."
I frowned. I suspected that would be the case, but I didn't have to be happy about it. Was it so wrong to want to lie in bed with my husband all day the morning after our wedding?
"It's the war, sweetheart," he said softly. "You know they can't give me anymore time."
I nodded. "I know."
"I don't want to talk about things that worry you anymore. I can't stand to see you sad on the night before our wedding."
I laid my head on his chest and played with the buttons on his shirt.
"I just want to stay here with you a little while longer," I said. "We won't get any peace and quiet tomorrow. I want to enjoy it now."
I felt his fingers run through my hair as his chest hummed beneath me. Tomorrow we would be husband and wife, but tonight we would simply be two lovers lying in the moonlight with no worries at all about what the next day would bring.
"There. You're finished."
I turned to look at myself in the mirror as my mother lowered my veil over my eyes. I had worn the dress twice before, but now, on the morning of my wedding, with the veil in place and my fiancé waiting for me, the effect was even more stunning.
"Thank you, Mother," I said, turning around and throwing my arms around her.
She uttered a soft "oh" before gently hugging me, careful not to disturb my dress.
"I love you, my precious girl," she said. "I'm so proud of you. You deserve everything Carlisle can give you and so much more."
"I love you, Mom."
"I love you too, Esme. Now, your father is waiting outside. Should I send him in? It's almost time."
I nodded. "Yes, please."
She walked to the door and blew me a kiss, making me laugh. Several moments later my father stepped in. I could tell he was trying not to get emotional, but that would never last. Watching his little girl get married was bound to make him cry.
"You look so beautiful, princess."
I blushed and looked down.
"Now, you're sure he's the one? It's not too late you know."
I laughed. I knew he was teasing. "He's the one. I know it."
"I know, Esme. He's perfect for you. He'll make you happy. It makes an old man proud to give his daughter away, but at the same time I'm sad that you don't need me anymore."
My eyes watered instantly.
"I need you for something, Daddy."
I rushed to my purse and pulled out the simple silver chain. While dress shopping with the girls, I'd made it clear that I didn't want any jewelry - much to Alice's disdain - but it was because I was planning this.
On this day, this chain was just for me.
I held it out to my father, and he looked at it for a moment before nodding slowly and motioning for me to turn around. I watched in the mirror as he clasped the necklace behind me. It fell perfectly against my chest.
The heart shaped locket Charles had given me when he enlisted and my engagement ring.
"It didn't feel right," I whispered. "Not having some part of him with me today."
"He'll always be with you, Esme," my father said. "And I bet he'd be damn proud to see you marry Carlisle today."
I nodded, the tears filling my eyes. "I've thought a lot about the irony. They would probably have been the best of friends."
"I agree. And that's why I know he's proud of you, baby. He's with you today. Don't think for a moment he's not here."
I fingered the ring that lay against my neck and looked at the one that adorned my finger.
I had lived another life once, but that was gone now. Today I would start my next one. If such a thing as fate existed I knew everything that had happened brought me to this day for a reason.
After adding the lei Carlisle had made for me the night before I was finally prepared to walk down that aisle and become his wife.
"It's time now, sweetheart. We've got a wedding to attend."
I laughed and linked my arm through my father's. When we exited the room, Rose, Alice, Bella, and little Bree were all there waiting for us. My three best friends were acting as my bridesmaids. I wasn't particular at all about the arrangements for my wedding and we didn't bother with getting them matching dresses. They each wore their nicest suits, and they looked beautiful.
Bree was dressed up in her Sunday best and would be acting as my flower girl. She had been running around Honolulu for a week telling anyone who would listen all about her important duty.
Now that the day was here I could hardly believe she wasn't trying to run down the aisle already, throwing rose petals at everyone.
"Ready?" Rose asked.
I nodded, gripping my father's arm.
"I think she was ready weeks ago," Bella said with a laugh.
The procession music began and Bree took off down the aisle of the church, her basket swinging at her side. I was almost sad that I stood off to the side and couldn't watch her.
My nerves increased with each moment that went by as each of my friends made their way to the front of the church. I couldn't wait to see Carlisle. I was willing to bet he was feeling just as anxious as I was. That thought made me grin, but by the time my father and I rounded the doorway and I caught my first glimpse of him, my grin spread into the biggest smile of my life.
He looked like an angel.
I knew it was an absurdly cliché thought, but standing there at the front of the church under the sunlight in his white dress uniform he looked like he was sent straight from heaven.
Our eyes met and my smile widened even more. He was grinning like a schoolboy who had just been kissed on the playground. I wanted to laugh, but it wouldn't have been very proper.
When we reached the altar my father placed my hand in Carlisle's and moved to sit beside my mother. Edward winked at me from his wheelchair behind Carlisle, and Emmett stood behind him.
My fingers linked with Carlisle's easily as we turned to face the priest.
I barely heard a word of the ceremony. The rush of emotions I was experiencing was nearly overwhelming. I could feel the unshed tears of happiness in my eyes, and after we were pronounced man and wife, and Carlisle turned to lift my veil, one tear finally rolled down my cheek.
He captured it easily on the tip of his finger and smiled.
"I love you, Esme," he whispered before stepping forward to kiss me for the first time as my husband.
His lips met mine for a brief moment, but the promise behind the kiss was forever. No matter what happened we would always have each other.
When we turned and faced our family and friends the first thing I saw was my parents smiling proudly at me. My mother briefly squeezed my hand as we walked by, and it wasn't until everyone was outside that she fell apart and cried into my shoulder about how happy she was.
Carlisle just laughed along with Edward at her display before we loaded into the cars that would take us back to the house.
When we arrived at my parents' house everything was set up already for the small reception. I had given instructions that no one was to make a fuss over us, but this small party was the least we could do to show our family and friends how grateful we were.
Rose ushered me upstairs to change out of my wedding dress and into the shorter, cotton dress I would wear for the rest of the day. It was strapless, with a thin black belt around the waist and eyelet detail around the bottom. It was the perfect dress for summertime and I knew Carlisle wouldn't be able to take his eyes off it.
"Wow," Alice said, walking into the room. "That's more beautiful than the wedding dress was."
Rose and I gaped at her. Alice was the queen of high fashion. She would walk around in ball gowns all day like she was Tallulah Bankhead if she could.
"I thought you wouldn't want her out of that dress for the rest of the day," Rose said.
"Well it is an amazing dress, despite being so old-fashioned. But this one is just so… Esme." She fingered the fabric for a moment before looking up at me. "You glow."
I smiled at her while Rose adjusted the pins in my hair. "Thank you, Alice. You know how much that means to me."
Rose disappeared into my closet and came back out holding a thin white box. She smiled mischievously before handing it to me.
"Rose, you know you didn't have to get my anything," I protested.
"Oh, hush you, and open it up here before we go back downstairs. Besides, it's not really for you."
I narrowed my eyes at her but sat down on the bed, reaching for the box. Alice was bouncing on the balls of her feet as I opened it and pulled out a magnificent white peignoir set with a black satin tie around the waist.
"Rose," I gasped. "How in the world did you get this?"
"A magician never reveals her secrets," she replied. "Now you see what I meant by saying it wasn't really for you. It's more for Carlisle's benefit."
I laughed loudly before hugging her. "It's beautiful, Rose. Thank you."
A gentle knock on the doorframe alerts us to Bella's presence.
"People are starting to arrive."
"Oh. Well, I guess we better go down there now."
Bella laughed. "I was sure you would be flying down those stairs just to see your husband if nothing else."
My husband. Oh how I loved those words.
We walked downstairs to find a few people already in the sitting room, drinking wine and visiting with my father.
"Where's Carlisle?" I asked Edward, who was wheeling down the hall toward us.
"In the kitchen. I think he's been hiding until you were ready."
I grinned as I made my way through the dining room. When I reached the kitchen I saw him leaning against the counter, wearing the simple suit he had changed into and eating a sandwich.
"Baby, we have plenty of food on the veranda. You didn't need to make yourself something."
"I didn't," he said. "Bella made it for me. I guess I needed something heavy to settle my nerves."
I stepped between his legs and slipped my arms around his waist, kissing him briefly.
"Why are you nervous? We're already married."
"I know. It just all caught up with me finally. We're really married."
"And how does it feel?"
"Like the most amazing feeling in the world," he replied between kisses.
"Would you two like to skip the reception and have some time alone now?"
I spun around to see Edward smirking at us from the doorway.
"Hush," I told him. "I'm allowed to kiss my husband if I want to."
"Yes, well, if I hadn't interrupted who knows what the next person who walked in here might have seen."
"Oh, stop teasing me," I said, throwing a cracker at him.
He just laughed and wheeled back out of the room before I could hurl anymore food in his direction.
I looked back at Carlisle to see him smiling softly at me.
"What?" I asked.
He shook his head. "Nothing. That dress is so beautiful, Esme. I love it on you."
I twirled around, making him laugh. "I knew you would like it. It's also not the last surprise I have for you today."
He groaned, pulling me back into his arms. "Don't say things like that or we really will give whoever walks in here next quite a show.
I laughed. "Oh, Carlisle, stop it.
"Come on, sweetheart," he said, taking my hand. "It's our wedding reception. We should probably put in an appearance, before I decide to take you away and keep you all to myself."
I pouted. "That sounds like a better plan. I don't want to share you either."
Before we could even decide whether to sneak out of our own party my mother waltzed through the door and decided for us.
"What are you two doing hiding in here? Everyone's been wondering where you are. Now come on, out onto the veranda with you."
She shooed us out the door to where everyone sat around a large table that was laid out with tasteful decorations and my mother's best china. I knew Alice helped her with the minimal decorations, and she had done a wonderful job of keeping everything low-key like I wanted.
We took our seats in the middle of the table with Rose and Emmett on one side and Alice on the other. Edward and Bella sat at the end because of Edward's wheelchair. I felt awful having him so far away, but he raised his glass to me and winked so I knew he was okay.
Once everyone was seated, my father stood up and cleared his throat. I wanted to bury my face in my hands. No matter how old I got it was always possible for me to be embarrassed by my father.
"When Esme first introduced her mother and me to Carlisle it was on the tarmac at Hickham. Not exactly a conventional setting to meet your daughter's future husband." Everyone laughed. "That first meeting was all the proof I needed that Carlisle and my daughter belonged together. I'll tell a brief story about how I knew, and then we can all eat. You see, right after introducing us as the doctor who had mended her injured hand, little Bree came running up to Carlisle with a flower to put in Esme's hair. Watching the way he interacted with my niece and seeing the way he looked at my daughter sealed the deal for me. Esme had experiencedsuch a turbulent change in her life, and I know we were all thrilled to see her regain some happiness."
I fingered the necklace I was still wearing, lost in thought as he continued.
"I don't think she even realized what was happening to her, but those of us around her could see that she and Carlisle were destined to fall in love. And now here we are, and I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm hungry so let's say a quick blessing for this marriage and eat this food."
My mother smacked him on the back of the head while the rest of us laughed.
Dinner went smoothly with everyone talking and laughing as though there wasn't a care in the world. It was exactly the wedding day I had always dreamed of.
Edward and Emmett both brought out guitars after everyone had eaten, and Carlisle grinned as he led me to the middle of the veranda. Being in his arms it was possible to forget that anyone else was there. We were surrounded by other couples but so far removed from it all at the same time.
My husband's eyes were soft as he gazed at me, but his smile was bright.
"You're too beautiful," he whispered.
"It's because I'm married to you," I told him.
He smirked. "I married the prettiest girl in Honolulu."
"Just Honolulu?" I asked, arching an eyebrow.
"The world," he answered, closing the distance between us and covering my mouth with his.
The sun was beginning to set as we danced and kissed and laughed. I had such an enjoyable afternoon I didn't want it to end, but I knew everyone would need to leave soon. The sundown curfew was still heavily enforced.
Carlisle and I broke apart so that I could go upstairs and retrieve the things I would need. He still refused to tell me where I was spending my wedding night, but I knew it wasn't the house I grew up in.
After thanking and saying goodbye to our guests, we enjoyed one last drink with my family and best friends before rushing to Carlisle's car to get wherever it was we were going before the MP began their patrols.
"Now will you tell me where we're going?"
"I've held out on you this long, Esme. You think I'm going to cave now?"
I folded my arms across my chest and pouted.
"I might make you sleep on the couch tonight."
He laughed. "No, ma'am. I'm sleeping nowhere but in a bed with you in my arms."
The drive into downtown Honolulu seemed shorter than normal. In no time at all Carlisle stopped the car along a curb, and I gasped when I looked up.
"Carlisle, you did not."
"Oh, I assure you I did."
"This is the nicest hotel in the city. On the island even. In all of Hawaii!"
"Anything for my beautiful wife," he said, coming to stand beside me.
He slipped his arm around my shoulder as we approached the desk, and he got the keys for the room he had reserved. Once we were upstairs he unlocked the door to the grandest hotel room I could imagine. I had certainly seen nice ones before while visiting family on the mainland, and even some that rivaled this in size, but knowing that this was where I would spend my wedding night made it the most perfect room that could have existed.
I walked to the window on the far side of the room. I could see everything. All of Honolulu, the bay, even the ships in dock at Pearl. I could see it all.
Carlisle came up behind me and slipped his arms around my waist.
"Isn't it beautiful?" I asked quietly.
"Not half as beautiful as you."
His lips ducked to my shoulder and he kissed a path up to my jaw. I shivered at the contact. It wasn't like we hadn't been intimate before, but this was so much different. There would be so much more tonight.
I turned around in his arms and my lips found his. It was the deepest kiss we had shared all day. He cupped my face in both his hands as my back was pressed into the window and my arms circled his neck. I didn't even care if people on the street could see us. Not that there was likely to be anyone down there anyway.
I melted into his touch as his thumb rubbed gentle circles along my jaw while we kissed. I wanted to drown in him. Nothing else existed now. There would be nothing but us until the harsh light of morning brought life's realities crashing down on us.
I refused to think about that. I had my husband, and he was apparently quite anxious to get me into bed. I couldn't say that I blamed him. I had been anticipating this for months now.
"I should let you get ready… Or whatever it is ladies do," he said when we finally separated.
I laughed softly. "Yes. I told you earlier this dress wasn't your last surprise."
"I love where this is going, beautiful."
"I'm sure you do," I said before disappearing into the oversized bathroom.
I sat down at the vanity and removed the pins from my hair and brushed it out so that it cascaded over my shoulders in gentle waves. I knew Carlisle would love that. Once I had changed into the gown Rose bought for me, I stood back to look at myself in the mirror.
I hardly recognized the woman staring back at me. She couldn't stop smiling, and she absolutely radiated happiness. She was married and she was in love.
I turned to go to my husband but paused with my hand on the doorknob. I looked back over my shoulder at the necklace that was resting on the vanity. I smiled, thinking how proud Charles would be if he could see me. I knew my father was right about that. He was watching over me as I began my new life.
A life I couldn't wait to start.
I walked out of the bathroom to find Carlisle lounging on the bed, both arms behind his head, eyes closed, looking completely relaxed. His coat and tie had been removed and he had undone the first few buttons of his shirt.
He had never looked more gorgeous than he did in that moment. Not even in his dress uniform during the ceremony.
When he opened his eyes his jaw dropped, making me want to laugh.
He breathed out slowly, shaking his head in amazement. "Which one of them deserves the thank you note?"
He lifted his arms and beckoned for me to come to him. I settled myself on the bed beside him, loving the way his arms closed around me while his hand went into my hair.
"I'll need to send her a gift," he whispered against my jaw.
"I take it you like it?"
"I love it, Esme. Almost as much as I love you."
He kissed a path along my jaw, and I tilted my head to the side to give him better access as his lips trailed down my neck.
"Lie back," he whispered.
I settled further into the pillows so that I was on my back and Carlisle stretched out next to me, never removing his lips from my skin. My fingers wove into his hair as one of his legs found its way between mine and his fingers teased the edge of my gown.
"Are you nervous?" he whispered against my skin.
"Not even a little bit."
He looked up and smiled when our eyes met. "You are too perfect, Mrs. Cullen."
Mrs. Cullen. I loved the way that sounded.
"I need you, Doctor Cullen," I said. "Right now."
He groaned. "So do I, Esme. So do I."
He hovered above me as our lips met. My fingers deftly worked each button of his dress shirt, and I slipped it off his shoulders, tossing it to the floor. The soft glow of the lamplight made him look like an angel. His blonde hair sat like a halo, but his smile was entirely too devilish.
He sat back on his legs and unbuckled his pants while I watched, desperate for what awaited me.
Without thinking I reached over and rubbed my hand over his obvious erection.
He let his head fall back and sighed. "Esme, that feels too good," he whispered.
"There's no such thing, Carlisle. No such thing at all."
He chuckled and slipped his pants all the way off, letting them join his shirt on the floor. I loved plain white boxers. They left nothing at all to the imagination.
"I want to see you," he said, returning his lips to my neck and dragging them down my chest until they reached the top of my gown.
I pulled myself out of his arms, earning a soft "no" from my husband's lips.
"You wanted to see me," I told him as I stood beside the bed, holding the sash that tied my gown.
He held his breath as he watched me, his entire face filled with need. It was an incredible sight. The anticipation was killing him.
I slowly pulled the sash and let the gown fall to the floor, never taking my eyes away from my husband's. His eyes widened as they traveled over me. I wore absolutely nothing under my gown and was now completely bare before him.
He immediately pulled me back onto the bed and into the circle of his arms. The crisp material of his shirt felt amazing against my bare skin, but I couldn't wait to get it off him. I frantically pulled on the ends of his shirt while we kissed.
"In a hurry, are we?"
I nodded. "Need… you… please."
He pulled back just long enough to pull the plain white t-shirt over his head, and now sat beside me in nothing but his boxers. I ran my hand slowly up and down the smooth skin of his chest, marveling at its perfection. My fingers traced each line of his abdomen while his teased circles across my skin, reaching higher and higher until finally he came to my breast.
Without a word he pulled me across him so that I settled into his lap with my legs on either side of his. I was aching with need and the obvious effect I had on him only strengthened my desire for him.
"Sit up higher," he said, pulling me to him so that my chest was level with his face.
One strong hand steadied my back as he lowered his mouth to my breast, gently teasing my nipple. I sucked in a breath and shuddered.
"Does that feel good?" he asked.
"So good," I said.
I gazed down at him, running my fingers through his hair as he lavished attention on my chest. He kissed his way up my chest and over my shoulder before settling me back down on his lap.
His fingers skimmed down my sides, and I bit my lip in anticipation of what I knew was coming. I gasped when they finally dragged through my curls and slipped further down. I moved further onto his hand as my head fell to his shoulder.
"I love you, sweetheart," he whispered before slipping one long, perfect finger inside me. His movements were gentle, but every moment I felt more and more control slipping away from me. His own breathing quickened as his fingers brought me closer to the edge.
It was only minutes before I came apart in his arms, kissing him hard as I let go. I laughed softly as I fought to regain control of my breathing.
"That was incredible, Carlisle."
"And I'm not even done with you yet," he said, grinning like the cat that ate the canary.
I collapsed onto the bed beside him, smiling while he ran his hand over my legs, exploring.
"I can't wait to memorize every part of you, my beautiful wife."
I reached up and ran my hand over his jaw. "We have our whole lives ahead of us, baby. Plenty of time."
He leaned forward to kiss me while my hand moved to the front of his boxers once more. "They have to go," I whispered against his lips.
He nodded. "You're absolutely right about that."
Once his boxers had joined the rest of our clothing on the floor I wasted no time in reaching out to touch him. He took a slow breath as I curiously ran my hand up and down his length.
"I don't want to wait any longer," I told him.
He shook his head. "You don't have to."
And with that he hovered over me, skin against skin, and kissed me deeply as he entered me.
There could never be any words to describe the sensation of finally having Carlisle inside me after so many months of waiting. We were without a doubt made to fit together.
He moved gently at first, helping me adjust to him. I wanted him so desperately. I gripped his shoulders tightly as we moved. It could have been days that we stayed there like that, locked in each other's embrace, moving together. There was nothing but the two of us – all sense of time forgotten as we loved each other.
My entire body was on fire and when I let go for the second time, my husband's grip only tightened as he followed only minutes later.
He remained suspended above me as we both struggled to catch our breaths. We shared light kisses as he rolled off me and pulled me into his arms. I intertwined my leg with his and laid my head on his chest, content to never move from that spot again.
We stayed there in total silence, the only sound in the room coming from the ceiling fan above us. The gentle motion of Carlisle's hand rubbing my shoulder relaxed me into a near state of sleep, even though my body was still on a high.
I honestly couldn't believe we had managed to wait so long for this night. But now I would never wait for him again. I wanted to have him over and over until the sun came up. I never wanted to stop.
"Esme?" he finally whispered.
"I love you,"
I picked my head up and propped it on my hand. "I love you too, Carlisle. That was just… wow." I laughed and shook my head.
"I know what you mean," he said with a grin. "I can't believe we didn't do that sooner."
"But look at it this way. Now we can have each other whenever we want."
"Yes, we can. And I plan on having you several more times before the sun comes up." He quickly rolled me over, taking me by surprise, and making me laugh loudly.
It would be only hours before the sun would rise on our first day as a married couple and we would begin our new life together – for better or worse, whatever came our way we would be by each other's side. But here tonight, while we were still suspended in time together, my husband could have me as many times as he wished.
Male ana means wedding.
Thank you, Mackenzie and Kelley, and thank you all so much for reading!