ENTRY FOR THE HIGH TIMES CONTEST

Story Name: A Higher Power

Rating: M

Genre: Romance, Humor

Pairing: Edward / Bella

Total Word Count: 8,949

Summary: Sister Swan is disappointed when she is forced to confiscate marijuana from her favorite student. What happens when she goes to Father Cullen to ask for his mercy? Priestward/Nunella Lemon/Drug Use


"Jasper, what have you got there?" Sister Swan asked anxiously while ineffectively scratching her head to alleviate the itch caused by her robes.

"N-nothin' Sister Swan," Jasper stuttered as he quickly shoved the cellophane bag into the pocket of his uniform.

As much as it pained her to admit it, she knew what she'd seen.

The small bag of joints in Jasper's possession were likely sold to him by James, a troublemaker who had been caught and expelled for selling marijuana cigarettes only a week prior. Sister Swan could hardly mask her disappointment in Jasper, who was one of her favorite students. Always participating in class discussions, offering up insightful thoughts and substantial concepts, he never failed to make Sister Swan look good as a teacher. Sadly, she knew he was just a good kid with bad friends, and that was what made it so hard to confiscate his precious stash and send him to Father Cullen for punishment.

"Jasper, you know I saw it. If you'll give it to me, I'll send you to Father Cullen instead of Father Aro," she warned cleverly.

Jasper knew all too well that being sent to Father Aro would be hazardous to his health. In addition to being expelled, his backside would also suffer the consequences. Dejectedly, he handed over the small cellophane baggie that contained the four perfectly rolled blunts he'd been looking forward to enjoying all day.

Sister Swan was thankful that it would not be up to Father Aro to decide his punishment. Father Aro had been known for his lack of restraint when it came to his disciplinary preference for corporal punishment. This was why, after several parent's had threatened to file suit against St. Bartholomew's, Bishop Marcus asked him to appoint another to serve as the disciplinarian. It was only natural that the task fell to Father Cullen, as he was well-liked but also highly respected by the students. They really listened to him because he always extended them the same courtesy.

Sister Swan knew Father Cullen to be a kind and fair man, but she couldn't help but feel bad that Jasper would not be present in her class for quite a while, and if he was expelled, likely never again. She knew that she needed to appeal to Father Cullen that Jasper was a good kid who deserved a second chance. She only hoped that Father Aro wouldn't become involved and try to sway his decision.

Jasper followed Sister Swan to Father Cullen's office slowly in an attempt to delay the inevitable. He had been so focused on his own feet that when she stopped, he collided into her back, nearly knocking her over.

"Oh… careful now… Jasper, please have a seat while I speak to Father Cullen," Sister Swan requested softly after the initial shock of Jasper bumping into her wore off. Jasper nodded sadly and sat in the uncomfortable chair next to Father Cullen's office door.

Father Cullen was having a difficult day, to say the least. He was still receiving calls from Victoria Hunter, James' mother, begging him to allow James another chance. Much to Father Cullen's dismay, she'd even gone so far as to proposition him in hopes that he would be so desperate for sex that he'd agree. Father Cullen grimaced at the thought of that vile woman's lascivious thoughts.

In Victoria's case, Father Cullen would have preferred to have Father Aro deal with the situation. It was unlikely that she would solicit a man as old as he on behalf of her son. No, with Father Aro, she would simply throw several thousand dollars in 'donations' his way, and all would be forgiven. For that fact alone, Father Cullen endured Victoria's relentless bribery.

Without James, St. Bart's had been a much quieter place. There hadn't been any fights or reports of drug dealing or use. He had only been required to discipline a few of the younger students for uniform violations, and one older student, Emmett, for a bit of mischief and horseplay. Emmett was a very popular boy, not to mention the class clown. More often than not, he would be sent in for doing things that were more likely to harm himself than anyone else, which was why Father Cullen always went easy on him. He knew that, were Father Aro still doling out punishments, Emmett would have often been left unable to sit down for the rest of the day.

Father Cullen had had a hard time keeping a straight face when he found out that Emmett had been caught mooning Sister Hale. Father Cullen had made the mistake of asking Emmett why he would be compelled to do such a thing, and he was caught off guard when Emmett replied simply, "She's a babe."

"So, because Sister Hale is a 'babe', as you called her, you thought the best way to let her know was to expose yourself to her?" he asked incredulously but with obvious amusement.

"I guess I thought I'd show her what she was missing." Emmett shrugged innocently. At that, Father Cullen couldn't help but laugh. Once he regained his composure, he knew he needed to reprimand Emmett for his behavior because he had essentially sexually harassed Sister Hale. Had it been any of the other nuns, or Sister Swan for that matter, Father Cullen might not have been as easy on him, but Sister Hale was a thorn in his side and had always found ways to undermine his authority. He let Emmett go with a five page essay on the feminist movement and instructions to apologize to Sister Hale in person.

Father Cullen was thankful that it was Friday and that the school day was almost over, so he would be able to relax and enjoy his Saturday before it was time for Sunday mass. At a quarter till three, a knock on his door caused an involuntary groan to slip from his lips, but was quickly replaced with a wide grin when he saw who had knocked.

"Sister Swan, to what do I owe this extraordinary pleasure?" He smirked, knowing she would blush because of his pretty words. He wasn't disappointed, as the coloring in her cheeks began to resemble that of ripe cherries.

"Father Cullen, I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I found a bag of marijuana in Jasper Whitlock's possession. I think it might be more of James'," she offered nervously.

Father Cullen realized that his initial reaction to groan was indeed the correct response based on this new turn of events. Setting aside the playful tone he had taken with her, he braced himself for the undesirable conversation ahead.

Fortunately for Jasper, Father Cullen was in a hurry get to his quarters for some reading and a nice glass of wine.

"Sister, please send Jasper in," Father Cullen requested, wanting to get it over with.

"Okay, but before I do, I just wanted… umm…" she trailed off nervously, and a pained look etched its way across her delicate features.

Father Cullen became overwhelmed with worry over Sister Swan's sudden mood shift.

"What is it, Bel… s-Sister?" he said, backtracking quickly over his unexpected slip. In her worry, Sister Swan didn't notice.

"Well, Father… Jasper, he's… well… I know this is serious, but he is a good kid. I mean, he's my best student, and I… I don't know what I'm saying," she sighed dejectedly, then began to bite her lip in what Father Cullen assumed was an act of contrition. Seeing her biting into her lip that way caused a sudden unwanted stirring in his trousers, and made him feel as if an act of contrition was needed on his end as well. He willed the impure thoughts of Sister Swan from his brain to focus on the task at hand.

"I think I understand, Sister. Let me speak to Jasper, and he and I will figure out what the best punishment is," he offered, knowing he couldn't promise anything more, but hoping that it was enough to placate her. She gave him a tight lipped smile and a nod of understanding before she slipped quietly out the door to retrieve Jasper.

"Jasper," Sister Swan spoke softly, not wanting to startle the anxious child.

"Yes, Sister?" Jasper croaked nervously.

"Father Cullen will see you now," she advised while holding the door open. Jasper rose from his seat and walked into Father Cullen's office as though he were a man on death row.

Once he was inside and the office door closed, Sister Swan gulped in a few quick breaths of air as she pressed herself against the door. She was ashamed of the way her body betrayed her in Father Cullen's presence. Never before had she experienced the kind of thoughts and feelings that she had whenever he was near. Her blush, the cursed genetic trait she'd inherited from her bashful father, was the only noticeable sign of her desire. The quickening of her pulse, her sweaty hands, and the sudden and inexplicable dampness in her underwear were much easier to for her to hide, though she herself could not ignore them.

Sister Swan found herself on more than one occasion down the street at St. Patrick's, the Irish Catholic church, confessing to Father Liam about her impure thoughts. There was absolutely no way that she'd confess to Father Aro - he'd have her job, even if she had never acted on those thoughts. She was, however, thankful that Father Cullen was a priest and had taken a vow of celibacy as had she, because if Father Cullen had been just a man on the street, her resolve may have wavered more easily.

"Hey, Bella," a low voice whispered, startling her. Bella glanced to her left to see none other than Sister Brandon, or Alice as she called her in private.

"Oh hey, how are you today, Alice?" Bella whispered, emphasizing her name cheekily.

"I'm good, but why are you outside Father Cullen's office?" She simpered knowingly.

Bella frowned at Alice's implications, and then her frown deepened when she remembered why she was there.

"I had to bring Jasper in, Alice. I caught him with marijuana," Bella replied sadly.

"No!" Aghast, Alice threw her hand over her mouth. "Oh, but he's such a good kid. What happened?"

"I don't know. Father Cullen wants to hear the whole story before he decides how to discipline him," Bella sighed.

"Surely he won't go as hard on him as he had to on James," she replied hopefully.

"I did my best to tell him what a good kid Jasper is, and Father Cullen isn't the type to make a rash decision," she replied soothingly, more to herself than Alice.

"I need to piss," Alice grumbled, causing Bella to chuckle at her friend's crassness.

Alice grasped Bella's hand and dragged her to bathroom where they found Sister Hale washing her hands.

"Good afternoon, Sisters!" Sister Hale spoke in a sing-song voice. Both Alice and Bella gave each other shocked looks.

"Who are you, and what have you done with Sister Hale?" Alice croaked.

"Aww, relax, Sisters, it's just us. Call me Rose; I know you both use first names." She smirked and Bella's mouth hung agape, wondering who else might have heard them.

"So again, what happened to Sister Hale, Rose?" Alice said pointedly.

"Let's just say I had a little shock today, and it made me laugh for the first time in a long time," Rose replied cryptically.

"What are you talking about?" Alice pressed, while Bella stood there as more of an observer. She had always felt uneasy around Sister Hale, or Rose, as she was now allowed to call her.

"Well, firstly, Emmett McCarty mooned me today," Rose stated with an unladylike snort.

Both Bella and Alice gasped in shock over the revelation before shooting Rose confused glances, waiting for her to continue.

"At first, I was angry - really angry - but after he was sent to Father Cullen, I sat there just thinking about what happened. I started giggling a little, and then I began laughing so hard I just couldn't stop. I don't know, weirdly it made me feel good, even if he was being terribly rude and offensive." Rose smiled gleefully and then chuckled a bit at the memory. Alice and Bella couldn't help but join in on her laughter.

After the Sisters chatted animatedly for a few more minutes, Sister Swan realized that Jasper was probably almost done with Father Cullen.

"Oh, sorry, Sisters, I have to go. I need to speak to Father Cullen to see what happened with Jasper," Bella stated nervously.

"Let me know what happened," Alice shouted as Bella excited the restroom in a flash.

The bathrooms weren't far from Father Cullen's office, so Sister Swan decided to run, even though it wasn't actually allowed. However, those rules were for students, and as a teacher, she decided it was okay.

Panting and out of breath, she arrived just in time to see Jasper's skulking form tearing at the tie on his uniform. Seeing his obvious anger, Sister Swan feared the worst.

"Jasper," she shouted, trying to get the child's attention. Jasper stopped dead in his tracks and turned to his favorite teacher with a frown on his face, his blue eyes stinging with unshed tears.

"Oh, no - what happened?" Sister Swan asked worriedly.

"Suspended," Jasper muttered, looking down.

"Oh, Jasper, it could have been much worse. How long?"

"Two weeks, but that's not all," Jasper replied cryptically.

"Oh, well, what else?" she asked, unable to hide her curiosity.

"Father Cullen says that I have to help Father Carlisle after school in the library every day for the rest of the year," he grumbled irritably. Sister Swan was in awe of Father Cullen's ability at handling tough situations. She knew that Father Aro would have paddled him a dozen or so times and then expelled him. She was thankful that he was willing to give him another chance. His requirement for Jasper to spend time with Father Carlisle should have a positive effect on him. It would divert his attention from the troublemaking friends he'd made as well.

"I think it's more than fair. You know you could have been expelled like James Hunter," Sister Swan chided.

"I guess. I appreciate you not sending me to Father Aro. My bottom and I thank you," he grinned crookedly and then turned on his heels to begin his punishment.

Even though she'd decided to stay away, Sister Swan was in front of Father Cullen's door before she realized it. She hadn't even knocked yet, when his door suddenly opened. He was standing there, looking more beautiful than any depiction of saints or angels that she'd ever seen. She swooned over his kindness and obvious intelligence, but it was that glorious smirk – his crooked, drool-inducing excuse for a smile – that would be her undoing.

"Everything okay, Sister?" He chuckled playfully at the pinkness of her cheeks.

"Oh… err… yes. I, umm… I wanted to thank you," she stuttered in gratitude, as her eyes suddenly found her hands to be the most interesting thing in the room.

"Oh, for Jasper?" he asked, kindly knowing she was truly nervous around him.

In the past, he hadn't known what he'd done to make Sister Swan blush and stutter, so he had assumed that she was just naturally shy; that is, until out of curiosity, he looked in on one of her classes one day. It was then that he realized how passionate and intelligent she was. He was even more dazzled by her one day when he accidently eavesdropped on a conversation between her and Sister Brandon. The brash way Sister Brandon spoke confounded him, and, if he was being honest, slightly offended him, while Sister Swan's philosophical words were intriguing. After noticing her interactions with the other members of the clergy, he realized that the shy demeanor was apparently reserved just for him. Since then, it had become his personal mission to elicit those reactions as often as possible.

"Yes… Jasper told me that you… erm… suspended him. Also, I… wanted to say your decision to send him to Father Carlisle… well, it was a very good idea. I think he needs the distraction," she managed gratefully.

Father Cullen simply nodded, not particularly wanting to delve back into the discussion he'd had with Jasper.

Sister Swan shuffled her feet for a moment, not really knowing what to say. Sensing her unease, Father Cullen decided it would be best if he excused himself, as Sisters Swan looked as though she was about to bite her lip again. This time, there would be no desk to mask the tent in his trousers that he would most certainly have.

"Well, Sister, I hate to run, but I am going to have some dinner and read awhile," he said, anxiously wishing that he didn't have to leave her presence.

At the mention of dinner, Sister Swan's tummy protested loudly, much to her utter mortification.

"Someone's hungry." He smiled brightly, causing her blush to deepen.

"Oh… well, yeah… I didn't have lunch, but I've got a sandwich in my room that I'll have," she sighed disappointedly, knowing that the sandwich she had was made from leftover tuna salad from the day before. It wouldn't have been an issue, but the discomfort that kept her from her lunch today was likely attributed to the tuna she'd eaten the night before.

"Have dinner with me," Father Cullen spoke quickly before his brain caught up to his mouth. This time, it was his turn to blush when he realized how his offer must have sounded.

"What I mean is… umm… my aunt Esme sent me a huge pan of Fettuccini Alfredo. I'll never be able to eat it all, and I hate to waste food. So, if you'd like, you're welcome to have some," he quickly backtracked, trying to save himself from the shit-storm that was likely to happen if what he'd said was ever repeated by Sister Swan.

If there was ever a time for Father Cullen to wish for the ability to read minds, it was then. The strange look on Sister Swan's face confounded him, as her mouth hung slightly open and her eyes blinked rapidly. Feeling impatient and still worried that she had taken his offer as a request for a date, he cleared his throat, hoping to break her from the daze she was under.

"Yes," she squeaked, making him snort.

"Okay, well, follow me then," he sighed, relieved, and then stealthily wiped away the perspiration that had collected on his brow with his handkerchief.

Sister Swan's head was spinning. She wondered if she had just agreed to a date with Father Cullen. No, she thought, that's preposterous. Father Cullen was simply concerned that she had skipped a meal, and like he'd said, he didn't want to waste the abundant food his aunt had sent for him. In her mind, she knew it was dangerous to relate thoughts about dating with anyone, especially Father Cullen. She was a nun, for heaven's sake, and he was a priest; she needed to reconcile those facts before she made an idiot of herself.

What was disconcerting to Sister Swan was why she had agreed in the first place. She knew it was the same pull she felt that brought her back to Father Cullen's door to thank him for what he'd done for Jasper, the pull that had forced her to confess the sexual thoughts she had for him to Father Liam at St. Patrick's, and the very same pull that made her wish that he had asked her on a date. If she was smart, she would have politely declined and then retreated to eat her questionable tuna salad sandwich, but she didn't want to be smart. Besides, she loved Fettuccini Alfredo.

Both Father Cullen and Sister Swan had been so trapped in their own minds that it took a moment for them to realize they'd arrived at the door to Father Cullen's quarters. Hesitantly, and with shaking hands, he pulled his key from his pocket and unlocked the door.

Once they were inside, Father Cullen was unsure what to do next. He'd never had a woman in his quarters before, so he was working from scratch.

"Err… would you like a drink?" he offered, before he thought better of it. As much as he wanted to relax, he feared for what he might say after imbibing. With that thought applied to his guest, his curiosity for what Sister Swan might be willing to share made him reconsider the idea of a glass of wine or two with dinner.

"Oh… yes, please." Sister Swan swallowed with difficulty due to the fact that her mouth had gone dry once she entered Father Cullen's quarters. She hadn't thoroughly considered the fact that they'd be alone together in a room - a room with a bed.

"Red, white, or water?" he asked, not offering her any of his twelve pack of Coke Zero he had tucked away in the bottom drawer of his fridge.

"Oh, umm, red, please, and water with dinner, if that isn't too much trouble," she asked shyly.

In an instant, he felt horrible for manipulating her into drinking. Before pouring her wine, he knew he needed fix it. "Oh, um, I have some Coke Zero, too, if you prefer," he added.

"I still want the wine, but Coke does sound better with pasta," she chuckled.

Sister Swan clutched the glass that Father Cullen had poured her and sipped it quickly, while he set about heating up their dinner. She knew that one drink wouldn't get her drunk, but it would allow the conversation to flow more freely. She was thankful she'd had that drink when he began to ask her questions about herself. He asked about things like her favorite book, artist, and movie, and then moved on to ask about her classes. The more they spoke, the more comfortable she became. Not surprisingly, she was enjoying being able to speak freely with Father Cullen as much as he was with her.

Enjoying the wine, she opted for another small glass with her meal instead of the coke. Once dinner was on the table, they moved on to tougher subjects.

"What made you want to become a nun, Bella?" he asked quietly, and then gasped as he realized that he hadn't caught his slip this time.

Bella began to bite her lip in reaction to the way her pulse quickened when her name left his lips. She knew she needed to compose herself before she did something incredibly stupid.

Noticing the pained expression on his face made her realize she hadn't answered him. "It's okay, you can call me Bella, outside of school of course, and-" she began before he interrupted.

"Call me Edward," he said, and if she wasn't mistaken, she thought his statement sounded more like a plea than a request.

"Okay…" she blushed "…Edward."

They both sat there a moment, staring at each other, until Bella realized yet again she had failed to answer his question.

"Oh… you wanted to know why I became a nun, right?" she asked for clarification.

"I mean… that is, if you want to tell me. You don't have to, if you're not comfortable," he backpedalled quickly.

"No, I don't mind," she said, smiling sweetly which caused his breath to catch.

"Well, aside from the obvious reasons one becomes a nun…" she pointed toward the heavens cheekily "…. there was an accident when I was in high school." She became quiet through her revelation as a bit of longing filled her eyes. Edward waited patiently for Bella to gain her composure so that she could continue.

"My school parking lot had a few patches of ice and there was this boy, Tyler, his van… it… lost control… I was hit," she murmured sadly.

"Oh, Bella, that's awful… you don't have to talk about it anymore if you don't want to." Edward hated the broken look in her eyes.

"I want to. I should be able to talk about it." She spoke more confidently before giving him a watery smile. "After my surgery, they told me that they had to give me a hysterectomy because the damage was too bad. So, when I found out that I wouldn't be able to have children, I became very depressed. Becoming a nun, being married to the Lord, well, it gave me a sense of worth again." She smiled brightly, and Edward couldn't help but beam at her. Frustratingly, he realized that he had never wanted to kiss a woman more than he did in that moment.

"It's good to hear that you were able to turn a tragedy into something good," he complimented, in awe of the strong woman he was happy to be getting to know. The conversation turned a bit lighter as they enjoyed the delicious meal Esme had so kindly provided.

Edward gestured to his couch for Bella to have a seat while he cleaned up. As he cleared the table, Bella yawned, knowing the wine was now affecting her. The tightening of her lips only served as a reminder that her incessant lip biting had made her pout a bit chapped. She slipped her delicate hand into the pocket of her habit to retrieve the cherry Dr. Pepper flavored Lip Smackers to moisturize. For a moment, she was confused by the plastic bag that she found. Realization dawned on her face when she remembered that she had never given Edward the joints she confiscated from Jasper.

Edward noticed Bella's face as confusion turned to alarm, and he rushed to her side to see what the problem was. "Bella, what's the matter?"

"Oh, umm… I never gave you these," she said, biting her lip again. She handed him the baggie as if she had been burned by it.

"Ahh, Bella, I thought something was wrong," he chided, relieved that it had just been her remembering the joints and not something worse.

"You know, I tried this a few times in high school," Edward admitted wistfully, then realized that Bella might be offended by his disclosure.

"Really?" she squeaked.

"Uhh, yea, only a few times, and nothing stronger than pot," he clarified quickly, hoping to salvage something of their light conversation and dissuade her from being disgusted with him.

"I did, too," she whispered, and Edward's head shot up while his eyes bugged out; this made Bella laugh heartily.

"Really?" It was his turn to squeak.

"Yes, I did. I had some friends who were Quileute, and they used it in their ceremonies. My friend snuck some from his father, the chief. We would go down to the beach and smoke it from this corn cob pipe that he made," she giggled, making Edward's chest clench with a strange pang he'd never felt before.

"I can remember the smell like it was yesterday - earthy and pungent. I bet that stuff is nowhere near as potent as Quileute herb," she babbled. In his curiosity to see if she was correct, he opened the bag and grabbed one of the joints, handing it to her quickly.

"Well, it smells strong, but different, I couldn't possibly know for sure," she muttered nonchalantly, while sniffing the tightly rolled blunt.

Edward had no idea what was coming over him; maybe it was the wine or the intoxicating beauty, but he wanted try the joints - among other things - with this woman. His filter was off, and for the first time in nearly a decade, he was throwing caution to the wind.

"There is one way."

"Oh, my… that's… are you serious?"

"No… yes… I don't know."

"It'll be our secret, right?"

"I would never tell anyone."

"Okay… let's do it."

With the implications of her last statement, Bella turned away from Edward's darkened gaze as she felt her cheeks heat with a fiery blush. Edward simply cleared the hoarseness of desire from his dry throat and offered to get some matches.

"Are we really going to do this?" he asked hesitantly.

"It was your idea," she chuckled, before placing the joint between her pouty lips.

"Here, let me," he offered quickly, as he lit the match and cupped his hand around it to keep the flame from extinguishing. Bella's pulse was racing from the closeness of Edward's face as he lit the tip. He was so close that Bella nearly forgot what she was doing.

"Puff on it," he directed, snapping her out of her daze. As the bittersweet flavor filled her mouth, she inhaled, forcing the pungent smoke into her lungs. Internally, she held it as long as she could before coughing, almost painfully.

Edward held back a chuckle at seeing her try so hard to hold in the smoke, but when she began to cough, he instantly became concerned again, wanting to touch her or pat her on the back.

He was still so close that the exhaled smoke from her lungs hit him directly in the face, and much to his embarrassment, he couldn't help but greedily breathe it in. After the hit he'd practically shotgunned off of her, he took a hit himself.

Edward was 32 years old, and it had been 13 years since he'd last smoked pot. So understandably, his reaction was much the same as Bella's; after following her lead and holding it in as long as possible, he sputtered and coughed, feeling the effects almost immediately.

Much to Bella's chagrin, she was unable to prevent herself from doing what Edward had denied himself. In reaction to his coughing fit, she rubbed soothing circles on his warm, slightly muscular back while he continued to cough for several seconds.

For a moment, he tensed but then relaxed into her caress. While he was concerned about his body's reaction to the feel of her delicate touch, he didn't want Bella to think he wasn't grateful for the comfort she provided. Edward was on a slippery slope, and by most accounts, he had already gone over the edge. The problem was that he wasn't anywhere near being finished. They had over half a joint left, and unless she protested, he intended for them to finish it. If I am going to hell, I may as well do it thoroughly, he humorously mused to himself.

Once they'd both regained composure from their coughing fits, Edward passed the joint back to Bella, wondering if she intended to take another hit. Much to his surprise, she snatched a match from the little cardboard box and struck it using only her fingers the way Clint Eastwood might have in an old western. Edward's mouth hung agape, because the strange, match-lighting talent Sister Swan exhibited turned him on much more than would have thought possible.

Noticing the question in his eyes as she re-lit the joint to take another hit, she answered his unspoken thought.

"My friend taught me; you know, the one with the corn cob pipe?" she said, smirking before taking a long drag. Thankfully, she coughed less with that hit, but she still felt her eyes watering from the pressure she felt while holding in the smoke.

Carefully, he took the joint from her hands, not wanting to be burned; though it wasn't burning he should have been worried about. When their fingers grazed each other – skin to skin – it was like nothing he'd ever felt before. There was this low hum present, reminding him of a power station or a static electric shock, but in slow motion. Clearly hearing a tiny gasp leave her lips, he could tell she felt something, too. He would be in trouble if the connection wasn't ignored. He'd already broken so many rules with her - could he stop here? He took another hit, after that, he wasn't so sure anymore. Could he fight it? Could she? He wasn't even sure that he wanted to.

He took a good hard look at the woman in front of him, thinking that if he simply reminded himself that she was a nun and he was a priest, both of whom had taken vows – celibacy being the key in this instance – that he could push the desires away. He was wrong.

His mind was telling him to send her away, while his manhood and something in his chest, this pang, or clenching, was telling him to make her stay forever. She was close, but he wanted her closer. He leaned in slightly, his hands clenched at his sides, and just stared at her intensely. Before, he had thought her simply pretty, undeniably attractive, and intriguing; being this close to her, though, he could see that he had been wrong. To him, she wasn't merely pretty or attractive - she was absolutely breathtaking. In that instant, he knew the warring feelings were about to end, because his mind was going to lose.

She felt everything - a tingling sensation that passed through her when their fingers touched, the fire that broke out at the apex of her thighs, and the subsequent moisture simply made the blaze burn even hotter. His intense gaze should have caused her face to heat, but the blood that normally pooled in her cheeks seemed to have rushed to fill her lady parts with desire.

There was no doubt in her mind that he felt something too. The sparkle in his dark emerald eyes seemed to be trying to convey a message. She was reading it loud and clear. He wanted her.

No matter how much she knew she should, she wasn't going to fight it. She didn't think that she ever could. The moment she first laid eyes on him, she had been a succulent, vine-ripened cherry, ready to be picked and savored by him and him alone. As often as she denied it, confessed it, and repented for it, if a time came that he wanted to take her, she would agree wholeheartedly, without hesitation. Father Cullen, with his strong jaw, piercing eyes, and his beautiful soul, was her kryptonite. She would not – no, she could not - deny him. There simply wasn't a choice

Without realizing it, they had both gravitated closer to each other. If he didn't stop, he knew he would kiss her.

Abruptly, Edward placed the unfinished joint on the coffee table and then pulled back. The tiny bit of restraint that he held on to was the only thing that had prevented his lips from enveloping hers.

"Did you know Emmett McCarty mooned Sister Hale?" Edward croaked quickly in an attempt to clear the almost palpable sexual tension in the air.

Caught off guard by the sudden change, Bella dumbly replied, "Huh?"

"I said, did you hear-" he started, but was cut off.

"Wait… yes… sorry, I did hear about that. Sister Hale told us about it. I was shocked by how well she took it," Bella stated with much difficulty before her thought process began to become sharper. She was thankful that Edward had the strength to stop them, because she knew that they had almost kissed.

"Oh… I assumed she would have been angry," he replied, grateful for the distraction and also somewhat surprised that Sister Hale hadn't blown a gasket.

"No, when Alice… err Sister Brandon and I saw her in the bathroom, she was being courteous and even laughed. Alice was like 'Who are you, and what have you done with Sister Hale?'" Bella elaborated, mimicking her friend's high pixie-like voice. Edward chuckled.

"That woman is never nice. I would have thought the same thing. Though, I can hardly believe she wasn't at least embarrassed. I mean, think of how you'd feel if I did that to you?" he blurted. Before he could even begin to think about what he'd said, he became distracted by the always attractive blush staining her cheeks.

"I love your blush," he admitted accidently. She gasped, and her subsequent blush deepened as Edward found himself helplessly flushing in response. Without even realizing it, he'd leaned in close to her again, this time without a shred of the self-restraint he'd possessed mere moments ago.

Bella knew what was going to happen. Her tongue darted out to moisten her Dr. Pepper flavored pucker, while Edward's eyes darted to her luscious lips. With barely a hesitation, his mouth captured hers softly, until the electric spark of wanton desire shocked them both into action. In mere moments, what had begun as soft, languid kisses became needy lips, tongues, and teeth clashing for dominance.

The feel of her soft, pliable lips was both astonishing and excruciating all at once. He wanted so much more than he thought she would give. Embarrassingly, he had wanted her for so long, and now that they were in this little bubble of happiness and exploration, he didn't know if he could let her go. For nearly two years, he had denied the connection he felt. The countless cold showers, the moments that his careful control slipped, giving way to self-satisfaction, and the weakening of his morals and convictions had all led to this moment.

He needed to think clearly, but clearly he was high. Is this feeling the pot, or her intoxicating lips, he silently mused to himself. Definitely her, he thought as a wanton moan slipped from her succulent lips.

Fear, anxiety, and hope were just a few of the emotions floating around in his head, keeping him from asking her to be his. What if she said no? What if she said yes? What if she wanted to run away together? Could he deny his heart's purest desire?

He truly wanted her, but needed to make sure that she wanted him, too - consequences be damned.

Wordlessly, he pulled away. Had it not been for the dark, lustful gaze peering into her eyes, Bella would have thought he was stopping them again. It was already too late for her, though. Now that he'd claimed her with his perfect mouth, she wasn't sure she could ever stop. His palm became flush against her delicate pink cheek while his thumb traced the softness of her swollen lips. His other hand fingered the edge of her headdress, silently asking permission.

Could she ever deny him anything? Her racing pulse said no.

She removed the heavy veil and unclasped the dark waves of mahogany, allowing them to spill over her shoulders.

Edward gasped at the dark beauty before him. Even with hooded bloodshot brown eyes, she was stunning.

"Beautiful," he groaned, then bit his lip in a habit he'd picked up from Bella herself.

His strong but soft hands hadn't left her flushing cheek. They simply continued their exploration of her lovely face, until his slender fingers found their way into her silken locks.

Bella had longed to touch the man before her for so long that the anticipation caused her to tremble. Following his lead, she held his cheek and jaw, just simply reveling in the feel of his soft stubble.

Never had a woman touched him so intimately. It was almost more than he could bear. His eyes screwed shut, anticipating her rejection. "Bella, I can't explain it, but I want you, so much. I'll understand if you don't -" he started, but his words died against Bella's plundering kiss.

Her tongue slipped into his mouth as her fingers went to his collar, silently asking permission as he had with her.

"The bed?" Bella whispered breathlessly between kisses. She knew that she needed to make her intentions clear, and being direct was the only way. When Edward told her he wanted her, any shred of doubt that lingered had been washed away with the tide of longing.

"I've never been with anyone," he admitted almost shamefully. Bella giggled because it wasn't really a shock; she assumed most priests were virgins.

"Me either," she admitted quickly, not wanting him to think that she was laughing at his expense.

Adorably, his lips formed a breathtaking grin as he quickly wrapped her in his strong arms before shifting her so that he could carry her bridal style to his bed.

"Is this going to happen?" he asked nervously as he lowered her onto the mattress.

"I want it to, more than anything I've ever wanted," she admitted bashfully.

Coming slightly to his senses, he became concerned with preventing an unwanted pregnancy, but then he internally smacked himself for not remembering Bella's accident. Not wanting to sour the mood by mentioning it, Edward tossed away the thought and began to focus on the object of his desire.

Any hesitance he'd had was replaced with a feeling of freedom. He hovered over Bella and unintentionally pressed the evidence of his need for her against her leg.

Bella could feel something hard rubbing slightly on her leg. Knowing how she'd affected him gave her the confidence she needed to unbutton his shirt and trousers.

Edward wanted to get her undressed as quickly as possible, so before removing his unbuttoned clothing, he removed her shoes and stockings, then began to pull the hem of her habit. It was a heavy garment, so he allowed her to help him remove it.

His mouth went dry when he realized what she was wearing underneath. The simple white satin slip paired with a plain cotton bra and panty set were enough to get him salivating.

Feeling overdressed, he allowed her to remove his shirt and trousers, leaving him in black boxers and white t-shirt.

To anyone else, undressed, they just looked like a normal couple. Even if it was just for one night, Edward wanted that. The opportunity to do normal things as a normal man was something he hadn't longed for in over a decade. She had so swiftly and easily changed everything.

Bella's hands quickly teased their way under his t-shirt to explore his lightly toned abs and chest. She sucked in a shuddering breath as her fingers found the soft trail of hair leading into his boxers. She began to follow the trail to the promised-land when he stilled her roaming hands.

"Not yet, angel," he purred huskily as he removed his t-shirt. "I doubt I'll last long, so I want to make you feel good first."

Reverently, he pulled the slip over her head and assisted her in turning to lay on her front. With the creamy pale flesh of her smooth back exposed to him, he wasn't sure where to start first.

Starting at the bottom, he grasped her tiny feet in his hands. Wanting to touch every part of her, he placed a gentle kiss in the arch of her foot then kissed, nibbled, and tickled his way up her legs. When he reached the swell of her bottom, he gave her cheeks a gentle squeeze before running his smooth hands over the expanse of her back. She shivered in delight, making Edward harden further, almost painfully so.

Careful not to put too much weight on her, he straddled her, bringing his warm chest flush against her back. Skin to skin, their electricity consumed them both.

His hot breath scorched the skin of her neck as he teased her, alternating between kisses and heavy panting.

Bella whimpered as his hardness began to move against her ass. She knew it was only a matter of time before he was inside her.

"Please," she begged as desire flooded her panties.

"What do you want, angel?" he groaned hoarsely.

"I want you… only you," she cried.

Quickly, he flipped her over and tossed her bra aside. Her full breasts now exposed to him were too much of a temptation. He latched on to a rosy nipple as his fingers travelled the expanse of her body. He felt the evidence of her accident as he trailed over the puckered flesh of her scars.

She tensed slightly, but not from pain - from embarrassment.

"Beautiful… my angel," he sweetly assured against her tightened nipples.

Needing to fulfill his promise, his fingers slipped into her panties, where he found her body's need. The wet heat he discovered there made his aroused flesh twitch in anticipation. Wildly, she bucked against his touch as he made contact with her slippery folds.

"Oh… oh… Edward," she cried as he shakily slipped a single finger inside her tight depths. He had difficulty achieving a steady motion in the confines of her panties, so with his free hand he pulled them away. Once the damp curls of her mound were exposed, he couldn't look away. He watched his finger slide in and out of her petal-soft folds before adding another.

The scent of her arousal hit him like a brick wall. Never had he smelled something more appealing. It was too tempting to resist.

Her head was thrown back over the sensation of his slender fingers pumping into her aching core. Loudly, she cried out his name with unabashed abandon as his mouth covered and suckled her swollen clit.

It didn't take much more stimulation before she was flooded with the ecstasy of release.

"Ugh… yes… Edward," she panted as she came down from such great heights.

Edward's chest swelled with pride at the sight of his angel's contentment.

His signature smirk was the most beautiful sight he'd ever seen as she opened her heavy eyelids. She was still feeling the effects of the joint, but she knew Edward's intoxicating lips and tongue were a far more potent blend.

She could hardly contain the elation she felt, thinking of how he'd been more intimate with her than anyone else she'd ever known. It only left her wanting more.

The need to reciprocate was the most dominant now. His aching need was straining against his boxers now, eagerly seeking friction on the mattress. As far as Bella was concerned, that was unnecessary, a waste. She longed to explore his body the way he had hers, but the need for him to be inside her was much too great.

She urged him to lay on his back on the bed while she tended to his needs. Much the same way he had, she kissed his taut nipple, eliciting a deep groan from his broad chest. She was fixated on his stomach and the vague outline of his six-pack.

Edward was athletically built, like a runner; not overly muscled but enough to notice that he ate healthy and exercised regularly. If Bella thought his eyes and jaw were mesmerizing, she was even more dazzled by the smooth ivory expanse of muscle that tapered down to a V at his taut abdomen. As her hand teased the waistband of his boxers, she looked to him for approval, which he consented to with a slight nod and sparkling eyes full of desperate need.

Everywhere she touched, her fingers left a scorching trail. It was heavenly.

As she slowly tugged his boxers down, he became worried that she might change her mind when she saw his manhood. He was pretty sure he was slightly above average size, but with her being unfamiliar with the male form, he thought she might be turned off or frightened by the idea of him being inside her. Her eyes filled with wonder as he sprung free from his confinements. She didn't appear afraid. The range of emotions on her face filled him with relief; she looked nervous, excited, and unbelievably turned on.

When she looked at his twitching arousal for the first time, she blushed. She didn't know how it would fit. She wasn't too worried about there being any pain as her barrier was gone after her surgery, but his size was intimidating and exciting at the same time. The anticipation was almost more than she could bear.

He wasn't sure which way they should do it. He assumed the missionary position might be best so that he could control his imminent release, but the idea of her luscious breasts bouncing as she rode him was tempting as well. A fleeting image of taking her from behind as his hands held her hair made him want to slap himself. That was no way to treat a lady. He settled for the missionary position, deciding that if they were both up for it that she could be on top the next time, while he disregarded the other more degrading position he'd imagined.

Willing the errant thoughts away, he wrapped his arms around her and pressed their bare flesh together, her soft, supple curves meeting his strong, firm lines perfectly as he settled himself between her legs. He almost came as the bottom of his shaft made contact with the wet heat of her glistening sex. He wanted to be good for her - he wanted to love her. Her depthless eyes held an adoration that made his heart ache. He was hers.

Bella gazed into his emerald orbs, wordlessly telling him what her lips yearned to say. She was ready, as if she had been waiting her whole life for this moment. Though she wasn't ready to admit it to herself, she had never felt whole, but in this moment - safe in Edward's embrace - she was complete.

Edward raised himself up so he could grasp his arousal-coated erection. Seeing the silent consent in her eyes, he pressed himself against her tight depths, sliding into her slowly - inch by magnificent inch - until he filled her completely.

"Oh… angel, feels… amazing," he grunted from the effort to keep himself from pumping into her with abandon, and also from not spilling himself into her tight heat.

Her body was like nothing he'd ever felt, but at the same time it felt so familiar, like he was home - complete.

With Edward inside her, she had never felt so full, so whole.

"Ughh, Ed… my God," she moaned.

"Does it… does it feel good?" he panted breathlessly. She simply bit her lip and nodded.

His thrusts began after he'd gained some composure. In moments, Bella's natural instincts had her meeting his efforts as they began arching and colliding in perfect hypnotic rhythm. He was getting close and didn't know if it was possible to hold out long enough for her to orgasm again.

Too soon, he erratically began pushing into her, knowing he was about to find his release. It was of no consequence as Bella writhed beneath him, close to finding her own.

Groaning her name, he shuddered and convulsed into her arms, spilling himself deep within.

As he pulsed inside her, she felt him graze her sweet spot, pushing her over the edge to her own dizzying climax.

He rolled them both so she rested comfortably on his chest. For what felt like hours, they held each other as one. As Edward's human needs made themselves known, he rolled her off with a gentle kiss. They couldn't help but feel bereft as he slipped out of her.

Feeling the effects of the wine, the joint, and the exertion of their lovemaking, she curled into Edward's heavenly scented sheets and closed her eyes. She was on the brink of sleep when he returned to bed naked with a tray. She glanced at him questioningly until he revealed what he'd brought her.

Bella didn't realize how hungry she was until she noticed the small pile of snack cakes and cokes. Even though she had eaten a ton earlier, she was voracious.

"I'm starving, so I figured you were, too," he chuckled.

"Yes, and I love Twinkies. So… good," she moaned. Once she'd noticed the Twinkies, she hadn't paid any attention to anything else he'd brought. On the tray were two joints; the one they hadn't finished and another whole one. After they each devoured a few Twinkies, Edward grabbed the smaller joint and placed it between his lips. He looked at Bella expectantly.

"Oh… allow me," she chuckled before igniting the flame of the match with her fingers, still impressing Edward with her skill.

They shared the remaining joint and most of the other one before Bella became too tired to hold her eyes open. She would have been worried that he might want her to leave if he hadn't been holding her so tightly.

She drifted off in the arms of the man she loved. Even if he decided that he never wanted to be with her again, she knew she'd always have tonight. She wasn't going to ruin that for anything. She'd let the harsh light of day expose all the problems they'd undoubtedly have to look forward to. For tonight, she'd sleep in his arms, blissfully content.

Edward held her tightly as if she'd otherwise disappear. He didn't know what tomorrow held, but for now, he had her. She was his and he was hers, and he wasn't going to waste a moment of their time together sleeping.

She snored softly in his arms, feeling absolutely perfect. One hand became lost in her hair as the other cradled her against him. He had nearly dozed off when he heard her quiet mumblings. How adorable, he thought, she was a sleep talker.

"Mmmhmm," she muttered incoherently.

"Mmm… Father Cullen," she moaned. "I've been bad."

What was she referring to he wondered, deeply concerned by her sleep-filled mumblings.

"Oh… please… punish me. Punish me, Father Cullen," she drawled seductively in her sleep as her hips undulated with her obvious want.

Edward groaned as his erection sprung back to life with a vengeance.

Bella wasn't an angel; she was the devil incarnate.