A simple thank you can never express the gratitude I feel for you kind and encouraging words, as well as for you incredibly warm welcome back. I love you all.

Standard disclaimer applies


~Edward~

Bella chuckles quietly in her seat, looking out the window while playing with my fingers, at the bashful thoughts I have regarding the fact that I had her straddled over my face mere minutes ago. She thinks it's charming that I'm still a somewhat shy, inexperienced guy underneath the aggressive, domineering exterior. I know, by her thoughts, that she realizes that it's purely instinctual but still has questions. She turns to look at me with those beautiful brown eyes and chooses to put a voice to her thoughts,

"So, you just instinctively know how to please your mate?"

The sound of that word, mate, along with the scent of myself on her breath, causes a low growl to escape me before I have a chance to reign it in. Looking over, apologetically, I answer in the simplest way I know how, "Yes. Well, yes and no. My instincts tell me what to do, but your reactions tell me what you like best."

A slow smirk graces my face before I curl my lips back baring my elongated canines, and growl lowly. There is a distinct dilation of her pupils seconds before her eyelids drop, accompanied by a sensual moan. The musky scent of her arousal and the pounding of her heart immediately fill the cab of my Volvo, overwhelming my senses.

The lust filled look in her eyes as she gazes at my teeth is by far the sexiest thing I've ever witnessed. She rubs her thighs together and reaches up to tangle her delicate fingers into the wispy hairs at the base of my neck, adding to the sensual energy surrounding us and as we roll to a stop I take full advantage of the last few uninterrupted moments we have to savor the softness of her mouth when she pulls my face to hers.

Sweet ambrosia explodes onto my tongue when she nicks her lip on my fang and I allow myself a moment to savor the intoxicating flavor before easily sealing the wound.

She loves the rough texture of my tongue and isn't shy to take the opportunity to suck it into her mouth for one final deep kiss before releasing me to fall back into my own seat.

She is panting, and I am beaming.

"I love you."

"I love you, too."

Such truth in those words. They don't seem like enough to convey how I truly feel, however, and by the tenderness reflected back at me in her eyes, I know she feels the same way. It's such an amazing feeling to know that your love and devotion is fully reciprocated.

I think back to forty eight hours ago, back to the depressed and bitter man I was and am ashamed. If I had known that this kind of happiness awaited me, I could've never let myself become such an unpleasant person. I feel terrible for the way I acted and for the way I treated my family over the last couple of decades.

Bella turns to look at me as we stop in front of the door to her first period class, "We are gonna talk about this." She puts on a stern exterior but the tenderness in her thoughts betrays her.

She doesn't want me to beat myself up over my past thoughts and actions.

She understands.

She loves me.

She's here now.

And she's not going anywhere.

Ever.

I'm bombarded by these beautiful thoughts as I press my lips to hers and as she let's go and walks away, silence. I will never get used to not freely hearing her thoughts. I suppose having the privilege of hearing them while we are touching should be enough.

It isn't.

I miss her already.

I take my seat in the back of the classroom, set out my book and then immediately mentally search for my girl. I find her easily through the mind of Jessica Stanley and while Jessica's mind is normally a pretty vile place to be, I'll happily endure it for the opportunity to be closer to my angel.

"So, you and Edward Cullen?" Her smile isn't completely fake, and while her thoughts aren't completely genuine, they aren't really malicious either.

"Yes. He's wonderful." My Bella's smile is radiant making her look even more stunning than usual, and I find myself smiling right along with her.

There are several of these conversations throughout the morning, but as time slowly passes there is more and more distress and melancholy tainting her beautiful features. Lunch period cannot come soon enough. Thankfully, the bell rings and I'm dashing toward her fifth period class. Like magnets, her gorgeous brown eyes find mine immediately and she slips her arms around me. I eagerly return the embrace and the collective sigh we both simultaneously release would be comical if it weren't for the discomfort surrounding our circumstances.

We decide to sit alone for the lunch period so that we can talk freely and uninterrupted. I have to admit that neither Bella nor myself are very happy with my siblings at the moment either, so sitting alone seems like the best option for now. Alice is mentally pouting and the rest are curious about why we're not joining them, but I choose to ignore them and enjoy this bit of reprieve with the love of my existence.

"I remember when I used to love that stuff," I say with a chuckle, gesturing to the slice of pizza my love has on her tray. Her eyebrows shoot up into her hairline before she starts firing off questions, "You ate this stuff? When? What was your favorite? This was before your change? How does that work? I'm sorry, that's a lot of questions, but I want to know. I want to know everything about you."

The complete adoration reflected back at me through those eyes I love so much is enough to render me speechless. How on earth did I get so incredibly lucky? Overwhelmed by emotion, I slide my fingers through hers and give her a little insight to my childhood, "Yes. I ate a combination of this and the sustenance I use now until I reached full maturity. At that point, I found that I craved this food less and less until I finally found it simply revolting." I gesture to the spread of foods she has and shudder at the thought of eating it. "I can still eat and digest it, it just does nothing for me nutritionally, not to mention that it tastes like dirt to me now. I assume it's because I'm no longer growing."

She looks thoughtfully at her pizza before taking a bite, "Will I stop eating regular food? Because, I can't imagine a day that I don't want pizza." I smile at the fact that the conviction in her voice mirrors the conviction in her thoughts.

"That, my love, is something we will have to discuss with my father, I believe." She nods in acceptance and then goes back to devouring her piece of sludge. I love that she's not shy to eat in front of me. It's just one more confirmation of how comfortable she is around me.

"So Jessica seems quite enthralled with the fact that you've been rubbing my thigh for the last thirty minutes", her chocolate eyes gleam with playfulness as she looks up at me from below those long lashes.

I don't skip a beat as I allow my hand to creep up dangerously close to where I want it and whisper into her ear, "She's wondering how far we've gone." My breath sends a shiver up her spine causing her breath to hitch and heat to bloom in her cheeks before she turns her face to mine and presses her soft, sweet mouth to mine.

Heaven.

I kiss her deeply but not long enough to cause too much commotion. I do, however, allow myself to nuzzle the side of her face and neck. A little scent marking never hurt anyone, right? I have to admit that our peers find it a little odd, but neither Bella nor I can find it in ourselves to care. I only pull away when my Bella starts keening, placing a quick, chaste kiss to her pillow soft lips.

Other than a few strange looks, the rest of the student body seems to, thankfully, be oblivious to us. We decide to stay at my house tonight so that we can learn a little more about the changes that my Bella will experience. We are both very eager to learn the finer details so that we know what to expect in the next few months. I'm letting these thoughts roll around my mind when my gorgeous girl's mental voice speaks up,

...Babe, how will this work? I mean, we'll be trying to adjust to all of these physical and emotional changes all while attending high school? Wouldn't it be easier to go through this in private? Without the watchful eye and scrutiny of the town's entire teenage population? ...

She gently lays her head on my shoulder, tilting her beautiful face upward. When she closes her eyes, a thrill shoots through me. Even if I couldn't hear her mental voice, it is clear that she's asking to be scent marked.

I swallow back the rush of emotion and softly brush my thumb across the apple of her cheek as I blow across her face, saturating her skin and the strands of her silky hair in my scent. The gentle smile that forms on her lips is so tender, that I can do nothing but close my eyes and rest my head against hers fully enjoying the warmth and peace in the pulsing of our bond.

The fact that she's taken so quickly to the animalistic qualities of our bond thrills me to no end. It's truly an amazing feeling.

I am incredibly blessed.

I hear the mental screaming of my sister before I choose to acknowledge her. I do appreciate, however, that she is mindful enough to warn me before approaching. I wouldn't want to make a scene, and merely approaching us while we are lost in our bond would've definitely caused a frightening reaction from me.

I sigh heavily as the bell signaling the end of the lunch period sounds and look back into the eyes of my equally disappointed mate. The urge to take her and run is so strong in this moment and by the tenor of her thoughts she feels the same way. We both feel like we just can't seem to get the peace and privacy that we both crave so desperately.

This interrupted moment was the first glimpse of apricis in aeternum that we've experienced thus far, and the fact that it was interrupted make me resentful. It's in this angered state of mind that I make the decision to call and talk to Aro myself. Bonding should be a wonderful, spiritual experience and I feel that we are being kept from that, or that it's being tarnished somehow.

It's not that I believe that my family is intentionally trying to sabotage us or anything like that, I just think that perhaps their overly cautious actions are interfering with our ability to fully bond and to fully enjoy the process as nature intended.

Resolved, we leave the school grounds and as soon as we are in the privacy of my Volvo we make the call. He answers swiftly, and there only five words that come to my mind,

"Aro, we need your help."


Do you think Aro can and will help them? Is that even a good idea? Is Carlisle withholding information? What do you think they should do? Hmm...

Kisses, Laila xoxo