CHAPTER 1

There had been some interesting changes in our relationship since our last trip to the meadow. The day he had offered me everything and I - shockingly - decided to wait. As the new 'protector of my virtue', my boundaries were a lot less strict than his had been and we had both been enjoying the new experiences. I knew though, that it was difficult for him to walk this tightrope between virtue and what he considered vice. But I was developing a plan.

I knew that these days of our last summer together as human and vampire were critical. The last days before our wedding and more importantly- to me at least, the last days before our honeymoon, would need to see some changes in our physical relationship. Neither Edward, nor I, were ready to control ourselves if we didn't work into things slowly.

I sat in the chair at my desk, working through all these thoughts. Edward should be arriving any minute through my window. I was trying to examine all the angles of the deal I was about to try and strike with Edward. I was also trying to work up the courage to actually talk about these things.

One of Renee's only lines of motherly advice rang through my head. 'If you can't talk with a boy about sex, you shouldn't be doing it with him'. I had rolled my eyes at her favorite line, as if there was anyone I was even considering, but I could finally see the truth in it. It was time to become an adult.

A cool breeze of air announced the arrival of my fiance. I stumbled over the word in my head. Fiance. It was so strange to put that title on my perfect angel. My forever. There had to be a more encompassing word for how I felt about him. How we felt about each other. I filed that thought away to focus on the task at hand. Becoming an adult.

Edward looked breathtaking as usual. He was dressed in the same clothes he had been wearing when he left my house before dinner. His button down shirt and jeans were still immaculate. In contrast, I had already thrown my clothes in the laundry hamper, splattered with sauce from the dinner I cooked for Charlie and myself. As was my routine, I had showered and changed into my pajamas before he came over to spend the night with me.

He gathered me in his arms and kissed me. Before I had a chance to realize I'd been moved, he was seated in my chair and I was settled on his lap with my arms still around his neck. I smiled.

"I missed you." I gave him my usual responded with a kiss that left me gasping for breath.

"How was your dinner with Charlie?" he asked politely.

"Good. Nothing special. I made pasta. He watched sports, I showered. And here we are."

"Here we are," he repeated. His tone made my words sound sultry and mysterious. How could he do that? I spent a few more minutes kissing him to help build up my resolve. The lines I'd practiced in my head didn't sound right anymore. How was I supposed to broach the subject I'd been secretly brooding over for a few days?

"Edward, can we talk?" Simple. Classic. To the point. I decided it was a good start.

"Of course, Love." He continued to kiss me as I tried to think of how to initiate the conversation.

I stood up and walked over to the bed, taking several deep breaths. That got his attention. I don't think I'd ever walked away from his kisses before. He turned in the chair to watch me pace, looking at me curiously. When I didn't start soon enough, he helped break the silence.

"So, what do you want to talk about exactly?"

"I've been thinking about something that I think we should talk about. Officially." He nodded for me to go on trying to smother a smile.

He knew that I was about to try to negotiate for something. I also knew that he would happily give me any material possession my heart desired. He was probably feeling pleased that I wanted something from him finally. If my guess was right, he was about to be thrown a curve ball. I mentally prepared myself for a bit of a fight.

"Ever since that day in the meadow, when you, um, offered to give me anything I want..." The smirk died off his face, realizing where I was headed. I was already stammering. I had to be direct. Just like Renee always said, I had to be willing to talk about sex. I started over. "You know that I want to have sex with you." He froze. Not a single muscle moved in his body.

"Not right this second," I clarified. That seemed to put him a little more at ease. More accurately, his eye brow had moved. I tried again. "I want to have sex with you, after our wedding, as a human. Before you turn me into a vampire." I nodded, satisfied with my clarification.

He nodded warily in response.

"You know all that. What I'm trying to say is that, I think we're setting ourselves up for failure if we don't talk about this like adults." There, that was a line I'd practiced. That sounded good. Unemotional, logical.

"Adults," he repeated slowly.

The irony of me telling my one hundred and seventeen year old vampire fiance it was time to be an adult was not lost on me. But he seemed to be taking me seriously. He was definitely interested in where I was going with this. He had that expression he got when he wished he could just pluck the words out of my mind- exasperated curiosity.

"I think that if we're going to do something that no one in history has ever done before and be smart about it, we need to work out a plan." He nodded seriously. Check off another line I worked out in advance - he loved planning. Here came the difficult part.

"Furthermore -"

"Furthermore?" he smirked. I gave him my best glare. Admittedly, that had sounded a lot less cheesy in my mind. I continued on anyway.

"Furthermore - I don't think we can go from zero to one hundred on our wedding night without there being problems. I think we should try to work into things." No reaction. "Physically." I watched his expressionless face. His carefully blank mask had slid into place making it impossible to guess what he was thinking. I had expected arguments or denials or a refusal to talk about it. Not this thoughtful quietness. I panicked.

"It's not just for you, it would be as much for me too. You know how I get all flustered and attack you when we do anything more than kiss? And then I forget to breathe all the time. And I thought that maybe we could work into things. We can establish boundaries that we won't cross, we don't have to push it all in one night- we have all summer, so if we need to slow down - it's not a big deal. I don't want to push you into anything you're not comfortable with-" I was in full panic mode. I just needed him to say something.

He moved and was suddenly sitting on the bed next to me holding me into his side. I shut my mouth to keep from talking more and the blushing started. At least I was able to get through my speech before I was completely red faced.

"Don't be embarrassed." He stroked my hair as he leaned down to look deeply into my eyes. "I think it's a very logical idea. A sort of desensitization therapy." He laughed, his amber eyes twinkling. "Only you could come up with something so strange. But logical. I'm impressed. I should have thought of something like that. Although I doubt it would have occurred to me in a hundred more years. Talking about sex is such a modern idea. Practicing at it- well, it would have caused fainting in my day."

I exhaled in relief. I'd been unconsciously holding my breath waiting for his rejection. Some of the heat behind my cheeks seemed to dissipate as well.

"So you think it's a good idea?"

"I do. We should talk about the details and work on a plan together. It sounds like you've put some thought into it." I nodded, prepared to discuss. "Would it be okay if I took a day to think about this and come up with some ideas? Maybe some ground rules? You should feel free to do the same of course. We can talk about it tomorrow night."

"That sounds great."

I was so relieved to be done with this conversation, and to have his agreement that I felt giddy. It took some kissing and the gentle humming of my favorite lullaby for me to calm down enough to sleep.

AN: This is an exploration of the nights during the summer between Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. I intend to stick to cannon (read: They will NOT be having sex). However, I believe there may have been [a lot] more wiggle room that summer than perhaps we all assumed. Exactly what happened to have Edward end up shirtless in bed? Could they have reached some kind of compromise along the way? Edward is, after all, also a man. I have 17 chapters of this story already written out. And I have to say, it's pretty good. I hope you'll enjoy the ride as much as I have.

Disclaimer: No copyright infringement is intended. I am not receiving any compensation other than the pleasure of playing with the wondefully angsty creations of Stephenie Meyer.