I chewed on the pen cap, deep in thought. I only had a few minutes until my fiance arrived. I stumbled over the word in my head. Fiance. It was so strange to put that title on Edward. He was my forever. I couldn't imagine a life without him, and fiance just sounded so... ordinary. There had to be a more encompassing word for how I felt about him. How we felt about each other.
I was distracting myself from the task at hand.
I put the tip of the pen on my paper, and tried to muster up the courage to write. Since our last trip to the meadow, there had been some interesting changes in our relationship. The day Edward had offered me everything and I - shockingly - decided to wait. It had shifted everything between us. Edward no longer felt compelled to check our physical relationship at every moment, I became the new judge of how far I was willing to go with him. As the new 'protector of my virtue', my boundaries were a lot less strict than his had been. We had both been enjoying the new experiences. But it was difficult to walk this tightrope between virtue and what he considered vice.
But I had a plan. These days of our last summer together as human and vampire were critical. We only had a few weeks before our wedding and more importantly, before our honeymoon. Some changes need to happen in our physical relationship. Neither of us was 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. I kept glancing at the window, ready to swipe my list out of sight. I needed to examine all the angles of my plan. And then somehow figure out a way to find the courage to talk about it.
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 the time - 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 breeze of cool air lifted the edges of my paper. My heart skipped a beat.
Edward looked breathtaking as usual. He was dressed in the same clothes he wore when he left my house before dinner. His button down shirt and jeans were immaculate. In contrast, my sauce-splattered clothes were already in the hamper, and I had showered and changed into my pajamas. It was my routine every night.
He gathered me in his arms and kissed me. Before I had a chance to realize I'd been moved, I was settled on his lap, and we were seated in my rocking chair.
I smiled "I missed you." I
"How was your dinner with Charlie?" he asked politely.
"Good. Nothing special. I made spaghetti. He watched sports, I showered. And here we are."
"Here we are."
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? "Can we talk?" Simple. Classic. To the point.
"Of course, Love." He continued to kiss me as I tried to think of how to initiate the conversation.
I stood up suddenly, catching us both by surprise and walked over to the bed. That got his attention. I don't think I'd ever walked away from his kisses before. He watched me pace, his mouth twisted on one side in curious humor. I looked at him and then away, fighting back a blush.
"What do you want to talk about, exactly?"
"There's something I think we should talk about. Officially."
He folded his arms and leaned back in his chair, with a small smug smile on his face. I'd seen that expression before. He knew I wanted something. He would happily give me any material possession my heart desired. He was about to be thrown a curve ball, because not even all of the Cullen's money would buy me what I wanted.
"Ever since that day in the meadow, when you, um, offered to give me anything I want..." The smirk died off his face when he realized where I was headed. I was already stammering. I had to be direct. 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."
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?" He smirked.
I gave him my best glare. Admittedly, that had sounded a lot less cheesy in my mind. "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 from him. "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.
Panic flooded me. "It's not just for you, it would be as much for me, too. You know how I get all flustered and attack you. 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 -"
He moved and suddenly we were on the bed, cradled in his lap again. I shut my mouth 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 good idea. A sort of desensitization therapy." He laughed, his amber eyes twinkled. "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 mass hysteria in my day."
I exhaled. 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 with my list. I'd put an embarrassing amount of time thinking about all the ways I'd like to explore a physical relationship with him. "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.