I own the storyline. The characters are someone else's.

Here is the lemon as requested by the majority of the reviewers. If you're not interested, the next chapter will post in a few weeks. I hope you like!

~HOH~

Chapter 20: The lemon

Bella and Edward stared at each other in silence, unsure who should make the first move. The sun continued its journey below the horizon, casting longer and longer shadows in the room. The silence wasn't uncomfortable, rather it was peaceful and relaxing for which Bella was eternally grateful.

"It's going to be dark soon," Bella whispered before shaking her head at the silliness at her quite statement. "Sorry. Of course it's going to be dark. We have no idea where the candles are and how to light them."

She felt like an idiot and hoped and prayed the Apocalypse would happen right then and there and destroy the world before she opened her mouth again. Bella hung her head and snorted in frustration. She felt Edward was going to find her a complete idiot.

Even in the dim light, Edward could see she was nervous and had no idea why. His first assumption was that she was not quite ready for this step in their relationship and while he was disappointed, he would never force her to do something she didn't want to do.

"Bella, we don't have to do this," Edward assured, lifting her chin so she'd look at him.

"Yes, we do." She flushed red at her own brazenness, earning a warm smile. "I mean…I want to."

Edward nodded in understanding.

"I'm just … nervous. After everything we've been through lately, I want this to be so perfect. I don't know why but I want every moment with you to be utterly perfect."

He smiled, completely in agreement with her feelings. But he knew one thing that she didn't. Every moment with Bella felt perfect even when things were not going the right way because he was with her.

"Stay very still. I want to try something," he whispered, cupping her cheek in one hand as he leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on her lips.

Edward silently mouthed the words 'I love you' against her lips. Her quick gasp assured him that she understood.

The kiss may have begun as a gentle touch but grew slowly and steadily, earning him a quiet hum of satisfaction from Bella as she drew closer. Edward tenderly pulled away, running his thumb over her cheek as his eyes found hers. She smiled tentatively at him and relaxed visibly when he smiled back.

"I would stay with you forever, Miss Swan," he murmured before kissing her again.

Bella wrapped her arms around his shoulders, pulling him closer.

"I would be with you forever, Dr. Cullen," she whispered. "I love you, too."

Edward's eyes sparkled in the fading light as he smiled, gazing at her kiss-swollen lips. There was no doubt in his mind that he had found his meant to be.

Bella reached up and pulled the now-wilted Camilla blossom from her hair and extracted the hair clip, shaking free her curls, sighing happily as they tumbled over her shoulders. She tossed the clip and flower onto the table beside the bed only to hear the clip clatter to the floor.

Edward chuckled at her exasperated sigh before standing with her in his arms. He gently turned her around and placed a light kiss on her shoulder as he slowly untied her sash. They watched the ribbon float to the floor.

"You are so lovely," he whispered, running one hand up her back and then down. Edward pulled away ever so slightly, looking at her dress in confusion.

The sudden pause in his actions puzzled her and she looked over her shoulder in silent question.

"How the hell do you get this thing off? There's no zipper or buttons or …"

Bella giggled before reaching down and pulled the dress over her head in a quick flourish of rustling cotton.

Again, Edward saw Bella in the simple, modest white cotton undergarments he had seen just a few days before, but this time, he knew he would divest her of them one by one.

"It's not exactly sexy," Bella murmured self-consciously. "Alice would have a fit."

"Please do not mention my sister when I'm about to take you to bed," Edward insisted before spinning her around and tugging slowly on the ties until her corset loosened and fell to the ground, leaving her standing in a thin, lacy chemise and pantaloons. "Because that is the last thing on my mind right now."

Edward pulled Bella toward him as he sat on the edge of the bed, settling her between his thighs. He shrugged out of his overcoat and tossed it onto a nearby chair.

"I would much rather think of whether to unfasten these buttons or to rip them off," he said quietly, running one finger over the small pearl buttons between her breasts.

Bella's quick intake of breath caused Edward to glance up at her, his eyes dark.

"I'm terrible with a needle and thread," she murmured, slowly pulling his cravat loose and tugging it up. It fell to the floor next to her sash. Bella took hold of his shirt and tried to take it off but to no avail. She huffed in frustration as it refused to pull free.

"It's extra long." Edward stood and pulled the shirt from his trousers and whipped it over his head.

"I could wear that as a dress," Bella agreed, turning to watch it fly over her head.

"Later," he whispered before ducking his head and placing a soft kiss on her collarbone. "Much, much later."

She enjoyed the sight of strong arms and broad shoulders before him, ignoring the chuckle she heard as her eyes dipped lower. Dr. Edward Cullen was mighty fine example of the benefits of exercise and obviously fantastic genetics. Mentally, Bella knocked herself in the head at the thought. Here was the man that captured her heart that she was about to make love to and she was waxing poetically about his DNA.

Bella Swan, you are a nerd.

Edward continued to feather light, warm kisses across her shoulder as his hands gently reached around and slowly began to unfasten the buttons on her chemise, starting at the top. Bella sighed contently and tilted her head back to give him more access. Her eyes fluttered open as his lips found a particularly sensitive spot below her ear.

Bella paused, gripping Edward's hands in hers, her eyes wide.

"What?" he whispered before nibbling on her ear.

"The mirror," she replied, nodding toward the fireplace where Marie's prison now hung.

"Well, I'll be damned," he muttered, pausing for a minute after he turned to see what had captured her attention.

"What do you think it means?"

"Don't care," he whispered, popping one more button to emphasize his words.

"You don't?" Bella's voice held a note of incredulity that he wasn't the least bit curious about this new development. And then his fingers traced over the satin ribbon tied in a pretty bow at the front of her pantaloons. She suddenly forgot everything about the mirror and Marie and Anthony and anything other than the gorgeous, intelligent, sexy man behind her.

"Nope. Other than this mystery bringing us together, I'm tired of puzzling over it. Right now …" He slowly slid one strap of the chemise over her shoulder, baring it completely to him. Edward placed a kiss on her collarbone before repeating the actions on the other side. "I have other things on my mind."

Bella watched in the mirror as his fingers caressed the naked skin revealed by the half unbuttoned chemise. His fingers continued to lightly dance down her arms, causing Bella's skin to erupt with goose bumps.

"Really?" she breathed.

"Oh, yeah." He smiled wickedly up at her and tugged her closer by the chemise, earning a soft giggle in response.

Edward slid the chemise further down Bella's shoulders, baring the tops of her breasts. She tossed him a questioning look until he spun her around and his mouth, hot and wet, pressed over her heart, earning a quiet sigh of contentment. He quickly unfastened the remaining few buttons and slid the chemise off. Without thinking, Bella tried to cover herself as Edward pulled back.

"Oh, no you don't," he whispered before his lips trailed down one breast. He held her arms gently at her sides. "Don't hide."

Bella nodded and closed her eyes as his lips trailed lower and lower.

"God, you are gorgeous." Edward smiled at her quiet gasp as he reached his target, feeling her fingers lace through his hair. He lightly blew across the nipple, causing it to peak and a fresh set of goose bumps to erupt over her skin.

"Cold?" he murmured before laving his tongue over her other breast as his fingertips glided over the edge of lace around her waist.

Edward chuckled as he felt her hair whip back and forth as she shook her head in denial and her fingers tightened their grip.

Bella's knees began to buckle and she tugged him with her as she moved backwards toward the bed. She sat down on the edge and raised his face towards hers. Without a word, she scooted back against the pillows, her eyes never leaving his.

With a half-smile, he removed the rest of his clothing before turning back toward the bed. Bella's eyes raked over Edwards' naked body.

God, he is gorgeous she thought.

Without a word, she hooked her fingers into the waistband of her pantaloons and they soon joined the rest of their clothes on the floor. Edward silently watched as she crooked her finger at him.

A growl reverberated low in Edward's chest as he slowly crawled over her. Bella giggled as the scruff on his jaw tickled her throat before it was overtaken by a sigh of pleasure as his lips found hers.

"I love you, Bella," he whispered as he hovered over her.

"I love you," she replied before wrapping her arms around him.

And the time for words had ceased. Edward lowered himself onto her, relishing the feeling of soft curves against muscled plain. Hands wandered and caressed, fondled and teased. Groans and gasps as new territories were discovered, noted and stored in memory to revisit in the future. Sometimes the sensations were gentle and soft. Sometimes the sensations were more forceful.

Time lost all meaning as the kisses and caresses continued. The moon rose and soon a silvery light filled the bedroom. Edward rested on his side and silently gazed at Bella, her hair in wild disarray, her lips swollen and parted as she lightly panted, trying to catch her breath. He had never seen anyone so beautiful. She brushed back an errant lock that had fallen across his forehead and smiled before resting one hand on his hip. Edward nuzzled her cheek and lightly placed a few kisses on her jawline, nipping gently.

With a wicked twinkle in her eyes, she took advantage of his momentary distraction and rolled Edward over onto his back and straddled him, feeling him harden even more under her thigh. Dr. Cullen was truly blessed and she hoped she was about to be. He watched in silent wonder as she shifted ever so slightly, aligning him just right.

"Mine," Bella whispered forcefully as she took him in.

Edward watched in awe as Bella's head lolled back as her hips instinctively rocked back and forth. She looked like a goddess taking her pleasure from him, slowly at first, her dark brown locks cascading down over her breasts in the dim light. Edward grabbed her hips and guided her to take him deeper within, earning a gasp and a sigh that spurred him on.

He watched as she, eyes closed in pure joy, rocked back and forth, her hands caressing her breasts, pinching and groping as quick gasps and cries filled the room. Edward's hands drifted over her thighs, down to where they joined, earning an emphatic nod as his fingers teased and drove her further toward the edge.

Edward felt her tighten further, hot and wet, spurring him on toward his own release and when Bella opened her eyes and saw him staring up at her he knew she was oh so close.

"What do you need?" he whispered between upward thrusts, his fingers stroking furiously.

"I…" she gasped before a string of expletives burst from her lips, sending Edward rocketing toward his own not-so-silent release.

Minutes later, collapsed in a pile in the center of the bed, two bodies lay intertwined in a panting, sweaty mess, sated and sleepy. Bella stretched lazily, giggling at the groan that escaped Edward's lips when her breast nearly poked him in the eye.

"Be right back," she whispered, climbing out of bed, grabbing his shirt and tossing it on as she walked behind the privacy screen.

"Don't get dressed on my account," Edward called, rising to straighten the mattress that had somehow become skewed.

Bella's laugh floated over the wall, earning a smile in response. When she returned, the bed was back in some semblance of order and she climbed in next to Edward, snuggling close as his arms encircled her. He kissed her on the temple and pulled the covers over them.

"I told you this could be a dress," she murmured sleepily.

"I like you in my clothes," Edward agreed, his fingers lightly running up and down her arm, eyes closed and enjoying having her body pressed against his. "Not as much as I like you out of them, but this is still quite nice."

Bella nodded and allowed herself to drift off to sleep, safe and secure in the arms of her beloved, never noticing the faint purple glow that emanated from the mirror now over the fireplace.

~HOH~

Thank you so much for your patience. I did warn you that lemons take me a while. Add to the mix a girls weekend to Philly to visit Javamomma0921 (LOADS of fun!), Spring Break for my girls and having my house for sale and writing time just hasn't been there.

BUT…we now have a contract on our house (I'm sure you heard my shouts of joy) and we're looking for a place to move to by the end of May. No pressure, right? Yikes.

I hope you enjoyed the chapter! As always, I treasure your thoughts.

Thank you for reading!

Probably about 2 more chapters and an epilogue. And then it's back to Evermore for me!