AN: Because it's been forever since I updated, a quick recap of the last chapter. Bella met Eric at the motel where she eventually called Edward for help. Also, Edward finally told Bella that he loved her. That's the important stuff to take away from it.

This is the final regular chapter. There will be an epi left and then this story will be marked complete.

This chapter is un-beta'd as you'll probably be able to tell as you read.

All things Twilight belong to S.M.

"So um…" I listened as Angela did a horrible job of beating around the bush. She was like this all day. She'd open her mouth to say something, but then quickly close it. I was trying to be patient with her, but it was toward the end of the day and I was already stressed out about the upcoming night.

Edward and I were having our first official date. To say I was nervous was an enormous understatement.

"What, Ang?" I snapped, throwing the dishrag on the countertop and crossing my arms.

I could see her lack of appreciation for my tone. She sucked her teeth, but bit back whatever bitchy response I knew she wanted to say.

"Have you've been back to the therapist?" she asked instead.

"Is that what you've wanted to ask me all day?" I responded with indignation.

"Yeah," she replied in a 'duh' tone. "I was curious."

I look at her accusingly. Why was she so curious? "No, I haven't. Do you think I need to?"

She rolled her eyes and walked across the room and began sweeping up odds and ends that littered the floor. She stopped mid-sweep and glared at me.

"Yeah, you know what? You do need help because your attitude fucking sucks. You're either pissed off at the world or too in your head to actually communicate with me. If you want out, if you're too good for this job now, there's the door. Let it hit you on the way out." She let the broom crash to the floor and violently pushed the doors open. I listened as she opened the register and took the drawer out. I watched as she stomped to her office and slammed the door shut.

"Fuck," I cursed under my breath, pulling at my hair simultaneously. I marched into Angela's office without knocking. She was at her desk angrily counting the day's take.

"Look," I began, pulling a chair out and sitting down. "I'm sorry. I'm not intentionally trying to be a bitch. I haven't gone back to Dr. Brash because I'm trying to figure things out in my head first." Angela stopped counting and looked at me like I was stupid. "I know it doesn't make sense, but…I just need to be in the right place before I can go for help. So much has happened that I need time to compartmentalize." She went back to counting her money, but I could tell she was still listening. "And I don't want to quit…or get fired," I continued. I didn't miss her small smirk. "Then there's the date tonight." She was wearing a shit eating grin.

I knew that would get her.

"Are you excited?" she asked giddily, crushing the money in her hand, her previous temper out the door.

"I am, but holy shit, I'm scared," I responded honestly.

"Why?" Her face had fallen comically.

"I haven't been on a date in…I don't even know how long. Plus, it's Edward! I want to make a good impression. His last girlfriend? A total fucking bitch, but she oozed class when, you know, she was being a total fucking bitch."

"What does that have to do with you?" she asked, one eyebrow raised as if daring my to answer wrongly.

"Hello." I knocked on her desk. "Homeless chick here who wouldn't know her ass from her elbow in a fancy restaurant. There's like ten different forks and fourteen spoons to be used before you even get to dessert." I could see the struggle Angela was having as she tried to remain stoic. "Ever seen Pretty Woman? The part where she send that snail thing flying? Well that's gonna be me, except our waiter isn't going to take it so lightly."

The silence in the small office was interrupted by Angela's shrill laughter.

"It's not funny," I laughed out as I throw a stack of Post-Its at her. "This is serious." I smiled. "Maybe I should cook dinner for us at home? Take some of the pressure off," I suggested.

"No," Angela shouted at me, the fear of God in her eyes reflecting back at me. "Don't. Do. That."

"I'm not that bad, anymore. Alice and Rose have been teaching me some things," I defended.

"Yeah, well it's a good thing you're not paying them because I'm conceived you're un-teachable."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"It means that you almost blew up my kitchen when you tried making baked ziti. Baked ziti, Bella! All that is, is boiling water and stirring shit together. A toddler could do it, yet the experiment ended with a visit from the fire department. I seriously don't get how you can bake, but you're a fire hazard when it comes to carbs, dairy, and sauce." She shook her head in shame. "Do you even know where he's taking you?" she asked.

I pointedly ignored her not-too-made-up recount of that horrible night and answered her question. "No. All he said was that I should dress casual," I replied.

Her face became blank while blinking a few times. Without warning, the Post-Its came flying back my way, catching me in the chin.

"What the hell was that for?" I rubbed where she caught me.

"You went on this whole diatribe about not knowing how to behave in a fancy restaurant and you're telling me he told you to dress casually? What the hell is your damage?" she laughed. "Why would you think he's taking you to a restaurant?"

"I don't know," I grumbled. "It could be casual night or something."

"Bella, I love you. You know you're my girl, but you're an idiot when comes to this guy. You… over think things."

She was right. I knew she was right, but it didn't make it any easier to not over think things. This date meant a lot to me. I wanted to think it meant a lot to Edward, too, but I didn't want to make assumptions, either. I'm sure that his dating experience was vastly more developed than mine.

Along with the regular jitters that accompanied first dates, there were also the expectations that followed a first date. There wasn't a worry of whose house to go back to since we lived together. It also wasn't as if I hadn't already kissed him or seen him semi-naked. However, would Edward expect to finally take that next step in our relationship?

Did I expect it?

"Hey, Ange?" I called out somberly. Her previous look of amusement was quickly wiped clean. "Don't laugh, okay?" I was already on the verge of tears. She shook her head slowly. "If…if you were Edward, would you want to sleep with someone like me? Like, could you bring yourself to have sex with me?"

On the street, as an occupation, I tried mightily to disconnect when I had a client. There was no arousal, no feeling, and especially no emotions. Unless it was utter disgust. But I wasn't on the streets anymore and Edward wasn't a customer. However, how easy – or difficult - would it be for Edward to look past that part of me when put in such an intimate and sexual position? Would he imagine every other guy I was with before? Could he realize that any sexual encounter between us would be nothing like my jobs?

"Oh, sweetie!" Angela dropped the money on the desk before coming around and wrapping her shoulders around me. After, she settled for kneeling in front of me. "Edward knew this about you already. It's not something you'll be springing on him tonight. If the two of you get to that part I'm sure it'll be a conscientious decision. He's a smart man, who I want to believe, doesn't think with his small head. However, if he allows the night to lead in that direction only to say that he is bothered by your past, then I think you need to reevaluate the relationship." She wiped away an errant tear. "And honestly, there are many guys and girls out there who have slept with tons of people just because." She shrugged. "More importantly, though, do you want to sleep with him?"

I rolled my eyes to look at the ceiling, ashamed of my answer. "Yeah," I replied, refusing to look at her.

"Why do you sound embarrassed about that? Edward's a hot guy." I appreciated the lightness in her response, but it did little to ease the guilt.

"I don't know. It's just that…after everything that's happened I feel like I shouldn't want to. Or can't. Like I should be traumatized. You hear about how women can't get close to a guy because she was a victim of sexual assault of some kind or another and then here I am acting like everything's gravy. Shouldn't I be wary or something?"

"What kind of horse shit is that?" Angela practically shouted. I laughed despite myself. "Who said you have to feel a certain way? There are also cases of females, and males, becoming overly sexual for the same reason. Explain that." She shook her head. "Look, I'm not a doctor so I can't reason why you would behave or feel a certain way, but what I can offer is that maybe you feel this way is because it's Edward. You're not just jumping in the sack with him. You know him. You trust him. That makes a world of difference."

"So it doesn't make me a slut?" I sniffled.

She grinned deviously. "I love Ben, but Edward can turn any girl into a slut if he tried hard enough."


"Am I dressed okay?" I asked Edward, my arms out to my side so he could inspect my attire more thoroughly. His eyes trailed from oversized button-down sweater to the knee length boots that covered my jeans. His inspection was uncomfortably long causing me to fidget and wonder exactly what it was that he was critiquing so carefully. Maybe it was my hair. Maybe a complicated up-do would have been more stylish than simply being clipped back.

"Am I not dressed appropriately? Should I go change?" I asked, pointing behind me to my bedroom. "It's my hair, right? Is it really frizzy?"

I knew it. How could I expect to know what it takes to date someone, a successful doctor no less, if I couldn't even dress the part? Even my hair couldn't pretend for one night.

"No, no, no, no," he answered quickly, shaking his hands in the air. "You're fine. You look wonderful. I'm just having a guy moment?"

Looking at him strangely, I asked "What's a 'guy moment'?"

"It's that smug moment when you look at your girlfriend and realize that she's freaking hot. I have a hot girlfriend," he replied with a lazy smirk.

With all my might I tried not indulging him – amusing his inner teenager – but my smile and heated blush could not be stopped. To prevent myself from becoming even more embarrassed, I rolled my eyes and walked away. I heard his footsteps behind me before I felt his arms wrap around me and left up. He swung me around playfully, making me squeal in surprise, before kissing my neck.

"I'm serious," he laughed. "You're beautiful. And I haven't even gotten to the part where I tell you your ass looks great in those jeans."


"So are you going to tell me where we're going?" I asked as I buckled myself into his car. Never had I been so excited and nervous at the same time. This one night meant more so much to me, despite having no clue what we would be doing. He could be taking me to McDonald's playground and I'd cherish it.

"Actually, I am. I wasn't going to at first, but if you'd rather not then we can change plans," he answered.

"I'm up for anything." I reached for his hand and held it tightly in mine. This felt normal, good, and so real.

"Well," he began, chuckling, "wait until I tell you before you say you're okay with it. I scheduled an appointment at a galleria. Ever been into ceramics?" he asked timidly. He was cute when he lacked confidence.

"Really?" I asked with false distain, playing on his shyness. "I mean, I guess that's okay. I took a whole year of pottery." I feigned disinterest, enjoying his squirming. Not that he deserved it, but it made me feel a little better inside.

"Oh. Well…okay. Dinner isn't for another three hours…" he trailed off. I could see the sheen of sweat on the steering wheel where his hand changed positions.

"Edward." I called his name sternly when I saw his jaw begin to twitch. His eyes quickly shifted to mine before focusing back on the road. "I'm joking. Alright? I'm joking," I chuckled trying to ease the tension.

His jaw went slack before his turned his whole head to me for a brief second. "Are you serious?" he asked, groaning. "I was racking my brain for something else to do and coming up empty,"

"I'm sorry," I laughed, although I'm sure that he didn't find it as funny as I did. "I was a little stressed out about this date so I needed some kind of retribution."

"You stressed out?" he asked incredulously. "Ask Jasper what a mess I was at work. Thankfully I didn't kill a patient on my watch." He shook he head but finally managed a smile.

"Why were you nervous?" I was equally disbelieving.

"I don't know…because it's you? Because I haven't put so much thought into a date since high school? Because I didn't want to be another tool that took you on a cliché art date? Pick whichever you like best."

I continued to stare at him – scrutinizing every facet of this man. How could someone, who at one point had been so cruel, turn into someone that deserved more love than was fathomable? He was unlike any other man I had ever met, let alone ever dated. While the date wasn't completely original, I knew that it was completely heartfelt – not just a chance to earn brownie points with me. I could never express my gratitude or love to this man enough. Even if one day he woke and realized that he could do so much better, my heart would always belong to him.

Edward, who unbeknownst to both of us, had the power to make or break my fragile and deteriorating existence.

"I would love to create with you," I confirmed adoringly, stroking his hand with my free one. "I took an instruction class once, but it was just to get a feel for it. It was interesting, but painting was where I wanted to be so I never really went further with it. It'll be interesting to see how I fair."

"You'll probably be great at it like else thing else," he countered.

"Probably," I teased back, feeling the lightest and happiest I've felt all day.


If I wasn't aware before, I came to the realization that Edward was one of those humble braggarts. He claimed he wasn't artsy in the least, but the vase he sculpted out looked pretty amazing to me. The shape itself wasn't anything too fancy, but the intricate lines and slopes set it apart from the more common vases of the other guests around us.

He was obviously having a good time, and very proud of himself. Never once was he not wearing a smug smile when I looked over at his working station. I was having a ball, myself. Maybe it was the company, but I didn't remember enjoying pottery this much before. It had seemed tedious and pointless. Now, it was almost refreshing and actually helped give me a new perspective on my own painting. The colors and shapes and patterns circulating around me implanted new ideas in my head that I hoped I remembered when I was in front of a canvas again.

"I think I'm done," Edward proclaimed proudly. He stood back, hands on hips, and inspected his masterpiece. "Not to pat myself on the back, but I think I missed my calling." He smiled broadly and winked when he caught me rolling my eyes. "Don't be jealous, darling. Your…water pitcher…looks great," he laughed.

I reached over and smacked his shoulder. My lamp looked nothing like a water pitcher and he knew it, too. The electrical components would be installed after.

"My lamp looks awesome. Don't be jealous that all your doctor hands could create was a vase. I'm sure your mother would be proud of this third grade quality project."

"Third grade this," he proclaimed before rushing behind me and tickling my neck with his lips. I yelped in surprise and, honestly, exuberance that he showed affection so easily in public. I would also be lying if I said that I didn't get some sick satisfaction from everyone seeing that Edward – handsome, giving, caring, successful doctor Edward – was with me. "I don't think my mom would want to know about this," he whispered before licking me from collar bone to ear. I groaned too loudly to be appropriate. I didn't fail to feel the twitch in his pants as he was pressed against my backside.

Getting my wits about me, I pushed him away and turned back to my work. "Leave me alone, devil. I have to finish. This lamp right here?" I began while smoothing out the clay. "This is going to be better than any bootleg tiffany lamp you can find in Battery Park." He laughed heartily before taking his vase to the oven.

When he was busy with the instructor, I took a scalpel and made an inscription on the base. Even if we didn't last I had would have something to remember this date forever. Something that time couldn't fade away as the remnants of this date one day might.


"Have I told you what a terrific night I had? That dinner was amazing? Have I said thank you, yet?" I asked as we climbed up the floors in the elevator. I held on to his hand with both of mine and practically hung onto his arm. Any distance between us right now was just too much.

"Only about four times," he replied seriously. "I think I'm due for at least two more times." He smirked down at me before kissing my forehead. "You're welcome, Bella, but stop thanking me. This was for me, too, and I had a great time tonight."

We walked quietly, hand in hand to his apartment. "Ms. Swan, would you like to come in?" he asked with a wave of his hand when we reached the door.

"Will I be clued in on the inner workings of your mind in there?" I asked imploringly, balancing back and forth on my tip toes and heels.

"Trust me; no one wants to know what goes on in my head." He opened the door and with a flourish he signaled for me to enter first.

Once inside I removed my bag and shoes, eager to free my toes from the constricting boots. "I'll be right back," I called over my shoulder as I made my way toward my room. Immediately, I removed my sweater and the tank I had underneath. My bra was killing me and that was next to go.

"What did you say?" Edward opened the door but stopped mid-step. His wide eyes zeroed in on my naked chest. Maybe it was shock, or maybe because I just didn't want to, but I made no move to cover myself. I let him look, hoping that what he saw appealed to him.

Gathering himself minutely, he was able to tear his gaze away from my breasts to look me in the eyes. I looked back, unable to look anywhere else. His steps toward me were measured, hesitant. Careful.

When he was right in front of me, his hands reached out and cupped my face. Bringing his head down, his lips met mine in an intimate kiss. One hand moved down to graze the side of my breast.

"We don't have to do this," I warned him. His wandering hands ceased its movements. I had enough regrets in life and I didn't want to be someone else's. "I'll still take care of you." His hands held my face once again, but instead of bringing it closer to his own, he put more space in between us.

His eyes held a world of anger and hurt that matched my own. "What is that supposed to mean?" he asked gruffly – his voice a mixtures of desire and curiosity.

"I just…" I buried my face between his neck and shoulder, ashamed of the tears I couldn't hold back. I shifted slightly so my words wouldn't come out muffled. "I just don't want you to regret me later. My past and everything."

He took a heavy breath, contemplating his words. "Let's just get this out of the way and not talk about it again," he began, not as angry as I first assumed. "If I was going to let your past come in between us I would not have allowed this relationship to get as far as it has. There wouldn't have been any exclusivity and there certainly wouldn't have been any declarations of love. I know I'm not perfect, but playing with a woman's heart isn't something I'd do." He brought me closer, wrapping his arms around my naked back. "Your past is right where it needs to be, just like mine. We don't need to have this conversation every time we take a new step in this relationship. I'm yours, Bella, with everything included." He placed a kiss on my shoulder. "Now, please let this be the last time we talk about this." He raised my chin with his finger, quirking an eyebrow - silently asking if we were in agreement. I nodded my approval.

Walking us backwards, he laid me down on the bed before removing his shirt. He hovered over me before beginning a trail of kisses starting from my neck to my belly button. Slowly, he unbuttoned my jeans and pulled them down carefully, brushing his fingertips against my bare thighs and legs. When the denim was finally discarded he kissed his way back up, leaving a wet, hot streak as he climbed up my body.

"Let me love you," he whispered breathily before capturing my earlobe in his mouth. He sucked lightly before releasing it with a small bite.

My breaths came in quick, heavy pants as I processed everything he was doing and saying to me. I watched intensely as he worked back down my body, this time discarding the only piece of material that was left. My body was heated, flushed, and ready for whatever he was willing to give.

After my underwear was thrown…somewhere, he looked at me through his lashes, smirking devilishly. I smiled back, equally confused and excited and the potential of what could be swimming in his head.

He ran his hand up my thigh, inserting two fingers into my wet passage. I gasped and arched my back off the bed.

In and out. In and out. In and out until I was on the brink. I clawed at the bedspread and pillow. Anything I could grab. Eventually, coming to my senses, I reached for Edward. I pulled him down by his hair to kiss me again. This time it was more fervent - more urgent and needy.

My hands eventually left his softer than usual locks and trailed down his body to his jeans. I unbuckled them with haste, ridding him of denim and cotton. I reached for his very erect phallus. I began stroking knowingly. I flexed my wrist to reach parts that my fingers could access simply wrapped around him. My pace quickened when his did until he ungraciously pulled away from me, taking his fingers with him.

"What did I do?" I asked around my quickly tightening throat. What had I done wrong? Was it too much too soon, even though he didn't seem to have any qualms about touching me?

"Nothing. Nothing," he answered through clenched teeth. "I'm sorry. I want this to be about you, not me. Let me bring you pleasure, Bella."

My smile returned along with my eagerness to be with him in the most carnal way. He hovered over my body once again as he brought his hand down to touch between my legs.

"I want to touch you," I told him before grabbing him again. The weight and smoothness felt good in my hand. It being Edward made it even better. I watched as his face morphed and scrunched in pleasure. His eyes closed tightly and his breathing picked up erratically.

"Edward," I breathed. "I'm ready. I'm…ready." It was no longer a want, but a desperate need for him to be inside me.

Coming closer, he kissed my swollen lips and entered me at the same time. For a brief few seconds, neither of us moved, taking in the fact that we were finally united the way lovers should be united. When he finally began moving, his trusts were measured and even. Slow and sensual.

When he dipped his head down I thought it was give me another kiss. However, much to my surprise he took my hardened nipple between his lips, sucking ardently before letting go with a gentle bite. I moaned loudly, much more stimulated than I was ever used to. I held on for dear life when he continued the same with the other.

He trusts picked up speed, but his body never got too far away from mine. I could feel his heart beating against mine. The perspiration that glided along the planes of his chest gave him an ethereal shine as it emphasized his understated muscles..

"Bella...Bella..." he chanted like a prayer sent up to heaven.

I clawed at his back, frantic, needing him closer – deeper inside of me.

I loved this man who was loving me so thoroughly.

I pushed him away slightly, clueing him in that I wanted him to stop. His face twisted in displeasure, but obliged nonetheless. With his help, we changed positions.

I straddled him, slowly sinking unto him. I closed my eyes, luxuriating in the feel of him inside me once again. With my hands on his chest I lifted myself up and down on him. It was an excruciating pace –which his face clearly indicated – but I needed this connection with him more than I needed to orgasm.

I leaned forward enough that Edward remained inside me, but could hear me clearly. "I dreamed of you when I had no one but myself," I began whispering in his ear. My eyes began stinging with tears that weren't completely unwelcomed. I swirled my hips when I felt him stiffen underneath me. "I wish more for you than I do for myself." A stray tear fell from my eye unto his lips. I bent further, kissing the saltiness away.

I straightened up again, quickening my pace to bring Edward the release that I knew he needed. For myself, however, I wasn't chasing the end result. Being with him was truly enough for me. Edward's hands tightened around hips as his trusts became quicker and deeper before he stopped altogether. He wrapped his arms around my waist, holding me close as he sat up. My legs wrapped around his back, readjusting our position.

"Baby," he panted in my ear. "This is what I want. I want us to be happy together." With one hand holding the back of my head and the other on my hip, he began trusting faster yet, bringing himself to the relief that he'd been craving.

I could feel the moment he reached his plateau. His movements became erratic before slowing down. He lay back down, taking my body with him. I rested on his sweaty form, taking everything in.

"I'm sorry," he finally croaked, his voice dry and raspy. "You didn't finish, did you? I couldn't stop myself from coming."

"Shh." I kissed his lips, stopping him from saying anything else. "I'm fine. This was…" I stopped talking to take a shuddering breath. "It wasn't perfect, but it was beautiful and nothing I've ever experienced before." I looked deep into his eyes. "I've never made love before." I smiled shyly, and somewhat embarrassed at the stupid confession. I rested my head on his shoulder.

He began rubbing my back soothingly, slowly causing me to relax enough to sleep. My lids grew heavy as I'm sure my body was on top of Edward's.

"Me neither, baby. Thank you for being my first," I heard him say before sleep got the better of me. I smiled against his chest, confident that he could feel my happiness.

I continued to lie on top of him as sleep eluded me. Overtime, my heartbeat synchronized with the rise and fall of his chest. Our previous activity played on repeat in my head. Every stroke, caress, and kiss. Every show of absolute love and devotion from two people who didn't deserve each other, but belonged together.

"Thank you for not breaking me."

AN: So they finally did the deed. Honestly, the reason this chapter took me so long was because I suck at romance and lemons. If it sucked, I apologize, but I'd still like to know what you thought.

Like I mentioned above, one more chapter before I mark this bad boy complete!