Hopefully this makes things more clear... maybe? Thank you all for reading & reviewing. Thank you for entertaining my momrosity. Thank you SereneInNC for beta'ing so soon after seeing Cosmopolis.


BPOV

We lay together and Edward whispers like a lover in my ear. He tickles my ribs, making me squirm and giggle. He is relieved and I can't recall ever reading that emotion on his face before. I sense the sun climbing higher in the dusty pink sky.

"You have the most beautiful tits." He kneads and I sigh. "And the most beautiful eyes." We trade kisses. His fingers slide lower and I wriggle. "And you've got the most beautiful c -"

I giggle and slap his hand away, thankfully silencing him. He pulls my body on top of his and my hair falls into his face. He sputters and swats as he tries to dodge the strands. I shake my head, teasing him with tendrils, laughing.

"You don't like my beautiful hair?"

"It doesn't belong in my beautiful eyeballs."

I grin. He does have beautiful eyeballs. He smiles up at me and pulls me in for a kiss, holding my body to his with a force so swift and sure, I have no choice. His lips press against mine, his chest heaves, he's hard and his hands are firm. I give in. It's easy to do and I want nothing more.

After a kiss with force enough to leave me breathless his hands relax their hold. His smile returns. He sighs.

"You're better now," I whisper.

"You're safe."

"Why wouldn't I be?"

His eyes move past me and I wait. The way he manages to keep a wall up while he thinks, I can't fathom what might be running through his head.

"How are your investments?" I probe.

His hands cup my breasts. "Precious."

"Edward," I admonish.

A hand cups my cheek. "Invaluable."

"I'm being serious."

"As am I. I have my answers. With you in my life I've changed. I will hold you forever, even if you pass. I'll wither and grow gray and my existence will never be the same. My heart will beat until I expire."

My breath catches in my throat. The juxtaposition of his words with his lighthearted, transcendent smile is jarring.

"I can take you with me. Katrina told me how. It's not just a story breathed on the wind. You can rise like a phoenix from the ashes of the living. You and I can walk through the valley of the shadow of death hand in hand. Even I might fear your strength. But I will never leave you. My soul will cleave to yours – the grave cannot sever what the heart holds dear. You can't leave me. I will perish without you."

"No. You can't." I'm firm and insistent.

He pushes the hair from my face. He smiles – his smile goes on forever. "My dear. My heart. My love. There was a story told long ago. God came down and fell in love with the world. You are my world."

"I'm not a world; I'm a woman. And you're not a god. You're a man. You said so yourself."

"I do have a gender and I think you'll agree that I know how to use it."

He presses his gender against me, but I try to ignore. "What happened after the, um… god fell in love?"

"The world died. You know these gods. These myths. They exist as stories. They'll remember me as your story, like Zeus to the Ancient Greeks."

"And this makes you happy?"

"I know now, Bella. I know that Katrina has left us to find our way. I know what could become of you, and what awaits me. I know. I love you and I've seen our two possible futures. One choice or the other, in body or in spirit, you will be with me forever. This brings me peace. Your warm skin brings me hope. In you I finally find my home."

He's rolled me onto my back. He's brought his forehead to mine. His body hovers, barely touching. His eyes burn.

"Our bodies can be together forever."

"Edward," I try to protest.

"Don't 'Edward' me. Forever, Bella. You and I."

He settles his body on mine. The air feels heavy and electric like the charge before a storm.

"Would you like it?" he asks.

His knees part my thighs.

"Do you want me? This? Forever?"

"I don't believe -"

"Would you like it?" he asks with his lips against mine. "Would you like it?" he asks, holding my hip, finding me ready. I hear myself moan.

"Would you like it?" His hand is knotted in my hair; his hips grind against mine.

"Would… you… like… it?"

In an instant he's sitting on his heels at the foot of the bed. My chest is heaving and my skin is damp. I'm open and incomplete.

"You would like it. Your body, your eyes, your heart, your…" his eyes dip and darken. "You would like eternity together."

He waits a breath and then he's back – on top, around me and inside - and my heart feels as if it might shatter. But I hold tight, with fingers, thighs, heels and teeth. I hold tight and ask myself whether emptiness can compete. I ask whether I can walk away. And then I can't ask anything else, because of the rhythm, and the friction, and his breath and our light.

xXxXx

Later we lay panting. I've given up trying to judge time. Outside the windows the sky is orange and blue. There are lights on in the building across the way. Edward plays with my hair, letting the strands fall through his fingers.

I can't meet his eyes. I'm afraid of what I might say. "I'd have to give up my family."

"As with death."

"And after, I would… you… killing?"

Of course, he understands.

"We decide the living from the dead. You know of this necessity. You already understand my place in this world. You explained it to your niece: sometimes people have to die."

My eyes find his. They are soft and wet. I hide my face against his bare chest.

"Don't I have to die?"

"I'm here, in your bed, irrevocably in love."

"But Edward, that choice…"

He places a finger beneath my chin and tips my head so he can look into my eyes. "That choice is not yours. I was confused. I forgot myself in you. Trust me."

"Trust you?"

"I love you."

"And god came down and fell in love with the world," I murmur.

"What if the world didn't die?" he asks.

"What if she did?"

"That god and his world would be eternally bound. You and I are either a legend and a long lost civilization, or something as constant as the sun."

"I can't decide."

"I can."

"I never had the choice."

He holds my face in his hands.

"Not from the moment I picked you from the crowd – a beautiful mystery in the shadow of death. Not from the moment you agreed to come with me. Didn't you know?"

"I thought you'd kill me."

"So did I."

He places a tender kiss on my lips. I feel air slipping from the lungs in my chest.

"And god fell in love with the world," I whisper.

"You were there for the first beat of my heart. Do you know what you want?" he asks.

"Does it matter?"

"Are you frightened?"

"I've never been frightened of death."

"What about eternal life?"


Until the next, and possibly last chapter... xxx ~BDC