Bella gazed across the choppy grey waters of the Atlantic, Liverpool Docks albeit now a dot on the horizon, her old life disappearing as the expanse of water grew larger, separating it from the new. A new life, she thought, in the new world, an adventure.
The bitter wind cut through her woollen clothes, Bella wrapped her arms tighter around her body, trying to keep the little warmth she had. The cold sting made her eyes water profusely but she couldn't pull them from her future as she turned to gaze in the direction of her new beginning.
Edward spotted her alone on the deck; as always her beauty took his breath away; her long mahogany hair took on a life of its own, whipped up and around her face, her cheeks pink, as a result of the bracing sea breeze, not a blush this time.
"Here you are." She felt the warmth from his body as he slid his arms around her waist and tugged her closer; pressing suggestively against her. Bella's excitement increased, he'd taken great pleasure in explaining in great detail what he would do to her body once they were on-board the ship, the Mary-Ann.
"Penny for them," he whispered huskily in her ear, sending more shivers down her body, he chuckled at her quiver. Edward knew the effect he had on her, as she had the same on him.
Bella turned in his embrace and encircled him in her arms, "I was just thinking how lucky I am," she said and kissed the end of his nose, which was rapidly turning colder.
"We could take this conversation into our cabin you know," Edward quirked his eyebrow making her giggle.
"Why, Mr Cullen, are trying to seduce me?"
"I most certainly am, my dear Mrs Cullen," he replied taking her by the hand and leading her below decks.
The cabin was small but comfortable for their long journey; Bella and Edward looked on this time as a belated honeymoon, before they started their busy life together in America.
He wasted no time in slipping his wife from her dress and allowing it to fall from her body, kissing the exposed flesh around her neck and shoulders, almost devouring her in the process, he stepped back to admire the view of Bella in a cream silk chemise, knickers, and a pearl choker. She smiled coyly while looking through her long lashes, and tugging gently at the ends of her hair.
"Just stand there," he instructed as he began to undress himself, never taking his eyes from her as he did, she was so incredibly exquisite, he didn't want to waste time looking upon anything else.
Bella's breathing hitched as she watched him teasing her, his green eyes growing darker with want as the removal of each item revealed a bit more of his incredible body to her.
He stripped until he was naked for her to feast her eyes, and mouth upon.
Edward let out a long throaty groan as she moved towards him and took his solid length in her hand, twisting and rubbing him expertly, then covering his mouth with her own. It thrilled him very much on the occasion when she took charge in the bedroom. Bella began moving her mouth across his salty skin, tasting him, inhaling his scent, he was hers and she longed to remind him. She dropped to her knees reverently and took his long, hard cock into her eager mouth.
Edward felt his knees buckle as she sucked him all the way in until he touched the back of her throat, where she swallowed around his sensitive end. She slid him out and back in again all the time looking up at him. Bella knew his body well and expertly drove him to the point of madness and back again with her hot mouth.
He threaded his fingers into her long hair and guided her up his torso to his waiting mouth, he pushed his tongue deep inside her and sought the company of hers, wrapping them together in an erotic tangle, with lips still joined, he managed to relieve her of her underwear, leaving her only in pearls.
Edward pushed her forcefully backwards to sit on the bed, and he knelt on the floor before her, with a hand on each knee he forced her to part her legs, he thrilled at the look of desire in her eyes, as he slid his hands up the inside of each thigh, until the tips of his fingers grazed her hot, wet pussy. She gasped and threw her head back as he gently stroked through her fleshy folds, coating his fingers in her juices, sliding smoothly into her silken interior. Bella pushed herself forward, forcing his fingers further inside her.
So impatient, he thought with a smile. He kissed her mouth before pushing her back onto the bed, then he lavished kisses across her flat stomach, feeling the ripple of quivering muscle; all the time sliding his fingers methodically in and out of her, making sure to press against her clit. Using his tongue he licked a lazy pattern across her warm skin, gradually moving towards the epicentre of her pleasure. Edward felt Bella's impatience begin to grow again as her fingers found themselves tangled into his hair, he knew if he didn't put his mouth to her soon, she would force him to, like she had done so many times before. He was rewarded with a gasp of pleasure as he kissed her swollen lips and slid his tongue through her musky folds.
"Oh yes," she whispered and bucked against his mouth, he had once told her that he thought she was happiest with his lips against her quim. There had been no denial, and Bella had smiled most wickedly in response.
His tongue sought out her small, fleshy pearl and dragged gently over it, back and forth, over and over; he began to increase pressure asBella's moans grew louder and she writhed beneath him. He enjoyed the sounds of her pleasure and each moan resonated within his cock, making him harder, so impossibly hard, he grew impatient; he needed to be inside of her. Edward increased his pace, he would not tease today; he felt her walls contract around his fingers. Pleasure approached, her body froze momentarily then she lost herself in joy. Before her orgasm had ceased, Edward had seated himself deep inside of her, he felt the ebb and flow as he shared the final throes of her climax, a few deep thrusts and Bella was experiencing her second orgasm. It was too much pleasure to behold and Edward let himself over to his carnal side; Bella instructed him on numerous occasions to abandon himself and truly fuck her, it was no time to be a gentleman. He closed his eyes to focus his attention solely on his cock, his pleasure, as he thrust deep and hard and fast into her, she was squeezing, sucking him in to her hot, wet depths. There was no slow build up as his climax tore through his body, exhausting, draining him, leaving him dizzy and gasping for breath in her arms. They lay together sated and sweaty, still entwined erotically around each other, the world could end now and they would die content.
She felt him grow heavy with sleep and she cradled him to her. "My husband," she whispered.
Husband, she mused, a word she would never tire of, she thought back three years, when they'd become husband and wife.
"How do Romany usually wed?" Alice had enquired one evening during supper.
Bella and Emmett both stopped eating and looked sheepishly at each other across the table. The Cullen's hadn't pressed them for much information on their former life; and both had been grateful for that, it was a sensitive subject for them both, and they were happy to leave the past where it belonged.
They hadn't attended many clan weddings, but their father had shared his wedding day memories, time and time again, it was etched into both their brains, and it would be the first time anyone other than he had retold it.
"Our parents' marriage was arranged by our grandparents," Emmett began.
Rosalie let out a small gasp of horror; she'd the horror stories of arranged marriages and did not approve of them.
Emmett smiled, "They had a right to refuse if they wished, but they agreed to the union, father always said he knew she was the one for him."
"The groom's parents then had to pay a bride's price to the bride's family, who would be losing a daughter as she would be joining the groom's clan," Bella added, smiling at Dr. Cullen cheekily.
"We'd pay," he answered grinning back at her raising his glass, he liked that she'd become comfortable enough with him to tease, occasionally.
"The actual ceremony usually takes place outdoors and consists of the bride and groom promising themselves to one another in-front of the clan, with the help of an elder," said Emmett. "Then they celebrate, sometimes for days."
Bella watched Edwards reaction, she could see the wrinkle at the bridge of his nose appear as he thought. "That's it?" He finally asked in disbelief, he cursed himself for not thinking to ask her before now; there was so much he had yet to know about Bella and her heritage.
"Yes," she giggled.
There was a hush around the dining room as everyone was deep in thought.
"We could do that here," he said, his words echoed everyone's thoughts and there was a chorus of agreement.
"What about the church?" Bella asked, she'd accepted giving up her heritage when she left her clan, stayed with the Cullen's and burning the caravan was more than symbolic.
"We can still go to the church...but I'd like to do it your way too, it's only right," he said softly, she could see the sorrow in his face.
"It's alright," Bella tried to say so much more without words, she hoped she'd conveyed that it in her eyes.
"Tomorrow," squealed Alice, with a clap of delight, breaking the link between them.
"What?" A chorus of disagreeable voices.
"We have food, clothes, flowers, guests, what are we waiting for? She said looking at Bella and Edward.
There was a moment of thought when Edward said, "What are we waiting for?" He squeezed Bella's hand, and she fell into the swirling depths of his green eyes and she shook her head.
"Nothing," she whispered.
Dinner ended quickly and everyone scurried away excitedly making plans and arrangements for the following evening's festivities.
Bella laughed and shook her head in disbelief, "You realise we have just agreed to two weddings!"
Edward grinned wickedly, "No more sneaking around, tomorrow you will be in my bed, now go and get your beauty sleep, tomorrow, you will be my wife." He pulled her from the chair and playfully smacked her bottom, sending her running and giggling from the room.
Despite all the excitement she had building inside of her, Bella had slept surprisingly well and when she awoke refreshed the following day, the wedding preparations were already well under way, thanks to Alice, and a lot of assistance and advice from Emmett.
"Lovely, you're up," Mrs Clearwater exclaimed brightly ushering Bella into the dining room, "Breakfast?" She asked without waiting for an answer.
Bella took the hint and allowed herself to be shut into the dining room, there were things happening around the house that they obviously didn't want her privy to.
Bella took one final look at herself in the mirror, all the torturous scrubbing and brushing Alice had put her through all afternoon had paid off, she had never seen herself look more radiant or lovely. Her skin almost pearlescent was flawless and milky white, with a hint of pink high across her cheek bones giving her a natural healthy glow. Her eyes were wide and sparkled with excitement; her hair hung in a lustrous mahogany wave down the centre of her back and shone like never before, thanks to Alice's persistence with a hair brush, which had reduced Bella to tears, but now she could see for herself the pain had been worth it.
Rosalie and Alice had presented Bella with her wedding dress, appearing together holding it between them, smiling broadly and they couldn't have looked prouder. Bella realised then, they wanted to please her, make her happy. Happy tears replaced the words that failed to come; they stroked and kissed her hair and face, tenderly slipping her into the blood-red dress. Emmett had informed them the colour was considered lucky, only on a bride's wedding day. The simple corseted dress belonged to Alice, and it fitted Bella perfectly.
"It's like it was made for you," remarked Alice, as she and Rosalie stepped back to admire her like a fine piece of art.
The tears continued when Mrs Cullen appeared and kissed her before taking a section of Bella's hair and proceeding to plait a section; a custom of the Romany people, when a bride prepares to join her husband's clan, his mother plaits her hair, as a sign she is woven into the family, accepted.
"Emmett's been busy," Bella observed; they all seemed to know a lot about gypsy customs all of a sudden.
"We didn't want you to forget who you are, where you come from," Mrs Cullen said softly stroking Bella's damp cheek.
"We all wanted to do this for you," Alice added.
"Thank you," she said weakly.
Rosalie dabbed Bella's eyes with a handkerchief then pinched her cheeks to give her a little colour, when she was satisfied Bella had a healthy glow, she took her hand. "Come on, you know Edward can't wait for you."
Alice placed a gold coloured scarf over Bella's hair and she was led into the garden in-between Mrs Cullen and Rosalie.
The garden glowed with the dancing amber of the campfire and a dozen candles in storm jars, which dotted the garden, making it appear magical and romantic. Edward was visible in silhouette as she approached, but she knew he was watching her, she could feel his gaze upon her, her skin prickled and her heart raced, the moment she had been waiting for her whole life was here, in front of her now, the time when she would be joined to her one true love.
Mrs Cullen passed her hand to him after first kissing her cheek. "Thank you," she whispered softly in Bella's ear.
"You look ..." Edward shook his head as he looked down her, words could not do justice to how she looked tonight; his eyes filled and glistened with tears.
"So do you," Bella replied and squeezed his hand.
Emmett appeared before the both of them with a huge proud smile across his face. "Bella, Edward, it gives me great pleasure to bind you together." Without another word, he produced a hunting knife from his belt and Bella and Edward moved to face one another. Emmett made a cut across their right forearms then bound their arms together tightly with a scarf, ensuring their cuts joined, mixing their blood.
Alice passed a small loaf of bread to Emmett, who broke it in two, handing a half to the bride and the groom, they both took a bite, all the time their eyes were fixed upon each other like they were the only ones present, then handed their halves back to Emmett, who broke the bread, letting it fall to the floor in a shower of crumbs. Following their custom, Bella filled a cup of water from a nearby bucket and gave it to Edward to drink of first, then she followed suit. The cup was then thrown to the floor and Edward crushed it to the ground. Finally a plate of salt was held in front of them; together they took a handful and threw it over their shoulders.
To those watching, emotion was thick in the air as these silent, simple exchanges, bound the two together. Each action, symbolic and steeped in hundreds years of history was still relevant today and showed how two people became one through a blessed union.
Emmett smiled at his sister; it had been an honour and privilege to proceed over her marriage to Edward, the job would have usually gone to the elder of the clan, in this family, that should have been Dr. Cullen. Emmett had been prepared to talk him through the ceremony, but the doctor refused, saying he would not feel right, it was Emmett's duty and not his.
Emmett prepared to perform his last task and took his knife; with one swift move, he severed the now bloody ties that bound them.
Both were aware of the cheers, claps, and whoops of joy from their family and friends, but they were busy in each other's arms kissing and crying.
"Let's eat," Emmett boomed, giving everyone a welcome distraction from the newlyweds' intimate embrace.
Mr Clearwater had slaughtered a pig for the occasion, it was mounted on a spit and had been roasting the whole day, now it was done to succulent perfection and the air was filled with mouth-watering aromas. A tray of roasted potatoes appeared with Mrs Clearwater, Seth and Jacob were sent to the cellar for a barrel of cider, when they returned a while later, they were both looking ruffled, ruddy faced, and very jolly.
By the time the hog was sliced, potatoes dished out, and the cider poured, the new Mr and Mrs Cullen were in attendance, grinning widely and holding hands.
Mrs Cullen was sure she had never seen her son looking happier than he did right now with Bella in his arms and it made her insides warm. She looked around the circle at her loved ones, her husband was laughing and drinking cider with Mr and Mrs Clearwater, she still found herself desperately in love with him, and liked to see the way his eyes crinkled around the edges when he laughed. Rosalie and Emmett curled up together by the campfire feeding each other pieces of meat; Emmett was snatching playfully with his teeth, making Rosalie jump and giggle. Jasper was standing behind Alice, his arms around her body, his hands making lazy circles across her growing belly. Alice's face was the picture of contentment as her head lolled back onto his shoulder.
Seth and Jacob were seated by Mrs Hale, all of them eating and drinking, and the boys hung on her every word as she had them enthralled with a saucy tale from her youth.
This was one of those moments she realised, when everyone was happy; it was perfect.
The decision had not been an easy one to make, Edward had been happy to continue following in his father's footsteps and practice medicine in the small village he lived in. He and Bella would live close to his family and eventually they would raise their own children. But as time passed they began to realise this was not to be. They had not yet been blessed with a child of their own and, after the waiting, the disappointment and the praying, they had little choice other than to leave it in the hands of God. With time on her hands, Bella slipped into the role of helping Edward with his medical duties, and, as he always suspected, she was born to care for people, she made a wonderful nurse- his wonderful nurse.
During one of their visits to a sick patient, they learned of the famine and lack of work in Ireland due to potato blight, thousands were leaving their homes and starting a new life, in the new world.
"It would be a wonderful opportunity," she sighed as they packed their medical equipment into the carriage.
"Could you just go?" He asked.
Bella shrugged, "It must be my gypsy blood."
Edward put the conversation to the back of his mind, but, no matter how hard he tried, it wouldn't stay there; it kept making its way to the forefront. He watched Bella, looking for signs she was unhappy in the life they'd made together, but nothing.
Alice had given birth to a baby girl, Victoria Rose, she was to be their only child; Alice suffered complications after the birth and she was unable to conceive another baby. They chose to see the positive; they were blessed with a healthy, happy, and beautiful child. She had the same positive look and appetite for life as her mother with the calm quiet nature of her father.
Shortly after the birth of Victoria Rose, Rosalie had given birth to baby boy called James, and had recently found out they were expecting another child.
Edward had watched Bella closely, fearing her reaction to more babies being born around her, but she took on her role as aunt with gusto and enthusiasm, the babies were lucky to have such an attentive aunt in their lives.
Edward and Carlisle received news from Peter, there was a shortage of doctors and nurses in Philadelphia with the Irish emigrating en mass, there were opportunities for medical staff, to work and train them.
"Do you want to go?" Bella asked.
"No ... I don't know," Edward had been confused by his reaction; his initial thoughts were, he was happy to stay where he was, with his family. But, the seeds had been planted and the thought of emigrating had excited him, he denied his feelings, but the idea continued to gnaw at him.
It was another month before he admitted to Bella and his father what he was thinking.
"We should go then," Bella had said; Edward saw the flicker of excitement cross her face.
"How can you say that, think that so easily?" He asked.
"It's been put on your heart and mine," she said, putting both her hands to her heart, truthfully since Bella had heard of the opportunities overseas it had been all she could think of, she'd hoped Edward thought of it too. "It doesn't have to be forever."
When she said that, it made him realise she was right and he finally admitted he wanted to go and only then, was he at peace with himself.
Emmett and Alice had made the emotional journey to Liverpool to wave their siblings off, neither one spoke as they watched the ship leave harbour, and still they remained quiet as the vessel grew smaller before disappearing over the horizon.
Alice choked back the tears as her brother sailed off with his wife to start a new adventure.
"I'll return…with presents," he'd promised, it had made her smile, a little.
"Look after him," Alice instructed as she hugged Bella goodbye.
"I will," she promised, tears were falling thick and fast now.
Alice would feel the loss of her sister-in-law as much as her brother; she was the closest friend she'd ever had.
"Victoria Rose will miss you."
Bella stifled the sob that travelled up her throat, the thought of leaving her niece and nephew had been nearly enough to stop them from going.
Silently, they both knew and never acknowledged it; it tore Bella's heart out that she still hadn't conceived Edward's baby, and she kept it well hidden from him. Alice saw the pain and the longing in her sister-in-law's eyes every time she held the children in her arms; she needed to leave for a time, for her own sanity.
Emmett and Bella had stood for the longest time holding hands and looking out across the ocean, their lives had been the ones to change the most, and it was this they thought of on their last morning together.
"I love you, Bella," he said.
Bella fought back the tears and put one hand over her heart then pointed to him.
Emmett let out an audible sob; the action had taken him back years to a time when they only had each other in the world, and now they had a family, a good family and dear loved ones. There were no more words so they just held tightly onto each other until it was time to board, they had never been apart from each other for any length of time and no amount of preparation could get them ready for this.
Emmett's thoughts ran to his beautiful Rosalie at home with James, she would probably be bathing him before the fire, he smiled to think of his chubby little boy splashing and giggling, he loved his bath time. He thought of Bella in the arms of her husband, cherished, loved, and adored, Edward would always protect and keep her safe and her happiness was more important than his own. These thoughts helped Emmett keep his heart from being torn in two.
"It won't be forever," she'd promised; when she broke the news they were leaving. "We'll be back." Her words whispered through the darkness reminding him when he needed it.
The Mary-Ann sailed smoothly into the night, gently rocking, its precious cargo beginning to sleep, lulled by the movement and continuous soothing drone of the engines.
Bella snuggled contentedly into the warm body of her sleeping husband; he'd fallen asleep quickly after their amorous activities of the afternoon. Soon she began to feel the pull as her eyes grew heavier; her dreams were waiting, of new places, excitement and adventures, new friends and opportunities, plenty of stories to tell their children, and family, in the future when they returned home.
Well there it is, I really hope you enjoyed it...I had serious butterflies posting it!
Thank you to your continued support and the lovely, lovely reviews. I have enjoyed reading each and everyone. I do try and reply to them, if you post as a visitor I can't reply to you, so here's a big thanks to you. Recieving word after you've posted a chapter is incredibly rewarding for a writer, (equally it can be hurtful and disheartening- so far I have only had good with Romany, and I hope I haven't spoken too soon!) However I am open to your thoughts on how I could make this story better, is there anything I've not tied up, continuity errors etc...
If you don't like leaving reviews, a smiley face is appreciated too :)
Biggest love and thanks to princess07890 & js18 my betas- both worth their weight in gold.
I am working on a few ideas for future stories, so you've not heard the last of me, until then, take care and I love you all xxxx. britchick69