Gif #: 35

Word count (not including author's notes/header): 8765 words.

Pairing: Edward/Bella

Rating: NC-17

Summary: Life is the sum of all our choices. Sometimes we choose well, sometimes wrong. In the end, you wouldn't be who you are without your choices. Follow Edward and Bella's path towards one of the biggest choices of their lives.

Warnings (if necessary): N/A

A/N I don't own. Stephenie Meyer does. Just playing in her sand-box.

"Life is a sum of all your choices." ~ Albert Camus

I feel a hand caressing my back and I smile—a big happy smile. The type of smile people who won the lottery must have, the type of smile that people call sappy and I would normally make fun of. There's nothing to make fun of now. There's only this glowing emotion of complete happiness that I should not be feeling with all that we've been through in the last few days—all that you've been through.

I turn around and I find you looking at me. I've caught you looking at me while I sleep a few times. Some might find the habit creepy. I find it sweet and endearing. Mostly because I watch you sleep as well whenever I get the chance.

You are smiling, too; that crooked smile that has made me swoon so many times before. I trace it with my fingertip and you playfully capture my index between your lips and lightly bite on it. I laugh because even though you have a rough morning ahead of you, and things look really grim right now, you are trying to be playful. We're together and that makes us stronger. Whatever happens, whatever changes we go through, from here on out no one will tear us apart and that's all that matters.

I hug you and place my head above your bare chest. I listen to the most beautiful sound to me. I listen to your beating heart and I close my eyes so that I can remember what got us here to begin with.

With my eyes closed, your heartbeat, and your warmth around me, no words are needed. I know you are reminiscing as I am. Maybe about a more distant past, a past where you had your mom and your life was full of uncertainty. I know you'll catch up with my memories soon enough.

I sigh and let myself be surrounded by the memories of us. I'll need to be your strength today. I'll need the certainty of my love for you to support you during the funeral. So I allow myself to remember those special moments that made us us.

The first time I saw you, you were across the hallway from me. I was too shy and too dazzled by you to even approach you or talk to you. That night was the first time I wrote about you in my diary, and I blush when I think how you became my main fantasy whenever I needed to get some release. You starred in some of the kinkier dreams I'd had after that day. I just couldn't get you out of my mind, which should have been an indicator that I was feeling something more than lust for you. I didn't have anything to compare it to so I missed it completely for a while.

I literally stumbled upon you and that's how things really started between us. Fate had to push us together because we were being—I was being—too damn slow.

"I hate being late," I murmur as I run towards my first day at my new job. I was up until the wee hours of the morning studying and writing again in my diary about Edward Cullen. I cannot believe the amount of time I've wasted writing in that diary.

I'm not fourteen anymore and maybe a little bit too old to be writing in that thing, but it seemed to help after my parents' divorce so I thought it would be a good idea to start another one.

It has helped. I don't really have any friends and it feels good to be able to let somebody in on what's going through my head; even if my confidant is a few bytes on my android phone.

I'm so distracted by my thoughts that I bump into someone's shoulder.

"Sorry!" I apologize before lifting my chin so that I can look at the person I just bumped into. When I do, I gasp.

It's the reason I'm so distracted and why I haven't been getting any sleep lately. Edward fucking Cullen. Damn it! Of all people…

"Hi," he greets me with a smile. It's like we've been friends forever and we just bumped into each other after a long time of being apart. I blink, confused by his familiarity.

"Bookgirl," he calls, his smile broadening as if I was just the person he wanted to see.


I giggle at the memory. You were so charming that day. But then again, when aren't you charming?

Later, I found out that the reason behind the nickname was the fact that I worked at one of the college libraries. I didn't understand how a boy like you could have noticed me at all, let alone notice me enough to give me a nickname. You intrigued me, and from the first time I saw you, you had me under a spell. How could someone as beautiful as you notice someone as plain as me?

I breathe in your scent and sink deeply into my memories of you. I go through the files I have stored about you in my mind. Some are filled with shy flirting, some with passionate memories, and some with painful ones. I grin when I recall the first time you visited me at work after we bumped into each other in the hallway. I couldn't have known it at the time but as I observed you—obsessed over your every move— you were watching me, too.

I'm putting some books away, moving slowly though the hallways of the library. Then out of the blue, someone says softly next to my ear, "Boo!"

It's just a whisper, barely audible, but I'm so focused in my task that I jump out of my skin when I hear it.


I turn around to find a cackling Edward Cullen. He's laughing as if we're in the middle of a stadium, no one bothered by the noise he is making. I am so irritated that, for a moment, I forget where we are and hit him in the chest—hard.

"Ouch!" he screams, and I can see the librarian, my boss, giving me the stink-eye from her desk.

I grab his arm, smile sweetly at Mrs. Cope, and push him behind a bookshelf. I need a barrier to hide us while I rip Edward Cullen a new one. I don't care how hot he is. No one is allowed to scare me like that.

"What is wrong with you?" I hiss, pinching his arm. I know he's about to yell again so I clamp his mouth shut by placing my hand over it.

His lips are really soft. So, so soft...

What was I doing again?

Focus, Bella, focus!

I take my hand away as if it's being burned by a hot-iron and smile sheepishly at Edward.

He looks kind of dazed at first, then suddenly seems to get his bearings and smiles at me like the cat that ate the canary.

What is this guy's deal? What does he want?

"How are you, Bookgirl?" he asks as if he didn't almost cost me my job with his little stunt.

I narrow my eyes at him and repeat my earlier question in a low but clearly annoyed voice, "What is wrong with you? See that blonde woman sitting behind the desk? The one who regularly checks on your ass? She's my boss! She could get mad at me for this!"

His face drops, clearly he didn't think he could cause me any harm by scaring me in the middle of the library.

"Sorry," he says miserably. He looks so apologetic. I swear he's pouting. Gah! This is so unfair! How can I resist that face?

It's best to surrender, "It's okay. It was lucky it was you. That woman has the hots for you, so she'll probably forgive anything that involves you."

I laugh a little too loudly when I see Edward visibly shudder in disgust at the thought of Mrs. Shelley Cope having the hots for him.

"We can't talk here, so whatever brought you here, you can tell me later," I say with finality, trying to cut short whatever Edward was about to say.

I'm about to leave to continue with what I was doing, but I'm stopped. Edward has my hand in his, and if I thought that having my hand over his mouth was like being branded by a hot-iron, having my hand wrapped in his feels as if it's being engulfed by the sun.

I stare at him, trying to find an explanation for his odd behavior. He just continues smiling, that smile that forever seems plastered on his face when I see him. He guides me to a desk, where there's a bunch of abandoned post-its. He grabs one and starts writing. When he's done he hands me the small yellow paper.

"Sorry, Bookgirl. I didn't mean to startle you so much. I just wanted to say hi. Oh, and ask you if you took notes at Mr. Banner's class today. I wanted to borrow them."

He wanted to borrow my notes?

You kiss my forehead and whisper you love me before you go shower. We have a long day ahead of us, so I reluctantly leave the bed as well and order some room service while I look for something appropriate to wear. I didn't bring anything too elegant or anything black since I was in a hurry to get to you after you called me. I didn't realize I'd be attending your mother's funeral.

I settle for a dark blouse my mom bought me for when I needed to look serious, and a black skirt I bought a while back. They are not ideal, but they'll have to do.

I hear the shower shutoff just as someone knocks on the door. I set the table with what I ordered for breakfast while you get dressed.

You look worn, as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders. I wish I could take the load off you. I wish that I could say anything that would make you feel better.

I sip my coffee while you play with your food. I know you don't really have an appetite but I appreciate that you're trying to eat for my sake, so that I don't worry.

I still worry.

The taste of the coffee makes me more alert and while we sit over our breakfast, I allow myself to remember another cup of coffee we shared a while back.

After that day in the library, Edward Cullen has made an appearance in my dreams as well as in my everyday life. I don't understand why he bothers with me, but I'm not about to look a gift horse in the mouth. I wanted Edward's attention and now I've got it; albeit it's as a friend and a study-buddy, rather than as a girlfriend.

Edward never fails to show up at the library an hour or two before my shift ends. Sometimes he studies. Sometimes he's with his friends—the ones he hasn't introduced me to yet. I've only seen him with a girl once and he wasn't affectionate with her at all. In fact, he seemed embarrassed by the obvious ways in which she tried to draw his attention while he read a book. I never saw that girl again.

Most of the time though, he tries to talk to me. When Mrs. Cope is not around, we can talk freely. When she is, we spend the time exchanging post-it notes and getting to know each other.

I find this little game cute, and a complete opposite of what I expected Edward to be like after I heard about his reputation.

For most people, he's the man; the star athlete, the straight-A student, and the guy who can get as much pussy as he wants. He has everyone on campus vying for his attention. However, I seem to be his only true friend and the thought makes me sad.

He doesn't seem so open, so himself, with any of his other friends. He doesn't seem interested in meeting with any of them as often as we meet each other.

I wonder why Edward is such a loner when everyone wants to be around him. I also wonder why, of all people, he chose to befriend me.

Edward pulls me from my reverie by placing a hot coffee in front of me. I smile, because I'm the only one who knows what a gentleman he can be when he tries.

"So, what is going on tonight in the exciting life of Bella Swan?" Edward asks with his unfailing smile plastered on his gorgeous face.

"Oh, nothing too exciting. Some laundry, some math problems I need to solve for Mrs. Denali's class. Same ol', same ol'."

"Bella, it's Friday night. A girl as pretty as you should be out partying, meeting the next love of her life, that sort of thing."

Edward smiles as he says this to me, but there's something in the tone of his voice that doesn't quite match his expression.

"Edward, thanks for the compliment, but let's be real here. I am as plain as they come, and a total nerd. Who would want to go out with me? And do you really see me at one of those frat parties you go to?"

"Shut up, Bookgirl! You are amazing! Do you think I'd bother hanging out with you if you were anything short of amazing?"

"Why do you hang out with me?"

There! It's out there. I finally dared to ask what's been eating at me for the last couple of months.

"Why wouldn't I? You're funny, smart, and always take the best notes a guy can hope to borrow. Your only flaw so far, that I can see anyway, is that you have an extremely skewed view of yourself."

I narrow my eyes at him. My view is correct; I'm average. There's something more to it.

"I don't buy it. I know you Edward, the real you, the one you hide from your popular friends. And there's also that... Why do you change when you're with them? Why do you act the part of the womanizer jock for them? Why not tell them you enjoy History? Or that you love Shark Week and World War II documentaries? Why do you pretend?"

Edward sighs and looks out the window. I bite my lip, nervous that I've finally managed to scare him off.

He turns to me after a while. "Have I ever told you how I got that reputation to begin with? The one of the womanizer jock?"

I shake my head. He's told me bits about his life in Chicago. How his father is a business tycoon, that his mother had breast cancer and now is in remission, and that his little sister Alice is a lot like me—introverted and a bookworm. He hasn't expanded or commented on that part of his life though.

"My father, he thinks he can order his family the same way he does his employees. He has a close friend, William Hale. He's a rich bastard like my dad and they share many business interests, as well as an ancient friendship. My father decided one day that it would be a good idea to match his sixteen year old son with Hale's eighteen year old daughter. He didn't care about my opinion or Rosalie's—that's her name. When William wholeheartedly agreed to this plan, it was as if my future was suddenly set in stone. I would date Rosalie, finish College, take over the family business, and then, after Rosalie and I were married, Cullen Enterprises would merge with Hale Inc. to form a big business conglomerate.

"I was so mad, the only thing I could think of was rebelling. I started partying, drinking, sleeping around; everything that my father disapproved of just to get a rise out of him. My father finally changed his approach when my mother's health started to become affected by it, and so did I. We were both willing to compromise for the sake of my mom, and by the time I was set to leave for college, my dad agreed that I could finish school as far away from home as I wanted. He would let me choose my major and let me live my life as I saw fit, as long as I agreed to marry Rosalie in the end. If I disobey, next time there won't be any negotiation. I will be cut-off from my family and my inheritance."

My eyes widen at the amount of information Edward just shared with me. His father did what? What kind of a man would threaten his son with disinheriting him and cutting off his contact with the rest of his family? What was wrong with Edward's dad? After a few moments of silent disbelief, I follow my gut instinct and do what I've been craving to do for a while but have avoided for my own good. I grab Edward's hand and squeeze it.

"Um, I don't know much about the business world, but couldn't they just merge those two corporations if they wanted it so badly? Why did they have to get their kids involved?"

Edward looks at my hand for a while. I'm starting to squirm in my seat, wondering if I did the right thing after all when Edward squeezes my hand right back.

He starts playing with my fingers, softly caressing it with his thumb and effectively distracting me from the whole conversation.

"I don't think it was ever just about the business. My father and William are the type of people who like to control every aspect of their lives— even who their kids date and eventually marry. I think they are so full of themselves that they don't think their genes should mix with anyone they have not approved of first."

"D–does…" I stutter, utterly distracted by Edward's touch. "Does Rosalie agree to this arrangement?"

"She's a daddy's girl. She would do anything to please her dad, even marrying someone she hardly knows and doesn't love."

"That's so sad," I whisper.

"I know."

We remain quiet for a while before he lets go of my hand. It feels so empty without Edward's.

"That's the reason why I was initially interested in being friends with someone like you. You're not like them. The people that surround me? They all want to be my friends because my father is rich, or because they think I'm handsome, or because I can throw a ball. I could tell from the first time I saw you that you weren't anything like them."

I am shocked by his revelation. He actually noticed me? He pursued me? I kind of assumed at first that he really did want to borrow my notes and do homework with me. That was a believable and normal scenario for me. The only boys who I'd befriended in high school were after that as well. But now, Edward made it sound as if he genuinely wanted to be my friend from the get go. He wasn't interested in improving his grades. He just wanted a true friend.

I could be that for him. I would be that for him.

Our commitment to friendship didn't last long, did it?

We only stayed that way for as long as we could fool ourselves into thinking that we weren't meant for each other. You had your problems with your family. I had school, work and a scholarship to keep. It was safer at first to stay in that 'friendly' zone. Safer, for both of us.

Ever since the day Edward opened up to me, it seems as if the lines between friendship and more have blurred. We'd always been playful and flirty before, but now, it seems as if every one of our interactions is loaded with a new layer of intimacy; intimacy we have successfully avoided up until this point.

Edward still fools around with the bimbos that are so fond of chasing him. I still hang in the sidelines as his trusty best friend. However, there's this possessiveness in Edward he has never displayed before: Little innocent touches that aren't so innocent, small sweet kisses on my cheek and forehead that don't feel sweet, soft looks that feel smoldering, honeyed words that sound seductive.

It's no surprise I'm feeling confused when I'm sitting in a corner talking with Edward's buddies while he dances with the bimbo of the day.

It doesn't help that Edward has also included me more in his everyday life. He's introduced me to his friends and has even taken me to a few parties before this one. This time though, Edward wasn't the one who invited me. Supposedly, this particular party tends to be pretty wild. Edward told me that was the reason why he didn't feel comfortable bringing me here. I accepted his explanation at the time, but I had this nagging, empty, annoying feeling that I wanted to go and see what Edward considered wild.

Thus, I tricked Edward's friend Jacob—who I could tell wanted to get into my pants—into inviting me. Now here I am, watching Edward practically have sex on the dance floor with Britney, or Brittany, or whatever her name is, while I start to feel dizzy from anger and alcohol.

I didn't know I would feel this way. There's this anxious, horrible feeling that is tying my stomach into knots, and making my hands twitch with the need to grab that girl and show her the meaning of "cat-fight."

Edward always keeps these bimbos away from me and never takes one to a party I'm attending. Obviously, Jacob didn't tell him that he'd invited me. He didn't know, doesn't know, that I'm watching him while he acts the part for his friends.

His hands travel from this girl's waist to her hips and I watch as he presses her hips to his, making me drop the beer bottle to the floor and shattering it into a thousand pieces. Just like me; like my heart.

Why do I feel like this? What's wrong with me? Edward is my friend. I know he goes out with girls; girls who have sex with him. I know this. And yet it doesn't make me feel even the slightest bit better.

Edward's attention is drawn by the sound of the bottle breaking. Our eyes meet and I can see his expression morph from lazy nonchalance to shock, then concern, and finally hurt.

I feel a pair of arms wrapping themselves around my waist and a hot body pressing closer to me, and I notice that I'm now standing. When did I stand? Who's pulling me to him?

Then Edward's hurt turns to anger—murderous anger.

It's all a blur after that. People yelling; Edward yelling; Jacob yelling; Jacob's nose bleeding; then abruptly I'm being dragged up the stairs and into a bedroom by Edward.

"What the hell are you doing here?" he yells. I've never seen him this angry. In fact, he has never been angry with me.

"What do you mean? Jacob invited me since you said you wouldn't."

"You know why I didn't bring you with me, Bookgirl." His voice is softer, but his endearment hurts instead of being soothing.

"Do you have a nickname for her, too?" I ask, changing the subject to what's really bothering me.


"The bimbo! Brittany or Britney, or whatever her name is! I'm your best friend and I don't know your girlfriend's name!"

"You know she's not my girlfriend!" Edward defends, disgust in his voice. "She's just someone I f—" He stops.

"Someone you fuck with?"

I don't know what's wrong with me. It's like the dam has broken and everything just keeps spilling, and spilling, and soon we'll drown in our own words.

Edward grabs me by the arms and pulls me to him.

"And what's Jake to you, B? Someone to fuck with, too? Are you fucking him?" Edward's voice is low, threatening. He doesn't scare me. He infuriates me.

"What if he is?" I taunt.

Edward growls. He growls like an angered animal and then kicks a side table until it breaks.

I'm scared. I'm turned on. I'm so fucking turned on.

Before I can gather my thoughts though, Edward is back. He's grabbing me again— closer, harder. I can't escape his embrace. And then, I can't escape his lips as they cover mine, devouring me and taking my breath away.

His kiss is wet, desperate, and overwhelming; like a tidal wave that rushes onto the shore and pulls everything into the ocean. He's pulling me to him. I go willingly.

His mouth is so hot. His flavor is intoxicating. I'm drunk, drunk on his lips and this feeling of rightness, like we were always meant to be like this, to end up like this.

He pushes me onto the bed, my knees bending, my back too. His hands grab my legs and pull at my hips, pulling…

I wrap myself around him, my arms, my legs... My fingers thread into his hair, my tongue tangles with his. It's so sensuous, so right, so inevitable.

I groan in surrender.

We are in the elevator and I can tell you're getting more and more nervous the closer we get to the lobby. You don't want to face your dad any more than I want to lose you. You told me last night after we left your house that your mind was made up.

I asked you time and time again if you were sure. You told me, "As certain as I love you."

I couldn't argue with that.

We ride in the rental car in silence. You seem so focused. I know you're thinking over what you're going to say. You have the same look you had the day you first told me you loved me.

After our first kiss, and the aftermath of our explosive fight, it seemed difficult to rebuild the friendship Edward and I had. That night, Edward and I fell asleep in that strange bed, in that strange house. The next day we woke up to a strange world in which we had kissed, in which Edward had called me his, "his Bella."

It's a complicated process at first. I'm still insecure about my ability to hold Edward's interest in the long term and Edward is still insecure about being good enough for me. For someone who spends all his time telling me how wonderful I am and asking me to stop saying self-deprecating things, he sure knows how to be self-deprecating himself.

It's a regular Friday night. We're supposed to be studying for a big exam that we have coming up, so I go to Edward's apartment. It's more comfortable than my dorm and there we can have privacy.

I try not to think about all the girls he may have brought to his apartment before. He assures me all the time I'm the only girl who has ever set foot inside that apartment. I want to believe him. I should believe him.

Edward has been nothing but a gentleman to me so far. He lets me set the pace of our relationship. He knows I'm inexperienced and very insecure. I'm thankful for his patience, but tonight I'm hoping for more.

I went shopping for lingerie with my roommate, Jessica. She made me buy this racy, lacy, crazy-small set that she assures me will drive Edward mad with desire. I need him to be mad with desire because I know it will take some convincing and seduction to sway him to make love to me.

It's not that he doesn't want to. Edward is a very sexual person, and I can tell he wants me from all the times we've spent getting to know each other and what we like. I've gone down on him and he's gone down on me. He's fingered me and has even taught me why sixty-nine is considered a kinky number. I blush at the memory. However, there seems to be something that's holding him back and I intend to change that tonight.

Edward opens the door and kisses me lightly on the lips. He's such a sweetheart and romantic. It's an unexpected side of him that makes me love him even more. That's another thing; ever since we started dating—after the frat party—I've slowly realized that my feelings for Edward run much deeper than what I initially thought. I've known that I love him for a while now, but there never seems to be the right time to say it. Some days I feel this immense need to say it aloud, but I choke up and the words don't come out.

Edward has made dinner. Another aspect I've come to discover from Edward recently is that he loves to cook. He's actually amazing at it, like, chef-level amazing. He says he learned with his mom. I can't wait to meet this amazing woman someday.

He makes coq au vin with these really yummy, caramelized potato thingies that I don't even know what they are called. I keep telling him he should study to be a chef because this thing is sinfully delicious.

I moan at the wonderful flavor, and I can tell Edward's eyes are on me all the time while I eat. I know it turns him on. I find it hilarious and sweet. It makes me feel wonderful and sexy.

When we are done eating, we go to Edward's bedroom. He apparently took the time to clean up before I got here and it looks like we're actually going to study. Books are scattered all over the desk and even on his bed. He's so clueless about what I have planned.

"So where do you want to start? I have all the required books here, but I heard Mrs. Denali loves to use this–" I interrupt him with a kiss.

He moans softly into my mouth and I pull myself closer to him. I wrap my arms around his neck, thread my fingers in his hair and kiss him with all that I have in me.

Soon we're in his bed. Books are thrown, scattered on the floor.

I'm pulling his shirt over his head. Edward is practically ripping my shirt off.

He suddenly pauses. He's looking at me with such raw desire, such incredible animalistic lust that I'm a bit taken aback at first. I follow his eyes and notice he's looking between my chest and my face. It's like he can quite believe that his sweet girlfriend is wearing this scant excuse for a bra.

He groans and lowers his head to my chest. He wraps those delicious lips around my nipple and sucks, making me see stars.

I run my fingers through his hair, encouraging him to continue. I don't want him to ever stop.

He groans my name and it's such a delicious sound, the way he pronounces it with hunger and devotion at the same time. I relish in the feelings of desire and love that this man makes me feel. I never felt sexy before I met him, I've never felt beautiful.

He stops paying attention to my breasts and draws a path with his lips from my chest, to my collarbone, to my neck, and then up until we are forehead to forehead and he's breathing into my mouth.

"Bella, baby, are you trying to kill me with this underwear? I swear…" He groans again, lowering the strap of my bra with his fingers and placing a kiss in the place where the strap left a mark on my skin.

"God, baby! You make me crazy. I've never wanted to fuck anyone as I want to fuck you. You're delicious and so hot, and you don't even know it," Edward whispers next to my ear, making me shiver in delight.

"Make love to me then," I reply. It doesn't go unnoticed that I didn't say fuck.

Edward suddenly stops. He raises his head from my neck and looks me directly in the eyes. He's gauging me, making sure that I'm certain, that I know what I'm asking.

When he seems to find whatever he's looking for in my face, he suddenly leaves me and I think he'll say no. I can already feel disappointment seeping into my bones, but then I see him go to his desk and he immediately returns with a post-its stack in hand.

I look at him puzzled by his behavior when he hands me one.

"I love you, Bookgirl."The post-it says simply.

My eyes fill with tears before he hands me another one he just wrote on.

"It's tradition, remember?"

I nod and ask him for a post-it and a pen.

I scribble something quickly and hand it to Edward before I lose my courage.

"I love you too. I've loved you for a while. I was just too scared to say it first."

He smiles sweetly at me and gently caresses my cheek. He places the post-its and pen on his side table and looks me directly in the eye before saying, "I've loved you for a while too, Bookgirl."

He kisses me then and I know that the time for words is finished. We've said everything we needed to say. Now it's the time to show each other how we feel.

His hands roam my body and slowly caress every part of it. His fingers deftly unclasp my bra as his lips finally wrap against my naked skin. I feel him opening my jean's button and lowering the zipper while he drives me crazy with his talented mouth.

He kisses me, breathes into me as I breathe into him. Then, he lowers his head and starts skimming my jaw, neck, collarbone, breasts, and belly with his mouth and nose. It's like he's drawing a map on my skin of all his favorite places, smelling them, burning the memory of them into his soul.

"I want you so bad, Bookgirl. Your skin drives me crazy. Its softness, its smell… Mmm…" He moans against my stomach. He starts licking around my navel, making me squirm under him. He continues to lick and nip at my skin as if I'm some delicious morsel he can't get enough of.

I'm so focused on what he's doing to me I hardly feel it when he takes my jeans off. And then it's me in these tiny, red panties that are barely there, and him in his jeans.

"Oh God…" Edward breathes at the sight of me. He has stopped what he was doing and it's now kneeling between my legs, looking at me from above, making me feel hot.

He grabs my ankles and caresses my legs slowly, putting small pressure with his fingers in parts of my body that make me light up. I didn't know that my legs could be an erogenous zone until Edward started showing me just how much he appreciated my choice in underwear.

"Bella, baby… These are my best dream and my worst nightmare come true," he says pulling my panties down my legs and bringing them to his nose. I shudder at the sight of him smelling them. "I wanted to take it slow with you but you are so tempting… So damn mouthwatering..."

I'm squirming as Edward slowly lowers his head between my legs, gripping them with his hands, keeping them apart, making room for him to feast on me. He kisses my inner thighs and makes a wet path he then proceeds to blow lightly on.

"Uhm…" I moan loudly. I can't help myself. He's gone beyond teasing me. He's driving me insane with desire.

Edward places my feet on each of his shoulders, opening me more to him. I groan loudly as he follows the pattern he maintained with my thighs and kisses my clit first , later blowing lightly on it.

"Edward, please stop teasing me!" I beg. This is too much, he's too much. I'm going insane and nothing has really happened yet.

Luckily, he grants my wish by lowering his mouth onto me while he holds my gaze. He holds my gaze while he kisses me and licks me and gives me the most shattering orgasm I've ever experienced. He holds my gaze until I can't hold his anymore and close my eyes, screaming his name as the waves of pleasure wreak havoc on my body.

I'm spent and have what's probably the goofiest, most satisfied smile ever.

"Mmm…" Edward moans against my neck. "Just as I thought, delicious."

I'm still basking in the bliss I've just experienced, so the best that I can do is moan in agreement. I draw Edward closer by curling my fingers into his hair and pulling him to me.

Then a cloud of solemnity descends upon us and we're face to face, nose to nose, eye to eye, mouth to mouth; breathing in the same air. We're realizing now just how significant our next moments will be. Not because I'm completely inexperienced and this will be my first time, but mainly because this will be our first time, both of our first times, making love. He has as much experience in that area as I have, and I'm proud and feel privileged that he'll be sharing that with me, as I'll be sharing my first time with him.

"Are you sure?" Edward asks again. "Once we do it there's not going back, baby. Your virginity won't exactly grow back if you regret it."

I laugh and caress his cheek, trying to reassure him that I've thought this through and I know what I'm doing.

"Edward, I'm certain... So, so certain. Please just trust me when I tell you that I won't regret this. I just won't."

He nods, and kisses me sweetly. His kiss is so deep and tender at the same time. I feel as if he's giving me all of him in just that kiss; giving me his love and his promise that whatever comes after this night, he'll try to make the memory precious to me.

I sigh and let myself go into the sensations: Edward's hot breath on my neck, his hands caressing my body; my hands helping him get rid of his jeans and boxers, his mouth devouring mine; my hands boldly grabbing his ass, pushing him towards me.

Soon all of our clothes are discarded and we're naked, in more ways than one.

I can feel all of him and he can feel all of me and it's the strangest, most wonderful feeling in the world. This closeness, this intimacy, this amount of love; it's a once in a lifetime occurrence. We both know it.

Edward grunts when I caress his backside and bring him closer. I can feel the tip of him nudging lightly at my entrance and I'm overwhelmed by a heady feeling of lust, love and passion as he pushes his way into me.

It burns, but doesn't hurt quite as much as I had imagined it would. Edward's rapid gasps, his obvious pleasure in taking me, it makes me forget my own discomfort. I submerge myself in the feelings he's wrought in me so far. How wet I am around him, how hot and hard he's inside me, how sweet and full of love his kisses are, how horny his dirty whispers make me.

"Baby. My Bella, my sweet Bookgirl," Edward whisper-breathes into my mouth once we are hip to hip, bodies flushed against each other.

I've never felt this way. It's indescribable. The closeness between us extends beyond the proximity of our bodies. I can hardly breathe. I'm so overcome with feelings.

Edward kisses the tip of my nose, in a sweet gesture that brings me back to him.

I move tentatively under him and Edward's breath hitches.

"Baby, please stop squirming. It's really hard to stay still and you feel too damn good to me."

I smile, satisfied in the knowledge that he's as overwhelmed by these new sensations as I am. I pull him down to me and kiss him deeply, trying to convey the amount of feeling that's currently flooding my very being.

"Please move," I whisper in his ear and I feel his whole body shiver at the request.

Edward starts moving atop me and I'm mesmerized by the way his back muscles ripple under my hands with every thrust. I'm fascinated by a drop of sweat that seems to be gathering on Edward's forehead, staining his hair into a dark brown. I'm mesmerized by the sounds coming from his mouth and my own sounds. I'm hypnotized by the dark green irises that focus on me with an almost drunk look. I realize he's high on me, on the feelings we create when we move together, seeking the ultimate and highest of highs.

I'm grasping, groaning and clawing at him trying to find purchase in anything, anything that can keep me tied to this earth because I feel like I'm flying.

High... So, so high.

And then, without warning we reach the summit, the forbidden place that only true lovers can reach, and I know… I just know this is it for me. Edward is it for me.

Luckily, I was proven right in time. You've done nothing but show me that I'm 'it' for you, too. Sure, the road hasn't been easy, but what worthwhile thing ever is?

Esme's funeral, your mother's funeral, was a miserable event. She was loved by so many people. She was a kind, compassionate woman, who even managed to make me love her too in a way. I wish there was something I could say, something I could do to take the pain away from you because I know how close you two were.

But these are your battles to fight and your demons to confront. I remember what you told me last night. That we're in this together, that the greatest gift your mother gave you was her courage. She has left this world but she left you an inheritance much more important than all the money, and gold in the world has to offer.

You told me your mother left you with the words and the courage to confront your dad and finally go after what you want. To finally confront him and tell him it's me you want.

I hold on to last night's memories as I wait in this seat, in your mother's living room, for the outcome of your talk with your father.

When I said goodbye to Edward in the airport at the end of the semester I never thought I'd be catching a plane to Chicago myself not a week later. Edward was bound for Chicago for summer break and I was headed to Florida to visit my mom. Edward had wanted to go with me, but was worried about his mom. He felt his family was keeping something from him, so I encouraged him to go to Chicago and check for himself how things were.

The plan was that he would stay in Chicago as long as I would stay in Florida and then we would go to Forks to spend the rest of our break with Charlie, my dad. To my utter shock Edward and Charlie had hit it off when they met. They bonded over sports, fishing, and Edward finally won Charlie over to his side with his amazing cooking skills.

We'd face a lot of obstacles in our time together so far. Mainly the fact that, in spite of Edward having been presented to my family and friends, in all the time we've been together I'd only been introduced to Esme, via a Skype call, and as Edward's friend.

I understood his fear of confronting his father. I did, I really did, but sometimes it felt as if I was Edward's dirty little secret—the girl he dates and fucks when he's away from home. It felt as if the moment college was over, he would fly to Chicago, take over his father's business and marry Rosalie. It would be as if I'd never existed.

I knew deep down that that wasn't Edward's intention at all. I knew he truly loved me and only needed to find the strength to cut ties with his dad and tell him to shove his money where the sun doesn't shine. It didn't make it any easier though.

I was thoroughly shocked when I received Edward's urgent message asking me to fly to Chicago as soon as I could.

I didn't hesitate a second before jumping on a plane. The moment I saw Edward at the airport he told me what had happened. His mom had been worse than they'd told him. She was sick again and the cancer had metastasized. He didn't even have time to call me before she passed away. It all had been too fast.

I hugged Edward to me all night in my hotel room while he cried over his loss. I'd never seen Edward cry and it broke my heart. I gave him comfort the best way I could by allowing him to drown his pain with pleasure by using my body. So far, this had been one of the longest nights in my life— ever.

As we lie entangled in the sheets, our sweaty bodies wrapped around each other, I wonder if Esme would have liked me. If she'd gotten to know me, would she have approved of me, loved me as a daughter?

Edward groans and I turn my head to look at him. He looks worse for wear, tired and sad. I wish there was something, anything more I could do to assuage his pain, but I know only time can ease a pain like the one he's suffering.

"Go back to sleep," I tell him. For some reason his father had sped up the funeral arrangements and the service would be held tomorrow. Edward needs all the sleep he can get and I need to regain my strength so I don't feel the urge to choke Carlisle Cullen tomorrow.

"I will. In a minute. There's something I want you to know before tomorrow though."

I nod and let him continue. Right now, Edward needs love, a friendly ear, a shoulder to cry on and I'll be all that for him.

"The last night…" he stops choking on the words. He breathes deeply before continuing, "The last night at the hospital, my mom asked to talk to me privately. My dad wasn't happy, but he couldn't well deny her anything with how sick she was. She sat me by her bed and told me exactly what I've been needing to hear all my life."

I look at him puzzled by his statement. What did he need to hear?

"She told me that whatever I choose, to always choose what makes me happy. She told me life is too short to have too many regrets. And some regrets hurt too much to learn to live with them. She told me her greatest regret was not standing against my father every single time he demanded something from me that he shouldn't have, and every single time he made me feel like I was not worthy of his love. She asked me to be happy for her sake; that would be the greatest redemption she could have."

Tears pool in my eyes because Esme's beautiful final words to her son fill me with joy and sadness at the same time. Edward had always had issues with feeling worthy of being love, Esme had told him exactly what he needed to hear from his mom, and I thanked her for it. Her final gift to her son.

Edward catches one of my tears with the pad of his finger and kisses it, making me smile lightly.

"I've finally gathered the courage to speak with my dad. Tomorrow after the funeral I'll tell him that I love you, no one else. I will tell him that if he wants to join the Hale and Cullen family fortune he can marry Rosalie himself. I'm tired of being a puppet to my father's whim. I'm tired of his threats and his control. I want you. If he doesn't approve of you he can go throw his millions and his company to whoever wants to bend to his will, because I won't anymore."

I'm so moved by Edward's words. I've been waiting so long for him to say that he wants me in spite of the consequences it will have in his life. However, I have to make sure is not the pain of his loss talking, so I ask him, "Are you certain this is what you want? You would be left penniless. Your father would take away your allowance and your apartment. I know you're on a sports scholarship, but college is not just tuition money and fees. There are other expenses, and you've never worked a day of your life. Are you sure you're willing to lose that much just to be with me? Are you sure you won't resent me?"

Edward surprises me with a devastating kiss that leaves me breathless and dizzy. He touches his forehead to mine and says into my mouth, "As certain as I love you."

There are screams and I hear a door banging. You look furious as you walk toward me, take my hand in yours and pull me towards the nearest exit. Your father is walking behind you, his face red and full of fury.

"You will regret this, boy! One day the love you say you feel for that girl will fade and then what will you be left with? College loans and a shitty salary working at the bottom of the food chain! Young love never lasts. I thought you were smarter than this, Edward!"

You turn towards him, your face impassive.

"I am smarter. I know money doesn't equal happiness. I know I can have all the money in the world and still be a miserable son of a bitch like you. So please excuse me for wanting to be happy. I'm done with you, Dad. If you want someone you can control, then buy yourself a robot. I will live my life with whom and how I see fit. Goodbye."

With that you turn and I follow you out the door, away from all of this.

We are sitting in a coffee shop. You are awfully quiet and I worry you're having second thoughts about confronting your dad like you did. Are you regretting choosing me over your family and money?

You sigh deeply before you grab a napkin and write something on it. Then you hand it to me with a miserable look that makes me want to hug you.

I take it from you and read.

"Will you still love me in the morning?"

I frown at the question. Why would you ask that? I grab your pen and write under your note.

"Of course! Why would you even ask?"

You read quickly over my reply and write your own.

"Will you still love me when I'm poor and have to work my ass off to pay for college?"

I realize that your old insecurity—the belief that people only love you for your money— is resurfacing, so I answer fast. There's not a shadow of doubt in me.

"I will love you always."

"Always?" You ask aloud after reading my note.

"Always," I reply simply, because there are no words left to be said. You can see in my eyes that I mean it.

You grab my hand and tangle my fingers with yours before kissing my knuckles. I smile because this moment, in the middle of a crowded coffee shop, is one of the most romantic, most intimate moments I've ever experienced in my life.

I don't know what fate has in store for us. I don't know if we'll stay together after college or if this will last, but at least I know that whatever we do, it'll be our choices that got us there. That's the best anyone can really ask.