~** All the President's Men**~
"I've learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances." ~ Martha Washington
Sunlight peeked through the blinds, falling quietly against the floor and stretching up to the bed, warming Bella's face. She nuzzled deeper into the pillow, sighing at the warmth that wrapped around her, inhaling a woodsy scent that made her pulse quicken.
The arm tucked around her waist caused a lazy, content smile to lift her lips as she hummed lightly.
He'd come for her three days before, his hands empty but heart full of hope as he laid out his apologies. It had been a struggle for Bella, wanting to stay mad at him for the domineering words and actions he'd used but, in the end, she couldn't.
It was Edward, and she loved him.
He was her heart, her home.
Bella was also aware of her part in the whole mess, as she should have handled her problems and insecurities with Edward better. Staying mad at him wasn't as easy when she knew she overreacted.
They'd talked at length several times over the course of the previous days, both admitting fault and taking blame for the fight. They committed to talk things out calmly and rationally in the future, instead of jumping to drastic measures if they fought again, which they both knew was likely. Marriage was work and fights sometimes happened, but they could work out the kinks in their relationship as long as they did it together.
In the days that followed their reunion, Edward had taken several opportunities to show Bella how much he loved her and Bella did her best to show him.
Sighing at the memories of their bodies twisted together, hearts thumping against each other's chests, skin lavished in kisses and broken, huskily-whispered words of devotion shared between them made Bella's body tingle all over.
God, she wanted him again. Over and over, as often as she could have him.
She couldn't remember ever feeling like this, but she hoped it never faded.
"Mmm, morning," Edward rumbled softly from behind Bella's back, his hand skimming the soft flesh of her belly. He pressed a wet kiss to her bare shoulder, then another and another.
"Morning," Bella sighed, her voice heavy with desire as she lifted a hand to cup his head, keeping his attentive mouth where it was.
"I dreamed of you last night," Edward murmured. "But it wasn't enough. It's never enough, unless you're right here in my arms."
Bella swooned internally, her body rolling over to nestle against Edward, who lifted up enough to let Bella slide underneath him. With her hands caressing his firm chest, Bella looked at Edward with soft eyes and a warm smile. "I'm happy to be in them."
Edward brushed his lips against hers, neither caring about morning breath. The gentle kiss lingered, turning into even hungrier kisses. Bella allowed her hands to travel the impressive expanse of Edward's back, rubbing the muscles that flexed and pulled under his skin as he held himself above her.
"Bella, Bella, Bella!" Edward moaned softly, as his mouth moved from her lips to her throat, sucking and nibbling a path of desire to her collarbone. Bella mewled lowly when he reached lower still, his lips finding the peaks of her breasts and sucking tenderly on the flesh.
"Edward, yes!" Bella sighed in pleasure, her body rocking up to meet his, finding him eager and ready. "More!"
Edward agreed, lining his hips up with hers and brushing against Bella where she needed him most. Their eyes connected, burning and hot, Edward pushed into his wife, both sighing with bliss when he could sink no farther.
They moved together, slow and languid, the movements unrushed or unhurried as they worshipped each other with soft words and tender touches of lips and skin. Time held still for them as they loved one another, giving to each other all they had.
When they'd both shuddered and sighed in delight from reaching the highest peak, Edward showered Bella's face in light kisses, making her giggle before he rolled to the side so as not to crush her.
"Now that's a good morning!" Edward said lazily, his hand still tracing random patterns on Bella's skin with his fingertips.
She laughed, "Yeah, I'd say so."
"Everyone should be so lucky to wake up that way," Edward said lightly.
Bella chuckled in agreement, softly stroking Edward's arm as he rested it on her belly.
"I'm going to make it a law, I think," he said, nodding decisively.
"A law?" Bella giggled, her heart soaring. She loved how silly Edward could be. "And just how do you think that would work?"
"Pfft," Edward dismissed, "Who would oppose it? Guaranteed morning sex for all citizens? I think I'm on to something here, Bella. I'd be the most loved President of all time if I could get that law passed."
Bella rolled her eyes at him, but her smile was hard to contain. "I'm sure," she played along, facing her husband fully and enjoying the sight of his playful, bright green eyes as they stared back at her.
"I would be! Forget about Honest Abe," Edward told her with a charming smirk, "I'd be Sexy Eddie, the hottest and most beloved President."
Bella laughed loudly. "You don't even like being called Eddie!"
"I'll make an exception for that title," Edward replied nonchalantly.
They continued to laugh and talk quietly, the sheets twisting around them as the sun rose higher. Bella was beaming even brighter, it seemed, as she basked in the love of her husband.
"Beth should be waking up soon," Edward said some minutes later, breaking the comfortable silence they'd lapsed into.
Bella's eyes quickly flicked to the clock on the nightstand. "Probably. She does seem to rise early," Bella agreed.
"She gets it from her mother," Edward stated.
Bella snorted. They both knew that wasn't strictly true. Edward was more of an earlier riser than Bella, due to his job.
"I guess we should get dressed, huh?" Bella said.
"No," Edward pouted. He pulled Bella in for a tight hug, inhaling at her neck loudly. "I like you this way… all warm and naked."
Laughing, Bella combed her fingers through his hair as she replied, "Yes, but our daughter will be bouncing in here any minute and as much as I like you this way, too, I think she's probably gone through enough this year without adding the trauma of seeing her father naked to that list."
"Fine, fine!" Edward grumbled as he untangled himself from his wife and the bed sheets. "But, I'm going to write an amendment to that law which includes a naked time commitment."
"You do that!" Bella chuckled as she moved off the bed and toward the bathroom. "I'm going to hop into the shower real quick."
"Can I join?" Edward asked, waggling his thick brows.
Bella opened her mouth to answer but the shrill ring of Edward's cell phone cut her off.
"Damn it!" Edward cursed.
Shrugging, Bella paused at the doorway, looking over her shoulder suggestively as Edward retrieved his phone. "Maybe you can join me when you're finished with work, honey. And I'll even let you help me finish again," she said with a saucy wink.
Edward's groan of frustration and subsequent gruff 'hello' followed her into the bathroom, where Bella quickly moved into the large shower stall and adjusted the water temperature.
As she washed, Bella allowed her mind to wander over the past few days.
She was happier than she'd ever been, now that she and Edward had reconciled. Though it had been difficult, she knew they'd be stronger now. They'd fought but, in the end, it'd been worth it.
Edward knew she wouldn't be pushed over or swayed by his power and Bella knew he'd respect her from now on. She may have suffered in her past, but she wasn't made of spun glass; she could bend and not break and didn't need him to protect her from everything.
What she needed - they needed - was to lean on and support one another. They'd spent several hours discussing how to move forward after Edward had arrived at Camp. Both agreed to talk more about what was going on, sharing as much as they could with one another when a concern arose.
Bella knew she wouldn't be able to always know every detail of Edward's work, and she accepted that. It helped that he promised to always have someone with him when working with a pretty intern or secretary.
Bella promised she'd work on trusting Edward more, as she knew he hadn't done anything not to deserve it. She also promised him she wouldn't run from problems; instead she would face them as best she could, as long as Edward was by her side.
It was a comprise they both agreed on.
And then sealed the deal with sex. Multiple times.
Shaking her head, Bella realized she'd been stalling for time, having finished her cleaning routine several minutes before. Mildly disappointed Edward wouldn't be joining her, Bella turned off the water and dried off before slipping on a fluffy robe and going out into the room to dress.
She found traces of Beth in the room, her glow worm laying discarded on the messy bed; neither her daughter or husband seemed to be in the room. Bella didn't worry, figuring the pair had gone to the kitchen to start breakfast together, as they'd been doing the past few days.
It warmed Bella's heart, the love she saw so clearly between father and daughter. She felt a pang of guilt for separating them over the past few weeks, but quickly shook it from her head. She wasn't going to dwell on the mistake of her recent past. Instead, wanting to be a part of the picture she'd conjured in her head of her loving family, Bella ducked into the closet to dress quickly so she might join them.
Edward rushed into the room moments later, calling her name. Bella hastily pulled up her denim jeans before she stepped out to see him.
"What? What's wrong?" Bella asked, worry that something had happened to Beth piercing her heart.
"Bella, they've got him!" Edward said in a rush as he moved rapidly around the room, pulling clothes out frantically from the closet and tossing them onto the bed.
"What? Who?" Bella asked in confusion.
"McCarty called and said Prime Minister Kachiri agreed to hand him over. He'll be on the first flight out, we have to go now. I've already got Beth packing."
"I don't understand. Edward, wait, tell me what's going on."
Edward stopped and turned to face his wife. He moved to her side, his hands going to her shoulders as he looked intently at her.
"They got him, Bella! The McCarty and Hale were able to bring Kebi in," Edward told her seriously. "We're finally going to find out what happened to you."
a/n: Thanks to mauigirl60 for her help with this chapter, though I did make a few changes after she beta'd, so don't blame her for any mistakes you see.
Thank you for reading. And because so many of you have shared your thoughts, this little fic has reached over 3k reviews. That amazes me, and again, I thank you.