Sorry it's been so long… I hope this will appease you and make up for it!

Bella couldn't sleep. Nothing on this trip had gone the way she planned. She wanted things relaxed and stress free, but now her mind would not stop racing for even a moment. Edward wanted her back, claiming he loved her and yet willing to abandon her on a remote beach, just like he did in the forest. There was no way she wanted him back. Some distant memory longed to have him back, to have the familiar love, but she would not do it. And now Carlisle's vampire side had claimed her but after last night, his rejection flowed through her. She had needed someone to comfort her; she had emotional and in pain. She had wanted a safe pair of arms to wrap around her, to keep her feeling whole. She wasn't even sure why she had asked him to stay, considering all that had happened, but his refusal made whatever confidence she had disappear.

Her leg was so tender that she was content to stay inside, thankfully the house had large windows that opened with ease, making her feel like she could still enjoy the beautiful outdoors. For the next few days she avoided Carlisle as much as she could. Whenever they had to be in the same room together, like to check her wound, she could not bring herself to look at him and only spoke to him in one word answers. She did want to stay, especially with her best friend, Alice, but she the least she thought she could do is distance herself from Carlisle, and she hoped it would alleviate some of the tension in him. She also needed to stay away from him because he was all that she could think about; he was with her in every waking moment and filled her dreams when she slept. Her body longed to be close to him, to even feel the gentle caress of his cold fingertips on her hand, it unnerved Bella. The yearning was only getting stronger with each passing moment and she felt silly and helpless to anything about it.

Emmett was good enough to keep her entertained with his antics on the Wii, while everyone else amused themselves watching the rivalry. "Come on Bella! You suck at this!" Just to prove his point he hit a home run and let out a whoop!

"Hey, go easy on the invalid here. My leg keeps messing me up!"

"You'd still suck even if you leg was fine." He grinned.

"It's not my fault that I don't have perfect reflexes! Turn me into a vamp and then we'll see who sucks!" Bella pouted her lips and crossed her arms in mock resentment.

"God, you're such female, so whiney!" he rolled his eyes and flopped down on the couch next to her.

"And you are an ass. Just like most men, so were even! No more torturing Bella at your hand! What about a different game?"

"No, that ass promised to take me to Rio for dancing." Rose explained. "And we have to leave now so we can go hunting first." The blond had been trying for, Carlisle's sake, to be nice to Bella, but being spoken to without malice still was taking some getting used to.

"Sorry Bella, another time." Emmett mussed her hair as he stood and it hurt her neck, the giant barely recognized his own strength. The gorgeous couple darted from the room so fast Bella didn't even see the blur.

"I'll play a game if you would like," Carlisle spoke up, his eyes hopeful, he didn't like her ignoring him. The past few days had seemed very long without the interaction. He had been hoping for a chance to woo her, to please her, but she had been giving him no opportunity.

Bella glanced around, hoping for another person to speak up, but of course, no one did. "Uh, no thanks Carlisle, I think I need to rest anyway."

As soon as Bella was out of the room Carlisle let out a snarl, his hands grabbed the Wii controllers and ground them to tiny dusty pieces.

"Emmett is going to kill you!" Alice said in a sing song voice completely unaffected by his rage.

"I don't care! It would do me some good to fight, to be doing anything but waiting! I can't take this anymore! Alice what do I do?" he looked like a man coming apart at the seams.

"You made me promise to not interfere!" Alice pretended to be shocked, but she knew it was coming, so a little smile played in the corners of her lips.

"I'm about to go crazy here…I don't understand this. I have never felt so…so completely helpless and fanatical at the same time. Everything is so new… so unusual… these emotions are almost too much to deal with! It is taking every effort in my being to not go in there right now…I want to scream at her and hug her at the same time! Please Alice," he begged the pixie.

"What's in it for me?"

"Alice," he groaned exasperated before throwing his hands in the air. "Whatever you want, it's yours."

"Fine. We'll discuss that later. Nothing is set at this point for you and Bella; everything keeps shifting from one moment to the next. But, as resident fortune teller in the family I can say that she is leaning more and more towards leaving, that future is becoming clearer to me. She thinks it will help you get over her, because she thinks you don't want this."

"What?!"

"It's not like you were Mr. Warm-n-Fuzzy the first few days here and with not telling her about the…you know." She grimaced at the picture brought to the forefront of her mind. "But, let me see if I can work some female magic and help you."

"Female magic?" Jasper laughed.

"I don't care what you call it, just help me!" He knew that things had not started out smoothly for them, nonconsensual unconscious sex was definitely on the top of the no-no list for relationships, but he could tell how he made her feel, physically. Her heart raced around him, her temperature would rise, and sometimes he could smell the heat from her sex. He could feel the vampire within yearning to be released, wanting to break down her door and strip of those cumbersome clothes and making her scream with delight.

No! She would come to him! He would control himself until she could tell him. Maybe what she felt physically was simply that of the mated bond they shared, in that case he was positive he did not want to be the one to reveal his feelings first. He had loved Esme for over eighty years and she had trampled on his heart as if it were dirt under her feet. He knew he was in love with Bella… but did he really want to give his heart so freely? Yes, he knew that if he could get Bella to admit that she cared for him then there would be nothing to hold him back.

When he had met her he had thought barely thought of her, she was just another human to interact with, but as time went on and he spent more time in her company, he would find his thoughts drifting off to her smile, her odd reaction of things that happened, and the way she would glance at him. When they had rescued her from James in Arizona, he had convinced himself that it was just his fatherly side that reacted to the situation; but when he had seen her body bloody and broken on the floor, he could barely contain himself. He wanted to be the one to rip James from limb to limb and he wanted to be the one to light the fire. But that was just his fatherly nature, right? He was hurt when Esme had left just days later, bringing him nearly to suicide, but he wondered if he actually mourned the loss of the relationship or the loss of what should have been with a mate. He knew Bella could fill that void he had inside of his soul, he knew that she would take care of his heart and be the mate he needed. He had unconsciously picked her out long before his vampire nature had even come into play.

"Okay, first things first! Esme will be here in just a few minutes. Take her on a walk behind the house, in the garden and in the end act happy! And cook Bella something special, Jasper and I are eating out!"

X-X-X-X

Bella was not happy when Alice burst through her door and threw a white cotton maxi dress at her, "Bella you need to stop acting like an infant!"

"What?"

"He has been on his best behavior; being nice, trying his hardest to keep his vampire side under control, and yet you treat him like he is the plague!"

"I'm just trying to help him! He doesn't want me!" Bella murmured; she didn't want him to hear.

Alice closed in on her, standing her slight frame on her tiptoes so she could whisper in Bella's ear. "Have you even talked to him about this situation? Stop assuming you know everything and grow up! I know Edward hurt you, I know, and that sucks...he's a prick, but you have got to take these walls down sooner or later, whether it is with Carlisle or with someone else."

"Who are you to tell me what to do?" Bella stuck her nose in the air and turned her back on the pixie. What the vampire had said struck to close to home. Was she just letting her pride get in the way? She had been thinking about Carlisle before this 'mating' had even taken place. Could he really love her? Should she even try?

"I am friend who hated to see you miserable. Even if nothing happens with you and Carlisle, you are still the best friend I have ever had, and I plan on being around you for as long as I can manage, so that means Carlisle will be around for awhile. You both could be friends; he has extended the olive branch to you. Please for me?" Alice had wrapped her arms around Bella and given her a pouty look, her eyes large and innocent. Bella instantly felt a bit guilty, she had been pretty sharp with him lately.

"How is it that you know how to manipulate me so well?" Bella groaned rolling her eyes in her head?

"Practice." The sprite bounced up and down. "Carlisle is making you dinner tonight. Jasper wants to try hunting shark… eww… but Emmett told him it was more fun that hunting bears, so, like a fool, he wants to try it with me." She sat Bella on the bed and fiddled with her hair, twisting it expertly into a beautiful French braid.

Alone with Carlisle… her stomach fluttered. She had be miserable trying to stay away from him; maybe being with him for a few hours wouldn't be so bad. "Won't the salt water make it taste different?" Bella said with curiosity, trying to distract herself.

"I hope not! I don't even want to go. I want to stay and play dress up Bella. But, I guess we can save that for when the storm hits tomorrow."

Suddenly Bella was glad that she was leaving. She really didn't like standing there while Alice treated her like a mannequin. "I can't wait!" she mumbled and Alice giggled.

"Oh, Bella! I'm going to be around you for a long time, you might as well get use to fashion and accessories. There!" she let out a satisfied sigh as she finished applying a little gloss to Bella's lips. Bella examined herself in the mirror.

Not too bad! She had gotten a little sun and the white dress made her skin look even darker against the cloth. The dress was long, but surprisingly light, and reached to the floor, covering the gauze bandage. With the gold sandals that Alice gave her, she had the sight impression that she looked like a roman goddess… she shook her head… yeah, right…in my dreams

"Perfect! Now open the window curtains and let some sun in! Jazz and I will be back by morning." She swiftly kissed Bella on the cheek and darted from the room.

Her happiness was contagious and Bella called out "Have fun swimming with sharks!" She heard Jasper laugh and then she felt the emptiness of the house. She wondered where Carlisle was at. She sauntered to the window, following Alice's instructions usually were a good thing to do. She threw back the drapes and her eyes swept the beautiful backyard garden, the flowers open, basking in the sunlight. Then she saw them, not twenty yards away; Carlisle and…Esme… their arms wrapped around each other in an embrace. He looked happy was whispering something into her ear. A smile touched Esme's lips and she flitted away, but not before her yellow eyes met Bella's.

X-X-X-X

Carlisle heaved a sigh as he saw the caramel colored hair disembark the unfamiliar speed boat. He really didn't want to see Esme. He was not angry with her anymore, but he had moved on, and he did not like these unannounced family reunions… first Edward and then Esme.

"Hello Carlisle!" her voice was light and friendly.

"Esme. How are you?" he replied politely.

"I am well." Her smile was huge and her eyes looked happy. "Okay, better than well, I am wonderful. You?"

"I am better now. It is nice to see you." Really he just wanted to get this over with… he was going to be alone… with Bella… his mate. He just needed to follow Alice's instructions. "To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?" he moved to her, taking her arm in his and motioning for them to walk.

"Well, I wanted to make sure you were okay."

"Please, Esme, do not insult me. We lived as man and wife for over eighty years, I know that if you were truly concerned you would have called or come to see me sooner." With their vampire speed they made it to the garden in just a few second, with no humans to pretend around.

"You were always fairly perceptive. You know, this place is lovely. I am sorry for how I acted; I should have been fairer to you."

"Yes, you should have. But, now what is done is done and all for the best. You can tell me who he is; I can smell him on you." His eyebrows rose, he knew it would happen eventually, and he was actually happy for her. Inside of his being he still thought of her as family, they had shared a quarter of his vampire life with her.

"His name is Jeremy. I met him just after I left, near New York. He has chosen to try our way of life. H e wasn't happy dining on humans. We found each other at the most unlikely moment in each other's lives." She could not keep the smile off of her face; the contentment seemed to glow from within her.

Carlisle had never seen her so lifted before, so light, and deep within him he felt pleased for her. "Then I am exceedingly happy for you. Maybe, when he is more use to our way of life, you both could come for a visit."

"Then you are not angry? I could see the family again!"

"No, I'm not angry; in fact, I wish you all the best."

"Oh, thank you Carlisle!" she threw herself into his arms and he hugged her back tightly. "If I could only see you find your true mate, then my happiness would be complete."

He lowered his lips to her ear and he grinned and whispered "I already have found her."

Esme had seen the curtains being pulled open moments before and knew who Carlisle's mate was without even having to ask; she recognized the look in Bella's face as she darted away from the house, not wanting to be away from own her mate for too long.

X-X-X-X

Bella sat at the table, her arms folded in front of her, as Carlisle served her dinner; he brought out a steaming plate of buttered pasta with fresh ground black pepper and grated cheese. It smelled wonderful and her stomach felt as if it had eaten through to her backbone, but she couldn't' touch it. She didn't know why she had reacted the way she did when she saw Carlisle hugging Esme, but the only thing she wanted to do was to tear the perfect hair out of that vampire. The feeling scared her because it was so extreme and out of character for her, but it also scared her because of the way her body reacted. She wanted to burst through the glass and wrap herself around Carlisle and smother him with heated kisses, proving that she was better than Esme, she would make him smile, and she would treat him the way he deserved to be treated.

"Is there something wrong with the pasta?" Bella jumped, startled by his silent appearance in the chair next to her.

"No, it's fine." She murmured.

"I can make you something else if you like." His golden eyes caught hers and he smiled. She could feel her breath catch in her throat, and then remembered why it was so silly to get caught up in his looks.

"I said it was fine!" she was sharper than she intended, but she wasn't happy right now, she finally had figured out what she had been feeling; she was jealous. Why had Esme been here? Why had they been hugging? And why did he look so damn happy when he was with her? Her eyes dropped to her hands

Carlisle frowned at her tone. He pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration. "Bella, what is wrong? You have been acting out for days and I am at the end of my rope here. Talk to me!"

"Nothing is wrong." She knew she was acting like child, but she didn't care, she could not let her walls down.

"Bella, I will ask you one more time, what is the matter?" he spoke slowly, trying not to raise his voice.

"I don't see how it is any of your concern," her eyes were firmly down on her lap.

"It is my concern because you are my ward, because you are my daughter's friend, because I am a doctor and it is in my nature, and because before we even came to this island I thought we were friends." He growled lowly, his eyes becoming darker with irritation. "So you matter to me!"

Her head snapped up. She couldn't do this…she did not want to have this conversation… not with him. She wanted to more than just matter. "I'm leaving in the morning." She managed to get out before running from the table leaving a stunned Carlisle behind.

He could hear her door shut and the suitcases being pulled out of the closet and unzipped before he could get his get to his feet. Enough! He was sick if this! He would get his answers! He had played the nice card and it had gotten him nowhere. No one treats me like this…especially not a human! His vampire side screamed and wanted revenge at the insult. In a flash he was at her door. He went to knock on it, but couldn't hold back and his fist beat the door off of its hinges, crashing to the ground.

He could smell her fear from where she stood, across the room, her back up against the glass window wall, and it was intoxicating. Her eyes were wide and her mouth formed the perfect shape of an 'o.'

He dashed across the door, splintering the wood as he went, and trapped Bella against the wall, his body only a few inches from hers, hands on the glass on either side of her head. Her heart was pounding at his nearness and she could feel heat instantly growing in her abdomen, responding to her mate… to his power.

"Stop this now Bella!" he spoke softly and so low that Bella had to strain to hear, but his voice was deadly and uncompromising. "You will answer me, do you understand?"

She nodded her head, closing her eyes, trying to keep her head clear. Right now the only thing she could think of was his naked body in the moonlight, sculpted and hard…

"Are you leaving because of Edward? Are you going back to him?" he snarled at the thought of her being in Edward's arms.

"What? No!"

Carlisle felt a bit of relief, but that did not explain why she was acting this way. "Are you angry with me?"

"A little." His delicious smell of cinnamon was beginning to cloud her mind.

"Why?"

"It's none of your business. The feeling behind the reason will pass in a few days and I will be home by then." She could feel his head lower to her neck, his nose grazing along the pulse point, and she shivered.

"You won't look at me and when you do, it is only in anger. Why?" Bella felt her knees growing weak as his breath caressed her ears and neck, the scent made her want to taste more, to have him on her lips. No! She would not let their vampire charms distract her.

"Why was Esme here?" she retorted. She met his stare and he could see something pass through her eyes, even though she was trying to hide it… he could see a glint of hurt shine through. So she had seen them together… Carlisle could almost hear the click in his head when he put two and two together; she was jealous! He smiled and pushed off of the wall, releasing her from her cage.

"She had some important news to deliver to me," he dangled the bait in front of her.

"What news?"

"She told me she had found her true mate and they are very happy together."

"Oh," she had been worked up over nothing, acted like a fool over nothing.

"Care to tell me why you are jealous?"

"I'm not jealous!" she tried to sound firm, but her voice quivered, and she turned away from him. Go away! I can't deal with this! Her emotions were running through her heart and mind like a river rushing out of control; but she knew she could not take another rejection, not after Edward… the bastard!

"Then tell me, as a grown woman who has been through so much in her short life, why was Esme being on the island causing you to act so irrationally, so emotionally?" She could feel him behind her, his breath cold in her hair. He could hear her heart pounding in her veins, the pressure making her see red behind her eyes.

Bella slumped to the floor, her hands covering her face. There was nothing she could do now and a small sob escaped her lips.

"Because…because I love you."

Carlisle froze. He couldn't remember how to breathe or even how to move… Could it be?

"And I know that you don't feel the same about me," she began to speak faster and faster. "I know that you don't want this, so that is why I have to leave this place. I need to leave as soon as possible. Now, please, let me be alone with my humiliation."

If Carlisle would have had a beating heart it would have take off like a rocket, he felt like he was soaring until her words sunk into his mind. Humiliation? Oh Lord! He had to make this right!

He fell quietly beside her, pulling her into his lap like a child, hugging her close. Her thin cotton dress did nothing to protect her skin and he could feel her muscles shiver at his contact. She would not meet his eyes and he could see the tears that had begun to spill over in hurt embarrassment. He leaned his head against hers, stroking her chocolate hair.

"Bella, oh, Bella, my love. I never said I didn't want you. I said this was not something I asked for, but that does not make it unwanted or unwelcomed. I didn't ask to fall in love with you. I didn't ask to mate with you. Those things were more than I deserve, more than I could have ever hoped for. Your admission did not make you weak, in fact, I am the weak one; so consumed in not getting hurt myself that I did not realize I was hurting you. You must allow me to beg for your forgiveness."

Tentatively she looked into his eyes and a small smile started to form on her lips. "You love me?"

"Yes, my dear. More than I can express. But I need to warn you… when I said before that if you chose this path I would not let you go… I meant it. I am not a fool and I want to make sure you understand what you are doing." The look on his face told Bella more than he could say with words. He had been hurt by someone who he loved dearly and now he was placing his heart in her care. He may be immortal, but his heart was just as fragile to breaking as her heart. He was trusting Bella completely and who could understand better, about being careful with another's hear, than she.

Her mouth felt dry and she could feel her heart speeding the blood through her veins. "I do understand, I know exactly what I am doing. I love you…so very much!"

His smile was so grand that he felt like it could break his face in two and he found he could not stand the distance between them and quickly, but gently, found her lips, her heart speeding into double time. The kiss was sweet and careful, but she wanted more… and she was disappointed when he pulled back. His eyes were dark and his jaw was set; she knew he was trying to control himself and to not let his instincts take over.

"Bella, I feel like I need to still gain your trust. Since we have been here I have acted beyond deplorable… I feel like a new, uncontrolled vampire… I sometimes cannot stop myself from behaving in certain ways. I feel possessive and frustrated and elated all at the same time…it is so hard to fight it." He hung his head ashamed of himself, shaking it back and forth, trying not to remember.

She cupped his chin with her hand and, using all of her strength, managed to get him to look back at her. "Do you need to fight it now? I want you the way you are, just maybe a little less grumpy," she smiled.

He flashed Bella a grin that made her feel weak inside "It will be a little easier now… Now that I can say you are mine and I don't have to deny myself around you. I want to be your friend, your confident, and eventually your lover."

Bella could feel warmth spreading in her abdomen at his words and she suddenly felt the nearness of his body, the intimacy of sitting on his lap. "Eventually….?"

"Yes, Bella. Eventually."

"But you once told me if I asked you nicely you would show me what a real man could do for me," she lowered her head and looked up at him through her lashes. "Please Carlisle."

Carlisle rolled his eyes back into his head and groaned. He could feel his vampire side screaming to get out, to take her to take bed and claim her, to make her his with her in full participation, there was nothing he could do to stop himself now. He prayed this was not a joke! "Isabella, are you sure you are ready for this?" his voice was deep and husky and his eyes had turned to coal black. "Because if you are, then I won't be able to stop myself once I start…"

Bella could see the lust in his eyes, he was trying to fight it, just in case she wasn't ready, but she needed him… She simply nodded. She wound her fingers through his golden hair and pulled him closer, with his help, and their lips met again. He was not careful this time, pressing himself to her, his tongue tracing her lips, demanding to have access to her. His mouth and lips tasted better than she had dreamed they would, like cold cinnamon; sweet and savory at the same time. She met his need with her own, just ad forceful as his, and she could feel his chest begin to vibrate with a low growl.

Carlisle could already feel his manhood straining against his pants, the heat of her skin seeping into him, his body straining for release; but his human mind wanted this to be special. He had stolen the dream of her first time with a man from her, and now he wanted to make sure this was something that she would never resent him for, this had to be perfect!

In one swift movement he lifted her into his arms and carried her to the bed, never breaking the connection with their heady kisses, she still on his lap. He pulled away, but only for a moment "Bella, if I should hurt you, please let me know."

Her eyes shined brightly, filled with some need that she didn't recognize; the need to have her mate inside of her, his love, his protection, his dominance. "I trust you."

She suddenly saw something in him that she had never seen before; he was nervous! As immortal as he was, as infallible as his senses were, this was all new to him. His human emotions were still there, under his vampire instincts, and they were just as anxious as a human male's were.

Their lips continued to dance, each answering the call of their mate, as Carlisle slid his hands around her neck and under her thick braid to loosen the knot holding the dress on her body. He pushed the straps over her shoulders and let his hands trail down her arms, pushing the dress down as he went, until it was only covering her bottom half. She shivered at his cool touch; her skin felt like it was on fire wherever he gently grazed her.

Slowly he lowered her onto the bed, tugging at the dress, until she was wearing nothing more than lacy white panties. He waited to see if there would be any immodesty in her when he pulled away once more, to look at her, but no like that reaction came. He sucked in his breath at her beauty and her utter conviction in him, her eyes were not ashamed. She didn't try to hide or cover herself up and beckoned with her hands for him to join her.

His mouth went for one of her pink buds, his cold tongue flicking at the hard nipple. She arched her back and moaned, her good hand digging her nails into his back. He growled with need, his desire was filling him, a haze beginning to cover his eyes and he tried to hold on to reality with his human mind. He could feel the blood pulsing under his fingertips and smell the hormones mixed in with them, it was blinding him to patience.

Bella moaned as Carlisle trailed kisses down her stomach and traced around her belly button with his lips. "Carlisle….please…" she begged. A tingling sensation was spreading through her thighs and the ache she felt could only be satisfied by him…

He smiled and slowly slipped the panties of her, he could feel her body quivering with anticipation. He positioned himself between her legs… the aroma coming from her core was almost too much, is nostrils flared and he lowered his head, his mouth claiming her sex. She cried out in pleasure as his tongue slid up and down her slit, already moist with desire.

He found what he was searching for and her body bucked under him as he found the bright red ruby and began to suck gently. "Oh, Carlisle!" her fingers tangled themselves in his hair as she tried to look down at him, but waves of pleasure began to roll off of her as his tongue flicked against her, slow and gentle, then hard and fast, repeated over and over, and white lights began to flash behind her eyes.

He had to pin her legs apart as her hips started to jerk at their own accord. "Oh, God...yes…please…yes! Carlisle!" her cries turned into one long moan as she rode the waves of her orgasm, her fluids spilling around his face, sweet and salty on his tongue. He couldn't wait any longer!

She was still in her euphoric high when he tore the clothes off of himself, gentleman-like behavior be damned! He grabbed both of her legs and slung one over each shoulder, pushing her knees nearly to her shoulders, the tip of his hard member finding her slick opening easily. He tried to go slowly, but when he felt the searing warmth of her chamber, it felt like it was pulling him inside, and he pushed in as deep as he could go, sheathing himself completely.

Bella grunted in pain, this position allowed him to go in deeper than ever before, and she wiggled under him, trying to get use to his size.

"Isabella… are you…?"

"Just give me a second."

Carlisle could hardly keep still, he could feel the blood in her veins thrumming in the tight chamber around him, but he waited until she tried moving on her own. He thrust slowly, trying to give her time, but the haze took over, and he moved faster and faster inside of her.

"Holy shit… Bella…" he moaned. Her fingers found his hips and she marveled at the movement of the hard sinew as he plunged deeper and deeper into her, her nails digging into him, begging him to keep going.

His snarls filled the room with each thrust, until it was one long growl that almost was like a purr, her voice accompanied his with mewing and calling is name. He could feel his sweet release coming as her muscles tightening in spasms around him. "Isabella, my love…ugh…come with me…mate with me…"

Her head rolled back against the mattress and she screamed in ecstasy, her second orgasm more intense than the first… she felt as though her body was breaking into a million smaller pieces, her body shaking uncontrollably. Carlisle continued thrusting… he was so close!

She could feel his member twitching inside her sensitive flesh and he let out a roar as his cold seed spilled into her, once and then again, her chamber milking him of every last drop. His eyes met hers and she watched as they turned from black back to their honey color, the haze receding. He unhurriedly pulled out of her and lowered her legs, slowly, and dropped to the mattress beside her, wrapping his cool body around hers.

"Are you alright, my love?" his velvet voice caressed her ears.

"Slightly better than alright." He could hear the smug satisfaction in her voice. "I just have one question for you?"

"And what is that?" he kissed her forehead, tasting the salty glow from their exertions.

"Can we do it again?"

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