"Allure of the Seas"

Pairing: Edward/Carlisle, AH

Rating: R for m/m sex

Word Count: 5,000

a/n: Written in honour of Slash/Backslash 4.0. We have some amazing fics and artwork this year. Capricorn75 and I are hosting over on LJ right now. If you haven't already, go read, view, and review! .com


Edward doesn't mean to kiss Carlisle Cullen of State Room 1298. Which is odd because typically Edward means to do what he does. Things don't just happen to him. Certainly not things like kissing cruise-goers without intending to do so.

He's sure it's a violation of some sort of code or regulation. At the very least, it goes against his own rule of not getting involved with guests. Ever. Because nothing good can come of it.

Still, the man's mouth is soft and dry, and his breath is warm when he exhales – a slight huff against Edward's lips. Edward holds his breath and doesn't open his eyes. He doesn't want to see the look of shock or, worse, derision, on the man's lovely face. But Carlisle hasn't moved. He's still standing too close, and Edward can feel the steady rise and fall of his chest, can smell the almond scent of his soap.

Then the man brings one hand up to Edward's face, brushes his finger against Edward's jaw. And Edward opens his eyes.

Carlisle is looking at him. Wisps of blond hair frame his face, and a faint flush stains his cheeks.

Edward shifts from foot to foot and looks down. He thinks he can still taste the man on his tongue.

"Edward," Carlisle says, and his voice is low and rough and far more arousing than it has any right to be.

Edward raises his head again. Carlisle is beautiful, and he wants nothing more than to kiss him again. But that's positively insane, and he knows it. After all, one can't go about kissing guests. It simply isn't done. "I should go," Edward says quickly and moves to step around Carlisle.

"No. Wait." Carlisle reaches out to catch Edward's arm, but he sidesteps quickly and makes it down the corridor and out onto the Promenade without looking back.

Edward realises that he can't exactly run away. There are only so many places one can go on a ship. Though, the idea of diving overboard isn't entirely unappealing.

Open water swims aside, Edward knows he will have to see the man again. There are six days remaining on the cruise, and he can't avoid his duties. Carlisle knows his shift, the bars he's usually assigned. If the man wants to find him, he will be able to do so.


"I kissed Carlisle."

"You did what?" Alice leans against the sink; a strand of dark hair falls against her cheek, and she brushes it away absently. Today's theme is Caribbean Way. The orange and pink of her uniform shirt clashes horridly with her pale skin. But, then again, Edward supposes it clashes with just about everything.

"I kissed him."

"And?" His confession does not seem to startle her. Instead, Alice folds her arms across her thin chest and waits for him to explain.

"And… I don't know." Edward feels his skin heat, and he looks down. He hates his tendency to blush at the slightest provocation. "Nothing I suppose."


He shrugs.

"Where were you?"

"Corridor behind the Blue Lagoon Pool Bar."

Her lips twist, a hint of a smile. "Romantic."

Edward rolls his eyes. "I think he was waiting for me."

Alice nods. "He's been watching you for two days now."

Edward doesn't respond, but he thinks she must be right. The thought sends a not unpleasant shiver of warmth down his spine.

"So, are you going to do it again?"

Edward frowns. He knows it's a bad idea. And he knows employees aren't supposed to fraternise with cruise-goers. Still, he remembers the push and press of soft, dry lips, and the warmth of Carlisle's hand against the small of his back. "I don't know."

The kiss pounds across his vision, brilliantly hot and silver sharp.


The next time Edward sees Carlisle, he is by the pool. The man is reclining on a deck chair. His white-gold skin is bronzed by the sun.

Edward refuses to notice the smooth line of his jaw or the way wind-blown hair falls against his face. He does notice that Carlisle is alone.

He also notices that, suddenly, it's rather difficult to breathe; surely, his chest shouldn't feel this tight. Even with the heat, his skin shouldn't be this warm. He swallows. "How are you doing, Mr. Cullen?"

Carlisle blinks up at him. His eyes are very blue. "Quite well, Edward."

Edward wishes his shirt wasn't covered in turquoise pelicans, but Carlisle smiles, the corners of his mouth curving just so, and Edward is glad he can blame his flush on the sun.

"Where are your friends?" Edward asks too quickly, looking everywhere except the flat planes of the man's stomach, the smooth expanse of his chest.

Carlisle seems mildly amused with the question. Edward shoves his hands into the pockets of his khaki shorts and hopes that he doesn't look as awkward as he feels.

"Alec, Jane, Katherine, and James are eating lunch. And, I believe, Rose is at the Flow Zone with the kids."

"The kids?" Edward doesn't think they are Carlisle's. At least, he hopes they're not.

"Peter and Jacob. My nephews."


Carlisle smiles again.

The man is travelling with a large group. From what Edward has observed, there are at least twelve people in his party. Perhaps more. Yet, Edward doesn't think Carlisle is with anyone.

He's not wearing a wedding ring.

And there's the kiss.

Edward thinks that might mean something. He's just not sure what yet.

"I, er, would you like a drink?" After all, he did come to the man's lounge for a reason.

"Yes. I think a Pina Colada would be nice."

"A Pina Colada?"

"You have them, don't you?" Carlisle glances down the row of sunbathers on deck chairs as if searching for overpriced drinks.

"Oh, yes, of course. It's just…" Edward looks down at his shoes, thinking, perhaps, he just shouldn't speak.

"Just?" Carlisle prompts after a moment.

Edward looks up again. "It's just, you don't strike me as a Pina Colada type of guy."

"Oh?" The man smiles. His teeth are very white and very straight. "And what kind of guy do I strike you as?"

Edward's stomach twists, but he takes a breath and manages a response. "Scotch. Or whiskey."

"Red wine, actually," Carlisle says, propping himself up on his elbows.

Edward does not watch the ripple of his stomach muscles as he moves.

"But that doesn't seem fitting, given the circumstances."

"So, a Pina Colada it is," Edward says, turning for the bar before he does anything truly embarrassing.

When he returns a few minutes later, Carlisle has his iPad out; his fingers move swiftly over the screen.

Edward sets the drink down on the tiny side table. "Work or pleasure?" he asks, handing Carlisle the bill.

"Work." The man sets the device down to sign the ticket. "Unfortunately, there are some emails I simply can't ignore."

Edward nods. Wifi is ridiculously expensive on board. He wonders what Carlisle does and what is so important to demand his immediate attention, but he doesn't ask. Sometimes Edward remembers his manners. "Is there anything else I can do for you?"

"No." Carlisle brushes his thumb over the lip of the glass. "I think that will be all." He does not mention the kiss.

Edward nods and turns to go. He is certain it's not something he should bring up.

"Oh, Edward—"

He looks back.

"Are you working tonight?"

Something warm slides up his spine. "Yes. Seafarers Bar. Deck Nine."

The man nods but does not say anything else.

"Do you have plans?"

"I believe we're seeing a show."

"Oceantopia or Fish on Ice?"

"Oceantopia I think."

Ah. "Aqua Theater. Deck Five. Seven o'clock."

Carlisle inclines his head. Edward watches the shadows play along his jaw.

"Well, I'm on till eleven. Perhaps I'll see you."



"How did you and Jasper get together?"

Alice looks up from her magazine before glancing across at her boyfriend.

They are sitting on the only sun deck reserved for employees, taking a break. The deck is small, tucked away in a back corner of the ship. There are a half dozen lounge chairs, an old ping-pong table, and a soda machine that rarely works.

Jasper looks up, runs a hand through deliberately dishevelled hair. "Virgin Islands. Two summers ago. We were both working the main dining hall, and, after dinner one night, I kissed her."

"You kissed her?"


"That's it?"

Japer shrugs. "That's it."

Alice snorts. "Not exactly."

Jasper looks down again. He's rolling a cigarette, long fingers moving deftly on thin paper.

Edward is not exactly sure why he does it. They sell packs at the drug store, and employees can bring their own aboard. But Jasper insists these are the only kind he likes. Edward thinks they taste vile. So he assumes it has more to do with Jasper thinking it looks cool. And maybe it does.

"Tell him what happened next," Alice says.

"She slapped me."

Edward raises an eyebrow. "Slapped you?"

Jasper shrugs again, dragging his tongue along the cigarette to seal it. "A minor setback."

Alice rolls her eyes. "He tried again a week later. And a week after that."

"Finally, she decided she simply couldn't resist me." Jasper flashes a rather brilliant smile.

If Jasper weren't entire straight (and madly in love with his best friend), Edward thinks he would have asked him out.

"I decided it wasn't worth the effort resisting, more likely," Alice says, flipping a page in her magazine.

Jasper smiles, clearly not offended, and digs in his pocket for a lighter.

"So what should I do?" Edward asks after a long moment. He leans against the ping-pong table. The wood is rough against his palms.

"Do?" Jasper looks up, cupping his hands; the tip of his cigarette glows red orange.

"Edward kissed Carlisle," Alice says simply. "Now, he'd like him to take him to bed."

Japer looks mildly surprised but then quirks his lip and laughs. "The guy from State Room 1298?"

Edward blushes but nods.

"He's single?"

"I think so."

"And gay?"

"I think so."

"So kiss him again." Jasper holds the cigarette to his mouth, blows a thin stream of smoke from his lips. "Then ask to see his cabin."

Alice snorts.

"I can't do that."

"It's effective."

Edward is certain his cheeks are bright pink. He cracks his knuckles. Sometimes he wishes he smoked just so he had something to do with his hands.

"Yes," Alice says, saving Edward from a response. "But Ed's looking for something a bit more...permanent."

Jasper shrugs, cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth. "That's too bad."

Alice puts her magazine down and leans forward, elbows resting on her knees. "Sweetie." Her eyes are warm. "He likes you. Buy him a drink tonight when he comes to see you and see what happens."

"If he comes to see me."

"When he comes to see you."


At precisely ten o'clock, Carlisle appears at the Seafarers Bar (Deck Nine).

He is not alone.

Edward tries not to frown as the man takes a seat at the bar beside two attractive young women. "Mr. Cullen," he says, forcing his voice to remain level. "And—"

"Edward," the man says, draping his jacket over the back of the chair. "This is Katherine." He motions to the slender brunette on his right. "And Tanya." He smiles at the fair-haired girl beside him. "I think we would like a bottle of wine."

"Of course," Edward says, ignoring how his stomach feels like lead. Disappointment, like nausea, twists in his gut. "I'll get you a list."

The man orders a bottle of Malbec. Good vintage. Moderately priced. He drinks and chats with the girls and hardly looks at Edward at all.

It's better this way, Edward tells himself, as he wipes down the counter for the third time. The cruise will be over in five days. Afterward, he will never see the man again.

Carlisle says something, and both girls laugh. The blond leans too close, trails a perfectly manicured finger down Carlisle's arm. Edward drops the glass he's holding; it shatters on the tiled floor. The man looks up at him, but Edward turns, bending to find the dustpan in the cupboard below the sink.

He sweeps up shards of glass slowly, refusing to look up to see the man watching him.

When Edward is done, he glances at the clock. 10:52. He'll close early tonight. "Will that be all, Mr. Cullen?" His voice is rather curt. "I'm about to close down my register."

The blond he thinks is Tanya frowns. "So early?"

"Yes. But if you'd like to continue your evening, I recommend Samba Surf. Deck Ten. Or Sunset Lounge. Deck Twelve. Both are open until two. And, of course, the dance club – Deck Five – is open all night."

"Oh, dancing," Tanya says, hand still resting on Carlisle's arm. "Doesn't that sound lovely?"

Katherine nods.

"You two go ahead," Carlisle suggests. "I'll be along in a few minutes."

Tanya looks disappointed but stands, smoothing the fabric of her dress. Katherine follows, picking up her purse. Her nails are bright red against the black patent of the leather clutch. "So, we'll see you soon, dear?" she asks pointedly, pressing a kiss to Carlisle's cheek. Her lips leave a glossy smudge on his tanned skin. Edward wants to wipe it away.

"Yes. Of course."

Edward watches the women leave, two sets of expensive heels clicking against the floor. "They're very pretty," he says after a moment, though he's not sure why. He wonders which one Carlisle is interested in, and he hates that he cares. But, when he turns back, the man is looking directly at him. Carlisle's eyes are bright and very blue; he twists the stem of his wine glass between slender fingers. Edward watches the crimson liquid slide up the sides.

"My cousin," Carlisle says. "And her best friend."

Edward doesn't respond. He's not sure what to say.

"Katherine would love for me and Tanya to get together."

Edward scowls. He doesn't know why the man is telling him this. "And I assume Tanya is amenable to the idea?"

"Yes." Carlisle sets his wine glass down. It scrapes against the marble bar-top. "But she's not exactly my type."

"Oh?" Edward takes a sharp, quick breath and ignores the flush that burns like fever along his skin. He picks up the dishrag, twisting it between his hands.

"Yes." Carlisle leans forward, resting his elbows on his knees. "I think we both know I prefer men."


"You really like him, don't you?" Alice takes her plastic nametag off and tosses it on the bureau.

"Yeah. I do." Edward sits on the edge of the bed and watches as Jasper pours whisky into three glasses. It's the good stuff, nicked from Laguna Bar that afternoon. They'll replace it, of course, but their personal stash is gone and they aren't due to go ashore for another three days.

Jasper hands him a drink, and Edward takes a sip, enjoying the slow burn of alcohol in his throat, his stomach. He does like Carlisle. Even if he's not entirely sure how that happened.

"It breaks your rule," Alice says gently. She sits beside Jasper, tucking her feet up beneath her.

Edward nods. She's right.

"Where are you working tomorrow?" Alice swirls her drink; ice clinks against the sides of the glass.

"Vintage. Four until close." Edward looks down; the golden colour of the whisky is honeyed and warm. "He likes wine," he adds quietly.

"That's good."

"Yeah. It is."

Jasper hasn't said anything. He looks at Edward thoughtfully, head tilted, blond hair in his eyes. "Do you know where he lives?" he asks after a long moment.


He slides a finger down the side of his glass, tracing a line through the condensation there. "But he's single?"


"And you've decided what you want?"

Edward nods.

Alice sets her glass down on the bedside table. "Season's over in a month."

"Then we're off for two."

"Yes," Alice says, leaning forward. Her cheeks are flushed from the alcohol. "And you haven't committed to another tour."

Edward nods again. Warmth (like the whisky) runs hot up and down his spine, and Edward knows they understand.


Next time, Carlisle kisses Edward.

Again, Edward is not sure how it happens, but he's also sure he doesn't care. It's after closing at Seafarers. Carlisle sits, legs crossed on the barstool, sipping his glass of Pinot Noir, while Edward cleans up. He feels the man's eyes on him as he wipes down tables and rinses glassware. Edward's chest feels tight, and it takes him three tries to enter the correct password to shut down the computer.

But then the man is standing too close, empty wineglass cupped in the palm of his hand. "I believe you forgot one," he says, leaning forward, lips nearly grazing the shell of Edward's ear.

"I, oh…" Edward says, stepping back rather awkwardly, but Carlisle only smiles, reaching around Edward to set the glass on the bar behind him. Then he's kissing him. The man's lips are warm and soft, and, when he opens his mouth, tongue tracing along Edward's teeth, Edward is certain he groans. But it doesn't matter because Carlisle is pushing him back against the counter as his tongue slides over his.

Carlisle tastes of red wine and spice, and the kiss is so perfect that Edward is sure nothing has ever felt this good before. But Carlisle's hands catch his hips, and he pulls him flush against his body, fingers curling in Edward's belt loops. Their bodies press together, and Edward slides his hand down the man's back, along the thin line of his spine, feeling the bumps of his vertebrae under his palm.

The man's eyes are bright when he looks at Edward; a flush stains his cheeks.

Edward gasps when he realises the man's cock is swollen and hard.

Perhaps kissing cruise-goers is an acceptable practice, after all.

He reaches up, brushes his fingers along Carlisle's jaw, and kisses him again. This time, he means to do it.

It isn't awkward, as Edward thought it might be, even though they are crowded in the tiny space behind the bar, and, if Edward glanced over his shoulder, he could see cruise-goers walking by on the Promenade outside. But Carlisle knows how to kiss. And, though Edward feels a twinge of jealously at the thought - he doesn't want to know where he learned how to do this, or how many men there have been - he is glad that Carlisle knows because his own lips don't feel so clumsy, his tongue not so thick as it slips against Carlisle's.

"Oh…" Edward says again, heading falling back to thunk against the cabinet behind him as Carlisle moves his mouth down the column of his throat, licks at the rapid flutter of his pulse. Edward is certain he's never been this hard, this…undone by the press of another body against his. But he supposes it's all right because he can still feel Carlisle's cock against his hip, and when he shifts (feels the slide of cock over cock for the first time) the man groans, teeth grazing against his neck, his collarbone.

Edward wishes that his shirt wasn't such a ghastly shade of lime green, that it wasn't splashed with enough pink flowers to make anyone queasy, but Carlisle doesn't seem to care as he tugs it from his trousers, slides his hands underneath to touch warm palms against his hot skin.

The his hands are at Edward's waist, slipping down to cup his buttocks, strong fingers digging into the fabric of his slacks, pulling him closer.

"Move," Carlisle whispers, and Edward does, rolling his hips forward, rubbing their cocks together through layers of cloth. But it's too much, and he knows he's about to embarrass himself.

Then the man is lifting him up so that Edward is sitting on the edge of the countertop. He wraps his legs around Carlisle's hips and tries not to cry out, to gasp, to scream, to come all over himself and his clothes before Carlisle has even touched him.

Edward's entire body is shaking, and Carlisle kisses him again, teeth scraping against his bottom lip. The sting causes gooseflesh to rise on his arms, and he opens his mouth, angling his hips so they press flush against Carlisle's.

Edward knows this is incredibly foolish. The bar is closed; the lights are off, but he hasn't locked the door. Anyone could walk by, could come inside and see them like this, could see Edward, head thrown back, cheeks flushed, hips jerking against the other man's. The thought is nearly enough to make him come.

He turns his head; it's suddenly hard to breathe. Carlisle bites at Edward's jaw before sucking on his throat hard enough to leave a mark. There are still people on the main walk. Edward can see them through the shadowed window at the end of the bar. Cruise-goers spilling out of restaurants and leaving shows and looking for after-dinner drinks before heading back to their cabins. But Edward doesn't care.

Carlisle slips a hand between them and presses his palm against Edward's cock; his fingers trace its shape and hardness through his trousers, and Edward curses. Carlisle laughs. "You have no idea," Carlisle says, "how much I've wanted to do this. His voice is rough and low, muffled against the curve of Edward's neck. "I've been thinking about touching you for days."

"Yes," Edward gasps, surprised he's managed the word. He's so close. If Carlisle doesn't do something soon, surely he'll—

But the man's hands are pulling at his zip, the cotton of his boxers. He curls his palm around his cock and strokes up and down. Edward can't look. If he did, if he glanced down to see his cock disappearing into the loop of the man's fingers, he'd certainly fall apart.

Carlisle pulls away just long enough to undo his own flies. And when their cocks touch – hot, damp skin against hot, damp skin – Edward has to bite his lip to keep from moaning. But Carlisle wraps his hand around them both, rubbing and pressing until Edward can't help the sounds spilling from his mouth.

"Christ. Look at that," the man says, and Edward does.

Carlisle's cock is longer than his; it's flushed and gorgeous as he jerks them together. Edward's prick is pink and slick, leaking as it slides through Carlisle's hand over the wet curve of his cockhead.

"Edward," Carlisle grunts, and it's nearly enough. Then the man is telling him to come on him, and Edward is so close. His entire body is tense; his heels dig into Carlisle's thighs as he pushes his hips forward, thrusting into Carlisle's hand, against Carlisle's cock.

"Fuck," Carlisle says, and his mouth is on Edward's again, tongue pushing in, sliding along his teeth, against his tongue.

That's all it takes.

Edward comes with a cry, shuddering against Carlisle.

The man's hand moves faster, slapping against Edward's stomach, then he tenses and stills, hot streaks of come splattering against their skin.

Edward leans forward, breathing hard; he rests his forehead against Carlisle's shoulder, and the man presses a kiss to Edward's hair.

"Gorgeous," Carlisle whispers after a few moments, and Edward is not sure he's heard him correctly. He runs a hand down the man's back. Carlisle's skin warm; his shirt clings to him with sweat.

Carlisle takes a step backward, tucks himself back in his pants.

Edward slides off the counter. He knows he must look ridiculous in his spunk-streaked uniform shirt and open trousers. But he's never liked this shirt, despite what Alice says about green setting off the colour of his eyes, and there's come staining the soft gray wool of Carlisle's dress slacks, so he tries not to worry much about his own appearance.

"That was probably unwise," Carlisle says, and something cold shifts deep inside Edward's chest.

He looks down, hands fumbling with his flies.

"Next time, I think," Carlisle continues, "I'll take you to bed."


Edward smiles as Carlisle's fingers slide along his jaw, force him to lift his head again.

"Yes. I have a room, if you recall."


Departure day is always hectic.

There are a myriad of tasks to complete as passengers disembark and the crew prepares for a new round of cruise-goers to board in the afternoon.

But Edward doesn't feel any of the anxiety or irritation he usually feels on departure day.

In fact, he doesn't feel much of anything at all, except the warmth of Carlisle's breath on the back of his neck and Carlisle's hand, jerking him slowly underneath the blankets.

"Oh," he gasps, waking up fully.

Carlisle chuckles and kisses his shoulder blade. "The simple pleasures of youth," he says, hand twisting, palm sliding slickly over the wet head of Edward's cock.

Edward groans and parts his thighs wider. He can feel the man's erection pressing between the crease of his buttocks, and he shivers, remembering the night before, remembering the man on top of him, filling him. "It seems I'm not the only one," he says, pushing his hips back, rubbing against Carlisle's arousal.

"Yes, well," Carlisle says, breath short, hand still moving on Edward's cock. "I think that has everything to do with the company."

Carlisle rolls them over, sheets twisting beneath them as he stretches out over Edward's body. Edward wraps his arms around his neck, lips grazing Carlisle's jaw. "I need—"

"Yes." Carlisle catches Edward's calf in his hand, hooks his leg around his hip. He rocks forward. Their cocks slip hotly together, and Edward cries out, fingernails scraping down Carlisle's back.

"Oh…oh God, please." Edward arches his back, shoulders pressing into the mattress, and Carlisle kisses him.

Edward can't stop the rush of pleasure that coils in his belly, tightens in his balls. His come splashes hot between them.

Carlisle is breathing hard. His muscles are tense, taut under Edward's palms. "Christ," he says against the man's throat. "Now you."

Carlisle nods and sits up on his knees. He's flushed, pink staining his throat, his chest, as he straddles Edward's hips, fingers closing round his prick. "I want to come on you."

Edward licks his lips, watches as the man strokes himself.

Carlisle is shaking. His eyes are bright, his mouth open as his cock slips through thumb and forefinger. Edward skates his palms down Carlisle's sides. Carlisle cries out, and he is shuddering, coming on Edward's stomach, his thighs.

Carlisle takes a deep breath. A bead of sweat slides down his neck; Edward reaches up to catch it with a fingertip. Then he drags his thumb across his abdomen, smearing lines of spunk across his skin.

Carlisle laughs softly and reaches out to cup Edward's cheek in his hand. "You'll call me when you're done."

Edward nods. In a few short hours, Carlisle will be back on shore and flying home to Chicago. Edward will be behind the bar at Seafarers wearing a hideous purple shirt covered in jellyfish. "Three weeks."

"Three weeks."


"I thought I'd never see this day." Mary Brandon appears behind them, two flutes of champagne in her gloved hands. Carlisle takes them from her, setting a glass in front of Edward. Bubbles rise to the surface of the pale gold wine.

"It had to happen eventually," Edward says with a laugh. Alice's mother smiles.

Tomorrow, Mr. and Mrs. Jasper Whitlock will leave for the southern coast of Italy. They'd adamantly refused to honeymoon on board a cruise ship. Edward doesn't blame them. It's been two years, and, if he never spends another night at sea, it will be all right.

"And to have the three of you back on dry land and finally settling down." She pats Edward's shoulder fondly. "It's wonderful."

Edward nods and leans against Carlisle's chest. The man wraps an arm around his shoulder. His tie is loosed, his jacket open.

"When's your turn, Dr. Cullen?" Mary asks. "We're waiting for you to make an honest man out of our Edward."

Carlisle looks down at him, eyebrow quirked. Edward feels his cheeks warm and shakes his head. "I think we're perfectly happy living in sin, for now, at least."

Carlisle chuckles.

Mary rolls her eyes. "Goodness, you boys these days." But her smile is indulgent as she turns in a swirl of lilac taffeta and silk and heads toward another table of guests.

Edward takes a sip of champagne. "I'm hardly a boy."

"Yes." Carlisle rubs his hand up and down Edward's arm. "And I'm two years older than she is."

He tilts his head back to kiss the man's jaw. "It's all terribly perverse."

"Perhaps. But you love me all the same."

A breeze blows through the courtyard, carrying the scent of lilies and peonies. Edward smiles. "That's true."

"What would it take to get you to marry me?" Carlisle asks after a long moment.

Edward's eyes drift to the dance floor where Alice is swaying in Japer's arms. Her belly is already swollen beneath the ivory silk of her wedding gown. "Barring an immaculate conception?"

Carlisle laughs, but something flickers in his eyes. He brushes a finger along Edward's cheek. "I'm serious."

Edward's stomach twists, releasing a tendril of heat. "I know."

Carlisle kisses him, a soft press of dry lips, and Edward places his hand on his chest, feels the thump of the man's heart under his palm. "I have one year left of school."

"And then I'll have a full-fledged lawyer on my hands. What will I do?"

"I don't know," Edward says, threading his fingers through Carlisle's. "Marry me, I suppose."

Now, whenever Edward kisses Carlisle, he means to do it.


Remember to support .com