Chapter Nineteen

Thank you to my readers for being extremely patient and for your kind words :)

Also thank you to bexie25 for beta'ing this chapter!

Junk. Junk. Junk.

I scowled in annoyance, wishing the pattern would cease already.

Every letter that was delivered to my mailbox was of a similar sort, none bearing the official seal my eyes searched hopefully for when I retrieved them.

It was really beginning to get on my nerves.

It'd been three weeks and Edward's university acceptance still hadn't arrived. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a matter of if it would arrive; it was when.

His application to the University of Seattle had been impeccable; there was no way he could be refused, and I would bet all I owned on that fact. Yet he was still worried. He acted like it didn't bother him in the slightest, reassuring me that they must have had a lot of applicants this year, but his constant checking of the mailbox and the look of devastating disappointment on his face when he'd come up empty told me otherwise.

I couldn't bear to see him like that much longer, the pain he felt daily was killing me, and I was nearing the end of my patience, which was why I'd taken to checking the mailbox after work too. All the little black compartment seemed to bring was frustration and disappointment. I was starting to hate the inanimate little fucker.

Shaking my head with irritation, I turned to walk back to the apartment, empty handed yet again, but froze in my tracks when I heard someone softly utter my name.

Bewildered, I twisted around to see the elderly lady who lived next door, staring at me from her open door. I didn't even know her name; the only time we'd ever talked was the day I moved in, and we'd only exchanged polite hello's, nothing personal or deep. She looked about between the ages of eighty and ninety, judging by the deep wrinkles set into her face and her short white hair, and I wondered why she was approaching me now.

"Hello?" I tilted my head, confused. My smile was hesitant.

"You live in 21B, yes, with that nice young man?" she inquired, her voice thick with an accent I couldn't quite detect.

My brow furrowed at her words.

How did she know Edward?

Her choice of words was… interesting.

"Yes…" I answered uncertainly, unsure of where she was going with this.

She smiled in relief and stepped closer so we were only a meter apart. "This letter isn't addressed to me, you see?"

Lifting her frail hand shakily, she offered me a large white envelope, brandishing, to my astonishment, the Seattle University crest.

I gasped aloud as I took it from her, and then weighed it lightly in my hands. A quiet thank you escaped my lips and I stared at it in awe for a few seconds.

Then the excitement set in.

I grinned and did a little jump on the spot, forgetting for a second the short, elderly woman that stood in front of me.

I couldn't wait to see how Edward would react; he'd be so happy.

"Thank you," I exclaimed, as I clutched the envelope feverishly in my hands and smiled at her.

"I'm glad it's in the right hands. I have no use for it, and I'm sure its recipient will be very glad to see it. Yes, I'm sure he will." She nodded to herself.

"If you don't mind me asking, how do you know Edward?" I asked.

The corner of her lip turned up and her blue eyes twinkled. "A few days ago, or maybe it was a week ago, he saw me carrying some groceries to my flat and offered to carry them for me. They were very heavy so I couldn't refuse. Then he made me a very lovely cup of tea and stayed to chat with me for a few minutes. I don't get to speak to people very often, so it was wonderful. He reminds me of my grandson, so polite and considerate."

Even though I knew it was in his nature, it still warmed my heart to think that Edward treated strangers as kindly as he did the ones he loved. It made me love him all the more.

Forgetting momentarily about the exciting news she'd given me, I told the woman softly. "He's one of a kind."

"You two will be very happy together. Oh, yes." She nodded again. "You will tell me when you are promised?"

I laughed and then bobbed my head. "Yes, yes, I will Mrs…"

"Clearwater. Though I'd like it if you called me Leah, Bella." She patted my shoulder gently.

"How do you know my name?" I asked, shocked. I'd only spoken to her the once, and I couldn't believe she'd apparently remembered my name..

I could've sworn she winked at me as she replied, "he told me everything about you, Miss Swan."

I tried to hide my smile, but it was impossible.

"Hey, Edward," I said casually, leaning against the doorframe while hiding the envelope carefully behind my back where he had no chance of seeing it.

As expected, when I returned to our apartment, he was still in the living room, sitting comfortably on the sofa with a book in his hands and an empty glass on the coffee table, a look of focus in his green eyes. I was pretty sure the book was on counselling—it was all he seemed to read now.

At the sound of my voice, he lowered the book and held it in his lap, smiling as he saw me standing there, my posture relaxed. "Hey, how was work? I missed you."

He made a move to get up but I stopped him with a gesture of my hand. "Don't move, I need to ask you something first."

His face scrunched up in confusion, but he remained seated. "What is it?"

"I just ran into Mrs Clearwater from our apartment block and she told me to give something to you."

"What? I told her I didn't need…" he started, his tone exasperated.

I cut him off, smiling. "No…no…this isn't about the thing you did for her the other day."

He looked away and crossed his arms. "Oh, okay, what then?"

Not seeing any reason to prolong the moment any more than I already had, I pulled the envelope from behind my back and grinned at him with all the vigor I'd been holding back. "She got some of our mail by mistake."

A small crease formed on his forehead as if he was trying to figure out why what I was telling him was so important, before it smoothed out and his eyes lit up. "I got in?"

"You got in, baby," I confirmed, loving the look of absolute shock and delight that crossed his face. Within seconds the book was tossed aside and he was running up to me. I expected him to take the envelope from me, but no. He took me into his arms and swung me around in a full circle. I giggled at the sheer feel of it.

His exuberance made me feel alive.

"I got in!" he exclaimed once he'd let me down, kissing both my cheeks and then my lips. I kissed him blissfully for a second before he pulled back and announced with glee, "We have to celebrate!"

"Yes," I agreed eagerly, jerking my head. "I've got some champagne stashed in the kitchen and I think a toast is in order."

"Awesome! I can't believe I actually got in!" His voice was truly one of incredulity.

I shook my head at his uncertainty. "You deserved it. There was no doubt as to whether you'd get in; none at all."

He kissed the palm of my hand softly and held it in his. "This wouldn't have happened without your support."

"Oh shush." I rolled my eyes, a silly grin still plastered on my face. "Tonight's all about you."

While he was opening the envelope and reading his acceptance letter, I went scavenging in the kitchen for the bottle I'd stored away as well as the champagne glasses Alice had gifted me with for my twenty-first birthday. I found them quickly and easily, my cupboards neat and ordered thanks to Edward, and filled them up, making sure not to spill a drop of the expensive bubbly liquid.

When I came back, glasses in hand, Edward was still reading the letter.

"I start in a week. This is going to be great," he said as he put the letter down, still smiling widely.

"Sounds great," I replied honestly, more happy for him than I could begin to express.

I handed a glass to him with the other one held firmly planted in my hand, a wonderful idea striking me as I did so.

"A toast to Seattle's new future graduate and my favourite person in the world."

I spoke loudly as if there were a number of people in the room, rather than just us, to emphasize the moment, to create a memory he'd probably keep and treasure for the rest of his life.

He grinned and kissed my cheek. "To me, and also to my beautiful girlfriend who I couldn't have done it without.". I felt like I was on top of the world as I raised my glass and clang it gently against his before we both took a sip and placed our glasses back on the table.

The stuff tasted divine, but it wasn't my quench for thirst that needed to be satisfied. Staring at him now in all his handsome glory, his hair devilishly messy and his green eyes smoldering, I felt nothing but an intense need for him.

His arms wound around my waist and his warm lips were at my ear before I could even think to respond to that need. "Thank you, beautiful."

I blushed, trying to fight the sensations that only seemed to grow. "It was you who did all the work, not me. I only motivated you."

He sighed and shook his head. "I love you."

"I love you more," I replied adoringly before letting his lips brush against mine and engage in the fully-fledged kiss I'd been looking forward to ever since I'd left for work. He tasted amazing, a combination of the champagne we'd been drinking as well as another substance I couldn't name, and I found myself growing addicted to it, to him.

As I found myself growing needier, more desperate to feel him, all of him, I realized that there was no point in denying myself any longer. I was truly ready. He was the one for me; there was no doubt about it. I would never love, never desire another, and nothing, absolutely nothing in the world could make me regret what we could potentially share tonight. He was my other half, my soulmate, and this would only continue to seal our bond.

My hand reached up to stroke his cheek and I said softly. "I think tonight's the night."

Unlike the first time I'd implied taking the next step, he didn't freeze, didn't pull back. He just continued kissing me, more ardently, more passionate than before, and when our lips parted, he whispered, "I was hoping you would say that."

I smiled as he bent down and lifted me into his arms, wrapping my arms around his neck as he carried me bridal style into our bedroom. There, he laid me on our bed, kissing me incessantly, only stopping to remove articles of clothing until I wore nothing but my bra and panties. There were no candles, no rose petals, but it was perfect.

Before he could go any further, I relieved him of his own shirt, peeling it off of him and throwing it across the room. I ran my hands down over his polished abs and then to his jeans; glancing up at him, I blushed.

"Go ahead, beautiful," he said huskily, his darkened eyes focused on me. I felt his eyes on me still as I undid the button with a shaky breath, pausing to calm my trembling hands so I could lower the zipper. He smiled at me encouragingly, sensing my hesitation. His everlasting confidence in me gave me the courage to pull it down quickly. In my haste, I must have accidentally grazed him because he moaned my name. The sound sent pleasant shivers through me.

He pulled me into his arms and I gasped as he let me down gently on the bed again. "We're going to need more room than that," he teased with a small smile and I half-smiled back, shuffling further toward the middle of the mattress.

He looked down at me for a moment, frozen as his eyes caressed me. The look in his eyes was something I couldn't describe, but I thought I saw a little awe there. "You're so beautiful," he whispered and then he climbed onto the bed after me. "Thank you so much for this; you have no idea how much it means to me."

I smiled and took a deep breath.

"I have a pretty good idea," I whispered, biting my lip. "What now?"

His small smile became a smirk and his eyes flashed mischievously. "I want you ready for me, Bella—. I want to make sure this is as painless as possible for you, so I need you very, very wet."

A rush of pleasure ran through me at his words, but I still couldn't help but flush. "How can you be so confident? Aren't you nervous at all?"

His smile lessened again, grew more serious, but then he leaned in for a soft, sweet, slow kiss. He pulled back too quickly for my liking to whisper against my lips, "of course I am, this is one the most important moments of our lives. But I'm also confident in the fact that I love you, you love me, and that this will be perfect. You know why?" he asked softly as his fingers grazed the skin of my abdomen.

"Why?" I whispered.

He smiled. "Because we're meant to be together, and, as I just mentioned, we love each other. Nothing can overcome that."

I looked into his eyes, his confidence in us growing on me. He was right. We were meant to be together—always. Determinedly, I said to him, "Please, Edward."

He didn't need clarification. He simply smiled, pecked me on the lips again, and then kissed his way from my collarbone down to my naval. His fingers grazed my outer thighs before pulling on my underwear just lightly, asking for permission. I nodded, letting out a gust of breath, as apprehension filled me and stilled my movements. I briefly felt a pang of real nerves fill me at the thought that he mightn't like what he saw, that our first time wouldn't live up to his expectations, but when I remembered his words from just moments ago, it faded as quickly as it'd come. I swear he smiled when he felt the tension leave my body.

He swallowed and looked down at me as he dropped my underwear to the floor. My legs were now on either side of his shoulders, spread for him to see me, and I bit my lip as he just… looked. Never was I more nervous than at this moment.

Several 'what if's' swirled around in my head.

What if he wanted to stop?

What if he preferred me bare?

"You're…" he started only to stop and swallow again before he looked up at me. He smiled. "You're gorgeous."

Even though it was silly, I couldn't help but let loose a sigh of relief at his words. He really did love me; every part and every imperfection. I had no idea why I'd momentarily believed otherwise.

The thought made my confidence levels rise dramatically and now I knew without a doubt, like he did, that this moment was going to be perfect.

I gasped when his hands slid under my thighs and traveled up to my ass, his thumbs resting on my hipbones. I was closer to him now, could feel his hot breath on my skin and his warm lips at my collarbone. I shivered involuntarily and my clit throbbed a little at the feel of it.

He murmured lowly, "Take your bra off."

My heart pounded heavily with anticipation as I reached behind my back to unclasp my bra. It fell to the floor with a clatter but neither of us registered the sound as Edward had already begun kissing up my left knee, to the inside of my thigh, testing, teasing. By the time he'd done the same to the other knee, I could feel my panties were absolutely saturated, and I squirmed against the sheets, begging for more.

Sensing my growing need, Edward whispered, "Soon, love, I want to prolong this as long as possible."

I tried to still my movements, but as his head moved down south and his mouth brushed against my core, my hands fisted the sheets and I began squirming again. His tongue swept from my entrance to my clit then back again, slowly.

I moaned, the feel of it driving me insane with want. I squirmed, wanting more and wordlessly begging for it.

I barely noticed as his hand left my hip and then covered my entrance, as he'd started to rub his tongue against my clit. I whimpered, feeling my center tighten, impossibly increasing my need even further.

"Please," I gasped desperately, needing relief now more than ever. The feeling was growing overwhelming, too much for me to keep a grasp of.

Heeding to my wish, he pushed a finger into my pulsing core and began slowly thrusting it in and out, causing me to moan and squirm again. When he placed his other hand on my abdomen, halting my movements, I tried to buck against him, needing relief, but he wouldn't yield. I gave up quickly when I felt another of his fingers easing into my core, growing steadily faster in speed and force until they were practically slamming into my center with every flick and jolt of his wrist. His tongue then flicked at my clit, and I panted, clenching around him.

"Yes, yes, Edward," I cried, knowing these sensations were at their highest peak, that I was about to come undone.

My back arched against him and my whole body shuddered as I came.

A strange sense of relief coursed through me afterward, and I felt… good. With a smile on my face, I let myself fall back against the bed.

He pulled his mouth back from my clit and I tightened slightly as the cold air hit me. He kissed my entrance and pulled his fingers out, lifting them to his mouth and moaning at the taste. I panted at the sight of such an act, of my essence glistening on his lips, and suddenly I couldn't take it anymore. Despite being satisfied with my orgasm, I still wanted more. I grabbed at him and pulled him down over me so our faces were only inches apart and kissed him, the taste of me on him strange but weirdly erotic. He kissed me sweetly and slowly but I craved more intensity. I was no longer nervous, the experience I'd just had having cured me of it, at least temporarily so my movements were no longer hesitant and I attempted to grind against him. He halted my bold actions, placing his hands on my hips.

"Are you ready?" he asked uncertainly, his confidence slipping. I remembered that he, obviously, like me, had no experience.

I nodded frantically, making him smile and chuckle softly as he flipped us over so I was hovering over him. I looked at him questionably.

"You should take control, if you're ready of course."

I blushed, but straddled him as an idea came to mind.

I took him in my hand, smiling as he tensed and then groaned as I stroked him hard once, twice, three times. He threw his head back into the pillows and I smiled as he moaned my name, licking my lips at the sound. I let my hand slide to the top of him and leaned up on my knees. He looked up at me, as if expecting me to lower myself, but instead I grinded against his cock and rocked my hips slowly back and forth. To my surprise, I felt myself growing wetter again, and continued my movements. It wasn't long before my clit throbbed with need as I clenched on air, and I knew now was the time; I couldn't wait any longer.

Taking a deep breath, I looked deeply into his eyes and whispered, "I love you."

He repeated my words, just as tenderly, and I took this as an indication to lower myself onto him. I descended slowly, his size bigger than I'd anticipated, and a bit intimidated by the stretching of my skin and the sting in response to it. I could hear Edward as he moaned and muttered something but I couldn't really hear him as I was too focused on getting accustomed to the feel of him inside of me and being careful.

I stopped as I felt him against my barrier, knowing I'd reached a turning point. It was now or never. I looked him in the eye and bit my lip, squeezing my eyes shut. As I did so, I involuntarily clenched around him, making him groan. Just as I was about to lower myself further, to break the barrier, he grabbed my hips and I froze and looked down at him questioningly, wondering if I was doing something wrong.

His words, although he panted while saying them, placated me. "It'll hurt more if you're tensed. Try and relax."

In an attempt to try and make this easier for me, he moved his hand to my clit and rubbed tight circles there.

It worked quickly, and I forgot all about the sting as I groaned and whimpered his name.

"Now," he whispered.

Trusting him, and for once trusting in myself, I allowed him to push through the barrier. I knew the second it was breached due to the painful tearing that resulted and I let out a little sob, tears welling in my eyes at the unpleasant feeling. He grasped my hips again to stop me, but I shook my head, knowing I'd be all right if given time. I didn't want to give up on this now. Opening my eyes, I looked into his again, and what I saw there gave me courage to lower myself the rest of the way. When he was buried to the hilt, I took another deep breath and looked at him pleadingly.

Knowing what I needed, his hands caressed my skin, trying to comfort me through the harsh pain. He whispered that he loved me, that he was sorry I was hurt, but that it was amazing to finally be one with me.

I smiled tensely and nodded, moving my hips slightly to test my condition. I gasped as I felt the pain slither out of my body, a slight sting the only remainder of it. Now there was mostly pleasure taking over and I rocked my hips back and forth, reveling in it. I braced my hands against his chest and then pulled up then lowered again, causing Edward to groan and mutter, "so fucking good."

Now he was thrusting and matching my movements, his hands traveling up my body as mine did his, smiling at me with the love that was the drive behind everything that had transpired tonight. We truly did belong together, physically, intellectually and emotionally. Nothing could dispute that. I smiled as the pleasure coursed through me, no other sensation comparable.

I could feel myself tighten as Edward sat up. I wrapped my legs around him in response and moved up and down on him, feeling him control our movements. He whispered my name as he leaned down to kiss me and I gasped breathlessly before I kissed him back ardently. Our mouths did not separate as he continued to thrust into me and I tightened over him, pleading for more. He pushed me back against the bed again, slipping out momentarily before sliding back in. This new angle allowed him to hit a particular part deep inside me that caused me to moan with pleasure and jolt sharply in his arms.

He smiled in satisfaction and his right hand wandered up my body to my right breast. He teased it, rolling the nipple before he thrust one last time into my wet core.

"Edward!" I called, writhing as I came for the second time during the night.

In a few seconds, he came also, collapsing onto me before rolling off and slipping out of me. He pulled me against him and I laid my head against his chest where I could hear his pounding heart, thoroughly spent but one hundred percent satisfied.

"I love you," he murmured, kissing the top of my head.

"I love you, too."

"Thank you, that was beyond words." His voice was truly filled with awe.

I smiled. "No, thank you. I've never even had an orgasm before and you managed to make me come twice."

He grinned and then closed his eyes. Tired too, I let mine flutter closed, but they were soon snapped open again as a curious thought occurred to me.

"In a magazine I read ages ago, it said that a guy's first time is usually very quick. How did you…?" I trailed off.

The tips of his ears reddened and he looked down sheepishly. "I… uh… masturbated a lot so I could last as long as possible for you, so you'd get the maximum experience. Also coming so quickly would be…you know…sort of embarrassing."

I held back a laugh and said encouragingly, "you were amazing, trust me."

He chuckled and then kissed my forehead. "Ditto."

It wasn't long before I drifted asleep in his arms, a seemingly permanent smile etched on my face.

Please go easy on me, that was my first lemon ;)