Entry for Public Lovin Fanfiction Contest hosted by

GossipLips, JandMsMommy, and MissJanuary

- PublicLovinFanfictionContest dot blogspot dot com -

All standard disclaimers apply.


Wiegenlied

The cactus had died.

It wasn't so much that she mourned the loss of life, not really. But, stupid as it sounded, that spiky little plant had been a tangible link to her past. It was a reminder of sunshine, and heat, and the easy love of her mother, here where she had none of those things. And it wasn't even that Charlie was so bad, or she hated Forks. If that was the case, she'd never have agreed to come here.

But...it wasn't home.

At first, her spiny friend had seemed fine. She kept it on her bedside table, near a photo of her mother: these were the first two things she saw every morning when she woke. But as days passed, then weeks, the hardy little cactus grew pale and soft. Its ridged sides, once firm and filled with moisture, seemed to rot before her eyes. The air was too wet, the atmosphere too dark and too cold. Too late, she realized that she could buy a little sun lamp for it, or put it in a terrarium. But by the time this occurred to her, the cactus was too far gone to save. With a kind of morbid pleasure, she buried it in Charlie's backyard and then headed into the woods behind with a little terra cotta pot and a trowel. If her old friend couldn't survive in this weather, she was going to find a new one that could.

After all, it wasn't like she was moving back anytime soon. She'd agreed to do this—to stay with Charlie—both to make her mother happy and to alleviate some of the guilt she felt for never really spending much time or energy on her father. He was a good guy. Boring, yes, and he'd never really known how to be a dad, but she couldn't fault him for that. She didn't live with him; he'd never had a chance to learn. From a certain point of view, his failings as a father were just as much her fault as anyone else's. It wasn't like Renee never gave her a choice, after all. She was always free to go if she wanted.

She just...never wanted to.

And as Bella pushed through the dripping underbrush at the outskirts of the forest and moved deeper into the woods, she had to admit to herself that that had not changed. She loved Charlie, she did, but it was a perfunctory and required kind of love. She admired him for the work he did, for his dedication to his town and profession. She was grateful that he'd always been willing to be part of her life no matter how awkward their relationship. No one could call Charlie Swan a deadbeat dad. It wasn't in his nature to shirk responsibility.

Bella suspected she'd inherited that trait from him, and their mutual regard for what they felt they owed each other as father and daughter was what locked them in this difficult and distressing mockery of a living situation. She didn't know how to live with a man who wasn't her mother's easygoing new husband, Phil. Charlie didn't know how to live with a girl, period. Wordlessly they'd fallen into a near-silent routine where she cooked and cleaned the house—more out of a sense of duty to the father she felt she'd neglected most of her life than any real enthusiasm for the tasks—and he did his best to stay out of her way. It was impossible to tell whether Charlie was happy.

But, then, Bella couldn't exactly answer that question for herself, either.

She took a sort of melancholy delight in doing her perceived duty, yes. That had always been true of her. There was definitely a part of herself, a part she couldn't banish, that felt good when she did what she thought was expected of her. Charlie had been a niggling prick to her conscience for most of her childhood—since she was old enough to understand at least some of the complexities behind divorce—and she did feel a certain amount of relief as she finally assuaged that guilt.

Bella slipped and skidded through a muddy patch of ground, arms flailing, almost dropping the breakable little flowerpot in her hand. Internally she cursed the inherent clumsiness that had always plagued her, something she could never for certain accuse either parent of passing down. No, this failing was all her own. She looked up at the patches of dark grey sky, not large and not many, visible through the canopy of trees. Maybe coming out here so late in the afternoon wasn't a good idea. Darkness fell early in Forks, early and complete, without the comforting orange sodium glare of streetlights she was so accustomed to. Charlie probably wouldn't approve of her wandering, especially considering her accident-prone nature and the fact that she knew absolutely nothing about the area.

But...her cactus had died. Her friendly little reminder of Phoenix was gone, and if she was going to stay here in Forks for another year and a half, she wanted something green and alive in her room to keep her company. Charlie would buy her a plant at the nursery if she asked, but that wasn't what she wanted. This was her home now. Maybe a little native plant to be her friend was exactly what she needed to make her feel more at home here.

Though, she had to admit, it wasn't like people weren't friendly. Most of the kids at school were curious about her, and went out of their way to greet her, to cultivate her friendship. She wasn't used to the level of attention she got in this small town just by dint of being a new face, and the police chief's daughter to boot. It made her uncomfortable, but she knew her peers meant well.

Most of them, anyway.

Her mind drifted back to her first day at Forks High, roughly two weeks ago. Biology class, and her seatmate, the ethereally beautiful and incredibly rude Edward Cullen. Never before had she seen a human being so unbelievably perfect. He was like a statue in more ways than one—not only did his sharply masculine features seem carved from mist-pale marble, but he had a Sphinx-like stare that seemed to look above or through people rather than at them, as if his eyes were sculpted without the ability to truly fix on anything.

Well, except that one heartbeat when his haughty gaze had broken and he'd looked right at her.

Eyes dark as pitch, like black holes sucking down anything in their path. He'd stared at her long enough for her heart to feel like it stopped, then pulsed once, hard and out of rhythm, slamming against her ribs in protest. At first she thought the corners of his lips wanted to curl into a sneer, but instead that beautiful red mouth had flattened to a wrathful scowl, his glare propelling her backward a half step before he finally looked away.

Bella could understand why the other girls at the school had warned her not to even try. Edward Cullen was beautiful beyond words and also, if campus gossip was to be believed, single. After that one black glare, she knew why. Honestly, why did his family even put up with him?

A still, small voice hummed at her from deep inside her head, mocking the simplistic spin she tried to put on the confrontation. Yes, he'd been rude. Yes, he'd scared the shit out of her with that black look.

And yet.

She shook her head hard, making her ears ring. No. No, she wasn't thinking about this now. Edward Cullen could go to hell, as far as she was concerned. She was out here in the muddy, mossy woods to find a nice little plant she could take home with her. Something sturdier than her poor little cactus. Something that wouldn't die. Besides, she wasn't really interested in boys. She'd been kissed a couple of times in Phoenix and had gone on a handful of awkward dates before giving up. Some boys were nice-looking. Some were funny. Some were smart. But none made her pulse pound, or made her feel the sort of giddy rush of feelings her friends described each and every time they developed a new crush. Maybe she was broken, she thought. Defective. Or maybe she was the kind of girl who wouldn't like guys until the boys grew up a little—developed some maturity.

Her "broken" theory didn't hold up so well when a sudden image of Edward Cullen flashed again into her brain. Startled, she tripped over nothing and landed in the saturated duff of the forest floor.

Why did she feel as if kissing that razor-sharp line of his jaw might literally make her lips bleed?

Back up—why was she thinking about kissing Edward Cullen at all?

"Stupid fucking teenage hormones," Bella muttered, slowly climbing to her feet. Nothing really hurt other than a little scrape on her palm where she'd caught a rock, but the front of her was now soaking wet and flecked with bits of forest detritus. Her feet were already sodden, squelching inside canvas sneakers, and she shivered as the afternoon dipped further toward evening.

A smart girl would give up and go back home; cut her losses. Bella recognized this. But she was far, far too stubborn to do so. She'd come out here for a plant, damn it, and she wasn't going back to Charlie's until she found one. One small enough that she could fit it in her little pot, one that she liked. Something that looked sturdy and healthy; something that wouldn't die on her.

Resolute, she eyed the scrape on the side of her palm. It was bleeding, but not badly. She'd live. Wiping the blood away on the dirty, sodden thigh of her jeans, she headed deeper into the woods. It was all Edward Cullen's fault anyway. She wouldn't have fallen if that weird image hadn't flashed into her head. What was up with that? Really, she'd been dealing with her teenage hormones for years now but they'd never done anything like—

"Edward! No!"

The vaguely familiar female voice slammed into her ears a moment before something hard and cold slammed into her body. All the breath left her lungs, her sight dimming as she struggled for oxygen. Oh, god, was it an animal? A wolf? A bear? Charlie was going to find her mutilated corpse next to a garden trowel and a shattered terra cotta flower pot. She was going to be torn apart because of a stupid plant.

Voices hovered around the edges of her consciousness, but Bella couldn't tell what they were saying. She felt cold breath gust against her skin, covering her with gooseflesh. Her nipples contracted even as her mind protested. A predator's breath was supposed to be hot! Hot and rancid, but as she finally dragged in a painful breath of her own, the scent that hit her nose was incongruously sweet. Dark and light at the same time, woodsmoke and honey, underscored by the sweetly bitter bite of burnt sugar. Her hands reached out, sliding against not fur but...cloth?

The strange rushing sound in her ears did not fade, but she forced her eyes open just enough to see a stark white ear nestled amid burnished red-brown hair. Her heart hammered in her chest, loud and insistent, and her hands shook as she tried to clutch the hard figure pressed against her. It had her up against a tree and she couldn't move, could barely drag in another shallow breath.

A low, warning growl, feral and dangerous, rumbled through the body pressed tight against hers. Lack of oxygen made her head spin, and Bella wasn't sure she understood everything her senses were trying to tell her. Fabric. Pale skin and cold breath and...growling. A shudder tried to wriggle its way up her spine, but she was pressed too tightly between the tree and the unyielding form of her attacker.

"Don't!" A panicked female voice separated itself from the swirling noises in her ears. "Don't get any closer!"

"He'll kill her!" A male voice this time, also vaguely familiar, though Bella couldn't place it. Another growl, louder and more insistent, rumbled out of the body wrapped around hers. Her heart tripped, painfully skipped a beat, then continued its frantic pulse against her ribs, like a bird fighting captivity.

"He will if you get too close," the female voice said. "Just...give him some room. You're pushing his territorial instinct."

Bella had no idea what that meant, and she really didn't care. She drew in another smoky-sweet breath, shallow and a little painful. Cold lips—lips that definitely did not belong to a wolf or a bear—latched onto the exposed skin of her neck. The form bearing down on her, pressing her tight against the tree, was still growling. She felt the low, vibrating rumble grating against her body, strong and dangerous. Not a wolf. Not a bear. Undeniably, though, a predator.

"Edward." A soft male voice this time, one she didn't know. "Edward, listen to me, son. Listen to me. You're better than this. You are not a monster."

The growl grew in volume again even as his cold mouth remained at her neck. She felt the firm touch of a moist tongue even as his hard kiss turned into harder suction, tugging at her flesh, drawing blood to pool and bruise just under the surface of her skin. That sweet, dangerous smell grew thicker, and her heart stuttered again as her hands found purchase against what felt like expensive fabric. Underneath, it was like touching a statue—a living, moving statue. Cold, hard, unyielding. The tips of her fingers chilled as she pressed against him.

"Edward," the same soothing male voice called. "Fight it. Fight the temptation. You are better than this."

Hot and cold at the same time. She couldn't get a proper breath. A soft sound of surprise left Bella's throat when his mouth released her, nose skimming her skin with a deceptively gentle touch. She twisted her head enough to catch just a glimpse of burning black eyes set against the palest skin.

Edward. Edward Cullen.

Maybe she should have been more surprised. But there had always been something...something abnormal about him. She'd seen it with her own eyes—the hate in his glare, that day in the biology classroom. For some reason, this...this creature...loathed her.

And now he was going to kill her.

So why didn't she feel more upset about that?

His head shifted, bringing their eyes into contact once more. Bella stared deep into that terrifying darkness. Except, his eyes weren't full of loathing anymore. A hunger greater than any she'd ever felt or seen stared back at her, that beautiful pale face twisted in an agonizing grimace. Just looking at it hurt.

There was hardly room, but Bella managed to lift one hand, wedging it between her body and his constraining arm. Eyes wide, she let her fingers drift against his skin. Cold and unyielding, but surprisingly soft against the pads of her fingers, like silken ice.


Your hands.

Cold, hard. Like ice, like marble, like the perfect seashell glow of alabaster in the swiftly darkening night. I know the moment you touch me that you can't possibly be alive. Nothing alive could ever be this cold.

I know it's you when I drag in my first breath. It's like the whisper of memory from a faded dream, your smell, and unlike that single day in biology class, it's surrounding me now. You're surrounding me.

You stutter an agonized breath against my throat, coating my skin in gooseflesh. I don't know what you're doing, I don't know what you want. Your name beats in my blood, tears across the jumbled confusion in my mind with precision just as cold as your hand when you slip it behind my neck, encircling, holding me still. Your skin is between my flesh and my hair, and I don't know what to do.

A breathy little sound leaves my throat when you open your mouth, dragging the moist inside of your lower lip over the place where my pulse pounds. Edward. I want to say your name. I want to ask what you're doing. The air is thick with the sweet, smoky smell of you, and it's hard to remember exactly what I was doing before you knocked the breath out of me. I know...I know I'm confused. You're supposed to hate me. You stare at me with black eyes that make me want to crawl away with my tail between my legs.

Except, right now, I have something else between my legs. A feeling I... I know this feeling. I think. It's warm...warmer...hot and slick and red, and I'm a virgin but I'm not stupid. I know this hot pulse, this rhythmic throb that has nothing to do with my heart and everything to do with the smell of your skin and the pressure of your body pinning me tight, tighter, holding me in place, refusing to let me go.

"Edward," the soft male voice says again. It's smooth and cajoling, sweet and almost questioning. "Remember who you are. Remember who she is. You can't do this."

A renewed growl leaves your mouth, louder, higher in pitch, the minute he tells you that you can't do this. Whatever this is, I'm no idiot and I know the man's words are useless. It's happening. You are going to do what you want, because you are stronger than me.

At that thought my heart speeds, painful against the inside of my ribs, like it's bruising itself on you as you press into me. Your growl doesn't fade, and I feel you press your mouth harder right there, right in the tender spot on my throat where the blood rushes in a throbbing pulse. Your lips curl as if cradling the artery—pressing, holding. Controlling. The smell of you is rich and deep around me.

I'm cold from my walk, from falling, from your hand and mouth holding me still, but I'm warm inside. I can hear my heartbeat in my own ears, feel the concordant rhythm of need like a parallel percussive. I'm sweating because I'm too hot inside my own skin, too hot and so, so different from you. You are seashell skin and black-hole eyes, tall strength, smooth and cool as snowblown ruins in winter. I am wet warmth, tropical, not desert, slick and soft, flushes of peach and strawberry.

But I feel your body against mine. A shudder takes you, long and tortured, and I know there's something we do have in common.

Want.

We both want something from the other.

"It's too late, Carlisle," the piping female voice says, "his mind's made up. He's doing this."

"He can't," the male voice insists, and again your growl intensifies. You shift your body, pressing tighter against my chest, tongue traveling the length of the big artery in my throat with long, slow movements. "If Emmett and Jasper—"

"If you spook him, it won't end well," she says flatly.

"She's his singer." A new voice, male, deep. "He won't be able to stop."

"Jasper, can you do something?"

I don't know what they think lanky Jasper can do against the glacier that you are, surrounding me, sculpting me, turning solid flesh into pinpricks of sensation, leaving me pitted and furrowed, a moraine made just by you. I don't know, and I don't care because I really don't think anything is going to stop you. Not your family. Not me.

I'm pretty sure I don't even want to.

You shift again, and I gain enough room to pull my arm up through the tight constriction of your hold. My palm lands somewhere near your neck and my fingers curl in the softest hair I've ever felt. Your skin is cold, ice-silk over marble, and my sweaty palm slides easily against you. You drag in another breath, a deep inhalation that seems to fill your body, nose to toes, and the ever-present rumbling growl that never really went away grows louder. Suddenly your mouth is gone from my throat. A flash of rich hair in the deepening night and then you're staring at me, your head tipped down, black eyes flaming with something...something so different than that day in biology class, but equally dangerous. I feel the warning in my bones, the shiver that somehow doesn't stop the hot pulse deep in my abdomen, and I know—I understand.

You're a predator.

Such a beautiful predator.

You wrap your hand around the back of mine, pulling it away from your skin. A faint smear of something dark mars your pale neck, and I only realize what it is when you turn my hand palm-up between us, exposing the wound I'd opened earlier. Your tongue, red on alabaster, rolls over your bottom lip.

For a moment, a moment frozen like someone hit pause on the rest of the world, we stare. You're still growling deep in your chest, the vibrations rumbling us both, and I'm hungry even though I don't know what it is I want. I should be afraid. The look in your black eyes tells me I need to be afraid. But I'm not.

Not much.

Not enough to struggle.

Besides, what's the point? You'd win. I'd probably end up hurting myself.

Slowly, slowly you lower your head, dipping, curving like a cobra, lifting my open flesh to meet your mouth. Oh, it's cold when the flat of your tongue slides against the wound, and the cold actually feels good. It eases the friction burn and starts another, a different burn, one that has nothing to do with my hand and everything to do with my clit. Everything throbs. Everything is cold, and hot, and I'm drowning in your smell, and your growl turns from predatory to hungry as your lips close around the scrape and begin to suck.

I've felt no teeth, and yet I know what you are. I know what you want, and I don't care. Make it good and I'll be content. At least I mollified my guilt over Charlie for a little while. You can have my blood, but I want something from you in return.

One of your hands is holding mine to your mouth, and I'm not about to protest. But it's not enough—my body is too hot, and you're not touching enough to cool it down. My free hand scrabbles against tree bark, tensing when you increase your suction, until I reach yours.

You're not getting much from that little scrape, but while you're busy with it you let me take your other hand, moving it as I wish. You know I can't get away. Maybe you even know I won't. I slip our hands up under the hem of my coat and t-shirt, to the too-hot flesh underneath. You grab almost frantically once your fingers brush soft, warm skin, gripping, pulling me against you with another growl. Skin shudders at the touch of ice but there's nowhere for me to go, nothing to do but endure the painful bite of temperature as you cool down what's burning. Your hand roams, sliding up my back and then down, pressing me hard against the granite of your body. I'm soft and gentle; you are neither of these things as you break the clasp of my bra in your fingers so you can move your hands up and down the warm road of my back without hindrance. The touch of your hand is beautiful in its ferocity.

Your head moves slightly, eyes finding mine. I try to show you with that look everything I feel—what I know, what I want. Your nostrils move as if catching a scent, mouth still attached to my wound. Silently, I tell you that it's okay. Whatever happened, mistake, accident, or grand plan, I don't care. What's done is done.

Voices are speaking again, but they sound very far away and I can't be bothered with them. There's so much I see in your eyes; things I'm not sure I'll ever be able to decipher. Riddles—the riddle of you. I know what you are. I sort of know who you are. But I know nothing about your motivations even as I prepare to give you exactly what it is I know you want.

Your hand slips down, splaying over my ass and squeezing tightly. I arch into you, moving as you seem to want, going where you direct. I want...so many things, I want. My body is begging, wet and willing, and I let out a low noise I've never made before when your hand snakes around to palm a breast under the loose cup of my ruined bra. Oh, god, the cold...my nipple is stiff and hard, and I whimper when you play with it, stroking the pad of your thumb over and back, flicking slightly with your short nail, then squeezing for a moment before repeating the whole process again. My breath doesn't want to come, and I feel my knees quiver. You press me back against the tree again, following with your own body, and I let my head tip forward to rest on your shoulder as the sensation flows through me—your hand on my breast, mouth on my hand, the sting at my back from the snapped bra.

"Edward, please!" the soft male voice says, pleading now, all trace of authority gone. "Think of Esme. What will you tell her?"

I don't know who Esme is, and I don't care. Right now, you are mine. I have something you want very badly, and I'm willing to give it to you. More than willing, and so are you. I can feel it.

With a tortured groan, you tear your mouth away from my hand. I gasp as your arms snake around to hold me, hitching me up on my toes as I steady myself between your body and the tree behind me. I'm not prepared for the shock of cold silk when your mouth latches onto mine, and you steal my breath—literally, swallowing my gasp, your kiss hungry and insistent. For the first time, I get to taste you.

Immediately, I'm lost.

You taste like you smell, smoky-sweet and dangerous, the metallic hint of my blood still lingering on your tongue when it wraps around mine. You're icicles in January against a wintermint sky, and every breath of you makes me ache. It hurts, it hurts, but it hurts far more to be without you, so I reach up as tall as I can on my toes and I wrap my arms around you, one hand finding the hair at the back of your head again and clinging to it, a silken lifeline pulling me deeper, a ruse of a safety net. Something inside churns and boils, hot, hotter, and it's not enough, it won't be silenced. I realize I might be only a few moments from my death, but I'm positive I've never really lived until this second.

The graze of a tooth, just the barest nick, and a trickle of blood blooms on my lower lip. You attack, which I really, really don't mind. Your hands are on me, your arms steel bands keeping me in place, though I think you know by now that I'm not going anywhere. I kiss you back, loving how every several heartbeats you suck my lip into your mouth to gather the tiny red trickle, your throat working furiously even though the barest taste of it must dissolve almost instantly on your tongue. Do you want more? I'll give you more. But you have to give me what I want, too.

Thankfully, what I want seems to be what we both want. Your hands sweep up my back, under my arms, and fist the back of my jacket and shirt collar. With a careless tug, as if tearing along a perforation, you rip them right down the middle.

I don't want to let go of you, but you don't give me a choice as you pull the ruined clothing off me, dragging my arms from the sleeves as if I'm a small child. I almost feel like one for a moment, but then you look at me in this way that tells me I'm anything but. I'm hot and slick; you're a glacier and I know I'm never going to melt you but it doesn't matter. I press against you anyway, at first feeling fabric against my chest, chafing my nipples, and then cold, smooth perfection as you do something—hell if I know what—with your own shirt.

"Edward!" The deep voice. How many members of your family are here, watching? My heart pulses faster. "Just get it over with already! Don't play with your food, man."

No, please, Edward, play with your food.

There's rough, mossy tree bark at my back. Will you lick me there, too, if I bleed? What about—

The world shifts, my equilibrium disappears, and when I blink my eyes open again and the world has stopped spinning, I'm on my back, something—your shirt or mine—between me and the riot of bracken fern. You're here with me, a kneeling statue between my bent legs for a moment before you lean forward and your mouth is on mine.

I'm never going to get enough of this, enough of you. Nothing has ever felt like this before, and I'm not a victim, I'm not, because I'm not drowning. I'm deliberately going under. I catch your top lip and bite with my blunt human teeth. The pleased rumble of your growl vibrates through me in a way that has me desperate for a kind of touch I've never experienced before. It's like fire, wildfire, licking along my veins, and every time you flick your tongue against my bleeding lip you're taking it inside you, dousing the tiny flame but kindling countless more. I burn, and it's so fucking sweet and so fucking painful that I want to cry, but I can't get a full breath to do it. The best I can manage is a whimpered, "Edward," against your mouth.

"Mine."

Yes. If you want me, I'm yours. You may be cold on the outside, but the animal in me—however dormant she may have been before today—recognizes the animal in you.

But when you reach between us and tear open the fly of my jeans with one hand, the softer male voice sounds again. "Edward, this has gone far enough. She's a seventeen-year-old girl!"

This time, your growl is almost a roar.

"Carlisle, stay back! He's not himself right now. He'll kill her trying to protect her, I've seen it!" the female voice cries.

"He'll kill her anyway. What difference does it make?" the deep one asks.

"Mine," you repeat, sharp as steel, rough with the edge of your growl.

Maybe you will kill me. Probably you will. But the fire flowing through my veins and arteries won't let me care. It wants...it needs. I need. Though I've never done anything like it before, I reach down between us to cup a palm around you.

Your strained, keening plea and the way you push your hardness into my grasp tell me you ache like I do. You want my blood, but you also want what I want. I tighten my grip, squeezing a little, suspecting that there's no way my human body can hurt you but a little afraid to find out. Your growl is almost a...almost a purr as you let me hold you through your clothes, gently thrusting into my hand. Your mouth slips away from mine with one final lick at my lip, and your hand is back on my breast an instant before your mouth is.

I arch, I squirm, I can't help it. So cold, but wet, like snow. My nipples are hard and swollen, sensitive and throbbing as you mouthe and suckle, running your tongue and lips over the beaded flesh but never using your teeth.

"Edward!" The smooth male voice is sharper—commanding.

What they don't understand is that I want you here, around me, inside me. I want you to take your desire and give me my own. For so long, I've felt...nothing.

I feel you now. I need you.

You don't ask permission, but it's given anyway as I lean back against the bracken, sharp and wet, scratching my skin, but I don't care because your hand splays possessively on my belly for an instant before it slips down, cupping me, and all I can do is tremble and hiss at the feeling of hot flesh meeting dry ice. Your fingers stroke and press and I open, accepting you, all of you, letting you push my legs aside. In a movement too fast for me to see, suddenly you're between my legs, licking, probing, your growl vibrating my clit as your tongue laps at the wetness leaking from me. A frenzied groan leaves your mouth and I shudder, my hands finding your hair and holding on tight even though I know there's no chance of guiding or moving you.

"Bella, just stay still," the female voice says—pleads, really. As if I could do anything else. I'm laid out for your pleasure. The fact that it's mine, too, doesn't factor into it for you right now.

And then I can't think anymore, about her or me, or your motivation. Your tongue is cold fire, sucking, licking my wet flesh, and it feels like I'm going to boil over. Rough and smooth, too fast and hard for nerves that have never been touched like this before, but you're not stopping and all I can do is hold on and feel. You drink from me as I twist and writhe and leak, hot and wet, full of sensation like it's going to burst out of me, and then it does.

And, oh, it's nothing like the orgasms I give myself. It's raw and rocking, and it doesn't stop as you hold my hips still, your tongue flicking fast over my clit. It's so good, so sweet and painful at the same time, and when your mouth is replaced by your hand I almost don't feel it, your thumb rubbing firmly, keeping me on the precipice though I've never been able to come more than once. And the pleasure-pain turns into something else entirely, a new kind of pain, as you turn your head to the side and bite.

You're not kidding around this time, and the pain is real, sharp and hard, teeth buried in my inner thigh. You grasp, you bear down, and suddenly you're drinking, pulling blood out of me like you pulled my pleasure, taking, swallowing. It cools the burn a little but does nothing for the ache. I think I hear one of your family cry out but I can't tell. Not for sure. Not when all I feel, all I know, is you. Yes, I realize that they're here with us, watching, listening. Four of them, maybe more. I'm naked, and I know they can see me. I should care, I really should, but your head's between my legs and how am I supposed to think about anything else?

There's pain, and a pulling sort of pressure, soft human flesh against your unyielding teeth. I know I'm making noise, but I don't know how to stop. If I sound like some dying animal, there's nothing I can do about it.

With a final slow, lingering lick, you leave my thigh and draw yourself like a blanket of ice back over my body. I feel better like this, covered, surrounded by the cold block of you.

You're cold and strong, so strong that I know you could break me with a little flick of your fingers, but I also know you won't. Not right now, not like this. You want my blood; you're hungry—pain or destruction is only a side effect, not your intent. And because I know this, I am still in your arms. I let you hold me cupped in your frigid hands, summoning goose flesh as your silken fingertips travel over the swell of a breast, press harder on the puckered, rose-colored nipple. It's cold and good and I want you there—your hands, your mouth, whatever you are willing to give me. I reach up with a hand and cup your cheek. Yes, I'm shaking, but it's nerves only, not fear. Not really.

You turn your head, and the brush of your nose nuzzling the soft inside of my wrist is maybe the most beautiful thing I've ever felt. You inhale slow and deep, like the blue-purple pulse just under my skin is everything you've ever wanted—something you've been searching for, dreamed of, never found. Your eyes snap open and you really look at me, in my eyes. So black, so hungry...and yet there's a question there, too. I already know the answer, and I feel the sides of my mouth curve up in the barest hint of a smile. You'll take it anyway, but I like that I've been given this chance to give. I see you perfectly, each curving eyelash sharp and defined even in the gathering night. You exhale a shuddering sigh, then raise your chin and sink your teeth into my wrist.

Flesh gives and my body stiffens. It hurts, it hurts; my eyes squeeze shut and I can't see you anymore, but even through the pain I can feel how soft your mouth is as your teeth withdraw from the wound. You're drinking—sucking, pulling, drawing blood from flesh, and I can feel the frantic convulsions of your throat as you swallow, working to pull what you need from me, this thing I'm able to give you. A different growl rises from your throat, still desperate, still needy, and your hips jerk against mine, pressing the hard angles of you against the softness of me. I can't help the little mewling noise I make; you're not being gentle but it feels so, so good. I arch toward you, seeking more pressure, more contact, and you thrust again with a little whine.

"Edward, please!" another female voice says. I ignore it. What can they possibly do now? Nothing. You're going to do exactly what you want, and none of us can stop you.

I feel my heart beating hard against my ribcage and I wonder for a moment how it will feel when my body realizes there's not enough blood anymore. Before it happens, though, you wrench your mouth away from my wrist, allowing yourself one slow, sensual lick before you shift. I'm not sure what you're doing and you move too fast—suddenly the ice of your mouth is on my breast, your tongue licking and lapping at the nipple, and I can't contain the sharp cry as my hands grab your hair. I'm holding on—just holding on. It's cold and wet, pain and pleasure, not flickers but an actual river of sweet ice-fire as you suck and mouth and tongue, and I'm helpless to resist either your body or the pleasure. My head falls back against the damp ground. I smell wet earth, sweet pine, and the bitter metallic bite of my own blood. For the first time, I don't want to vomit at that hot red smell.

Your hands travel down the front of me, grabbing, pulling at soft flesh, and I feel silken skin over hard stone every time you move. Your hips shift away from mine and I whimper, unable to stop the noise. I don't want you away! Closer—closer!

You don't listen, though, nor do I expect you to. I don't expect your hand, either, but that's what I feel next as, with a groan, you reach between my legs. I'm afraid for one instant as you hiss and your fingers probe, searching for what you want. I'm not afraid of you, but of the normal pain that I suspect is coming—the pain of first intrusion, of penetration. Slick flesh is no resistance to your strength, and suddenly you're inside me with two long, cold fingers.

It does hurt and I do stiffen, but it's nothing like the horror stories I've heard about. I feel full and stretched, and the stretching is uncomfortable. It burns a little, but your fingers are ice, cooling, numbing. I whine through my nose, hear your groan, and then you're moving inside me, your fingers shoving deep, then pulling back, only to surge forward again. Your thumb is slippery and wet, and it finds me with a little pulse of movement. A needy sound I've never heard from myself before escapes my throat and I tilt my pelvis, begging you to do it again.

You do. Your thumb rubs circles over my clit, and it eases the lingering pain of your fingers thrusting deeply inside me. I'm in love with this feeling; I never want it to end. You surround me, invade me, and I give, I give, pleasure for pleasure, need for need. My blood, your body. I'm surrounded in your scent, but I can smell something else, too. You, me, together.

Us.

Before I'm close to coming again, your fingers and thumb disappear from my flesh. When I feel you shove my legs further apart, one hand pressed against the wound you made on my inner thigh, I know what's coming next. It's what I want, and I try to ignore the dismayed cry that I think sounds like your sister Alice. Your arms scoop me close—demanding, controlling—and then you're inside me.

Your hips move, pushing against me, rocking, your body deep within mine. I love it. I'm bruising and I understand this, but I don't care. It's not like I'll be around to feel the aftermath of this, after all.

One of your hands is on my hip, pulling, forcing me to curl into you just as you thrust into me. The other is buried in the wet forest floor near my head, grabbing, grasping, a fistful of rocky mud and fallen needles. I can smell it, but I smell you more. You surround me. In this moment, you're everything.

And yes, it hurts. It hurts, and you're cold, an icicle that doesn't melt, thrust up in me . I don't care. I want it—all of it. The hurt, the cold, the sharp-sweet smell of you, taste of iced skin on my tongue.

But you jerk and growl, your body enveloping mine, crushing tightly. Can bones creak? If so, I think I hear them. You let out a furiously inhuman sound, a roar that isn't so much feral as it is bestial, and then you're moving, but it's not sex. Your roar intensifies and your upper body jerks. My eyes squint open and I see a white hand grabbing your shoulder, pulling with strength that has to be inhuman. It's Emmett, and I think I try to be embarrassed when his eyes lock for an instant with mine over your shoulder—this person who is a stranger, nothing but a name to me—but I can't. You're too thick on my tongue, too dizzying in my head.

"Edward, let go, man. Haven't you done enough? She's bleeding."

Yes, I know I am. I can feel it, but I don't care. I want it. I want you.

Somehow you rip your brother off of you, and I hear Alice's voice again, high and piping. "Don't! If you attack him, you'll only hurt her more."

You growl again, fierce and furious, and then your cold mouth is on mine. I grab for you, breaking short nails against skin that will never split, trying to dig in, to make an impression on you like you have on me.

"I'm sorry," you groan into my mouth, and I think I hear real regret in your voice. For what?

"Don't be." I almost can't get the words out because your mouth won't let mine go. I'm caught up in the smooth slide of soft and wet, warm and cold, the sweet taste of you on my tongue, bitter aftertaste of my own blood.

You rock into me again, no less passionate but maybe a whisper gentler. "Need..." you groan against my mouth. Can lips bruise? I don't know, but it feels like it. My tongue slides against yours, brushes the razor edge of a tooth. Immediately you're sucking hard, an agonized whimper falling from your mouth, swallowed into mine. It's maybe the most beautiful sound I've ever heard. I made you feel like that. Me. With a flash of insight, I hope that you will remember me when I'm gone. Remember this moment. Whatever comes after this, whether heaven or hell, I know I'm going to remember you.

You move smoothly, the grace of a predator in your body. I know it's impossible for you to ever do anything awkwardly. It's not in your nature. My body curls in response to yours, letting you move me, use me however you please. It's cold, it's hot—pain, pleasure—but what I like the most, I think, is that I know I have your full attention in this moment, and you have mine as well. I'm just awkward Bella, but when you whine with want against my mouth, I feel...desirable. I'm...I can't describe it. It's like something inside me is liquid and boiling, sticky and hot and wet, and you're making it worse but I can't stop you. I don't want to stop you, as the liquid core of me, molten and churning, twists tighter and tighter, spiralling down... My body is yours to do with as you please. I want to feel you combust with me.

"Bella..." It's a keening plea. Have you ever said my name before? I can't remember. A burst of pleasure fills me. You know the taste of my blood and feel of my body regardless, but this—this makes me wonder. Was I maybe not just in the wrong place at the wrong time? I know you haven't made a deliberate choice—your body isn't your own any more than mine obeys me right now. You're beyond choice, which means I am, too.

But I'd choose you anyway. I'm drunk on the sound of my name in your mouth.

The pressure builds...climbs. I want to feel it, want to come undone with you. One beautiful, perfect experience—humanity, whatever it is that you are, the rough push and pull between life and death. My heart is painful and I know you can hear it, feel it. One of your hands reaches up and presses between us, palm splayed out against the fragile boundary of me, skin and bone as inconsequential as cobweb, separating you from the source of what you want most. Your eyes meet mine, so aching, so black, framed by lush, thick lashes. I want to feel them brush butterfly kisses against my cheek, my stomach. My nipples.

But it's a passing wish, and your thirst is greater. Your eyes widen when, knowing what it means and what will happen next, I raise my chin slightly and turn my head to the side, offering the throbbing artery in my throat. It's what you crave. It's what you need. It's okay—I'll give it to you. For the price of a whispering kiss, I'd give it to you.

You stare at me for a moment longer than I thought you'd last, and there's a wondering sort of astonishment that fades quickly, replaced by a desire so deep, I know I've never experienced anything even remotely close. It's the hunger of loss, and utter loneliness. Not just for blood. For something else, something I'm not sure any language has a name for.

"He'll kill her," I hear, distant, like music from a passing car. It's a female voice I don't know—the Cullen mother, perhaps?

I don't care.

The minute your lips touch my throat, I come. It shudders through my body, too much for me to hold, and I feel the pleasure spill over from me to you just as my blood does, filling you as you're filling me, one to the other. I clamp down around you, as vise-like as my poor human body can go, your lips hard and unforgiving, pulling blood even as you thrust two, three more times, almost languid now, aligning your hips with mine, letting me cocoon you in warmth even as you take it from me. Yes, there's pain, but there's peace, too. You took without asking, but I gave you permission anyway. I'm peaceful. Hopefully Charlie won't find my body—it's my only real wish, hope, or regret. Better to save him from that.

But the peaceful exhaustion, the welcoming arms of soft, cool darkness are ripped away by the rise of an intense, burning pain. It's not my deliciously molten insides this time. This is something else, and I don't like it. Why does it hurt? Death should be peaceful. I'm not fighting it.

I feel you pull your mouth from my skin with an agonized groan. You ...are you leaving? I don't want you to leave yet! Please. I try to keep hold of you, but my body isn't obeying. It's caught between the bright, painful flames and the cool embrace of death.

"If you do this, Edward," a voice says, "you must be responsible for her. Forever. Do you hear me?" I don't know who it is. Everything is fading. I open my eyes, but my vision is dark static. The only thing I know I see are your eyes, still black. You're still so hungry. I'm slipping, the flames pulling me further from that wonderful, cool darkness. Was I not enough? What will it take to sate you?

You answer with a low growl, a warning, but it's not as fierce as before. There's almost a question in it.

"He will." Another voice. "Can I take her to the house, Edward? I won't hurt her."

Your answer is louder. You're still inside me, and even though you were never really soft, I can tell that you're aroused again. It feels amazing, the ice of your body around, inside me. It doesn't stop the burning, but it helps. I'll take even the smallest relief. I grab for you, arms barely working, fingers clumsy. My heartbeat is slow and labored. It hurts each time it pounds against my ribs, like punching a bruise over and over again.

A soft noise leaves your mouth, something that isn't quite a growl. Your lips brush mine. It hurts, I think. I'm not too sure. The fire burning from the inside out dulls everything else.

Everything but you.

Your arms shift and you cradle me softly. It's the gentlest you've been, but still I cry out when you slip from within me. I smell more blood, metallic and bitter. I know it's mine.

I feel the brush of another kiss, then disorientation as I'm lifted, pressed to a cold, bare chest. Off the muddy forest floor, my back feels even hotter. I whimper. Is this death? It should be. I don't want you to leave me until it's over.

"Shh," you whisper. Your voice is rough. I still feel the hunger in it. "I know, precious. I know it burns." I yearn toward your voice. It's so close to me, your arms holding me so tightly. It's the way I hold something fragile when I know—know—that I'm going to break it. I try to move my mouth, call your name, but I can't. There's no sound. I feel movement, and then all that's left are the flames.


A/N: Huge thanks to abadkitty and LyricalKris for looking this over for me! Also, this is dedicated to mrsedwardcullen73ca, who asked me for a oneshot (you don't wanna know how long ago!). Hope she doesn't mind that I kinda messed with her prompt! Posting tonight for luvrofink, since ooza is ignoring us and doesn't deserve smut. ;-)