Penname: kyla713
Creative Original or Derivative Fiction: Derivative

Rating/Warning(s): M

Disclaimer: All copyrighted, trademarked items, or recognizable characters, plots, etc. mentioned herein belong to their respective owners. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without their express written authorization.

Prompt: Word Prompt: Philosophy

Taking things slow sounded wise in theory. The practice of it, however, was far more difficult to rationalize.

Everything else seemed to be moving forward. Edward had gotten the new job and was due to start just after the first of the year, gossip was gradually lessening—though never disappearing—and they had spent nearly every evening after work together. And therein lay the difficulty.

The stares and whispers were easy to ignore, as were the vile voicemails from Kate, blaming Edward for the demise of her relationship with not only her family, but Irina as well.

"Because it couldn't possibly have anything to do with her toxic personality," Bella snarled sarcastically one night after hearing bits and pieces of one of the said voicemails when Edward had to pull it away from his ear, due to the screaming. He'd chuckled at her comment and kissed her gently, deleting the message before it had even played to completion, as he continued to do with each subsequent one from Kate.

It had barely been two weeks into their relationship, but after two years of the slow escalation of yearning they'd held for one another, it felt so much longer. Every kiss grew more intense and agonizing to cease, each embrace more difficult to find a reason to part from.

Even a casual evening in his living room, with her on the couch and him seated in front of her on the floor, her fingers running through his hair as they watched a movie, felt so natural and normal. Neither of them wanted to even think about having to say good night, but she could feel it coming and only half paid attention to what was happening on the screen.

"Do you really have to leave the paper?" Bella murmured suddenly and he tilted his head back on her lap to look at her, and she sighed. "I know you do. I just can't believe it's only three days away. We're hardly going to see each other for a while, and that's a difficult concept to grasp. Especially since I've already gotten so accustomed to seeing you all the time."

Edward shifted his body to kneel between her feet, the movie long forgotten as he gazed up at her with his hands resting on her hips. "Baby, we've talked about this. Not much is really going to change since we can't exactly spend the kind of time together that we'd like to at work anyway. I won't be so far away that we can't meet for lunch or something. It's not the quantity of time we spend together, but making the most of every moment that we do. And I know I definitely intend to do that."

Bella's smile returned as his voice deepened mischievously and his lips met hers, their arms encircling each other and pressing their bodies more firmly together. She loved how relaxed they'd become with one another, the freedom they felt to express their mutual affection and desire for the other. Yet, she wanted more, and it seemed as if he did as well when his hands slipped beneath the hem of her shirt, his warm skin touching hers.

"Stay here with me tonight, Bella," he whispered against her lips, his fingers pressing firmly against her back to secure her body against his. "Nothing has to happen. I just really don't want to let you go tonight."

Bella opened her eyes to gaze at him, finding his still closed and his features tight and nervous, as if fearing that she might actually say no. She lifted her hand to trace her fingertips along his cheek to his jaw, kissing him gently with a smile broadening on her lips. "I'll need a t-shirt to wear then."

Edward sighed heavily in relief and buried his face in her neck, groaning when her legs folded around his waist and pulled him closer. He kissed along her throat as she leaned sideways on the couch to lie down, guiding him up and over her body until he settled above her. "Bella…"

"I know you said nothing has to happen tonight," Bella whispered breathily, threading her fingers in his hair as her other arm tightened around his shoulders. "But can it?"

Edward froze and lifted his head to look down at her face, and her eyes held his without a single trace of nervousness or hesitation. "What about taking things slow?"

"That is an extremely overrated philosophy," she answered with another soft kiss to his lips. "I've wanted you for so long, it already feels like we've been waiting forever."

He drew in a slow, uneven breath as his knuckles ghosted along her cheek. "You're sure?"

"My desire for you has never been in question, Edward," she replied with a slow shake of her head, her nails dragging softly along his scalp. "Only whether it was reciprocated or not."

"You know it is," Edward murmured softly, brushing his lips over hers. "Always has been."

Bella reached above her head to the end table for the remote and clicked off the television, setting the device back on the surface and returning her arm around Edward's shoulders. "I'm ready to go to bed."

Edward gazed at her for a moment, unmoving as he observed the look in her eyes. There was no reluctance there, only the want and desire that matched his own. He kissed her gently and rose to his feet, holding his hand out to her and Bella slipped her fingers into it, and they made their way up the stairs to his room.

Once they were standing beside his bed, Edward turned to her and took her face between his hands, lowering his lips to hers once again in a slow, passionate kiss. He wanted her desperately, but he didn't wish to cheapen what was about to happen between them by rushing and only chasing gratification. They'd both ached for this for so long, and there was no need to hurry.

Bella's body melted against him and he felt her clinging to the back of his shirt, clearly attempting to pull him closer. Her head arched back and broke the kiss as his hand rose to remove the tie holding her hair back, the soft locks falling from the ponytail and cascading down over her shoulders.

Edward's eyes ran over her reverently, tracing his fingertips over the skin of her cheek and jaw, and finally lacing into the strands gently. "I love you."

"I love you, too," Bella whispered just as softly, drawing her hand between them and running them from his abdomen to his chest. His shirt rose with the movement and together, they lifted it over his head and dropped it to the floor. "I want you."

A groan echoed in Edward's throat and vibrated against her lips as she guided his face with her hands, pulling him into another kiss. His arms encircled her waist and he lifted her up, feeling her ankles link at the base of his spine when her legs wrapped around him. He lowered her onto the bed and settled his body on top of her, parting his lips to deepen the kiss.

Bella gave a soft, high-pitched whimper as she reciprocated, her fingers moving to the buttons of her shirt to begin unfastening it. She sighed when his hand covered hers to halt her movements and opened her eyes to look up at him. "You want to do this part?"

"As a matter of fact, I do, Miss Swan," Edward replied with a smile growing on his lips, kissing her gently and continuing to her neck, throat, and between the parted fabric of her shirt.

Bella's fingers worked through his hair as he slowly worked each button all the way down her torso, ending with the pop of the one on her jeans. "Impatient?"

"To see this gorgeous body of yours?" Edward mumbled against her abdomen, placing an open-mouthed kiss there and sucking lightly at her skin as he lowered the zipper. "Definitely."

Bella chuckled and lifted her hips, allowing him to guide the denim down her legs. The light scruff along his jaw tickled the inside of her thigh and her knee bent in reflex, her breath halting as his lips pressed to her anklebone once free from the clothing.

Edward rose to kneel between her parted legs, holding his hands out to her and lifting her up to sit in front of him. She shrugged her shoulders as he guided her shirt over them and down her arms, discarding it to the floor as well to join the growing pool of their clothes. He watched her lie back again, running his eyes along every inch of smooth, bare skin exposed to him, only covered now by her bra and panties.

Bella rested her foot on his thigh, slowly gliding it over the leg of his pants and holding his gaze until her eyes fell to where his fingers were unfastening the button at his waist.

"Are you cold?" Edward asked when her entire body trembled and she smiled, shaking her head briskly and reaching out to him. He shed his pants and kicked them from his feet, and then lowered his body over her again, feeling a slight chill to her skin. "You sure about that?"

"Okay, maybe a little, but not anymore," she replied and snaked her arms around his neck, humming in contentment when their lips met again.

Edward's hand slipped beneath her and lifted her enough to pull the blanket down with the other, covering them over. They settled into the mattress again and her hips rolled up to his anxiously. He moaned at the pleasurable friction it caused and unhooked the clasp of her bra, sliding it from between them once she'd retracted her arms from the straps.

Only his boxers and her underwear remained between them, and her back arched to press their chests more firmly together. Her arms wrapped around his shoulders, holding him to her as their lips moved fluidly with one another. He felt her grip tighten on him when his hardened length glided against her with the shift of his hips, and she panted heavily as their kiss parted and pleaded with a breathy voice. "Edward, please."

Edward rose and they divested themselves of the last of their garments, and then began reaching over to his bedside table drawer, but she stopped him.

"You know I'm on the pill, and I trust you," Bella whispered and weaved her fingers with his. Naturally, they'd had that discussion, and knew that neither of them had been with anyone else in quite some time, but he'd prepared just in case. "If it's okay with you, I don't want anything between us. I just want to feel you."

Edward settled on top of her again and she stared up into his eyes as their lips touched. She bit down on her lower lip as he began to press inside her slowly, her breaths staggered while she molded around him. Her grip secured on his hand once he filled her completely, exhaling sharply while they both adjusted to the sensation of their joined bodies. Once he felt her muscles gradually relax, he pressed his lips to her neck and retracted his hips, her moan blending with his when he glided forward again.

Bella's breath fluttered over his collarbone as their bodies began slowly and rhythmically rocking together and her fingertips dragged along his shoulder blade to his lower back. Her head turned to brush a kiss to his dampened brow and his face lifted from her neck, her lips gently claiming his as her knee bent at his side.

Edward's hand moved along the back of her thigh and returned to her hip, squeezing lightly as he traced her lower lip with his tongue. If he hadn't already known how deeply in love with her he was, there wasn't a doubt in his mind that it would have bowled him over in that moment. He could feel it in every touch, hear it in every sound—she was everything to him and always would be.

Bella murmured his name and her head arched back into the pillow, pinching her eyes closed and her mouth parting. His hips drove more insistently against her and she brought her fingers to his hair, scratching her nails lightly on his scalp and keeping his lips sealed to her throat.

Edward could feel his own climax building along with hers, not ready for it to end, but knowing they still had plenty of time to still share together. "I love you, Bella."

"Love… you," Bella panted in reply to his nearly groaned statement as their bodies tensed against one another in mutual release.

Edward's head settled on her chest as he paused to catch his breath, listening to her heart pound rapidly while her fingers continued to stroke through his hair in slow contrast. "I don't want to move, but I don't want to crush you, either."

Bella laughed softly and brushed her lips against his forehead. "You won't, I promise."