Disclaimer: Twilight and its characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. Any similarities to the original characters or themes from the books or media franchise are used here for entertainment purposes only. All original elements to this story are mine. Please don't claim it for your own. Stealing ain't cool, m'kay?

Hi all! I wrote this sweet little one-shot for Breath-of-Twilight's "Countdown to Valentine's Day." I was given the one-word prompt "flowers" and this is what I came up with. I hope you all enjoy :)

He Loves Me . . . He Loves Me, Not

Prompt: Flowers

Summary: One girl. One boy. Best friends from childhood. One of them harbours a secret crush on the other, secretly pining away for the possibility that one day they'll be together.

Bella; six-years-old

I trip over a tree root as Edward drags me through the woods just behind his house. Pain needles up my leg, the knee of my jeans tearing when it scrapes along the hard ground. Edward is there in a flash; he always is. He's my best friend, and that's what best friends do: they help each other.

"Are you okay?" he asks, his bright green eyes looking worried.

I roll over onto my butt, brushing the dirt, rocks, and leaves from my hands before I look at my knee. This isn't an unusual occurrence, unfortunately. I'm pretty clumsy all the time. "Yeah," I say, wincing as I pull my pant leg up to see how bad it is; the hole in my jeans isn't quite big enough to get a good look.

When I see the blood seeping from the cuts in my knee, my stomach flips over, and I feel like I'm going to puke.

"Oh no," Edward says, backing up a little and running his hands through his reddish hair. "You're gonna puke, aren't you?"

I swallow what feels like a rock in my throat, my spit is warm and thin, and shake my head. "Mmm mmm," I mumble, scared that if I open my mouth to talk, I might just throw up on him.

"Yeah, right," he challenges, standing up and coming back over to help me up. "Come on, let's go back to the house and show Dad." Then his voice changes from worried to excited. "Maybe you'll need stitches!"

Disgusted, I push him, and he topples over, laughing. "I hate you," I grumble, limping back along the trail with my eyes on the ground so I don't trip again.

"No you don't," he says through his giggles. "You're my best friend. You're not allowed to hate me."

He's right, but I refuse to let him know that, so I glare at him and continue on. He catches up in a flash and takes my hand in his, leading me carefully back to the house.

"Back so soon?" his mom, Esme, exclaims when we slip through the patio door. Her eyes go wide, and she drops her tea-towel onto the counter and rushes over. "Oh, Bella, honey. What happened?"

"She fell and scraped her knee!" Edward rushes to tell her. "She might need stitches!"

Esme smiles—but it's not a big, happy smile—and shakes her head. "Edward, don't scare Bella. Run along and find your father."

Without another word, he takes off, and Esme lifts me up onto the counter. "So, what happened?"

"I tripped on a stupid tree root and scraped my knee," I mumble, embarrassed.

Esme takes off my sneakers, tossing them by the door and not worrying about the bits of mud that splatter on her clean floor. "Well, let's see how bad it is. I bet you don't even need stitches."

She gently pulls my pant leg up, and I look away when she gets to my knee. I don't want to throw up on Esme either. "Oh, this isn't so bad," she whispers. "Carlisle will clean this right up, sweetie."

The minute she brings him up, he enters the room, Edward right behind him, holding his doctor's bag and looking far too excited. I hate him. But I don't. Not really. I never could.

Carlisle takes a look at my knee, smiles reassuringly, and sets his bag next to me. "Edward tells me you fell outside?" I nod. "Well, he's wrong about the stitches. It's just a little scrape."

"Aw, man!" Edward cries out, and I stick my tongue out at him. This makes him laugh.

"Come on, Edward," Esme says. "Let's give the two of them some privacy."

Nodding, Edward follows his mom out of the kitchen, leaving the doctor and me alone. He cleans my scraped knee, and it stings—like, a lot—but it's over before I know it, and soon he's putting a big band-aid on it and helping me off the counter.

"Good as new," he says.

I thank him quickly, tearing out of the kitchen in search of Edward, the pain completely gone from my knee now that I have a band-aid on.

I find Edward sitting on the front porch with his back to the door when I slip through it. He's twirling a white daisy in his fingers when I sit next to him, and he looks over at me with a smile, handing me the pretty flower. "I'm sorry you got hurt today. And I'm sorry I acted like a jerk."

I smell the flower, closing my eyes like I've seen them do on movies, and I smile. "That's okay," I tell him. "Thanks for the flower . . . You wanna go play?"

Bella; fifteen-years-old

Edward and I sit in the middle of our favourite place: a meadow we'd stumbled upon last spring while walking around after school. We're not doing anything, just sitting there, talking about how Lauren Mallory is an evil witch. I'm not usually one to talk trash about someone else—I try to leave that up to Lauren and her lackeys—but she's pushed me too far this time.

"Don't let her get to you," Edward tells me, pushing his bronze-coloured hair off his forehead. "She's a bitch." It's not often Edward swears, but every time he does, I laugh. I think he knows this and does it to make me feel better.

"I know," I say. "But it's hard not to. I swear she sets out to make my life miserable."

At school that afternoon, I'd tripped in gym and let the volleyball hit the floor, which was the winning point for the other team. She was so mad, she started yelling at me, and, if the teacher hadn't been here, I'm pretty sure she would have started a fight right there in the gym. When class was over, she led the way to the girls' change room, but I stayed behind to help clean up. No way was I going in there to be yelled at some more. I'm not a masochist.

I waited until they filtered out of the change room before going in, but as I passed by her, there was a wicked gleam in her eyes. It wasn't until I got in there that I fully understood what it had meant.

She'd tossed my clothes onto the shower floor and turned it on. My clothes were soaked, and I had nothing but my gym clothes to wear for my last two blocks.

I hate her.

I turned the shower off and wrung out my clothes as best I could, but I knew that wouldn't be enough. Unsure of what to do, I sat on one of the benches and cried. Normally, I didn't let her teasing get to me, but this broke me. I was completely unaware of everything around me as I sobbed into my hands. I think the door opened once or twice, but I refused to look up. I was too embarrassed.

It wasn't until I felt a warm, familiar hand on my shoulder that I pulled my face from my hands. Edward was there. In the girls' change room. Apparently, biology had started, and he'd been worried when I didn't show. When he got a hall pass from Mr. Banner, he'd heard talk that I was crying in the change rooms.

How embarrassing.

After calming me down, Edward pulled off his sweater and handed it to me, leaving him in a plain white tee and his jeans. His sweater was much too long on me, but it covered a little more than my gym shorts, so I felt okay walking around in it. Then, he picked up my sopping wet clothes and led the way to the Home Economics room where he asked Miss Cope if we could use the dryer. He'd explained what had happened, and she offered to talk to Mr. Banner to let him know we'd be late to class and why.

Then, like the good friend he is, Edward sat with me until my clothes were dry, and we went back to the Biology lab. Lauren gave me a death-glare when we passed her, and I decided that I'd had enough of her crap. It was time to end the cycle.

I punched her. Right in her "perfect" face. Broke her nose, too.

Even though my lashing out got me sent to the principal's office, I felt good about it.

Edward's laugh brings me out of the memory, and I focus my eyes to see he's holding a wild daisy out toward me. I take it, a warm blush creeping into my cheeks, and watch as he lies back in the long green grass. "I still can't believe you punched her." I giggle, lying back next to him and twirling the daisy between my fingers as he continues talking. "I always knew you were a south paw, Bells."

We lay there for a minute, staring up at the sky and watching as the clouds roll by lazily, and I begin to pluck the petals from my flower one by one, just like I do with every one he gives me.

He loves me.

This is my favourite part of the day.

He loves me, not.

Hanging out in the meadow with Edward after school always helps me to forget anything bad that's happened—not that every day is like today.

He loves me.

He's always known how to cheer me up whenever I'm having a bad day.

He loves me, not.

He's been my best friend my entire life, but recently I've begun to look at him differently.

He loves me.

I only wish he felt the same way.

He loves me, not.

"Hey, you're ruining your flower!" Edward cries out playfully, looking over at me.

He loves me.

I laugh, but I continue to pluck the petals. "Last time I give you anything," he grumbles like usual.

He loves me, not.

A smile breaks out across my face as I look at the last petal; the results of my little flower game are never the same more than once in a row . . .

He loves me.

. . . until now.

Bella; eighteen-years-old

I don't know why I'm so damn nervous, but I am. Edward asking me to go out to a movie on a Friday night isn't anything new, but this is what happens to me every week. My hands shake, my palms sweat, and I can't seem to calm my thundering heart. It's ridiculous considering nothing ever happens.

And nothing ever will. We're friends. He knows that. I know that. Sure, for the last three years, I've hoped that the dynamic in our relationship would change, but it doesn't, and I'm beginning to think it never will.

The doorbell rings, forcing me to stop fussing over my hair. I look myself over once more, making sure that my dark skinny jeans and royal blue sweater look okay. Blue is Edward's favourite colour, and I consciously choose a sweater that's a little more fitted to my body than some of the others I own. This may or may not be an attempt to get Edward to notice me as more than just his friend. It hasn't worked yet, but I'm not a quitter.

Out of habit, I go to grab my Converse sneakers, but stop and eye another pair of shoes. It's probably not wise given my inability to stay upright in ordinary sneakers, but I choose a pair of black heels my mother coerced me into buying a few months back. The doorbell rings again as I slip the second shoe on, and I carefully make my way toward the stairs. Walking in these shoes is easier than I'd imagined, but I'm still not completely comfortable in them. The heels feel a little unsteady, and my ankles wobble every once in a while. I make it to the front door though, putting on a smile and pulling it open to see Edward.

He looks amazing—he always does—in his usual attire of jeans and a sweater. Over the last few years, he's filled out so he's not quite as gangly as he was when we were fifteen. His sweater is fitted just enough to his body that I can make out the lines of his athletic body, and I find myself staring—which isn't out of the ordinary for me. I'm always staring at him.

"Hi," I greet, forcing my eyes to his—which are currently scanning the length of my body. Score one for me, I congratulate myself mentally.

"Hey." His voice is soft and warm, yet it sends a shiver down my spine. "You look great."

My cheeks warm, and I smile shyly. "Thanks."

"You ready?"

I nod. "Yeah, just let me grab my jacket."

I pull my jacket off the hook next to the door, but Edward is quick to take it from me, helping me into it. The act catches me off guard, but I go with it. Since my parents aren't expected home until tomorrow, I shut off the lights and lock the door behind me as Edward leads me to his car—a silver Volvo his parents bought him when he got accepted to Dartmouth.

"So," Edward says as he gets behind the wheel, "I was thinking we could go and grab a bite to eat before we go to the theatre. What do you think?"

I nod. "Sure. Wanna hit the McDonald's drive-thru?"

Edward laughs, but it's not his usual boisterous tone. It's almost nervous. "Actually, I was sort of thinking we could go to that little Italian restaurant a few blocks from the theatre."

It's an odd choice considering we always just grab a burger and then head to the movies, but I have a weakness for mushroom ravioli, so I agree. "We won't miss the movie, will we?"

Edward shakes his head. "Nah. We'll just go to a later show so we have time to eat."

"Good thinking."

When we arrive in Port Angeles, Edward navigates the streets with ease, and we park in front of the restaurant. Edward quickly climbs out of his seat, and I do the same, stepping out onto the sidewalk while he rushes around the front of the vehicle, looking disappointed for some reason. The look disappears as quickly as it had come on, and he presses his hand to the small of my back to coax me toward the restaurant. It's a small gesture, but it causes my insides to twist and flutter.

Inside, Edward quietly talks to the hostess who then seats us at a small table in the corner, kind of away from everyone else. She takes our drink order for us and tells us our server will be along shortly.

After she leaves, I take a look around our secluded table. It's nice back here—cozy, even—and there are a couple of candles on our table. I find it kind of romantic, actually, but I'm sure I'm alone in that. Edward probably just wants a quiet place for the two of us to talk. And that's fine, too.

"This is nice," I say, picking up my menu even though I know what I'm ordering. "I don't know the last time we had something other than fast food on one of our nights out."

"Your birthday," Edward answers with a smile. "But I don't think that counts because it was with our families too."

By the time the waitress arrives with our Cokes, we're both ready to order. Edward isn't as predictable as I am when it comes to ordering, always wanting to try something new, so while I order my usual, Edward orders the shrimp caprese.

We fill the void before getting our meals with talk about our weekend plans. As usual, I have to work at the Newtons' sporting goods store all day tomorrow and half of Sunday before "weekly family night." Edward, on the other hand, will be at track practice most of tomorrow since he's got a meet coming up in a couple of weeks, and then Sunday he and his family are heading to Seattle to visit his older sister and her husband.

Dinner, when it arrives, is delicious. Not that there was ever any doubt.

"Did you ever hear back from any colleges?" he probes, spearing a piece of shrimp with his fork.

Biting my lip, I shake my head. "Not yet." Secretly, I'm hoping to hear back from Dartmouth, because I can't imagine being apart from him, but the more time that passes makes me feel less optimistic about this happening.

"You will. Your grades are amazing." He's sweet, and I feel that blush creeping up my neck and into my cheeks again.

When we finish eating, Edward checks the time and asks for the bill. I reach into my pocket for some cash to pay my way when Edward stops me. "No, tonight's on me," he says, smiling.

I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I figure it's not worth arguing. I'll just buy his popcorn at the theatre; it's likely to cost as much as my meal. Once everything is paid for, Edward and I leave, deciding to walk to the theatre so we don't have trouble finding parking.

"What do you want to see?" Edward asks when we get in line.

I peruse the movie titles and think about what we've both wanted to see. Usually, we take turns choosing, and technically, it's Edward's turn to pick. "You pick," I tell him. "It's your turn. I chose last time."

He shakes his head. "Nope. You pick. I'll see anything you want to see."

I roll my eyes, but decide to placate him so we don't spend all night going back and forth on who should choose the movie. If we do that, we won't get to see one at all.

Neither of us really enjoys romantic comedies, and we've already seen the three action movies that are playing. This leaves us with a creepy-looking movie about a family moving into a new home that just-so-happens to be haunted. Edward and I are fans of the horror genre, so he's quick to agree with my choice.

Next, we head over to the concession and debate our choices. I'm still pretty full from dinner, but not getting popcorn at the theatre would be sacrilegious or something. The line is only two-people deep, so we fortunately don't have to wait long before we place our order. Once again, I go to pay, but Edward is quick, slapping some cash into the cashier's hand and shooting me a devilish wink.

Narrowing my eyes playfully and resisting the urge to stick my tongue out at him, I pick up the popcorn and my drink while Edward grabs his own soda. As we head toward our theatre, he places his free hand on the small of my back again. I hold my breath, because I know if I don't, he'll pick up on the uneven breaths; I only hope he isn't going to be able to feel my racing heart through my back. I'm pleasantly surprised when he doesn't move his hand, and my heart begins to hammer harder. Then his thumb begins to move idly over my spine, and I stumble slightly. Thankfully, I'm able to right myself, but Edward is still quick to grab me around my waist to assist me—just in case.

"Thanks," I tell him, my voice somewhat hoarse as we enter the screening room our movie will be playing in. We find our seats, and it's a good thing we finished dinner when we did, because the theatre fills up fast.

We watch the pre-show trivia, both of us getting most of the answers right, thanks to our weekly movie outings. Occasionally, though, one of us will get one wrong while the other gets to be the show-off. Laughing at one of the trivia questions, Edward and I reach into the popcorn bag simultaneously. This isn't something unusual—in fact, it happens more times than not—but this time, when our fingers touch, there's a spark. I know just how cliché that sounds, but it's true. The surface of my skin hums, the dull tingle travelling all over my body in seconds, and I inhale shakily as I look over to find him staring at me, his own eyes wide and . . . curious?

When his tongue sweeps across his full lower lip, I realize just how much I want to kiss him. My eyes dart between his and his mouth, and I'm pretty sure—but not certain—that my lips part slightly.

I should just lean in and do it . . .

The theatre lights dim, and I take a deep, unsteady breath before running my fingers through my hair. "Movie's about to start." I don't even recognize my own voice, I'm so nervous.

The movie's just as scary as the previews made it out to look. I jump several times, and I think I see Edward jump, too. Toward the end of the film, there's this one part that really gets me, and I scream—but so do ninety percent of the girls in here with us. I grab Edward's arm, and he slowly twists it around, pulling it back until my hand aligned with his, and he laces his fingers through mine, squeezing gently to reassure my safety. At least that's how I'm reading the gesture.

When the movie lets out, my nerves are shot and adrenaline is coursing through my veins from all of the suspense and scare tactics. It's a strangely exhilarating feeling, and one of the reasons I love horror films . . . even if that means I'm going to have nightmares tonight—and for the rest of my life. As the lights come back on, Edward doesn't release my hand. I try not to read too much into it, but I find it hard not to look down at our intertwined fingers and smile like a court jester.

He's holding my hand!

The theatre begins to clear, and as Edward and I walk down the stairs, I suddenly feel the need to be closer to him. What better excuse than my inability to walk in heels? I "stumble" slightly, leaning into him for support and placing my free hand on his bicep. His surprisingly strong bicep.

He doesn't discourage my using him to keep my balance, and I start to imagine that we must look like a couple to others. Thinking this makes me deliriously happy, and I have to bite the inside of my cheek to keep my smile from widening. It might not look possible given how big it is, but I'm sure it could happen.

"What did you think of the movie?" Edward asks as we step out of the theatre and onto the sidewalk.

He's still holding my hand, and I've refused to move my other one from his upper arm; I like how he feels against me. He doesn't seem to mind, so I think I'll stay like this until we're forced to part. "It was really good. Creepy . . . but that's a good thing. It's why we wanted to see it, right?"

Edward chuckles, bringing his other hand up to cover mine. "Agreed. I almost jumped a few times."

"Almost?" I laugh, quirking an eyebrow at him in challenge. "Nice try. You totally jumped a few times." His cheeks fill with colour, and he clears his throat, but he doesn't deny it.

We turn the corner to where we left the car, and, as we approach it, we pass by a small flower booth that looks like it's about to close. Edward pulls me along quickly, plucks a lone, long-stemmed daisy from one of the black buckets, and hands the guy running the booth some cash. He then hands me the flower, which means I have to withdraw my hand from his arm. It's an easy sacrifice to make, though, because Edward's given me a flower—not that this is the first time it's ever happened.

When we reach the car, Edward opens my door for me, and I slide in, reluctantly letting go of his hand so he can close the door. I bring the flower to my nose and inhale its sweet smell as Edward slides in behind the wheel.

"Hey, you haven't destroyed it yet," he teases, starting the car.

I shrug. "The night's still young."

The entire drive back to Forks, I obsess over the fact that I miss holding Edward's hand. I fantasize about taking charge, reaching over the centre console and holding his hand, but the truth is, I'm just not that bold by nature. Instead, I try to focus on the daisy, vowing that this will be the one I don't de-petal since tonight might be the closest thing to a date that I'll ever have with Edward Cullen.

We pull up to my house, and I find it hard to keep the disappointment from my face. Edward dropping me off after a movie isn't new, but for some reason, I'm having a hard time with it this time.

Forcing a smile to my face, I turn to Edward. "Thanks for tonight. I had fun."

"Me too," Edward says. His green eyes find mine, but then they fall between us, and he thrusts his fingers through his unruly hair. He looks like he wants to say something else, but then thinks better of it.

I turn to look out the window, kind of hoping to find something to talk about to prolong the evening—even if for just a minute. "Looks like Mom and Dad are still out," I tell him—even though I don't expect them until sometime tomorrow. I open my door, and turn back to say goodbye to Edward when he pops his door, too.

"Let me walk you to the door," he says quickly. "To make sure you get inside all right."

"I . . . um, yeah. Sure," I agree a bit brokenly. "Thanks."

Edward and I walk up the stone pathway to the front steps and climb them together. I unlock the front door and push it open, flicking the inside hall light on and turning back to say goodnight. "Thanks again," I say softly. "I'll talk to you tomorrow?"

Edward's eyebrows pull together, and he clenches his eyes shut, nodding his head. "Yeah. I'll call you."

"Cool." I pause for an awkward moment, taking a deep breath. "Well, goodnight."

I've barely turned and taken my first step through the doorway when Edward mutters, "Screw this," and grabs my arm, shocking me when he whirls me around to face him. But what surprises me even more than being spun around is the feeling of his lips on mine . . .

His soft, kissable lips that are currently pressed firmly to mine.

Once the confusion clears and I realize what is happening, I close my eyes, drinking in the moment like a fine wine. He brings one hand up to cup my face, the tips of his fingers curling against the back of my neck and holding me in place. I tremble slightly and sigh against his mouth, my lips parting just enough to allow him to deepen the kiss as I place my hands on his hips.

I'd imagined this moment every day for the last three years, and for some reason, the fantasy just doesn't live up to the real thing. I can taste the salt and butter from the popcorn on his lips as they move against mine, the pressure alternating from soft to firm, and his other arm winds around my body, pulling me flush against him, his fingers teasing the curve of my ass. Desire flows through my veins, settling between my legs, and I moan into our kiss.

When my lungs start to burn, begging for oxygen, I can't find it in myself to stop kissing Edward. How could I? He's completely intoxicating. He feels so strong pressed against the full length of my body—even stronger when he steps forward and wedges me between him and the door frame—and every breath and moan that passes through his lips sends a quiver through my body. Everything about him excites me. His looks, his taste . . . even his smell.

I'm completely lost to full sensory overload.

Naturally, Edward is the more levelheaded of the two of us—he always has been—and ends the kiss. I'm panting, my brain muddled and fogged in the best way imaginable, and Edward presses his forehead to mine, his warm breath fanning my face as he tries to catch it.

"Now it's been a good night," he whispers, his thumb idly moving over my cheekbone as I lift my gaze to his.

I'm still confused as the haze clears, and the wires from my brain to my mouth are clearly misfiring. "What was that?"

Edward chuckles, the corners of his eyes creasing ever so slightly. "Our first kiss."

"First," I repeat, realizing my hands are still on his hips, the stem of my poor daisy looking a little bent. But I'm not quite ready to let go just yet. "So by that you mean . . .?

"Meaning that I'd like to have a second—" he leans in and kisses me tenderly, not letting his lips linger on mine for too long "—and a third—" he kisses me again, this one a little longer, and my hands move up his body until they rest on his chest "—and a fourth—" one more kiss, and the fingers of the hand not holding my flower curl into the fabric of his sweater. He chuckles lightly and pulls his face away from mine. "I'm sure you get the idea."

I do get the idea, and I'm ready for our next kiss. Smirking up at him, I tighten my fist into his sweater and pull him forward, crushing my lips to his, and we pick up right where we left off a moment ago.

When his hands slip under my jacket, his thumbs grazing just below my breasts, warmth blooms beneath my skin, spreading fast like wildfire. My pulse throbs in my veins, intensifying in the lower half of my body. It's a sensation that always seems to occur when I think of Edward in this way, but now that Edward is firmly pressed against my body it's suddenly more concentrated.

"Bella," he mumbles against my lips, his hands moving down my body to ensnare my hips. He pulls me toward him, and I swear I feel how aroused he is through our clothes, and this only serves to excite me even more. "I should g—"

"M-my parents aren't home," I pant, pulling away and looking up into his eyes expectantly. I'm nervous, because I've never been this girl before, but I'm also feeling more confident than I've ever felt before. And judging by the look in Edward's eyes, he likes it.

Slowly, his lips curl up into a smile, and he pulls me into the house, closing the door and pressing me against it. He slips his hands back beneath my jacket, letting them ghost up over my hips and waist, bypassing my breasts without much contact until he pushes my jacket down off my shoulders and lets it fall to the floor. This saddens me, because they're practically screaming for his hands to work magic on them.

After I kick off my shoes, making me a good four inches shorter, Edward hooks his fingers into my belt loops and tugs me forward, heading for the stairs. My room. Edward is going to take me to my room. My heart beats rapidly with a combination of excitement and apprehension, but I refuse to back down. I've waited so long for this, and there's no way in hell I'm not following through.

Because we're not really focused on anything but kissing each other and tugging at one another's clothes, we stumble up the stairs. When we almost fall over, we laugh, steadying ourselves against the wall or the banister repeatedly until we finally make it to the landing at the top of the stairs. We're both breathing pretty heavily, and I throw my head back to catch my breath while Edward kisses and nips at the column of my throat.

We cross the threshold to my bedroom, and Edward slams the door, startling me slightly. He takes my flower from me—honestly, I'd forgotten I was still clutching it—and sets it on my bedside table before pulling me back into his arms.

"God," I moan toward the ceiling, fisting my hands in his unbelievably soft hair. "I can't believe this is finally happening."

"Me either," he mumbles against the skin of my neck, his warm breath causing a wave of goosebumps to arise all over my body. "I can't tell you how many times I've imagined this."

Hearing his confession flips some kind of switch inside me, and I start pulling his sweater up his body, taking his t-shirt with it until I've tossed them both on the floor. My hands tremble as they trail over his smooth, muscular chest for the first time, and he groans as they move down toward the button on his jeans, committing every curve and ridge of his physique to memory.

I've barely slipped the button through its eyelet before Edward starts tugging at my shirt in return. The feeling of his hands on my bare skin as he raises the blue top up over my body—over my breasts—is like a rush of warm water, and I tremble in their gentle wake.

"Are you sure?" he whispers, looking me deep in the eye, and I nod once before tilting my face up to kiss him softly.

"I've never been more certain of anything before in my life," I tell him, offering myself to him completely. And it's true. While I may have never pegged myself as "that girl" who has sex on the first date—something I wasn't even fully aware was happening until Edward kissed me a few minutes ago and confirmed it—this just feels . . . right. How could it not? I mean, he's been my best friend for as long as I can remember. He knows absolutely everything about me, and I about him. We love each other—we always have—I just never realized that his love might extend beyond that of a friend. We may not have known it all those years ago, but we had been working hard to build a rock-solid foundation for our relationship to bud and thrive on.

So, no, this isn't just a first date to me; it's the next natural step in our relationship.

Without breaking eye contact, I slip my hands into his jeans at the hips and slowly work them down over his boxer-briefs. I'm breathing heavily as Edward kicks them the rest of the way off before returning the favour and sliding my own jeans off.

This is happening. This is happening. This is happening.

I'm not only nervous because this is my first time with Edward, but because this is my first time ever. Edward already knows this because we tell each other everything . . . or, almost everything; I guess he wasn't really let in on the fact that I'd always imagined losing my virginity to him.

We stand before each other, Edward in his boxers, and me in my bra and panties. We're both the most naked we've ever been in front of each other—well, unless you count bathing suits, but those are a little different . . . kind of. Okay, not really.

There are mere inches between us, and we both take a moment to admire the other before our eyes connect again. The look of desire reflected back at me in his stare drives me forward and into his arms, and we fall onto my bed, passion and lust thickening the very air we breathe between kisses. Edward nudges himself between my thighs, and I feel his erection pressed hard against me. It's not enough, though, and I shift my hips up into him, seeking out more friction and moaning softly against his lips when I find it. That small taste whets my appetite, and my hips continue to move of their own volition, taking me to a place I've never been before. I can feel a dull tingle moving beneath the surface of my skin, gathering in my stomach and tightening. It's intense . . . too intense . . . I feel like I should stop . . .

"God, Bella," Edward moans into my ear, thrusting his hips forward as I push mine up. "I want you so badly."

I nod and say something completely incoherent, but he gets the idea, shifting his body slightly away from mine and tugging at the side of my underwear to remove it. Once they've joined the rest of our clothes on the floor, he slips his hand between my thighs. I can feel his fingers trembling as they slide back and forth against the sensitive flesh between my legs, and my hips buck up into his touch. My toes curl and a throaty moan escapes me, filling the room as his fingers continue to move back and forth languidly.

"Edward," I moan, but before I can say anything else, he slowly eases his fingers inside of me, and I inhale, slapping my hands against his back and curling my fingers into his flesh. He moves slowly, knowingly, as he prepares my body for his, and I bite my lip to keep quiet. I fail miserably.

While I don't know exactly what I'm doing, my instincts drive me now. While Edward continues pumping his fingers into me, I bring my feet up and try to use them to push his boxers down over his ass. I need him naked—I'm scared about this, but I know it's what I need.

"Y-you're sure?" he asks again.

"Mmm hmm," I reply softly, licking my lips.

That is all the confirmation he needs before he rushes to push them off the rest of the way, abandoning his work between my thighs. I'm conflicted on how I feel about that, but I think the fact that Edward is going to be naked and between my legs makes up my mind.

Reality comes crashing down around me the minute I feel his erection against my bare flesh, and I gasp. "Wait!" Edward looks at me, confusion and fear warring in his eyes. "Do . . . do you have a condom? We should be . . . you know, responsible. Right?"

Edward smiles, leaning forward to kiss my nose before he sits up and leans over the side of the bed for his jeans.

Oh, thank God.

I prop myself up on my elbows and look at him. I'd like to say I'm focused on his hands, but that would be a lie. I'm looking between his legs at the impressive erection he's sporting. I'm suddenly a lot more nervous. I've heard the first time can hurt, and there's no way this is going to be an exception. I swallow thickly as he rolls the condom over his length and repositions himself.

He kisses my jaw, moving down until he stops by my ear. "I'd like to remove your bra now." His hands move without my permission, ghosting over my hip and cupping my bra-clad breast, his thumb moving over my hardened nipple.

Releasing a squeak, I nod as he kisses the sensitive spot below my ear. "I'd like that, too."

I arch my back to aid his efforts, and soon he's pulling my bra from between us and palming one of my bare breasts with his hand, rolling one of my hardened nipples between his thumb and finger. When he moves down my body and replaces his hand with his mouth, my skin prickles and my nails bite into the skin of his back. His tongue circles the hardened peak, and I arch my back again when he grazes his teeth over the sensitive flesh. I can't hold back any more; I dig my feet into his ass and force him back up my body, the tip of his erection pressing against my own pulsing arousal as he comes face-to-face with me again.

Our eyes lock, and Edward caresses the side of my face, tucking a loose strand of hair back behind my ear. He looks like he wants to say something—apologize for what's about to happen, maybe—but I smile and nod before he gets the chance.

"I'm ready," I assure him quietly, and he slowly eases forward. My hands move from his back and grip his upper arms tightly at the first sensation of him stretching me. It's uncomfortable, but not completely unbearable.

He moves a little further—I'm not sure how much—but we pass uncomfortable and slam straight into unbearable. "Wait," I gasp, and Edward stills above me. "Just . . ." I take a deep breath ". . . give me a sec."

Edward responds with a nod, stroking the side of my face and leaning forward to kiss me softly. His lower body is still while he takes care of me everywhere else. I get so lost in the passion of his kisses and soft caresses that the discomfort fades, my lower body relaxing enough that I wriggle my hips beneath him. He takes this as his cue to soldier on, and soon we're moving our hips in tandem. Every once in a while, there's a twinge of discomfort, but Edward is so conscious of it, and is always sure to ease me through it.

When his eyebrows knit together, I can tell that he's close, and just when I begin to worry that I won't experience my first orgasm with him, he snakes his arm between us and presses his fingers against the tiny pulse point at the apex of my thighs. The feeling I had earlier when my arms and legs were tingling and weightless returns, and my vision begins to go a bit spotty as every muscle in my body tightens. Part of me wants to stop because the intensity is too much as Edward's finger moves in tiny, precise circles, but the other wants to keep going—to see where this trail leads.

I don't get the chance to make the decision, because suddenly I'm seeing stars and all of the tension leaves my body in an Earth-shattering explosion that makes my fingers and toes curl, and my arms and legs begin to tremble as wave after wave of pleasure rocks through my body. I scream Edward's name, and not too long after, he's screaming mine, his hips pulsing unevenly against mine. Then he collapses to the bed beside me, rolling me over so my back is pressed to his chest and his arms are around me.

When my vision clears, I glance up at the daisy on my bedside table and smile, reaching out to touch one of the soft petals. Edward's soft lips brush the shell of my ear, and I feel them curl up into a smile before he whispers, "He loves you."

::: THE END :::

A/N2: Well, there it is! What did you all think?