A/N: I apologize for this being late. I have a slew of excuses that I'm sure you don't care about, so I'll let you get on with it. Huge thanks to Heather for her awesome beta skills.
See you at the bottom.
"Holy shit," I exclaimed as Edward led me off the boat. "Esme has her own island?"
Edward nodded, taking my hand in his as he walked us up the path that led to the front door. "Yes, Carlisle bought it for her as an anniversary gift."
"Wow," I murmured before stopping and turning to look at him. "Don't ever even think about buying me an island."
"I wouldn't dare," he said with a snort. He knew how I felt about lavish gifts, not that he'd really had the opportunity to even try and spoil me. I had a feeling, though, all of that was about to change.
"This is amazing," I told him as we stepped over the threshold.
I wandered throughout the house, awed and amazed by it. It was a huge house with wide open spaces and light colors that gave it an airy feel. Eventually, I made my way back to the bedroom where Edward was unpacking our clothes, and I tossed myself lightly onto the bed. I felt like I was lying on a cloud. As soon as Edward was done shoving clothes into the drawers, he hopped onto the bed with me and pulled me close.
"Want to go for a swim later?"
"Definitely," I told him with a smile, but for the moment, I was content to stay cuddled up next to him.
I wasn't sure how long we lay there, but eventually, the sky turned pink and yellow, and Edward picked me up and carried me outside, so we could watch the sunset. It was perfect. It had been a long, exhausting day of travel, and I knew I needed to hunt, but I wanted to enjoy the spectacular view first. I leaned back into Edward's embrace and felt myself completely relax for the first time in months.
"You need to hunt," Edward said softly after the sun fell from the sky and the moon began to rise.
"Yeah, I do," I agreed, taking the hand Edward offered.
He pulled me up and told me we'd have to hit up one of the smaller islands or the main land for food. I opted for one of the smaller islands and gasped in surprise when Edward picked me up and tossed me into the ocean.
"We'll swim there," he said after jumping in the water.
It didn't take long before we were climbing out of the water and onto the sandy beach of a small island. Immediately, a wonderful, mouthwatering scent wafted through the trees, and I went for it. Leaving Edward behind, I raced through the jungle and stopped short when I saw a beautiful jaguar on the ground in front of me. Its ears were laid flat, and it let out a hiss as I slowly began to approach it. The beautiful creature never stood a chance against me. I let out a moan as I drank down the sweet, warm blood. It tasted so good, and I wanted more.
After burying my kill, I went looking for more and found another cat a mile away. I took him down as well before lying on the ground and taking in the sights and sounds around me. The leaves on the trees danced due to the breeze coming off the ocean, and the jungle was alive with the sounds of animals and bugs. Although the area around me was devoid of much activity, I felt incredibly peaceful.
"What are you doing?" Edward asked, and I turned my head to see him crouched on the low branches of a tree near me.
"Enjoying my vacation," I told him, smiling as he jumped out of the tree and walked toward me.
He knelt down next to me before dropping a sweet kiss on my lips that soon turned into fiery passion. Devouring carnivores always brought out the animalistic side of us, but this time, it was different. It was so much stronger, and we were wild as we ripped our clothes off. It wasn't that we hadn't been together since the fight had ended; we had, but our lovemaking had been sweet and quiet. This right here, this was what I needed. Hard, fast, and primal.
My orgasm came upon me quickly, and I shouted Edward's name as my legs quivered, and my breathing quickened. Edward was quick to follow me with his own release, and I loved hearing him call out my name.
We lay on the ground for a little while until I felt him hardening inside me once again. With a growl, I rolled us over and began to ride him hard, groaning when his hands reached up to cup my breasts and tease my nipples. I braced my hands on his thighs as I slid up and down his cock, tossing my head back with my eyes closed. I let out a sigh as his hands ran down my body, and I felt his fingers stroking my clit. I opened my eyes and looked down, watching as his fingers stroked me, and a gasp broke from my lips when he gently began to pinch my clit. A few more pinches and strokes and I was quivering mess as I collapsed on his chest. His hands had moved to my hips, and he gripped them tight as his thrusts became faster and more erratic. A few seconds later, my name was ripped from his throat.
"God, I love you," he said a few minutes later, pressing a kiss to the top of my head.
"I love you, too," I responded, my head resting against his chest.
We laid there until a soft rain began to fall, and then we got up. Our clothes were ruined and it wasn't like they were needed. Naked, we made our way back to the ocean and began to swim back to Esme Island.
"Come on," Edward said once we were on land, holding out a hand. I took it, and we walked back to the house where he dried us off with soft, fluffy towels. Dry, I threw on a cute cotton dress Alice had packed for me and headed out onto the porch where I found Edward sitting on the porch swing in nothing but a pair of shorts. I sat down next to him, curling my legs underneath me and resting my head against his shoulder.
"Marry me," he said, and I about fell off the swing. We'd never discussed marriage, despite the fact that we were mates and would be together forever.
"What?" I squeaked out.
He turned to face me, cupping my face in his hands.
"Marry me. Be my wife."
I stared into his eyes and found myself nodding yes. I'd honestly never given marriage much thought, but I realized I wanted that with Edward.
"Yes, Edward. I'll marry you."
A huge smile crossed his lips moments before he planted one hell of a kiss on me. I tangled my fingers in his hair and held on as his mouth devoured mine, and it was only the ringing of my phone that interrupted us. I did my best to ignore it, but the fucking thing wouldn't stop. Reluctantly, I tore my lips away from Edward's and went inside to grab my phone off the coffee table.
"What?" I barked into, not caring who was on the other end. A high pitched squeal let me know that it was Alice, and within seconds, she was off and babbling about how happy she was for us. While it was nice to hear from her, as well as the rest of the family in the background yelling out their congratulations, I was slightly annoyed. I'd just gotten engaged mere minutes ago, and I finally told Alice I wanted to spend some time with my fiancé. I hung up on her and went to hunt Edward down.
I found him in the bedroom, sitting on the edge of the bed with something in his hands. I sat down next to him and told him it was Alice and the family congratulating us.
"Well, since we're officially engaged, I think you're going to need this," he said, handing over the small velvet box that was in his hands.
With slightly shaking fingers, I pried the lid open and gasped at the ring nestled inside. It was beautiful and old fashioned.
"It was my mother's," he told me as he took the ring out. "I had it cleaned and the size adjusted."
"I love it," I told him, holding out my left hand, smiling as he slid it on my ring finger. It fit perfectly and it looked wonderful.
For a moment, we both sat there and stared at the ring on my finger.
"So, when are we getting married?" I asked him.
"I honestly don't have a clue, but I don't want to wait a real long time."
I thought about it for a second and then suggested that we get married on the island. It could be a small affair with just family, and then we could honeymoon right here.
"Really?" Edward asked me. "You want to get married here?"
I nodded. "Yeah, I do. I want to marry you on the beach at sunrise with our family surrounding us."
"Carlisle can officiate the wedding," Edward said, and I grinned, glad that he was on board.
Later that afternoon, after a long talk with Alice who insisted on making my wedding dress, I headed down to the beach and waded into the warm water. As I floated on my back, I found myself wondering what it would be like to live on the island, just Edward and me. I thought about it for quite some time until Edward joined me.
"You look lost in thought," he commented as he floated next to me, clasping my hand in his.
"Just thinking what it would be like to live here forever."
He let out a laugh. "I've thought about it myself a time or two, but in all honesty, I think we'd miss the family after a while."
I knew he was right, but I also knew I wanted to live apart from the family again. I loved them, but I wanted Edward all to myself for a while.
As if reading my thoughts, Edward told me he wanted to live apart from the family after we were married. I agreed wholeheartedly with him and asked him where we'd go.
"Wherever you want," he said, yanking me under the water and grinning when I came up spluttering. I splashed him, laughing when he got a face full of water.
"I don't really care where we live."
"Well, if you want to live in a big city, we've got houses in Chicago and New York. If you want to live in the middle of nowhere, we can go back to the cabin. If you want small town life, we've got houses in Montana, Idaho, and Vermont. If you want to live in another country—"
"I get it!" I said, laughing. "There are endless possibilities. I have no idea where I want to live. Just give me a map and a dart, and I'll decide that way."
Edward let out a laugh. "Why don't I have Esme email us pictures of all the houses, and you can decide that way."
It was a good suggestion, and I agreed, but the truth was, I really didn't care where we lived as long as we were together. I didn't care what we did either. I knew once we were married that I'd never have to work again, thanks to all the money the Cullens had accumulated over the years, but I wanted to. I wasn't sure I wanted to go back to hunting, though. It had been a hard life, and one, if I was honest with myself, I had grown weary of. I wanted to do something, however, I wasn't sure for what I was qualified.
"That's the one," I said, pointing to the picture of the house on the computer screen in front of me. I was sitting on Edward's lap as we looked through pictures of the multiple homes that were owned by the family.
"Yeah?" Edward asked, resting his chin on my shoulder.
The house I'd decided on was the smallest one belonging to the family, and after looking through all the pictures, I decided it would be a perfect fit for us. I turned my head to look at Edward, and he met my eyes, giving me a sweet smile and a sweeter kiss on my lips.
"Excellent choice, babe. That's the house in Chicago. The one I grew up in," he said, running a hand down my arm.
"Really?" I asked, and he nodded.
"Esme bought it for me about fifty years ago when it came back on the market. I haven't been back since I was changed," he said softly, and I was glad that I'd be there with him when he went back for the first time.
With that decision made, I felt a weight I hadn't known was on my shoulders lifted. Now, I just needed to decide what I wanted to do with my life. Edward and I had discussed it a bit, and he'd suggested that I go to college and see if that was something I was interested in. I could attend classes online or even go to night school, and he said that he'd go with me. It was something I was giving careful consideration. I'd never been one for higher education, but I found myself wanting to try new things with Edward.
A week later, the family descended upon us, and we were both smothered with hugs and kisses from Esme and Alice. It wasn't like we'd been gone that long, but they both acted like it had been forever.
"C'mon, Bella!" Alice said, tugging my hand and dragging me off into the main bedroom. She'd hung a garment bag up in the closet, and I was nervous and excited to see what it held.
"I want you to try it on so I can make any adjustments if needed," she told me, even though we both knew it would fit perfectly.
It was gorgeous. It was a knee length, off white dress with spaghetti straps. It was simple, perfect, and so incredibly me. When she'd first told me she was going to make my dress, I'd been a bit worried she would try and drown me in lace and yards and yards of fabric. I was so very relieved to see that wasn't the case.
"Try it on," Alice insisted, and I began to strip.
Taking the dress from her, I slipped it on, and she began to button up the back. I went to take a look, but she stopped me and placed a small white crown with beautiful flowers on my head. I was afraid that I was going to look a bit cheesy, but as always, Alice was right. When I was finally able to look at myself in the mirror, I let out a gasp. I looked like a bride, and I certainly felt like one.
"Gorgeous!" Alice said with a squeal before telling me to undress, and I had to admit, I pouted a bit. I didn't want to take it off even though I knew I'd be wearing it soon enough.
Just before sunrise the next morning, Alice, Esme, and Rose helped me get dressed, fixed my hair, and applied my makeup. I opted not to wear shoes with my dress since we were going to be on the beach, and Alice had almost thrown a fit. I'd pointed out to her that high heels and sand were a bad combination.
"Besides, it's my wedding, and I want to be barefoot," I told her, arms crossed over my chest.
I could see it took everything Alice had not to bitch a fit, but she finally nodded. I knew she was probably calling me all kinds of names in her head, but I didn't care. I didn't want to wear shoes, so I damn well wasn't going to.
Thirty minutes later, I was walking down the small makeshift aisle on Jensen's arm. He'd arrived late the previous night along with Samuel, Carmen, and Eleazar. I'd asked him to walk me down the aisle and tears had sprung into his eyes, causing me to tease him about becoming a sentimental old man. He'd let out a laugh before agreeing to my proposal.
Jensen handed me over to Edward, who tightly clasped my hands in his as if I was going to suddenly change my mind and runaway. Like that was going to happen. Carlisle gave us both a huge smile as he began to officiate the ceremony and, in a matter of minutes, I was Mrs. Edward Cullen.
Emmett let out a loud whoop while the women sniffled, and the men clapped. I let out a laugh of pure happiness and couldn't resist leaning into Edward for another kiss just as we were hit with a ton of birdseed and rice. I knew Emmett had to behind that, and I grimaced as bits of both the birdseed and rice found its way into my hair and clothes.
We had food set up for Jensen and Samuel in the kitchen as well as a radio set up in the now emptied living room that had been made into a makeshift dance floor. The next few hours were spent laughing, talking, and dancing. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect wedding. A little before noon, everyone headed out after hugging and congratulating us once more.
"I'd say it's time to get you out of this dress, Mrs. Cullen," Edward purred in my ear as I waved goodbye to everyone.
Turning in his arms, I wrapped my own around his shoulders and placed a kiss on his lips.
"I'd say you're right, Mr. Cullen."
With a grin on his lips, he picked me up and carried me over the threshold and into the bedroom. He set me gently on my feet, placed a hard kiss on my lips, and then spun me around so he could unbutton the back of my dress. The man was a tease, taking his time unbuttoning each button and pressing kisses to each spot of skin he exposed. By the time he was done, I could barely control my want for him.
"Edward!" I whined, and he chuckled against the skin of my lower back before placing a wet kiss there.
Standing up, he ran his hands up and down my arms before reaching for the thin straps of my dress and slowly dragging them down my arm. I almost sighed with relief when my dress pooled at my feet, and I stepped out of it.
"Jesus," Edward muttered as he walked around me, taking in the sinfully delicious underwear set that I was wearing. Although, you could hardly call it underwear. It was more like small scraps of white satin held together by a small band of blue lace.
"As sexy as this is," he murmured, "and it is sexy, it needs to go."
He traced a finger along the edge of the lace on my bra before reaching around and unhooking it. My bra fell to the floor, and my panties followed quickly as Edward knelt before me to remove them. As soon as they were gone, he buried his face between my thighs, licking up the moisture that had leaked. It didn't take long before my fingers were grasping the hair on his head as I screamed out his name.
"So fucking sexy," he growled as I came down from my orgasm, and he began to lick his way up my body.
When his lips met mine, I kissed him with a fierceness I didn't realize I had, trying to convey just how much I wanted him. He scooped me up and dropped me on the bed before crawling on top of me and settling between my thighs.
We let out twin moans of relief when he slid into me, and our first time as husband and wife started off slow and sweet, but soon, it became so much more. It was as if we couldn't get close enough, and if I could have cried when I came, I would have.
"I love you, wife," Edward whispered softly against my lips.
"I love you, too."
6 Years Later
"I'm so proud of you!" Esme exclaimed as she wrapped me up in a fierce hug, and I laughed as I hugged her back.
"I thought I'd never finish," I told her with a snort as I pulled away from her and straightened my gown and cap.
After our honeymoon was over, Edward and I had moved into his parents' home in Chicago and had both enrolled at Loyola University. I hadn't known what I'd wanted to study, and halfway through my first year, I'd dropped out. It had been so overwhelming, and mentally, I hadn't been ready. I'd been so afraid that I would disappoint Edward, but he'd told me I could never disappoint him.
After a year and a half of sitting around the house, I'd decided to go back. In my time away from school, I'd taken an interest in our finances and investments, and discovered that I actually enjoyed math more than I ever had before. So, once I was back in school, I majored in economics. I wasn't sure I'd ever actually get a real job where I'd use my degree, but I'd loved earning it.
Edward, on the other hand, had majored in computer information systems. I wasn't sure why. It wasn't like he didn't know how computers worked, but he had enjoyed it and had even started doing freelance work as an IT guy for a Chicago company. I figured if we were going to actually hold down jobs, working from home would be the way to do it.
"So what are you going to do now?" Alice asked after she'd hugged me.
"No idea, yet, but we'll figure it out," I told her, shooting Edward a grin. "We always do."
Six months later, we made the decision to move to Canada where the family was residing. Esme and Carlisle had stayed in Forks as long as possible, but eventually they'd to move. They'd found a small town in northern Canada that was in need of a doctor, so they'd moved. Not long after they'd moved up there, Rose and Emmett as well as Alice and Jasper, moved there as well. That had been three years ago, and now I was craving the closeness of my family.
Each couple had their own house on the extremely large property that Carlisle had purchased, and by the time we arrived, our house had been built. It was warm and cozy, and Esme had decorated it perfectly. It felt like home, and I couldn't wait to see what the future held for us.
a/n: Thank you all for sticking with this story. I have to say that writing a vamp story was so much harder than I thought it would be. I think from now on, I'll stick to my AH stories. My new story will be starting sometime in January, so put me on author alert if you liked this story or the others I've written. Have a great holiday, and I hope to see you all in January!