Contest entry for the 'A Journey into the Dark & Twisted' Contest

Title: Soon, my love

Prompts used: Group A #2, Group E #2

Pairing: Edward/Bella.

Rating: M

Word Count: 5,531

Summary: While her family cried, I was a panting, jittery mess for other reasons. I was in love.

Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight. No copyright infringement is intended.


Soon, My Love . . .

Isabella Swan was absolutely exquisite.

With long, brown hair, pale skin, and a petite, slender, and yet perfect body, she was the woman of my dreams. She was everything I'd been hoping for.

There's an age difference. I'm thirty-five and she's just twenty-two, but that doesn't matter—nothing matters.

My hands roamed up her sides as a shiver rocked through me. Her skin was soft, like silk, which instantly filled me with pleasure.

It'd been a long time since I'd been intimate with someone, and we couldn't wait any longer.

I'd waited long enough to find someone like her.

Someone as beautiful…

Someone as sexy…

Someone as perfect…

My breath hitched; air got caught in my throat when I lifted the sheet to see her completely exposed. Her breasts were perky and supple. Her nipples were constricted, and her hourglass shape revealed her full, rounded hips.

I groaned, nuzzling my nose to her pebbled nipple, tweaking the other with my fingers.

Anxious, my mouth trailed up to hers for a soft kiss. There was a faint trace of cherry lip-gloss on her slightly parted lips.

My stomach filled with butterflies, my cock strained against my fly, and I couldn't take it anymore.

I had to have her…

I had to make love to her…

Now.

Right-fucking-now.

Still slightly hovering, I leaned away to smile down at her, undoing my pants to roll on a condom. Her center was warm, juices present, and I knew I'd slip right in.

Placing my hands on her thighs and letting out another shuddering breath, I parted her legs to ease between them. "Oh, you're such a good girl," I crooned, sticking my tongue out to lick her cheek. "Lie still for me, baby…just like that." Overcome with lust, I pushed forward. There was little resistance, but her pussy hugged my cock tightly.

It made my muscles stiffen.

"Christ…" My hips moved, picking up a gentle, and yet steady, pace.

When a small moan escaped her lips, I was filled with glee. I lifted her arms to wrap them around my neck. "You like that, huh?" I panted, smiling even wider—wider than I ever had.

My heart soared, and I swore I'd never felt this way before.

This connection…

This passion…

This happiness…

All too soon, sooner than I would have liked, I gently grasped her hips to push deeper—come undone.

Spent and out of breath, I rested my head to Isabella's cheek. I reveled in the closeness and inhaled her scent. "You're amazing," I said, hugging her body close to mine.

When I heard footsteps by the stairs, I raced to get us decent, to hide the fact that we'd just made love.

Frantically, as I was still wearing the condom, I picked my pants up to fasten them.

Then I threw the sheet back over Isabella—my love—before I pushed her into the refrigerator, the locker, where she'd rest until her viewing that'd be in two days.

It'd be my job to make her pretty for the wake and funeral, and it wasn't going to be a difficult task at all.

In fact, I couldn't wait.

I couldn't wait to spend more time with her…

To be with her again…

"Edward?" my father asked, coming down the stairs.

I averted my gaze to pretend like I was reading Isabella's intake information.

"How bad does it look?" He grimaced. "It's such a sin…The chief's daughter."

Thankfully, curiosity hadn't gotten the best of him. He didn't disrupt Isabella, nor did he try to see her.

I was actually dismayed by that thought, feeling territorial and a bit possessive.

"Not too bad," I whispered.

"Speak up!" he shouted, making me jump.

I shook my head. "N-not too bad." I shrugged a shoulder.

Everyone in this town—Forks, Washington—believes the ruse. They see the mild-mannered Carlisle Cullen, and they smile. They don't know what he's truly like. How he was cruel to my mother, making her overdose on sleeping pills. How, no matter how old I get, he just can't seem to stop screaming.

When people see me…

I was his reclusive son, the one who'd dropped out of med school because I'd missed the family business.

No one understands, least of all my father—how much I love it.

Being around death…

The smell of death…

The formaldehyde…

My eyes nearly rolled, and I needed to stop that thought process, or else I'd get another erection.

"It's late…You can get her ready for burial in the morning," he said, heading for the stairs again.

I agreed with him, but I couldn't leave just yet.

When I knew he was gone, I actually started to read all the information we had on Isabella Swan. Her father's the chief of police. I knew that already. She'd been driving down the 101 earlier today during a bad thunderstorm.

Isabella had lost control of her car, which had caused it to flip a few times. She'd lost her life instantly, although there was no blood, nor were there cuts and bruises.

It said something about a possible head trauma, but there'd be no autopsy.

Thank God.

No one would defile her body.

It was perfect as is…

Pronounced dead at the scene, the coroner gave his assessment, a cause of death.

Instead of spending time at the mortuary…

Fuck, I love that place.

She came straight here, less than an hour ago.

I accepted her, took her in, and she was still warm. Rigor mortis hadn't set in yet, and so I placed her in the fridge for ten minutes to cool while I told her about my day.

Her father would be here tomorrow to go over the fine details with my dad…

Thinking of that made me smile.

It was special in some way, our fathers gathered together, almost like they could be planning our wedding.

Quietly, I wanted to sneak a peek at my love again. "Isabella…" I gave her a gentle kiss, promising I'd see her in the morning.

Alas, I still couldn't leave.

My feet were rooted to the floor.

I didn't want her to be alone, and I wished we could snuggle some more.

Wary, I trailed up the steps to lock the door, knowing my father will park his ass on the couch.

He'd watch TV and forget about me.

Happy again, I raced back to Isabella without sound, quickly palming her soft, cold cheek. "You're beautiful," I said. "Do you believe in love at first sight?"

I felt juvenile and yet elated in a way I never had before.

In my mind, Isabella agreed with me.

She was most certainly the type to believe in love, in romance, in making love…

"You rest now…and I'll see you soon, baby." After I placed a kiss on her forehead, I was able to move.

XXXXXX

In the morning, I'd gone through my normal routine. I brushed my teeth, took a shower, put on my suit for the day. I cleaned my glasses and then I ate a bowl of cereal while I read the funny pages in the paper.

Marmaduke made me chuckle, but I composed myself quickly when my father entered the room.

Dad went for the coffee pot, wearing his smock.

Shocked by his attire, my stomach tied in knots.

He'd woken up early. He was more than likely just downstairs with Isabella, my love.

"Strangest thing…" He trailed off, staring at me. "Post-mortem marks don't match the coroner's report."

I didn't say a word.

Sure. I knew that no matter how gentle I was, our activities would bruise her fragile skin.

Her beautiful skin…

This is the only funeral home in town. She came right here. Air even escaped her lungs because there was still air inside her.

It bypasses the larynx, and there you go…a moan.

No matter how much I'd tried to keep my weight off of her, the slightest pressure on her abdomen would empty her lungs.

It's not as if I hurt her.

I showed her love and we made love.

The slightest touch might leave a mark…but that was okay.

She's mine.

Isabella was delivered to me.

It was fate.

"No comment?" he asked, taking a step toward me. "The Swan girl looks like she's been fucked!"

I winced, nearly dropping my spoon into my bowl.

"Again, Edward?" He grabbed me by my collar, lifting me out of the chair.

I couldn't look him in the eyes, and I didn't say anything.

"You're sick…Disturbed." He threw me back down. "Why can't you leave the house? Find a live girl to date? Get married? Have babies…?"

None of that sounded very appealing.

"You're fucking disgusting!" He shuddered in disdain. "I will embalm her…I will get her ready for burial, and you…stay away." My father left the room.

I smirked at his retreating form.

And I found it laughable that he'd try to keep me away from her.

My love.

My humor was short-lived, and my body ached to go downstairs. I needed to make sure he embalmed her perfectly, as I needed her image to be preserved.

Dad's never been good with the airbrushing and makeup. He'd always hired an artist until I showed a real knack for it, and then I became a mortician, too.

The other women I'd been intimate with…

They don't compare to Isabella.

No one does.

It'd been more than a year since I'd had sex with anyone.

People come and go. They pass through here. Sometimes they're here for days, and others around a week.

No one interested me.

Ever since the last time I'd been caught, I tried to suppress my urges—my feelings, needing to love the dead in my own way.

My father, fucking society deems it wrong.

If a live woman held any interest for me, maybe I'd try.

But they don't.

And I don't.

If a million other kinky fetishes are accepted by society, why am I wrong?

Until the mainstream caught up with me, I'd have to live in secret.

I'd just hoped that Isabella would be by my side.

XXXX

Pacing the hall by the stairs, I was almost filled with rage.

My father had locked the door, and my mind kept wandering.

What was he doing down there?

What was he doing to my beautiful Isabella?

Anxious, worry filling me, I dug my driver's license out of my wallet.

I heard the music on a low hum downstairs, and I knew my father wouldn't hear me as I tried to pick the lock.

For ages, I'd wanted to stand up to that man.

I wanted to scream and shout at him, put him in his place, get him to leave me the fuck alone…

He just doesn't listen.

He doesn't understand.

No one understands.

Just as the knob gave way, the doorbell rang.

"Fuck," I muttered, knowing that was the chief.

Waiting a few minutes to see if Dad would answer, I stood stock-still, holding my breath.

When my father made no move to ascend the stairs, I pushed my wayward hair back as I rushed to enter the foyer.

Charles Swan looked as though he'd aged ten years.

And I wished I could tell him…

Isabella is fine.

She's with me.

Her love.

I'd be taking care of her, which might lift the weight from his shoulders.

"My condolences." I bowed my head to keep up the charade, opening the door wider for him.

He was in jeans and a flannel shirt. "Thanks," he whispered.

"Follow me." I escorted him deeper into the house.

"Here's, um…it was her favorite." He reached out to hand me a cream-colored dress. It was stunning, and I knew it'd look perfect on her. "Shoes," he cried, giving me a bag.

Excitement filling me, I masked it by keeping my face stoic. "I'll just…" Taking five big strides, I hid behind the corner in the hall.

Inhaling a hearty whiff through my nose, I smelled her shoes and then her clothing.

The flower-scented garment nearly filled me with rage again, made me panic, made me wonder what the fuck was going on downstairs!

"Mr. Cullen?"

I'd heard him before I saw him, and I quickly placed Isabella's things on a chair.

"I'm sorry. Phone call." I grinned.

Chief Swan stared at me pensively.

Truly wanting her father to like me, I ushered him back into the great room. "We have books you can look at, but in the other room…we have caskets stocked."

He nodded, not saying anything as he followed me.

The chief of police, a simple man, stated that his daughter would have preferred the plain, glossy oak with the brass handles.

It was an excellent choice.

He couldn't have picked a better one.

That's the one I'd like someday.

While we spoke floral arrangements, the doorbell rang again.

"I'm so sorry," I told him, instantly vexed that someone would disturb us. "I'll be right back."

When I opened the door, some guy nearly pushed me to the side. He was grief stricken and he had tears streaming down his cheeks. "I just heard. I came right here. What happened?" he shouted.

The young man's outburst made Charles Swan upset. He sobbed silently while he enveloped the younger man in an embrace.

"She just…She hit her head, died instantly. She didn't feel any pain." The chief consoled him.

"She was—I kept waiting for her to walk through the door," the guy sobbed.

Charles Swan nodded. "She was on her way back to Seattle. I'm sorry, Jacob." He met my gaze. "I apologize, Mr. Cullen. This is all very sudden…as you can imagine."

"I understand. Take all the time you need."

As soon as I left the room, my face fell and I paced the hall again.

Who the fuck is Jacob?

Was that her boyfriend?

The thought of him touching her made my skin crawl.

And my mind wandered again.

Then I came to the conclusion that whatever life Isabella had before she'd met me…it didn't matter.

We have pasts.

I'm no virgin, either.

Jacob may have had her, but now she was mine—my treasure to cherish.

After I listened to the soft jazz that played through the door, I took a peek at Jacob and Charles Swan.

They had composed themselves, and the chief waved me over.

Since it was a given that the whole town would come to pay their respects, he reserved the largest room we had.

I was grateful, as Isabella's death should be celebrated.

"Bella?" That caught my ear.

"She, um…she preferred that," Charles cried.

I nodded in understanding.

We went on to speak of flowers and burial plots and payment plans. It was all very mundane, and none of it gave me another clue into Bella's living life.

I felt I needed to know, so I could make her afterlife just as comfortable.

But I didn't verbalize any inquiries I had.

When they left and walked toward their vehicles, I didn't move from my spot until I heard the tires crunching the gravel.

Just as I'd done an hour before, I tried the knob on the door that would lead me to my future.

My love.

It opened, granted me entrance, and I ran down the steps as fast as I could.

"I thought I locked the door?" Dad asked.

By her grayish, blue skin tone, the purple lines scrawled along her body—I knew he'd drained her already.

Totally entranced, I watched as he hooked the formaldehyde pump up to a large gauge needle that was sticking into her carotid.

The smell of the embalming fluid made me feel warm.

Just imagining how chilly her skin would be…

"Don't you dare!" My father shouted, shaking his head at me and slapping my hand away.

Angry, instantly so, I glared at him.

He was taken aback, and he raised a brow at me.

"I'll do this," I said.

He chuckled darkly, showing me the back of his hand. "Get upstairs, now! Fucking freak!"

For the first time, his harsh words didn't make me cringe or cower.

I gazed at his feet; my eyes trailed up and met his.

At that moment, I realized that he was nothing—absolutely nothing to be scared of.

I believed it was Isabella—or, Bella—who gave me this sudden strength.

Carlisle Cullen is fifty-nine years old. His hair is white and receding. He's not muscular, nor is he taller than me. He's a scrawny old man, holding all the cards, keeping me away from my beauty.

My eyes raked down Bella's form one more time.

Soon, my love…

Soon.

Without another word, I went back upstairs.

It was close to noon, and my father was a creature of habit.

I waited with bated breath until one o'clock rolled around—until he'd come upstairs for lunch.

Like a good son, I'd busied myself with making him a tuna sandwich, which is something he expected of me daily.

While I placed the mayonnaise into the fridge, I eyed the rat poison that sat near the back door.

No, that's too risky.

It's messy, too.

I'm better than that.

I'd like to think of myself as craftier, and the possibilities were nearly endless when I called my father upstairs. "Lunch!" I chuckled to myself, feeling giddy again.

Like clockwork, every day, Carlisle Cullen ate the sandwich I'd made him and then he took a snooze on the couch.

He always falls asleep so quickly, and today was no exception.

When I heard his signature snore, I held a pillow a few inches away from his face.

No, death by asphyxiation is almost too recognizable.

Besides, Isabella was all alone downstairs.

A sheet covered her body, but Dad hadn't placed her back into the fridge yet.

Her skin was cool; there was a glowing sheen developing from the formaldehyde. "Beautiful." My tone was awe-like as I nuzzled my nose against her cheek. Her pallor had gotten better, brighter, and she was almost preserved.

"We can't…" I laughed.

Isabella's upturned hand was an invitation.

She wanted me to place my cock in it.

"We might get caught," I whispered, smiling wide. "All right…" I decided to give in, wanting to give Isabella the pleasure.

It was uncomfortable to walk, and I was nearly waddling with a painful erection as I grabbed the Vaseline.

After I generously coated her hand, I placed my dick within her grasp.

I closed her hand while Isabella tempted me.

She wanted me to move.

She wanted me to give her this…

Give her all of me.

My climax came too quickly again.

This little vixen drives me crazy.

"Yes…you," I crooned, placing a kiss on her pouty lips. "Soon, we won't have to worry about time."

Listening for my father but hearing nothing, and yet knowing he'll be awake from his catnap at any moment…

I gently cleaned Isabella's hand, quick to kiss her palm and put it back in the position it had been in.

Then I wiped my own mess away from her tits.

Feeling rejuvenated, like a whole new man, I bid my love farewell for the time being.

I'd just finished making my own tuna sandwich when I heard my father's loud yawn.

Famished, I barely paid him and his verbal abuse any attention while I chowed down.

XXXX

Hours later—after I'd made arrangements for the flowers, after I'd polished Isabella's casket—I got started on dinner.

I'd made a roast chicken and mashed potatoes.

The old man's favorite.

He didn't waste any time.

Carlisle Cullen sat at the table, filled his plate with food…

And the rat poison haunted me again.

Antsy, my leg started to bounce, and I wished it was ten p.m. already…

When Carlisle Cullen goes to sleep every night.

Bored, my stomach was still in knots, I loaded the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen.

It's the least I could do, not give him anything to complain about.

But the eagerness was overflowing, building inside me.

Isabella called me to her.

I'd heard her voice, and I needed to be with her already.

We needed to be together.

While my father watched Wheel of Fortune, drinking an Amstel Light, I slowly approached him.

He didn't see or hear me coming.

Carlisle Cullen had no idea what was about to happen—

Oh, Hamlet by William Shakespeare, I mentally answered a puzzle.

For a second, I was shocked that such imbeciles even made it on to the show.

Knowing slow and steady wins the race, I inched toward him, ready to strike!

Carlisle Cullen let out a grunt and slumped to his side after I'd whacked him in the head with a baseball bat.

Feeling victorious, I waved my arms in the air, and did my own Edward Cullen end-zone dance.

I felt free.

I felt a weight lift from my chest.

However, I wasn't finished with Carlisle Cullen just yet.

He was heavier than I thought—dead weight but not dead—as I hauled him up the two flights of stairs.

Nevertheless, I felt no remorse as I propelled him off the roof of our house. Even if our home is only three stories high, I made sure he went headfirst!

He landed with a loud thump, but I raced downstairs—with the hope his neck had been broken.

Cullen & Son Funeral Home rests on the outskirts of town and on a desolate country road. It would take the authorities twenty minutes to get here.

On my way out the door, I grabbed the phone to dial 911.

The operator was sympathetic when I told her that I thought my father had committed suicide. I told her he'd jumped off the roof.

Carlisle Cullen knew he couldn't fly…and if he didn't, he knows now.

Ha!

After I ended the call, I threw my head back to laugh.

Then I ran outside to check Dad's body.

There was no rise and fall to his chest. Blood poured from the gash on his head, and his neck was bent at an odd angle. There was no pulse, either; meanwhile, I wished he could have lived forever.

How can he taint something as beautiful as death?

His presence in our front yard made me sick.

But then I was surprised to see Chief Swan. He drove up our road with the paramedics on his heels.

I guess he takes his job seriously, or he was trying to stay busy.

"What happened?" he asked me as the EMTs looked over Carlisle.

I shook my head, making my crocodile tears trail down my cheeks. "He just…He's been depressed for months. I-I was—I-was cleaning up from dinner, and I heard this, this—"

"It's okay, son." He squeezed my shoulder, and I could see his own grief written on his face. "Did you see what happened?"

"No…" I said. "I was in the kitchen."

"I remember when your mother—" He cut himself off from finishing his own sentence.

When an EMT called for the medical examiner, I sat on my porch with my hands in my pockets. Not much else needed to be said. Chief Swan didn't suspect me of anything, but he kept glancing at me.

Little did I know it was because of his concern for Isabella. "There's, uh, that place in Port Angeles…?" He took a seat next to me.

I cleaned my face, scrubbed my hands below my eyes. "The arrangements are finished," I whispered. "They're all made."

"Oh." He seemed choked up and at a loss for words.

"I'd—I'd truly like to do my father proud." I kept my tone hushed. "Please, allow me to direct Isabella's services. I'd be no trouble at all."

"It might keep you busy, too." He turned away from me, ashamed to cry in front of the other officials.

For the first time in my life, holding a warm hand didn't make me want to vomit.

And I was eternally grateful to the man who'd brought Isabella Swan into the world.

When the medical examiner arrived and pronounced Carlisle Cullen officially dead, I actually cried real tears.

Tears of relief…

Tears of joy…

Roy, the ME, gazed at me, concerned. He offered to take Carlisle back to the morgue until I could make the preparations.

I declined, knowing my father had always wanted to be cremated.

Well, I actually had no idea, but that sounded like a solid plan to me.

With no crematory on the premises, they placed Carlisle in a black body bag. I'd need to fill out the necessary forms, but Roy was going to drop him off at McCarty's—where everyone gets cremated.

A good three hours passed before they'd all left.

No cars littered about my home, except for my hearse.

My hearse.

My home…

I was torn inside, instantly happy about those facts, yet I felt guilty because I had left Isabella alone for so long.

"Don't fret, my pet." I combed her soft hair with my fingers. "Edward's here…I'm here, my love." I lay next to her on the chilly, steel table. "You wanna be the big spoon or the little spoon?" I chuckled.

"Little spoon." I gathered her into my arms, feeling at ease for the first time in my life—sated, nothing amiss—and I drifted off into a deep sleep.

XXXX

Waking up, I remembered to be very gentle, to place Isabella in her previous state before I placed her in the fridge. She was stiff now, but she won't be for long. Rigor mortis goes away after a while. Like forty-eight hours.

Freshly embalmed, too, I needed to be extra careful—more so than if she wasn't. The formaldehyde needed to settle, needed to preserve her.

"I love you…" It was the first time I'd said it, and I wasn't nervous. She deserved to hear those words. "I love you…" My hand drifted over the metallic door, and I promised to see her later on.

No one suspected a thing when I drove into town. Emmett McCarty and his wife Rosalie, who run the crematorium, expressed their condolences.

After I filled out the forms, Emmett tried to show me a selection of urns.

A Ziplock bag was too good for Carlisle Cullen, but I never said that.

I picked out a plain, green vase with a glossy glaze over it. What's that? Marble? I thought that's what it was, but I truly didn't care.

Mourning Carlisle Cullen took a lot of work, and I was exhausted by the time I got home. Meanwhile, it was still early. The flowers for Isabella's viewing would start to be delivered soon. I had to set up the large room, get Isabella ready…all for the morning.

That didn't allot us much quality time today, but soon…

Meticulous in my details, I started to get everything ready, and I left Isabella's prep work for last.

XXXX

It was around midnight when I'd finished putting on her makeup.

It was flawless.

Her skin had a creamy tone; it almost matched her dress. She had blush on her cheeks for more color, and I placed light pink gloss on her lips.

"You're gorgeous, baby." I folded her arms across her chest before I lifted her from the table. "Breathtaking." My own breath caught, and my overwhelming need for her was almost paralyzing.

"We can't…we have to wait." Disappointed, I eased her down into her coffin, and then I perfected her hair—made sure it flared nicely around her shoulders.

"My sleeping beauty…" I placed my hand on top of hers.

Just because we couldn't snuggle tonight didn't mean I was going to leave her alone.

With the rest of the room set for tomorrow, the flower arrangements flanking Isabella on all sides…

My God…

It was stunning.

Content, but still anxious for my love's touch, I slept underneath her casket.

The skirt that surrounded the stand had closed off all the light.

It was almost as if we were sharing a plot, and that…

I fell asleep wearing a smile.

XXXXX

The next morning, I awoke with a start.

Today was the day.

It was Isabella's day.

The day we'd waited for.

Wearing the nicest black suit I owned, I welcomed people into my home by shaking hands and giving polite smiles. After Charles and Renee Swan had their time alone with Bella, the room quickly filled up.

That guy Jacob was the first to arrive, and he pissed me off.

He was all crying and shit, about to throw himself onto the coffin.

"Asshole," I muttered under my breath, but I had to keep my eyes on him.

Casket leapers are no joke!

"I'm sorry for your loss." I placed my hands on his shoulders to be consoling.

He nodded, crying his eyes out and kneeling before my love.

She deserved to be worshipped; for all these people who knew her in life to pay their respects, wish her a glorious afterlife…

With me.

When I found myself smiling down to her, I was reminded of the asshole I was pretending to soothe. "There, there…" I patted his back.

Jacob was a lot more docile than I'd imagined. I thought he'd get aggressive, but he didn't do that—none of that. He quietly took a seat in the front row, and I stood off to the side.

The first viewing passed in a flash, and my eyes always had a way of finding Isabella.

She was almost too beautiful in that dress, surrounded by flowers…

By the time the second viewing rolled around, I couldn't wait for these motherfuckers to leave my house.

To leave us…

Alone.

Her family and friends were crying, mourning their loss, and I was a panting, jittery mess for other reasons.

I ached to touch her.

I ached to be closer.

I ached to speak to her.

When it got to be too much, I excused myself and inhaled a much needed breath—air that didn't taste like oranges.

Citrus is the only thing that hides the scent of formaldehyde.

The sun was beginning to set, the crickets were serenading me, and the cool breeze provided a reprieve.

Chief Swan joined me on the porch. "Your father would have been proud." He patted my back.

"Thank you," I said.

"She looks…beautiful." His breaths were shaky.

I shrugged. "She's a very beautiful girl, sir…I didn't have to do much."

"Thank you." He sniffled, slowly walking toward his car.

Many others started to leave, too, and I was excited.

But the last person to leave…

Jacob.

He stayed seated as I started to pick up the folding chairs to put them away.

It was a hint that I was closing up.

I wanted him gone.

"I'm sorry," he whispered.

"Take your time." I furrowed my brow and continued my task.

Jacob got to his feet. "Tomorrow…be-before the burial, will I be able to see her one last time?" he asked.

My heart leapt into my throat. "Of course."

Of course that fucked with my original plan, but people needing to see their loved one right before burial isn't a foreign concept.

"Before we head toward the cemetery, before I close the casket…" I trailed off and hoped he caught my drift.

"Thank you." He turned from me, bending low to place a kiss on my Bella's lips.

Blind fury enraged me, and I lifted a chair—hoping the blow would knock him out.

But I knew it wouldn't.

Placing the folding chair down, I held my breath until he faced me and headed to the exit.

Once he was gone, I ran to all the doors to make sure they were locked and secure.

Then I raced back to Bella.

"That dog messed up your lipstick." I rubbed the stick of gloss against my palm to warm it, so it would glaze her delicious lips with ease. "Perfect." I placed my hand on hers. "I know…it's been a long day . . . I'm sorry you had to see your family cry."

Isabella, at peace and looking beautiful, brought more joyous tears to my eyes.

"Soon, my love…soon," I whispered, my lips lingering on her cold cheek.

XXXX

The day of Isabella's burial tested my impulse control immensely.

Jacob kissed her again, which made me want to puke.

I lowered her down, closed the casket, and then I rolled her outside—to load her into the hearse.

It took all the willpower in the world not to keep driving past the cemetery.

With the procession of cars on my tail, I could do no such thing.

I couldn't even watch as they lowered her into the ground.

I couldn't…

It broke my heart something fierce, and I was the last to leave today.

It was my job to see it through.

"Soon, my love . . . soon," I whispered, leaving the burial ground.

Since I wanted to rest, I decided to go home.

Nightfall was only so many hours away, and I needed my strength.

I had a lot of digging to do.

So we could be together…

Soon, my love . . . soon.

The End.


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