I woke up at seven, and the apartment was quiet. I glanced over to find Edward still sleeping peacefully beside me. Usually the pain would have woken him by now and he would have crept from the bed in search of medication and the bathroom, and then he would have ended up on the couch, not wanting to wake me before I needed to be up—but not today.

I slid off the bed carefully, doing everything I could not to disturb him, and went to the kitchen to put on some coffee. It was Saturday, so I would get to take care of Edward today. I absolutely hated that he had to fend for himself most days while I was at work, but there was nothing for it. He wasn't unwell enough to require a nurse or anything, but I just knew that between the chronic headaches and only being able to use one arm, it made for extra misery on top of what he was already suffering. I was beyond frustrated at the state of things, but I couldn't let him see that. I didn't want him to think I blamed him for it, because of course I didn't, and he didn't need any more stress.

The chronic headaches had started just a few days after he returned to Forks, and they were completely debilitating. He spent his days in the apartment, lying down for the most part and taking whatever the doctors prescribed to help him escape from the pain. He'd get a few hours' respite every day, usually in the evening, but the headache always came back by some early hour in the morning, and the cycle would repeat itself. He was so frustrated that some days, I wondered how he kept going. I kept a close eye on him to make sure he didn't cross the line into overdose or abuse, but honestly, they had him on such a high dose of fentanyl most of the time that there wasn't really any room for either.

The wounds on his shoulder and the potential nerve damage to his hand were almost an afterthought in the face of the headaches, but he still had to deal with all of that too. The bullet wounds were almost completely healed now, and eventually, he would just have quarter-sized scars front and back where the bullet entered and exited. The surgical scar was about three inches long and sat on his clavicle just above the bullet wound. The scar tissue there was raised and angry-looking—I hoped it would fade over time.

Because of the headaches, he hadn't made much progress on his PT thus far. I tried to sneak it in when I could—it was lucky that I lived with him, because I could work with him in the evenings during the few hours when he didn't have a headache—but he still had no motor control in any of his fingers or wrist and very little in his elbow. I had been devastated when he told me, because I knew just how serious this type of injury could be, and what the odds of him getting complete use of his hand back actually were. Needless to say, they weren't good. We had tried active therapy, but the stress and the concentration required to try to force his hand to obey him always brought the headache back early, so we quit trying. Until he could focus on his therapy, there wasn't much I could do but exercise the muscles in his arm and fingers for him and make sure they kept the same range of motion.

I drank my coffee and read the news off my iPad, and I was just starting to wonder if I should go check on Edward, when he came wandering down the hallway. The last two months had taken a lot out of him—even moreso just the last month that he'd been here in Forks. He had lost a good bit of weight, since he almost never felt up to eating anything, and the circles under his eyes from lack of sleep were so dark that he looked like he was wearing eye black. It made me want to cry just looking at him, but instead, I smiled brightly.

He smiled back at me, and I couldn't help but raise my eyebrows. Usually he was so focused on the pain he was in that I didn't get more than a grimace and an occasional soft touch as he walked by me. Something was different…

He read my confusion and smiled a little wider. "No headache this morning," he said, and I could tell that he was excited, even though he was trying to keep it low-key.

"Well, that's a pleasant turn of events," I observed, grinning back at him.

"Yes, particularly on a day that I get to spend with you," he added, coming over and kissing me on the cheek before heading to the fridge for some juice and his usual breakfast of cereal.

"Why don't you let me make you breakfast this morning?" I offered, thinking that he could definitely use any extra calories that I could get him to take while he was feeling better.

"Um…okay," he replied. "Since I do actually seem to be hungry this morning."

I jumped up from my chair and set about making him a big breakfast of eggs, sausage, and toast, and it smelled so good that I made some for myself too.

We sat and ate quietly together, and it felt…normal. He devoured what I put in front of him, and even had seconds. I was thrilled. It was such a struggle to get him to eat anything these days, and I had no influence over what he did at lunchtime, since I was at work.

"What do you want to do today?" I asked him as I was clearing away the dishes.

"Wow, the thought of actually having a choice in the matter is exciting." He grinned at me, but his gaze drifted far away as the smile dissolved from his face. "But I better not press my luck. Maybe we should just stay around here."

He was afraid of triggering a headache by going anywhere. I knew he was. I could tell he desperately wanted to leave the house and do something, but he also wanted today to be pain-free, and I knew he'd be furious with himself if he did something to push the envelope and ended up hurting again. I gave him a half-smile and swallowed my heartbreak.

"We haven't had a day lounging around the house together in quite a while. I'm content to just do that," I said smoothly, wanting to get the message across that he wasn't disappointing me.

"Are you sure?" he asked, almost begging me to talk him into going out, but I wasn't going to bite. To be honest, I didn't want to upset whatever delicate balance had allowed today to happen, either.

"Yeah, let's sit around and watch movies," I replied, grinning at him.

He seemed satisfied with my response, because he grinned right back and carried his own plate over to the sink.

We both showered and dressed in sweats and t-shirts. I had thought about paying him a visit when he was in the shower, but I hadn't been invited and I didn't want to push. Since the headaches had begun, he'd shown no interest in anything but the occasional cuddle, and I didn't want him to think I was expecting any more from him right now.

When I emerged from the bathroom, I found him sitting on the couch in the living room, flipping through channels. A brilliant smile lit up his face when he saw me, and my stomach twinged when he gave me his patented "come hither" motion.

I grinned back and sat down beside him. He reached over and laid his hand along my jaw, gently pulling me closer until our lips met. We kissed softly for a few moments, and although it made my head swim and all my girly bits come alive, I resisted the urge to deepen the kiss.

He angled his head a little and parted his lips, seeking entry into my mouth. I allowed it, giving over to the flutter in my stomach for a moment and turning to face him, my hands poised to assault his hair as they usually would. I stopped mid-motion, my hands hanging in mid-air, and he couldn't help but notice. He pulled back a little and opened his eyes, his brow furrowing in confusion.

"What is it?"

Caught out like that, I was embarrassed. I dropped my hands to my sides and stared down at my lap.

His fingers made their way under my chin, forcing me to raise my eyes to him. His deep green eyes held me spellbound as he whispered, "Please?"

I weighed my options a moment and decided that the truth was best, even if it pissed him off. "I'm…afraid to touch you. I don't want to trigger another headache—"

He took a deep breath and blew it out forcefully, trying to contain his frustration, but failing miserably. "Can I ask you a favor today?" he asked, the edge in his voice unmistakable. "Can you please treat me as you normally would if none of this had happened? If something sets off a headache, well then, it does. I…hate…that everyone feels like they need to walk on eggshells around me. I'm feeling better today, and I want things to be normal for once. I've barely had a normal day since I was shot, and to help me keep my sanity," and his voice rose as he grated out the last word, "I think I really need one."

"I'm sorry. I just didn't want to do anything to cause you any more pain," I explained. "I…understand what you mean about a normal day, though."

He gave me a small smile. "Thank you, and I'm sorry for showing my frustration. I'll try to handle it better."

I reached up and caressed the side of his face, letting my fingers wander into his hair. He leaned into my touch, closing his eyes as a soft smile spread over his lips.

"God, I've missed this," he said longingly.

"Me too," I replied, and I realized my mistake the moment the words passed my lips. Well, that lasted a whole thirty seconds…

"Bella, I'm so sorry—" he began, but I cut him off before he could really get going.

"Edward, this isn't your fault! I feel sorry for you, that you're having all this pain. And this happened when you were saving my life, remember?"

"No, this happened when I was saving your life," he answered, pointing to his shoulder.

"This" —he pointed to his head— "happened when my old life caught up to me and managed to drag you down too."

"I fail to see the difference," I retorted. "Both happened at the same time, and neither were even close to your fault."

"Whatever," he said angrily.

I knew this was going nowhere good, so I decided to nip it in the bud. I reached up and caressed his face again, before moving to pull his head into my lap.

He looked at me suspiciously, but he allowed it, wincing a little as he adjusted his arm in the sling. Soon, he was lying across my knees as I gently ran my fingers through his hair. I felt his neck and shoulders relax, and he angled his head so I would rub the spots he wanted. Within a few minutes, he fell into a peaceful sleep. I knew he wanted to be awake and to spend the day with me, but there wasn't a chance in hell that I was going to wake him. This morning and now was the most peaceful rest I'd seen him get in a month. The headaches only allowed him a few hours of peace, and most of the time, he couldn't even sleep then due to insomnia. And when he did manage to sleep, he was restless.

He slept for about an hour while I alternated between running my fingers gently through his hair and flipping channels aimlessly. Suddenly, he jumped a little, rolling back against my stomach to look up at me.

"I fell asleep, didn't I?" he asked, but it sounded rather rhetorical.

"Yes," I confirmed. "But that's fine."

"I'm sorry, Bella," he said, pushing himself up into a sitting position. "I'll sit up so it's easier to stay awake."

"Honestly, Edward, it's—"

"Well it's not fine with me," he interjected, taking my hand in his and resting it on my knee.

I sighed and went back to flipping channels, and when I looked over less than five minutes later, he was asleep again, his head resting back on the couch cushion. I chuckled softly and shook my head. He must really need the rest.

I sat with him for another hour until lunchtime, and then I got up and straightened up the bedroom and put in some laundry. By one o'clock, I was starting to get hungry again, so I decided to make us some lunch. I had been planning to make clam chowder for a few days now, and I hadn't gotten around to it, so I decided that now was as good a time as any. I prepared the soup and ladled it into bowls, the steam rising and spreading the delicious aroma around the apartment. I was surprised that the smell wasn't enough to rouse Edward.

I looked over at him, and he was still sprawled on the couch, his head thrown back and his breathing deep. I hated to wake him, but I wanted to make sure he ate today, and I knew he was going to be pissed if I let him sleep the whole day away. I walked over and sat beside him.

"Edward," I said softly, touching his good shoulder gently.

He opened his eyes blearily and looked around, then closed them again. "Dammit," he swore. "This is not how I wanted to spend my day."

I frowned at him for a moment, then tried to reason with him. "I know, but obviously you're tired. This is the most peaceful sleep I've seen you get in weeks, and I think you need it."

"All I do is fucking sleep or wish that I could be sleeping to get away from the pain. This is no way to live," he answered grouchily, a scowl marring his normally angelic features.

"I know it's not, but what can we do? Things will get better. It's just going to take t—"

"Don't say it," he interjected. "Just…don't say it."

I frowned at him again, but kept my mouth shut. I imagined that after eight months of hearing that off and on, anyone would get tired of it.

He put his hand over his eyes. "Shit! I'm sorry, Bella. I'm just so fucking frustrated! I feel like I have no control right now, and I'm at the mercy of these goddamn headaches! This is worse than anything else I've had to deal with—"

"Really?" I interrupted. I was surprised to hear him say that, considering everything else he'd been through.

"Oh, hell yes," he replied vehemently. "At least with my ribs and my knee, and even my shoulder, the pain would lessen if I stayed still, and I could distract myself. But this, this is right here in my head, and I can't think of anything else! There's just no way to distract myself from it—no escape…" He trailed off, his eyes losing focus.

Speaking of distraction, I needed to provide one right now… "Really? This is even worse than those first few weeks in the hospital, before I knew you?"

"Well, I guess those first few weeks when it hurt to breathe were worse," he conceded. "But my head was so messed up then that I really don't remember most of that time very well."

"Do you remember the first time we met?" I asked, a bit stunned to think that there might be portions of our time together that he didn't remember. Somehow, I had thought that when he got his memory back, it all came back.

"No, actually, not the very first time. I remember the second time when you told me that you worked with me the Monday before, but that Monday has never come back."

I chuckled. "Well, that's probably good. You were an asshole that day." Distraction proceeding according to plan…

He raised his eyebrows and smirked at me. "I was? Well, I was kind of having a rough time then."

"I know. I came that Wednesday, ready to tear you a new one, but when you didn't even remember meeting me, I couldn't very well give you hell for it."

"So that's what saved me… I'll have to keep that in mind for the future," he replied, smirking.

"I'm kind of hoping that your memory problems are a thing of the past now, so it'll be a little hard to use that one again," I teased.

"At least some problem of mine is in my past. It seems like the rest of them are content to stick around indefinitely." He angled his chin down and away from me, sighing and pursing his lips as his gaze fell on his useless arm. He closed his eyes, and I saw a flash of white as his teeth bit into his lip. And here we were, right back where we started. Dammit.

I caressed his cheek gently. "Oh, baby, I know it's tough right now, but it'll get better, I promise." But I didn't think he was even listening. He was still lost in his own spiraling thoughts.

"And what about you? I came back here to be with you while I recover, and I can't even spend time with you! Christ, look at the last four months for you, since we've been dating. For half of that time, I've been either in the hospital, in Chicago, or in so much pain from these goddamn headaches that I can't pay attention to anything else. It's not fair to you, and—"

"Okay, Edward," I interrupted him. "Let me tell you how I see it. Let's look at your last eight months. You spent two of them in the hospital, seriously injured and trying to recover; two of them living here with me and stressed about who you were; then you figured out you were a drug dealer and dealt with all the hell that went along with that; then we dated for two months, which I think we both agree were pretty good; and then you got shot and spent a few more weeks in the hospital, and now you're dealing with chronic headaches and the nerve damage to your shoulder."

"Shit, when you put it together like that—" he began, but I cut him off again.

"Right, and I love you, so all I see is you and not me, and I would do anything, anything to make things even the slightest bit easier for you, because you deserve so much better than this. That is how I see it, and the last thing I want is for you to be worried about how unfair this is to me. We're in this together, and you need to stop thinking of things as you or me and start thinking of them as us. I don't want you to worry about me anymore. Let's focus on getting you through these headaches so you can get better. And today? Today, let's just enjoy being together, because it's a gift to have this time—this, oasis in the middle of the desert. Just…relax, okay?"

He ducked his head, but when he looked up, there was a smirk on his face. "Have I ever told you how much I love it when you try to take charge and save me from myself?"

"No, I don't believe you have," I replied brusquely. "But I'll take that as leave to keep doing it, because you seem to need it from time to time."

"You're right, I do," he conceded, "and you're the first person I've ever known that's been able to do it successfully. My mom is eager to make your acquaintance, as the first woman on the planet who doesn't put up with my shit."

I grinned at him smugly.

His smirk faded a bit, and I knew it was coming. Three…two…one…

"Bella, are you sure…"

My fingers were over his lips before he could get any further, and he stared at me with those incredible emerald green eyes, waiting. I leaned over and replaced my fingers with my lips, kissing him gently as my stomach twinged and my head swam.

"You're sure," he breathed against my lips as he deepened the kiss, his tongue searching out mine as he pulled me closer with his good arm. Oh God, it had been way too long since we'd kissed like this, and I found myself burying my fingers in his hair as our tongues reacquainted themselves. He moaned softly against my lips, and I knew it was time to stop if we weren't going to go any further, and we definitely weren't going to go any further right now, with lunch on the table.

I pulled back just a little, and he made to pull me to him again, but I held firm. "I woke you up because lunch was ready. It's gonna be a little cold now…"

"Well, if that's the case, then it could be a little colder," he reasoned, again trying to pull me back toward him.

"No, let's eat. I'm hungry," I told him, standing up and grabbing his hand to pull him with me.

He raised an eyebrow at me, but he didn't seem too disappointed as he followed me over to the table.

After lunch, we went back to sitting on the couch, and this time, he was much more awake. We flipped channels for a little while, and then I put in "The Princess Bride" and we laughed our way through it as we quoted lines back and forth to each other. He took off his sling and rested his arm on the arm of the couch so I could lay across his lap, cuddling the way that we used to do before. I sighed in contentment as he wrapped his arm around my stomach, squeezing unconsciously just a little as he watched the movie.

After a while, his hand crept up a bit, and he began to slowly massage my breast, squeezing gently and rubbing until he could feel my nipple harden through my bra. He glanced down at me casually, and then said hand slid down to find the hem of my shirt and slip underneath, his fingers caressing my stomach as they made their way back up to cup my breast. I'd been ignoring him up until that point, but now I looked up at him out of the corner of my eye and saw that he'd given up on the movie—he was staring down at me with a look in his eyes that I'd come to know quite well.

I turned on to my back and brought one hand up to caress his face, the freshly shaven skin soft and smooth under my touch. I couldn't decide which I liked better—the feel of his soft stubble or the smoothness—but I was happy to just be touching him today.

I sat up and leaned in to kiss him, one hand resting along his jaw and the other going for his wild hair. As he slid his arm around my waist, I felt his left shoulder twitch and heard his rapid intake of breath. I pulled back immediately. "Did I hurt you?" I asked.

He looked down, as if he were embarrassed. "No, I just…forgot for a second that I can't put that arm around you. This sucks. Even though I couldn't walk when my knee was messed up, at least I could still hold you," he fretted.

"You're doing just fine, and we're going to fix that arm as soon as possible. I consider it my personal mission in life," I told him sincerely.

"I bet you do," he answered, a smile playing at the corners of his lips.

"But let's not talk about that now," I said, trailing kisses up the left side of his jaw.

He sighed appreciatively as he laid his head back against the couch, and I took full advantage of the access to his neck—feathering kisses over every inch of skin before switching to the other side.

His breathing started to accelerate, and his eyes popped open in surprise as I straddled him, putting my hands on either side of his face and thrusting my tongue into his willing mouth. His eyes fluttered closed on a whimper against my lips, and he responded by pulling me even closer as he devoured me.

My pussy clenched as I felt his erection underneath me, but I resisted the urge to grind against him. I wanted this, but I wanted him to have a good day even more, and I wasn't going to do anything that might interfere with that.

As the intensity built and we both panted harshly as we kissed, I felt him shift under me and groan deeply as his cock ground against my center. It was time to stop. I lifted my hips a bit as I kissed him a little more softly, but he noticed the difference immediately. He pulled back abruptly and stared at me, his expression confused.

"Why are you…slowing down? Don't you want to—"

"Of course I do!" I exclaimed, interrupting him. "But do you really think—"

"Oh, Bella, please?" he begged, his eyes piercing me with their desperation and need. "I've been so fucking miserable since I came back here—I haven't had a thought about sex since… Jesus, since the day of the shooting! I want you; I've never stopped wanting you, but—"

"Edward, stop," I said, putting my finger over his lips. "I know. None of this is your fault. After what you did, you deserve so much fucking better than this!" My voice rose as I said it, and I knew I shouldn't go there. Nothing could be done to change the way things were right now, and I was just going to get frustrated and make Edward upset, and that was the very last thing I wanted to do today. I looked into his pleading eyes and took a deep breath. "Okay, but we're going do this my way. And you're going to tell me if I do anything to hurt you."

"All right," he eagerly agreed, the edge of desperation still clinging to his words.

I slid backwards off his knees and extended my hand to him. A plan was starting to form in my mind, and I smirked a little as I realized that this could turn out to be an excellent day. He grinned back at me, clearly pleased, and allowed me to lead him back to our bedroom.

As soon as I was beside the bed, I faced him and began to gently pull the hem of his shirt upward. His shoulder was still pretty tender, and I didn't want to be trying to get his shirt off in the heat of passion—I was sure that we'd end up hurting him, even if at the time, he didn't seem to mind.

He smiled a little sadly as he pulled his shirt over his head from the back, and I pulled it over his good shoulder. He winced as he lifted the material over his injured arm, but I distracted him immediately by crushing my lips against his before his shirt even hit the floor.

He responded immediately, his fingers splaying up my back as he pulled me closer, my hands tangling in his hair. The heat from his chest and arm radiated through my shirt, and the scent of his aftershave enveloped me—I felt like I was truly home for the first time in weeks.

His hand fisted the back of my shirt for a moment, and then he stepped back, grabbing the hem of my shirt and ripping it over my head in one smooth motion, his fingers twisting the hooks of my bra expertly so that it fell between us seconds after my shirt.

His eyes drank me in as they rose slowly to my breasts, my nipples hardening under the heat of his gaze. "Oh, how I wish—"

But I wasn't going to let him go there—not now. I stepped closer and palmed his erection, drowning his regret in the groan of pleasure I pulled from him. Even with his eyes closed, his hand found its way to my breast, and I sucked in a ragged breath as his thumb caressed my nipple, my belly twinging giddily as I squirmed against his hand.

I opened my eyes to find him staring at me again, but this time, there was no regret, only love and desire. He bent down and sucked my nipple into his mouth, rolling his tongue gently over it and then swirling, just the way I liked it. I whimpered a little, but I wanted something to play with too. My hands unerringly found the waistband of his sweats, my fingers delving greedily until they wrapped around smooth, tender skin. He gasped, his hand going to my waist and attempting to clumsily slide my sweats over my hip bones. It was hard using only one hand, so I grabbed the waistband from the other side and helped him before he could get frustrated.

He released my nipple as his fingers encountered my panties, and he looked up at me with lust burning in his eyes. "I thought you didn't think this was a good idea?" he whispered in my ear, rolling the black satin lazily between his fingers.

"Well…it's always better to be prepared," I explained as he quirked an eyebrow at me. "You know, just in case."

"What? In case a random guy—oohhhh…"

This conversation was much less interesting than what I wanted to be doing, so I'd stroked firmly down his cock.

He halted mid-sentence to draw in a rapid breath and exhaled with a low moan. Then he chuckled. "That's twice now," he observed, grabbing my chin between his thumb and forefinger. "You seem to think that grabbing my cock is an effective means to shut me up."

"Well, obviously it's not, since you just keep talking. And you're wearing too many clothes," I complained as I pulled down his boxers and sweats and stepped out of my own. Now the only clothing on either of us was my black satin panties, and I intended to keep it that way, at least for a little while.

I molded myself to him, making sure my satin-covered pussy slid against his cock, and the sound that came from him was almost inhuman. I felt his knees buckle and I curled an arm around him as he regained his footing, his eyes still closed and his breathing harsh.

"Holy fuck, Bella. I can't take that standing up," he breathed, grabbing the edge of the bed behind him for support.

I chuckled as my lips curled into a smirk. "Well, let's see how you take it lying down, then."

His eyes widened, and the hunger I saw there made my breath catch. I could tell he wanted to just tackle me and have his way with me, but that really wasn't an option right now.

"Why don't you let me make you feel good today?" I suggested, my hand coming up to caress his jaw. "Things have been so difficult for you lately, and I know your shoulder hurts more than you let on—let me have my way with you this time, hmm?"

"Bella," he said warningly. I knew he was about to launch into an explanation of why he should do something for me today, so I turned on the charm, and my…other whiles.

"Oh, we'll still have sex and I'll still get mine. Just…let me do things my way, okay?" I asked persuasively, my hand stroking him lazily.


"Do I really need to point out that you're not in any shape to do this your way? And besides, it's what I really want today. When do I ever ask you for anything?"

He sighed in exasperation, but a smile played at his lips. "I do believe I've heard that one before," he declared. "And it seems to work for you every time."

I grinned at him triumphantly as I scooted around him to pull the covers down on the bed. I directed him to lie down in the center of the mattress, and I arranged the pillows so he had one under his head and one supporting his injured arm, since I knew that the incision scar on his clavicle pulled when his arm wasn't supported. He only winced a little as he settled himself, but I captured his undivided attention as I moved to stand at the foot of the bed.

I stared at him for a moment before my hand crept up between my breasts as my eyes slid closed. I cupped my own breast and massaged gently, my breathing becoming heavier as I pinched at my nipple a bit, causing it to harden. I switched to the other side, giving it the same treatment, a moan escaping me as I tilted my head back, my chin lifting to expose my neck. Then my hand slithered down to rest at the top of my panties and my eyes flashed open.

Edward's eyes were wide as saucers as he watched me, and there was so much need reflected there that I was amazed he hadn't sprung from the bed. His good hand was stroking his cock rather determinedly, and as I watched he gave an audible swallow.

Heat surged between my legs as I watched him pleasure himself, and I slipped my hand beneath the satin to finger my clit. After a few good strokes, I brought my fingers up to my mouth, gently sucking on them while I stared at him with hooded eyes.

Edward's eyes got even wider, if that was possible, and his low groan made my pussy clench. "Jesus, Bella," he breathed.

Suddenly, I couldn't stand to be that far away from him, but I wasn't done yet. I turned around and slid my panties slowly over my ass, letting them drop as I stepped around to face him again. I picked them up from the floor, and as I crawled onto the bed, I ran the smooth satin up the inside of his leg. He shivered deliciously when I reached his inner thigh, so I stopped there for a moment to run the material teasingly over his skin. His breath came in soft gasps as I wandered closer to his cock with each pass, and I felt him go rigid and pin me with his gaze when he figured out what I was going to do.

On the next circle, I stroked up the length of his cock with the satin, and he cried out, burying his hand in his hair as he writhed his hips under my hands. "Oh God…that was…fuck!" he panted, trying to get himself under control.

Good Lord, why hadn't I done this sooner?! Watching him come undone over what I was doing to him was the hottest fucking thing ever, and I wanted more, right now.

I slid the satin back down, and he shivered again. It was like a livewire to my pussy, and warmth and wetness flooded me.

I slid the satin back up, and his response was as intense as the first time, the pleasure etched so clearly on his face and ringing in his voice that I almost came just watching him.

"You're only going to get one or two more of those," he warned me breathlessly, but I couldn't tell if that meant I should stop or forge ahead. I started a slow rhythm over him, the satin clutched firmly in my hand, and after three more strokes, he was stilling me, his breathing so labored that I wondered if he was actually in pain. When he mastered himself enough to open his eyes, he pulled me to him, crushing his lips against mine and thrusting his tongue into my mouth hungrily. I pressed as close to him as I could, the feel of his body flush with mine setting my already heated skin ablaze, and I kissed him with all the passion and love that was inside of me. We explored each other for long moments as he retreated from the edge, and eventually, he broke off the kiss to look at me.

His bright green eyes pierced me with an emotion I'd never seen from him before. Awe? Wonder? "That was the hottest thing anyone has ever done to me," he declared. "From you touching yourself to the satin—Jesus! I almost came at least four times there, but there was no way that I wanted it to end."

I grinned at him wickedly. "Are you ready for more?"

"I hope my heart can take it," he muttered, but his smirk said, "Oh hell yeah."

I sat up and stroked him a few times, without the satin this time, and the shift of his hips told me he was still pretty worked up. I thought about tasting him, but I knew if I did that, it would be the last thing we did, and I wanted him inside me.

I straddled his hips, raising myself on my knees so I hovered just above his cock. As I looked down at it, I could see the bead of moisture balanced on the tip, and I longed to taste it. I ran my tongue over my lower lip unconsciously, Edward's guttural moan breaking the silence as I raised my eyes to him. I had never seen him look at me with that much desperate need. "Please, Bella!" he begged, his voice rough.

I drew in a harsh breath as heat and desire flared in my chest and spread rapidly down to my center. I lowered myself on to him, both of us exhaling slowly as I slid all the way down. The fingers of his good hand scraped against my thigh as I rose slowly back up, and I set a slow but steady rhythm up and down, my eyes never leaving his. He started to pant after a moment or two, and his hips flexed to meet my downstrokes. Soon, his pants gave way to moans of pleasure, his eyes falling closed as the sensations overwhelmed him.

That was exactly what I needed—the sounds Edward made while we made love sent shivers down my spine. I swear every time he moaned, I could feel it in my clit—a delicious tightening that brought me closer and closer… And suddenly, my finger was there, rubbing and twisting as I rode him, the sounds of his pleasure driving me in tighter spirals… At that moment, Edward opened his eyes, first flitting up to mine and then down to my fingers on my clit, and his face contorted on a harsh cry as he pulsed into me. The sound struck me like lightning, and I gasped raggedly as my orgasm took me, my motion grinding to a halt as the spikes of pleasure rolled over me. His hips bucked slowly under me as he rode the last waves of his pleasure, and I held myself in place until he finally stilled.

I lifted up and lay down beside him, nestling my shoulder under his good arm and cuddling in as close as I could get. I felt his breath on my forehead as he looked down at me.

"I love you so much, Bella. That was…damn. Thinking of that will keep me going for a while, even if the headache is back tomorrow."

I lifted my head to gaze into his fathomless green eyes. "I love you so much, too, Edward. And I promise we can do that again, anytime that you feel up to it."

"Ohhh…" he groaned appreciatively. "Now there's some motivation!"

I grinned against his chest and hummed contentedly, then reached down and pulled the sheet up over us. We drifted in and out of sleep for a while, until I heard Edward groan, and this time, it wasn't in pleasure.

"Headache?" I inquired softly, hoping to God I was wrong.

"This one's a migraine," he answered tightly, his eyebrows already taking up their characteristic wrinkle.

"How do you know?" I asked. There was that big of a difference?

"The pain is different—the headaches from the concussion are constant, but the pain of a migraine is throbbing," he replied, tucking his chin against his chest and bringing his hand up to gently massage his forehead and temple. "I bet the other pain only stopped because the migraine was coming on… Oh God, Bella, I don't know how much longer I can do this…"

My heart ached for him so badly that my chest was tight, and tears gathered in the corners of my eyes. "You've just got to hang on. It has to get better," I told him. "And today was a good day up until now. We had a nice day, didn't we?"

"Yeah," he replied, and I saw his lips turn up into a half-smile, but I knew I had already lost him to the pain, and the respite that we'd had today was over. Goddammit, when was this going to get better?