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Breaking Dawn till Dusk

Edward and Bella have been married for 3 months. Edward is well into his first semester of law school at Washington State and it is time for some major changes to take place in their lives. Things, however, do not go exactly as planned.

1. Edward’s POV: Phone Call Three months into my marriage and fourteen weeks into my first semester of law school, I was blissfully happy with one and rapidly beginning to regret the other. Medical school had stimulated my brain, challenged me time and time again. A true interest in the field, and of course a real longing to follow in the courageous and hardworking footsteps of Carlisle, had got me through, not once but twice. I had come to the bitter realisation many years ago that I was not capable of practising medicine – studying it would have to be enough. But times change, and life constantly brings with it new experiences and challenges. I was beginning to wonder if the dream of actually practising as a doctor was within reach. In the past two years, my tolerance of blood and my self control had improved beyond belief. Bella becoming a part of my life – the most important and loving part – was the reason. Dr Edward Cullen …… it certainly had a ring to it! Carlisle could easily mentor me through the practical aspects, just as I had mentored him through the theoretical side of things for many years now. Washington State offered a medical degree …. third time around I was guaranteed high distinctions in every subject ……… why was I hesitating? What was stopping me, for heaven’s sake! I had all the time in the world, didn’t I? Besides, the law was so damned boring! I glanced at my watch as the professor’s voice droned on and on. Would this never end? Were there really people out there that dreamed of a career in litigation? I pitied them. At last it was two o’clock, and as soon as the lecturer had left the room I snatched the cell phone out of my jacket pocket and flipped it open. I hit “7” on speed dial and listened as the phone rang 190 kilometres away in Newton’s Outdoors Sporting Goods. After several rings the phone was answered by Karen Newton’s youthful and polite voice, bringing forth a distasteful and unwelcoming image of her heavily made up face and her bottle-blonde immaculate hairdo. “Newton’s Sporting Goods, may I help you?” “Hello Mrs Newton, it’s Edward here”, I fought to keep the grimace out of my voice. “Could I have a quick word with Bella, if she’s not serving?” “Well! Edward …. hello!” she exclaimed. “Didn’t she call you? Honestly, she’s so vague at times …. such a darling, really. I would have thought she’d got in touch with you”. “About what?” I was confused and somewhat impatient. Karen Newton often tested the limits of my patience. “About going home”, she replied. “She was dreadfully pale this morning, and just before lunch she nearly passed out! If it hadn’t been for my Mike …….well I don’t know what would have happened. He caught her just before she hit the floor! I told him to drop her home and make sure she got to bed all right”. Her voice dropped to a hesitant whisper. “Not that it’s any of my business, of course, but there isn’t a chance that she could be ……. well …… expecting, is there?” I gripped the cell phone tightly in my hand and fought down the sudden panic that always accompanied any news about Bella being hurt or suffering in any way. It was a wonder, sometimes, that she managed to make it through an entire day without some type of injury. “Danger magnet” was an immense understatement to anyone familiar with Bella and her endearing clumsiness. “No, no chance of that, Mrs Newton”, I responded briskly. “I’ll catch up with her at home – please thank Mike for me”. “Well, of course I will! Its just that I’ve seen so many expectant mothers …….”. I ended the phone call, too impatient to indulge in her latest theory. I had little time for people so engrossed in gossip that they allowed it to rule their existence, and I couldn’t help wondering exactly how long it would take before the entire population of Forks was informed of the Cullens’ “impending parenthood”. I immediately pressed “1” on my speed dial and waited, growing more concerned by the second, as Bella’s cell phone rang out. I walked quickly to where I had parked the volvo, jumping into the driver’s seat and gunning the engine. I fought back the anxiety crawling its way up from my stomach to my throat, turning the car for home and pressing the accelerator to the floor. * * * “Bella?”, I called loudly as I closed the front door behind me. I raced up the staircase, straining to hear her reply but only encountering an ominous silence. The door to our bedroom was closed, and without hesitating I pushed it open, fearing the worst as I always seemed to do when it came to my beautiful and somewhat delightfully accident-prone Bella. She was in bed, and I breathed a sigh of relief as I moved towards her. Curled on her side, she lay on top of the covers, her knees pressed up towards her chest and her arms wrapped tightly around her abdomen. Her pallor was as pale as I had ever seen it, dark circles visible beneath her eyes, and the way she clutched at her stomach immediately led me to believe that she was in some kind of pain. I knew from experience that her monthly period always left her low on iron levels, and sometimes wracked her body with debilitating cramps, and this was the conclusion I came to as I sat beside her on the bed and gently cupped her pale face in my large hand, managing a smile as she opened her eyes and looked up at me, a mixture of confusion and relief in her expression. “Edward? I thought you had lectures all afternoon”, she spoke softly and I shrugged as my fingers curled protectively around hers. “I think I can keep up”, I told her and pressed my lips gently against her clenched hand. What’s wrong, sweetheart? What can I do to help?” “Nothing”, she shook her head slightly. “I’m just ….. tired, I guess”. Bella’s delicious scent was always stronger during those four to five days each month when she was having her period, but I was surprised to discover, as I bent over her, that this particular scent I had been expecting was absent. I kissed her lips softly, and was taken back when I saw what looked to be fear in her eyes as I met her gaze. “Tell me”, I encouraged her gently. “Is it cramps?” She nodded slowly, and I took both of her hands in mine and pulled them away from her stomach. “Straighten out your legs”, I told her and she did so obediently, uncurling her body and moving onto her back. Silently I unbuttoned her hipster jeans and pulled down the short zipper. I placed my cool hand onto her flat abdomen and began to rub in a firm but gentle circular motion, willing her body to relax under my touch. As I caressed her I watched her pale face, wondering if it was just my imagination or did it look thinner to me than usual. Had she lost weight or was I merely reacting because she all of a sudden appeared even more vulnerable to me than she normally did? “Bella”. I spoke softly. “Did you eat today? You missed breakfast, remember? What did you have for lunch?” There was a full minute’s silence before she replied. “I wasn’t hungry”. “So you last ate when?” I tried to keep the frustration out of my voice, but by the look of guilt on Bella’s face I assumed I had failed dismally. “Edward …. don’t ….” “When did you eat?” My left hand continued its gentle caresses whilst my voice unintentionally hardened. “Dammit Bella, no wonder you’re passing out! Why aren’t you looking after yourself?” “I am. I just ……” she took a deep breath. “I still feel a little queasy from that flu last week. I’ll eat when I’m hungry, Edward, I promise”. I sighed as I pressed my lips against her warm forehead. “I’ll heat up some of that chicken soup in the fridge. Esme made up a gallon of it for you and there’s still plenty left. Give me ten minutes and I’ll bring some up with a slice of toast, and if you don’t eat every damned spoonful I’ll call Esme and tell her you can’t stand her cooking. Oh, and I think you should know, you’ve got Karen Newton knitting baby bootees in between serving customers”. I expected a smile, and instead was shocked when she squeezed her eyes shut tightly and pulled away from my hands. She was breathing in and out quickly, and what little colour had been in her face drained away completely. “Bella? What …….. ?” Without a word she jumped off the bed and rushed towards the bathroom, her hand clamped tightly across her mouth. Seconds later I heard the unmistakable sound of retching. I followed her, pushing the bathroom door open slowly and stepping inside. Bella was on her knees beside the toilet, her hands clutched tightly around the seat, her dark hair covering her ashen face, looking as if she was steadily losing an ongoing battle to hold onto her consciousness. I noticed that the only thing she was bringing up was bile; there was obviously nothing in her stomach. I knelt down behind her and pulled her gently up against me, supporting her weight. She offered no resistance, as weak as she was, and leaned back against me. There was a fresh sheen of perspiration on her forehead and her eyes were tightly closed. The handtowel was within easy reach and I grabbed it, rinsing it briefly under the cold tap with one hand whilst I kept a firm hold on Bella with the other. I wiped her hot, flushed face, folding the towel and then pressing it against the back of her neck. “I’m sorry”, she whispered as I pushed the damp hair away from her brow. “For what?” I spoke soothingly. “I didn’t vomit on you, did I?” “No”, I managed a smile. “You missed me entirely. Just relax, okay? I’m going to take you back to bed. You need to sleep”. I picked her up easily in my arms and carried her through to our bedroom. I tucked her in and then sat beside her, my fingers brushing gently against her cheek. Bella’s eyes were closed, her breathing even although her face was still pale and drawn. Her fingers clutched my other hand and I swallowed, my throat tight with emotion. “I’ll stay home tomorrow”, I whispered as her eyes closed. “I’m not leaving you alone”. Her eyes struggled to open. “No, Edward, I’m okay! Please, please go on your trip. Promise me, okay?” “Let’s see how you are in the morning”, I sighed, and bent down to touch my lips against hers. “I love you, baby. Sleep well now”.

11. Interlude

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11. Edward’s POV:: Interlude

I drove home, one hand on the steering wheel, the other wrapped tightly around Bella’s waist. I wanted to keep her close, needed to feel her body against mine. During the past 22 months we had shared so many special moments – most of them positive, some painful and difficult to reflect upon – and yet, I could not recall ever feeling as close to Bella as I did at this very moment. Our wedding night, an unforgettable consummation of the love we felt for each other, came very, very close, but these emotions – so strong and binding – exceeded even that special moment when we had climaxed together, our minds, our bodies, our souls – as one.

There was a God – doubt no longer existed in my mind. I had seen evidence of His existence, of His miracle, with my own eyes. Our child, conceived against all belief and all odds, was my proof. He or she thrived, with a strong and resilient heartbeat, providing me at last with hope for an afterlife.

“I have a question,” Bella suddenly spoke up, crashing through my silent soliloquy. “Why do they call it morning sickness, when it actually lasts all freaking day?”

“Good question,” I murmured as I turned into the driveway that led to our cottage. “Some day I’ll run that one past Carlisle. In the meantime, do you need me to stop, or can you hold on for another three minutes?”

“No, I’m okay,” she shook her head. “Just a little queasy – I don’t feel like throwing up”.

I squeezed her hand. “Almost home, love. Think about something nice – anything that makes you smile. Think about just how much I love you.”

Her pale face lit up with her beautiful smile, and I caught my breath, unashamedly lovestruck.

I opened the car door for her and reached in, taking her hand to steady her as she climbed out. “Edward, really, I’m okay. I’m not an invalid.”

“Just being a gentleman; it’s got nothing to do with you being pregnant.”

“Liar”, she muttered under her breath.

“I heard that.”

The house was silent as I pushed the front door open. As was my habit, I immediately picked up the remote control to switch on the stereo. Inxs’s ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ filled the room, and as I still held Bella’s hand in mine, I gently pulled her close to my chest, wrapping my arms around her. We swayed to the ballad, and Bella rested her head against my shoulder, her arms around my neck.

“Feeling better?” I whispered, and she nodded. “Do you want to lie down for a while? You look tired.”

“Only if you lie down with me. But I don’t want to sleep.”

“Isabella Cullen,” I spoke disapprovingly, holding back the laughter. “What are you suggesting?”

To reply, she reached up on her toes and pressed her warm lips to mine. I took her face in both my hands and kissed her back, my fingers gently stroking her hair. Her mouth took on a new urgency and I responded, after a moment moving my lips down towards her throat, her collarbone, her neck, to allow her to breathe. Without thinking, I reached around her waist and pressed my hand against the small of her back, pulling her up close against my aroused body. My mouth returned to hers, and as she moaned softly I suddenly became aware of my erection, hard against her stomach. I instantly moved back, breaking our kiss and pressing my lips against the top of her head.

“I’m sorry, love,” I was breathless. “I didn’t think.”

“Sorry for what?” Her expression was confused.

“I got carried away, I …”

“I wanted you to get carried away,” Bella spoke quietly. “Can’t we get carried away together?”

I stared down at her, my eyes obviously showing my alarm. “Bella – we … we can’t …”

“Why not?”

“Its . . . you’re . . .” I was struggling here. “You know!”

“Edward, you’re not making any sense.”

I exhaled slowly. “Bella, I don’t think . . . I don’t want to hurt you. I don’t want to hurt the baby.”

Her voice was very calm. “You will not hurt me, or our baby. Edward, it’s perfectly safe – all the books say so.”

“Since when did you start reading books on pregnancy?” I had her there, and she knew it. “Aha!!”

“Okay, all right, I haven’t – yet. But it’s a well known fact, Edward. Everybody knows it!”

“Bella,” I sighed, “you’re very fragile right now, and . . .”

“I am not fragile, I am pregnant!”

“It’s the same thing!”

“No, it’s not. This isn’t the 19th century, Edward, it’s the 21st. I suppose that next you’ll be telling me I have to stay hidden away in this house until after the baby’s born, because you’re mortified that someone might see my huge, pregnant tummy!”

I frowned. “I’m not that old fashioned.”

“You could have fooled me!”

I opened my mouth, prepared to give back just as good as she gave, but Bella’s lips were suddenly on mine, and I completely forgot what I was about to say. My body was responding, whilst my mind was valiantly trying to intercede. Needless to say, my body was winning.

“Bella,” I panted as I pulled away from her, only to remove my lips from hers, brushing them carelessly against the top of her breast. “Please, sweetheart, let’s think this through.”

“Let’s not.” Her hands were suddenly unbuttoning my jeans, slowly pulling down the zipper, and I gasped as her hand wrapped around my erection, my willpower dissolving within seconds.

“Oh, Jesus . . .,” I reached down and pulled her skirt up to her waist, my fingers gentle against her skin as I pulled her panties down. She was aroused, wet and ready for me, but still I hesitated, unsure of my ability to hold back, to be as gentle as required, so as not to hurt Bella or our baby. I longed to plunge into her, to bring her to orgasm within moments, but I managed to pull my mouth from hers, to press my lips against her throat, to whisper how much I loved her, and to hope that, for right now, that was enough.

“Give me your cell phone.”

The request from Bella was unexpected. “What?”

“I mean it, Edward. I’m calling Carlisle.”

I was nonplussed. “And . . . why, exactly?”

“He’s a doctor,” Bella shrugged. “I’ll ask him if it’s safe to . . .”

“The hell you will!” I stared down at her beautiful, flushed face. “I’ll be damned if I’m going to wait for Carlisle’s approval to . . .”

“Then kiss me, and shut up.” The smile was one of victory, the tone of her voice jubilant, and I surrendered, my fingers going to the buttons on her blouse, then unfastening the black lace bra. “You are an unforgivable wretch,” I murmured as my hand reached between her legs and began to stroke, ever so gently. “You are very turned on right now, I can tell.”

“So are you,” Bella’s voice was husky, and I closed my eyes tightly, determined to take this slowly and carefully. “Please, Edward, make love to me – I can’t wait any longer.”

Slowly, I lowered her to the floor, the plush carpet soft beneath us. My mouth was on hers as my fingers brought her closer to her climax. “You have to tell me,” I whispered as I gently used my knee to push her thighs apart. “If I’m not gentle enough, if I’m hurting you. Promise me, Bella.”

“I promise,” she gasped as I entered her, and I paced myself, carefully thrusting forward, using all of my self-control, just as I had during our first intimate experience three months before, determined not to hurt her, not to cause any trauma. “Is this okay?” I managed to ask whilst my mouth devoured her breasts. I was vaguely aware of her urgent nod as she matched my rhythm, her fingertips gripping my shoulders tightly, and I could feel her orgasm building towards a climax, her breathing fast and shallow. “Oh God, oh God!”

I held her tightly against me as she climaxed, and within seconds I was releasing my own pent-up fluids, my hands braced tightly against the floor as I emptied myself into her. Experience, and extreme guilt, had taught me not to have my hands on Bella at this precise, uncontrolled moment. Her heart thudded erratically against my own silent chest, and I buried my face into her neck, gasping for air that was no longer required – old habits die hard.

I stayed, buried deep inside of her, until her heartbeat and respirations had somewhat returned to normal. I pulled away reluctantly, pressing my lips against hers as she sighed deeply, a smile of satisfaction on her glowing face.

“You are . . . dangerous,” I growled softly. “You set me up, didn’t you. And all this time, I thought I was the monster.”

“You give me way too much credit, Edward,” her smile widened. “I was only following your lead.”

My jaw dropped as my eyes widened and she laughed, her brown eyes teasing as she reached up to stroke my face. “There’s a positive in all of this, Edward. I feel so much better!”

I lifted one eyebrow. “So . . . this is the answer to your morning sickness – is that what you’re trying to tell me?”

“I think so. In fact . . . ” she paused dramatically, “I can feel it coming on again . . .”

“I’ll bet you can”, I muttered as I rolled her gently on top of me. “Well, we can’t have you throwing up, now can we . . .”

“Definitely not,” her lips were hard against mine and my body was quick to respond. “Make me feel better, Dr Cullen.”

“I’m working on it.” My hands and my mouth were suddenly busy, and somehow – without either of us noticing – the afternoon slipped into evening, followed by a moonless night and a breaking dawn.