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Perspective

Summary:
Edward told Bella he had talked with his father and brothers regarding their wedding night. This is my version of that missing moment from between Eclipse and Breaking Dawn and includes what Edward and Bella do to prepare for their first night together as husband and wife.


Notes:


35. Chapter 35

Rating 5/5   Word Count 5094   Review this Chapter

Bella and I remained on her couch talking and touching until just before five when she got up to go make dinner for her and her father. I joined her in the kitchen where she turned on the stove and took out various foods and equipment. She started humming to herself as she worked. Seeing her happy was something to be savored.

She chopped lettuce for a salad and then added tomatoes and cucumbers. My love was a natural here in the kitchen. It was sad that soon it wouldn’t matter. Bella wouldn’t be preparing her food this way any more; she’d be eating like me. And as much as her change frightened me still, the thrill of seeing her hunt made me want to touch her.

Careful to make a little noise as I stood, I walked over to stand behind her. My hands framed her hips and she leaned back against me. “What are you singing?” I asked her.

A slight frown creased her features. “I’m not sure. I heard it on the radio the other day and, I don’t know, it just got stuck in my head,” she shrugged.

She set the salad aside but continued her cutting and chopping, making some sort of vegetable concoction I’d never seen her make before. I could have asked her what it was, but I was sure it would have a fancy name although it looked fairly simple, and in truth it didn’t matter. Watching her work was pleasure enough for me.

Charlie’s thoughts filtered into my mind as he drew closer to home. I stiffened and began to put some distance between us but Bella’s voice stopped me. “Don’t you dare, Edward Cullen.”

“Don’t…?”

She glared at me over her shoulder and then put both her hands over both of mine and tugged telling me she wanted me closer. Doing as she wished, I stepped back where I had been moments before and she sighed in contentment before saying in a calmer tone, “I know Charlie must be coming, but we’ve had this discussion.”

Yes. We were getting married in five days and Charlie needed to get used to seeing us being affectionate with each other. I understood where she was coming from, but I didn’t think pushing the issue would help her father with his protective concern. However, he was her father and it was her choice.

So as a way of showing her I was relenting I slid my hands forward, resting them on her stomach, and placed a soft kiss to the top of her head. Bella’s heart sped and her breathing hitched. I couldn’t help but smile.

But then it was my turn to stop breathing as she pushed her hips back into mine wiggling just a little. My eyes closed and my fingers flexed at the wonderful feeling of softness against steel. She dropped the knife in her hand again and reached up to wrap her arms around my neck while tilting her head back. Her fingers glided to my hair as she pulled my lips down to meet hers.

Bella moaned when our lips met, but the kiss was over all too soon as Charlie’s cruiser pulled in the drive. She let her fingers slide back down my neck, pulled her hands away, and turned back to her work. I could tell she was waiting for me to bolt, but I didn’t. If she wanted me touching her, I would do as my love wished. No matter what her father may think.

Charlie came in the door a minute later and took in the scene. A low grunt left his lips, although I didn’t think Bella could hear it. As usual, his thoughts were resigned.

For her part, Bella turned her head toward her father and told him dinner would be ready in about twenty minutes. She was all smiles for Charlie. It was as if she was not aware of his displeasure, but I knew she must be. No one I had ever met was as observant as Bella.

Her father left us to go into the living room while I remained in the kitchen with Bella. The knowledge that our talk would have to come soon did not put me at ease because I honestly didn’t know how to help him. I could tell him that I loved his daughter more than my own life or well-being. I could reassure him that she would want for nothing financially for the rest of her days.

But that wasn’t what he wanted. Charlie wanted a guarantee that I wouldn’t hurt her again, and that was a wish neither I, nor any other could grant. Not only would I hurt her physically by making her like me, but I had no doubt that as much as I may try to be perfect for her, to love her with all my being, that I would enviably mess up.

Bella’s voice broke through my thoughts. “What’s he thinking?” she whispered.

I debated for half a second whether or not to lie, but Carlisle’s chastisement reminding me to treat Bella as an equal forced me to tell the truth. “He’s worried about you and me. He doesn’t want to see me hurt you again.”

She shrugged. “You won’t.”

“Bella…”

Her head turned just enough so she could glance up at me, the expression on her face one of waiting. Obviously she wanted me to put my guarantee of future failure into words. “Love, I WILL hurt you again. You know that I will. As much as I wish that it were different…”

Going back to her task, she shook her head and said, “Stop. We both know what I will have to go through to become like you. And it’s my choice, which means my pain. You aren’t doing it ‘to’ me, Edward. You’re doing it ‘for’ me.”

I sighed and pulled her closer burring my nose in the crook of her neck and inhaling deeply. A flash burn went up my nostrils and down my throat. Bella’s life.

“It will be me,” I whispered.

She dropped the knife for the third time and turned in my arms. “I will not…”

I cut her off with a kiss. It wasn’t anything heated with her father in the next room, but as distractions went I thought it was wonderful. Just to feel her lips moving against mine while her body was pressed against me was making it hard to concentrate on Charlie’s thoughts.

When our lips parted, she laid her head against my chest right over my silent heart. “I love you,” she whispered. “And I will not let you beat yourself up. I want this.” She looked up and met my eyes. “You know how much I want this, want you. Forever. And any pain… It will be more than worth it.”

Brushing the hair behind her ear, I let the strains fall softly though my fingertips. “I’m not just talking about that type of pain. Bella, I will mess up eventually. I will make a wrong decision or say something to hurt you. He wants a promise that I am unable to give him.”

Then it was like a light came into her eyes. “Charlie wants you to promise never to hurt me? You mean like never make mistakes hurt me?”

I shrugged it off. “He is a father, Bella. And he loves you very much.”

Her spine stiffened and she almost glared at the doorway through which her father could be located, then she turned back to me. Bella’s hands came up and pulled my face back down to hers. The lips that met mine were forceful. I once again had to be careful that she didn’t harm herself.

She wouldn’t ease her pull on my hair or the pressure of her lips and I was beginning to worry. Finally she pulled away enough to speak, her warm breath brushing over my cold, wet lips. “You,” she said with more forcefulness than I’d ever heard out of her mouth, “will stop with this ridiculous idea Charlie has put into your head.”

I loved her so much. This small, frail, human had no problem holding her own against a vampire. And not just me. With my entire family she gave as good as she got. Then in Italy, when most humans would have been on the ground hopelessly begging for their lives, she was standing firmly beside me, ready and willing to die in order to protect me.

The impulse to kiss her again suddenly overwhelmed me and I didn’t fight it.

That was how Charlie found us. I’d heard him coming, but was beyond caring. She was right. She was always right. I really should stop doubting her.

As Charlie stood in the doorway clearing his throat, I removed my lips from hers with a smile. I watched as her eyes opened and found mine, there was amusement in them as well. Then she tightened her arms around my waist as she turned her head toward her father. “Hi, dad. Dinner’s just about done.”

She released me and turned to make the final preparations to their meal. Her father remained where he was just inside the door watching us. His mind was full of conflicting emotions. He could see the love between us, but he was still unsure. Ultimately, he wanted her happy.

So for the second time that evening, I went with my impulse and did what I wanted to do. Leaning down, I placed a soft kiss on her check before turning my head slightly to whisper in her ear, “I’ll be in the living room. Enjoy your dinner.”

And then I was gone, leaving Charlie and Bella alone to have their meal while I passed the time watching whatever I could find interesting on the television.

Two hours later, I was in Bella’s room waiting on her to come up the stairs. Their dinner had been a quiet affair, the sound of utensils scraping against china filling the air.

It wasn’t unusual for Bella and Charlie not to talk during dinner, but this was a rather charged silence. I couldn’t read my love’s mind but I had no doubt she wanted to say something to her father regarding his thinking. She knew she couldn’t though. How would she explain knowing something like that?

For Charlie’s part, he was very literally replaying every moment he’d witnessed of our relationship. He knew she loved me, and he was near positive I loved her just as much. But then he’d started thinking about the time when I’d left and the worry would creep in again.

Only then did I realize that physical hurt had never entered his mind when it came to his daughter and myself. His concern wasn’t about bodily harm at all, but totally and utterly emotional. A hazy thought filtered through to me showing an older Bella on his doorstep looking worn and beaten down emotionally. She was alone and I could see the emptiness in her eyes. And even though I knew it would never come to be, the ache in my chest had nearly left me in dry, choking sobs.

So as soon as it was acceptable, I’d said my goodbyes and told my love I’d be waiting in her room.

I could hear her downstairs moving around. She’d long cleaned up the kitchen and even put in a load of laundry. Now it sounded like she was…moving furniture? That didn’t make sense.

Then I heard her voice. “Dad?”

I heard the voices on the television go silent. “Yeah, Bells?”

“What exactly does Edward have to do to make you happy?”

“Excuse me?”

“Just stop. I know you’re still not happy about…this, but it’s our decision and it’s what we want. Why can’t you just be happy for us?”

Charlie didn’t answer right away verbally, but in his thoughts he was screaming. Finally, he found words. “What if he leaves you again? Drags you halfway across the country, and then… Bella I don’t…I can’t see you hurt like that again.”

I heard the give of springs and knew she sat down. “Oh dad. Edward isn’t going to leave me again. He made a mistake and he’s more than made up for it.” I knew Charlie was going to contradict her, but obviously she knew it too because then I heard, “No. Let me finish,” she paused. “I love him. He is who I want. Forever. I’m never going to want anyone else. Dad, I just want you to be happy for me. Happy that I’ve found someone as wonderful as, Edward.”

She was quiet again for a few seconds and then, “Can you please try? For me?”

Her father seemed to be stunned into silence. Even his mind was unclear to me. He couldn’t seem to focus on a single thought. And then, “I’ll try, Bells.”

“Thank you dad,” she said, and I could hear the smile in her voice.

Charlie just sort of grunted in response. It was reluctant, yes, but sincere nonetheless.

I heard the couch springs creak once again. “I’m going to take my shower and then maybe read a little. Night, dad.”

“Goodnight, Bells.”

And then I heard her feet on the stairs.

I was sitting in the rocking chair when she walked in the door. She glanced over at me with a tentative smile and then went to her dresser. Her back was to me, but I could see her every movement as she picked out her nightclothes. Then she turned around and once again gave me a small smile. “I’ll be back,” she said.

Watching her walk out the door, I pondered her actions. Did she think I was upset with her for saying something to Charlie? I wasn’t. Although I didn’t agree with her on the fact that I’d more than made up’ for leaving her, I knew she was trying to help the situation, and Charlie’s thoughts did seem more at peace now.

And so I waited. The shower came on in the small bathroom next door and as always, the image of Bella in the shower flashed through my mind. For a creature who only took showers due to my close proximity to humans on a regular bases, was it strange that one of my reoccurring fantasies was Bella and me bathing together? Bathing would be a lose interpretation of what I was thinking but it had all the elements: water, soap, Bella.

I needed to change the direction of my thoughts. My body was starting to react to the vivid images floating though my mind. What would she think if she came in and found me this way?

As if reading my thoughts, the water in the bathroom stopped. I listened as she moved, wishing I were there with her.

This was not helping!

Forcing myself to block out what was going on in the next room I turned my attention to Charlie downstairs. He had on a baseball game and his mind was currently on how he couldn’t believe anyone with hands could have missed a play like that. He was very upset about it, as it seems that the error had caused the opposing team to take the lead against his Mariners.

I loved playing baseball or even going to a game, but watching it on television didn’t hold much appeal for me. It did however, allow me to calm down by the time my love walked back into her bedroom, her hair wet from her shower.

She walked over to put her dirty clothes into the hamper beside her closet before turning back to me. Her bottom lip was being held between her teeth. Bella was obviously nervous about something. I opened my arms, inviting her to come to me. And with no more than a seconds delay, she did.

As she sat down on my lap and wrapped her arms around my neck, I felt her warm breath as she exhaled against my skin. I held her close and rocked a little, placing a kiss to her temple. “What’s wrong, love?”

“Are you mad?”

“Mad? At what?”

“Charlie,” was all she said.

“No. Why would you think I’d be?”

She shrugged. I wanted to press her but decided against it.

We sat like that for twelve and a half minutes before my thoughts took a different route and I thought to ask her something else that had been on my mind. “I was wondering...” She shifted her body in my arms so she’d be able to look up at me. “I was curious as to why you asked about Tanya earlier.”

“Oh,” she said, lowering her eyes, in a voice barely audible even to my ears.

Yes? I wanted to say, but didn’t. Although it was torture, I would wait for her to gather her thoughts.

“It was stupid,” she whispered.

Taking one hand, I brushed her hair back from her face and raised her chin so I could once again see those beautifully expressive brown eyes. “Nothing you are thinking or feeling is stupid to me, love. Tell me.”

She exhaled forcefully and a rush of her scent hit me square in the face. It was mixed with the minty flavor of her toothpaste but still all Bella.

Her bottom lip once again disappeared behind her teeth and I rubbed my thumb across the soft flesh trying to get her to release it. Eventually she did and her sheepish eyes met mine as she began to speak. “When I wake up. After. I’m going to be…wild, right?” She didn’t wait for me to answer before going on. “I mean I’ll be at my worse and…well…”

And then I understood, seeing, once again, the insecurity on her face. She was still worried over Tanya’s attempts to snare me.

Bringing my right hand up to cup the other side of her face, I leaned down so that our noses were almost touching. “Love, even on your worst day, Tanya could not compare. She could not hold a candle to you.”

“Okay,” she said, trying to lower her eyes but I held firm.

“You do not believe me?”

She sighed. “Edward, it’s just… I saw Bree, remember. I know what a newborn is like, what I’ll be like. I’ll be wild and irrational. And if she was there… Well…”

“You think she would try to take advantage of the situation?”

“Yes,” she sighed.

I pulled her close burying her head in my shoulder and my face in her hair so that my mouth was just above her ear. “Tanya will not be there, love. It will be just us. I will be by your side each and every second. And when you awake, you will be like me. My mate. Forever. And if it takes a year or five for you to get yourself under control… For us to be like this again, that will be okay. What I told you earlier was true; you are giving me a gift. You are giving me your humanity. I will never, would never, take that for granted.”

“I’m sorry, Edward. I just…”

“You’re nervous,” I stated.

“Yes, but not about the change exactly, more…I don’t know.”

I sat her back up so that I was able to look into her eyes once again. “Tell me.”

“I want to be perfect for you,” she whispered.

My smile at her declaration could not be contained. “You are perfect for me. Here. Now. Just as you are. And I will take you any way I can have you Miss. Swan.” I suddenly felt the urge to lighten the mood a little. My hands drifted down to her sides. With just enough movement and pressure, I felt her begin to squirm on my lap.

Then I heard what I most wanted to. Her laugh. Bubbling up from deep within her chest. “Edward!” she said as I continued to tickle her. “Stop. Please,” she gasped. “Charlie.”

She was correct in that if she didn’t calm down soon it would be sure to draw her father’s attention, so I moved my palms to her back and held her firmly as she caught her breath. Leaning in once again, I placed a soft kiss on her nose. Her response to that was to tilt her head up and press her lips against mine. Our mouths moved together in a rhythm that we had perfected long ago as her hands came up to tangle in my hair.

When the time came for her to pull away, she didn’t go far. Bella’s lips placed soft kisses along my jaw line until she came to my ear. Her breath against my skin felt amazingly warm. “Come,” she whispered, before getting up off my lap.

I was a little confused, still caught up in the hormone filled trance my love always left me in. She tugged at my hand, asking me to follow. Bella walked to the bed and lay down requesting me silently to join her.

Getting onto the bed with her, I moved to lie beside her but her hand on my arm stopped me. Her hands moved to my hair again as I hovered over her pulling, asking me to come closer. The moment I was within an acceptable distance, her lips claimed mine again.

It took some careful maneuvering on my part, but I was able to support myself while aligning my body over hers. Our mouths moved together, molding to one another. As our breathing became heavier, I felt the heat of Bella’s body increase. My own body’s reaction could not be denied as the heat of my center grew along with other parts of my anatomy.

I tried to put some distance between us, slow things down, but she would not allow it. She kept pulling my mouth back to hers every time mine started to stray. The heat was in every muscle of my body and even though my eyes were closed, I could feel the complete flush covering Bella’s skin. The groan that escaped my lips at just the thought of her beautiful, pink tinted flesh beneath me could not be stopped.

There was no such thing as too close to her. I wanted more. Oh how I needed more. I adjusted my weight so my left arm was supporting all of me, and lifting my right hand from where it had been resting on the bed I wedged it beneath her back.

Her heat was blazing under my palm and I briefly wondered at how my cold felt to her, but then it didn’t matter. Bella lifted her back slightly giving me better access, as she held tighter to my neck.

Using my new leverage, I pulled her upper body against mine and groaned anew as her thinly covered breasts pressed against my chest. It reminded me of last night and it took all I had to keep from making that fantasy a reality.

And then it was my turn to gasp as Bella pulled her legs up and wrapped them around my waist. “Bella…”

She didn’t answer in words, but instead moved her hips against mine. My lips left hers and my head fell back. I felt so much! Her body. Her heat.

And her smell!

Oh her smell. My throat was burning but I welcomed it. Not because it meant her life, which it did, but because it was the only thing grounding me. I couldn’t stop myself from pressing back against her heat. She felt amazing. Wonderful. I had no idea what I’d done to deserve her but I would make sure that there would never be a day that went by in our forever where she did not know of my love for her.

The hand on her back slid down to cup the round softness of her behind. My fingers flexed knowing how close I was to her. I buried my head in her neck and breathed deep as I gripped her tighter, pulling her closer.

It was her turn to gasp. Her back arched as we pressed against each other. I knew she could feel me and for the first time that knowledge did not bother me in the slightest. Bella’s back arched in an attempt to get closer. The feel was just too much and a low growl vibrated through my chest.

The sound was very quiet. I wasn’t even sure if she heard it. But it was enough to bring me back to my senses. I released her immediately and crossed to the other side of the room in a flash.

It was an over reaction, I knew it. We’d come so far but… I growled! At Bella! And it felt…I felt…wild.

“Edward?” Her voice was tentative and I knew in that instant that she was concerned for me, eyes wide with question.

The guilt filled me and I forced myself to move back to the bed. To her.

She was so still. I knew she was afraid she’d done something wrong. Bella was sitting up, and I sat down beside her. “I’m sorry.”

It was such a simple thing to say and yet with those two words I hoped to convey so much. But she just looked at me, her eyes roaming my face as if trying to comprehend. Eventually she seemed to give up and asked, “What happened? I mean…why did you…”

I hung my head in shame. We’d agreed to be honest and as much as it pained me to admit what I’d done, I knew I needed to. “I…” It was so hard to it the words out. “I growled.” Those two words sounded so finite. The words that just maybe would make her change her mind.

Really I should have known better. “I know,” she said with a smile.

The only thing I could do was stare. She heard me? And she was…okay with it? Shaking my head I cupped her face in my hands before voicing my thoughts. “It doesn’t bother you? That I growled at you?”

“No,” she said. My disbelieve must have shown because after a half a minute she added, “It’s part of who you are, Edward. Part of what I love about you.” Then she closed the distance between us and brought her own hands to mold against my hard face. She opened her mouth and then closed it quickly before blushing. Then squaring her shoulders she said, “It was nice. To hear you. Lose control. I mean to know that you were enjoying it too.”

“Bella…” I said and then my mouth was covering hers again. This time I pulled her back to lie on top of me.

I have no doubt that we would have ended up in a similar situation as before had the sound of her father coming up the stairs not stopped us. Placing a swift kiss to her forehead, I ducked into her closet and out of sight.

Charlie knocked on the door five seconds later and Bella’s voice beckoned him to come in. Through his mind I could see her sitting on the bed. She’d grabbed her copy of Withering Heights that she kept on her nightstand and held it closed in her hands as she looked up from the bed at her father.

“Um. Bells I wondered if you were gonna be around tomorrow?”

“I don’t know, dad. Edward will probably be here in the morning and we’ll decide then.”

There was a clear question in her voice and Charlie picked up on it. “I was thinking of maybe getting some fishing in if you two were going to be out, but if you’re going to stay here then I don’t have to go.”

I knew Bella loved her father, but they were not overly emotional with each other and each had their own interests. “Don’t worry about it, dad. Go have fun. Even if Edward and I do stay here we’ll mostly like just watch a movie or something.”

He clearly had his doubts about our activities here in the house alone but he didn’t voice them. Instead he asked, “Are you sure you don’t mind?”

“Not at all. Go.”

Charlie sighed and then turned to go. But before he stepped back through the threshold he turned back around. His next words stunned me as I only heard them in his thoughts a moment before he spoke them. “Do you think…maybe Edward would like to join us for dinner?”

She took a moment too long to answer and Charlie began to nervously shift on his feet. I knew what Bella was thinking. How I would be forced to eat human food in front of her father to keep up the appearance and also what she knew I’d have to do after. For me, however, it was not a question. Her father was making an effort and unless she said she did not want me there, I would eat the entire meal if need be.

Her voice broke through my revelry. “Sure, dad. I’ll ask him.” With that he left the room and closed the door.

As soon as I could be sure he was no longer in hearing distance I removed myself from the closet and came back to sit with her on the bed. I wrapped my arms around her and rested my cheek on her head. “I would love to have dinner with you and your father tomorrow evening.”

“But…”

“Shh. Let me worry about it. He is trying, Bella. It is what you asked him to do.”

She sighed. “I know. I just…”

I didn’t let her finished as I covered her mouth gently with mine. The intense need from earlier was dulled but still there as I leaned back to brush the hair away from her face. Looking over her shoulder to her alarm clock, I noticed it was already almost eleven. “You should sleep, love. It’s late.”

“Will you be here tomorrow?”

I smiled and moved us to lie down on the bed. Bella curled up and rested her head on my hard chest and her arm across my waist. “Tomorrow I belong solely to you.”

She yawned. “And we can practice more?”

“One track mind,” I chuckled.

“Mmmm. I like practicing,” she whispered, her voice showing the first signs of her impending slumber.

Placing a kiss on her head I held her just a little tighter. “So do I,” I whispered back.