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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:


36. Chapter 36

Rating 5/5   Word Count 5100   Review this Chapter

Bella’s talking ended a little after two in the morning. Just before three, I took the opportunity to run home and change. The house was quiet so I took my time; I knew my love would not be awake for several more hours.

By the time I made my way back through her window, the sun was already coming up and Charlie was gone. Bella’s house had a much different feel at night than my own. I really couldn’t explain it. It was more than just the heartbeats that filled the air.

I debated with myself whether or not I should spend the rest of Bella’s slumber in the rocking chair or rejoin her in her bed, but after already spending two hours away from her tonight I wanted to be as close as possible.

Climbing onto her bed, I lay along her side careful not to touch her with my cold body. It was a worthless effort however. Within five minutes of rejoining her in the bed, Bella was rolling toward me. It was as if she could sense my presence. Her head remained on the pillow, but her arm draped across my chest. I spent the first few hours of the morning watching the sun chase across the angles of her features.

My love had managed to go to bed at a decent hour last night, well at least an acceptable time for her considering how much she seemed to try and avoid sleeping any more than absolutely necessary, and so her breathing began to change just before eight. I watched, as she slowly began to regain consciousness. The simple beauty of watching her coming awake was something I would always treasure.

Her eyes finally fluttered open and met mine. A lazy smile covered her face as she stretched. I smiled back and brought my hand up to move three pieces of hair that decided to weave themselves with her delicate eyebrows. Bella’s eyes followed my movement. “Thanks,” she whispered.

“You’re welcome,” I said, my smile growing. “Did you sleep well?”

“Mmmm,” she said, stretching again. This time, though, she moved her body to drape more fully over mine. I shifted to try and make it more comfortable for her and wrapped my arm around her waist. “I woke up and you weren’t here,” she pouted.

Although her face said sadness, I could see the playfulness in her eyes and I chuckled. “Sorry, love. I ran home to change.”

Then the smile was back, “Is Charlie gone?”

“Yes. He left before daybreak.” She nodded and lay her cheek back down to lie on my shoulder. Watching Bella whether awake or asleep was beyond delightful. Both had very different appeals but equally as strong.

My thoughts were broken with her asking what our plans were for the day. “We can do anything you wish. Alice has no need for us for the next few days and your father is gone until tonight. Did you have something you wished to do?”

Immediately I saw her bottom lip dart behind her teeth and my senses went on alert. I had to bite my own lip in order to keep myself from demanding that she tell me. Last night she’d said she wanted to practice more today, but I was hoping to keep that to a minimum. Tonight, I was planning to go with Jasper one last time and I wasn’t sure if testing my control before then would be a good idea. Although ‘practicing’ with Bella was always enjoyable.

Just as I was about to go crazy for the waiting, Bella spoke. “I want to do some more reading. And talking?”

She said this last part as a question, like she was unsure if I’d be willing. It did not take a genius to know what she wanted to read, nor what it was she wished to talk about. The discussion of sex with Bella still made me nervous but even I had to admit to myself that my reservations were disappearing. Not the ones in regards to the knowledge and very real possibility that I could harm her during our attempt, but the ones that had told me for so long that thinking of her that way was wrong.

“Maybe we should get you some breakfast first,” I said. If we were going to do as she wished, then I did not want her to neglect herself in return. We had all day; Charlie would not be home until dinner.

She seemed reluctant to get up and as she looked at me I saw the question was still in her eyes so I answered it for her. “Then we can talk,” I said gently while rubbing small circles along her back.

Her response sent chills down my spine as she pressed her warm lips ever so softly against my neck before rising from the bed.

After Bella finished eating a bowl of nasty looking cereal, we headed back upstairs. She took a few ‘human minutes’ before joining me in her bedroom.

My love had donned a short sleeve t-shirt and jeans for our day in. The clothing wasn’t tight but none of her curves were lost to me. I tried to keep my mind focused on mundane things but knowing what we were about to discuss, and my thoughts from just hours before, had me clinching my fist.

Bella noticed. The hand not holding the book wrapped around mine gently rubbing, silently asking me to relax. I know she thought I was nervous in regards to what we were about to read but that wasn’t it exactly. It was the fact that I wanted to not only discuss these things with her, but do them as well. Now.

There were only one hundred and two hours until she would become my wife. As a vampire, that was an insignificant amount of time, the blink of an eye, but it seemed much longer to me at that moment.

I wasn’t relaxing and I heard Bella’s heartbeat pick up it’s pace brining my mind back to my current surroundings. Looking over, I saw the panic in her eyes. Yet again, she was worried about me.

Unfolding my fingers, I flipped my hand to hold hers. Raising our entwined fingers, I pressed a kiss reverently to her skin. “Shall we begin?”

She continued watching my face, searching. Gradually her features relaxed and she brought the book down to rest between us. Bella opened it to where we’d left off. The chapter was entitled, Doing It, The ABC’s of Intercourse. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for this, but with a deep breath I placed my hand on the nearest page and began reading.

I was obviously able to read more quickly than she, and neither one of us wanted to read the sections out loud, so early on we’d decided to read one section at a time on our own and then discuss it before moving on to the next one.

The first two sections turned out to be recaps of earlier chapters; important things the author felt needed to be rehashed. After that it began to get more uncomfortable. The words utilize your entire body including and especially your hands, lips, and tongue to provide stimulation over all areas of your partners body jumped out at me and impulsively I swallowed. The memory of Bella’s lips and tongue from just two nights ago were on replay in my mind.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

I looked down to find my hand once again in a fist. Flexing my fingers, I rested it once again on the side of the book and nodded at Bella. But instead of going back to her reading, she asked, “What’s wrong? Did you read something? I mean we don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.”

Sighing, I placed a kiss on her temple. I debated for two one hundredths of a second on whether to tell her. In the end, there was not a question and I was fairly sure from past experience she would be okay with it. “I was thinking about the other night.” Her eyebrow rose in question. Of course she would make me say the words. I should have known. “The book was talking about using your entire body and…”

Then she smiled at me sheepishly, a rosy blush climbing up her neck. “You seemed to like that, “she whispered.

I groaned. My body was betraying me. I tried to shift in a way that she would not know what I was doing, but I should have known better. Her eyes fell to my lap. A quick intake of breath followed by a sure reaction by her heart. This was not helping me calm down. And then she reached for me.

My hand shot out at lightening speed catching her only an inch away from her goal. Why was this so difficult?! I was a vampire, she a human. I’ve had a century to hone self-control and my body’s reactions, but with her I had nothing, at least not when it came to my want of her physically. Only moments away from releasing her hand and letting her do whatever she wished, I felt her pull back against my hold.

Letting go, I watched her place her hand innocently back in her lap. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I guess I got a little carried away. It happens a lot when I’m with you, you know,” she smirked trying to lighten the mood.

Although my body was still very much aware of her, I took a calming breath and placed one hand over top hers. “I know,” I said, pausing to debate my next words only briefly. “I seem to have the same affliction in your presence.”

She looked up and smiled at me fully then. “I really like that you’re letting yourself go a little. It doesn’t make me think it’s only me that wants this.”

At her words I stopped breathing. How could she still think I did not want to be with her in this way? Turning slightly, I took both hands and cupped her face between them. “No matter how much I must restrain myself, Bella, know this, I want you in every way I might have you. I desire everything about you and although we will have to limit ourselves until your…” The side of my mouth lifted in a half smile, “renovations are complete that does not change my feelings on the matter.”

Bella’s eyes blinked several times as I watched her swallow very deliberately. “Maybe we shouldn’t wait,” she said in a voice so low I almost didn’t hear her.

I laughed and placed a soft kiss on her lips before releasing her. “Shall we get back to our reading?” She sighed, but turned her attention back to the book.

We spent the next several hours reading and talking. There was a lot to cover in the two chapters we read. The most embarrassing and uncomfortable part came with a discussion on how it might feel for both of us given the difference in our body temperatures. Although I was not worried that that part of my being a vampire would cause her harm, it was a concern as far as her discomfort.

The book had also talked about increased blood flow to the area, which I already knew from my times in medical school. Bella, however, was curious as to how that might feel to me.

We had discussed so much and even finished the summary at the back of the book. One thing our day made me realized was that there were still so many unknowns. I knew what it felt like to kiss Bella, to hold her in my arms, to smell her, but I didn’t know what it would feel like to make love to her. From everything I’d observed through both human mind and vampire, and then the discussion with my brothers, I was under no misapprehension in regards to the intensity that our experience together would no doubt have upon me. I was nervous, yes, but all I had to do was look at my love and be reminded as to why I…we…were doing all this.

As we went downstairs to get Bella a snack, the phone rang. I knew Bella had gotten some calls the last few days from her friends and even a couple from her mother, so I was surprised when she let me know it was Reverend Webber.

“Um, yeah he’s here right now,” she paused listening to something he was saying. “I think so, but let me make sure.” Then she put the phone against her chest and turned to me. “He wants to meet with us on Friday to go over the vows.”

I nodded. “Anytime is fine with me, but I do believe Alice may be in need of you in the evening so maybe something in the morning or afternoon?”

She relayed the information back through the phone. “Okay. We’ll see you here around two then. Thanks. Bye.”

When she hung up the phone and turned back to me, her bottom lip was being held by her teeth. I opened my arms, inviting her to me, and she sank into my embrace effortlessly. “Everything all right?”

“Yeah,’ she shrugged.

“Bella?” I knew something he said must be on her mind and I wished she would just tell me.

“It’s nothing really. He just said he likes to give the couples he marries a little ‘getting to know you’ interview. I know it’s silly, but I always worry when people start asking questions.” Then she looked up at me and said, “I know you have to lie sometimes, but I prefer it if you don’t have to. Is that silly?”

I chuckled. “No, love. It’s not silly,” I said, placing a kiss on her forehead. “I feel the same way about you.”

We stayed like that for a few minutes before she got up to grab a quick snack. There were a few hours before Charlie was due home so we went into the living room to see what was on the television. I have to admit though, not much ‘watching’ actually occurred; at least not of the television.

About five minutes into the show she’d selected, she asked about dinner. I assured her she could fix anything she liked and not to worry about it. That wasn’t the answer she wanted, and Bella continued to persist until I told her the easiest things for me to hide were those items that could be broken down into smaller bites. The rest of the afternoon was spent watching her contemplate what to make for dinner.

At four, I pulled Bella into my arms for a quick goodbye before running home to get my car. It would not look good for me to be here with no vehicle out front. I knew Charlie was trying, but I was sticking with my original plan to attempt to make it as easy on him as possible.

I came through the back door to find Esme in the kitchen with a Swiffer duster in her hand. She turned as she saw me enter and smiled. Welcome home, Edward. “How’s Bella today?”

It had been days since I’d talked to Esme, and although Bella was expecting me back soon I took a few minutes to share with the only mother I’d known for the last eighty years. “She’s doing good, although she’s a little nervous about tonight, I think.”

Is something wrong? Her mind began going over possible things that could be making Bella nervous but was drawing a blank with the reference to tonight.

“No. It’s nothing really,” I chuckled. “Her father has invited me to have dinner with them.”

“Oh,” she said. “I thought Charlie gave you and Bella his blessing?” she asked confused.

It was my fault really. I hadn’t shared with any of my family the not so pleasant thoughts my future father-in-law had been thinking ever since we announced our impending nuptials. “He did, but he has been having some difficulty with the concept. Especially of us marrying so young,” I smiled.

Oh, Edward. “I’m sorry.” Her remorse to my plight was clear. But you said he invited you to dinner?

I sighed. “Bella talked to him last night and he asked her if I would join them for dinner this evening.” I shrugged, “He is attempting to make a peace offering. Charlie has never made a pretense of liking me since I returned.”

Esme’s sadness over what I had to endure emotionally was beginning to make me uncomfortable. I knew she felt I didn’t deserve Charlie’s feelings, but I did. I’d earned all of it and more. But no matter what he thought of me, Bella was the only thing that mattered, and she wanted to be with me so that is what I was giving her.

Pushing off the counter, I walked to my room to put the book I’d brought back away. My mother’s thoughts followed me until I’d once again left the house and had driven my Volvo out of range. Esme only wanted to see me happy, and I know she wished she could fix things with Charlie for me, but she couldn’t, no one could.

By the time I pulled up to Bella’s house, Charlie’s cruiser was already there. I’d just walked up to the door when I heard footsteps approach. And as I was raising my arm to knock, the entrance swung open to revel an exasperated Bella. Her eyes roamed over my body and then held my own obviously searching for something.

Then she was in my arms, her head buried in my chest. “I thought you’d be back sooner,” she whispered.

Placing a kiss on top of her hair, I whispered back, “Sorry, love. I didn’t mean to worry you. I was just talking with Esme.”

“Oh,” she said, hugging a little tighter. Then she stepped back and grabbed my hand, dragging me into the kitchen.

We were alone. I could hear her father in the next room watching television. When Bella reached the counter, she turned around and brought her hands up to thread through my hair. My arms slid around her waist, and my head lowered finding her lips with my own. It never failed to amaze me how just a little time away from her seemed so much greater than reality.

I took my time as I moved my lips against hers, holding her close to me. A timer went off and Bella reluctantly let me go, turning around to remove a steak from the oven. The smell wafting up was not pleasant and I struggled not to wrinkle my nose. Cow. Ugh.

She turned around and looked at me, a clear question on her face, and then she said, “I made two steaks. Charlie will eat one and I’ll eat half of the other. They’re both pretty well done,” she frowned, and seemed to waffle over her next comments. “Do you want me to make you one really rare in case you have to eat it? I mean maybe if you can taste the blood…”

I cut her off by placing a single finger over her lips. “Bella, love, thank you for thinking of me, but what you have already prepared is fine.” Then I did wrinkle my nose for her benefit. “Cow is cow no matter how you present it.”

Then she laughed. I shouldn’t have been amazed at her reaction, but I was. “Not a big cow fan, are you?”

“No,” I replied with equal humor.

She smiled back at me for a minute and then frowned again. “Isn’t there anything I can do to make this easier?”

The cold fingers of my left hand came up and brushed her warm cheek. “Bella, please don’t worry about me. It will not be the first time I’ve had to eat food and it will not be the last. I will be fine,” I said, ending my statement with a gentle brush of my lips to hers.

She sighed, sending a rush of her scent to me and I inhaled deeply. Bella smelled much better than cow.

I helped her put everything on the table and then she called her father in. As we began gathering food onto our plates, I was very aware of both Bella and her father watching me. Each had their reasons of course; she was worried about me, and Charlie was trying to force himself into acceptance of my presence. It was then that any questions I had about having to eat tonight vanished.

Charlie took a bite of his steak and then looked straight at me, waiting for me to take one of my own. I stabbed one of the bite size squares of meat I’d cut with my fork and felt Bella tense. Looking over, I smiled at her, letting her know it was okay. And then I raised it to my mouth.

As soon as it hit my tongue, I had to lock my muscles to keep from showing just how revolting it tasted. Shortly after Bella had discovered what I was, we’d talked about the taste of human food to me. I’d told her, or left her the impression at least, that it tasted like dirt. Truthfully, I thought that might be an insult to dirt.

But manfully, I slowly began to chew even though the food had been completely pulverized the second it had come in contact with my teeth. Swallowing, I looked over at Bella, and smiled. I wanted her to know it was okay, that I could do this. She still looked apprehensive, but gave me a tentative smile back.

Charlie’s thoughts brought my attention back to him the moment before I heard him speak. “Bella’s a great cook. I don’t think you’ll ever have to worry about starving.”

He was still watching me, waiting for my reaction. So I picked up a potato and some green beans and placed them into my mouth. It appeared I was going to be under constant scrutiny tonight so I gave up the idea of pretending; not that it mattered, I’d have to expel what I’d already eaten anyway.

For the rest of the dinner, Charlie continued to watch as I continued to choke down the food. He asked me a few questions including what I was planning to major in. I explained that I’d been thinking about going pre-med and following in Carlisle footsteps. It was the truth; I had been considering that course for my next foray into college life.

Charlie was fairly pleased with my answer, although then he began thinking of all the long hours I’d have to spend at the hospital and away from Bella. He wasn’t sure how he felt about that. The constant worry he had of her being alone was hard to bare as his mind would periodically flash back to that empty, broken girl from my absence.

When dinner was finished, I helped Bella clean up. She kept watching me and finally I asked her if there was something wrong. “No,” she said, but I could tell she was deep in thought.

I stopped what I was doing and turned to take her in my arms. Her head rested against my chest as I buried my nose in her hair. “Tell me,” I whispered.

She remained quiet for a long time and although I tried to remain patient, my hands roamed her back as a way to release some of the anxiety I was dealing with. It was also a useful distraction from the lead weight currently in my stomach.

When she spoke, it was with an apology. “I’m sorry you had to eat the food. Was it horrible?”

Pulling away from her slightly so I could look into those expressive eyes of hers, I waiting until I could hold her gaze. “No, love. It was not horrible. Nothing I do in regards to you is horrible.”

“But you’ll have to…”

She paused looking for the right word, but I finished her thought for her. “Yes,” I said softly trying to ease her obvious suffering to what she saw as my discomfort. “But I’ll take care of it before I meet up with Jasper, so not to worry.”

A frown creased her features. I didn’t understand until I remembered I’d not told her I was leaving her tonight. “Jasper?”

I placed my hands on either side of her cheeks and brought my lips down to hers. She kissed me back effortlessly. “I’m sorry,” I whispered against her now wet lips. “I should have told you.” I kissed her softly again. “Should have said something.” Another kiss. “If you wish me not to go…” I left the words unfinished as I pulled her more firmly into my arms and let my lips move over hers.

Bella melted into me, meeting me movement for movement. When our lips parted, I just couldn’t let her go. My mouth trailed down her jaw to her neck placing soft kisses as it went. My loves hands pulled at my hair sending the most delicious shockwaves through my neck and down my spine to the center of my desire for her.

Her head tilted back reveling her neck openly to me as I reached her pulse point. My tongue snaked out from between my cold lips and licked, spreading a trail of moisture up to her ear. “Much better than cow,” I murmured.

My love’s response was to moan and hold tighter to my hair. I felt the flush of her skin at my words and the increase in her heart rate. She liked it.

Any other human would have been scared to not only have a vampire this close to their neck, but to tell them how delicious they taste. Not Bella. Her reactions had never been normal, but what had possessed me to tell her how good she tasted now was beyond me, but I didn’t want to stop.

Since I was already at her ear, I let my tongue slide once again outside of my mouth and traced a path around the crescent shape, feeling every ridge and dip. Bella gasped but didn’t relinquish her hold on me. If anything she increased it. Her back arched into me as her chest pushed firmly into mine.

There was so much I wanted to do to her, but now was not the right time. One day soon, I would taste every inch of her. But for now, I retracted my tongue and replaced it with the tip of my nose while retracing the line back down her neck.

After placing solid kiss over the pulsing flesh, I raised my head and waiting until her eyes opened. “We should finish with the dishes before your father comes to check on us,” I said with a smile.

She was still breathing deeply, trying to catch her breath and I silently marveled, loving my affect on her. Her eyes were dark, filled with passion, and I wanted to carry her up to her room and forget about dishes and Charlie. I knew that wasn’t a good idea though. Eventually she sighed, and turned back to what she’d been doing before be got distracted.

I stayed with her until ten. It was the time Charlie viewed as acceptable and I’d always tried to visibly obey his wishes. For tonight, however, this really was goodbye.

After saying goodnight to Charlie, Bella walked me to my car. I leaned back against my door gently and pulled her into my arms. She stood between my legs and wrapped her arms around my neck before giving me a solid kiss. “I’ll miss you tonight.”

“I’ll miss you as well, love,” I said, gently massaging the muscles in her lower back. “I’ll try to make it back before you wake.”

“Hurry back,” she whispered as her lips once again covered mine.

Charlie’s thoughts entered my head as he looked out the window and witnessed our goodbye. His eyes were focused on my hands, willing them not to go lower, and I couldn’t help but chuckle. Bella felt it and pulled back to look up into my face. “What?”

I felt my lips tug up into a smile. “You’re father is watching us, or me to be more specific.”

She shook her head slightly. “He’s seen us kiss before, Edward.”

I chuckled again because Charlie was still watching us and still focused on my hands moving up and down Bella’s back. “It’s not my kisses he’s worried about.” She raised both eyebrows in question this time. “He’s watching my hands.” I could see she was still confused so I leaned in to whisper in her ear. “Charlie is waiting to see if my hands remain on your back. Or if they go lower.”

When I leaned up again, I saw comprehension dawn. The smile on her face was mirrored in my own. Her father was still very much convinced that we had consummated our relationship; he was just looking for proof. I wasn’t sure what he would get out of that knowledge, but I’m not sure he did either. Maybe he would use it as a justification as to why we were getting married now.

Bending my head, and pulling her close, I brought our mouths together one last time. We moved slowly together, savoring the memory until we would be together tomorrow. “I love you,” I whispered.

“I love you, too,” she replied back.

Bella stepped back and watched me get into the car, but before I could close the door she said, “Try to relax. I’m sure tonight will be fine.”

Was there nothing she missed?