What all were the schemes of Bella when Edward tried not to touch her on their honeymoon? Read on for the trials and tribulations of a wife lusting after her vampire husband... Vote for this story at the Twilight Awards: http://twilightawards.this-paradise.com/?page_id=105 "Don't worry, Edward. I'm not going to attack you." I patted his arm reassuringly. "But as you are my husband now, I have complete ownership over this body" -I squeezed his tantalizing bicep- "which means I get to use it in any way I deem necessary." He chuckled and relaxed his posture. "Is that why you married me? Have you always only wanted my body?" "I won't deny that it was a large part of my decision making process." "This explains a lot. And here I thought our love was so pure and innocent."
1. Day One
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My honeymoon could officially be considered over. My husband flinched every time he looked at my body, and he had vowed to never touch me again. Until I turned into a vampire that is.
I knew I should be grateful- satisfied even. Edward had only ever promised to try to have a real honeymoon while I was still human. He'd made good on his promise too- we had tried. And while it had been beyond anything I had even hoped for, it hadn't exactly gone without a hitch. Edward was a bit of a perfectionist, and well, simply insane when it came to my safety, so he couldn't overlook the teeny, tiny, not-even-painful-in-the-least bruises that had developed on my skin from our one night together. I didn't blame him at all for them- holy crow- it had been the first time ever for both of us, not to mention the slightly significant fact that he was a vampire and I, a soft, squishy human. I doubted this kind of situation had ever happened before in the history of the world, and he was worried over a few bruises?
Still, if I was a good, selfless person, I should be able to just treasure this memory until after I got my bodily upgrades- one of the most important being non-bruisable skin apparently- and my human instincts came back in some form. But when would that be? A few years from now? And how much would they return anyway? I thought of the Cullen family- they were always so calm and unruffled. It was hard to imagine- not that I particularly wanted to anyway- any one of them feeling the immense passion that I felt for Edward now. It couldn't possibly be the same as when you were a human. Humans were often completely overtaken by their silly weaknesses, including their powerful pheromones. Vampires would never be so feeble.
So this was my only shot. However long we had on the island would be the only time I would have to experience this with Edward. And I wasn't giving up.
It was going to be tricky though. I had a lot working against me. Edward was of course vehement and tenacious himself when he had set his mind to something. And he was very used to denying himself and being the "responsible one" when it came to our physical relationship. I was fairly certain that he enjoyed it as much as I did, but he had much better control of himself. Still, I wouldn't mind it so much if he acted like a normal boy and I had to be the one to refuse him occasionally. Yet, even in my head, that seemed utterly incomprehensible... I doubt I would ever think of refusing him anything in that department.
There was also the small matter that I had no idea how to be seductive. Certainly, even after just our one night, I felt more comfortable. I had no reservations about actually accomplishing the act anymore, but that didn't mean I could prance around in skimpy lingerie. Yet. If it came down to it, I would force myself to. I made a pact with myself now to use any means of seduction that became necessary. I would probably end up looking clumsy and idiotic- as usual- but I just had to try.
And lastly, as if I wasn't already extremely self-conscious of my body and well aware of the vast gap between Edward's magnificent one and my average one, the truth was, it was now covered with purplish bruises from my head to my toes. I'm sure it was love alone that made Edward able to overlook all of my human body's imperfections, and now what hope could I have when I was spotted all over like a cow?
I'd have to go slowly- wait a while for the bruises to start to disappear. I could live with that. Hopefully it would help me build up my courage.
After I'd eaten breakfast that first morning when he'd told me his resolution to not touch me until after I'd been changed, he convinced me to take a walk around the island. I was still so full from the breakfast that I didn't really complain- I needed it to settle my stomach a little. And I was very curious about this paradise we were currently living in.
I was so grateful to Esme for letting us borrow her island, and for Edward for thinking of it; there could be no more perfect place in the world. How silly I was to have thought we'd go somewhere cold and wintry. I should have known that Edward would put my needs before his own. But then, here, completely secluded to the world, it served both our needs. It didn't matter how much the sun shone, displaying Edward's breathtaking glittering skin, if no one else was around to see it. Just as this phase of life for us was new and exhilarating, being with each other in such a different atmosphere with everything warm and bright, it felt like we were no longer part of the normal world. We had our own world now, where it was completely normal and right for us to be together.
He held my hand lightly as we walked along the pale beach, occasionally describing different points of interest. I was hard-pressed to tear my eyes away from the dizzying beauty of Edward in the sunlight, but I somehow managed. I wanted to see all of the island. I wondered how much time we could spend here. Maybe we should just live here, occasionally going back to visit family. This would be as good of a place as any for my transformation. Definitely better than hunting penguins in Antarctica.
At one point we came to a beautiful tide pool, the water crystal clear and almost melding into the sky above it. My face must have perked up at the sight of it, because he laughed softly as he watched my expression.
"Shall we go for a swim?" he asked, smiling.
I paused one moment as an idea came into my head. Here was a great opportunity. My heartbeat quickened a little, but I forced myself to sound confident.
"Sure." I shrugged my shoulders lightly, smiling back. "And since no one's around..." I started to slip my dress off of my shoulders.
My hands were immediately stopped by his cold ones. He held both of them in one hand, his other one tugging up on the shoulders of my dress to put them in their proper places. His lips were twisted a little in annoyance and he glared at me when he was finished. But I did see him swallow quickly before he spoke.
"I meant to suggest that we swim later and with the proper attire, of course." He looked up at the sun. "Besides, it's time for lunch now. Let's go home." He smiled again, and I couldn't speak for a moment. See how effortlessly he could use his physical charms to disarm my defenses?! It was incredibly unfair.
He made me lunch- chicken and tomato sandwiches with some exotic sounding dressing- and it was, again, great. Our roles were completely switched now- I was the pig husband, gorging on food and lusting after my spouse, while Edward slaved away to make sure my every need was met. Well, not every need. Not the one I wanted most. Not the most vital to my existence.
From all of the times that I had eaten in front of him, you'd think he would know to gauge my usual portion size. Maybe the recipe was always meant for two and he didn't want to chance adjusting it, not being able to taste it for himself for correctness. Maybe, after seeing how I looked like without clothes, he thought I needed some plumping up in some places- a definite possibility in my mind. Maybe, like always, he went a little overboard and would rather I have too much to eat than too little. Whatever the reason, I had been surprisingly hungry, though I didn't think the walk had been that strenuous, so I didn't care. Now that I was finished, I felt ready to kick back and conjure up some compromising position for us when he started talking about the cove again. His voice alone was already mesmerizing and then with the sea life he described we could see, I didn't have a hope of refusing. I allowed myself a scowl at him though, but nodded my assent.
He dashed out of sight for a second, and when he came back, one blink later, he handed me a swimsuit. I noticed he was already wearing dark swim trunks of his own, looking like the world's most perfect model in them.
"Why don't you go put your swimsuit on while I go get our snorkeling things ready. Well, I suppose I should say your snorkeling things." He grinned, winking at me, and dashed out of sight again.
Oh. That's right. He didn't need to breathe. He wouldn't need a snorkel.
I cannot wait to be a vampire.
Wait a second. Yes, I can. There are more important things than the ability to go without breath indefinitely. Like using my wifely rights.
I sighed loudly, hoping he could hear, and walked back into the house. I deliberated for a second outside of the bathroom door. Should I undress here and hope that he might come back? But then, with his supersensitive hearing, he would probably hear that I was undressing, and therefore would stay far away. Oh, and I still had ugly purple circles all over my body. There was still that sad little fact.
I finally shuffled over to the bathroom, a little more depressed. I changed out of my dress quickly, and then picked up the swimsuit he'd given me. Like with all of the other clothes I had with me now, they were of Alice's choosing, and I should have known to be frightened. This was scarier than some of the glimpses of lingerie I had seen, or at least, less modest than those. It was a bikini, striped with different shades of blue. The top part was composed of suspiciously small triangles. I wondered if it would actually cover anything- not that there was much to cover in that area anyway...
I tried it on, not looking in the reflection when I was finished. I didn't need to be depressed any more.
I searched through my suitcase, looking for something to cover myself in. There were a few island-type sarongs and I wrapped myself in one. In one of the side pockets, I found some sunscreen. SPF 50. Hmm, apparently Alice wasn't aware that no matter how hard I tried, my skin refused to be any color other than alabaster white. I had discovered this years ago living in the sunlight-drenched city of Scottsdale, Arizona, where I had been the local albino. But I would still put it on. Most likely, vampire venom could cure skin cancer, but I didn't want to take any chances.
Then a new use for this sun screen gave me an idea. I opened the cap and squeezed a small amount into my hand. I started with my face, making sure I didn't leave any smears, then moved onto my arms and stomach. I sat down on the edge of the tall suitcase and began rubbing some more sunscreen onto one of my legs.
"Edward," I called, hoping he couldn't hear the nervous edge to my voice.
"Bella?" He was standing outside the doorway immediately.
I switched to the other leg, trying to smooth on the sunscreen more slowly. I felt like an idiot. "Is everything ready?"
It took him a second longer than usual to respond; I looked up, but his expression was smooth. "Yes. Shall I wait for you outside?"
He was trying to get out of the room. Because I was making him uncomfortable- in a good way?
I stood up. "Actually, I need your help with something." I faced my back to him, looking over my shoulder. I held the sunscreen in one hand. "Could you put some on my back?"
He looked suspicious now. His eyes were narrowed as he stared at me. I raised my eyebrows a little in innocence. "What, Edward? I really can't do this by myself."
He hesitated one second longer.
"Fine. But when I get skin cancer, we'll know whose fault it is." I started to close the cap.
He was behind me in a flash, taking the sunscreen out of my hands. He squirted a liberal amount into his hand. His expression was murderous.
"Don't think I don't know what you're doing, love." He spoke close to my ear. His voice was silky, unintentionally- I'm sure- seductive. Once again, he had to do so little to accomplish what I worked so hard to gain. "You're lucky that this does concern your safety, so I have no choice but to do this."
I said nothing, lifting my hair with both arms out of the way to expose my neck.
I couldn't be sure, but I thought I heard him sigh quietly, and then start to rub the sunscreen onto my shoulders.
This was better than I could have planned for. My back had the least amount of bruises on it, only one or two. And with the sarong, the marks on my legs were mostly covered. I bent my arms forward, while keeping my hair pulled up, hopefully obscuring any of the spots on my arms.
His cold hands were quick, yet somehow it seemed a little slower than normal for him. They felt very good on my back- there was no air conditioning system here I noticed and so anytime I spent without contact from his cool body left me sweating. Hmm, I'd have to add that fact to my list of logical reasons for him to touch me, if ever I had the chance to expound on them to him.
I heard the click of the sunscreen bottle, signaling that he was finished.
"There. All done. Let's go." Did I imagine the slight strain in his velvety voice?
"Oh, wait a second." I untied the strings of the sarong from my waist and let it drop to the floor. "Could you get my lower back too?"
I was doing much better than I had expected, despite my certainty that he could hear the tremble in my voice or my elevated heart rate. I kept looking straight ahead. But it was hard, when he didn't move or speak for a few seconds.
He finally rubbed the sunscreen in more quickly than before; it took him just one second. He turned away, exhaling slowly.
"Let's go," he muttered and walked away. His voice was low and tense, but not in the way I'd hoped for. He sounded angry again.
I turned to look at myself quickly in the bathroom mirror. Ah, of course, when I'd slipped off the sarong, I'd uncovered all of the bruises marking the back of my legs.
Darn these bruises! They would be my downfall. And I didn't even have the hope for the cloak of darkness when night time came- another slight problem of having a vampire for a husband: he could always see perfectly no matter the amount of lighting.
But I wasn't giving up yet. I would be realistic- he needed time to let himself be happy again and to stop torturing himself, and my body needed time to recuperate. In a few days time, we'd both be back to normal, and then maybe my clumsy, inept attempts at seduction might have a chance at success.
In the meantime, I wasn't about to just sit idly by and do nothing. I had been studying his every movement, every response. He'd tried to hide it well, but I saw enough to know he wasn't completely immune to me. There was hope still. I slid the sarong once more onto my hips and tied it. Glancing quickly at my torso and arms, I saw that they too were still covered in purplish spots, so I shrugged into a light t-shirt. Better to try and help him forget as quickly as possible.
He was waiting for me outside, staring out into the ocean, his hands on his hips, with the scuba gear slung over one shoulder. I touched his shoulder lightly, and then, stretching on my toes to reach, I kissed the tip of it.
"Sorry," I said, touching the side of his face to turn it toward me.
He rolled his eyes and exhaled sharply. "You have nothing to apologize for."
His arm wound around my waist and we began to walk down the beach.
"Yes, but... I was making things hard on you back there. I'll try to be better." Main emphasis on try.
His hand moved to rub my shoulder and he sighed, but smiled quickly. "It's okay. I'm used to your impulsive human hormones- or, at least, I should be by now. And it's still not your fault that you're so desirable."
I shot a quick look at him, sure that I had a gleam in my eyes. My eyebrow arched. "So I am desirable?" I smiled widely.
He dropped his face into his free hand and groaned. Then he looked up at me with a tired expression. "I will never, ever chance at hurting you again, Bella. That's final."
"You didn't answer my question."
"Because it's a moot point right now."
"Meaning that no degree of desirableness could induce you to-"
"That's exactly right."
"Hmph. We'll see..."
I was sounding- and feeling- surprisingly confident. Maybe because I knew his whole argument was ridiculous. It probably wasn't even his fault- all my life I had gotten sudden bruises on my body and had no idea where they came from. It kind of went hand in hand with the whole clumsy, always about to fall on your face thing. I wasn't going to back down now and he knew it.
We arrived at the cove again, looking pristine and beautiful just like it had before. I carefully took off my outer clothing; he spent much more time than was necessary- especially for a vampire- to check the scuba gear. He helped me put it on, smiling gently as he did. Once again, I was extremely jealous that he did not have to wear such ridiculous things. All the same, I was sure that if he did, he would still be able to pull it off and look as magnificent and beautiful as ever.
Someday I might be like that too.
In the meantime, I was stuck as a silly human with dorky scuba gear.
I removed the mouthpiece from my lips. "Is there any other way to do this? Without me looking like a clown, that is?"
His smile deepened. "What ever do you mean, Mrs. Cullen?" he asked in mock surprise. "You look just as seductive as ever."
I raised an eyebrow. "Mmhmm. Sexy like my lumpy leather jacket sexy, right?"
He grinned. "Precisely."
"You have a very odd sense of attraction, you know. Not at all like the average boy."
"And I never proclaimed to be an average boy, now did I? You're not much better either, by the way. You're the one who's married to a vampire." He smirked.
"Pretty soon you will be too."
"Look how you've corrupted me..." He sighed and swiftly kissed the tip of my nose. He took my hand in his. "Ready?"
I nodded and waddled to the shoreline. If Edward had not been holding my hand, I likely would never have made it. Flippers never were the easiest things to maneuver in.
The water was still warm like last night, but compared to the jungle heat we were currently entrenched in, it felt pleasantly cool on my skin. I waded out, letting him guide me. He smirked at me often from beneath the surface of the water where he comfortably swam without the need for oxygen. I scowled back through my ridiculous goggles.
He led me to a spot where there was some kind of reef. Swimming in and out through the maze of coral were all types of fish, multi-colored and bright. It was a living kaleidoscope.
He stayed with me near the surface, because if he went nearer to the sea life, they would all scatter away. Some kind of sense of natural predator or something. Poor fishes didn't know what they were missing. As it was, any fish that began to swim towards us curiously usually stopped midway, and quickly swam in the opposite direction.
We spent a few hours there, watching the fish and swimming around for awhile. The water in the tide pool was calm and untroubled, so I couldn't fake being tossed to and fro to get him to hold me. He stayed always within easy distance of me, but he did not try to touch me.
I was feeling ravenous and pretty tuckered out by the time the sun was setting. We walked hand in hand back to the house. The sun sparkling on the sand mirrored the glitter of his skin. The sky was brilliant with streaks of orange, purple, and pink. The perfect day with the most perfect person in the most perfect place.
Well, almost perfect. But I was going to work on that.
He made some kind of Spanish dish for dinner with rice, vegetables, and meat. I was very grateful that he had learned to cook, especially now when I felt so exhausted, but I had to admit, it was kind of a stab at my pride. Before our wedding, I had thought that cooking might be the only thing I was better at than him. How cruel to have been beaten by someone with no sense of taste and no desire for food.
I should have known better, but I overate again. This did nothing to help my sleepiness. I was tempted to let him carry me to bed. But my determination was stronger than that. I forced my eyes to stay open and stood up from the table.
I sat down on the arm of his chair and threw my arms around him, but I tried to make it light so that I wouldn't scare him off. I kissed his cheek quickly.
"Thank you. For everything. It's really been a perfect day."
He didn't seem suspicious. His hands rubbed my back softly. "For me as well."
I snuggled my face into his cold neck. "Oh, by the way, thanks for marrying me, too."
He laughed out loud. "Shouldn't I be the one saying that? Haven't I always said that, ever since you finally agreed to marry me?"
"Exactly. You really had a lot to put up with." I scrunched up my forehead. "I'm not entirely sure why you did."
"But I do." He pressed his lips to my forehead.
"I'm glad you're glad."
I couldn't help inhaling his sweet scent and then sighing happily. I pulled him tighter to me for a second, but, before he could stiffen and turn away, I hopped up and started to walk away.
"I'm going to go get ready for bed now," I called casually over my shoulder.
I rummaged through the piles of lace and silk, hoping to find something reasonable. My new sister couldn't have been that heartless, could she have?
Apparently, she wasn't; I found a white satin nightie that covered quite a bit- actually most of my body except my arms. That was unfortunate as the bruises on my arms were pretty noticeable- I had been right; the bruises had finally developed now and they were as dark as ink on my pale skin. Well, maybe my expectations shouldn't be so high for tonight. My hopes would be higher when the bruises went away more.
That didn't mean I shouldn't try to at least reason with him, though.
I walked out. He was lying on the bed, over the sheets. He watched me as I walked toward the bed, but there was nothing in his gaze to make me think I would gain any ground tonight. Alice might as well have packed me extra large muumuus to wear for all the good these were doing. The boy was indestructible.
"Are you sure you can make it to the bed? You look like you might fall over at any minute." He grinned at me.
"I'm sure you'd like that, wouldn't you?" I glared at him, as I climbed under the sheets. I slid close to his side, automatically taking one of his arms and wrapping it around my waist. He stiffened.
"Bella..." he said warily.
"Don't worry, Edward. I'm not going to attack you." I patted his arm reassuringly. "But as you are my husband now, I have complete ownership over this body" -I squeezed his tantalizing bicep- "which means I get to use it in any way I deem necessary. Right now, I desperately need a cooling system, and you happen to be my favorite kind. Don't complain- I have official certification, signed a paper, said eternal vows, all of that."
He chuckled and relaxed his posture. "Is that why you married me? Have you always only wanted my body?"
"I won't deny that it was a large part of my decision making process."
"This explains a lot. And here I thought our love was so pure and innocent."
"Well, I normally am. You were the one to turn me into an ogling beast. And it was because of you that I now have legal rights to anything I want from you. But, I'd just like to point out, that this" -I gestured to my body beneath the sheets- "is all yours as well. Officially. We have written documentation of it."
"Really?" He sounded excited.
"Mmhmm. I give you complete ownership. Do whatever you want with it."
He leaned in closer to my ear. "Whatever I want?" he breathed.
My heart stammered and I trembled. "Yes. I won't mind at all."
"Hmm..." His nose took in the scent at my neck for a moment, then he kissed my hair quickly. "I think I want this body to go to sleep."
I frowned. "You want it to sleep? You're a very boring owner." But I couldn't help the yawn that took over halfway through my sentence. My lids felt very heavy.
"You should rest, love. I have many, many exciting things planned for us tomorrow." He began to hum my lullaby.
I tucked my head in closer to his chest. "Just you wait for what I have planned for you," I mumbled.