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."
2. Day Two
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I woke up with the sunlight streaming down on me again. Cool arms were still wrapped around me- a very good sign. I spent a few seconds enjoying the moment, as I wasn't sure when I'd get another chance at feeling his body next to mine. But he would know I was awake soon, so I stretched my body out, trying to brush against his as much as possible. I looked up at him through my eyelashes. He gazed back warily.
"Good morning, my husband," I cooed, hugging him closer.
That threw him for a bit. Suspicion fled his face and he hugged me back, his expression soft.
"Good morning, my wife," he whispered tenderly into my neck. His hand brushed lightly against my cheek. "Do you recall how weeks, no, actually days ago, I had to beg you to use that term? Look at you now, using it so carelessly." He made a tsking noise. "How do you explain yourself?"
I looked up at the ceiling, considering. "Well, I do find marriage to be slightly more tolerable than I expected."
"Tolerable?" His eyebrow arched.
"Well... I was worried you might go into shock if I described it as ecstatically wonderful." I shrugged, biting my lip.
A euphoric smile slowly lit up his face. He bent down, touching our foreheads together for a moment, eyes closed, cupping the side of my face with one cool hand. His other hand found mine over the covers and he interlaced our fingers together.
"So, you admit I was right then? To make this a demand?" he asked quietly, a smile in his voice.
I opened my eyes, rolling them. "In this one tiny instance, yes, it would appear you were correct."
He pressed his face into my hair, inhaling deeply. "And you'll be trusting my judgment from now on in any and all other decisions?"
"Did you slip the words ‘honor and obey' into my vows without my noticing? Or is it suddenly 1952?"
I felt his lips curve upward in a smile against my cheek. "I'm merely pointing out that, if we looked at our history, this is simply one of the many times where I was right about something you did not think was important. Shouldn't that garner a little more trust?"
I knew what he was getting at.
"Actually, I think we should examine the many instances when you were deadly wrong about things. Usually when you were being overly cautious?"
Now he knew that I knew what he was getting at.
"Bella, we're not discussing this." He started to get up.
I threw myself on top of him, holding him to the bed.
"Wait! I just thought of a way to go from ecstatically wonderful to ethereal happiness."
His eyes narrowed. "What would that be?"
"I bet you could guess..." As quick as I could, I kissed down the column of his throat. It meant something on his part that he allowed me to reach the bottom, before flipping us around in a blindingly fast spin, so that I lay full out on the bed while he pinned my arms down. He slid off me and the bed, and walked over to the kitchen.
"I'm going to go start breakfast," he called out.
I stayed on the bed. Well, at least I had been able to kiss him for a bit. I would have to consider that a victory. For right now.
I stretched again- my body felt abnormally stiff. I glanced out the glass doors; the sun was much higher in the sky than I expected.
"How long did I sleep for?" I asked, sliding out of the bed.
"Ten hours, actually." His voice came from the kitchen, amongst sounds of rummaging. "What would you like to eat?"
I paused to think for a moment. "Eggs still sound good."
"I thought there was a greater variety to human food. We need to widen your palette, apparently."
"What can I say? Eggs- they're the mountain lions of human food."
I heard the click of the stove turning on. "All of those tedious hours, watching Food Network- wasted," he muttered. Soon I heard some crackling on the stove and I could smell the eggs cooking.
"Could you add some bacon as well?" I asked as I walked over to the suitcases. I started looking through the piles until I realized I had no idea what to dress for.
"Uh, what are our plans for the day?"
He was peeling some bacon out of a package. If it was possible for vampires to vomit, he looked fairly close to it. "That depends. We could go back to the cove- the reef goes on for a bit longer." He threw a piece of bacon into the hot pan, and shivered slightly in disgust. It spluttered back at him. He returned to the eggs. "There's also a sort of jungle on the coast- Carlisle told me about it. That would be quite interesting."
"That sounds good." I hesitated. "Wait- will hiking be involved?"
He turned to look at my expression. He found it amusing apparently.
"Just a bit."
"I'll be there. When you need help," he promised.
Hmmm. Hiking would involve tripping, but tripping would involve holding, and holding could involve kissing. Was I willing to endanger myself to get him to touch me? Absolutely.
"Alright. So I'd better wear sturdy clothing, right?" I looked back at the pile of clothes dubiously.
"That could be a good idea, yes."
"Wish me luck," I muttered, holding up some mesh see-through top. Honestly, did Alice know me at all?!
After some thorough rummaging, the best I could find were some cargo shorts that came a little above my knees and a sleeveless dark green shirt. It did cover most of my bruises, except on my arms; fate seemed determined to keep them bare as a reminder. I padded off to the bathroom, again doubting that undressing in front of him would have any positive effects. I also put my sunscreen on by myself while in there; I didn't have the excuse of an exposed back since my shirt covered that part.
Hiking. How had I missed any major amounts of topographical differences in the landscape while walking around yesterday? Oh yes, because I had been busy plotting ways to seduce my husband.
Well, this too could be a great opportunity. Better than yesterday's actually. The tide pool, while extremely beautiful, had been much too calm. Jungles and hiking were fraught with peril, and Edward was usually good about touching me when he thought I was in peril. I may have to use some of my acting skills, which weren't very good as many had told me, but probably not too much. I would not find it hard to discover ways to endanger myself. They came quite naturally.
By the time I was done with dressing, Edward had finished cooking breakfast and had changed his clothes and packed a backpack for us to take on the hike. I ate quickly, for time and ravenous hunger purposes, making sure to compliment him on the bacon. It had been quite the sacrifice for him.
We were off and walking shortly after. I knew if I was holding Edward's hand, I would have less likelihood of tripping, but it just wasn't a sacrifice I was willing to make. I was sure I could find something worthwhile to fall over when we reached our destination spot.
In the meantime, our moderate hike through the jungle afforded a great opportunity for reasoning again. And it was best to start now, catch him by surprise if I could.
"So," I began conversationally. "I've made a list of logical reasons on why we should try again..."
Immediately, as if he was developing a sixth sense for when this topic of conversation was coming, he pinched the bridge of nose and closed his eyes in frustration. "Bella, you are going to drive me insane," he muttered.
"In a good way?"
He shook his head vehemently. "Not in a good way."
"Oh," I pouted my lips. "Well, hear me out anyway. I'm pretty sure vampires can't go insane, and anyway I spent a lot of time thinking about this."
He snorted, rolling his eyes. "Why does that not surprise me? Maybe it is a good thing I can't hear your thoughts..."
"You're missing out. They're very entertaining."
"In this one instance, I think I'm better off. It sounds like a cesspool in there."
I narrowed my eyes at him. I was not some sicko leech... well, except when it concerned my husband. But I had legal rights to that. "Excuse me. I would like to begin..."
"Oh, forgive me. Proceed."
I cleared my throat. "Well- and this is a very intellectual argument, by the way. I've examined the facts in a very detached, objective manner. If I make it to graduation at Dartmouth, we can use it for my thesis- Anyway, logical reason number one: we have not taken in all of the data to make a correct assessment of the situation. Let's start by simply examining how to reach a proper conclusion. Take, for example, the scientific method. You have a hypothesis; you experiment, and then examine the results. Results! That means that you have to try the experiment more than once, Edward!"
"Some things are too dangerous to try again," he growled fiercely.
"Well, any scientist would tell you to never give up after the first experiment, even if it was dangerous. Danger usually brings out the best results, anyway. Think of all the great things that would be missing from our world if their inventors had thought it was too dangerous? There would be no T.V.-" I paused to judge his reaction.
He shrugged indifferently.
"Most often they're filled with filth."
"Running takes only slightly longer."
I pulled out my trump card. "No Aston Martins, because no cars would have been created."
A look of profound pain came upon his face. Ha, I'd hit a sore spot.
He must have seen the triumph in my smile because his face abruptly smoothed.
"Have you considered the benefits of such a world? People are wasting their lives away in front of their television sets everyday. Not to mention the numerous studies on the violent rage some television shows can induce. The same with computers. Now, if we didn't have airplanes or cars, yes, life would be a little more slow-paced" - for a moment his face once again slipped into a mask of pain at the thought- "but we might have more people alive. The results of these experiments have forced people into a lot of life threatening situations." He glared at me meaningfully.
I rolled my eyes. "Okay, so let's say someone does get into a car accident or plane crash. Do you think they should never step into another plane or car? Especially when they walked away with just bruises?"
"A plane crash," he made a disgusted sound in his throat. "What a perfect comparison for what I did to you."
Ugh! This was not going at all the way I wanted. Why was I even trying to argue with him? He was too good- too good at being miserable and pessimistic!
I took a deep breath. "Moving on. Logical reason number two: you liked it too."
He exhaled exasperatedly. "That was never a-" he stopped and shook his head. "We've been over this, Bella. It doesn't matter. It doesn't change anything. Neither is that a logical reason."
"But it doesn't hurt either," I pointed out. "It's a cold, hard fact that supports my argument, not yours. It's valid." I was tempted to stick my tongue out at him, but I didn't think that would help.
He wrapped one arm around my shoulder, squeezing lightly. His mouth moved close to my ear, and he spoke in a soft, velvety voice. "We will both like it so much more, love, when there's no possibility for me to hurt you."
I stopped walking, placing my hands on both sides of his face. "Possibility of hurting me, yes; liking it more- who knows? You can't know that- unless there's a lot you did not tell me about Tanya, in which case I will hunt her down and kill her when I'm a vampire" -he opened his mouth quickly, his expression exasperated, but I continued on- "From what I've seen, vampires are much too calm." I lowered my hands to ball them into fists on his shirt. "And that's why it's so important that we seize this opportunity now, Edward! I want to be wild and passionate- with you! Right now!"
He closed his eyes and exhaled. It sounded unsteady, but I couldn't be sure if it was out of longing or annoyance. "Clearly- from the way I... with the effects"- his mouth twisted slightly at the word- "you received from my... non-calm behavior two nights ago, vampires are very capable of passion." He cupped my chin with one gentle, cold hand. His beautiful golden eyes gazed tenderly into mine. "I told you, love. Those feelings will come back. They -most definitely- have for me," he assured me.
This was going in a good direction. "Really?" I asked, my voice hopeful.
He smiled gently and his face took on a reflective expression. "Well, it's true, I can't really say that they've come back since I never, ever experienced anything close to the passion I feel for you before I met you- while as a human or vampire." He shrugged. "So, I suppose I should say it is absolutely possible for a vampire to feel such intense emotions, even if he had never felt them before in his life." He stared off into the distance, lost in thought for a moment. Then he smiled crookedly at me. "But, I took a long time because I'm so stubborn and, well, you did take forever to be born." He squeezed me tighter to him and kissed my hair. "You won't have anything to worry about. You'll likely be a typical newborn and return to normal much more quickly."
I sighed, placing my hand in his and started to walk again. "After a few years. We'll be an old married vampire couple by then. Not nearly as fun."
"If you think we'll be a boring married couple in a few years, we've got some problems, love. What will that make us in a hundred years from now?" His mouth pulled down into a frown. "You'll trade me in for a newer model, won't you?" he sighed melodramatically. "You know, you might do better in the Denali clan, with the rest of the succubuses." He winked.
I rolled my eyes. "Yes, you know how fond I am of Tanya," I said acidly. "We could trade stories about how we were always trying to seduce you. Maybe she could give me some pointers." Now he rolled his eyes. I sighed. "Look- I'm just saying that we'll never have the same situation that we have now: Just married. One half of us is a hot-blooded, passionate human being. All alone in the middle of the ocean. Humid jungle heat all around us. Dozens of bite-able pillows-"
"Oh, look- I think we finally arrived," he quickly interjected.
I was not about to let him distract me, but we had arrived and the scenery around us took all of my argument from me. I guess I hadn't really been paying attention as we hiked, despite that being the purpose of us walking at normal human pace. We were surrounded by lush greenery so thick it seemed impossible that a person could walk through it. A small waterfall streamed down a few feet from us, pooling into a pond. The sunlight, while muffled by the greenery, turned everything neon bright.
"It's so beautiful," I whispered.
"And very convenient for picnics." Edward grinned, pulling out some Tupperware from his backpack. Inside of it was lunch, which I assumed he had made while I was getting ready (honestly, when I was a vampire, would I run out of things to do within minutes? What would I do with my time?). He'd also packed a blanket for us to sit on while I ate.
Edward made sure to keep our conversation during lunch strictly on safe, non-honeymoon related topics. After I was done, we walked around for a bit, exploring the area. We heard some occasional bird calls and Edward was able to identify them for me, as well as the exotic fish in the pond. My hand was always held firmly in his, so I didn't have any opportunities for tripping.
The sun eventually lowered in the sky and we decided to head back. As he packed, his cell phone rang and he answered it after quickly checking the number. It was Carlisle, checking in. They talked for a few minutes, it sounded like he made a few more suggestions about things to see while we were here. As they talked, an idea formed in my head.
I walked over to the edge of the pond again, folding my legs and crouching down so that I balanced on my toes. I stared into the pond, pretending to watch the fish as they swam around the rocks. From the sound of it, Edward was wrapping up his conversation.
I leaned in closer, dipping my finger into the water. I could see my reflection through the ripples my finger cast on the surface of the water.
And then I fell in.
This had not actually been a part of my plan. I had only been planning on teetering back and forth on my toes for a bit, as if I was going to fall, until Edward rescued me. The point of this was only for him to hold me, and perhaps incur a desperate relief at my survival that would weaken his physical defenses. But trust my clumsiness to make things worse, even when I had been pretending to be clumsy.
I was only entrenched in the warm water for one brief second before his hands found me. He pulled me out, setting me on the grass next to him, his face anxious.
"Bella! Are you all right?"
I coughed, trying to get some of the water out. "Yes," I gasped. "I didn't mean... that was... an accident."
He started to examine me, carefully looking over my face and limbs.
"You've got a few cuts on your hands, your right knee, and your temple," he observed, his voice quiet. I looked down to see some minor scrapes across my skin. The blood oozed out only minimally.
He sighed and, in a quick flash, walked over to the backpack and returned carrying a small box. "Good thing I brought a first aid kit along. I'm starting to think I should keep one on me permanently, or I need to finally get my PhD in medicine," he muttered.
The antiseptic burned a little as he applied it to my cuts, but they were really nothing. I felt like a child when he put the band-aids on them, and I was deliberating whether to ask him to kiss my boo-boos, when he spoke.
"Oh, and just so you are aware," he paused and his tone changed suddenly, darkened, "despite my inability to read your mind, I do have two eyes that can see rather well, and I know exactly what you were doing back there."
I looked up to see his face and was shocked by the fury I saw there. My mouth hung open a little and I felt my cheeks fill with heat. I truly hadn't meant for it to go as far as actually falling into the water, or to scrape myself up, but I had been trying to trick him into holding me- which hadn't even worked because his hands were now clenched into fists at his sides instead of wrapped around my wet, slippery form.
I felt guilty, but also angry because once again he was overreacting. I kept my mouth shut and after a few seconds of silence he could hold in his rage no longer.
"I cannot believe this, Bella. That you are actually trying to hurt yourself to get me to touch you! Do you comprehend how utterly insane that is?!"
Wow, he really was mad. It made my voice sound a little weaker than I wanted. "Well, I was only trying to pretend before... and then I suddenly didn't need to pretend, and..."
"Get over it," he said, emphasizing each word slowly. "I won't have you endanger your life just for sex with me- which could also endanger your life!"
My fists were clenched now. "You are being so ludicrous about this, Edward-"
"No! I don't want to hear anything more about this." He gripped my wrists in his hands. His voice lowered to a growl. "If you speak another word on this subject, it will automatically increase the amount of time you stay human. Every additional word gives you an extra month. And also gifts. I'll buy you the most extravagant, unnecessarily expensive gifts in the world if you speak anymore about this."
I couldn't speak for a moment, I was so shocked. "Now you're the insane one!"
"Am I trying to hurt myself to have you make love to me?" he asked scathingly.
"I wish you would! You don't even have to hurt yourself- just lay there!"
"No more. This conversation is over. It will continue only once you are changed." His tone was very final.
He closed his hand over my mouth. "One more word and I'll buy you a cruise ship. So help me, Bella, I swear I will," he threatened.
I clenched my teeth together. He looked just as furious. He wasn't going to budge on this.
For the first time, I felt there was no hope. I felt a deep depression start to envelop me.
We glared at each other for a few seconds.
I stood up, water dripping off of me like I was a rain cloud. This did not help the dramatic, sweeping exit I had planned. Nothing ever went the way I wanted it to.
"You're not going to say anything?" he asked, his eyes narrowed at me still.
"I have nothing to say- or what I want to say I can't because then you'll buy me a freaking boat!"
"Ship," he corrected.
"Whatever," I growled.
I walked over to the back pack and slung it over my shoulders. I turned to him, my arms folded across my chest. "I'm tired. Can we just run back home?" I couldn't even try to keep the sullenness from my tone.
Apparently, he was just as set on staying mad as me because he said nothing, but stood up and turned his back to me, crouching down so I could climb on.
As he ran, I thought about our afternoon. It had been so nice, just like yesterday. Maybe I was the one who would ruin our honeymoon. Maybe I was too obsessed, too greedy. Maybe it was too much to expect- a once in a lifetime experience could only happen once, after all.
Maybe I should give up.
I suddenly realized how tired I was- exhausted really. The hike hadn't been that bad, but then, I had been so busy trying to convince Edward that I hadn't really been paying attention. Maybe my mind was finally catching up with my body.
Then again, deep depression also made you rather tired.
I wouldn't have thought it possible, what with the constant heat around us, but with my soaked clothing and the brisk wind created by our run and, of course, Edward's wintry body, I got chilled.
When we arrived home, I was shivering. I quickly got into a hot shower while he made dinner. The warmth of the water did not help my sleepiness at all.
I dressed in another of the longer nightgowns and half sleepwalked to the table.
Halfway through the meal, which was eaten in a miserable silence, I was having trouble keeping my eyes open. My stomach was full, I was warm and toasty, and there was absolutely no possibility of making love with my husband. All very good reasons to go to sleep as soon as possible.
His voice sounded like it was coming from far away.
"Hmm?" I mumbled.
"I am so sorry." Even from far away, I could hear the burning regret in it.
I really wanted to tell him how sorry I was- how it was all my fault, but my head was no longer able to support itself. I slumped forward over my plate, fast asleep.