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."
3. Day Three
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I had been having the strangest dreams since we'd come to the island. They were so bright and clear. It had to have been from the atmosphere of the island- having spent almost two years in continually gloomy Forks, Washington would make any bright place seem very disorientating.
It was almost frightening- the clarity with which these dreams came, but because I attributed them to being here on the island, they were also pleasant. So it was hard for me, knowing what I would awaken to, when I would finally open my eyes.
I wasn't mad anymore. The old adage of "sleeping on an argument" rang true and I knew what I needed to do.
I had to give up.
Being with Edward had made me rather spoiled because I knew he would do anything for me. I had gotten used to the idea of nothing being impossible (I still hadn't gotten around to asking him if the existence of Big Foot or the Abominable Snowman was true yet...). But I should have recognized, being as Edward was always so selfless and willing to give me anything, that he would only say no when something really was impossible.
Most of the time, I completely forgot how difficult it was for him to touch me at all. This wasn't completely my fault because he was so good at covering it up. But, thinking of the way I usually lost all sensibility around him- how much harder would it be if I had to carefully monitor my every touch? If I had to always concentrate on the amount of pressure of my embrace, my hands, my fingers? Just to touch the skin of my cheek might be too much for any other vampire- and here I was demanding the most intimate, most powerful physical act from Edward!
How could I be so selfish? I, miraculously, had him for all eternity and I was quibbling over this? I should just trust him- trust that it would still be such an incredible experience after I changed. Anything with Edward was incredible; vampirization would not alter that.
I took a moment to remember and relish our night together. It was more than any other human being could have ever experienced- more than any other human could expect. To expect more would be too much for anyone to deserve. Including myself.
I opened my eyes finally, and saw Edward's face across from mine, studying me, his face blank. I wondered if he knew I had been awake- I had tried to be as still as possible. He lay close to me, the side of his cold body pressed against mine, but his arms were not around me.
"Hi," I said, my voice creaking from sleep. I smiled at him weakly.
Immediately his hands cupped themselves around my face. He looked so anxious; it pulled at my heart strings.
"Bella, I am so sorry. I was so horribly rude. I should have never gotten mad at you like that. I'm ruining our honeymoon, aren't I?" His face was twisted in pain.
I placed a hand on his cool cheek, stroking it softly. "No, Edward. No. I understand now. I've been the one ruining things. I'm so sorry. I promise- I won't say or do anything to get you to..." I swallowed. This was harder than I expected. "I'm going to be good from now on," I vowed.
I meant it- no more schemes; no more traps. Anything with Edward was more than I deserved. Just because I had experienced the most supreme, unsurpassable part of him did not mean I no longer appreciated and craved all of the smaller, less ethereal parts of him either.
He looked tortured as he gazed back at me. I was sure that, despite my words to the contrary, he would blame himself for this and feel incredibly guilty.
"I'm so sorry, Bella," he whispered. "You know that... if it were... I-"
Oh, how I loved it when he struggled for words. But I knew the emotion behind the struggling, so I put my fingers to his beautiful, smooth lips to silence him. Then I brushed my fingers across them, enjoying their feel. I couldn't help myself.
"I do know," I said slowly, emphatically. "I expected way more than anyone should." I sighed, shaking my head. "I keep trying to explain to you what a selfish, undeserving monster I am, but you just don't listen."
I scooted closer to him, placing a hand on his cheek and stared steadily into his eyes. "I don't want you to feel any guilt over this, Edward. You have completely fulfilled your promise. I got everything I could ever hope for; that night was more than I deserved."
He looked even more agonized. "Bella-"
I placed my hand over his mouth to stop him.
"One more word and I'll buy you the cruise ship. Oh no, wait- you'd like that. All right. I'll buy you a tug boat. A really old, decrepit one."
He removed my hand from his mouth and reached over to softly, lightly press his lips to mine. I mirrored his pressure, wanting to be good, but in my mind I allowed myself to sigh in pleasure and enjoy it. Whenever he kissed me, it felt like a sudden relief from pain.
He pulled back after a second to look into my face, his expression serious.
"I love you," he whispered intensely.
I eyed him warily. "Do you love me because I'm going to be good and you feel guilty about this? Because that's going to cost you a tug boat."
He smiled crookedly and it almost looked normal.
"It's one of the millions of reasons," he squeezed his arms around me, "and a very small one compared to the numerous others. Surely that should not incur the cost of a decrepit tug boat."
I shrugged. "I would have no idea. You appear to have much more maritime expertise than me." My brow furrowed for a second. "Speaking of which, how come I never heard of this interest in boating before?"
"Have any of our conversations necessitated the discussion of boating before?" he asked wryly.
"Well, no, but it did surprise me." I gave a mock gasp. "I realize now how little I know you- I'm married to a complete stranger," I said melodramatically. He made a face so I smiled. "I'm curious. Does this satisfy some childhood dream to be a soldier in the war when you were human? Or are you having a midlife crisis at 107?" I teased.
"You should know, since you do know everything about me, that it is all about the speed." He grinned.
"Ah," I said. "You're right. Should have guessed that."
He kissed my nose. "Are you gaining an interest in it too now? Just say the word and I really will buy us a cruise ship." He beamed, raising his eyebrows suggestively.
I narrowed my eyes into slits. "What on earth would we use it for?"
He pursed his lips as he considered. "Family vacations? Sightseeing? You know, being as we will be around for eternity, we might want to occasionally step outside of the Forks area."
Hmm, sightseeing around the world? He had a point about the eternity thing. It was still kind of hard to wrap my head around that concept- that I would exist forever- with Edward.
I sighed. He was right much too much of the time. I wasn't about to let him have the upper hand just yet. "Let's talk about it in fifty years, okay?"
"Oh goodness, you're improving. I expected to wait a hundred years at the very least," he smirked.
My stomach grumbled just then, signaling that we stop talking about the ridiculous subject of boats.
I insisted on making my breakfast this morning. He tried to circumvent me, but I told him I had too much to make up for and ordered him to sit and watch a pro. I still could have eaten eggs, bizarrely- I really never thought I had such a special affection for them, but they were suddenly my best friends as far as food went- but I figured he might suspect me of being obsessive compulsive if I did. I decided to go with French toast instead- and at least get the eggs in the batter. I tried to taste it as much as possible as I made them, occasionally decrying the need for ‘a dab more cinnamon' or ‘a smidge more butter'. Edward scowled at me as he asked for the metric approximation of a ‘smidge'.
We decided to go back to the cove and snorkel some more. Now that I could free my mind from the constant planning of ways to seduce my husband, I could probably appreciate the island more, and I realized that I hadn't paid enough attention to the reef before.
I was trying my best to be happy, and most especially to look happy. I didn't want Edward to know how big a concession this was for me. Things would just go back to the way they had been before we'd married- obviously I had been able to live with that arrangement then. Of course it always was hard to go back to something before you knew how blissfully amazing something else was once you had experienced it. But I was going to try my best to.
I put on a swimsuit- another bikini, dark red. I had to admit- something magical in the construction of it gave me a seemingly impressive bust line. Why did I choose these things when they no longer had the hope of mattering?
I also noted that some of the smaller bruises were turning more greenish, but the rest had only gone from dark purple to a more regular color. Once again, all things that had no consequence any more.
I walked out into the living room to get the sunscreen. I had allowed Edward to make lunch, and he was busy cooking it in the kitchen. I slathered the lotion on myself, trying to be quiet so as not to call Edward's attention to me. I didn't want him to become suspicious again.
But when I had everything done but my back, I had a problem. I had been trying to trap Edward when I had asked him to put it on me the other day, but I realized now that it had actually been a necessity for him to rub it on me. But I didn't want to trick him anymore, so I would just have to try to do this myself.
I struggled for a few moments, awkwardly trying to stretch my hand behind my back far enough to reach all of it. If ever I needed a way to show Edward how unsexy I was, this would be one of the top choices.
I suddenly felt cool hands close over mine. "I'll do that for you," he said in a quiet voice.
I froze. His pleasingly cold hands smoothed over mine carefully, wiping the sunscreen off of them. He added some extra into his hand from the bottle. Then he began to slowly rub it into my back- with the unhurried speed that a human might use. It was agonizingly enjoyable.
What was he doing? Were the tables turned now and he was trying to seduce me? I blocked the dizzying joy that thought brought because I knew that could not be the case. I supposed he trusted me now that this was not some ploy of mine, and probably still felt guilty about the whole situation, and was trying to do what little he could to make things more pleasant.
If he only knew how much harder this was; harder and yet so divine that I would never stop him.
He finished, clicking close the sunscreen bottle. I expected him to walk away, but he didn't. He bent down to kiss the top of one of my shoulders softly. I felt his icy breath tickle my shoulder blade as his mouth hovered there. If I did not know much better, it would have sounded uneven to me.
I tried very hard to control my trembling. What I wanted to do was turn around and wrap my arms around his neck. I would press myself tightly to his cool, perfect body and reach up to kiss him with as much fervor as I possessed.
But I couldn't do that. I had promised.
"Thank you," I said quietly, without turning around, and walked away to put on some clothes.
Well, I suppose I had gotten just what I deserved. This must be exactly what Edward had felt when I was trying to seduce him. But he was a much better person than me; that was not what Edward was doing now. He was just trying to show me that he trusted me now. He could be more relaxed now that I wouldn't push him too far.
It was going to be hard, but I would just have to appreciate every small touch, every short kiss. Again, this was Edward; how could I not savor anything from him?
I slid a sarong and t-shirt on like I had last time and we walked out to the beach.
He helped me with my snorkel gear again, increasing my feelings of utter frumpiness when they were on. His eyes seemed to shift down often as he assisted me.
He turned away to put down our towels and things.
"That's a nice swimsuit," he said in a very even voice.
"Oh," I said, surprised. I glanced down, once again noting my surreally perky bust line. But he wouldn't have noticed that. "Thank you," I sighed sadly.
We walked hand in hand to the ocean and he led me out a little farther than we had gone the other day.
There were a few new creatures in this area of the reef that we had not seen before. Once again I felt this was such an entirely different world. Most likely everything would be boring and dull to us when we returned to our regular life.
I felt a little conflicted because this paradise we were in currently was so beautiful, and though it officially belonged to Esme it felt like our own, that I felt pain at the thought of leaving it. But at the same time, now knowing what I would have to look forward to after I changed- in some form and years later I remembered depressingly- I didn't know what I wanted more.
I reminded myself that I was going to be with Edward forever. That was the only thing that mattered.
And it was.
We went back to sit on the beach for lunch. I twirled my pasta with amazing gorgonzola alfredo sauce around my fork and pondered.
"So... you're still not amenable to hunting penguins, are you?" I asked.
He looked at me in revulsion. I might as well have shoved raw bacon down his throat.
"That's what I thought. But really, I hear they can be pretty vicious. Maybe irritable penguins taste as good as irritable grizzly."
Both of his eyebrows were raised at me. "Where did this all come from?"
I sucked in another noodle. "Just wondering what our exact plans were for after the honeymoon."
"Well," he considered, looking up at the sun, "we could go to Antarctica and feast on blubbery, slimy penguins," he shuddered, "the taste may turn you off of vampirism for good though. Or we could go to Alaska as previously planned. Or... there's always Dartmouth..." he added innocently.
I snorted as I was eating another pack of noodles. They got stuck in my throat.
Right. As if I would increase my time of insufficient physical contact with him and also choose to spend my time being the resident idiot in a school full of geniuses.
I patted his arm and said in a patronizing voice, "I'll have plenty of chances to go to Dartmouth- or Harvard or Yale or whatever college I want once I'm changed, Edward. And hopefully next time you won't have to bribe them. Granted, it will probably take seventy or so years for me to reach that level of intelligence, but you've demonstrated amazing patience so far."
He sighed. "It won't be the same as when you're a human."
Something about this reminded me forcefully of our argument yesterday- how those had been my exact words to him but under an entirely different context. How useful it would be to point this out to him, but it no longer mattered so I bit my tongue.
This sent me into dejection once again so, as I finished lunch, I decided to stretch out for a bit. I closed my eyes for a moment, enjoying the feel of the sun on my body.
When I opened them again, Edward was staring at me. And if I had not told myself constantly over and over again that nothing would be happening between us from now on, it would have made me excited.
Maybe I wasn't so good at reading his expression anyway. He likely was simply staring at the bruises still covering my body, but the way that his eyes appeared to smolder, it gave my always eager imagination the impression of something else. I didn't blame him; it was very difficult for Edward to not look seductive (completely the opposite of myself of course). He was not fully aware of the effect he had on me by simply sitting, standing, breathing. He didn't know when he was mind bogglingly beautiful, which, I had to admit, was all of the time. After looking in the mirror after a hundred years or so, you probably got a little numb to it.
But I was going to ignore his ecstasy-inducing beauty; I was going to be good.
I sat up. "Do you want to go swimming? I asked, staring at my toes.
"Yes," he said quickly, in a low voice. "That sounds like a very good idea right now."
After awhile the sky began to darken into a painted mosaic of red and purple.
"Can we watch the sunset for a bit tonight?" I asked as I walked out of the water.
He smiled. "Of course. And I think I know the perfect place for it."
It was so warm and I didn't want to miss the sunset, so I just grabbed my clothes and he led us to a spot overlooking the cove. We sat down on the sandy ledge as we watched the red sun slip beneath the dark horizon.
I was again taken aback by this moment. This was just the first of many, many sunsets with Edward. There would be too many to count; how many sunsets were there in eternity?
Was it really possible to feel this much happiness?
The sunset was gorgeous, but I knew of a sight that would be infinitely more beautiful. I turned my head to look at Edward's face. The sun sent red sparkles across his skin, they went nicely with the bronze of his hair, made all the more apparent in this light; his liquid gold eyes became mesmerizing with the sunlight streaming into them.
I couldn't breathe. This god-like creature was somehow mine. And best of all- I was his.
He stared back at me. Neither of us had spoken a word and yet I felt we both knew exactly what the other was feeling.
His cool hands found their way to cup my face and he bent his head to kiss me. His lips pressed to mine softly, lingeringly. My breath sped and my heart raced. I wrapped my arms around his neck and held tightly.
My mind didn't even register that I should probably stop this, that it would go nowhere. As usual, he would have to be the one to stop.
But he didn't. He didn't break my choke-hold around his neck. He didn't stiffen and turn away. He held on tightly to me, his kisses turning more urgent.
I wasn't sure if I leaned back or he pressed forward, but he was suddenly pressing me into the loose sand. I was so glad I had kept just my swimsuit on, because his hands took great advantage of this fact. They slid down slowly from my neck and across my shoulders. They trailed down my trembling arms, then smoothed across my stomach, heading upwards.
It was too much. I couldn't help myself. I moaned just a little.
That must have woken him up. He opened his eyes to stare down at me in shock. He paused for just a moment before quickly- so fast I barely saw the motion of it- slid away from me.
"I-I'm sorry, Bella." He was breathing hard. "I wasn't thinking." He turned his face away ashamedly.
I lay there for a few minutes, trying to catch my breath, but also reveling in my utter joy. Because that moment had been so right. I felt it, knew it in my bones.
There had never been much logic to Edward's and my relationship. It shouldn't have worked, but of course it had. It was the same with all aspects of our relationship. We were simply meant to be.
I was so happy in that moment, and much more feeling like myself, I could not speak. We walked back to the house and I began to think.
There could be no greater stamp of approval from deity than that moment for me. And obviously Edward wanted it too and was perfectly capable of doing so. He just didn't know it. Well, I would be more than willing enough to educate it him.
But, before I could point this out to him, I realized the beautiful situation I was in. I had pledged to be good from now on and this clearly made Edward more relaxed around me, made him less careful. Even so, nothing would happen between us if I stayed good and tried to not touch him.
But what if I didn't?
He would continue to be less careful around me, and I could slowly, subtly get him to a point where he couldn't refuse.
My world was righted again. Things were as they should be. And my chances were higher than ever. I felt a strange high envelop me.
I ate dinner and kept the conversation on very safe topics. I got dressed in the bathroom and slipped on a non-scary nightie of light blue silk. I crept into the bed and only sighed contentedly when his arms wrapped around me. I kissed him lightly goodnight and he seemed to find nothing amiss.
I could do this. I could seduce him while letting him think I wasn't. I would get an Oscar for this performance. There was no other alternative.
The game was back on.