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."
4. Day Four
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Waking up was much more pleasant this time. The pleasantly cold arms wrapped around me contrasted nicely with the humid air surrounding us. I could hear the ocean waves breaking against the shoreline, a few birds calling distantly from the forests. There was the smell of the beach as well, and the sunlight beaming down through the open window, and most importantly, the delicious scent coming from Edward's chest.
As appetizing as he found me as a human, I found him equally mouth-watering as a paradigm of beauty.
I could now allow myself to ogle as I now had hope. For a whole agonizing twenty-four hours I had given up on the idea of being able to have a proper honeymoon with my husband, but fate had pleasantly intervened and reminded me of the right way. Now that the universe had righted itself and I was back to my main purpose in life- worshipping Edward- I felt so much more at peace. And confident.
Yesterday had taught me a lot. Edward had been so much more relaxed around me, thinking that I would behave myself. It had worked so much more than any of my idiotic attempts at seduction or trying to reason with him.
This opened entirely new opportunities for myself. Now I had a chance. Now I had fate on my side. Now I had a weapon of mass seduction.
As long as I made him think that I wasn't doing anything, eventually he'd have to cave in. It would be simple; I just had to do the opposite of what I wanted.
I wasn't stupid enough to think that this would be easy. I had surprisingly strong hormones, as I had discovered ever since I met Edward. But I knew the prize would be so worth the effort.
So, for example, right now I desperately wanted to kiss slowly up Edward's chest, along his throat, and up to his mouth. But that would incur immediate suspicion. But maybe...
I kept my eyes closed and sighed against his chest as if I were just waking up. I rubbed my cheek against his silky, stone pectoral as I turned my face to softly kiss it. I continued to plant a few kisses up his chest, breathing in his scent all along the way. Just before I reached his throat, I froze my body, opening my eyes to stare at him as if in shock. A blush crept easily onto my cheeks as I was nervous that he would know immediately what I was doing.
"Sorry," I said sheepishly, moving back a little. "I guess I was still dreaming."
From past experience, I would have expected him to gently roll me off of him to the other side of the bed and tell me to play nice. But his expression was warm as he looked at me, a slight smile playing about his lips.
"I don't mind so much." He brushed his fingers across my cheek, feeling the warmth there from my blush. "As long as you still dream of me, you can dream as much you like." He slid closer to me and tightened his hold around my waist. "Did you sleep well?"
I snuggled my face back into his chest. "Of course. Not everyone gets to sleep with the most perfect person in the world."
"Oh, I can think of one other." He kissed the top of my head lightly.
"Ha," I laughed against his chest. "I'm perfect already, huh? Guess that will make me the most perfect person in the universe when I turn into a vampire. Take that, Rosalie."
He sighed. "While I would love you in any form, I personally hope that you won't change too much." His fingers traced from my temple to my chin, turning it up so that he could gaze intently into my eyes. "This has always been the face that I've adored. I don't want to give it up."
My heart started to beat faster. Play it cool, Bella.
But I couldn't resist asking, "And my body?" I arched an eyebrow, but my voice came out a little breathless.
"Hmm..." he considered as his eyes raked over my silk-clad form. "I believe I've grown quite partial to it, too," he murmured.
This would be the perfect opportunity to press said body to his own exquisite one and invite him to inspect his favorite parts for future renovations, but that would blow my cover. Okay, I was doing good though; I just got him to admit that he liked my body- however ludicrous the idea was. Just keep going...
"Well too bad. You're just going to have to settle for a supermodel wife, with guaranteed rocking body. But I'm sure all of the waitresses of the world will mourn with you when I can actually give them a run for their money."
He sighed again and started to kiss different points of my face. "As if you hadn't done all of that since the moment I met you," he muttered.
I snorted as my heart rate sped up. "I don't need to read minds to know that everyone who ever saw us together wondered how I could ever be with you, Edward."
He kissed the hollow behind my ear; I withheld a sigh of pleasure. "That was only from the extreme vanity and jealousy resonating from the female side. If you had paid any attention at all to their male counterparts, you would have known that they all found it completely incomprehensible that you would somehow prefer me." He paused, frowning. "I'll admit- they're not total imbeciles."
I shook my head, disbelieving.
He looked at me with a knowing, almost tired expression. "What will it take for you to finally believe me? I saw and heard it all in their minds. Everyday. Don't you know how every boy longed to touch you cheek?" He demonstrated by stroking the skin over my cheekbones, producing an immediate blush. "To brush his hands through your hair." His fingers slid caressingly over my scalp. "And, most especially, to kiss those temptingly full lips of yours." He brushed his lips against mine.
My heart was thrashing loudly against my chest; it must have been visible. But if I kissed him now, it probably wouldn't last very long. I had to keep him talking.
"Anything else?" I asked hoarsely.
His smoldering gaze took on a slightly murderous glare. "Yes, you have no idea how far those disgusting cretins would go in their fantasies." His steel hands wrapped around my waist, as if protecting me from their evil thoughts. "And all the while they had no idea that my fantasies were filled with the thousands of ways I could kill them..." His eyebrows drew together and he pursed his lips, considering. "Tell me, do you think anyone would really notice if one-hundred and fifty young adult males suddenly went missing?"
He sounded fairly serious.
I frowned at him. "That was what you fantasized about?" I sighed. "You really aren't a normal boy."
"Well, it wasn't just me, I'll have you know. They wanted to kill me too." This thought brightened his expression. "You're also forgetting that I can think of multiple things at the same time. So while those ingrates had their farfetched illusions and I plotted ways to ensure those illusions never came to reality- usually with liberal amounts of skull crushing- I was also able to replace them with myself in some of the nicer fantasies. That made them a tad more pleasant." He winked.
Well whenever you'd like to reenact one, you know who to call... That's what I wanted to say, and only barely bit my tongue in time to prevent it. I was pretty interested in this subject anyway.
"I was always under the impression that your mind would be squeaky clean. I don't believe you."
He laid his head once again onto the pillow and looked up at the ceiling. "Of course you don't," he sighed. "When do you ever?"
"Sorry," I shrugged, unrepentant.
He brought his arm up to support his head as he looked at me. "What would it take for you to believe me?"
"You'll have to tell me a fantasy."
His fingers traced along my arm for a moment as he thought. "I don't know that that would be the best thing to do in a bed, Bella," he reminded me, smiling gently as if not to hurt my feelings.
Well, it sounds like a perfect idea to me. Again, all of these things I wanted to say, but if I did, I would never win. Just think opposite!
I bit my lip. "Oh, you're right. Maybe it's time for breakfast?" But what I really wanted to do was to satisfy another physical hunger...
He smiled at me, seeming to appreciate my willingness to stay away from physical temptation. I suppose it was a first. He kissed me swiftly under my chin and swung me up into his arms, only to place me in a seat when he had walked over to the kitchen.
Not exactly the reaction I was going for, but the reverse psychology was working... sort of. How many times had he kissed or touched me this morning? I just had to remember to be patient- this would have to be a slow-building kind of tension.
"So, what's on the menu for today?" I asked pleasantly.
"I was thinking, if you don't mind taking a temporary break from your scrambled egg obsession" -I scowled at him- "you might enjoy some crêpes?"
Crêpes also had eggs in them. There was hardly a breakfast food that did not contain eggs in some form- clearly eggs were simply meant to be eaten at the break of day. I was not obsessed, just following common sense.
"Sure." I watched as he brought out the pan and ingredients within seconds. Before I knew it, he was pouring the mixture onto the hot pan. "I'm curious now. How much Food Network did you watch to learn all of these recipes anyway? And how did you do this without my knowing it?"
He handed me a plate and utensils, then got some whipped cream and strawberries out of the refrigerator. "I had to do something to keep myself out of Alice's mind, what with all of the dress rehearsals, and hair rehearsals, and make-up rehearsals she had before the wedding. And watching repulsive human food being mixed together has a way of taking all of one's concentration."
"Oh, like blood is so scrumptious-looking..."
He grinned back at me as he slid a perfect, delicate crêpe onto my plate. "Just you wait and see."
I kept my expression unperturbed as I added the whipped cream and strawberries. "But, speaking of Alice, what kind of clothes should I prepare myself to endure today?"
"As in, what are we going to be doing today?"
"That was the general direction of my question, yes."
I took a bite of the crêpe. It was every bit as delicious as it looked. He watched me, waiting for my approval. I gave him a resentful thumbs-up. He beamed and turned back to the stove to make more.
"Well, since we went swimming yesterday, are you willing to venture into the jungle again?" he asked.
"You don't think I want to discover the giant, poisonous insects of the Brazilian jungle, do you? Because I can watch the Animal Channel for that."
He chuckled. "No bugs, I promise."
I waited for him to give me more information about what we would be seeing in the jungle. Apparently he wanted to keep whatever it was a surprise. Well, it probably wouldn't be too scary. Unless-
"Will I be hiking again?" I asked warily.
"Not really," he hedged.
"It's kind of a yes or no question, Edward," I said flatly.
"It's hard to tell what you humans consider to be hiking... you also consider a four minute mile to be a world record." He shook his head condescendingly.
I reminded myself that I had been so absorbed last time we went hiking that I hadn't even noticed the difficulty of it. And likely, today I would still be just as concentrated on Edward as ever.
I drooped my shoulders defeatedly as I bit into another amazing crêpe. "Okay, but I hold you personally responsible for any accidents that happen to me here. Especially involving bugs and jungles."
His body stiffened. Darn it, of course he would be reminded of my bruises. But he said nothing, continuing to make me crêpes and I continued to eat them until I was completely stuffed.
My best options when it came to dressing were a spaghetti-strap top and beige shorts that ended only at my thighs. I donned them quickly and we headed out.
The hike was not very long, or at least it didn't seem too long to me. I did notice more of the twisting branches and slick rocks that intertwined throughout the jungle floor this time. Trust Edward to not have an actual path to follow. He made up for it by always keeping a firm hand on my elbow as we walked, which at least ensured that I never fell down on my face.
After a while, he brought us to a stop. We were still surrounded by thick trees, and there was nothing to mark it from any other place we had gone through, so I was confused that we were stopping here.
He smiled down at me. "Can you hear that?"
I listened hard. I heard some faint bird calls around me, but it sounded distant.
"Kind of. Then again, I don't know what I'm supposed to be listening for..." I reminded him brusquely.
"Hmm, I'd thought this would have been more than close enough even for human ears, but I guess I underestimated even that." He smirked at me as he began to walk us forward again.
I glared back, but after a few moments I was suddenly hearing what I supposed I was meant to hear. And then I was seeing it, too.
A little above us in the branches of the trees were hundreds of beautiful, jewel-bright colored birds. They were so different, so many shades and markings contrasting from one another. The forest echoed with the calls they made to each other.
"Wow," I breathed. "Parrots?"
Edward nodded, looking pleased at my expression. "This colony has been here for quite awhile. They're actually rather tame now. I'm sure you could get closer to one."
I started to walk forward to one of the lower branches where a turquoise colored one was perched. He remained calm as he stared at me curiously, so I stretched out my hand to stroke the feathers on his back. I laughed as he closed his eyes and cooed.
"See?" Edward said, laughing with me. "You've not only conquered humans, but you're moving on to whole other species. Even the birds dream of you touching them. What more proof do you need than that?"
"You're not planning ways to kill him too, are you?" I asked cautiously, continuing to rub my new bird friend protectively. "I mean surely he can't be as bad as..."
"Mike Newton?" he supplied, the murderous glare taking over again.
"Mike Newton," the parrot echoed.
We both frowned at the bird.
"Mike Newton," he repeated, some others joining in.
"That's going to get annoying," Edward muttered.
We continued to play with the birds, or at least, I continued to play with them. Edward remained a cautious distance from them, afraid he might scare them off. He also may not have trusted himself to move any closer to them as they continued to chant Mike Newton's name every now and then, despite my efforts to teach them new words.
Eventually, Edward unpacked lunch for me. As I wolfed down my luscious garlic and butter roasted salmon, I realized something.
"So now that we're out of a bed, you can tell me one of your fantasies right?" I asked, scooting closer to him eagerly.
"You are extremely interested in this subject aren't you?" He looked bemused.
"It's not everyday that I get to hear about you lusting after me..." I muttered before I could stop myself. Ack! I'd almost let my cover slip. I looked at him quickly; he looked slightly confused by my tone. How to correct things? "Oh, but you don't have to tell me, if you don't want to," I amended, biting my lip.
"Hmm..." he considered, brushing his fingers along my arms. "Well, Newton did have a somewhat decent one. He often thought of sneaking off behind the bleachers with you during gym. And I'll admit, he had good reasoning behind it: it protected you from getting hurt and the rest of the students from your bad aim."
I rolled my eyes. "Only you would fantasize about ways of keeping me safe..."
"I just told you- Newton did too."
"Mike Newton," some parrots echoed from the trees.
The conversation paused for a beat, as we both looked in annoyance at the forest.
Time to get back to the subject. "Well, that was one of Mike's, I want to hear one of yours."
"Honestly, you are greatly underestimating the power and breadth of Mike Newton's imagination. I don't think there was a single cubit of space left in that school that he had not desecrated in his fantasies." His eyes narrowed. "Remind me to burn our old biology table, by the way..." He shuddered remembering. Then his voice turned calculating. "Definitely no one would notice if he disappeared. Jessica maybe, but no one listens to her anyway..."
He was avoiding the question. "Didn't you have just one original fantasy?"
He thought about it as I took my final bite. I rolled back onto the blanket, bringing him with me. I stroked his arm lightly until he answered; still fascinated by the way it shimmered when the streaks of sunlight hit it.
"Well, there was always biology. I'm still disappointed that Mr. Banner never chose to show another movie in biology class. I imagined a very different experience than our first." He winked at me.
"You would do that in a class full of people!" I gasped, blushing. I had severely underestimated his lack of inhibition.
"Of course not." He looked offended. "None of my fantasies went as far as that."
My eyebrows drew together. "Wait. So you're saying that you only fantasized about... like, just kissing? That's all?"
He looked at me, unbaffled, an eyebrow raised.
"Oh, you are too squeaky clean!"
He continued to watch me with a mixture of bemusement and puzzlement. "Well, not that those other thoughts never occurred to me, but I wouldn't let myself dwell on them. For one reason, for most of our relationship I didn't believe that was possible for us." His face tightened. "And I had been right."
Gah, with one small sentence he could ruin a whole conversation. I had to distract him.
"What was the other reason?"
It worked. His face cleared only to draw into slight confusion. "Well, even if we hadn't had that obstacle, and I fantasized about things like that, how would that make me any better than Mike Newton?" he asked, perplexed.
It was true that it was gross to think of those other guys thinking that way. But Edward...
He rolled his eyes and sighed. "Sometimes I wonder what would have happened to you if I had never saved you from your uncontrollable hormones, Bella," he muttered.
"Mike Newton," a parrot chirped.
With the fury that came over Edward's face at that moment, I was afraid I would be having parrot for dinner tonight.
"Hey- it's all your own fault! I told you I only get this way around you. Do you see this amazing musculature?" I gestured to his perfect chest. "It was love at first sight the minute I laid eyes on it."
"I believe that would be called lust."
"Remember? They go hand in hand for me. And, again, only for you."
"I'm very glad for it." He kissed my forehead and stood up, pulling me with him by my hands. "Shall we go play with those traitorous Mike-Newton-loving pests over there again? Or should I facilitate some population control?" He grinned, flashing his gleaming teeth wickedly.
"It's your taste buds," I warned him. "Parrots aren't too far away from penguins."
We spent a few more hours in the forests; I protected my bird friends from destruction by teaching them to say ‘Bella Cullen'. It didn't totally endear them to Edward as they then chanted my name with Mike Newton's right up until we left.
We returned home a little too early to start dinner and I, upon seeing myself in the living room mirror, headed quickly to the bathroom. I saw that my hair, having not taken a shower or brushed it since swimming yesterday, roughly resembled a Brillo pad. There were some snarls in it that honestly looked impossible to untangle. There was only the slightest chance that they might come out if I tried to brush them in the shower with enormous amounts of conditioner in my hair.
I jumped in the shower, quickly rubbing in the shampoo, and then the conditioner. I scrubbed myself with a generously soaped-up loofah as I waited for the conditioner to have a chance at working. Then I took my brush and cautiously pulled it through a section of my hair.
It took less than a second. "Bella? What's wrong?" Edward's anxious voice came through the door.
I rubbed the spot I had tried to brush through. It was still completely snarled. I would be bald by the end of this. "It's nothing- I'm fine. My hair is just a bit tangled "-I tried another section- "ow ow ow...."
I heard his hand grip the doorknob.
Wait a second, it took something like this to get Edward to come into the bathroom while I took a shower? Well who was I to refuse...
Just as I was about to tell him to jump on in, I remembered to use my reverse psychology.
"I'm serious, Edward. Don't try to come in here. I'm fine. I just need to- ow! Freaking... OW!" I had tried another section and did not even need to pretend the pain.
I heard the creak of the door as it swung open. Half-excited, half-mortified, I instinctively covered myself with my hands. His white hand shot out to turn off the water as the shower curtain was shoved away. I was suddenly wrapped in a towel and being carried in his arms.
"I'm not about to let you hurt yourself just because your tactile senses are so underdeveloped," he muttered angrily.
He set me on the bed, towel still wrapped firmly under my arms. Then, taking a seat behind me, he took the brush out of my hands and, taking a small section at each time, slowly detangled my hair. His touch was so light and controlled; I barely felt my hair pulled at all.
"Apparently I need to make sure you have time in the morning to shower. I always assumed you were a fairly hygienic person."
I folded my arms in front of my chest, pouting. "This coming from the man who never bathes."
"That's because I don't need to," he reminded me.
"Well you never complained about my smell before... at least, not in that way."
"That's true." He breathed in the scent of my hair and sighed. "It's particularly nice right now. Did you do something new?"
"Alice thought I needed some jojoba oil hoosie-whatsies added to my hair care regimen. I'm not even going to ask how much it cost, but the bottle alone looked like a decent trade for my old truck."
"So it must have been free then..." he muttered.
He brushed my hair from my right shoulder and his nose took in the scent there, sliding along till he reached my neck. I shivered lightly.
"Mmm, did she get you some new soap as well?" he asked as he lightly kissed my throat.
I was having trouble breathing evenly. "Yup."
"It makes you very soft too," he whispered, brushing his cold fingers across a collarbone.
"Oh?" My heart hammered against my chest. "Good. I didn't want Alice to waste her money."
"Not at all." He brushed a cool cheek against my shoulder blade.
I roughly realized that he had finished brushing through my hair. Everything was done and yet he made no movement to leave. He did, however, continue to brush his fingers along my neck and shoulders, enjoying the effects of my shower.
It was extremely hard to think coherently at that time, but I remembered I had to do the opposite of what I wanted.
"I'd better jump back in the shower," I said reluctantly, starting to move away from him.
His arms wrapped around my waist tightly, dragging me back to his stone chest. "Won't you stay a little longer?" he murmured silkily, kissing my hair. "This room could use a little freshening up."
It works best without the towel, I wished I could inform him. This was proof positive that my plan was working though.
I pulled my fingers through my hair, feeling nothing but softness.
"Wow, you're a miracle worker. Would you like to be my personal brush slave from now on?"
"I was just about to ask you the same thing." He inhaled deeply into my hair.
I settled more comfortably into his embrace. "Thanks. For saving me from my tangles. I was afraid we'd have to shave my head. "
"You're welcome. And that would have been one of the greatest travesties in all history."
"But would you still love me?" I turned my face slightly to look at his face, an eyebrow raised.
"Of course." He flashed his special crooked smile. "But I would buy you a great deal of hats."
I swiveled around to hug him, but, when my arms slid around his shoulders, I discovered that my towel was not as secure as I thought. It slipped down off my body to crumple on the bed.
We stared in shock at each other for a second, my cheeks flooding with heat. In the next blink, my towel was once more enveloped around me and Edward was carrying me back to the shower speedily. He set me down in the bathroom doorway.
"Sorry," his face looked strained and his breath came a little faster than normal. "That was my fault. I should have let you go earlier. I'll go get dinner ready." He quickly shut the door.
I let myself pout for a minute in front of the mirror. I had been so close!
Well, it wasn't the best outcome, but it was still a small victory. And the best part hadn't even occurred from my own scheming- clearly that was another sign of approval from fate that I was doing the right thing.
It was a miracle, but somehow I still had not blown my cover. And from the way things had gone tonight, I was whittling down Edward's stamina. Before I knew it, he'd be staying with me in the bathtub. This was going to work.