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Beauty in the Moonlight

A short vignette from Edward's POV as Bella sleeps in his arms.

Mid Twilight, after Bella's introduction to the rest of the Cullens, before the baseball game. I don't own the characters, no copyright infringement intended, etc. This is my first fanfic, so be nice. :)

1. Chapter 1

Rating 5/5   Word Count 632   Review this Chapter

A strand of moonlight reached to touch her face as she lay in my arms. I’d been watching it advance across the dark room for what must have been hours, just thinking about what she would look like when finally it reached her as she slept.

A smile pulled at my lips. I hadn’t imagined that anything could have been more beautiful than the picture I had in my head. I’d been wrong. In this, as in every other aspect of our lives, she exceeded my every expectation.

I watched her eyelids quiver, wondering what she was dreaming about. The luminous rays that touched her skin only served to illustrate its creaminess, its delicacy.

Gently, so gently, I brushed the back of my hand across her cheek, marveling at its softness, its utter perfection. She sighed gently, though I was sure my touch had been feather-light, and moved closer to me without waking.

I stared down at her, feeling a wave of despair hit me. Even in her sleep, when every conscious impulse was muted, this perfect creature lacked some basic survival instinct. She couldn’t know, would never know how close we had both come to total oblivion – her at the hands of a ravenous vampire, me at my own self-loathing. When she had walked towards me that first day, it had taken every ounce of self-control acquired over almost a century not to simply kill her then and there.

Every day, this urge got both easier and harder to bear. Easier, because as I stared down at this delicate human in my arms, I knew I would die a thousand deaths before ever allowing even one hair on her head to come to harm. Easier, because with every movement of her ridiculously fragile body, with every thought that came out of her furiously frustrating mind, with every touch, with every smile, with every kiss, I loved her more and more.

Harder, because the scent I had smelled from her hair that very first day was nothing compared to the scent at the base of her throat. Or of the taste of her mouth.

My arms tightened around her reflexively.

How had I survived so many sleepless nights without her? How, in eighty years, had thoughts of someday sharing moments like these with a soul-mate not tortured me?

Living without her was an impossibility. Even if she had reacted like every other human I’d ever come across – if her skin had crawled at my touch, if her eyes had widened in fear at my smile – even then, I would need her, long for her, love her.

Her head moved even closer to me in her sleep. Moments later, her cheek came to rest gently on my shoulder. She sighed and her lips moved. To anybody else, the sound would have been imperceptible. To me, it was clear as day.

“Edward,” she whispered, “Edward… love you.”

If my eyes had been capable of forming tears, they would have.

I would not allow my Bella to come to harm. I could not. If I had to spend every minute of her lifetime in an agony of self-control, I would. If I had to step away from her, allow her to resume normal life without ever allowing her to see how it would hurt me, I would. I would do whatever it took to ensure that she was safe, and warm, and happy.

My cheek came to rest on the top of her hair. Her warmth radiated out to embrace me, even as my grip on her body tightened. She stirred a little, and, as I hummed the first few bars of her lullaby under my breath, resumed her dreaming with a smile.

I loved her. She loved me. That would be enough. I would make it be enough.