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A Litany at Dusk

Summary:
Thanks to hellacullen for the awesome banner! Edward’s rebellious period wasn't just a few years; it lasted seventy. Having spent his years hunting on the edges of society, he rejoins his family in Forks ready to abstain when he runs acorss a young woman praying. Can a choice be made between one's desires, one's heart and one's soul? Will Edward be willing to fight for her instead of fighting against her? A/U a bit OOC, rated for lemons and adult content, some violence


Notes:
Thanks to PTB for their assistance and to hellacullen, who is the wind beneath my wings! Her consistent and intelligent commentary, suggestions and cheerleading were incredible and I wish everyone a beta like hellacullen. I own nothing of Twilight. Let's see who could be the owner? Possibly SM?


21. Chapter 21 Fusion

Rating 5/5   Word Count 5251   Review this Chapter

Bella

I stepped out of the bathroom and flipped the light switch, plunging the bedroom into darkness. I stopped where I stood, letting my eyes adjust to the darkness.

Edward’s voice came over my shoulder. “Bella, are you sure this is okay? We don’t have to now if…” I heard the uncertainty in his voice.

It was the same feeling I’d had as I’d looked at myself in the bathroom mirror, wondering if I was ready to open up myself in that way with a man again. Is he really a man? I’d asked myself. He was in all the ways that counted, and I could certainly vouch for his human physiology at least because it called to me in all the ways that a man’s body called to a woman. His scent, his broad shoulders and narrow hips all made my hands itch to feel him. Add the intangible qualities of a sense of controlled power, a diffident demeanor and a barely restrained dominance, and it created an undeniable desire for surrender in me. I wanted to put myself in his hands, to submit to his spell and drift wherever he would take us.

I’d picked up a hairbrush and run it through my hair a few times when the cross medallion on my necklace flashed in the mirror. I’d reached for it and held it in my hand as I’d watched myself.

The church told me that sex outside of marriage was a sin. Could I reconcile my faith with my desires? I’d fingered the medallion; it had a very stylized figure of Christ on the cross. Would Jesus condemn me? Everything I had read, all the stories that resonated in my heart told me that Christ’s message was one of love. Love for God, love for man, love for each other. Could the man outside my door be exempt from that? How could I refuse him when he was so obviously deserving, and in the depths of my heart, I felt an undeniable connection, a mirroring of one soul to another. Was it so wrong to minister to each other’s needs, even if that healing could be found in physical love? If he wanted me as I wanted him, I would meet him with an open heart and open arms.

I’d met my eyes in the mirror and acknowledged the underlying fear. Fear of being hurt, of being left again, even fear of being intimate. Would I let that fear stop me now when something so transcendently mysterious, seductive and beautiful waited for me?

I’d slipped my hand under the waistband of my shorts and fingered the ridge of scar tissue that was drawn under my naval like a smile. God had taken my ability to have children, but not my ability to love. I’d breathed a silent prayer, begging God to allow me the freedom to love Edward as he deserved, for I knew I would do so regardless. I loved God, I loved my church, but I saw a profound need in Edward that matched my own and was absolutely undeniable. As strong a claim as the church had on my soul, it now paled beside the consummate, incontestable need for the ethereal creature waiting for me.

I’d glanced back into the mirror and seen my mouth harden into a determined line. God had set Edward in my path for a reason, and I would be brave enough to follow my heart. And if this was wrong, then so be it. If I was already damned and in line at Hell’s doorstep, then let me enter with memories worth burning for.

And with that, I had stepped determinedly into the bedroom, where I’d heard his voice, giving me the choice to stop or go forward.

Very deliberately, I removed my cross from my neck and placed it on the dresser, its silver chain whispering as it slipped though my hand. I turned to where his voice had come from, his figure just barely discernible in the darkness. “If this is a sin,” I whispered, “let us sin together.”

Instantly, he was in my arms, his lips on mine, both his hands in my hair as he captured my face between them. His lips moved across my face, kissing me, while I kissed him back wherever I could reach, trying to feel everything and quivering under his hands. My body started to sing with anticipation. I wanted I needed to be close to him, to merge with him, and I was swallowed up in excitement and longing. Yet under it, I felt a knife’s edge of fear for myself; I was figuratively jumping into the unknown with both feet. Only the certainty in the rightness of our pairing gave me the courage to let all other considerations fade away. My hand slipped around his waist, under his jacket, reacquainting me with the taut muscular lines of his back. As smooth as polished granite, yet I could feel the muscles sliding under his skin beneath my hand.

He stopped and rested his forehead against mine. “Bella, I want you so much. But I can’t take what isn’t given freely. You’re sure this is what you want?”

I kissed his cheek and softly nuzzled the smooth skin on his neck, letting my nose slide along his defined jaw line. “Oh yes,” I breathed. “Yes, I am.” A thought occurred to me. I’d heard the uncertainty in his voice. I’d been so lost in my internal struggles, what of his? I let my hands drop from his waist. “And you? Are you sure?”

“Oh, Bella,” he groaned, low and husky, and pulled me close to him. “More sure than I have ever been of anything.”

With that, I was completely lost. His lips met mine as I hung on to him like a drowning man to a lifesaver, our arms wrapped around each other. His lips were soft and sweet, and they tasted me delicately as if he was savoring every flavor. We stood in the darkness, letting the sense of touch overwhelm us. My universe became the way he tasted, his hard body in my arms, the feel of his tender lips on my mouth and face. I felt myself mold to him like a wave to the shoreline. I could feel the rivets on his leather jacket through the thin cloth of my shirt and the rough fabric of his jeans against my hips and legs. His complex fragrance was filling my senses, surrounding me and hypnotizing me.

He broke our kiss to hold me close and stroke my hair as I pressed my head against his chest, taking deep breaths through my nose, reveling in his scent and letting my hands travel across his back. “I haven’t done anything like this in a long time, Bella. I—I…”

I heard the vulnerability in his voice, and I raised my head, seeing his dark eyes clouded with doubt in himself. I would let my certainty of the inevitability of our togetherness carry both of us. I lifted a hand to his face, letting my finger trace the corner of his perfect mouth in the near darkness. “Well, I hear it’s just like riding a bike…”

He chuckled, low in his chest. “Well, now that I am good at.” His voice got serious then. “You must say immediately if I hurt you.” I felt his hands flex behind my back. “My strength—I’m afraid…” he whispered softly.

The knife-edge of fear drew another line across my heart. I searched myself and realized that it was the unknown that scared me, not the thought of being injured in his arms. “I’ll say so,” I promised, letting my hands slip up his back. “But I don’t think you will.”

With that, he groaned and pulled me closer, his hands starting to travel up and down my back and sides. Everywhere he touched burst into sensation as if, in just that moment, it was brought into being, created under his fingers. It was sparking waves of need in me—need to feel his skin, need for friction, need to finish what we were starting.

“Bella,” he breathed, and I could feel his breath catch in his throat. His words came out in short gasps, his lips brushing along my forehead. “I want… I need… Oh, god, your skin, it’s like…” I raised my eyes to his. They were full of the same fierce desire and need I was being flooded with.

I let my head fall back as his lips traveled down my neck and shoulder, his cool breath sending shivers down my back. “Yes,” I whispered breathily. Whatever he wanted, it was his. Oh please, please, take it.

His hand trailed from my hair down the skin of my shoulder, the coolness of his skin belying the rivers of fire that seemed to burn my skin under his touch. As fluid as silk on glass, his hand went to my waist, slipping under the hem of my shirt, and I gasped as I felt it on the skin of my back. I stepped back from him, and with hands trembling with emotion, went to the hem of my shirt to pull it over my head.

“No,” he whispered, putting his hand on mine. I stopped, unsure, searching his face. His mouth, his eyes were alight with passion, and when he looked at me from under his eyebrows, my knees nearly gave out. “Let me?” he asked softly.

I nodded slowly and let my hands fall to my sides. Beginning at the bottom of my shirt, his long fingers started unbuttoning the tiny buttons. I watched his face, but his eyes didn’t rise from his hands, his eyebrows furrowing just slightly with concentration. I couldn’t believe this angelic, ethereal creature was meant for me. His tousled hair, his dark eyes ringed with thick lashes, his prominent cheekbones and straight nose were so unearthly perfect. My breathing was ragged and uneven as I stood before him, barely able to keep upright against the waves of longing. He came to the top, where a narrow ribbon was all that was left to tie the two sides together. Achingly slow, he watched as his fingers gently pulled the satin bow, undoing it, while my heart pounded wildly in my chest. He groaned as his hand dipped inside my shirt, behind my waist, to pull me almost roughly to him while his other hand came to my head to cradle it as he kissed me again. He exercised such control, such restraint even as I was filled with nearly unbearable need to feel him all of him.

I was not even sure how I became separated from the rest of my clothes. I remembered running my hands along his shoulders and down his arms as his jacket fell to the floor, marveling at the perfection of his arms and hands. I remembered him kneeling on the floor in front of me as my shorts slid down around my hips and the tender way he kissed my scar as I ran my fingers through his hair.

He started on the zipper to his jeans, having shed his tee shirt and shoes. I stepped back to feel the bed against the back of my thighs, and I sat down on it, scooting backwards towards the head of the bed, watching breathlessly as his jeans dropped to the floor. As exquisite as he was clothed, he was only more so when naked. Like Michelangelo’s David, he was breathtaking in his young, masculine beauty. The muscles of his arms, torso and thighs were sublimely defined; with his pale skin, he truly seemed an ancient statue come to life. My heart settled down into a deep, slow beat as time itself seemed to fall into a slow burning grove. Gone were the doubts, the fears. Now there was only the primal need to come together as man and woman.

I had almost reached the head of the bed, when there was deep rumbling from his chest, almost a feral sound, as his hand shot out and grabbed my ankle before I could slide farther backwards from him. Kneeling at the foot of the bed, he pulled me back across the covers as handily as if I were a stuffed doll. His eyes never left mine as he lifted me easily into his lap. The shock of our skin meeting made me gasp.

I sat on his thighs, knees bent, my legs spread around his hips, my breasts pressed against his smooth, hairless chest. He held me to him with one hand, while his other hand roamed my hip and thigh, dipping to cup my buttock. I could feel the heat between my legs where we had yet to meet, his hardness brushing against my sex, sending waves of desire that culminated where we would come together.

“Bella,” he whispered, kissing my neck and shoulders. “So beautiful…”

I might have answered, if I were anywhere near coherent, to tell him how sublime his hair felt in my fingers as I combed it from his face with my fingers, how gracefully his neck met his shoulders, how the small hollows behind his collarbones begged for my lips. I might have said how exquisite his round shoulders felt under my hands as I clung to him, speechless with need.

His hand rose to my breast and tugged at the nipple, making me sigh with the thrill of pleasure shooting through me. My whole body felt as keyed up as if an electric current were passing through it, and I tucked my head into his neck, panting with the voltaic feelings. Slowly, he bent me backward to bring his mouth to my breasts, first one, then the other, lips pulling at the erect tip and flicking his tongue across the nipple, forcing long, breathy moans from me. It was almost more than I could bear, and I ground my hips against him, trying to express the urgency of my desire.

Suddenly I was on my back, him hovering above me. I spread my knees wider around his hips and clawed at his back, arching my own, trying desperately to find the friction I was aching for.

“Bella,” he breathed, “I need—please, be still.”

That snapped me out of the erotic frenzy I had lost myself in. I studied his face, just inches from mine, and realized he was trembling with the force of his concentration. His face looked almost scared, and I realized how hard he was restraining himself. I nodded at him and made my breathing slower. “Whatever…you need…” I gasped.

His hand stroked my hair. “So beautiful,” he whispered again and kissed me softly and deeply on the lips. I was panting with the effort to hold myself still when every nerve in my body demanded friction, hardness, and contact. Holding himself above me on his elbows, I felt his hardness gently push into me, and I heard a long, rumbling growl from him, even as I threw my head back and gasped. We lay there for a moment, both of us panting, becoming accustomed to the sensations of being joined together. I closed my eyes and bit my lip, fighting against the need to move, willing to let him take whatever control he needed.

And then he started to move, creating glissandos of pleasure that rippled through me. Slow, small movements at first, and then his hands curled around my shoulders, trapping me firmly under him. We found our rhythm, and with each advance, I was rising to meet him, each of us crying out softly with every forward movement. His thrusts got slower, longer and harder, and his hands left my shoulders to grab at the bed sheets beside them. I clung to his back, my legs wrapped around his hips, trying to draw him in further. The sensations were intensifying until the friction became the only thing in the world that mattered, and then, too soon, he groaned, long and drawn out, lost in pleasure. A shudder ran through him from shoulders to toes as he climaxed, while with eyes shut I clutched at him, riding the end of our passion, letting his pleasure wash over me.

I continued to move under him, milking what pleasure I could from our continued contact, not quite having reached an orgasm myself, while my nerves continued to sing with excitement, stretched tighter than piano wire.

He was still above me, resting his weight on his elbows, moving slowly in and out. “Bella, love,” he whispered, gently planting small, soft kisses, on my cheeks, nose and eyelids.

“Oh, Edward,” I cried, holding him closely and still highly keyed up.

He slowly pulled out of me, leaving me feeling vacant and gasping for more. He shifted to my side, glancing up and down my body. “Are you okay?”

“M-m-m yes, very okay,” I said, turning to let my hand trace his arm and shoulder.

“No injuries?’ he asked with concern, resting on his side, as I shifted to face him. His eyes were soft and tender. I couldn’t help but run my finger along his sharply defined jaw line and across his neck where his Adam’s apple nested.

“No,” I laughed. “That’s good, right?”

“Oh, yes, that’s very good,” he chuckled, and I could hear the relief in his voice. “I’m afraid your mattress didn’t fare as well,” he said with mock sadness.

I raised my head and then twisted to see where his eyes were focused. Just above where my head had lain, were two fist sized holes, gouged through the bed sheet and into the mattress ticking.

I sat up and twisted around to touch them with my fingers. “Dang.” I looked at him incredulously. “You did that?”

“I’m sorry,” he said, not sounding very contrite. He rested a hand on my thigh, sending pulses of excitement up my leg. “I’ll buy you another.”

“Damn straight you will,” I said lightly, scowling playfully at him.

“But there is something else we need to take care of first,” he said, pulling me from my sitting position and toward him, until I was back lying beside him with our legs tangled together. My breath caught in my throat when I saw the gleam of desire in his eyes.

“What’s that?” I asked, looking up at his perfect face. The glow from dawn was just starting to creep into the room, but his face was still shadowed with the night.

He rolled us, so I was on top of his firm, muscular body. He pushed the hair away from my ear, and bringing his cool lips to bear, whispered against it, causing shivers to run down my back. “You.”

I could only whimper in response as his hands started moving on me, sending rivers of fire along my nerves. I was soon gasping again, while his hands and his mouth seemed to be everywhere on me. Wrapped in a fog of eroticism, I even lost sense of my position on the bed, until there was nothing but his fingers moving deftly against and inside me, the feel of his cool lips as they sucked and caressed my skin, his scent, his incredible scent, and his voice murmuring, low and soft. He held me against his hard chest, crooning softly in my ear as I came the first time, the rhythmic pelvic contractions so strong, I curled against him, crying out with the waves of intense pleasure.

When at last the pleasure subsided, I lay panting, on my back with his arms around me, my body still singing with the ecstasy. He traced a line down the middle of my chest with his forefinger, while I closed my eyes and arched under his hand. "Mmmm," I murmured, still groggy with the intensity of the climax.

"This has to be wrong," he whispered. I opened my eyes. His face was so immensely sad. "There's no way I deserve this."

I put my hand on his face, and he twisted to kiss the palm. "Edward, don't say that."

"I can't help it. Being here with you feels like I've walked into someone else's life. My life has been so dark for so long. I'd given up hope..."

"There is always hope," I whispered. "Even the darkest night gives way to dawn. We'll let the light in together."

"I see the light," Edward said, drawing the back of his finger down my cheek. "It's here in your face, and every time I look at it, I am blinded.” He shook his head wistfully. “How can this be meant for me?"

I was addled with emotion. "Oh, but it is. It has to be. I've never felt more sure."

He put his hand on mine again, palm to palm. He watched as together our hands traced a circle in the air. "I would sacrifice everything, everyone for you.” He looked at me, his eyes fierce. “Everything,” he hissed.

My breath hitched in my throat as he gazed at me with those penetrating eyes. "I would never ask."

“Still, it is yours,” he said, bringing my palm to his lips to kiss. His hands started moving on me again, until I was moaning with want and need. I was still dazed when he pulled me on top of him, positioning my hips and then lifting me and settling me on his hardness, so I slid down his shaft, moaning. He was in me deep, so deep; I’d never felt so open, so vulnerable and yet so protected and cherished. We were moving in rhythm, me rocking back and forth above him, while his hands wandered over my thighs. It was making love in the truest sense, a fusing of souls. I heard him whisper, “Everything, everyone,” before his hands trailed slowly up my thighs and pressed just above where we joined. The sensations of being so open, yet so filled, overwhelmed me, and I gasped and shuddered, falling under the dark waves of my climax. He joined me then, his back arching under me and his head thrown back with a soft cry.

I lay curled against him, panting with exertion, my hair brushing along him until, with a long exhalation, I collapsed, resting my head against his steely, silky chest. Such an amazing collection of contradictions: so hard yet so soft, so powerful and yet so controlled. Even as satiated as I was, I couldn’t stop my hand from roaming over the roundness of his shoulder, the long muscles of his arms, the delicate silky strands of hair on his forearms, the wide planes of his chest. “How did you get so beautiful?” I murmured, almost to myself.

He rolled us so I was lying half way under him. “More importantly,” he said, “how did you?”

He ran his hand down my arm, laying it flat against the sheet and then traced his fingers up again, along my sensitive inner arm. His face was elegantly serene, and his hair was mussed in the most seductive way. My contemplation of his breathtaking looks was broken by the insistent feelings of his fingertips. I squirmed against him; the inner arm was a particularly ticklish area of mine.

“Ticklish,” I breathed in response to his puzzled look.

He did it again as I squirmed once more, trying to tuck my arm against myself. “This makes you laugh?”

“Well, kind of,” I said, giggling.

“Oooh, I like the way it makes you squirm.” He smiled devilishly.

I raised my hand to his armpit, trying to tickle him in a couple places along his torso, but he just looked at me.

“Hmmm.” I grimaced in frustration. “You’re not ticklish?”

“Not that I’m aware of.” He looked off in the distance for a moment. “Maybe…when I was a child…”

I sat up next to him, tucking my legs under me while he rolled to his side and rested his head on his hand.

“How about this?” I asked, trying a new place along his ribs.

“Is it supposed to be funny? I mean, it makes you laugh, right?” He was genuinely perplexed, and that was just vexing me, as I was extremely ticklish in places, a fact that my cousins had used unmercifully when I was growing up in Phoenix.

I tickled along the crease of his hip and underneath his knee, but he grinned and shook his head. I reached down to his foot and ran a nail along the bottom of his foot, checking back over my shoulder. He shook his head again. “Maybe I can’t be tickled,” he said, almost sadly.

I had one more trick to try. I gathered a clump of my hair in my hand, and with the tips of it, dragged it lightly along the underside of his toes. His foot jerked back sharply.

“I think I found a spot,” I said mischievously, while his face registered surprise.

“Do it again,” he said, presenting his foot. Again, I took the tips of my hair and just lightly dragged it under his toes. He started chuckling, which only encouraged me further, until I was brushing his toes furiously while he lay on his back, laughing wholeheartedly. Something in me right then blossomed outwards, though I didn’t recognize it until later. It was shared joy and it cemented me to him. Watching as he lay on his back, in all his splendid nakedness, his head thrown back and body shaking with laughter, I felt more in tune with the universe, with love, with God than ever I had before.

His laughter rang in the small bedroom, as musical as chimes, as lovely as the laughter of children. I was immensely pleased that I had shown him something new about himself, and when he sat up and pulled me to his chest, he was smiling widely, as pleased as I was.

“I think I still want to explore this tickling thing on you,” he said playfully, rolling me back down to the mattress so we were lying face to face. “How about here?” he asked, sliding a hand down my belly.

“No, that’s ok,” I breathed.

“How about here?” he said, while running his fingers lightly along the crease of my hip, instantly causing me to squirm and giggle.

“Yes, ticklish there,” I confirmed.

“How about here?” he whispered, taking my breast in his hand, causing me to inhale sharply through my teeth.

“No, not ticklish,” I sighed, arching my back.

“And here?”he asked, trailing a hand down my stomach to cup a hand between my legs.

In response, I threw my arm around his neck and kissed him.

Our joining this time was much more vigorous, more playful and yet more primal. The patter of rain had started outside the window, the black of night giving way to a dark grey dawn. We’d started in this lazy position on our sides while I threw a leg over his hip, joined together but just barely, letting the heat build again between us. Then we’d shifted so I was sitting on his lap, impaled on him with my legs wrapped around his hips, my arms around his shoulders, feeling him move slowly underneath me. We held each other’s eyes, watching each other’s faces as the sensations got stronger and more demanding, seeing the growing excitement reflected in our eyes, and hearing it in the shared small gasps and moans. I found that if I twisted in a certain way as he thrust upwards, he closed his eyes and inhaled, and each time he did, a thrill of ecstasy ran down my nerves. Joyous that I could bring such pleasure to him, I ignored the tickle of soreness that had started for the feelings were too good, too intense to stop. The humidity and the warm air created a trickle of sweat down my body and soon it was making our skin slide together in interesting, slippery ways.

Finally, the primal urge for completion took control and he’d slid us down to the edge of the bed. With my legs in the air, he stood on the floor, holding my ankles wide apart in a vee as I clutched at the covers beneath my hands, while he pounded into me again and again until the world contracted into a single spot inside me, and then exploded outwards. He curled over me, trembling with a cry that came from the depths of him. I clutched at his back, both of us carried along on the wave of ecstasy, until he came to rest on top of me, the two of us breathing heavily. I murmured to him, trying to soothe him as he shivered with the strength of emotions running through him. Something had been opened in him, leaving him vulnerable and almost scared, causing all kind of protective instincts to rise in me, as I stroked his forehead.

My angel. He is my angel, I thought to myself, more sure than ever that God had meant for us to be together. This couldn't be a sin, not when it felt so right, as if the universe had finally aligned and was at last preparing to make sense.

We moved back up on the bed and held each other quietly, completely fulfilled, listening to the rain at dawn. I may have been dozing, when I heard him stir beneath my arms.

He kissed the top of my head. “I would like you to come with me to Vancouver. Will you come? Can you get away?”

“When?”

“Today—this afternoon. Sleep now and I will come get you later.”

“Well, I am supposed to work tonight…” Even without raising my head, I knew he was waiting. He had yet to realize that if he asked me for anything, I could only helplessly give to him.

“Please,” he said. “I would like to show you my house.”

“You have a house in Vancouver?” I asked, raising my head and resting my chin on his chest so I could watch his face.

“It’s one of several, but it’s the important one. I’d like to share it with you.” In the faint light of the dark morning, his eyes looked almost red.

“You have a couple of houses,” I said, unbelieving.

“Yes,” he said, like it was nothing to own a couple of houses. “I travel so much, it was necessary.” He stroked my cheek with the back of his fingers. “You’ll come then.”

“I suppose I could ask Selena if she’ll cover for me tonight.” The coyness had been worth it, to watch as his face lit up with my assent.

He hugged me tighter to him. “There’s so much I want to show you. One lifetime shall not be enough.”

I sighed and rested my head back down on his chest. “One lifetime is all we have.”

He kissed the top of my head again, but said nothing. Gradually, the patter of the morning rain lulled me into unconsciousness, and he must have slipped out of bed as I was sleeping. I faintly remembered him kissing my cheek and telling me that he had some things to take care of and would be back for me later. I couldn’t say if I was dreaming or if it was for real when he whispered in my ear, “I love you, Bella.” In my dream, at least, I whispered back, “I love you too.”