Bella‟s Lesson Before The Wedding

With only one week left before my wedding, I was excited, anxious, and lacked sleep for a variety of reasons. First of all, I was getting married. Me, Bella Swan. At the tender age of eighteen, I was about to marry my vampire boyfriend, who would eventually turn me into a vampire as well. Sometimes I didn‟t think my life could get any more surreal…then I would remember. Running away from vicious trackers, facing down sadistic, self-appointed vampire overlords, horse-sized wolves, battling an army of bloodthirsty newborns, and the list goes on and on endlessly. When I really broke it down, getting married straight out of high school was the least crazy thing to happen in my relationship with Edward since the day we first met. He had kissed me goodbye no more than five minutes ago. While Edward was off hunting with his brothers, I was at the Cullen home for yet another slumber party á la Alice. I hid in Edward‟s bedroom for as long as possible, but I knew I had to give in soon and make my way downstairs. Just as I reached for the doorknob, it turned quickly, opening the door for my future sister-in-law.

“Bella! Why don‟t you sit back down on the bed and we‟ll have some girl talk,” the dark-haired tropical storm suggested. I quirked an eyebrow in her direction; her tone was suspicious. “What?” I asked in a whiny, exasperated tone. I was forced to walk backwards toward the bed as Alice continued to force her way into the room. “Sit.” As she took her place across from me on the plush mattress, I noticed her black messenger bag for the first time. “What‟s in the bag, Alice?” “Well, Bella, that‟s why I‟m here.”

Oh dear lord, what now?
She offered me a genuine smile, immediately launching into her explanation. “I‟ve seen this conversation go a few different ways depending on how I begin, so I‟m just going to come right out and ask. Bella, do you have any experience with male anatomy?” “With what?” I choked out in disbelief. “A penis, sweetie. Have you ever seen or touched a penis before?” “No,” I muttered, shaking my head. “Have you watched pornography?” “Oh god, no!” I was absolutely mortified that we were having this conversation. Alice may be my best friend, but this was still incredibly embarrassing. With vampire speed, she whipped something out of her bag and set it on the bed in front of me. I jumped slightly when I realized what it was. Alice had placed an open magazine in front of me. Not just any magazine, a nude magazine. Penises galore…or would they be penii?

“Geez! Give a girl a little warning, why don‟t you?” Of course, Alice giggled at my reaction. “Sorry, sweetie. I just didn‟t think you would accept the magazine if I told you about it first. Now, let‟s look.” “Alice, I seriously don‟t need a sex talk. I may not know exactly what to do, but I‟m aware of the basic mechanics. My mom went over all that with me when I was twelve. As for the…other stuff, I‟d sort of like Edward and I to figure it out together.” She smiled again, a hint of mischief in her little smirk. “What?” I asked feeling annoyed. “Well, it‟s not really the how-to I wanted to talk to you about, though I am willing to answer any questions you might have. Let‟s look at some pictures.” Reluctantly, I peered down at the glossy paper once more. There was no way Alice would ever give up this fight, so I would have to suffer through it. My best chance of getting it over with quickly was to listen and do whatever she asked of me. “What do you notice about each of these men?” she asked seriously. “Umm, their bodies are over muscled and over oiled?” “Be serious, Bella,” she scowled. “I am!” “Fine, then,” she huffed. “I was trying to make this easier on you, but I can see you‟re not willing to cooperate.” In a flash, another magazine lay across my lap. In bold orange letters, the name on the cover read, Uncut. I sat there, stock still and completely dumbfounded. This was by far the most humiliating experience of my life. Alice meant well, as always, but what was the purpose of torturing me this way? “How many more magazines do you have in there?” I asked incredulously. “I think one would suffice.”

“Not exactly,” she replied cryptically. Now I was just getting annoyed. “Here‟s the thing. Essentially, all men are the same. Length and girth vary and even the shape to some degree, but they have their similarities.” “Where are you going with this, Alice?” “Well, most men in today‟s culture are going to look like the photos in that first magazine,” she said, pulling it out and setting it on top of my little stack. “However, Edward isn‟t a part of modern culture…at least he wasn‟t when he was born.” Silently, she put the second magazine back on top, gesturing for me to open it and look inside. Giving in, simply because I had to, I flipped through the pages. The sight of so many different naked men was slightly fascinating, but at the same time it made me cringe. I didn‟t want to see a bunch of random naked men, I wanted Edward only. It took a few moments for me to register why this magazine was different from the first one and what exactly its title meant. These guys were…uncut, literally. “Whoa! Oh…damn Alice, what‟s with the anatomy lesson?” At first, she scowled. “Bella, weren‟t you listening to anything I just said? I imagine that if you have seen a penis in a movie or photo or even real life that you‟re not telling me about, it was probably circumcised, right?” Without answering directly, I nodded my head in confirmation. “Right, so let‟s go back to what I was saying about Edward not being from modern culture…” Her words drifted off, and she looked at me expectantly. There was something I was supposed to be putting together here, but it hadn‟t clicked. Unwillingly, I stared back down at the magazines in my lap, searching for some clue. My eyes darted back and forth between the pornographic photos on the thin, glossed pages. Then it hit me.

“Umm, Alice…” I began, peering at her, but then squeezing my eyes shut. There was no way I could bear to look at her right now. “Are you telling me…that Edward…?” “Has a turtleneck? A hoodie? A parka?” “Oh my god, stop!” I yelled, burying my face in my hands. Her tinkling laughter filled the room, but stopped abruptly. I assume that was about the time she noticed my skin was the same color as a fire truck. “Oh Bella, I‟m sorry! I was only trying to lighten the mood. My humor may have been a little displaced.” “You think?” I shot back sarcastically. “All right, all right, I‟m sorry for that, but not for wanting to help,” she said with a soft sigh. “I know that your honeymoon will be the first time for everything – for both of you – and I don‟t want there to be any, err, unnecessary surprises, if you know what I mean.” Her words were slightly hesitant, but Alice‟s expression was serious. “Do we really need to talk about this?” I asked, almost pleadingly. “I would really prefer to keep that particular part of our marriage private.” I watched Alice roll her eyes at me, which incited an emotion I had never felt toward her before: annoyance. “Bella, you forget that there are no secrets in this family.” “Great,” I muttered bitterly. “Are you having second thoughts about joining us?” Now it was my turn to roll my eyes. “Don‟t you think you would see that if I was?” Her smile returned. “Of course, but I still wanted to make you say it out loud. Now let‟s get serious.”

“I really don‟t want to talk to you about my fiancé‟s – your brother‟s – penis,” I said, almost whispering the last word. “It doesn‟t bother me! Jasper is older than Edward, so I have plenty of experience with this particular subject. Now, Edward and his foreskin…” Serious. I could be serious, right? My mother always told me that if you are not mature enough to discuss something sexual, you are not mature enough to do it. Eerily enough, Edward seemed to share that sentiment. Logistically, he probably knew more about sex than anyone else on the planet. Granted he was as devoid of experience as me, but people always say those details are instinctual. I, on the other hand, had only ever seen someone‟s manhood once in real life. Actually, I don‟t think it would qualify as „manhood‟ considering that the penis in question belonged to a twelve year old boy during a game of Truth or Dare at Becky Claypool‟s birthday party in sixth grade. Aside from that, it was National Geographic, Boogie Nights, and now these magazines. In approximately eight days, my new vampire husband and I would be on our honeymoon in some undisclosed location. Edward agreed that we could at least try once we were married, and I didn‟t want to hinder that experience in any way. Despite all his doubts about his self-control and strength, I had complete faith in the man I loved. It was important for me – for us – to experience this together before my change. We had waited all of our disproportionate lives to find one another, and this needed to be perfect. That may have been a heavy expectation, but I couldn‟t fathom being with Edward as anything less than perfect, even if it wasn‟t. This conversation needed to happen, whether I liked it or not. “Okay, I will be serious and we can talk about it, but-“ “You have one condition,” Alice interrupted with a sly grin. It was apparent she already knew what was coming. “Go ahead and say it. It‟s an important part of this for you, sweetie.” “Right,” I nodded. “I agree to have this sex talk with you in a mature manner, and I affirm that I am adult enough to use words like penis and foreskin, even if they make me feel a little weird.”

“Go on,” she said encouraging me. “But because I don‟t want to feel like we‟re having a conversation out of the ninth grade sex Ed text book at Forks High, I would prefer to use some slang terms.” Alice said nothing, only nodding in agreement and understanding. I continued. “That being said, all references to Edward‟s penis will be EJ, for Edward Junior. If you must refer to Jasper‟s business, please call it JJ.” “I already do,” she said with a wink that made me gasp. “I‟m kidding! EJ and JJ are fine with me and are definitely better than the majority of slang terms out there these days. So what about their uncircumcised state? Is there a term you would prefer?” Finally, I smiled back at her. Alice always had a way of making me feel at ease. She was a wonderful friend to have. The terms she had teasingly used earlier ran through my mind, along with a few others I had heard before. “I think I like „parka,‟” I admitted with an involuntary giggle that made me slap a hand over my mouth. “It‟s kind of funny!” I squealed between my fingers. A hazy look crossed Alice‟s face, and then she was back with me. “This conversation is going to go very well. Oh, and you‟re right, that is a very funny term. Now let‟s get down to business with EJ, JJ, and their parkas!” We sat there for hours on Edward‟s bed, which was actually more, my bed than his. I don‟t think he ever would have made that addition to his bedroom if it weren‟t for my need to sleep and my desire to be affectionate. Alice explained a lot of things to me – things I never would have been comfortable talking about with Renee. How could I explain to my mother that my fiancé was sporting a parka and that, no, it could not be removed even if he wanted? That‟s not even taking into account how I would know such a thing. I first received a lesson in the history of circumcisions, which I felt was wholly unnecessary. Alice disagreed, and I sat through it despite my objections. I felt obligated to actually listen, fearing that she might quiz me on this later. No one

wants to face the wrath of Alice. Once we completed the history lesson, she launched into a discussion about the differences in sexual activity for human men who were and were not circumcised. It was actually quite informative, but completely unsexy. At long last, we got to the gory details. I learned far more about Jasper and JJ than I ever wanted to know that night, but it was all for the greater good. Alice had experience, and although she assumes she was a virgin prior to her change, it was far more than I had. She and Jasper had been together for nearly sixty years. When it came time to discuss EJ, I felt much more comfortable with Alice and this direct instruction. “Some woman claim to enjoy sexual activity more with men who have a parka, while others say it doesn‟t make a difference. For you, it won‟t really matter because you won‟t have anything to compare it to. That‟s how it‟s always been for me. It is what it is, so to speak.” “Right,” I agreed with a nod. “You‟ll understand when you get there. Just remember what I told you about the head. It‟s the most sensitive spot, especially the underside, and Edward‟s parka will offer a little more opportunity to play. Most people believe it makes things…easier.” She then took the time to explain a few tricks that Jasper enjoyed, but reminded me that not all men like the same things. This led us off track for a while as we discussed other hurdles I may face with Edward‟s old fashion sentiments about sex and respecting women. “He loves you and he wants to share those experiences with you, but we both know Edward is a bit of a prude. Take things slow and talk about what you want, both for yourself and for him. If you confront him directly about those things, he‟ll be forced deal with his own insecurities. You will both be happier in the end.” “Alice, I know that I objected to this earlier, but I really do want to say thank you,” I told her with all the sincerity I could muster. I meant every word. “I feel much more prepared now.”

“I love you, Bella, and I just want you and my brother to enjoy your honeymoon. The last thing either of you needs is to feel awkward the first time you see him naked!” We fell onto the bed in a fit of giggles, rolling and kicking our feet against the mattress. This conversation had been uncomfortable, unexpected, and weird, but also insightful, informative, and very necessary. There was a good reason Alice was my best friend, and she certainly proved it tonight. I prepared for bed, and when I emerged from Edward‟s bathroom in my pajamas, Alice was lying there waiting for me. “You‟re too used to sleeping with Edward‟s cool body next to you. You won‟t be able to fall asleep if I don‟t stay.” I smiled as I climbed into bed, understanding the vision she must have had while I was changing. She curled up beside me platonically, staying on top of the duvet cover, just as Edward always did. Her quiet hums were different from the songs that usually lulled me to sleep, but they did the trick. I dreamt of Edward and our infinite future, relishing my last few nights to enjoy the world within my subconscious. .......... “Edward, please...” “Please,” kiss, “what,” kiss, “love?” kiss. “I need you,” I panted, but it came out half whiny. “You have me,” he replied, chuckling softly at my tone. I sighed in frustration, pulling his body closer to mine. We lay side by side on my little bed; I wrapped beneath the covers, Edward in all his shirtless glory. “I don‟t think I can wait any longer,” I whispered, softly pressing another kiss against his perfect lips.

He smiled that amazing, drool-worthy crooked grin at me for the thousandth time tonight, and I couldn‟t help but swoon. Experimentally, one of my hands trailed down from the small of his back to cup his hard behind. Immediately, he shifted away from me. “Bella,” he chastised. “It‟s only two more days until the wedding. We can wait just a little longer…” I scowled and scooted closer again, slapping my hand firmly back in its previous resting place. “That‟s two days too long. You have no idea what you do to me.” Very slowly, I brushed back my comforter and kicked it away. Wiggling around until it was smoothed out beneath me; I resituated myself against Edward‟s cold chest. The better access allowed me to trail kisses along his neck, over his shoulders, and across the top of his chest. He was normally the one to pepper my skin with endless attention, but I needed him to loosen up tonight. It was the closest I had ever come to seducing him since the night he first proposed. To my surprise, he allowed my affectionate display. My bravery grew the longer he allowed me to go on, and somehow, I had Edward on his back in my bed. His hands were in my hair and on my back, stroking in the cautious and gentle manner I had grown accustomed to in our time together. Anywhere he touched me felt amazing, but I wanted more. Encouraged by the unnecessary breaths I could feel him taking as his chest rose and fell slightly beneath me, I gripped the hem of my tank top and tore it over my head before he could object. Heart in throat, I looked into his wide eyes as they darted back and forth between my face and my bare breasts. Instinct told me to cover myself with my arms and hide, yet I could not. This was Edward. My Edward. The man who would be my husband in two short days. As desperate as I may have been for his approval, I needed to remain calm and poised. “Bella, what are you doing?” he groaned. His eyes flashed with lust, but in his voice I heard the strain. It was exactly what I wanted. My confirmation that he craved my body as desperately as I did his was firmly set in place.

“It‟s only fair,” I said softly, trailing a single finger down his smooth chest. “If you are allowed to be shirtless, I should be afforded the same luxury.” Despite my words, I wanted to vomit. Of course, Edward called me out on it. “You‟re heartbeat is going wild. You‟re nervous, love.” “I wouldn‟t be nervous if you touched me.” “I am touching you.” Gripping his hands securely in mine, I brought them to my hips. I could not have placed them there if he did not allow me to do so, and that fact encouraged me more. “Really touch me. This is all yours, Edward. All of me. I want to feel your hands on me.” Silently, I dragged his flattened palms up my stomach. He hesitated at my ribs, but I would not relent. Resting them on my breasts, I removed my hands from over top his and let them trail down his arms. Carefully, almost experimentally, he cupped them, as if weighing the modest lumps in his large hands. The feeling that shot up my spine was incredible. Of all the times Edward held me or all the ways he kissed me, it had never felt like this. “Oh Edward,” I moaned quietly, not wanting to wake Charlie. “I love you.” “I love you, my Bella.” His voice was deeper than usual, which made me shiver. “Please tell me if I hurt you.” “You could never hurt me.” Perched above him, I tried to remain calm as he held and massaged me with those long pianist fingers. With some hesitance, he tried different things; rubbing his thumb around my areola with a feather-light touch, softly pinching my nipples, and kneading my heated flesh ever so carefully. As he worked me over, my breathing became erratic and labored. I watched his face as he

carefully studied my reactions, but it was hard to hold his gaze when my head would tip back in pleasure. Without truly thinking about it, my hips began to rock against him, working our way to blissful alignment. To my surprise, he was moving in time with my body. I could feel him pressing against me through the thick fabric of his jeans. “Mmf!” I squeaked out in a high pitched moan, just as a low growl rumbled through his chest. It was the first time I had ever heard him growl in pleasure and it thrilled me. I wanted more. I slid back a few inches, separating our fiery centers, but not giving up on this pleasure course. Looking down upon the obvious bulge in his pants, I laid my hand over EJ and squeezed. A deeper, more menacing growl echoed through my room. “Bella!” he hissed, dropping his hands from my chest. I immediately missed the cold pressure on my skin. “We can‟t do this. Not tonight!” “Just let me feel you,” I begged. “Like this, just like this. I promise you, Edward, this is all I want.” “I don‟t know if…if I can control myself, love.” The pleading look in his eyes made me waver for a moment, but I would not give up so easily. This was for both of us. Using my free hand to push a few pieces of stray hair from his face, I smiled down at him. “You can. This is new for both of us. I want to know you before our wedding night.” “It‟s not proper,” he argued. “Neither is sneaking into my bedroom every night while my father sleeps, but that has never stopped us,” I countered with an evil smirk. “All you have to do is let go. I won‟t try to go any farther tonight. Only this.” The hand resting on EJ began to move again, and I knew Edward was powerless to me. Soft and slow at first, I wrapped my hand around what I could through the denim and rubbed up and down his length. I couldn‟t really

feel more than his size, but this was a huge step for us. In all the time we had been together, our intimate moments always had boundaries. Tonight, we had crossed several, and it was a dizzying sensation. I silently wondered if this is what being drunk felt like. With vampire speed, Edward scooped me up and repositioned us so that we were both sitting up in my bed, me in his lap. His arms wound around my back lovingly, while he panted into my hair. “Why did you stop?” I asked, snaking my own arms around his cold torso. His lips pressed against mine in answer, moving slower than before. This was not anxious or needful. I recognized that this was the end of our fun for tonight. Nonetheless, my nipples still ached in a delicious way being pressed against him. In fact, our chests pressing together with nothing between us was incredible. “Edward?” I asked when his head came to rest on my shoulder. He did not relinquish his hold. “I love you more than my own life, you know that, right?” “Of course,” I replied, pulling back to look at his face, which was now staring back at me. “And I love you.” “Then you‟ll understand that I don‟t want to get carried away.” I shook my head and smiled at him, pushing a strand of hair out of my face. “I promised you I wouldn‟t push.” “That‟s not what I meant, love,” he chuckled darkly. “It‟s the result that was my concern. Feeling you touch me that way was…indescribable. You are amazing.” To my surprise, Edward seemed at a loss for words. “So you stopped me because…” I trailed off, trying to drag an explanation out of him. “Bella, if I had not stopped you…I was very close to…climaxing.” Looking into his eyes at that moment, I felt quite certain my sweet vampire would have

blushed if he was capable. “I want that to be something we experience together.” “I see.” My smile was wide, and I hugged him with all my might. His smooth, soft skin felt so good against mine. I never wanted to let go. “You are an incredibly unselfish man, no matter what you think of yourself, Edward Cullen.” With a light-hearted laugh, he laid me down on the bed and pulled back my blankets. “Sleep now, love.” “Wait!” I protested, grabbing his arm. “Lay under the covers with me.” “You‟ll be cold.” “I‟ll add an extra blanket.” “At least put your shirt on.” “No, and you don‟t either. I like the way you feel so close to me.” “Only until you fall asleep, love.” I rolled to my side, and Edward took his place behind me in the spoon position. His top arm wrapped around me protectively, resting against my breasts. Clasping it in mine, I held us there, close to my heart. It was comfortable and peaceful, allowing sleep to creep in easily. .......... Moonlight reflected off the glistening black surface of the water, but nothing matched the hauntingly beautiful view of my new husband waist deep in the sea. He turned to me slowly, his fingertips creating small ripples as they dragged along the top of the warm saltwater. Few words were exchanged before I was in my love‟s arms. The only items adorning our bodies were our new wedding bands. “You‟re doing better already,” I said with a smile.

“What do you mean by that?” he asked. My fingers wove through the hair at the back of his head. “Instead of buying me my own island, you borrowed one. That must be a big step for you.” “Enough talking,” he muttered against my mouth. Unyielding, hard lips crushed my soft ones. I felt the sand beneath my feet disappear, and I was moving deeper into the water. When we stopped, the water was too deep for me to stand, so he lifted my body until my legs wrapped around his waist. Only hours ago we stood before our family and friends in the Cullen home, pledging our love for all eternity. Half the guests in attendance did not understand the full implication of that promise, but we did. That‟s all that mattered. “Mrs. Cullen,” he whispered, hugging me against him. Wrapped in the cloak of humid air and warm water, his icy body soothed me. I suddenly understood why this island held more than aesthetic appeal. “Bella Cullen, your wife, and you are my husband. Thank you. For all of this, Edward.” We swam and played in the ocean for a while, our laughter filling the otherwise empty air. Everything was perfect. As nervous as I had felt before coming out of the house, it all seemed to be washed away. There was no reason to rush anything, but our nudity led to too many brushes against one another to ignore any longer. I wanted him so much, and he wanted me. That much was obvious when I moved to hug him and felt a very stiff EJ press against my stomach. Instinctively, my hand trailed down his side. I stretched up on my tip toes, where he met me for a kiss as my fingertips traced over his hipbone. Sucking in an unnecessary breath, I felt the rumble of a groan roll through his entire body. This was our moment. This was me and the love of my entire existence, for all of eternity to come. My body acted on its own accord. I peered below the surface, Edward‟s lower half slightly visible in the combination of crystal clear water and quiet darkness. Without the hesitation I would have expected, my fingers ran along his length, from base to the tip. Somewhere along the way, I registered Edward‟s hands gripping my shoulders,

right at the top of my arms. They seemed to wrap around those curves perfectly, as though sculpted specifically to fit together. The pressure was not too hard or painful, but it felt as if he was anchoring himself to me with that grasp. The thought of Edward needing to hold onto me to steady himself was equal parts thrilling and humorous. In my petite hand, he was too much. My thumb and fingers did not meet when I wrapped them around him, and I wasn‟t sure how to feel about that. I had heard more experienced girls talk about the benefits of a sizable man, but the thought of something so substantial inside me was daunting. I held him carefully, weighing and measuring as I slowly ran up and down his length. I could feel the way his parka allowed my hand to glide over his shaft with ease. It wasn‟t the kind of stroking Alice had explained to me, but more of a gettingto-know-you exercise. Edward‟s velvety yet clipped voice interrupted my thoughts. “We don‟t have to do this, love. Your heartbeat is wild, you can hardly breath. I‟ve never seen your eyes so dark.” “No!” I practically yelled, though it was a foolish reaction. Not only were we alone with nothing more than the soft splash of waves surrounding us, his sensitive hearing did not require that volume. Reigning myself in, I continued. “Sorry, I didn‟t mean to shout. I‟m fine, I promise. I want this, Edward. I want you.” “It doesn‟t have to be tonight. We can wait until you‟re ready, or until you are changed.” His tone was comforting, but I Could hear the slightest bit of nervous tension in there. He was still afraid of this, of hurting me. “You won‟t hurt me,” I promised him, tilting me head up for a kiss. He granted one softly, and I pulled back again. “It‟s all a little overwhelming, but it‟s good. Everyone has a first time, right?” “Right,” he sighed. I could tell he was relaxing at my reassurance. “Do you want…you don‟t have to, you know.” “I want to. I want to know you.”

I kissed him again, slow and long this time as my hand moved back toward EJ. I laughed inwardly that I was still using that nickname, but I had sort of grown accustomed to it. A smile came to my lips, which did not escape Edward‟s notice. “What‟s going on inside that beautiful mind?” he asked, releasing one of my shoulders to stroke my cheek. I leaned into his touch, still studying the hard mass in my hand. He raised his eyebrows expectantly, but I shook my head. “Please, Bella. You know it‟s torturous to not know what you‟re thinking, especially right now.” “It‟s embarrassing,” I whispered. “You have nothing to be embarrassed about.” He pulled away from me, forcing me to release him. To my surprise, he came around behind me, wrapping his arms around my shoulder and bringing his lips to my ear. His erection flattened against my back, just above the indents on the small, curved expanse. I shivered at the way our naked bodies felt pressed together, as if we were one single unit, made whole by two interlocking pieces. It was even better than the topless spooning of a few nights prior. “Tell me,” he demanded seductively. I shook my head again, but the feel of his cool breath in my ear was wearing me down. His arms loosened, running a deliberate course down my ribs, up my stomach, and finally to my breasts. He played with them reverently, using less experimental care than the first time he touched me there. Each caress had intention, and I understood what it meant to be seduced by a man. It was so incredible, but completely unfair. My hands wound back over my head, coming up the back of his neck and tangling in his wet hair. “Is this real?” I whispered, biting my tongue when I realized I had verbalized that thought. “Are we finally here? Married? Alone? Doing this?” “Yes, Isabella,” he affirmed. His breath was coming in quick pants again as his hands loved me and EJ rubbed against the smooth plain of my back. “You are my wife. I‟ll give you anything you desire. Oh god, please tell me what you‟re thinking.”

“You, Edward. Everything I think is about you.” With a low rumble against my back, one of his hands slipped down my stomach, edging beneath the surface of the water. I instinctively shifted, planting my feet slightly farther apart in the silky sand. His mouth was instantly attached to the hollow behind my ear, kissing and lightly sucking. What should have felt icy cold on my skin was pure fire instead. My entire being lit with desire for the man I faced down vampire royalty to be with. No more words were spoken as the long fingers he had used to serenade me on the piano so many times passed over my recently manicured curly-cue hairs. Despite all my protests, Alice had insisted on a bikini wax earlier in the week. I now understood why. His movements were slow and calculated for a vampire, but I felt his touch soon enough. It made me jump at first, though the initial thrill gave way to intoxicating relief. There was no controlling the whimpers and moans that bubbled from my throat. I made no attempt to quell them or the writhing reactions my body was having. My hands gripped and tugged at his hair erratically. All this, and he had not done anything more than rub gently on my folds. “Please,” I whispered, almost inaudibly to my own ears, but clear enough for him. I felt his head nod in my hands as his mouth worked its way to the other side of my neck. At the same time, his fingers carefully parted my flesh, dipping lower and sliding inside my body. I cried out at the connection, jerking around involuntarily so that his free arm had to wrap around my shoulders to keep me still. “Love you,” he breathed out, sucking my tender earlobe between his lips. I had never felt anything like this in all my life. No rollercoaster ride, no gourmet meal, no worldly pleasure could compare. We were linked together, his body within mine for the first time. I didn‟t know how this would feel, but it was certainly better than anything I had ever imagined. It was physical and spiritual and pure beauty. No one else ever could have done this to me, of that simple fact I was certain. The reality that there was still so much more to experience with Edward was actually a bit frightening. His strokes were even

with the perfect amount of pressure. Somewhere along the way I felt him slide a second finger in, working in time with the other. Again I thought of how small his fingers were in comparison to EJ, and an excited shiver ran over the length of my body. I was lost in him, and he in me. After only a few minutes, something changed within me. Everything Edward was doing was amazing, but this was different. It felt like someone was tickling me incessantly from within. The sensation itself was irritating, but also held the promise of something bigger and better. I knew what it meant, though I had never actually experienced it before. A string of incoherent words fell from my mouth, though the jumble probably only sounded like babbled moans. His actions were pulling my body like a rubber band, stretched too far for the pressure. In a sudden burst, the rubber band snapped, the loose ends stinging deliciously against the hand that broke them. My knees gave out, and had it not been for Edward‟s arms around my waist, I would have willingly sank into a watery grave. He spun me around, my head falling against his chest in exhaustion. Shouldn‟t he have been the one to crumble? All the work was literally done at his hand, yet I was the one panting and clinging to him for dear life. When I finally managed to look up into his eyes, the expression he held was beautiful. He looked proud, smug, and awed all at once, as he should. We had taken the first step. He didn‟t hurt me; far from it, in fact. I could see the pleasure he took in doing such delightful things to my body. We kissed, hard and desperate in the light of the moon. Splashes of salty water danced around our bodies. Nature‟s gentle symphony was the perfect backdrop for our love. I knew I needed more. Without even a hint of hesitation or question, I returned my hand to its earlier station. EJ was still hard and ready for me, making me smile broadly against Edward‟s lips. My movements were more intentional this time, stroking him with an experimental flick of my wrist. I could feel the bump of his parka along the otherwise smooth length, and I decided to learn more about that particular area.

On an upward stroke, I rounded his head, stopping to twirl my fingers over it as I had been instructed. My fingertips studied the area, pressing and flicking gently until they reached the flesh hoodie. It was fascinating to me, though all of him was considering my lack of experience. In a way, I felt childlike in my studies. He was a wonder to me, and I wanted to learn everything about his body so that I could make him feel as good as he had made me. “Bella…” he ground out through a locked jaw. His hands were all over my body, varying between human and vampire speeds to reach every surface he could manage. “Do you…do you like it?” I asked hopefully. His body was telling me „yes,‟ but if there was something else I could do for him, I wanted to know. My movements slowed as we spoke, becoming more playful and teasing. Each stroke was followed by a few moments of attention to his parka. The way his hips pressed forward with those touches encouraged me to continue. “God yes…” he moaned. “Where has this confidence come from, love? Once my ferocious little kitten, now my sex kitten,” he mused playfully. “I may have had a little help,” I replied playfully, immediately regretting my words. How terrible that must have sounded to my husband. He jerked out of my hand for the second time that night, eliciting a whimper from me at the loss of connection. “Help? What kind of help?” he asked. The accusation in his tone was painful. I needed to calm his assumptions. “Shh, that came out wrong. I‟m sorry,” I said, taking a step toward him. I reached my hand out for his, and he immediately gave it to me. His gaze softened infinitesimally. “Alice. She didn‟t want me to be nervous. We…talked about some things.” His free hand pinched the bridge of his nose as he closed his eyes and shook his head. “I wondered what she has been hiding from me. I could not fathom why she would be mentally singing disco music while coordinating wedding details.”

I burst into a fit of giggles, easing the unwanted tension between us as I wrapped myself around his body once more. He smiled down at me. “What did you talk about?” he asked in obvious curiosity and nosiness. “Girl stuff,” I hedged, squeezing his waist. “Please,” he whispered over my mouth, wafting the sweet, delicious scent of his breath into my nostrils. He wasn‟t playing fair. “It‟s embarrassing.” “I‟m your husband.” “Can‟t I just show you more of what we talked about?” I tried. He grinned crookedly, humming in approval. “I‟d like nothing more, but I do want to hear you say it.” His hands were suddenly on my bottom. Not playing fair at all. “Fine, but only because I‟m certain you will continue seducing me until I give in anyway,” I huffed. I am sure he knew I was not really upset. “She gave me some advice…and some pointers so that I wouldn‟t be a bumbling idiot when we got to this.” “You should never feel that way with me, Bella. I will have to thank her for that, though. I‟m glad you have her. Was there anything else?” I didn‟t want to tell him about our foreskin conversation, but my traitor blush gave me away. Damn Edward and his perfect vision… “Yes,” I squeaked, looking away from his tawny eyes. “Tell me,” he whispered in my ear, holding my body flat against his. “She didn‟t want me to be surprised by you‟re…she wanted me to be prepared for…for…” “For what?”

“You‟re…parka,” I mumbled. “My parka?” he barked out in an uproarious laugh that seemed to fill the entire expanse of air around us. I twisted in his arms, trying to escape this embarrassment, but he wouldn‟t allow it. “I‟m sorry, Bella. I‟m not laughing at you, only at the choice of words. Are you uncomfortable with the technical term?” “Of course not. Foreskin. There, I said it. Are you happy?” “You may call it whatever you are most comfortable with,” he said sincerely, and I relaxed a bit. “Did you also name my penis?” He was only joking, but I knew I must have looked like a brown-haired tomato at that moment. “Oh my gosh, you did!” he sputtered. “You have to tell me! Please?” “No!” “Darling, there is no need to feel embarrassed with me,” he said sweetly. “Part of intimacy is being able to maintain a sense of humor. Despite what movies and romance novels say, love and sex are imperfect. That is part of the beauty of things, and I want you to laugh with me, not feel like I‟m laughing at you. So please, won‟t you tell me what you‟ve named my penis?” His words made sense, even through his teasing. Edward may not have been physically experienced either, but he had seen into countless minds. I knew that this should be fun, not awkward, and his words comforted me. Mustering up the courage to bid his request, I took a deep breath and muttered, “EJ.” “EJ?” “Edward Junior.” “Mmm, it‟s sweet. I must say I prefer that to something like „Little Edward‟ or „Python.‟”

It was my turn to laugh, and the amused reaction felt good. I was suddenly off my feet, swept up in Edward‟s arms so that he could carry me across some other threshold once more. “Why don‟t we take this back into the house, love?” he asked, already walking toward the shore. “I would love for you to show me what else you‟ve learned about my parka.” Still giggling, I smiled at my gorgeous Adonis. This demeanor was much more pleasant than the tense, pensive creature he normally was when it came to our physical relationship. I didn‟t want to ruin this moment. My arms wrapped around his neck, and I placed a light kiss on his collarbone. “It would be my pleasure,” I said, attempting to sound sensual instead of demure. “Mmm…perhaps we can share the pleasure,” he replied with the sexiest smile I had ever seen grace his lips. “I love you, Isabella Marie Cullen.” Despite a few bumps and misunderstandings, it was an imperfectly perfect night. We were together in this, finding strength in our love and friendship. Reality minus expectation, plus humor, multiplied by love was the precise equation for a wonderful eternity with my soul mate.

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