Tuesday, March 20, 2001 | By: Drotuno

Angel's Embrace Chapter 41

"Please, baby?" My love begged, snuggling closer. Like I could deny her anything. "I want to go to the festival tonight."
"Bella," I snorted, nuzzling her hair. "It's such a silly tradition. They celebrate Marcus – our Marcus – for chasing vampires out of the city. How ironic is that?" I laughed, knowing I was going to give in anyway. I just loved to tease her. Jasper, Emmett and I had already decided that we were going to take the girls.
"You can tell me a story when we go," she purred in my ear. I growled, my eyes closing. She had gone shopping the day before and my mind couldn't even imagine what she could have bought to drive me crazy. She tangled her legs with mine and then sank her fingers slowly into my hair. The woman could play me better than I played the piano.
"What kind of story?" I asked, wincing when my voice broke on the last word. I felt her smile against my neck. She smelled victory.
"Anything," she purred, her tongue dragging up my neck. "Maybe something from the last time you were in Italy," she crooned, suckling my earlobe, "or something from the last time you were a doctor," she growled, pushing me onto my back and covering my body with hers. "Please, Edward?" She whispered against my lips.
"Ok," I gasped as she rolled her hips over me. "Just...don't stop," I sighed, my eyes rolling back. I grasped her hips and helped her meet a delicious rhythm.
"Never," she groaned, her breath catching as I slipped just inside her entrance. She sat up, gripping my sides and slowly sinking down over me. We both moaned, our breathing shallow. "God, baby, you feel so good," she breathed.
"You're so wet, love," I said, planting my feet and thrusting up as she came back down. "I love that you want me this much."
"Uh huh," she whimpered and nodded, her little body falling over mine. Her hair fell around my face and I gripped it in a handful, wrenching her head back so that I could ravish her neck, taste the perfection of her skin.
I rolled us over, sucking hard on the soft flesh behind her ear. Dragging my teeth along her skin and sucking again, I growled low at her flavor and the effect I was having on her. "You know I'd give you anything, right?" I gasped, pressing my forehead to hers as I drove roughly into her.
Her body arched up, her hands gripping my shoulders. "Yes," she nodded, her brow furrowing. She was trying to stave off her climax. We felt too good to for it to end.
"Come, baby," I begged, kissing her face with soft kisses. "It doesn't have to end, sweet girl. I could keep you here all day if you asked," I crooned, skimming my hand down her side and under her thigh. I hitched her leg up higher around my hip, making sure to hit the spot inside of her that made her cry out my name.
"Edward," she gasped, her head flying back into the pillows. "Come with me, then," she begged me. Her arms wound around my neck to pull me closer.
We fell over the edge together, staying wrapped around each other. "I like that thought, baby," she sighed, nuzzling my neck. "Staying here all day sounds like heaven."
I smiled, pulling back to look at my stunning girl. She was amazing when she was post-coital – sweet and cuddly, completely sexy. With heavy lidded eyes and swollen lips, she completely melted into me. Her skin smelled like me and lust and strawberries as I brushed her hair from her face.
"We can, Bella," I smiled, kissing her forehead. "Most of the day, anyway."
"Marcus needs you?" She asked, running her fingers through my hair.
"Demitri, actually," I sighed. "He wants to question Garrett. Agosto found him. Apparently, he was close by, waiting for Felix's return."
"That I'd like to see," she chuckled, kissing my cheek.
"Then come with me," I nodded. "Together, remember?"
"Yeah," she smiled, biting her bottom lip. It took so little to make her happy. Even if it was just being with me. "Together," she smirked, rubbing her legs with mine. She was so dangerous. I couldn't even express how much she pushed me sometimes. She thought she knew and thought she could use it, but she had absolutely no idea.
"How long are we staying here?" She whispered, her lips brushing along my jaw.
"In Italy?"
I had to smile. She was still not quite able to speak. "Not long, I hope," I sighed, leaning down to kiss her bare shoulder as her breath ghosted across my ear. She growled as I grew hard inside her again. "It could be a week or even a few weeks. Will that bother you?"
She shrugged. I fought my laugh, smiling against her skin. "You don't care, do you?" I chuckled.
"Nope." I heard the smile in her voice. Her happiness rested in her arms. As long as I was there, she was just fine no matter where we were. It reminded me of our first few years at Dartmouth. She attacked education like a child opening presents at Christmas. It was new; it was fun, but it wouldn't have been as fun if my family and I hadn't been there.
"I love you," I laughed softly.
"Don't laugh at me," she growled, taking my earlobe between her teeth. "Move, Edward, please," she begged, shifting her hips under me. I pulled away from her to look at her sweet face. She met my gaze with black eyes and an open mouth as I started to make love to her again. "God," she breathed, cupping my face, "you're so fucking handsome." Her voice was barely above a whisper.
There it was. I was waiting for it. My sweet, gorgeous wife was having what she called a moment. Our love was too much sometimes to contain. "What do you need, my sweet girl?" I asked, linking our fingers together and pressing them above her head.
"More," was all she said, arching up to me and gripping my fingers like a lifeline.
"'Kay, baby," I sighed, loving her more and more each day. The sun streamed in through the french doors of the balcony, caressing my wife's skin. There was nothing like Bella in the sun. I couldn't help but kiss every inch of her shimmering neck and shoulders.
I spent the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon ravishing her. We ignored everyone, including my family's requests to join them, including the knocks on the door from Imelda to clean the room. We couldn't stop and we didn't want to. My Bella needed me and that was all that mattered.
Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck.
The vampire known as Garrett was scared and for good reason. He knew Carlisle from decades back and was well aware of how to find him. He sat, eyes wide and breathing heavy, staring between all of us. But it was Demitri he was most afraid of. Apparently, Demitri had granted Garrett freedom from some past mistake and now he was absolutely sure that he was about to become ashes.
I looked around the "throne room" – there really wasn't any better name for it. Aro's and Caius' chairs had been removed. Marcus sat on a platform all alone. He hated it, but he had no choice. He was the last in charge, though he was leaning on Demitri more and more.
"Garrett," Marcus sighed, rolling his eyes, "what could you have possibly gained from listening to Felix? He threatened your existence every time you crossed paths."
"Europe," Garrett lied. I smiled, shaking my head behind him.
"Try again," Demitri growled, stepping forward towards him, and he flinched.
"Ok, fine," Garrett sighed. "Alaska, ok?" I nodded, a frown on my face.
Carlisle cursed under his breath and Bella shifted in her seat next to me. She tilted her head at the man at the center of attention. Her mind found him to be weasel-like in character with little to no morals. He only wanted to help when it suited himself. She also thought that Kate, Irina and Ghianna would have had no problem disposing of the weak minded man. I smirked, agreeing with her.
"So," Demitri started, folding his arms across his chest, "why didn't you show up the day you were supposed to – to get what you wanted?"
"I changed my mind," he whined. Marcus' eyes flickered to me. I nodded. Garrett was telling the truth. He was scared of seeing Carlisle and Demitri, and hated the thought of fighting. "You would have killed me as sure as I am sitting here," he said, sitting forward and resting his elbows on his legs. "Carlisle's family didn't deserve it."
"Yet," Marcus sighed, "you still volunteered information. You knew my brothers and I had no problems with Carlisle and his family, you yourself had visited him on occasion. Why would you sell out your friends and standards?"
"I don't know!" Garrett cried out, fisting his hair. "Felix had a woman with her."
"Chelsea," Bella whispered, her lip rising up into a snarl.
"Yes," Garrett had heard her. "And then Jane..." He stopped, shivered and continued, "Felix used every power against me."
Demitri's eyes met mine. It was true. All of it. Garrett had come to the Volturi, hoping to see the royal brothers, but found Felix in their place. Chelsea had manipulated his loyalties and Jane had tortured him for information.
"Damn," Demitri sighed, an evil smile on his face, "and I was really hoping to kill you Garrett."
"Oh God," Garrett groaned, slumping further in his chair. "I just wanted to be able to travel to Alaska. That's all I wanted."
"Well, now," Demitri smirked, forcing Garrett to look at him, "you have to ask Eleazar for permission. America is being monitored by him."
"Carlisle?" Garrett gasped.
"We're leaving the states for a while, Garrett," Carlisle sighed, "try to behave when you go over there."
"I promise," Garrett said, scrambling from his chair, "I swear." He fell at my father's feet and Jasper chuckled to my right. It was pure fear coming off of Garrett. "Please don't let them kill me."
None of us could help but laugh as Carlisle rolled his eyes. "Garrett, you were used, my old friend," he sighed. "Try not to let it happen again. And please respect my friends in Alaska. They will not give you warning. They've been through too much."
"I will, I swear," Garrett nodded. I watched as Marcus hid his smile. He wasn't expecting any less of Garrett. Bringing him in for questioning was merely a precaution.
As Garrett was led from the room by Stephano, Emmett turned to Carlisle. "If you're expecting us," he motioned to all of us, "to drop to our feet in front of you, then you're nuts." Carlisle laughed, shaking his head.
Bella giggled, turning to Alice when she stood. "Come on, Bells," she smiled, "Imelda wanted to see us." She turned to me, her mind blocked from me. "We will meet you guys by the fountain right in front of that big-ass clock, ok?"
"Yeah, sure," Jasper sighed, standing up to kiss her head.
"See you in a bit," Bella smiled, brushing my hair from my forehead and placing a sweet kiss there. And thank you for this morning, baby. She smirked, turning to look at me before she left the room.
"Oh please don't cry," I begged Imelda, handing her a tissue.
"Happy tears, Isabella," she smiled and sniffled, dabbing her eyes. "I can't believe how much you look like Amadora in that skirt. And such a perfect fit," she gushed, folding her hands together. I turned to Alice, who was smiling sweetly at the old woman. We both knew what it meant for Imelda to pass this part of herself on.
"Sit, Bells," Alice smiled, "I want to do something with your hair." I sat down in front of her with one last worried glance at Imelda. "She's fine," Alice whispered. "Look, she's fawning on Rose now." I giggled as Imelda took the greatest of pleasures in dressing three women. I could imagine that living as a human in a rigid masculine environment could wear on her. Bring in three girls that laughed and joked and played and she was in heaven.
Alice left my hair down for the most part, letting it fall in soft waves around my shoulders, except for the front that she had pulled back away from my face. I stood up, taking a long look at myself in the mirror. The long peasant skirt was bright colors, mostly red, matching the shade of the robes of the festival goers. The top Alice found was white, simple with a scooped neck, showing just a small sliver of my stomach. It seemed to be made to go with the skirt.
With one last gushing hug to us all, Imelda let us out her door, telling us to have fun, to make sure we danced, and to tell our boys to guard us like soldiers. "Yes, yes," she snorted, "I'm well aware that you can take care of yourselves, but chivalry doesn't have to fade away, you know."
"You met Edward, right?" Alice and I laughed together. She giggled and nodded, shooing us out the door.
The girls and I hurried through the castle and down the corridors to come out under the clock. I had to catch my breath. Sometimes the sight of my husband could just about knock me back. The courtyard was full of people, mostly human, milling about here and there. Music played from somewhere down the street.
Jasper was sitting on the side of the fountain, his arms resting on his thighs. Emmett was pacing, but laughing his booming laugh at something they were discussing. I bit back a groan as my eyes took in Edward. He was sitting on the fountain as well, but turned sideways with one leg bent up. His arm was resting on his bent knee, his smile was breathtaking.
All the boys were dressed well. Emmett was in dark jeans with a pale sweater. Jasper and Edward were both in khakis, Jasper with a light blue button down while Edward's was navy. All their heads snapped up when they saw us.
"Hey, handsome," I smirked as Edward's eyes darkened slightly.
"Look at you," he whispered, standing up from the fountain and taking my hand. "You're a vision, baby," he breathed, kissing my ear. "Is this what Imelda gave you?"
"Thank you," I smiled, "and yes, the skirt anyway. She made this."
"Beautiful," he growled, shaking his head. "Yeah, let's go back upstairs," he chuckled evilly.
"No," Alice and I whined.
"Did you really just stomp your foot?" Jasper laughed, "Both of you?"
"Shut it," Alice snorted. "Ok, so I heard from Stephano that heard it from Tessa..."
"Isn't that a song?" I snorted. I should have kept my mouth shut. All three of the boys burst into song.
"I heard it from a friend who...heard it from a friend who...heard it from another you've been messin' around," they sang, making themselves laugh.
"Thank you REO Speedwagon," Rose snorted, rolling her eyes at Jasper and Emmett bumping fists. I cracked the hell up, covering my face and leaning into a chuckling Edward. The only one that wasn't amused was Alice, who we had interrupted.
"Anyway," she growled, "they said the music is good. The band is local or something. They say," she started, her dark eyebrow rising, daring anyone to interrupt her again, "that they play current stuff, not just Italian."
"Fine, shorty," Emmett said, still amused, "let's go. Demitri and Carina are already over there."
We walked down the cobbled street, following a few tipsy humans. "I hate that feeling," I groaned, feeling sorry for them.
"You got drunk?" Edward gasped, his mouth hanging open. "When?"
"Graduation night," I nodded, shrugging. "It was an accident. At first." I sighed, frowning and shaking my head.
"Let me guess," Jasper growled, "Newton spiked the punch."
"Tyler, actually," I snorted, "but Mike was there, yeah."
"What did you mean 'at first'?" Rose asked, looking over at me.
"Numb felt good," I mumbled, shrugging again. Edward's arm wrapped around my shoulder, his lips at my ear. "Before I knew it, I was being dropped off at home by Angela. The only one that took pity."
"Oh," Emmett groaned, "how bad was the next day?"
"Don't ask," I grumbled, shaking my head. I had lived in the bathroom the next day. It was a horrid experience. But it didn't stop me from trying one more time.
"When?" Edward asked softly, listening to my thoughts.
"A particularly bad Jake day," I grimaced. "I wandered to Sam and Emily's and they were having a party. Seth, Quil and I took a case of beer and went to play pool. I was nineteen." I huffed a laugh, "And that would be my lesson learned. Believe me. I was convinced I could solve all my problems, the world's problems, conquer every fear, and still drive after seven beers. Seth stole my keys and I spent the night at Sue's. She never did tell Charlie," I said, my voice sounding surprised.
"What did she say?" Alice asked, her face soft with sympathy.
"Nothing," I smiled, "well, she did say my hideous hangover was punishment enough."
"That's not all she said," Edward said, his head tilting.
"No, it's not," I stated, shaking my head and shielding my thoughts. I could see the hurt look on Edward's face. "In a minute, ok?" I asked and he nodded.
We had come up on a center square. Performers of every kind dressed in long cloaks wandered amongst the crowd, fake fangs in their mouths. "Nice," Rose sighed, shaking her head.
The band had not come out yet, but a DJ stood in the corner of the square playing American music. Some of it was new, some older. A slower song started and I turned to Edward, "Dance with me."
"Ok," he smiled, but I could still see the worry in his eyes.
As soon as we were in the middle of the crowd of swaying bodies, I let my shield back down. "I suppose I should start with why I went on two 'benders', huh?" I frowned, biting my bottom lip.
"No," he sighed, wrapping his arms around my waist. We weren't even keeping rhythm to the song, but swayed to something that was entirely our own. "I actually understand the yearning for numb, Bella."
"Yeah," I nodded, kissing his lips before I went on. "Senior year was so hard. I barely remember a few months out of it. I put up with Jessica and Lauren's taunting, Mike's advances, Charlie's questions as to why I never went anywhere. Jake came along, but he couldn't fill the void," I winced, looking away from Edward's face.
"It's ok, sweetheart, just say what you need to," he whispered, cupping my face.
"I never slept, and when I did, I woke up screaming," I sighed. "You know this stuff," I said, playing with the hair at the back of his head. "Graduation just messed me up for some reason," I frowned, my brow wrinkling. "I had missed you, but your absence was never so loud as graduation day. I ached for you."
"I'm sorry, baby," he whispered, kissing my forehead.
"I wanted to graduate and go off to college with you," I breathed, "and it killed me that you weren't there. It killed me that Alice didn't throw some unbelievably vile party." Edward chuckled, squeezing me closer. "So numb worked."
"And what was the bad Jake day?" Edward asked, pressing his forehead to mine.
"Jake invited me to his Prom," I grimaced, "and there wasn't a chance in hell I could have gone. I told him no. Not just no. I believe the words I used were 'Oh hell fucking no'," I smirked, causing him to chuckle. "But Jake knew exactly what to say to make me fly into a rage. He yelled, saying 'you can go to Prom with that bloodsucker Cullen, but not with me'. He not only got slapped, but I told him that he was right."
"What did he do?"
"He dislocated two of my fingers. Sue popped them back in for me. Which leads me to Sue," I sighed, ignoring Edward's raging face. "The night after Sam and Emily's party, I was so sick," I chuckled, shaking my head. "She told me that all that glitters is not gold. To follow my heart. She said just because everyone thinks it's right, doesn't always mean it is right. You were home within four months after that," I beamed.
"Sue's a smart woman," Edward smiled softly.
"She is," I nodded, kissing him on the cheek and laying my head on his shoulder. "That's not fair," I whined.
"What?" He asked, pulling me back to look at my face.
"You were supposed to tell the story tonight, not me," I grumped.
"And I will," he said, his voice taking on a deep and sexy tenor. "I have to earn my prize, don't I?" He asked, brushing the hair away from my shoulder to place a long, slow kiss just behind my ear.
"Oh yes, you do," I snickered, licking my bottom lip. "You took that better than I expected."
He smiled against my skin, inhaling deeply before pulling back to tilt his head at me. "You wouldn't be normal without experimenting once or twice, love," he chuckled and then took a deep breath. "I'm sorry I wasn't there, baby," he sighed, his sweet eyes filling with sadness.
"I got my wish, Edward," I chuckled. "I got to go off to college with you." He smiled widely, nodding in agreement. "It just took time." I shrugged, pulling him closer as we swayed to the next song.
He relaxed, realizing this wasn't a sad conversation, but just a memory. "What did it feel like?"
"Being drunk?" I giggled, my eyebrows rising up. He nodded with an innocent smile. "Um, a loss of control," I smiled, "they call it liquid courage for a reason. I felt like I could have taken on the whole pack, especially Jake. They call it truth serum for a reason too," I chuckled, raising an eyebrow at him. "Both times, my mouth got me into trouble. I said things I would have never told anyone. Angela heard all about how much I missed you. Seth heard all about how Jake hurt me."
"That's why Angela was so happy for you when we saw her at her engagement party," he chuckled, squeezing my waist.
"Yeah, I suppose so," I smirked. "She had her suspicions about Jacob, though. Ang was never dumb."
"No, that's very true," he sighed, a sweet smile on his face. He had always had a soft spot for her. "Do you ever think about her?"
"Yeah," I nodded, smiling widely. "Alice has a fake Facebook account. They just had a baby."
"Mmhm," I nodded, nuzzling his cheek. "He looks like Ben."
Edward chuckled, leaning his head against mine, only to pull away and look over the heads of the crowd. "They found Demitri," he said, looking down at me. "They want us to go watch a show around the corner."
"'Kay," I nodded, letting go of him and taking his hand. We got to the edge of the dance floor and Edward pulled me to a stop.
"Does it bother you? To leave friends behind...Jasper said..."
"You think I regret making friends at Portland?" I countered, studying his face. He nodded, but stayed quiet, spinning my ring. "I called Charlie the other day. He sensed my mood. We're so alike," I chuckled, shaking my head, "but he said that it's no different than being human. People flit in and out of your life. If they're important, you hold onto them. He said that if I needed them, I would find a way to keep them. But given the time we were at Portland, it would be understandable if those relationships faded away – even if I really was sixteen and moved away. He told me that the only relationships that mattered were the ones that made me happy. I haven't worried about it since."
"I owe Charlie a fast car or something," Edward chuckled, shaking his head. I laughed, my head falling back. "I'll figure it out, but I owe him for so much," he sighed, a smile still playing on his face. "Without him, I wouldn't have you."
"There is that new cruiser he's been wanting," I laughed, tugging him by the hand. "Come on, Alice will lose patience quickly."
My family was huddled off to the side, waiting patiently for us. Carina's face lit up. "Imelda, right?" She pointed to my skirt and I nodded. "She's a talented little lady," she shook her head. "She made one of those for me when Demitri first asked me out. She's like every woman's mother in that castle." She smiled, shaking her head. "She has no fear either. She doesn't care how old a vampire they might be. I've seen her teach Aro lessons in manners."
"No way," Emmett laughed. "Come on, that show is starting."
"She's a tough one," Demitri chuckled as we all began walking down the street and away from the music. "And you know, she'll talk about anything. Nothing offends her. And she's quite the romantic."
"Yeah," Alice and I laughed. Alice adding, "I saw that bookshelf. She's a historical romance fiend."
"Oh, I know," Carina giggled. "I used to think she got all of those as hand me downs, but nope. I was at the front desk one day when she got a whole shipment. The lady lives for the dirty novels."
"Nice," Jasper chuckled.
The show we were supposed to be watching was a magic show. After about three tricks, Edward chuckled behind me. "Want to know how he's doing it?"
"Sure." I laughed softly, leaning my head in so that he could tell me.
"Watch his finger, see how it never leaves the top of the deck?" I nodded, my eyes on the magician's hands. "That's the card the girl picked." Sure enough, the slight of hand trick shocked the audience. He pulled the girl's card out with flare, but it was right there the whole time.
"Now," I sighed, shielding him. "Watch it like everyone else. Don't let reality ruin the beauty of surprise. There's a reason no one wants the ending of a book or movie told to them, Edward." He chuckled, rolling his eyes, but nodded in acquiescence.
The next trick wasn't a card trick but a disappearing/reappearing act. A box was brought on stage and the magician crawled in it as his assistants covered him up. A spin of the box and a tug on the cover revealed a huge Bengal tiger. The erotic sound that caressed my neck from Edward was so sexy I could barely contain myself.
Ok, so maybe that was the wrong one to surprise you with, I thought, turning in his embrace. His eyes tore away from the beautiful cat and I was met with a heated gaze. It's almost time to talk about Africa, love.
"Oh God, please," he begged, his voice raspy. "This summer. Our anniversary. No more putting it off."
"It's a date, baby," I nodded.
"Ed, look," Emmett smirked, slapping him on the back and roughly guiding him away, "games. Come on, I'll take you on those ring toss things." As the boys played, the girls and I stayed close.
We were watching a sweet, young girl make jewelry, when a voice met our ears. "Well, well," Vittore sighed, "if it isn't my favorite girls...and Carina," he sneered.
"Go away, Vittore," Carina growled.
"God," Rose chuckled. "You are either stupid or you have a death wish."
"Neither," he smirked, "Carina and I go way back, right, sweetness?" She scowled at him, but he paid her no attention. "Ah, and Isabella," he bowed, taking my hand. I yanked it out of his grasp.
I turned to Alice, "Stupid," we said together with a laugh.
"You need to be taught manners," he growled, stepping closer.
"And you need to know when to step away from what is not yours," Carina snarled. "Demitri has been looking forward to asking you all about his time away. Chelsea was dealt her hand. It's your turn."
A slight look of panic flashed across Vittore's face, but it was replaced with arrogance quickly. "Chelsea was an asset to the Volturi," he growled.
"Chelsea screamed when I ripped her apart," I snarled, my hands fisting at my sides. His eyes flashed to mine, hatred filling them. "She tried to take what wasn't hers. I taught her that she can't do that."
"You are so outnumbered," Alice chuckled, shaking her head. "By girls, at that." His eyes narrowed at Alice. I could tell that her tiny prediction startled him for a brief second.
We were drawing attention around us with the tense conversation we were having. "Let it go, Vittore," Carina said, her eyes glancing around.
"Ah, Carina," he smirked, stepping forward. We moved away from the crowd towards a darkened corner. "Does your sweet Demitri know all that Felix made you do?"
"I was not in my right mind," Carina defended, "and yes, he does." I closed my eyes, fighting my temper. I had worried about what Carina had really gone through in Demitri's absence.
"That makes you upset, Isabella?" He chuckled, reaching for my hand. "Don't worry, she only gave up what she needed to in order to survive. What would you do?" He picked up my hand and placed a kiss on the top of it. I tugged hard, but he held me firm.
Before I could snap, a hand landed on my shoulder and Edward stepped up into Vittore's face. "Let go of her, now," he growled low. I tugged again and Vittore still held on. "I'll rip your arm off," he snarled. Vittore looked around us with a smirk, dropping my hand. "It will be too fast for anyone to see, I assure you." Edward's voice was low and deadly. He meant every word.
"A mind reader," Vittore chuckled. "My, my, Marcus has been holding out." His eyes landed on me again and I could only imagine what he was thinking. "Hmm, and just what were you doing at the meeting?"
"Oh, Vittore," Demitri chuckled darkly, stepping up on his other side. He was now surrounded on the little cobblestone street. "You mess with that one," he laughed, "go ahead. Edward will be the least of your worries." Edward smiled darkly, shooting a glance to Demitri and then to me.
"Now why would I take the fun away from you?" I chuckled, cupping my husband's face. Edward fought his smile as my family laughed around Vittore.
"Little man," Emmett frowned, shaking his head. "You have no idea what would happen if you mess with any of these ladies."
Demitri gripped Vittore's shoulder. Hard. He buckled at the knees slightly and Demitri bent to his ear. "Oh I know where your loyalties lie," he growled low. "And I know that Felix can't save you anymore. One slip up, that's all Marcus is waiting on, just one. And you would be surprised at what little it would take to make him order your death." Demitri smiled wistfully, like he couldn't wait. I had to fight my laugh at his joy. Vittore shot another glance my way.
"Oh, yes," Edward chuckled, "she's stunning, and she's mine." I bit back a groan at my possessive husband's voice, but he heard my mind, turning to me with a wink and then back to Vittore. "I'll rip you apart – with or without Marcus' orders. It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission."
Vittore didn't say anything, but he nodded. Demitri let him go and we all watched as he walked away. My hand found it's way to Edward's, turning his ring. He gripped back silently, pulling me to him and placing a kiss on my head. I want to go for a walk. I thought, looking up at him. He nodded once and pulled me away from everyone.
"Are we in trouble?" I asked as we walked along the wall of the city. "I don't think Vittore was supposed to know of our talents."
"It doesn't matter," Edward shrugged, sitting down on a low part of the wall and pulling me to his lap. "He would have heard about it soon enough." I nodded, pressing my forehead to his.
"Thank you for coming to us," I smiled, nuzzling his nose with mine.
He chuckled, rubbing my thigh over my skirt. "You don't necessarily need my protection. But I live to do it."
"I know you do," I giggled, biting my lip. "You're so sexy when you do it," I purred, leaning in to kiss his neck and laving my tongue against his sweet skin.
"Speaking of sexy," he chuckled, "you truly look beautiful, love. Like you belong here, like a true Italian." I snickered, shaking my head. I pressed my forehead to the crook of his neck, linking my fingers with his. I sighed with complete and utter contentment. "I believe I owe you a story, don't I?" He asked, rubbing my back with his other hand.
"Please," I smiled, sitting up with a grin. He laughed sweetly, kissing my lips.
"Hmm," he smirked, slipping his hands up the side of my neck and into my hair. He let them rest on my shoulders as his fingers caressed my skin. "Let's see," he frowned, feigning concentration. "You'll like this one, I think," he chuckled. "You were actually around for this, but I never told you about it." I tilted my head at him, my brow wrinkling. "Do you remember when I first came home to you?" He asked, but a smile played on his face. "Your blood didn't call to me anymore. And all I wanted was...mmm, more." He looked like he would be blushing if he was able.
"I remember you being freer, more relaxed with me."
"Well, the first night that we pushed every boundary," he sighed, his face taking on a far away look, and I smiled, kissing his cheek, "I was so surprised at how far we were able to go."
"Mm, me too," I purred, biting his earlobe.
"Will you let me finish?" He chuckled, tickling my sides. I laughed, laying my head on his shoulder, my mind telling him that I would behave. "I don't want you behaved," he snorted, slipping his fingers along the exposed sliver of skin just under my shirt. "Anyway, I was so ready, Bella." He shook his head. "I wanted to be yours, but I was scared that I would hurt you. We didn't know exactly what we were doing, nor how any of it would affect you, so I went to Carlisle. He had tested all of my...fluids," he sighed, a little laugh escaping him. "He said that we would be fine, but to use protection just in case."
"Yeah," I smiled, nodding, "I remember." We had used condoms for a few weeks when we first started being intimate. We weren't sure about his venom, or what it would do to me. At the time, he also didn't know I couldn't get pregnant. I wasn't even sure that was possible, but the venom never became an issue. It was the same potency as his kisses.
"Did I ever tell you what it was like to shop for those?" He laughed, his tongue gliding across his bottom lip. I giggled and shook my head no. "It was...um, quite the experience," he chuckled nervously. "I kept meaning to tell you, but it never came up."
"Tell me now," I giggled, running my fingers through his hair.
"I left Forks to get them," he laughed, raising an eyebrow at me. "I went to Port Angeles instead. I went to one of those big drug stores, thinking it would be easier, that they would be busy." I bit my bottom lip to not laugh at my sweet man's embarrassment of buying condoms for the first time. I would have been no better at it. Our innocence was shared. "I didn't take into consideration that it was one o'clock in the morning."
"Edward," I chuckled, grabbing his face. "No one is in those stores that late."
"I know that now!" He laughed. "So I go," he sighed, fighting his smile. "I walk in, finding the aisle. But what the hell to buy," he snorted. "I called Carlisle, who by the way, tried his damnedest not to laugh," he sighed, rolling his eyes. "It was his idea," he huffed, "and I damn well wasn't going to call my brothers. I would have never heard the end of it."
"Thank God," I sighed, getting a kiss on the temple.
"I wanted to protect you from all that I was," he sighed. "But I knew that I couldn't keep myself from you any longer. And we were getting so close. It had to be done, baby." I nodded, agreeing with him completely. "Carlisle stayed on the phone with me, telling me that I needed the right size," he chortled.
"Magnums," I teased, kissing his neck.
"Will you stop?" He huffed, shaking his head at me as I snickered at him. "And Carlisle reminded me of our...um, stamina." It really took all I had not to say something about that last statement, though Edward waited, his glare at me was hilarious out of the corner of his eye. "Three boxes later," he smirked, "I walk up to the cashier. Yeah, she was all of twenty, reading a novel, bored out of her mind that late at night." He bit his lip, closing his eyes as I fought not to laugh. "Bella," he warned as I covered my face.
"God, I love you," I snorted, cupping his face and kissing his lips roughly.
"Anyway," he sighed, rolling his eyes. "The bar code wouldn't work..."
"Stop it," I gasped, "tell me she didn't call for a price check over the overhead thing," I said, my mouth hanging open as he nodded. Poor Edward would have been mortified.
"Oh, she did," he groaned, burying his face in my neck. "Not just called for it, but gave the entire description over the PA system. And it wasn't just answered, the other girl working with her had to bring the tag up to the front." He sighed, pulling me closer as if I could protect him from the whole situation even now. "Her coworker's mind exploded when she saw me, baby," he grumbled, his face looking like a pouting child. "Together, they were killing me. They noted the amount, the size...everything."
"Did they want you?" I asked, pulling him back to look at his handsome but tortured face. He nodded, his eyebrows knitting together. "Did they want what was mine, Edward?" I smiled, feeling my eyes grow dark.
"Mmhm," he nodded, his eyes drinking in every inch of my face.
"Did they say something to you?"
"Yes," he growled, frowning. "They asked me if I needed help using all of them."
"Tsk, tsk," I sighed, "it wasn't mine at that point, but I still owned it," I purred, my hand slipping down his chest to his now twitching erection. I palmed him softly over the outside of his khakis. "What did you tell them?"
"I said no thank you," he breathed, his lips brushing against my neck.
"What did you want to tell them?" I whispered, tilting my head to allow him more room to lick up the side of my neck. My fingers dug into his hair, grazing against his scalp.
"I wanted to tell them," he purred, biting my skin softly and licking to take the sting away, "that the most beautiful girl in the world was sleeping in my bed at that very moment. I wanted to tell them that one box wasn't enough for what I wanted to do to her," he crooned, his hand slipping into my hair and tilting my head further as he sucked wantonly on my skin. My eyes rolled back in my head, my grip on the front of his pants tightened. He moaned softly, the erotic sound that I lived to hear. My whole body twitched at its vibration. My breath caught as my center throbbed for him.
"Let's go, Edward," I breathed.
"Yes, ma'am," he sighed, standing up and keeping me in his arms bridal style. "What color did I earn, my sweet girl?" He asked, tugging on the back of my bra.
"Pink," I groaned, biting at his jaw. "Pale pink, baby."
"Like your old blush," he chuckled, kissing my neck and taking off into the castle. If I could have blushed again, he would have succeeded that night in making it permanent.
"Where are the girls?" Demitri asked as we walked towards the throne room.
"Outside," I smiled. "Marcus told them it was safe to hang out inside the castle walls on sunny days. They couldn't resist the sunshine."
"Are you looking forward to England?" He asked, turning down another corridor.
I nodded, but stopped when Vittore turned the corner walking the opposite direction. His lip curled in hatred as he passed us, not saying a word. His mind revealed everything.
"He truly hates us," Demitri chuckled.
"He's a threat," I whispered. "He's the one that provided Felix with the weapons that burned this place. He's going to do it again."
"No," Demitri snarled.
"Yes," I sneered, looking back behind me. "Let's go see Alice first," I sighed, taking a different turn.
All of the ladies were lounging around the garden area. My wife looked too sweet lying with her knees up, completely absorbed in a book, shimmering spectacularly in the sunshine. Her mind was open, the words of the story surrounded her until she smelled my scent. Hey, handsome, she smiled, turning to look up from her book. She registered my posture immediately. What's wrong? She sat up, motioning me to sit beside her.
"You're right," Alice sighed, sitting up as well. I sat down to face my sister. "He is a threat. And he's going to act soon. It's you and Demitri he hates the most."
"Vittore?" My angel growled beside me. Alice, Demitri and I all nodded. "Though Marcus isn't safe either. I suppose this is why we came here."
"Yeah," Alice nodded. "He knows we're talented. He just doesn't know how talented," she smirked, her eyebrow twitching up. "The problem is...getting you alone," she pointed to me. "He wants Bells."
Before I could react, my wife growled low, "Let me get this straight. He thinks if he gets rid of Edward..." Her beautiful face was filled with fiery ire as Alice nodded. "Oh I don't think so," she huffed.
"It's ok that he wants to get to you, but threaten Edward," Demitri chuckled, "and the fight is on."
"It's not funny," she frowned, getting up.
"Stop her," Alice growled. "She'll hunt him down now."
"Bella, wait, love," I said, pulling her into my lap. "Patience," I crooned, tucking her hair behind her ear. Her mind was set. She never gave any thought to anyone attracted to her, but threaten her family and she wanted to protect them. Threaten me, and it was all over – hell would rain down. I smiled at her thoughts. "Let's see what Marcus says first, my over-protective girl." Her sweet chocolate eyes softened as she realized that I knew her intentions. "We were on our way to him anyway. Do you want to come with us?" I asked, tilting my head at her.
"I think we all should go," Rose sighed, setting her magazine aside and standing. "Come on, Bells, maybe he'll let us start the fire on that jackass." My sister's smile was evil, her mind hopeful. Bella bit her plump bottom lip in order not to laugh, her gaze meeting mine.
Bella stood up again, sighing in resignation. Demitri chuckled, wrapping an arm around her.
"Don't worry, Bells," he smiled, shaking her shoulder, "when you're ready, I'll help you find him." I laughed at my love's smile. She shook her head, huffing into a laugh. He loved her for her bright outlook, she respected him as another member of the family.
As we walked through the castle, Bella's mind was ready to go. She was ready to be Mrs. Masen, to set up her own house, to be as normal as we could be for a while. I totally agreed with her. I was looking forward to my own set of challenges, as well as watching my wife relish in our new environment like she always did. What she was looking forward to the most was being alone – just us.
"Me too," I sighed, kissing her head. "Soon, my sweet girl." She tilted her chin up to me, a smile playing on her face. I held the door open to the throne room, joining the rest of my family. I hoped I wasn't lying to her. I really did hope we were almost done with Italy...and soon.


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