Tuesday, March 20, 2001 | By: Drotuno

An Angel's Promise Chapter 32

"Eat, Dad," I chuckled, setting a care package in front of him. "Esme and I cooked this, and you just know how we never have a chance to do that."
Charlie had to work the earlier part of Christmas Day, so Esme and I cooked a big dinner for him, because I promised to sit with him while he monitored his radio and phones.
He pulled off lids and unwrapped bowls, diving in with a sweet smile. I hadn't cooked for my dad in ages, so this was a good moment for both of us. He looked like a spoiled child as he licked his lips and picked up a fork.
"Oh, here," he said, tugging open a drawer. "Jess wanted me to give you this." He slid a photograph across the top of his desk, and I picked it up. "Megan," he said, humming his approval of ham and turkey and stuffing, that I swear he took all in one huge bite.
I snorted, raising an eyebrow at him, but going back to the picture. Megan was a tiny thing, standing next to Jessica in what looked like their dorm room. She had really curly dark brown hair that fell past her shoulders, and what I assumed was hazel eyes. I couldn't quite tell from the picture.
"Alice can't see her," I said softly, meeting my dad's concerned gaze. I wrinkled my nose. "That usually means that she's...well, gone."
He chewed slowly, nodding slightly. "And I've tried to prepare her for those circumstances, Bells. I just think she needs to hear...something."
"Okay," I said, stowing the picture in my back pocket to show my family later.
I looked around his office, smiling at a wedding picture of me and Edward. In all respects, we were dead to those that knew my dad, but Charlie hung it with pride. The only reason I was at the station at that moment was because his few officers were home with their families.
His jacket was hung in the corner, and a shotgun leaned against the wall. A photo of his own wedding to Sue took a place of pride in the center of his desk. He looked sickeningly happy. I loved it. But it was the photo on the back filing cabinet that my eyes fell to, my breath hitching. I got up and walked to it, snatching it up just to be able to really look at a recent picture of Renee.
Charlie and Sue were obviously visiting my mother and Phil in Florida on what I could only guess was one of my birthdays, but it was really good to see her. "How is she?" I whispered, not taking my eyes off of the photograph.
"She's really good, Bells. She's happy."
"Does she...I mean, is she okay about...with..."
"No, but I wasn't either, sweetie," he sighed, turning around in his desk chair to look at me. "I'm damn lucky to be able to talk to you. She still has a hard time not being about to call you over some new thing she's into..."
I chuckled, but it caught around the heavy lump in my throat. "I wish...but she wouldn't get it..."
"No, she wouldn't," he agreed with me. "She's romanticized your deaths, you and Edward. She thinks Romeo and Juliet are real, and she assumes you're in heaven together, happy forever."
"I am," I answered with a smile, looking over at him. "I am that completely. I'm sorry she can't know that."
My dad laughed, nodded, and squeezed my arm. "I know it. I see it. You're right, though. I know she couldn't handle it. She would see that you haven't changed a single bit. I look for it, because I know, but she would dwell on it."
"Right," I sighed, setting down the picture and going back to my seat. "Edward's worst fear for me is when she finally...you know...dies."
"Mine, too, Bells," he agreed, wiping his mouth with a napkin and leaning back in his chair. "I wonder how it will feel to lose us. It's hard enough on... well, humans, to lose their parents. You've always been so very attached to Renee."
"I've lost her already, Dad," I told him honestly, grimacing. "She was my sacrifice. You were an unexpected perk."
"Is it worth it?"
"I miss her, but Edward and I...we're connected in a way that can't be severed. We'll die," I sighed, looking at my father's knowing nod. He was well aware of our relationship. "I won't ever regret this life. It's amazing."
He smiled, pulling a slice of warm apple pie his way. "We only ever wanted you happy, Isabella. Renee and I didn't work, but we were completely in sync when it came to your well being. If she could see you play football on the res or see how Edward watches you like a hawk, then I think she'd be okay with it all. That's my proof. Your laugh is the best sound, Bells. And she'll go...knowing you were happy. Your wedding was proof to her. She said that when I took her back to the airport."
I chuckled. "Good."
We sat in comfortable silence for a little while. He worked on paperwork, and I read texts from Edward.
E: This life is only amazing because you're in it, my beautiful girl.
I chuckled, rolling my eyes at my eavesdropping husband. Sometimes I forgot he could hear me with crystal clarity up to ten miles away. I laughed silently when my phone immediately went off again.
E: You love me anyway, eavesdropping and all. ;)
B: I do...I'll be back soon.
E: Alice says get to the back room. Now.
I looked up to the doors, seeing a face I hadn't seen since our going away party. Mike Newton was walking in the front doors of my father's police station.
"Back interrogation room, Bells," he whispered, shooing me, but I was already gone from the room.
I hid just down the hall, watching one of the closed circuit TV monitors. There wasn't any sound, but I could hear everything from the other room from heartbeats to shuffling feet to the shifting of clothes against skin.
I could smell everything, too. Besides my father's scent of gun oil, laundry detergent, and now apple pie, I could smell Mike with sharp senses. He smelled like he did before – cologne, hairspray, and at one time whiskey, but now there were faint traces of baby powder wafting through the air.
Mike's adrenaline was strong, his heartbeats heavy and nervous as he greeted my father.
"Hey, Chief," he said, shaking my dad's hand. "I see someone's brought you Christmas dinner."
"Hey, Mikey! Yeah, the wife brought me a plate, since I'm stuck here. My deputy doesn't come on shift for another few hours. How are your parents and the shop?"
"They're good, Chief," he sighed, but he shuffled his feet, his hands shoved into the front pockets of his pants.
"Sit, son. What brings you into the station on Christmas Day?"
"Allison's mother wants her back, Charlie. She's threatening me on the phone, and I swear she's been driving by my house since early this morning. I don't know what to do. She's signed over custody to me, so it's not like she has a leg to stand on." Mike's voice sounded firm, but scared.
And I suddenly realized that he'd finally grown up. He wasn't concerned with girls or drinking, but he was protecting his new little family, even if that family was just him and his daughter.
Charlie took a deep breath and studied my old friend. "Mike, that girl was trouble from the get go, but the only thing I can tell you is we can set up a restraining order. If she comes near you, we can arrest her. Is that what you want?"
Mike groaned, sitting down in the chair I'd just vacated and putting his head in his hands. "I'd hate to do that, but my mother is panicking. I think Kim's off her meds again..."
"I tell ya what, son," Charlie said, standing. "I'll get the paperwork together, and I'll swing it by your house in a few hours on my way home. I'll even cruise the neighborhood just to be safe. Go. Enjoy Christmas with that little one." He reached across his desk to shake Mike's hand again. "The holidays with their dads are important to little girls."
I smiled, shaking my head and knowing he was talking about himself as well as me.
"Thanks, Chief," Mike sighed, starting to turn towards the door. "I know you miss Bella. I can't imagine...and well, damn, Allison is only a baby..."
Charlie smiled sadly. "I do miss her. But sometimes, I feel her close by."
I had to fight my laugh, covering my mouth quickly. He was hanging around Jake too damn much to feel so confident as to say silly but cryptic shit.
"Maybe if Cullen hadn't..." Mike's voice turned gruff, but my dad stopped him from going any further with that sentence.
"Edward was a good man, Mike. I've told you that time and time again. It was Bella that was driving that car. They were run off the road." Charlie, despite the fact that I was technically alive and in another room, suddenly turned fiercely protective. It had to have been a conversation they'd had before.
"She was too young to get married," Mike mumbled, his brow wrinkling.
"She was an adult, and she was happy, son." My dad's face softened to something close to understanding. "I know you liked her, and I know what it's like to watch a woman walk away from you with someone else, but Edward made Bella very happy. And you should be glad that she died that happy."
I frowned, an odd feeling coming over me as I watched someone I knew try to accept my "death."
"Yes, sir," Mike said, saying no more on the subject. "I'll see you later, then, Chief."
"Sure, sure," Charlie chuckled to himself, waving him out the door. "Coast is clear, Bells."
"You feel me close by, huh?" I laughed, leaning on his desk.
"It's true..." Charlie shrugged, turning slightly pink and chuckling.
"Well, that was a close call, so I better get outta here while I can," I said, glaring at my dad's wry smirk. "Don't say a word about Mike, Dad. I'm well aware of how he felt back then. I told him no just about on a daily basis."
Charlie laughed, wrapping me in a hug. "Love ya, Bells. I'll stop by in the morning, before you guys head to the airport, okay?"
I kissed his cheek, waving on my way out the door. "Love you, too."
I wished I could have taken a picture of the scene in the living room when I walked in the door of the house, because it was hilarious to look at, but I just wasn't in the mood. Every sibling and Edward were fighting their smiles, their laughter, and I was sure their snarky remarks concerning Mike.
"One word," I growled, rolling my eyes and pointing at the lot of them. "One single freaking word about the fact that Mike – of all people – was in my father's office...and I swear to God, someone will lose a limb!"
Jasper looked like he was about to explode, but Alice smacked the back of his head. "I like you with two arms, so if you don't think she's serious, go ahead and say it, Jazz."
At least Edward had the brains to look ashamed, considering between he and Alice, they had most likely told the whole thing as a play by play like a Monday Night Football game.
I looked towards the kitchen to see Esme grimacing with sympathy.
"Just think... After all this time, Mike still..." Emmett started with a dreamy lilt to his voice, but was interrupted by a firm sounding Esme.
"Emmett McCarty Cullen, finish that sentence, and you'll be swallowing the rest of this stuffing," she warned. "By force." She turned her loving gaze back to me, and with a soft voice, asked, "Did Charlie like his meal, little one?"
"Yeah," I sighed, carrying the empty dishes to the kitchen sink, trying my damnedest not to hear the snickering from the other room. "I thought he would eat plate and all. And I hear you guys!" I snarled, turning towards the doorway. "God," I sighed, bracing my arms on the counter and hanging my head. "It couldn't have been anyone else. It just had to be Mike."
That just started all the chuckling over again.
"I really think I need to hunt," I grumbled to myself with a frown as Esme dried the dishes after I washed them. They were disposables, but we would most likely send another care package Charlie's way before we left, just to get the food out of the house. If not, it would get packed off to charity.
"Go with Carlisle, dear," she said, kissing the side of my head. "He'd love the time with you. I'll be doling out punishments while you're gone."
There was a satisfying groan from the living room that I couldn't help but smile at.
"Sweet girl, I'll take you," Edward said, leaning in the doorway.
Just at that moment, Carlisle emerged from upstairs, a wry smirk on his face. "Nope, she's all mine." He grinned, slapping Edward on the back. "Your mother said so..."
Edward chuckled, kissing my forehead. "We meant no harm, baby."
"I know...John Madden," I teased, narrowing my eyes at him as he laughed. "I just...need to hunt. I'm in no mood for teasing about Mike right this second."
"Yes, ma'am," he smirked, shaking his head, but his eyes flickered to Carlisle for a split second.
"Shall we, Miss Bella?" Carlisle crooned, holding his arm out for me and giving Edward a shit-eating grin. "My turn," he said again, chuckling when I snorted at the both of them on our way out the door.
"Bella, wait," Edward called, and I turned around, his sweet face filled with a touch of remorse, but also a little hope as he ran a hand through his hair. "When you're done...meet me at the meadow."
"Yeah, definitely," I agreed, and I turned and disappeared into the forest with Carlisle, both of us laughing as we heard Esme say, "Now, everyone take these boxes to the car. We're all going to the homeless shelter."
I knew why I was hunting with Carlisle. I wasn't stupid. It was probably his idea to begin with, only executed with precision by Esme. It'd been a Christmas filled with strange memories and feelings for me, and he probably wanted my input on all of it. And it was probably the reason Edward let me leave with him so willingly, even though he wanted time at our meadow.
I took down a gloriously large bear and one big buck, and I was feeling ever so much better. I sat down by the little pool we all used to go swimming in, listening to the echo of the waterfall from inside the little cave. Edward and I had ravished each other thoroughly in that cave, coming out to spend the afternoon lying in the sun with my siblings, talking about movies.
"Do I want to know the memory behind that smile?" Carlisle teased, plopping down next to me on the rock I had perched myself on.
"Probably not," I chuckled, shoving him with my shoulder. "We came swimming here when I was human..."
"Ah," he sighed, his legs bending at the knees. He rested his arms on top of them, turning his amber gaze on me. "Rough Christmas, I hear."
"Oh, Edward told you..." I took a deep breath and nodded. "Yeah, some odd memories, some things discussed that I hadn't thought about in a long time. Talking about Renee with my dad, I guess it was strange, but it was fantastic seeing Charlie and everyone in La Push."
"You hid a memory from Edward?"
"'Hid' is a harsh word, Carlisle," I countered with a frown. "That time...when he was first gone, was really bad. I've never felt so close to losing my own sanity. I didn't sleep, and when I did, the nightmares..." I huffed, rolling my eyes. "I barely ate, and I ached twenty-four-seven."
His gaze was sympathetic. "Perhaps 'hid' is harsh. Maybe 'avoided' is a better term."
"Okay, yeah." We were quiet for a moment, and I stared at the glittering water in the late afternoon dreary day. "I didn't want him to know," I finally said with a tiny voice. "We've been through everything. Did Edward really need to see me lose my mind on my parents?"
"Yeah, he might have," Carlisle said with a shrug. "You're ashamed of it?"
"Hell yes, I'm ashamed of it! I was practically comatose until Renee started shoving my things into my suitcase. And then...then...all I could think of was... What if? What if Edward came back and I was gone? What if I found our meadow, would he come to me? What if I tried really hard, would Alice see me need you guys? And what if I left and forgot everything?" My breath hitched as Carlisle wrapped a loving arm around me. "I had to stay, had to wait for him," I mumbled into his shoulder. "Does that make me wrong? He suffered, too."
"He did, little one," he soothed, rubbing my arm softly. "He's not upset that you kept this from him. He understands."
"I know. He told me," I said, staring back out over the water.
"How was your lunch with Charlie?" he asked, changing the subject slightly.
I snorted, lifting my head from his shoulder. "Besides the fact that Mike Newton almost saw me?"
He laughed, shaking his head. "Yes, besides that."
"Good. We talked about Mom, and I saw a recent picture of her. We both agreed that she would have never been able to handle this," I said, gesturing to my body.
"Charlie does amazingly well," Carlisle mused, bringing his hands up fingertip to fingertip, his elbows back on his knees. "He has accepted us for what we are with a grace I wasn't expecting. I wasn't sure, at first, whether it was the right thing, but Alice was always certain, and she loves him like crazy."
"That's mutual between those two, I think," I giggled.
"Indeed," he snickered with a nod. "Does it bother you to speak of your mother?"
"Um, no," I answered honestly. "I miss her. Speaking of her makes me want to call her, tell her about...everything – how happy I am, how being married is fantastic, once you work out all the living together kinks," I chuckled, feeling Carlisle's silent laugh beside me. "I think she'd love to know that I graduated from college. That I like helping children, that even more, I like Edward working with children." Carlisle let me think, gave me space and quiet, like he knew I wasn't finished. "And I'd love to call her for Mom things, you know? Like to complain that Edward can't seem to get his socks completely into the laundry hamper, or tell her some of the sweet things he says, just to hear her swoon."
Carlisle smiled, looking over at me. His shoulders shook with his chuckle.
"I have Esme to talk to...and you," I snickered, loving his bright smile. "And I know that my sacrifice was a good one, because my mother isn't a secret keeper like Charlie is. She's a romantic and a dreamer. She would want to tell the world that Dracula does exist, and he's handsome with crazy hair, and that he married her daughter. That he has a huge insane family. She would be proud and scared and in deep trouble."
"Perhaps you're right, Bells," Carlisle snickered, wrapping his arm around my shoulders again. "Would you want to see her?"
"You mean, like, go spy on her from far away, just to see her in person?" I gaped at him, my mouth hanging open as he nodded, and then shrugged. "No. The temptation to run to her would be too much. If she thinks I'm dead, then I have to give her the same respect. I have to not think she's around."
"Smart girl," Carlisle praised. "All these memories, and I was wondering if you had regrets."
I shook my head at him. I had no regrets.
"Our memories, both good and bad, are what makes us who we are, little one. I hear you ask Edward for stories of his past, and that's good, because he needs to tell them. So long he went without being able to share them, just living them. And he tells them to you just to see the gleam, the spark that lights up your face."
I grinned, because I knew he told them for other reasons as well. My Victoria's Secret credit card bill alone was proof of that. It was the one bill Edward paid himself, instead of the accountant. And he paid it with the best of wicked smiles on his face every single month.
"It's okay to remember," he continued, "because that way, we never truly lose our sense of self. You understand? It's what Alice has longed for for years, Bella. She never had her true identity. These are long lives we live, and we can just as easily lose touch. I never want you to lose Isabella Swan's memories. No more than I want Edward Anthony Masen to evaporate, even though he carries my name with pride and dignity, beyond any real son I could have ever had. But he was Edward and Elizabeth Masen Sr's son, first and foremost. I never want that to go away.
"And as much as I call you my own, I never want you to forget Charlie or La Push or Renee or even a single minute of how you and Edward met or struggled apart or even what it took to heal. All of that makes up...well, you."
I leaned over and kissed his cheek. "Thanks, Carlisle."
"Now, you have a date, I think," he chuckled, patting my shoulder.
"I do. And he's probably pacing a path right now," I giggled, kissing his cheek one more time. "I'm good to go, Dr. Cullen?"
"You passed with flying colors, little one. We'll see you two back at the house later," he said, helping me down off of the boulder we'd been sitting on.
With one last wave, I took off towards a place I'd been aching to see again.
"She's not mad, Ed," Jasper sighed, rolling his eyes and and pushing me out the back door. "I didn't get that feeling from her at all. Just the need to hunt."
"She knows we tease her about Mike," Alice chuckled. "She just didn't want to hear it. Plus, Carlisle wanted to talk to her."
We were back from dropping off the food to the shelter. All the canned goods and unopened frozen food were taken immediately. Rose and Emmett took the rest of the leftovers to the reservation. Those boys would eat anything.
"'Kay," I conceded, but I didn't believe a word of it until I could hear it from my girl's own lips. Just because Newton was a source of teasing when it came to my siblings and Bella, didn't mean we had to do it all the time. And I should've known better, when I was listening to her mind during her visit with Charlie, because she wasn't so much bothered by Mike himself, but the fact that he was speaking of her like she was no longer on this earth. I, myself, had forgotten how strange and lonely that part of this life can make an immortal feel.
As I ran from the house, aiming towards the meadow, I searched for my Bella's mind. Her shield must've been down, because I could just faintly catch Carlisle's, but not hers. And the closer I got to my destination, the fainter it became, so I ignored it altogether.
I emerged into our meadow, slowing down to a human-paced walk. I huffed a laugh to myself as I took in the fact that it never changed, aside from a little more growth from the surrounding foliage. It sat untouched, undiscovered by anyone, so every memory, every conversation was still there, still pristine.
"Love, are you all right? You haven't said much since we left the house," I said, easing her down into the grass. She had just purged all of her issues with Jake, and I was concerned she may still be upset.
"It was a little weird saying all of that. I'm sorry if any of it upset you. I'd never mentioned any of it to anyone. Ever. And then all of a sudden, I'm ranting in front of your whole family. You guys must think I am a fool for not being able to get away from him." She sounded so lost, so unsure of herself, but I couldn't see past her bravery.
"On the contrary, love. I think you have to be the strongest person I have ever met. And my family loves you. They would never think less of you. In fact, they were all in awe of you." I smiled when she looked up at me. I put my hand to her face and lightly traced the bruise along her cheek with my thumb.
"You know why I have to go, don't you?" I asked my sweet, brand new immortal girl.
We were just about to head to Dartmouth, and she was in a complete panic as to my leaving to sign for the new house, even though I was only supposed to be gone for three days.
"No," she sighed, pouting adorably and snuggling closer to me as I held her in the tall grasses and explained that the responsibility of the finances, the reading of the realtor's mind rested on my shoulders.
My shaking, injured girl clung to me with every inch of her body, except for her poor arm, which laid limply between her and my chest as I stole her away from my family, the battlefield, and the disgusting scene of Felix's destroyed army. She'd fought like a lioness, and I'd never been more proud of her, even when she let Felix get the upper hand on her.
Her mind flooded with the fact that I was okay, I was fine, I was right there.
My control was never more important than it had been that day. Not because I couldn't help her, but because she'd been inconsolable with the thought that I wasn't coming back.
I'd returned to where I'd left her after, not just killing Felix, but punishing him for even thinking of laying a hand on my wife, my love, my perfect girl. I didn't give a damn how big he was, or how strong. His mind had been slow and easy to read. My need to protect her, avenge her injury, was my motivation more than anything else. I could barely see beyond him.
I tore him apart, leaving him just aware enough to see me set his boat on fire with him right in the midst of it, flames licking at him as he tried in vain to escape without arms and legs. And that was what had taken me so long to get back, making sure that he was ashes before I walked away.
I'd arrived back at the ledge to see my family trying so damn hard to calm my Bella, but she wasn't having any of it. She wanted me. She wanted to see me. And even though they would have taken excellent care of her, taken her home and healed her, my last command to stay right there was all she could focus on.
And they weren't listening to her. Not because they didn't care, but her broken sobs were killing them. They just wanted to help.
"STOP!" I'd yelled, unable to take her cries in my mind anymore, barely able to pull my anger back in as she struggled against Jasper.
Bringing her to the meadow had been my only focus, to get her somewhere where she felt safe and calm, so that when I healed her arm, she would feel relaxed and trusting as she curled into me.
I came up out of that last memory with a gasp of air, like a human under water too long. The rest of the memories from this place were like flashes from a camera. Light and sweet, deep and lust-filled kisses, soft teasing smiles, writhing under tickling fingers, blushes from my human girl, happy chuckles from me, long, deep conversations, hands on skin, heartbreaking, soulful brown eyes, cascades of brunette locks mixed with wildflowers, tackles into mud puddles, and making love more times than I could count...it was beautiful and sweet and perfect, and I was never more glad that I'd brought Bella here the very first time.
"It never changes," she said from behind me.
I spun to see her, surprised that she could have snuck up on me, but her closed mind was the explanation. I chuckled. "I was just thinking the same thing. Though in the winter, it's not as...pretty." I shrugged a shoulder and looked around again.
"No, it's not," she agreed with a snicker, wandering away from me just to look around. "But that's okay, right?"
"Yes, ma'am," I said with a smile, shoving my hands in my front pockets just to keep from reaching out and grabbing her. "I'm sorry we teased you..."
She giggled, turning to face me. "I wasn't mad, Edward."
"I know, but we just...couldn't help it. It was Newton!" I grinned at her sweet expression. "What are the odds?"
"No kidding," she huffed, rolling her eyes. "The one day I sneak into town to see Charlie, and he shows up at the station."
"Ah," I sighed with a exaggerated hand to my chest. "And he still hates me."
"You may be right," she laughed, shaking her head. "Well, you haven't lost your touch, my scary man."
I grinned, sitting down under our tree and opening my arms for her. "It's good to know that I haven't lost my touch. That I can still scare him from the grave. I should haunt him, let him just get a glimpse of me."
"Edward," she groaned, standing on either side of my legs and lowering herself down onto my lap. "He's got a little girl. It's not worth it."
"You're just saying that because you're his ideal," I teased softly, kissing her cheek and inhaling her sweet scent. My whole body relaxed with that one breath. "Though I truly understand. You're beautiful and damn hard to forget."
"Shut it," she growled softly, but a wry smirk played on her lips.
"Did you hunt, baby?"
"I did." She smiled, nodded, and leaned into kiss my lips chastely.
"Mm, grizzly...and..."
She giggled. "A big buck, thank you very much. The bear was cranky."
"I imagine he was, because I bet you woke him up," I said, caressing the outside of her strong, denim covered thighs that were straddling me with glorious pressure.
"I did. He was snoring loudly and hard to miss." Her smile was wicked and sexy, making me grip her bottom and pull her closer.
"And how was your session with Dr. Cullen?"
She chuckled, rolled her eyes, and smirked. "Fine. And a complete setup, I think. Your doing?"
"No, I wanted you all to myself. He told me to back off." I laughed, leaning in to kiss her neck, flicking my tongue out just to get a quick taste of her. And the flavor of her set my soul on fire.
"Mm," she purred, her voice vibrating against my lips at her throat. "I figured that," she said, nuzzling my jaw all the way back to my ear. Her fingers slipped up the other side of my neck and into my hair. "But it was a good talk. Carlisle has a way of putting things into a simpler perspective for me."
I pulled back, cupping her face and brushing my thumbs along her cheek bones. "He is really good at that," I agreed. "What perspective did you need, sweet girl?"
She took a deep breath and gazed out over my shoulder, a far away look in her eyes. "This place – or Forks in general, really – will always affect me this way. It's home. And it makes me...me. Memories and all." She locked eyes with me, reaching up to brush my hair from my forehead. She leaned in, pressing her lips there. "I really love this place," she whispered against my furrowed brow.
"And I really love you," I sighed, leaning my head back to the trunk of the tree behind me.
And just like that, her mind opened to me like a flower in bloom. The same memories I'd had, she was reliving as well, as her lips pressed to mine.
I sighed into her mouth, feeling relief with the contact, that amazing connection we shared. I slipped my hands up her back and wrapped her ponytail around my hand. Tugging it lightly, I pulled her head to the side, just to be able to kiss slowly, languidly up the side of her neck, reveling in her scent, her sounds, and her taste.
I smiled against her throat as a single, simple question popped into her mind out of nowhere. What would you have done to me the first time we came here, if I hadn't been so...fragrant and fragile?
I chuckled, and then pulled her earlobe to my lips. "Oh the things I could've done, beautiful... No one knew where you'd run off to..."
She giggled, curling her neck and writhing on my lap when my breath hit her skin. "I was protecting your secret, dumbass..."
I laughed, my forehead hitting her shoulder. "I know that...now. But then, it seemed dangerous as hell." God, I loved it when she teased me.
"I mean it," she chuckled, tugging open the top few buttons of my shirt, just so she could place a kiss where my neck met my shoulder. "If you'd have been able, what would you have done?"
"What we're doing right now," I snickered, sneaking my hands up the back of her sweatshirt, just to be able to touch her skin.
"Edward," she groaned.
"Does this count as a story?"
"Absolutely not," she huffed, rolling her eyes at me. "This is a what if type of situation. Now, tell me..."
I laughed, loving her frustration. It was so damned adorable. "Hmm," I mused, studying her beautiful but amused face and reaching up to touch her nose with the tip of my finger. It wrinkled adorably. "I don't know, Bella. I was so confused about us. Even if I'd been able to touch you, I was still a hundred year old, inexperienced, nervous as hell man on his first...well, date, for a lack of a better word. And you were beautiful and calm, and inside, I was freaking out. I was raised to think courting came first, that kissing – real kissing – was something no one spoke of, much less anything beyond that."
"Mm, that's a shame," she purred, pressing her lips to mine quickly and pulling back slightly. "Kissing is good."
"Oh, it is," I chuckled and smiled against her lips. "But just because I saw it every day in everyone's minds, didn't make me anymore comfortable with it. Trust me, I wanted you just like this," I said, wrapping my arms all the way around her and leaning into her sweet neck to place a soft kiss. "I wanted you in every fantasy I'd ever had, which by the way, only started when I met you."
Her mind flickered through the memory of me in this meadow, and I saw how nervous I was, running off, only to come back to her and apologize. She wondered briefly what my reactions would have been like had I been a normal human boy, from the same time as her, with the same shared feelings.
I frowned at the thought and took a deep breath, but already knowing the answer, because she wasn't the only one between us who'd had that particular daydream. "I would've kissed you senseless," I said, grinning at her giggle. "I would've touched you, held you...maybe even gotten to first base."
"Confident, aren't we, Mr. Cullen?" she teased, reaching for my hand, slipping it back under her shirt, and placing it on her breast. "There, handsome. First base. What else?"
I purred at the weight of her under my palm and gave her a soft squeeze as I leaned in to kiss her again. This time, she turned her head, our tongues slipping together, wet lips sweeping against each other with perfect sensual synchronicity. She moaned when my fingers dipped below the cup just to brush across her nipple. Her hips rolled against mine, and we both growled low, my eyes rolling to the back of my head as I continued to ravish her mouth with my own.
"Next, baby," she begged, pressing her forehead to mine after breaking from my lips with a shared gasp between us. She was panting as my fingers never stopped touching her breast, but now both of them were out of their cups and in my hands, because I couldn't stop once I'd started touching her.
"Third... My next goal would have been third, because if you keep grinding against me, that's exactly what I'd want next..." My voice was husky, soft, and breathy, and it caught in my throat every time her hips gyrated against mine. "I would want to really touch you. Maybe make you come."
Her moan was wanton and filled with a sexual longing as her breathing turned deep and heavy. "Yeah, yeah...please, baby," she whispered, grinding against me again.
In her mind, the role playing was over. She wanted her husband to take care of what was now an aching need, but I liked the game, despite the throbbing hard on I was currently sporting. With a wicked, crooked smirk that caused her to groan, I flipped us over until I was braced on an elbow beside her, as she lay on her back in the cool dead grasses.
And I kissed her senseless.
Her center pressed hard against the thigh that I'd wedged between her legs, grinding over and over. Our hands went out of control, but still remained over our clothes. She tugged my shirt from my jeans, and I palmed that perfect ass of hers, dragging her up my thigh again.
I let my fingers dance across the waistband of her jeans, before ghosting down to the apex of her legs.
"God, Edward...something...anything..." Her growl was through gritted teeth as she practically vibrated beneath me, and her eyes were black with want as she looked up at me through her long eyelashes.
I palmed her possessively, using my middle finger to apply pressure up the seam of her jeans. "This? You want this, love? Do you want me to make you come, Bella?"
Her breath caught as I did it again slowly and with just a touch more pressure. Her hips rose up with my hand, but I pushed them back down.
"Tell me, sweet girl, and it's all yours..."
"More, baby...just anything."
I tugged the button of her jeans open, slipped my hand inside of her underwear, and glided along her wet folds. Her hiss at the sensitivity was just about my undoing, but I wanted this, wanted her to have this, because in her mind, her arousal was almost painful. She wanted to come so badly.
"So wet, baby," I growled, nipping softly at her neck. "And all for me. Tell me, my love. Do you want my hands or my mouth on you when you come?"
Her moan was slightly laced with a laugh. "Hands...don't stop, Edward..."
I didn't care one way or the other. Tasting Bella as she came on my tongue was the best sensation I'd ever experienced, but using my hands allowed me to watch her stunning face when she fell apart. Either way, I was a lucky bastard and relished every damn second of whatever she gave me.
"Good girl," I crooned, slipping my fingers deep inside of her, my thumb applying pressure just where she needed it most. And my girl was so damn close.
I curled my fingers just right, hitting the spot that always caused her to fall apart. With one last brush of my thumb across her clit, I felt her body start to clench.
"Uh uh, don't hold back from me. Let go...give me everything you've got, baby..."
I knew my voice was not just her favorite sound, but a turn on to her as well, and just like I asked, my beautiful wife shattered with a hitching breath.
"Edward," she gasped, her eyes rolling back as her hips raised up, her whole body arcing up in a climax induced bow.
All thought processes left us as we haphazardly removed just enough clothes in order for me to enter her with almost a feral force, but I needed her so badly, needed to be inside her warm, wet heat. I was dying to be one with my wife, to complete our connection that seemed to be making my whole being frazzled.
Our meadow had seen plenty of love making, fooling around, and just plain fucking the shit out of each other. We were comfortable there. We were happy there. And we could lose ourselves there without fear of siblings, parents, wolves, or threats. No one could touch us when we were there.
And our names once again hit the cool air of our favorite place in the whole world with sensual smiles and naughty chuckles as the sun slowly descended behind the trees.
Our time in Forks was almost up.
We redressed, but barely left each other's touch as the stars tried to peek through the cloudy sky. My Bella curled in closer to me, hitching her leg up around my waist and burrowing her nose into my neck. Her mind was just enjoying the quiet, peaceful silence that we'd always had, even at the very beginning.
I pressed a kiss to her forehead, wrapping my arms around her. I was just about to tease her, suggesting that we break into Forks High to visit the old Biology lab, but both our phones erupted into shrill ringing, alerting us to text messages.
We both sighed, sat up, and ran our fingers through our sex ravaged hair. I chuckled, shaking my head and pulling twigs from my sweet girl's ponytail. "You might wanna..."
"Shut up," she laughed, tugging it down from its rubber band and twisting it back up.
I snorted, pulled out my phone, and groaned. "Alice," I sighed, holding it up for her.
A: Get back here...quick! I've FINALLY seen something...and it's about damn time.
We locked gazes and nodded. We had no choice, but we were flying back to New York in the morning anyway. I stood up and offered Bella my hand. She took it, standing up slowly, but she fell into me, wrapping her arms around my waist, her face pressed into my chest.
Her mind was thankful to see our place once again. We both quietly looked around, before I took her hand in mine. "We'll be back," I vowed, but I wasn't sure if I was reassuring her, me, or the meadow itself, because by now, the place had taken on its own personality.
"I know," she sighed, giving me a smile. "We'd better go, baby."
I nodded, kissing her hand. In a blink, we left behind another happy memory.


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